Tiny hand

Tiny hand
November 20, 2010 (one day old)

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

All I want for Christmas is my four front teeth

Well, four front teeth, and to be home with all four of our family members under one roof for Christmas.  That's what I wanted, and that's what I got - and then some.
I am about to tear into this present!
It was such a different, joyous, sensory Christmas compared to last year's numbness and anxiety:  smelling cinnamon rolls baking in the oven, hearing both boys giggling and squealing and ripping paper off of presents, watching them play with their new toys (or in Cayden's case, eat the paper they were wrapped in), feeling both boys crawl all over me in an attempt to get in my lap.  There's nothing like it in the world!

Three days before Christmas, we got a ton of snow.  It hadn't melted much by Christmas Eve, so we took the boys out for a spin around the block.  We pulled Jamison in his little sled and pushed Cayden in the stroller.  Jamison had a good time, but Cayden fell asleep.  That evening, I made my first attempt at making homemade pizza.  It turned out pretty good, and that's what we had for dinner.  I'm trying to think of family traditions we can start that the boys will look forward to and enjoy for years and years to come.  Food has always been a central theme in my family, and I have so many good memories of meals associated with holidays.  With two under two, I don't think I'm ready to take on preparing the feast of the seven fishes on Christmas Eve or sarma (stuffed cabbage) and torte on Christmas Day, but for now, homemade pizza is something I can do!  We had ham on Christmas Day, but eventually, I'd like to make fondue our Christmas Day tradition.  We had it two years ago, the year Jamison was born, but it's a lot of work and it won't really be appropriate for the boys for a few more years.

Another tradition I hope to continue is going out to look at Christmas lights.  We bundled the boys up and took them around the neighborhood on Christmas night.  It was cold, but I think they enjoyed it.

Ready to go see some Christmas lights in the neighborhood

 Along with all of the holiday merriment lately, we've had lots of happy developmental happenings.  A couple weeks ago, Cayden achieved two big milestones in the same day:  he started holding his own bottle during feedings and he began pushing himself up to a sitting position from laying down. 

Holding my own bottle!
Within the past week, he started pushing himself up on all fours.  Jason and I both swear we saw him crawl a few steps, but it was on the bare floor and I think the smoothness of the floor helped him sort of slide his legs along so it just looked like he was crawling.  Either way, I don't think it'll be long before he really is full-on crawling!

Physically, he is a chunk!  He's got to be 20 pounds by now.  His last weigh-in was December 8th and he was 19 lbs. 8 oz. then.  His hair is getting sort of long and now I'm not sure if it's going to be light or dark.  I used to think it was going to be dark, but now it almost looks light, like Jamison's.  It is definitely curly when it's wet, but after he sleeps on it, it gets all whacked out and just sort of looks fluffy.  He's been shaking his head "no" and loves to go back and forth with Jamison when Jami imitates him doing it.  He's also more vocal, making his wants known with grunts, yells, and shrieks.  He likes to laugh and does a lot of plain old babbling.  Today, we think he said "da-da" when Jason walked in the room!     

Within the past week, we completed the transition from formula to whole milk, so now we don't have to mess with mixing, measuring, and making up formula (not to mention all the money we'll save!)  He no longer has any thickener added to his milk - one less thing to measure, add, and shake up.  He no longer needs his reflux medicine - no more phone calls and trips to the pharmacy every 28 days; no more having to force medicine down his throat; no more having to torture him by making him wait 20 minutes after taking his medicine before giving him his first bottle of the day; no more having to pay for said medicine.  Because he is sitting up and using his core muscles so much, his reflux is much more under control, so we no longer have to hold him upright for a half hour after each feeding.  He still spits up a little here and there, but it's nothing like it was.  Life gets easier every day and I am so relieved!  There IS light at the end of this long preemie tunnel!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Blood pressure check

Just a quick update to let everyone know that Cayden's blood pressure was normal at his doctor visit today.  They checked it in both arms just to be sure and Dr. Rosenberg said it's all good and we don't have to worry about it anymore.  WHEW!! 

And he weighed in at 19 lbs. 6 oz.  :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

So much to be thankful for

We had a houseful here for Thanksgiving, and while it was pretty stressful and at times chaotic, all in all, it was worth it.

My dad, step mom, little sister, grandma, and cousin all came to visit and stayed with us for varying amounts of time.  Gruncle Don and Graunt Kay had to cancel at the last minute due to a plumbing disaster in their home the night before they were supposed to travel, and they were sorely missed.  The best part was that Cayden and Jamison got to see family they haven't see in too long (or never, in some cases!)

With Nonna Lena

Sitting at the Thanksgiving table with big brother Jamison and Aunt Vickie

I loved meeting my Aunt Vickie!

With Grandpa Ray, Popo Xian, and Aunt Vickie

Thanksgiving dinner was a success, and although Cayden didn't have any of the adult food, he was a big part of the celebration.  Hands down, he is the biggest thing I am thankful for this year!

Aside from the excitement of company, over the past couple weeks, Cayden has been through a lot.  He had a bit of a cough after his birthday, but when we visited Dr. Rosenberg a few days later for his one year check up, he said he wasn't concerned about it.  At that check up, Cayden got four vaccines.  That night, he didn't sleep very well, not totally unexpectedly.  The next day, he seemed to come down with a full-on cold.  We thought (hoped) it was just a reaction to the vaccines, but as it turned out, it was more than that and the runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fussiness, and poor sleeping lasted over a week. 

Just about the time he started recovering from the cold, he spiked a fever for a day.  I looked at the calendar:  it was eight days since he had the vaccines.  A light went off in my head, so I looked at the paperwork they gave me at the doctor's office.  Sure enough, two of the vaccines, MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) and varicella (chicken pox) said they may have delayed reactions 7-10 days afterwards.  Symptoms may include fever (check), fussiness (check), decreased appetite (check), and a rash may develop (check).  The rash lasted a few days, but the rest of the symptoms only lasted a couple, thank goodness.

And as if this weren't enough for my poor little guy to deal with, during this whole period, I think he also felt miserable from teething!  It looks like all four of his front teeth are coming in on top.  So far only one has come through, but I think the rest of them will pop through any day.  It sure is rough being one!

Although things have been tough for Cayden, things have been getting easier for mom and dad.  We weaned him off of Simply Thick a couple weeks ago, so no more messing with that!  He had his last dose of Prilosec this past weekend, so that's one less thing to worry about.  Now that he's sitting up a lot, his reflux is subsiding, and even without the thickener or medication, he hasn't been spitting up very much.  Amen for that!  We're in the process of transitioning to whole milk instead of formula, so in a couple more weeks, we won't have to deal with mixing that up anymore - just pour straight from the gallon jug!  Not to mention how much our pocketbook will appreciate not having to buy $150+ of formula every month...

We'll be seeing Dr. Rosenberg again tomorrow.  He wants to check Cayden's blood pressure - apparently, it's been elevated for some time.  He said this happens sometimes with preemies, but they'll want to do some tests if it is still elevated.  So I guess we'll see how it goes.