Monday, December 16, 2013

The Sweetest Time

I really want to get back to posting more often, so here's a quickie for practice.

My favorite time of night is actually bedtime, and not because Dylan goes to sleep.  It's how it all goes down.

We go into the nursery with a low light on. We sit in the rocker/recliner, Dylan in my lap. I hold the bottle with one hand and he holds onto my fingers while I turn the pages of Llama, Llama NightyNight or Goodnight Moon with my other hand.

After a few read-throughs, I turn off the light so only the night light is on (stars on the ceiling). I sing a lullaby, currently Christmas songs, while Dylan finishes eating.

At some point he decides he's done and turns himself over and snuggles in to go to sleep. This is my favorite part. I know I need to transfer him to his crib soon, but I delay, smelling his hair. Thinking about how long he's getting, as he keeps turning his head to get a better position.  It's the sweetest most innocent time ever!

Sometimes he cries when I put him down, often not. And then he's off to dream-land!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Baby Gear Review: After the First Year - Big Ticket Items

It's easy to get excited about products that you've just purchased or started using, but you need some time to truly give a solid review.

I'll give you the low-down on my bigger-ticket items after a year of use.

1) Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller - Rating: LOVE!



I was so scared to commit to a stroller, but I love the City Mini and see myself using it well through Dylan's childhood.  The number one reason I chose it over the BOB is the ease of collapsing it and putting in the back of the car.  There is a strap in the back of the seat that you grab with one hand.  I grab it with my left, have my right on the handlebar and push it straight into the back of my RAV4.  Very easy!  But there is no way I could do it while holding Dylan unless he was in a carrier.  I doubt you could collapse any stroller while holding a baby.

Opening it is a little less awesome.  Sometimes it catches and I have to pry it open.  I'm not sure if it was maybe damaged somehow, but it's not a frequent issue and doesn't change my overall love.

The control is the next best feature.  I can easily control it one-handed with a dog leash in the other.  I think the front swivel wheel is key (the wheel also locks with the push of a button).  The canopy is also very large.  The only time the sun gets in Dylan's eyes is right at sunset.  There are 3 different levels to open the canopy so you can get as much or as little shade as you want.  Last, the back of the seat drops to just about flat for naps.  We don't use this often, but it will be great for long stroller days like amusement parks.

The stroller is a big long which makes it hard to navigate in stores with small aisles, but I don't mind.  My least favorite part is the basket underneath.  You can fit a lot of small or squishy things in it, but my PPB diaper bag doesn't really fit.  I usually hang it which works, but is a tipping hazard.

We bought the infant seat adapter (which I used for a very long time), snack tray, and cup console.


2) Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack - Rating: Dislike



I wanted to love this so much, but the only thing I really love is the wipe clean fabric and the pattern.  It's tall and skinny which makes it hard to get to the things you need and it doesn't have very many pockets.  It also has a huge velcro closure which is very loud next to a sleeping baby.  There are no outside pockets for quick access of anything, so you always have to open the flap.  I still used this until very recently, but I bought a Skip Hop Bag at Costco and I keep choosing it instead.  If you still have to have a PPB Bag, buy it during Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale or at Nordstrom Rack.  I got mine for $85.


3) Chicco Keyfit 30 - Rating: LOVE



It seems that most people like their car seats, but I'm honestly going to be sad when we switch to a convertible.   Dylan has spent so much time in this seat and I think he truly feels safe and comfortable in it.  The primary reason I bought it as that it's one of the lighter models on the market and that has been huge!  I still carry Dylan in and out in his seat 80% of the time.  He's currently about 16 pounds and 29 inches and I just switched the straps to the third level.  He fits very well with room to grow, but we will probably switch within the next month or so.

The other excellent thing about the Chicco seat is the base.  It's has a bubble level built in and easily attaches to the LATCH system.  The seat just click in and you pull one lever to get it out.  So easy!

Dylan has also thrown up (very large volume - inside Toys R Us) in this seat and it wasn't bad getting the fabric off to wash.  I highly recommend this seat.


4) Graco Blossom 4 in 1 High Chair - Rating: Meh.



I wouldn't buy this again.  But I'll start with the pros.  The top tray is removable which makes washing it easy.  Also, the tray pulls out and tightens really easily.  But that's about it.  I don't know if other high chairs would be better or not, but these are my issues.

First, Dylan is small and there is a lot of space all around him which means tons of dropped food on the seat.  The fabric has a lots of grooves in it which makes it hard to clean.  I think a one-piece seat like IKEA's would be the only better option.  I guess my advice is just not to spend a lot of money on a high chair or find one used.

5) Best Chair Glider Recliner - Rating: Happy



This was probably the purchase that stressed me out the most.  It was the most expensive and the most "permanent."  I knew that I needed my glider to be cushy and to have a high back so I could rest my head (and I'm just 5'4).  I tried out so many chairs, but this was the most reasonably-priced while having the features I wanted.  I'm very happy with it.  It's extremely comfortable.  We chose a dark gray microfiber that is holding up well and I can easily wipe spills.  I don't have a footstool, but I can rock easily enough with a foot on the ground.  But most often I sit in the chair reclined.

Feel free to ask me more about any of these products!

Next up: the small stuff.



Friday, December 6, 2013

Part-time Animal Wrangler

That's what I feel like most days lately.

Diaper changes work best when I let Dylan stand on the changing while I try to maneuver around him.  But if Butt Paste or another cream must be applied, laying down is a necessity unless there is a second adult around.  (During our recent bout of severe diaper rash, it was a two-person job for many of the first days...)

The next step is to make sure you have a really engaging toy handy.  But this usually backfires as Dylan prefers things he should not chew on like diaper cream tubes, wipes cases, and lotion bottles.  So I usually give in and just give him one of those instead...right at the moment just before I'm ready to apply the cream (often it's already on my finger).

But the second his back touches the table, he twists out of reach to try to grab for something else.  I hold one leg, preventing him from fully turning as he yells in protest.  If I can get both legs bent, he's stuck and I can quickly apply the cream that is now on his legs and clothes.

But at this point the diaper is still not on.  And the cream is applied.  It's a very delicate stage.  I need to get diaper on the booty ASAP before cream is transferred from booty to changing table.  usually getting him standing again works best, but attaching a diaper to a wiggly child while standing is not easy work.  Eventually it happens.

And we move on to clothing....

*     *     *     *     *
Like I always say, I've really been wanting to blog, but I just haven't been able to make it happen.  When i do get on my computer, I usually try to start a post about feeding, but it gets complicated way too fast and I give up.  

On that front, Dylan is doing pretty well with solids and we add extra calories through butter or coconut oil or olive oil or cereal or cheese to everything he eats.  He still doesn't eat a ton of volume so we need every bit to count.  Oh and he LOVED turkey dinner!  

Dylan stood up on his own for the briefest second last night.  He's super strong and pretty well balanced.  I don't know if we'll see walking by Christmas, but he's close!

Our new nanny is a life-saver!  She cooks all kinds of amazing high calorie food for Dylan and even for us sometimes.  She's personable and diligent and I love her!

I'm leaving Dylan for 3 nights this weekend to attend a memorial.  his dad is awesome with him so I know he'll be fine, but it's still super hard!  He would barely look at me this morning before I left : (.  Hopefully FaceTime will work.

There's probably tons more to say, but I'm boarding soon...

Here's our super fabulous Thanksgiving picture that I'm in love with!




Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Poem for World Prematurity Day

I wrote this poem about a year ago when Dylan was almost 2 months into his nearly 5 month NICU stay after being born at 25 weeks after I went into unexplained pre-term labor at 23 weeks.

I don't write poetry, but on this day, there was no other way to express my emotions. Dylan was sleeping on me in the rocker right outside of his crib, cords still attached to all of the monitors.  I haven't shared it with one person before today, not even my husband, since it is so personal and emotional.

But I'm sharing it with the world today to support further research on the overwhelming problem of prematurity. Please support The March of Dimes.

I met you...
before  it was time.
before your eyes opened.
before you had eyelashes and eyebrows.
before you could breathe by yourself.
before you had any fat on your body.

I watched you...
open your eyes for the first time; 
first the left, then the right.
take your first breath on your own.
squeeze your tiny little hand around my finger.
recover from heart surgery that left a sickle-shaped scar on your side.

I cheered...
when you reached three pounds;
and then four,
and then four and a half.
when I first heard your little cry when you were extubated, after weeks of silence.
when the eye doctor told me your eyes looked great.

I cried...
while telling you to be brave before surgery (when I was really telling myself to be brave).
while giving you your first bath.
while watching you struggle to breathe.
when I couldn't take you to Thanksgiving dinner.

I laughed...
when you first smiled - even if it was really just a twitch.
and when you were sitting on Dr Santa's lap staring wide-eyed at his beard.

I love you...
more than you will ever understand.





Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

I came across this buzzfeed of infertility e cards. These were my favorites:






Link: http://www.babble.com/pregnancy/30-best-snarky-someecards-for-infertility-and-ivf/college-fund/

Which one do you like best?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Losing It.

So I guess this is about being WOHM.  The only thing I would change about my situation is to teach 4 classes instead of 5 like I asked for last year, but otherwise, I would still be a WOHM and a mom.

In the normal course of a school year, I often get very stressed out...to the point of tears.  It probably happens 3-4 times a school year and is definitely worse at the beginning of the year.  When I'm not near tears, I have constant tightness in my shoulders.  Abnormal tightness.  I definitely have some anxiety issues, but so far never bad enough to seek help.

So teaching like normal while being a parent is hard!

I'm actually managing it pretty well.  I stay at school until 3:30, an hour after the last class.  Until this last week, I got more done on my prep period and after school than ever before.  I'm relatively caught up on papers, I'm relatively prepared for what I'm teaching.  But still I always feel like I'm a day from everything spiraling out of control.  Then I come home and am with Dylan from about 4 until nearly 8.  We usually eat dinner after he goes to bed because it's just easier.

Last year, when I got home from school, I'd decompress.  I like it quiet.  My day is really loud.  Now I can't decompress until 8.  And I usually do - and it works well enough.

But there is so much else. There's my laundry.  And cleaning out the refrigerator.  And grading the papers.  And I think it got worse last week because it was the second week without the nanny.  She didn't do a ton to help me, but did take care of Dylan's laundry and I didn't have to prepare food for him the night before.

I was feeling caught up on the papers, partially because I was having my students do in-class writing.  A classroom full of students writing quietly = great paper-grading time.  The problem: they turn in more papers at the end of the period!!  I have a student TA grade all the little stuff, but I still have two classes of AP essays, 2 classes of analysis paragraphs and in the next two weeks I'll be collecting MAJOR assignments...the kind that I need an entire Thanksgiving or Christmas vacation to grade.  What I currently have with me would probably take 4-5 hours if I was really focused.

Besides those stresses, I'm having light sensitivity which I think it being caused by tension in my forehead (thanks Goo.g.le).  I also have a diminished appetite which is not like me at all.  I'm having trouble actually eating some foods, with absolutely no warning.  The only other time I've had this problem is when I was pregnant.  (And no that is a complete impossibility.  You have to have sex to get pregnant.  We don't.)  So tonight I ate cereal instead of the ravioli I was supposed to eat for dinner.  And I'm still hungry.

So basically - I completely enjoy my life - but I have absolutely no personal time.  And I don't really expect to.  But the lack of personal time and the same stresses I had pre-child are creating an untenable situation.  I need to figure out how to find some small bits of time for myself both to take care of things around the house and take care of myself i.e. massages or yoga or else I will become a tightly-woven sobbing mess.  And that won't help anybody.

And so I'm taking the day off tomorrow.  First, I will do laundry.  Then I will put away all of the clothes that are in various places around the house.  Then I will grade papers and/or plan classes.  Then I will get a massage.

And thank goodness for grandmas.  The new nanny (who I think I love) is starting on Thursday, but my wonderful mother will be here tomorrow and Tuesday. She's the very best.

And the part of the post your probably enjoy the most...touchdown!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Second First Halloween

I'm stealing P's post title because I like it!

We are starting a season of second "first" holidays.  Dylan was only 3 weeks old at this date last year.  He was still right around two pounds, or about 900 grams.  I had a little Halloween preemie onesie that I laid on top of him at one point.  It would have been huge.  Halloween wasn't tough in the "holiday" sense since Dylan was in very serious condition at this point.  He needed to be in the hospital and it barely registered that it was in fact Halloween.  I don't remember being jealous of baby or pumpking patch pictures.  I was too busy.

But as I was reading P's post, I realized what was actually happening on Halloween last year.  Dylan had his PDA Ligation.  That's the surgery where they close put a clamp on the PDA valve between the heart and lungs.  It's supposed to close at birth, but does not in the case of many preemies.  He wasn't eligible for the medicine to close it because he was also have bowel issues.

I remember sitting next to his isolette in the brand new private room in the new NICU that had opened the day earlier.  I remember telling him to be brave and that I loved him.  And it seriously chokes me up to think back on it.

During his surgery I sat outside by a fountain and cried.  I'm not sure exactly why I was by myself, but I was and it was probably easier that way.  I never thought anything bad would happen, I really didn't.  I was just so sad for him and for us.  This wasn't something any of us should be having to go through.

The surgery went very well although it took longer than we expected to recover.  Today was the beginning of a turning point last year.  About 8 days later, Dylan finally got off the ventilator which was when we first got to start imagining bringing him home.  At this early stage, I didn't even plan a shower or finish the nursery.  We weren't sure if he would make it and wanted to protect ourselves and not jinx anything.

I'm glad that I forgot about what today marks.  I was too busy preparing my Katniss costume and texting the nanny for pictures of Dylan in his second costume.  The one I saw at Target last night and just had to have.

And now for the pictures of my 14 pound larger, breathing on his own, fully mobile Cowboy Monster!

Monday, October 28, 2013

7 Minute Blogging

Otherwise titled "Why I don't have time to blog."

And it's not because I have a pre-toddler almost toddling around.

This is how my day looked.

6:45 - Leave for work. Almost late, but not quite.

7:30-2:30 - Teach kids.

2:30-3:30- Grade kids' writing while other kids help grade vocab notebooks. (it never ends...never...never...)

4:00 - Pick Dylan up from nice grandmotherly lady who is watching him until Nanny #2 starts late next week.  Yep.  Nanny #1 bit the dust.  That's a story for another blog entry.

4:30 - Thankfully take the wrong way home and pass Rubio's.  (If you're not from a state that has Rubio's, definitely get a fish taco when you're in the West!)  Get a very early fish taco since I'm hungry. So fortunate since I would not have another chance to eat for 3 hours and it probably would have been a frozen burrito.  Or cereal.

4:45-7:20 - Eat. Play. Try to get Dylan to eat. Try to keep Stella from hurting Dylan (also a story for later). Try to get Dylan to sleep without lots of crying.

7:20 - SUCCESS!  Dylan literally cried for one minute.

7:22 - Shower so as to look presentable for kids tomorrow.  Been relying on dry shampoo far too often as of late.

8:00 - Eat ice cream and drink wine and watch Revenge. (This was the original blogging slot, but wine and ice cream won out.) Trying to make sure I keep energy enough to pack Dylan for his "nanny" tomorrow since I'm single-parenting tonight.

9:00 - Wash bottles and pack Dylan's food and milk for tomorrow.

9:53 - Decide that you really do actually want to write that blog entry...before feeding Dylan again at 10.

It's 10:04 now, so I'm a little late, but this is my life (at least when I'm single-parenting).  By the way, single-parenting is no joke.  Thankfully, I usually only have 1 or 2 days at a time.  I know many moms who have weeks at a time and a few that are always single parents.  I cannot imagine how hard it is, but RESPECT ladies!

Ok 10:05.  I really do plan to blog much more.  It's just that I keep assigning these damn writing assignments so that my kiddos learn to write before they leave high school and then I have to grade all of the damn assignments and then I have no time beyond reading them and raising my son to write this blog!  Maybe I should spend less time at my other two jobs.  Just kidding.

To be continued...

And pictures of my cruising pre-toddler:


(Ack!  I edited a bit and now it's 10:16...ok, 23 minute blogging.)  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Patch!

I want to blog SO BAD! I write posts constantly in my head.  But I just don't have enough free computer time at the moment...

So I will just post some pictures.  Enjoy : )






Monday, September 30, 2013

Milestones Galore

Time for a happy post.  Especially since our life is a pretty happy life!  Dylan is hitting milestones left and right these days.  He's right on track for his adjusted age of 8 1/2 months.

First up: CRAWLING!!

I keep saying to myself that each stage is even more fun than the last.  And it just keeps happening!  It took Dylan a really long time to be able to roll from his back to his tummy.  I think he finally got it around 6 1/2 months, but it was still occasional.  I helped him "practice" crawling by getting his knees under him and rocking him back and forth.  And that's where he stayed for quite a while.  Oh and he was really good at pushing himself backward and boy did that frustrate him!

A couple of weeks ago, he started rolling more frequently and actually using it to move his position.  Then about a week ago, he began pushing himself into a plank or downward dog-type position.  And I got the awesome picture below!  I titled it "the bear in his natural habitat."  (If you haven't ever done bear crawls as a team sport punishment, you're missing out.)


He was also doing occasional one pull army crawls mixed with rolling to get himself around.

Then on Thursday, MrGG and I both saw him take one real crawl.  He didn't continue, but we saw that he knew what to do.

On Friday my Dad watched Dylan and he's the kind of dad that really likes to be the first to see things.  It's a little annoying, but doesn't bother me that much.  So when I got home, he showed me a video of Dylan really crawling.  Now he's off!

He's not going too quickly, but he's fully mobile.  He's even sitting up on his knees, checking out the stairs and pulling to stand occasionally.

Although I'm slightly scared of his new independence, it's so much fun to see his excitement! He was getting really frustrated the last couple of weeks.

*     *     *     *     *

Milestone 2: Clapping!

Dylan still goes to OT twice a month and she's been mentioning for awhile that she'd like to see him bang two one-inch blocks together.  He has never showed the slightest interest.

Then on Saturday, he started playing with his hands together, almost in a hand-washing kind of motion.  I helped him "clap" a few times and then we clapped while he was doing the thing with his hands and by yesterday, he was clapping on his own!  Not exactly a real clap - no noise - but very close.

Here he is clapping for a Chargers' touchdown!  (Well...he didn't really know they scored, but the timing was pretty close.)



*     *     *     *     *


And the teeth keep breaking through...  The first two appeared within a week of each other at 6 months.  Now finally a third appeared on the top next to center last week.

Times they are a changing!



He turns 1 in exactly a week so I am in full party-planning mode.  The grandparents only party that I wanted has turned into a party of nearly 50, kids included.  I'm trying to keep it simple, but at the same time I want my house to be perfect.  And I feel like I should probably finish the nursery. You know, since he'll be ONE.  Wish me luck!


Monday, September 23, 2013

The Worst Day of My Life

September 22, 2012.

It wasn't the Friday night when I went into labor and was admitted to the hospital. That night, as soon as I heard Dylan's heartbeat, I thought everything would be fine.

It was the next day, Saturday. When I learned that everything was now changed forever. That I would not be leaving the hospital until Dylan was born and that the odds were high that it would be soon.

And now I had to consider what I would do if he was born that day, before I had received steroid shots. When I should get the shots...

And all of this with burning cheeks like my face was one fire and a brain haze that felt like I was looking and thinking through fog - brought on by the magenesium sulfate drip that was keeping labor from progressing. I had 13 contractions in one hour at one point.

I remember sitting with Mr. GG in the first little tiny closet-room.  We needed to talk about what to do, to have a plan, but we just couldn't talk. It was too big. We were just at the beginning of learning our different ways of coping in the midst of trauma.

This is the day that I made the list of all of the things I needed to let go of because I was no longer in control of my life.

School. My kids. My plans and hopes for the rest of the pregnancy. My shower. My house. My dog. I had a new life in the blink if an eye and although I guess I do trauma pretty well, I don't do spur of the moment well.

But what a difference a year makes!

Today was a wonderful day with Dylan. He smiled and giggled his way through the day (minus a short patch around bedtime). He worked on his crawling technique in the new living room rug we bought for him. It's a mix of army crawl with scoots and rolls and some occasional grunting mixed in. But it gets him around!

And then my favorite time of the day, dream feed...where I just stare at him, marvel at him while he eats. Usually I picture him older. I imagine what he'll look like, what he'll like to do.  Then I pick him up and gently pat his back as he lays his head on my shoulder and I feel so lucky and happy and perfectly content. 

I would go through the worst day of my life again in a heart-beat to be right where I am right now.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One year later...

No, Dylan's not 1 yet.  Soon.  But one year ago this week (Sept 21st to be exact), when I was 23 weeks pregnant, I went into labor and was hospitalized for the remainder of my pregnancy.

It's been kind of difficult in a PTSD kind of way to start the school year.  I still replay all of the things in my mind that could have maybe caused me to go into labor (although I have absolutely no evidence that there was any specific reason).

It's really hot in Southern California in September.  I teach in a bungalow without air conditioning.  Last year, on Friday of the first week of school (2 weeks before I went into labor), it was 105 degrees.  I had my class moved to an air-conditioned building, but the a/c stopped working around noon.  My 6th period AP class was writing an essay and I remember sitting in the back of the classroom in a chair, just waiting for the bell to ring.  One student had to be walked to the nurse's office with heat exhaustion.  I don't know why I didn't just tell the office that I needed to go home or be somewhere cool.  Actually I do know why.  I didn't really know any better.  I thought I could wait it out another hour.  It kills me to think back on this day.

Do you remember last year when I said I finally booked and went to pre-natal yoga classes?  I was so proud of myself for actually starting to work out after feeling out of it for the entire pregnancy up to that point.  Before yoga, I had walked a bit, just in the last month or so, but that was it.  I went to two yoga classes before I went into labor.  Wednesday, 9 days before and Wednesday, 2 days before.  The second class only had three people in it, two pregnant, one not.  The other pregnant girl was much farther along than I was.  The instructor had us do a move where we put one foot on the wall and bent 90 degrees sideways.  It felt ok while I was doing it, but I have secretly wondered if it caused a placental abruption.  I started bleeding on Friday.  It's possible that a small piece of my placenta tore away from my uterine wall although it was never able to be confirmed.  I went into labor 2 days after that class.  Even though I have no idea if this class contributed to labor, I still question whether the instructors truly knew the safety of what they were asking us to do.  The studio caters entirely to pregnant woman so I assumed that they would know what was appropriate more than I did.  But I wish I had never gone.

And the list doesn't stop there...

So I'm still not over it.  How could I be?  I still am a little disturbed when I'm around women in their 3rd trimester.  I still feel a little jealousy and do not like hearing about their aches and pains, etc.  And the other day when my friend who's about to have her third said that she hoped this one came early, I kind of wanted to smack her.

Really the only thing that makes it all okay is that Dylan is okay, great actually.  We are amazingly lucky.  He has defied odds.  If he hadn't, I'm not sure I'd be able to get over it ever.

Sorry for the depressing post, but I need to put it out there.  Catharsis or whatever.

But my advice to all pregnant women is that it is so much better to be safe than sorry!  Go to Labor & Delivery for monitoring whenever something is weird.  Every other day if you have to! Don't feel stupid about it.  Trust your instinct.  Let people take care of you and carry things for you and let you sit.  You don't have to be and shouldn't be Super Woman while pregnant.  Don't leave yourself any regrets!  And I wish all of you 10 months of baby-growing!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nanny Tales: The Language Barrier

This post almost pains me to write because of the emotion is so fresh and raw.  (I like to ignore things that really bother me.  Excellent coping skill!)

Background: Before hiring our nanny, I did a half-day trial and everything went well, although I realize that's not enough time to learn anything at all. Then before I went back to school, we had a couple of half days and a full day together.  She watched me feed Dylan, make bottles, put him to sleep, etc.

I'm also pretty anal and I write everything down.  So I have a notebook where I've put important information for her.

Right from the start, I felt like Dylan's bottles were weird when I got home.  I normally have two separate bottles of pre-mixed formula and fortified breast milk that I mix into Dylan's bottle.  But there were never the two larger bottles in the fridge.  I figured she had run out.  But then sometimes the consistency of his milk was weird.  Usually, too thin.  I suspected she was using all breast milk.  So I went over the 50% mixture with her and I thought we were good.  She said she understood.

I had discussed bottles with her at least two times before last Friday and every time she said that she understood.  And she said it in such a way that I was completely confident that she did, in fact, understand.

Then last Friday, I came home and found 4 bags of frozen breast milk (empty) in the trash.  That totaled about 28 ounces of breastmilk.  Dylan eats 15 ounces MAX when he is with her, so only 7-8 ounces of actual milk since the rest is formula.  I was extremely pissed.  Livid actually.  I quit pumping at the beginning of last week and was hoping to get almost to January with frozen milk. I kind of felt like we were running out too quickly, but I just figured I was less on top of the situation because I wasn't at home.  So on Friday I realized for the first time that she was using all breast milk!

Implications:
1) She was using the breast milk WAY faster than I had planned.  I spent 11 months creating this stockpile and I'm extremely upset to have it just slip away.  I know Dylan got the milk either way, but it's frustrating to have something that you have spent so much time deliberating about and thinking about just slip through your fingers.

2) Dylan liked the consistency of the mix we were giving him.  She was feeding him a much thinner solution and therefore he was eating less, therefore, he gained less weight for the first month she was with him.  This makes me angry and I feel so responsible for not figuring it out and fixing it earlier.

3) He is supposed to be getting 24 calories an ounce.  I'm pretty sure at times she has used breast milk like water, meaning she added an entire scoop of formula to 50mls.  OMG!  So maybe these super high calorie bottles evened out the lesser?  But typically a baby will eat less volume if the calories are too high.  So basically I have no idea what calories he's been getting.

I feel extremely responsible for not spelling things out in better detail and having detailed descriptions above the area where we store the formula and bottles.  I should have done it.  The only reason I didn't is because she always seemed so confident!  She watched me and read my notes and told me that everything was great.  She has really misrepresented the amount of English that she understands.  I have no problem with her asking me 100 questions a day.  But I have a HUGE ISSUE with her not asking questions when she doesn't understand.

So now I really don't know if I can trust her. I know I can fix this milk issue.  Mr. GG is going to show her (again) this morning.  Or I could make all of it all of the time, but I don't think that will be necessary.  But what will be the next thing that she doesn't understand?

I'm going to give her another chance.  I do think she takes good care of Dylan, but my radar is beyond up.  : /

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Solids: Take 2

So last time I wrote about solids Dylan was occasionally swallowing some food, but things were extremely frustrating.  We have seen an Occupational Therapist bi-weekly since he was in the NICU and she suggested trying some "meltable" foods such as Baby Yum Yums, Plum wafers, and puffs.  Dylan really likes all of these!  I truly think they are basically junk food, but they have calories and they have taught Dylan to chew and swallow food when it is in his mouth, so I like them.  Now they've become a vehicle for adding to the calories into his meals.

At our last appointment I had anticipated that Dylan would be 15 pounds.  I should've learned months ago not to set a goal, but I haven't.  He was 14 pounds even and I was pretty upset.  The 6 weeks between the last two appointments were his slowest gain since he was born.  All kids slow down around this age, but we don't want Dylan to because we want him to eventually (soon) cross the 5th percentile line and get on the growth chart.  It really doesn't matter a whole lot since he is gaining and I am confident he will get there eventually, but it's definitely difficult to know that your child is smaller than 99% of the world (it's the WHO chart).  And I'm talking adjusted age (nearly 8 months) not his actual age of 11 months.

So we are really focusing on calories.

It's always bottle first.  He's averaging 21 ounces a day (with random days of 28) and he still takes about 7 bottles a day.  He just doesn't seem to increase his volume enough if we space out feedings, so we're following a more is more approach for now.

He's getting 2-3 meals of solids a day and I'm label-reading like crazy (since most of the food is pre-packaged at the moment...still working on the cooking).  Dylan is actually pretty okay with texture in his food which is awesome.  We've tried some of the Level 3 Plum "meals" and although he sometimes gags at the quinoa in them, he still eats it all and has never thrown anything up.  His favorite is the Sweet Corn and Turkey (with added formula and oatmeal cereal of course).  Then for "dessert" he gets a Plum wafer slathered with cream cheese.  I want the solids he eats to be at least 20 calories an ounce so that they are worth it (his bottles are 24 calories an ounce).  Most packages are 60 or 70 calories for about 4 ounces so a little under the mark.

Dylan has two teeth and is pretty good at "chewing" his food with the sides of his mouth.  I can't wait until he can start eating more table foods, but he's not ready yet.  I am also pretty terrified because I'm feeling an inordinate amount of pressure to start making healthy meals that all three of us can eat.  (Mr. GG and I pick up food about 6 nights a week and he's usually the one to cook on the 7th night...)  I've pinned about a million ideas, but the start of the school-year is stressful and I feel like I'm drowning (in ungraded paper and pressure to be super-mom at the same time).  Fortunately I have a couple of months until I need to get on it.  I'll probably be asking for lots of advice, so start thinking of it!

Also, if you have any high-calorie, but still relatively healthy food suggestions, I'd love to hear them.  Like, I mentioned, he's okay with a little bit of chunky texture, but he doesn't love smooth foods like yogurt.  I think mixes will be key.

I don't have any new "eating" pictures except for this one:



And some other cuties:




Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Back at School

...and no time to blog!

But in a nutshell:

  • Feeding is going much better although Dylan still needs to be gaining more weight.
  • Nanny is going well for the most part although I wish that English was her first language.  I'm not sure she always understands what I'm asking. : /
  • I quit pumping!!  I'm sad and happy, but trying to focus on the freedom of it all.
  • I'm planning a first birthday party!  Where has the time gone?
  • Teaching is so much harder when you have a child at home.  Wow.  (I also had a child at home last spring, but it was a child who slept all the time and it was the end of the school year...totally different than my big boy who needs real food and daily baths and doesn't stay in one spot.)
  • Oh and I have bedbugs.  FML.  And yes, I did also just tent the house for termites in February.  I'm trying to avoid thinking about clearing out and washing everything in both bedrooms after work today and tomorrow.  Maybe that will make it less painful?  Nope. Not working.
  • And the dog has a cyst or something on her knee.  She had knee surgery the week of the termites.  Hoping this one goes away on its own (am in contact with vet).
So yeah, no time to blog although I literally think about it every single day.  School should settle down in a week or two and hopefully I'll be back at it.

Friday, August 30, 2013

My baby is developing a personality.

It's cool. But it's also really, really frustrating!  We used to sit in our big comfy chair in the nursery while he ate. Now he stops every 5 seconds to try to sit up, then twists across me to try to pull a book out of the bookshelf...so he can eat it. I almost think we need a new feeding spot. 

And don't take anything away from him that he's interested in! One evening, I took a teething wafer out of his hands to dip it in yogurt. He completely lost it! I was so shocked. It was out of his hand (and mouth) for literally two seconds! Wow.

So basically everything is harder now. I love it, but also hate it so much. 

I also feel partially at fault or like I'm getting what I deserve because his personality really resembles mine more than his dad's. He's stubborn, opinionated, and doesn't like being told what to do. I also think he's pretty smart. He remembers exactly what he was originally wanting whenever I try to distract him.

I haven't talked much about it, but he's so close to crawling. He sits virtually unsupported, but I still need to be nearby to prevent crashes. He'll lean down onto his hands. He can almost sit up without help (and boy does he try to often!). He will occasionally get on all fours, but usually I have to help him. And he's a pro at pushing himself backwards...just hasn't quite mastered forward yet. Makes him so angry!!  He has this loud frustration grunt. He actually has lots of loud noises now.

The nanny transition went pretty well this week, but he's not eating enough for her and it stresses me out to no end. Hopefully they'll get in a groove next week. When it's not 90 degrees. (Working in a 90 degree bungalow is a non-starter. I went to a public library today for the first time in 10+ years. Just me, old people and crazy people. Ok and a few normal people.)

This is my view from my current blogging locale in my backyard. Mr.GG is out walking Dylan to sleep since the house has not cooled down yet. He's a keeper! This heat is not.

 



Monday, August 26, 2013

Hiring a Nanny

Finding the right nanny was just about as stressful as I thought it would be.  Here's how it went down, along with my suggestions.

The Search:
Start your search 1-2 months before you want your nanny to start.  I decided to use Care.com because I had seen it on TV and knew a few people who had used it.  I bought a 3 month membership.  If you are seriously ready to hire, you could easily just buy a one-month membership. I started in June and didn't have a full-time position until the end of August (although this ended up giving us a nice transition period).  Within 48 hours, I had at least 60 responses, maybe more.  It was both exciting and overwhelming.  I went through and "favorited" the applicants that I liked using experience with infants, desired pay, and responsibilities the nanny was comfortable with (light housekeeping, meal prep) as my criteria.

Then I sent an email to all of my favorites which was probably about 15 people.  I reiterates that the full-time position would not start until the end of August and asked them to let me know if they were still interested.  I did state the dates on the original ad, but I don't think people paid much attention.  So be really clear if the position starts in the future.

I asked them to answer 6 questions:

1. Tell me about your specific experience with infants including feeding, creating schedules, etc...
2. Describe a typical day with a 7-month old.
3. What are your career plans?  Ideally, we would like to find a nanny that can stay with our family for the next two years.
4. Do you have a driver's license?
(and two others I can't remember)

I was kind of shocked, but I only got 4 responses!  Initially, this made me very upset, but I think it weeded the candidates exactly as I had intended.

Interviews:
I have conducted job interviews before, but this was very different and pretty awkward.  I decided to interview three of the applicants.  The first interview was awesome.  Let's call her Nanny 1.  She is Brazilian and is here first studying English and then will be getting her Master's.  All classes are in the evenings.  She has great relevant experience and is willing to do light housekeeping and cooking.  But most of all, she's really warm.  I feel comfortable talking to her.  The conversation flowed pretty naturally.  She lives about 10 minutes from my house and has a driver's license (but no car).  When she left, I thought I'm going to hire the first person I've met!

The interview with Nanny 2 was the polar opposite.  Even though I had just conducted an interview an hour earlier, there were tons of awkward pauses.  Nanny 2 was very nice, but somewhat reserved.  Honestly, I don't really remember the rest, because I knew that I wanted our nanny to be more boisterous and playful than I am.  If I'm not going to be the one with Dylan all day, why not find someone who is even better at "playing" and interacting with a baby?  I wanted a complement to my personality, not the same personality or a quieter version.

Nanny 3 was perfection.  She was super cute and put together, taught preschool, had tons of relevant experience.  She and her fiance had moved out here from the East Coast for his job.  She lived in the same area as Nanny 1 and had her own car.  She was awesome and now my decision became really difficult.

So I was stuck.  I really liked Nanny 1, but Nanny 3 was essentially perfect.

The Decision:
As you know, decisions are not my forte and this was such a huge one!  I knew I wanted to do a trial with both candidates, but I was also not sure how much it would tell me.  I mean Dylan is not going to say "mom, I liked Nanny 3 better."  But I had each of them come for about 4 hours on different weekends.  Everything went well with both, of course, and I was still stuck although I had forgotten to settle on pay ahead of time and When I asked Nanny 3 if x amount was okay, she said "I usually get y." I was fine with the amount, but it left just the slightest bad taste in my mouth.

I went back and forth so many times and took over two weeks to make a decision (thank goodness they were patient!), but in the end I chose Nanny 1.

Here's why.  I was confident in the abilities of both women, but I felt like Nanny 1 might be a little more flexible and less demanding.  I want to compensate our nanny fairly.  It's an extremely important job.  But I also can't pay her what I make or it just doesn't make sense financially.  I felt like Nanny 3 would constantly be adding up hours in her head, seeing whether she was getting a good deal with hours worked versus our flat weekly rate, whereas Nanny 1 would be happy with whatever and trust that I was being fair.  Our schedule is pretty set, but might be a few hours more one week and less another.  But I would always give extra if something out of the ordinary came up.  Also, Nanny 3 was working full-time all summer, all the way up to our start date.  Nanny 1 was fine with starting once a week immediately which was perfect. She worked about once a week for the rest of the summer and I feel really comfortable with leaving him with her TOMORROW! Aah!

Anyway...it really just came down to a feeling about what would make me the most comfortable.  When I told Nanny 1 the news, she was so excited!  She said that she had turned down other jobs because she was hoping she would get this one.  That sealed the deal and I knew we had made the best decision for Dylan.  And maybe he'll learn Portuguese to boot!

She's been here about once a week since mid-July and is here today. She has gotten to know Dylan well, but now she also knows where the trash bags and toilet paper are, how the frozen breast milk is organized and how to work the Keurig. I think it's going to be great for everyone. Fingers crossed!

Obligatory pic of my cool California dude! (Sitting all by himself at the beach.)

Growing up

I read so many of my mom friends say how sad they are that their baby is growing up or getting bigger.  Honestly, I haven't had many of those moments yet.  I enjoy each day as he gets more and more interactive.  And he's still wearing 3 month clothes and will *sometimes* fall asleep on my shoulder.  But we've got some upcoming changes that are really giving me pause.

Last school year, I only went back for the last 6 weeks...and he was just 4 months adjusted at the time so he was still asleep often and not nearly on a schedule.

Now I go back on Wednesday and he's 7 months adjusted (nearly 11 months actual!!).  He's slept in our room since the day he got home and I love having him there.  But he wakes up around 6:30 and that's basically when I need to leave in the morning.  I don't want to worry about waking him up earlier, so he needs to start sleeping in his room. And I am sad about it.  His nursery is downstairs on the other side of the house.  I'd probably still be able to hear him and we have a great monitor, but it's a big step!  He already goes to sleep in his crib at night (I move him after the dreamfeed) and takes all naps in his crib, so I'm pretty positive he'll be fine.  But it's definitely a step away from baby-hood.

The second issue is pumping...or weaning I guess.  Dylan had 100% breast milk for the first 4 months of his life.  But he really liked the thickness of Enfamil AR and it got us out of the NICU, so he's been eating 50% BM, 50% formula since then.  I say this just to show that I have no issue with formula (except the cost...geesh!).  But despite that, I wanted to be able to give Dylan breastmilk through a year adjusted which will come in January.  I have a healthy freezer stash, so I figured I could stop pumping when I went back to school and make it until January.  And I can.

BUT...my number one concern right now is flu season.  We hired a nanny for Dylan so that he would be away from other kids and their germs since his lungs are much more vulnerable to infection.  But I'm terrified that I will be the one to bring sickness into our household from one of the 150 dirty teenagers whom I spend my day with.  I almost never get sick.  And I've always felt that it's because of the immunity I've built up from my students.  I hand sanitize occasionally, but also realize that some exposure is good.  But not this year!

I'm seriously considering having all students sanitize before entering the classroom (like they do at the hospital) and having all desks wiped down with Lysol at the end of the day.  Then when I get home I'll change my clothes and shower.  It feels a little crazy, but I don't think I could sleep if I don't do it.

So back to the breastmilk...I wonder how much protection I could give Dylan by continuing to give him fresh milk?  Does it really work that fast?  How much milk would he need?  Is four ounces enough?

Because I do not want to pump at work.  I would actually be totally happy to still pump twice a day.  But it's not feasible to pump for a half an hour and have a half an hour commute in the morning.  School starts at 7:30.  (And car pumping just does not cut it.  I get almost nothing and then have to "unhook" and such near a school with teenagers walking by.  Two times of that was enough to want to die.)  I could pump during my prep period, but honestly I just really don't want to.  I need to use that time to really get things done so that I can get home to spend time with Dylan.  (I can't really get things done while pumping since I need to do compressions for most of the time and need to hand express after.)

So I dropped to just one pump a day last Friday and I'm hoping that my milk will not dry up before January, but I've taken a severe hit with each dropped session since 4 and I'm only making 4-5 ounces now.  If I can sustain that amount, I'll keep at it.  But if it drops below 4 (with about 40 minutes of pumping, then hand-expressing), then I'll throw in the towel.

I think weaning is hard for every mom, whether you make the the decision immediately, after 6 months, or even at two years.  And I'm mourning it before it's even happened, even though he's only been getting 5 or so fresh ounces a day.  (And I know that I'm lucky that I've had a supply both fresh and frozen that has gotten us this far.)  When do parenting decisions become easier?  When they're 20?

He can hold the bottle now!



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Suzy Q Homemaker

That's what I felt like last night!

I've mentioned many times on here how un-domestic I am.  It's hard for me to stay on top of household things.  I have no excuse; I'm just terrible at it.

But sometimes the planets align and I turn into Trudy from Mad Men (our Netflix series of the summer...love it!).

During the day on Monday and Tuesday, my mom came over and we re-organized just about every messy area of the house: pantry, tupperware, fridge, my "catch-all" bookcase, and most satisfyingly, my closet.  I have NEVER been this prepared for going back to school.  It'll be nice to know where everything is and not have too many projects hanging over my head.  Although I still never technically finished the nursery.  Whoops.

So anyway...I decided to actually prepare dinner because I was feeling productive.  It wasn't special or involved, just a really delicious tomato bisque from Costco that my mom and I sampled during the afternoon, grilled cheese, and a salad, but it's more of home-cooked meal than I have prepared in awhile.  It probably triples the number of meals I have cooked all summer.

And while we ate, Dylan ate an entire portion of butternut squash that I saved from my lunch.  It was just about an ounce, but he ate ALL OF IT!  He's never eaten all of something.  Apparently, he likes fancy gourmet roasted food better than the plain baby food I make or buy for him.

So the three of us ate dinner together...at the dining room table (MrGG and I usually eat at the coffee table in front of the TV, but are trying to eat with Dylan more often).

And I felt like a success.

*New goal*  Repeat this success at least once a week.  It's only a few short months until Dylan needs real food all of the time.

Today's picture is not of last night's meal, but it is of Dylan eating.  Doesn't he look like a big boy?!



Friday, August 16, 2013

Liebster Award and some very random facts

None of the posts I've been writing have made it to publishing.  Why?  I'm not really sure.  But I thought I might as well do a Q&A post to actually give you something to read.  I was first nominated for the Liebster Award a long time ago, November 28, 2011!  I can't believe I've been blogging that long.  And P at Handpicked Miracle was kind enough to nominate me again.  The purpose of the Liebster Award is to recognize small blogs with less than 200 readers.  See my picks at the end of the post.

Now for P's questions:
1. What is one place other than where you live now that you would love to live?
I would love to live so many different places!  Abroad.  The Pacific Northwest.  I would kind of even like to live in a big city like New York.  But I am very happy here in Southern California.

2. What is your favorite quote?
I hate favorites questions because I'm not a good decision-maker.  Currently, I love this one and chose one as the headline for Dylan's blog: "Sometimes," said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." -A.A. Milne

3. What is your favorite/most profound lesson that your preemie(s) have taught you?
It's really lessons about myself.  One, that I truly needed to stop everything to focus on being his parent.  I think that was really good for me.  And two, just how strong both myself and dh can be.  We came out of this experience shaken, but so much stronger.

4. If you could only eat one vegetable for the rest of your life what would it be?
Zucchini.

5. What was your most favorite vacation to date?
Our Honeymoon to Costa Rica was definitely the best, but I've taken some pretty awesome vacations: Australia, Europe, Hawaii, Cabo.  My two trips abroad were on my own though and it's much more fun travelling with someone!

6. If any animal could be domesticated safely, what would you want as a pet?
Either a panda or a tiger.  I've always loved pandas, but tiger's are pretty awesome.  

7. What book can you read over and over without getting tired of it?
I don't really re-read books.  I like to be surprised.  But for school I do read the same books year after year to teach them.  To Kill a Mockingbird never gets old.  Neither do Romeo and Juliet, A Tale of Two Cities, or The Kite Runner

8. What was the last movie you saw in the theater?
I can't really remember.  How sad is that?  I know that I saw Argo while Dylan was still in the hospital and I know we've seen one movie since.  Maybe the last James Bond?  When did that come out?  (And I love going to the movies!  When we do have date nights, movies never seem to make the cut.)

9. How would you describe your fashion style?
Hmm...I'm somewhat youthful and on the edge of trendy.  I have to make sure not to wear things that my students wear.  In an outfit it would be skinny jeans, TOMS or sandals, and a loose top or  a v-neck with a longer cardigan.  Pretty simple and comfortable.

10. What sound irritates you?
A lot of sounds irritate me, but I can't think of one in particular at the moment.  I always tell my students not to sing in my classroom!  After being with 150 students all day, I like some quiet at home.

11. What is your favorite holiday?
I think Thanksgiving.  It's not as crazy as Christmas, but everyone gets together and there is good food.  But I also love summer...the 4th of July and fireworks!

and 11 random facts?  Dylan might wake up soon and I need to wash bottles.  Ok, super fast.
1 - I was born in the same city as Ashton Kutcher.  Look it up.
2 - Snickers make me happy (the chocolate kind).
3 - I was in the marching band in high school AND COLLEGE!  (I loved it.)
4 - I have a double major in English and Psychology. 
5 - I'm thinking about starting a PhD program...soon.  Crazy?
6 - I hate black olives.
7 - I am a really messy person and I fight it every day.
8 - I'm addicted to the Bachelor and Bachelorette (but not Bachelor Pad - glad they canceled it).
9 - I've been told by multiple people that I look like Nina Garcia.  Not sure if that's a compliment...
10 - I crack my fingers and toes.
11 - I have never lived more than 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean. 

AND....my nominees are: (if you've received it before, just play along!)
Non Sequiter Chica at Non Sequiter Chica
A Miracle in the Works at A Miracle in the Works (who originally nominated me!)
Mrs. Rochester at itsgonnahappen

Ugh.  I don't want to think of new questions.  Here goes:
1. What trait do you hope your kid(s) don't inherit?
2. What is your dream career?
3. What is your favorite chick flick?
4. What is your favorite TV series?
5. What kind of a blogger are you?  What's your blog-style?
6. Tell us a funny story from high school.
7. Where did you Honeymoon?
8. What is the last book you read?
9. What do you eat for dinner if you are home alone? (I eat cereal or PB&J, like a lazy child.)
10. Which blogger would like to go have drinks with?
11. What is currently stressing you out? 

DONE! Baby still asleep.  Now to disconnect the pump parts from my chest and wash some bottles.  I guess the shower can wait until the next nap.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What little kid doesn't like food?

Mine I guess.

Actually, the more research I do, the more I realize that a lot of kids don't really like food, but all of the babies I know in real-life cannot get enough of it.

I'm not at all surprised that solids are turning out to be a challenge.  Neither is DYlan's Occupational Therapist.  It took him a long time to get the bottle down, so this may take some time too.  I'm not sure whether the issue is the texture or the taste, but I kind of think it's just swallowing.

At the very beginning, I followed the rules and gave him the same food for a few days in a row.  After some additional research on allergies, I decided to just give him new foods when the situation presented itself.  It looks like delaying foods does not prevent an allergy.  If I had allergies in my family, I'd be more cautious, but we have none and Dylan has had no reaction so far.

So first I gave purees or mashed fruit: avocado, banana, sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash...  Most were home-made by my sister or myself, some were Plum Organics.  Basically Dylan spit out whatever entered his mouth.  He may have eaten a tablespoon of the butternut squash - it had a bit of cinnamon in it and he seems to like it marginally better - but it's hard to tell.

But then he started more actively grabbing for my food.  I didn't plan to do Baby Led Weaning, but by following Dylan's lead, I guess I am doing it a bit.  First he grabbed for watermelon.  Success!  He gnawed on it, maybe swallowing some juice, and spit out any pieces that he bit off.  In Hawaii he tried honeydew and also enjoyed it.  Cantaloupe was a no.  He was also grabbing at my bagel in the morning.  I didn't let him have it the first day (it was an "Everything" bagel), but I did let him gnaw on a roll at dinner that night and he loved it!  He has also enjoyed gnawing on whole carrots.

So I could tell that he was interested in food, just not the purees.  Texture issue?  Or still swallowing?

His OT said that if it is a texture issue, that we want to "nip it in the bud" right away or else it will become a behavioral issue where food in mouth = spit out food.  She said to keep trying the purees, but to also add in some "meltables" like  Baby Mum Mums and Puffs.  I believe these are basically "junk" foods, but at this point, I just want him to learn that he can put food in his mouth and swallow it.  He has definitely eaten some of the Mum Mums and Puffs.

I'm also using a variety of feeding techniques.  I use spoons and he can (somewhat successfully) put the spoon in his mouth.  I bought little rubber toppers for the pouches to make them easier and more comfortable to suck on.  So far he just bites and I squeeze a little in (and then he spits it out). He seemed to kind of like prunes yesterday.  I also bought the Boon silicone feeder.  I put honeydew in there one day and he enjoyed chewing on it.  It's a bit large for him right now though. I have to help him hold it and it's pretty big for his mouth.  I definitely think he prefers holding his food and feeding himself.  He's just not super coordinated yet.

He hasn't choked on anything at home yet.  He bites pieces of and then swallows them when they melt (carbs) or spits them out (fruits).  But...we let him chew on a piece of bread at dinner one night.  In hindsight I knew it was a bad choice since it had kind of a hard skin on it.  A small piece of skin got stuck in the back of his mouth.  It wasn't dangerous for choking.  It was completely flat, but it annoyed the heck out of him.  He got it out all right...by projectile vomiting it up.  So now that's happened. : /

One of the most important things with feeding is to be consistent and keep introducing new things and textures.  I can't just give in and only give him things he likes.  But I'm at least as stubborn as he is, so I'll take the challenge!

He's one tooth bud out and one on the way.  It'll be interesting to see how teeth change the game.

Oh and he loves chewing on glass.  The bowl I put his food in is his favorite.  My coffee mug is a close second.  #futurebruin