Monday, August 25, 2008

Check this out!

I do have some news that got lost in the shuffle of Gage's illness.

This video is from Thursday when I stayed home with him. He was just starting to get the hang of crawling when I took the video. And you should see him now. What a difference a few days has made!

Sometimes Mat and I switch off at bath time. 99% of the time Mat takes care of the baths. Gage usually has his bath before dinner, so I'm downstairs making dinner and Braeden is usually playing in the kitchen or helping me cook. He likes to stomp upstairs to check in with Mat. "Daddy. How's the bath going?" Then he'll come back down to the kitchen and report back to me. Not that I can't hear everything each of them says upstairs. :)

After dinner and after cartoons, it's time for Braeden's bath (usually around 7:15). Sometimes the bath goes great. Braeden behaves and listens to Mat. The two of them are calm and patient with each other. But every once in a while, we switch. Usually I'm the one who suggests it because I just can't take listening to Braeden screaming and Mat getting more and more frustrated. I think Mat's probably asked to switch once, maybe twice. He doesn't want Braeden to get the idea that he can play one of us off the other. I get his point, but sometimes I just want to be a buffer and diffuse the situation. But sometimes Braeden is the one who calls downstairs to me and tells me it's time to switch. When he wants to switch it's because Mat isn't letting him do something he wants to do. I can't help but laugh when he suggests switching.

Well last night Braeden asked me to do his bath and who am I to refuse?? I passed Gage over to Mat and we headed upstairs. After the bath I got Bray into his pajamas and he picked out a story to read--Curious George gets a medal. I suggested to Mat that he get Gage ready for bed then we could switch kids and I would take Gage into his room to nurse. Mat asked what diaper he should bring up, and I told him to get a bumGenius. But not a green one. (Why not a green one? Those are day diapers stuffed with the microfiber car towels rather than the real inserts that we always use for nighttime.) Mat heard that as get a green one. When he got back upstairs with the diaper, I realized he'd brought the wrong one. At this point he'd taken Gage's other diaper off, so he left naked Gage sitting in the doorway of Bray's room. Braeden and I were sitting on the floor at the end of his bed. One minute Gage was sitting in the doorway and the next he was crawling across the room to us. A crawling naked baby...what could be cuter??

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Good times

Oh my gosh. Braeden said the funniest thing today. He was getting ready to go upstairs for some books and his pillow so that he could have quiet time in our bedroom. He wanted one of us to go upstairs to help him carry his things downstairs. I reminded him he had done the exact same thing yesterday all by himself.

He turned to us and said, "I'm not very good at carrying things. I only have two hands after all."

Mat and I cracked up. It's hard to argue with that logic, so Mat went up with him to help with the carrying. :)

We had a great weekend! Mat went down to Charlotte on Saturday to go whitewater rafting with his brother. And I took the boys to Will's first birthday party. We had a great time! Braeden was a little shy around the other kids who were mostly Will's cousins. He has nine on Emily's side alone! I wish Molly could have been there. The two of them had such a great time playing at our house when we had my Elon friends over for a cookout a couple weekends ago. But the party was a ton of fun. Emily and KT have great friends and lots of them have kids, so the party was loud, fun, and relaxed all at the same time. You can see all the pictures on Emily's blog. She also made a sweet montage of photos from Will's first year. It's so hard to believe that an entire year has passed since Will's birth. I remember visiting them in the hospital and holding baby Will for the first time. He was so tiny. And now he's crawling, laughing, eating cake, standing up, and soon he'll be walking. I can't help but think about Gage turning one. It's all happening so fast!

After the party we went to EarthFare to buy more inserts for Gage's gDiapers and fenugreek for the nursing mom. I told Braeden we were buying vitamins which he took to mean vitamin water (or vitamin juice water as he calls it). So of course I had to buy a bottle of that too. Then as we were driving home, I saw it.

Our Dunkin Donuts is FINALLY open! I pointed it out to Braeden and he was so excited. We had to stop! I love that my kid loves Dunkin Donuts like I do!

Tonight we were going to go out to dinner. When I asked Braeden where he wanted to go, he picked the IHOP. I reminded him he'd just had pancakes for breakfast. So he explained that he wanted to go to IHOP because he wanted to see the hot air balloons again. Too sweet.

My mom sent us this set of great pictures of Braeden. He loves to look at himself and is so glad I put the frame on our entertainment center where he can touch the pictures whenever he wants.

I've uploaded a couple more old videos of Braeden to youtube, so expect to see a post in the next couple days with those. Otherwise Mat and I are excited to be able to send both boys off to day care tomorrow. (Well, I'm as excited as I can ever be about sending my kids away for the day.) Gage is finally healthy and Braeden never came down with so much as a sniffle.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Scary times

It's been a LONG week! Last week when I posted about Gage being sick I had said I hoped he'd get better while we were home during the weekend. No such luck...he actually got worse. I can't go through all the gory details again, but Gage didn't go to day care at all this week. He woke up in the morning with a temperature that would range from 100 degrees all the way up to 103! His temp would normally be at its highest during the night which seemed weird to us. There were a couple nights we were up at 2AM with a fussing baby who had a temp of 102. The easiest thing to do then was to lay him on a towel on the floor of our bathroom so I could try to cool him down with wet washcloths.

Mat took him to the doctor Tuesday. She checked him over and said it was a virus that needed to run its course. His ears were clear, his chest sounded good, even his congestion was pretty minor. Unfortunately the fever didn't go away. In fact, it seemed to be getting worse. The spikes got higher as the week wore on. The three of us were getting pretty tired, too, since Gage's fever was always worse at night. Braeden slept through the night like a champ, so at least we weren't up with him too!

I stayed home with Gage on Wednesday. Since his temp wasn't too high after his morning nap, I took him in to the office. I had a big meeting to prepare for on Thursday and a lot of little things to take care of before I was ready. Gage did great in my office. He played on a blanket on the floor, ate cheerios, and made friends with my new coworkers. Even with a temperature, he's still incredibly charming and sweet with people.

On Thursday Mat had to take Gage back to the doctor when his temp hit 104! So scary! They did a chest x-ray looking for pneumonia. And checked his white blood cell count looking for an infection. For that they had to take blood from his heel. Just an aside here, Mat immediately called the doctor when Gage's temp got that high. I was so glad he did. But what he didn't do was call me. Dads, you always call the mommy. It doesn't matter where we are, we will come home for this! Both the x-ray and the WBC were normal, so the doctor still said it was viral. But just in case, she prescribed amoxicillin.

Since Gage's fever had always been worse at night, we decided to be proactive Thursday night and check it before we went to bed. As tired as I was, I fell asleep in front of the TV around 9:00 and was in bed asleep by 10:00. At 11:30 Mat brought Gage down and took his temperature. 104.9!!!

We gave Gage some tylenol, then I brought him into bed with me and nursed him. Mat brought a couple cool cloths so I could try to bring his temp down a little. And we agreed we needed to take him to the emergency room. Mat wanted to be the one to bring him since I had to go to work the next day, but there was no way I could send my baby out to the hospital without me. When I finished nursing, I threw on some clothes, shoved a couple diapers in the bag, and flew to the hospital.

After checking in, a nurse brought us into a small room to check Gage's vitals. His temp had come down to 103.9 thanks to the tylenol and cool cloths. She sent us back to the waiting room where we spent about 20 minutes waiting to get called back. Gage was a little fussy but not too bad. The waiting room was pretty empty, so I wasn't worried we would have to wait too long.

A nurse brought us back to a room, then left us to wait for the doctor. The doctor checked Gage out and asked about his visit earlier that day to the doctor's office. She wanted to run some tests to check for possible infections. She suggested I nurse him first since they needed to take a clean urine sample. When I finished nursing, two male nurses and a woman came in. The guys started looking for veins so they could draw blood. They also put a plastic bag over his penis hoping to get a urine sample that way. It was actually an ingenious little thing. It fit him perfectly and was sticky so it stayed in place. They figured he would pee when they stuck him with the needle.

First they tried to draw blood from his arm. When that didn't work, they used a vein in his hand. Gage screamed and screamed. His face turned bright red and his head was so hot and sweaty. I couldn't stop myself from crying. The two other nurses held him down so all I needed to do was stroke his head and talk to him. Unfortunately baby Gage didn't pee. So that meant they needed to insert a catheter. It was over pretty quick, but it was so awful to watch! And if Gage's reaction was any indication, he didn't enjoy it either!

The male nurse who did the procedures was great. He has 13-month-old twins, a boy and a girl, so I felt better with him working on Gage. After they were done, we were left alone. It didn't take too long for Gage to quiet down and fall asleep. I laid down on the bed with him, and we both slept a little.

The tests came back clear, but the doctor agreed it wouldn't hurt Gage if we kept giving him the amoxicillin. The male nurse came in with our discharge papers and some instructions, then sent us home. We had gotten to the ER around midnight and we were back home a little before 4AM. We changed his diaper, climbed into bed and I nursed him. Gage and I slept until 8:15. We never even heard Mat and Braeden get ready for school.

Mat stayed home with him Friday and his temperature was normal all day long. It's been a long time since we've been able to say that. And he's back to acting like himself again too. We're just so happy to have this behind us.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Our Saturday

We had such a great day!

While Gage was taking his morning nap, Braeden and I went to the grocery store. He was happy because I let him ride in the car cart, a treat normally reserved for trips with MeMa and P-Pa. Plus he got to eat a few pieces of cheese they put out to sample. And who doesn't love cheese??

After lunch and a short quiet time (on our bed again), we headed to Costco. Actually, Mat dropped Gage and me off at JoAnn's and he went on to Costco with Braeden. They did the shopping and ate the treats while I bought elastic and fabric to make more pairs of pants of Gage. It can get cold in the baby room at daycare and I wanted to make pants in a fabric I wouldn't mind sending to daycare. The pairs I make out of the cute fabrics I buy online seem too special to me for daycare.

We came back home so that I could nurse Gage and change his diaper, then we went to the ridiculously small and out-of-date outlet mall in town. Every year at the end of summer Mat buys a few pairs of nicer khakis to wear when he teaches. It's a ritual. Yesterday he found wrinkle-free, stain-resistant pants at the Van Heusen outlet for just $19. Mat's incredibly traditional when it comes to clothes, especially to the colors of pants and shirts he buys. I'm proud to say that his style has done a complete 180 since we first started dating. Over the years he's even gotten pretty good at picking out his own clothes, but he doesn't like to try new things. It took me a few years to get him to buy khakis instead of just jeans. It took me about five years to get him into his first pair of corduroys. It was a real struggle to get him to wear the salmon colored shirt I bought him. With the last suit he bought I was finally able to convince him (with the help of our very nice, very fashionable salesman) to buy a non-white dress shirt! Anyway, all of his khakis have been some shade of khaki...light tan, darker tan, or olive. This year was no exception. He was prepared to buy those three colors all over again until I suggested replacing the olive pants with navy. I think the main reason he agreed was that he finds it a struggle to find the right color shirt to wear with olive pants. I just find them drab! Even though I could tell he was VERY reluctant, he gave in to my better sense of style and bought the navy. When we got home we spent a few minutes in his closet while I picked out all the different shirts he could wear with his new pants (pale blues, lime green, maroon, the salmon shirt, white, etc.). It's going to be a really big deal the first time he wears them! I'll try to get a picture...if he cooperates, that is. :)

After our pants shopping, we went to the IHOP for dinner. Braeden's choice. He had pancakes and scrambled eggs; Gage had pancakes too. Mat had the popcorn shrimp. When I was a kid we would go to Kingston sometimes for dinner at IHOP. On Fridays they had all-you-can-eat popcorn shrimp. Dad and I loved to get that! Before I could tell Mat the story, he cut me off. Apparently I'd told him the story SEVERAL times!

When we walked out of the restaurant, Braeden and I saw a hot air balloon just taking off from a field across the street. We started to walk over to see it when I realized there were four more balloons still on the ground in the field. We jumped in the car, made an illegal left turn with tires squealing, and parked in the field to get a closer look. It was really amazing! The balloon guys were all from Raleigh and had heard the winds were good over here. They like to fly together, so they hopped in their vans with their balloon trailers and drove an hour to set up shop in the field next to the highway. Weird. A bunch of people had stopped to watch and some even paid to go along for the ride. The woman we spoke to said the winds are best the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. They carry 40 gallons of kerosene and use about half for an hour's ride. They can go anywhere from 3 miles to 18 or so during one hour depending on the winds. The people on the ground follow the ballooners in their vans and pick them up wherever they land. Seeing the balloons take off and watching them float quietly up and away was an amazing end to a really good day. Braeden LOVED seeing them, and I think he and Mat will end up taking a ride one day.

I took these two pictures with Mat's cell phone so the quality isn't that great. In this picture you can see the five balloons.

Here's Mat and Braeden in front of one of the balloons getting ready to take off. You can bet if they do take a ride sometime I'll bring my camera and get some much better pictures of them and the balloon!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sick again

Every night this week Gage has had a temperature in the evening. He hasn't been sent home early from daycare but we've taken his temp before bed and it's consistently been right around 100.3. Then when he wakes up in the morning, he's fine. No temp. I hope we can kick whatever this is when he's home with us this weekend.

Whatever bug he's got I've got too. Yesterday we were able to go home early after our half-day retreat. By mid-morning I knew I was sick. I was so cold but sweating at the same time. Never a good sign. I popped a couple advil on the drive home and played a guessing game with myself over what my temperature would be. 101.5! Yikes! I climbed into bed, pumped, and fell fast asleep. Woke up, pumped again, and it was time for the boys to get home. Mat was very surprised to find me there in my PJs.

Luckily for me I woke up feeling better Friday morning. No temp but a wicked sore throat. I worried I would feel worse by the end of the day but I was okay. My throat still hurt, but no temp. I can't say the same for Gage, though. He felt really warm tonight. His temp was 101.1. Poor baby. But he still ate a good dinner and played nicely. While Mat gave Braeden his bath, I changed Gage into his nighttime diaper and nursed him on our bed. He and I both fell asleep. It reminded me of when we used to co-sleep. I really miss those days.

On a happier note, I wanted to show you how Gage is starting to get around. He's not crawling, but he's got his own technique to move forward.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My first swap--a major success story!

Wow. There aren't words. Today I came home to find a package waiting for me on our kitchen island. My first thought was that I wasn't expecting any more diapers. Then I figured it was something from my mom like brownies for Braeden. Once I looked at the return address I realized it HAD to be my swap tote. I was so, so, so excited I couldn't wait to open it.

And oh my...I really got lucky when I got Amy for my swap partner! Here's what she sent me:

The bag is incredible! It's made from this lightweight, soft denim accented with these great fabrics from the fresh squeezed fabrics. When I signed up for the swap I mentioned how much I love the fabrics in that line. All the oranges, aquas, and greens made me smile. And inside the bag are a bunch of pockets and more of the fresh squeezed fabrics--a double pocket on the inside back wall made with the polka dot fabric (the same fabric Amy used for the key fob you can see in the picture above) and a big pocket on the inside front wall. I had to take a picture of that pocket because the work she did to make it was so impressive.

Look at that! Amy made a square using four of the fabrics, then framed that with panels of the stripe from she used for the rest of the inside of the bag. Amazing! The pocket is big enough to hold a magazine.

Can you tell how much I love it???!!!

The other part of the swap was to enclose a yard of fabric and a recipe or something else crafty. Amy sent along two magazines full of recipes which I'll be poring over for weeks. And she sent two flannel fabrics. In her note she wrote that she had seen the adorable outfits I made for my son and thought I could make PJs for both of my boys using the turtle flannel she sent. How sweet is that? And yes, I will most definitely make some PJs for my two boys with this flannel.

I can't wait to start using my tote! And please, check out Amy's blog and see the pictures of her beautiful redheaded kids! Thank you, Amy! I hope you got an incredible tote in deserve it!

The daycare sniffles

We had a bit of a weird weekend! We were supposed to go to Davidson Saturday to celebrate Mark's birthday with the Gendles. Mat and Braeden ended up going, but Gage and I stayed home. I woke up Saturday morning feeling nauseous. And cold. I had a temp of 100.6 and was scared to eat anything for fear of throwing it up. When Braeden first started daycare I got sick every time he did. And where he might be sick for one day, I would be sick for three or four days. It never failed. I hope we're not going to repeat that pattern again now that Gage is in daycare. But he does have a runny nose and he had a low temp yesterday.

Mat and I went back and forth on what to do with Gage and finally decided he should stay home with me. I was glad because I would rather nurse the baby then send him out with bottles while I stay home and pump. Now that I'm working and pumping it makes our time nursing even more special.

Mat and Braeden left for Davidson a little after 9:00, right after Gage went down for his morning nap. I snuggled up in bed with a a cup of tea--I have this great tea for nursing mothers that actually tastes really good--and promptly fell asleep. Gage and I napped for a couple hours; I wish I could say I felt better when I woke up, but no such luck.

I went upstairs to get Gage and found him sitting up in his crib. I know he's been sitting up for a couple of months now, but he hasn't been able to get up into that position by himself. And now he can! At first I thought he might have pulled himself up using the crib bars, but then I saw him sit up all on his own later that afternoon. We were playing on the Raggedy Ann and Andy blanket with his stacking cups and rings. He was laying on his tummy then got up on his hands and knees. And then he pulled one knee forward and underneath him, pushed up with his hands, and sat up. Even though I had come in his room and seen him sitting up, I was still shocked! It was amazing to watch him figure it out and do it. I clapped and cheered and he gave me a big grin. I think he knew he had done a new cool thing!

Gage had sweet potatoes and cheerios for lunch, and I choked down a piece of dry toast. Blah. We both napped again in the afternoon. Mat and Braeden got home around 5:00, and I was happy to turn the baby over to him. My stomach felt better but I still had the temperature and I felt exhausted. Mat took care of dinner and bath time then we got the kids in bed. Unfortunately they didn't stay there!

Braeden got out of bed four or five times (to go to the bathroom, to say his leg hurt, to ask to be covered up, to watch daddy who was outside watering). Right after Mat and I went to bed, Gage woke up for the first time. All told, he was up six times that night. Mat went upstairs and gave Gage back his pacifier half of those times and left him to whine it out the other times. Rough night.

I woke up feeling much better Sunday morning, but we still stayed close to home. Braeden took that great nap in our bed then he and Mat went to the pool while Gage took his afternoon nap. Gage takes great morning naps, but the afternoon naps suck. Sunday was no exception to that. But we still had a good time playing on the blanket and in the exersaucer. Around 4:00 I thought he felt warm; he was running a low temp. Nothing major but enough to help explain the poor napping and the serious fussy mood he was in.

Friday was a good mail day, a fluffy mail day! I needed a few more diapers to round out our daycare stash. I decided to try Baby Kangas since Emily hasn't shut up about much she loves them. :) First off, these diapers are CUTE! And they gave the colors cute names which is something I love! I ordered ladybug (red) and buttercup (pale yellow) and I LOVE both of them. Especially the red. All the snaps look overwhelming, but they fit so well because of the snaps. With these two and the diapers I already had I should be set for two full days of daycare before I need to do laundry again. And that's a laundry schedule I can handle. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One cute kid

I'm back to seriously considering combining the two boys' blogs into one...I almost always post on Gage's blog neglecting Braeden's blog entirely. It's really more of a mental hurdle than anything else at this point. I never want to do anything that will make Braeden feel he's been supplanted in our hearts. Combining the blogs is a small thing, something he would probably never even know about or see as a slight. That's why I say it's a mental hurdle for me. But since we do so much as a family and the boys get along so well together, it makes sense to make one blog out of two.

Until I decide one way or the other, here are a couple more videos I pulled off our camera today. I recorded these videos one afternoon in November 2006, right around Thanksgiving.

Today Braeden spent his quiet time in our bedroom. It was perfect! He brought a few books downstairs and then shut the door. I needed to change Gage's diaper so I quietly opened my bedroom door and found him asleep with his head on my pillow and the covers tucked up just under his chin. Adorable.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Diapers and Daycare

I started back to work on Monday and Gage started full days at daycare. He's over the temperature and has been doing really well this week. Gage's cloth diapers are the rage of the daycare. I was really concerned that the daycare's owner would pitch a fit about using them. In anticipation of that, I checked into the NC health department codes for daycare and found that they don't prohibit centers from using cloth. I went armed with that info (and the knowledge that friends of friends had been given that BS by their daycare providers), but instead I met nothing but friendly curiosity and acceptance.

But that's not to say there haven't been issues. For a full day I've been sending Gage with six diapers and a brand new wetbag. (Thanks for the advice, Emily!) So Monday Gage came home wearing some other kid's disposable diaper. We told them to change his diaper every two hours but that message must have gotten lost somewhere. It seemed like he got changed every hour or so during the morning. One of the diapers I took apart that night was completely DRY. No wonder they ran out of diapers!

And if the diaper stuff was bad, then the bottle situation was much worse. I nursed Gage at 6AM and we told them he needed bottles at 9AM, 12PM, and 3PM. I sent four bottles, though, just in case they dropped one or something else weird happened. It was a spare. I even labeled it spare. So Mat goes in to pick up Gage at 5:00 and found them starting to give Gage that spare bottle.

What??? Why?

Why would you give a kid a bottle at the exact same time he's going to be picked up? And just two hours after the last bottle?


Needless to say, I gave Mat A LOT of notes to share with Gage's teachers Tuesday morning. And I only sent him with three bottles. While I was happier with the way things turned out Tuesday, there was still one big issue. His teachers had put the poopy diapers in plastic bags, tied them closed, and put them in the wetbag. Wet fabric and poop sealed in plastic and sitting for hours makes for a nasty little package for mommy to open. more note for Wednesday morning. Lay off the plastic bags. And I'm pleased to say they did. Things today were great. And Mat said Gage's teachers and the ladies who work in the office are still talking about his diapers.

And just because, here's a silly, funny little picture of Gage. I hate that I cut off the top of his head, but I'm so glad I caught that face.

Friday, August 1, 2008

It had to happen sometime...

Gage has his first temperature. We took him to daycare Wednesday morning and Thursday morning to get used to going since I start my new job Monday. I picked him up Thursday at 11:00 to take him to the doctor for what turned out to be a mild case of heat rash. No big deal according to the doctor.

We came home, had lunch, then I put Gage down for his afternoon nap. He slept a LONG time, almost three hours. I nursed him upstairs in his room and the sweet boy fell asleep on my chest. We were so cozy sitting together in Nanny's chair listening to music on his shuffle that I fell asleep too. Just before 5:00 we both woke up and went downstairs for a diaper change. And that's when I noticed he felt warm. Warmer than usual. His temperature was 100.5.

Two mornings in daycare and he gets sick. Unbelievable!

This morning his temp was 100.1 so he stayed home with me instead of going to daycare. Like I mind. :)

After his morning nap his temp was back to normal and he was fine the rest of the day. The upshot to visiting the doctor just to find out everything is fine and the rash should go away in about a week is that I got to put Gage on the scale.

At six months Gage weighed 14 pounds even. Now, at seven months, my little 3rd percentile porker is up to 14 pounds 13 ounces.

And just because it's cute, here's a short video of Gage playing on my old Raggedy Ann and Andy blanket. You can see him show off his new trick where he gets up on his hands and knees and rocks. He also laughs and laughs, so sweet.