Thursday, May 8, 2014

This guy.

Can I do a wordless Friday instead? Never mind, I can't do wordless ever...

My new favorite picture:

He gets the funniest look on his face when I put the glasses on - and then takes them immediately off.

Well and since it's Mother's Day this weekend, let me share a precious moment we had tonight. We sit in the rocker in his room before bedtime and tonight, after books, I decided to make a funny sucking sound and go after his ear. He thought it was then funniest thing I have ever done and kept leaning his ear toward me so I'd do it again and again. I will never get over the joy I feel when I hear his unrestrained giggles! 

I love being this boy's mama :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Falling Back In Love

If you read my Valentine's Day post, you'll probably realize that our marriage has been work recently. Or maybe not even work as much as two people living parallel lives united mainly by our love for our little boy. I don't know if it was infertility or having a preemie or the regular newborn lull or just us in general, but we've been struggling. And any one of those factors would be a valid source of stress in a relationship.

But...we don't have any huge issues, no infidelity and definitely not hatred. We just have a piling up of lots of the little things. He thinks I nag all the time. I don't think he cares about me. We're sarcastic instead of truly friendly or loving. (And there is very little going on physically between us.)

I think the low was January though. We've had occasional conversations about the state of "us" and each time, we have tried a little harder. The first step was doing more things as a family on weekends. Family outings are fun, even if they're small. It's really different and special to feel like "a family." An outing might be a trip to the park or a long walk around a golf course or a trip to Costco. We're also planning our first Disney trip for next month!

And we've taken another step forward in the last week or two. (Admittedly, I'm initiating all of this, but I think he needs me to right now and it's abundantly clear that the energy and effort one person expends yields similar benefits in return.) I'm trying to do more around the house to keep it clean (he's much, much neater than I am and messiness just causes an underlying level of constant frustration on both our parts). I made dinner last night! I've started kissing him good-bye before I leave in the morning (he's still in bed) like I used to do when we started dating. We're cuddling for a few minutes before we go to sleep... I can't tell you how huge this one is! It feels nice and loving and normal and like old times.

I never expected marriage to be perfect or not be work and I know for many marriages, this is one of the hardest times (we also are in our 7th year which is also commonly a tough time). So I'm willing to truly work on it and I look forward to what our relationship will be months and years from now.

I absolutely want to be married to my husband and I'm pretty sure he feels the same. He's a fantastic father and a really great person. I'm pretty sure he believes the same about me.

We're just working on being a great husband and wife.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Zero Iron.

So I never really got around to my iron post. It got too detailed, so I gave up. I'll try to give the quick version here.

We learned after our last blood draw that Dylan has ZERO iron. Ferritin should measure at least 30, and his was ZERO. Shit. He wasn't showing any of the symptoms of anemia like fatigue or excessive paleness, but it can also cause mental delays so needless to say, I was freaking out and have learned a TON about iron in the past month or two.

Note: Pinterest is not God. My nanny told me that Pinterest said that Watermelon is high in iron. It's not. Do your research! (Or read the rest of this post.)


Iron is really all about absorption so although some foods have a lot of iron, if it's not easily absorbed, it doesn't matter. Heme iron, mostly from meat products like beef, is the most easily absorbed. Plant sources are not as easily absorbed.
  • Calcium inhibits iron absorption.
  • Vitamin C aids iron absorption.
Our problem was that Dylan was eating a lot of high-fat dairy to help his weight gain. So now we focus on dairy in the morning and evening and sometimes at lunch, but snack-time is dairy free. Our nutritionist said to keep dairy about 2 hours away from iron drops. This is also why Pediatricians want toddlers drinking less than 24 ounces of milk per day. Dylan was only drinking about 12 but got lots of other sources of dairy.

This list of heme and non-heme sources is from the Cleveland Clinic
The following foods are good sources of heme iron (from animal sources): 
  • Chicken liver
  • Oysters
  • Clams
  • Beef liver
  • Beef (chuck roast, lean ground beef)
  • Turkey leg
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Shrimp
  • Leg of lamb
The following foods are good sources of nonheme iron (from plants):
  • Raisin bran (enriched)
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Beans (kidney, lima, Navy)
  • Tofu
  • Lentils
  • Molasses
  • Spinach
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Brown rice
The following chart from Harvard is even better since it lists the amount of iron in each type of food. Harvard Iron Content Sheet


Toddlers need 7mg of iron a day and babies need 10mg. Since Dylan's so small and has zero, I figure he needs at least ten. Three ounces of beef has just 2 mg of iron. It would take Dylan an entire day to eat 3 ounces of beef! So although we are trying to up the iron in his foods, he absolutely needs a supplement. (Iron supplements are typically drops.) Dylan won't drink OJ, the best iron-complement, but I found a 100% juice option that has a good amount of Vitamin C that he is okay with. I give 1ml of iron 2x a day.

So meal-time is a puzzle in our household. We try to:

1) maximize calories
2) keep dairy time away from iron time
3) add lots of vitamin C (not his favorite foods)
4) get enough fiber and water in to prevent constipation

But we are managing...

Our go to Vitamin C sources are strawberries and juice. Dylan seems to be starting to like oranges, occasionally, but they are not his favorite.

Dylan has always liked meatballs, so we are focusing on red meat more than chicken as a protein source as well as beans. But fortified cereals are actually an excellent source of iron, so Cheerios are back in the Dylan's snack cup! But like I said, getting him to take the iron drops (it's own challenge) is the most important part of our day.

Last...I learned that acid reflux medications can also inhibit iron absorption, so we tried cutting Dylan's dose in half (only morning time) and he seems to be doing okay.

Anyone else dealing with challenging nutrition issues?