Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Still Exist!

I feel like since James was born, I have NO pictures of us together! I am always taking the pictures of him with someone else or alone, and since we mostly stay at home, I never have on picture worthy clothes. BUT, this past Sunday when my parents were in town was James' first Sunday at church. It was a big day because Landon and I were sharing our testimony during the service, my parents were here, and it was James' first day. Thank goodness my parents sat with him in the back during the service so I could focus with Landon on what we were doing. It was so difficult to take him to church. I was completely exhausted on Sunday night - and he had not slept AT ALL Sunday during the day - he was exhausted, too! I know we'll get in a routine of things, but it was a tough day. It was great to be back and see everyone, but I am just so worried about James being around people - I know it has to happen sooner or later, and most people are great about knowing not to get in his face, etc., but there are still some who don't realize, and that is tough. The new momma part of me wants to never take him anywhere in public and keep a blanket over his carrier all the time where no one can even see him! BUT, I know I can't do that...unfortunately. Anyway, here are two pictures (that are almost exactly the same) of James and me Sunday morning before we left - ha, his face is funny in both pictures. We just didn't have time to keep taking them and wait for a normal one :)

Then, here are a couple of James by himself. Ya'll, he is so cute.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2 Months

Dear James,
Welcome to 2 months!

I can't decide if you look cuter in the picture above or the picture below, so I'll just have to show both of them!
This past month you have started getting REALLY fun. I'm so excited about what's coming...more and more of your sweet personality! (I'm starting to think about your halloween costume and Christmas...) But, I'm also sad to see our little baby growing up (you'd think you were graduating from high school or something!).
Your stats this month:
Weight: 11 lbs 0.5 oz (33%)
Height: 23" (49%)
Head: 14 3/4 (7%) - clearly you have my head, buddy, not Daddy's head - for now that's what it appears, anyway
Every single day love grows in my heart for you - even though I don't know how that's possible because I love you so much. I know you are tired of seeing the camera flash in front of your face...and you've been very patient with me as I've taken 100 pictures of you a day :) Things to note about this month:
- We think we have your acid reflux figured out. You are drinking a bottle every single time, about 4 oz. each time, of my milk + rice cereal (1 tsp per oz). The bottle is good because it helps you be able to sit up more while you eat. The rice cereal has been fantastic because you don't spit up near as much anymore - sometimes not at all! You are taking Prilosec, which took me about a day to figure out the cost of at different pharmacies. It's a medicine that has to be compounded, and our insurance doesn't cover that, so we had to do some investigation. You know that Daddy is a major investigator of things, so he had me doing major research on different options :) We are getting the medicine from an older pharmacy here in town though, and they have the compounding equipment. I think the Prilosec is working great. We give it to you between supper and your bed time, and it's purple and refrigerated. You don't seem to hate it, but you don't really seem to like it either.
- You got your first vaccinations yesterday (except for your first Hep B vaccination that you got like 2 days out of the hospital). You got two shots and one oral vaccine. I can't remember what they all were, but one was for rotovirus, and I know it included whooping cough and some meningitis stuff. You screamed like someone just tore your heart out when they did it. Bless your heart. But, you stopped crying quickly, and Daddy kept telling you how exciting it was that you got orange band aids for the gators and what a big boy you were. I couldn't really speak except to hold you and try not to cry hard. You ran a fever last night of 100.4, but the dr. said that would be normal. You were very lethargic and clingy - not fussy, just really wanted to sit with Daddy or me. It was very sweet. I was worried about leaving you to go to sleep last night, but you did great!
- You are sleeping 5 hours straight at night and then waking up to eat and going back to sleep 2 hours and sometimes 3 hours. I wish it was longer, but the doctor says that for a breast fed baby you are doing great. You are very funny when I come in to get you. Usually you are starting to cry - because I wait to make sure you are not going to go back to sleep before coming in - and you seem mad at first - like, "What took you so long to get in here, Mom??" But then, when I start to unzip your sleep sack and get you out, you just smile and look at me. You are looking at us with lots of recognition now - we know you know who we are. You suck down that bottle in the middle of the night as if you've been working out in the yard or something. You are thirsty and hungry! I give you 5 oz., and you usually gulp it right down! It's hard for me to put you down to go back to sleep because you are so sweet. You just smile and talk to me. I always hold my breath as I leave the room because I'm so afraid you're going to freak out, but you don't. You are doing great at going to bed at night! We put your jammies on, then eat, then pray with you, then put you in bed. You usually don't even cry - you are just smiling or sleepy looking.
- Your first time to go to church will be this next Sunday. I am VERY NERVOUS about it. I am happy for our great church to see you, but I don't want lots of people in your face. I know that's why we've waited these couple of months to take you, but still, I'm planning to leave you in your carrier, strapped in, so hopefully you'll cooperate with that plan :)
- I haven't gotten your day time schedule figured out yet. The dr. told me to chill out and just watch you - that I'll be able to tell when you're tired and want to sleep. I wanted it to be completely regimented like Babywise, but it looks like the Lord is going to stretch me a little about that routine :) I just want you to be well rested and a happy baby! And you are most of the time, but I want to do everything I can to make that happen.
- You are not going to the bathroom through your pajamas anymore at night! YAY! This is huge! You are going to the bathroom less on your changing table, wall, face, and ear :) And, since the rice cereal began, you are going to the bathroom less...but more...does that make sense? It has become more "interesting" let's say. We can tell by the look of deep concentration on your face that you are struggling to go to the bathroom. We encourage you to get it out!!
- Although you are sleeping in your crib at night, you don't like to sleep in it during the day, and so that's okay for now. You mainly sleep in the swing or on the couch beside me on a blanket - with pillows stacked on either side.
- You seem to like it in the kitchen with me - which cracks me up.
- You are doing great on all your milestones. You are smiling - big time! - you are recognizing our faces, you are holding your head up pretty well, and you are starting to grab stuff. BUT, I cannot get you to grab toys yet. You'll grab my hair or my hands, or anything on me or Daddy, but you will not grab your toys. I try to hand things to you - even regular things that aren't toys, like wooden spoons or silverware out of the dishwasher while we're in the kitchen. You REFUSE to hold the stuff. I mean, you literally pull your hand back and look at me like I'm crazy. I keep trying every day - Daddy gets you to hold stuff because he slips it in when you don't realize.
- Your favorite toys? Still the infant gym, for sure. You love that thing! You are liking the glow worm more and more and you like a rattle that lights up. You actually didn't cry today while I read you three books - you just looked at them and me and smiled.
- You like it when we sing. The other night you were really fussy and I sang You're a Grand Old Flag and marched around the house with you for about half an hour. I also sang the medley of the songs from all the different branches of the service, and you seemed to really like the Coast Guard song the best. Not sure if that means anything - just want to note it.
- We've started praying with you at night - whichever one of us puts you to bed. You don't seem to mind too much. If you fidget around and squirm, I just keep praying, and then put you to bed. You'll understand soon enough :)
You are a joy to me. I cannot even type this without wanting to cry. I could never have imagined my heart could be so full of love for someone - even in the midst of exhaustion and frustration sometimes. I pray God will equip me to be the very best Momma anyone could have. I know I'll mess you up, but like I tell you, Jamesy, there is no one, I mean, NEVER ANY ONE, who could love you more than your Mommy and Daddy except Jesus. And that is A LOT.
We love you! Happy 2 Month Birthday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Forgot a couple!

Nothing to say about these...except that I was not letting him sleep like this. He just started to fall asleep and I took his picture before I moved him...

Update on Life

Today is a good day. It seems like every 3 days we have a terrible day and I think I'm going to lose my mind, and then we have a great day the next day. James has slept 6 hours the last two nights. This is good. He was sleeping 5 before that, so I'm hoping we're moving up an hour every few days. :) We'll see. The trouble I'm having now is with naps. I'm happy for any advice (but don't be critical - because I'm sensitive about being a good mom). James is on a feed wake sleep 3 hour schedule. This is flexible sometimes but for the most part works great when I'm pretty strict about it. He is sleeping great at night - as far as me putting him down in the crib and leaving and then when I feed him in the middle of the night, I go back in and then leave after he eats and he is great then too. Trouble is with naps. He's been napping in the swing, but all of a sudden, probably the last two weeks, he's starting screaming out in his sleep - well, he is asleep until he screams out, and then he's awake :(. So...I decided that it's important for him to nap in his crib just like he sleeps in there at night - I think he will sleep more soundly. I have tried this several days, one of the days being yesterday, and it was TERRIBLE. He cried for over an hour in his crib (this is the part where I don't need anyone to say I'm a bad mother!!! I know, I know, I cried about it already!). I went to check on him every 10 minutes. I kept thinking he would surely tire out and go to sleep - I mean, I can have a strong will too, so don't make me wait you out. Well, guess what? He didn't. Finally I looked it up online, the whole baby wise, nap thing, etc., and all these people were saying only terrible mothers would leave them to cry at this age, yadda, yadda...so I was crying, I went in and got him (finally), and as soon as I got him while I was crying about how evil I was, then he immediately stopped crying. I put him on the couch beside me, and guess what, he was quiet and just went right to sleep. Well, that's good, but it won't do for long term. I want him to be a great independent sleeper...and at night, we're making real progress, but daytime...not so hot. So, we have a pediatrician appt. for 2 month checkup on Monday, and I'm going to ask her. They're the ones that told me it was okay to go ahead and put him in his crib at 2 weeks and help him get used to his own bed - and that worked AWESOME after a couple of rough nights. They also are advocates of feed wake sleep stuff. So...I put him back in the swing for naps. Even though he cries out a couple of times, usually. It's better until I can get some advice from the dr. about why he's crying out and what to do about napping in the crib. I mean, if he cries until it's time for him to eat again, then if he doesn't act hungry, do I just let him keep trying to sleep? Is it letting him win to wake up? Or, do I just get him and let him eat (even though he won't eat that well since he's so sleepy) and then let him immediately go to sleep and we don't have any awake time? This mom thing is tough. He is getting so fun though when he's happy! Oh my word - when he does take good naps, he is in a great mood and just smiles and smiles and talks.

Lan and I are going to Cracker Barrel tonight for dinner and one of our church ladies is keeping him. Ya'll, he is so cute and I love him so much - I CAN HARDLY STAND IT!!

The rice cereal is working GREAT. Except that I think now he doesn't want to eat quite as much for most meals. He seems fuller faster. Alright, here are a few new pictures...

James playing on the tummy time mat cousin Amy gave us. We haven't put water in it yet...I don't feel like cleaning that up - but it seems to serve the same purpose even without water :)
James in the kitchen with me today...getting ready to bake brownies. I was singing songs to him. I was trying to sing some upbeat ones - ha, I was trying to remember like some old Carmen or DC Talk - but hello, the only songs I could think of were Can't Touch This, the first verse to Ice Ice Baby, and Rockin' Robin. I have got to work on my repoirte (is that how you spell this??). But, he seems to like it - probably because I look like a fool - ha.
Here's a message James wrote for his Grammie and GatorPa who are coming next week - trying to decide if they are going to come on Thursday night or Friday morning...hopefully this will help convince them - I mean, hello, priorities, people!!!???
And, finally, another shot of James in the kitchen today. He really likes it in there. We made some brownies for Ms. Susan, who is watching him tonight :) (just for a little while when we eat at CB).
Oh, my bad...this is the last one. I took this the other day in his room - this face cracks me up. Kelli, this is the outfit you gave James, remember?! And, if you could see the bottom of his foot, you'd see he has on Finn's socks - they have W's on the bottoms :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Reflux Update

So, we went to the doctor yesterday to see how James is doing - oh no, not for his two month appointment, just for a reflux appointment. Our dr. wanted to make sure he was gaining weight and doing well. I told her over the phone that we felt like he was growing great, and gaining plenty of weight, but she said she just wanted to lay eyes on him herself. Isn't that a good dr.? She has called us several times the last few days to check different things about James - I'm so happy we chose the pediatrician office we did and Dr. Evans! She told us to put the cereal in all of his meals, one tsp per ounce...so...on with the pumping and bottle making... He weighed 10 lbs 3 oz, so obviously, he's gaining great weight. She was really happy with that. She up'd his dosage of Prevacid to twice a day. He has been pretty great since then - she helped us with the nipple problem too - remember, Slow flow was crazy too slow...frustrating...but Fast flow was crazy too fast...also frustrating and scary. So, she told us to try Stage 2 and the Y cut for cereal. The Y cut we bought for our playtex drop ins, but they were terrible - didn't work at all. We bought Stage 2 for our Dr. Brown bottles...and they are the JACKPOT. They are great! Fast enough flow that he can get it out, but slow enough that he doesn't choke. I want to try the playtex Stage 2 now, instead of the cereal ones that didn't really work. So, I think we're on track pretty well. We go in a little over a week for his 2 month check up.

Today we went to meet Cliff, April, Mac, Sydney, and Emma Kate for lunch at OK Cafe. Um, can I just mention again it's one of my favorite eating places? Vegetable plate...mmm....it is good. Alright! I'm doing RB&Co. work so I gotta get back to it, but just wanted to update on things. Here are a few pictures too :)
Landon cleaned out the car yesterday morning. James went with him out there since it wasn't hot yet. I don't know why it cracks me up, but it just does. James just sat there and looked around while Lan worked. Don't you think that's funny? It's like he's with us all the time, just doing normal stuff - ha. He's our baby - ha.

And, we got some Gator onesies for him - which are already a little tight.... but here's the first one he's worn. We've been prepping him for football season - you know, playing the fight song, etc. Now that these NFL preseason games have been on, I've even heard Landon telling him what players are former Gators.

Okay - happy weekend!

Friday, August 13, 2010

James on his Changing Table

James is always so much fun on the changing table in his room. For some reason, it seems like it's his favorite place - he is always the cutest there, looking around, smiling, and cooing. Landon videoed him about to get his diaper changed - I know it's not that exciting (because Landon told me it wasn't), but it's exciting to me...and maybe the grandparents...

Acid Reflux is Bad News

Good Morning. I am up this morning before James (very sad, I know) because I'm trying to make sure I have his bottle ready when he wakes up. Because of his acid reflux, we are now supposed to feed him rice cereal in every bottle during every feeding he has. I had been pumping and feeding him with the bottle during the day and then breastfeeding him at night, but with the new dr.'s orders...now he'll be eating from a bottle (even though it's still my milk) for every meal. It seems like we have a few good days and then a really bad day. Our last really bad day (besides yesterday) was Sunday. He ate and threw his head back and spit up and cried and fussed and ate and threw his head back and spit up....etc....so finally I (at Landon's urging) called the 24 hour nurse line at our pediatrician's office. The pediatrician told us to start feeding him rice cereal. Now, I was a little unsure about this...and excited. I had heard that once you started feeding rice cereal your baby would sleep longer at night. But, I also knew that most babies don't eat the cereal until 4-6 months old. After researching on the internet, apparently rice cereal is something acid reflux babies get to have early because it helps them keep their food down. So, Landon went to the store right then and bought the rice cereal at 10pm at night. It's going really well, except that it causes some constipation for James (which is never fun for anyone) and that I haven't figured out what kind of nipple to use yet for the bottles. At first they told us to use the fast flow nipple. Well, he chokes some while he drinks it - and I cannot stand it - it's scary to me and frustrating to him. So, I tried the slow flow...well...if he doesn't get frustrated, he can get it out, but it takes like 4 hours to feed him! The nurse yesterday told me to try poking a safety pin into the slow flow hole and see if that helps loosen it a little - maybe it did....this is my current dilemma though.

So, that's pretty much what's going on with us. Other than that, James is great. He is smiling and cooing and just growing away - thank goodness he still wants to eat and fights through the reflux to get food! We are going to the dr. today just to do a weight check and for her to take a look at him. I love our pediatrician - do you know she actually called me on the phone last night to talk to me about James??? Are you kidding me?

Here are some sweet new pictures below... (and, btw, Landon and I doing fine :) We actually went on a date last Friday night, so that was fun - but still hard to leave). Landon has been working a ton so that's been kind of hard but he's doing such a great job at the church - I have never seen him come up with such creative ideas before. I still haven't started on my thank you notes for things I received since James arrived...I promise I'm going to write them though!! It's just hard to find time!

Gotta go brush my teeth and wash my face before he wakes up - this will be a great improvement from doing it at like 3pm :)

Look how he's smiling!! And...this isn't even his big smile... (and btw, I know, I know, Landon fixed the red eye thing on the camera, so it's better now, and I know I keep posing James in the same place...I have to think of somewhere new besides the couch...)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

James and Mommy Baking

So, after I said James didn't like to just sit and is never content, I may have found something he likes to do. Or, he liked to do it today, anyway. I had some sour cream in the refrigerator that I needed to use so decided to make a sour cream pound cake. Instead of using the time James is asleep, I thought he might like it in the kitchen with me, so I brought him in. At first I just put him in the bouncy seat without the toys so he could watch everything. As I unloaded the dishwasher, I showed him different things, told him what they were, and let him touch them (even though he had no interest in touching anything and only wanted to look away when I tried to force him to touch). Cleaning up the kitchen went so well with him, that I decided to go ahead and try to get the cake made (can you tell I'm just about feeling back to my old self? :) So, he sat there while I made it, happy as could be (for the most part). I had to put his toys on probably halfway through and hand over the pacifier. He really liked the mixer noise. It didn't startle him, but he would look over with wide eyes and just stare. So, James and I made a sour cream pound cake together this morning. He did a great job on his part. My part, however, we'll see about - I only had 5 eggs instead of 6 - and I just went on and made it anyway.....Hopefully it will not be sick! See pictures of James' baking debut below :)

Update on Life

I'm finding that every single thing I do now, I'm hurrying as fast as I can to do it. Whatever it is. Showering, paying bills, getting something to drink, blogging...whatever. Time is always running out. So...just wanted to give a quick update. Things are good. I think the Prevacid is working much better than the other medicine - I still don't think things are perfect, but they are good. James spit up through his nose last night - which was very scary to me. I think I am an overreactor, and maybe Landon tries to be an underreactor to balance me :) It scared me to death! He was snorting and seemed like he couldn't breathe very well, and I did not like it at all. If I had been here alone I might have taken him to an emergency room - ha - even though when I looked it up on the internet, it's very common for babies to spit up through their noses sometimes.

Other than the spit up through nose situation, James is good and just growing fast. I don't think he is a very content baby though. In each 3 hour cycle during the day, I probably get 10 minutes that he is just content to play with his infant gym or sit in my lap and look at a book. Usually he is either eating or sleeping or fussing because he wants to do one of those things. He keeps me busy, for sure. Mandy suggested I try Baby Einstein DVD's and so we bought 3 of them for really cheap on ebay last night. He is sleeping about 5 hours at night probably 3/4 of the time. We had a couple of rough nights a few nights ago, but then last night he slept 5 hours, so that was great! And, last night he went right back to sleep after I fed him after the 5 hours. He is getting bigger and bigger, and cuter and cuter!!

The first week we had him home, we took him to have his pictures made with our new photographer, Rene Lowrance. She was fantastic! We love to use Joy Wilson, a friend of mine since we moved to Woodstock, but since she's in Nashville, I was worried about how it was going to work trying to get her back here to take the pictures on demand when he came! Rene was recommended to me by Mandy, and she did an awesome job! The only thing is that you don't get a CD with the images...which I always want. So, I'm hoping Joy might offer something like that sometime this year when she's home in Atlanta, and we could get some pictures that we could actually have the CD of. ANYWAY, I've wanted to talk about Rene's pictures, but I wasn't sure how to show them without doing something I wasn't supposed to do - like taking screenshots and posting them - so I decided to do this. I went and picked up the prints yesterday that I ordered from her. I put most of them in frames last night, and so I took pictures of them in the frames so I could show them on here - I hope that's okay!
Aren't they sweet???

You can see where I need to use the goo be gone stuff to get the yuck off the frames still. I'm so excited about these pictures - they are gorgeous!!! :) Both Joy and Rene have done such awesome jobs taking pictures of our family! Rene's website is here and Joy's website is here.
Alright, some updated pictures of Baby James. It feels like he's all I'm talking about on here (because that's true), but that's just what life is right now. I know I'll have some other things to report on soon...but for now...this is it...

One note about the picture below. James LOVES his changing table in his room. He is the happiest and most fun when he is on that changing pad. He talks up a storm and just smiles and plays on there - it is the funniest thing. Aren't these pj's cute?? I love it when babies where animal outfits and they have footsies :) Yikes, I can hardly stand it!!!