Mom, Mama, Drew and Jack

Mom, Mama, Drew and Jack
the adventures of 2 boys and their moms

Sunday, October 12, 2014

What a Difference a Year Makes!

We have spent a lot of time this Fall reminiscing about last Fall.....about how trying of a time it really was.  We have taken some outings that we also took last year and have spent time thinking back to all of the places we stopped on the side of the road to calm a screaming baby, about how difficult it was to enjoy anything as Jack was so miserable.

I think part of the reason we have spent so much time re-living that nightmare of last fall is because we have finally made it through to the other side.  I think we have to keep reminding ourselves how far our family really has come, how we had the strength and stamina to make it through.

So, here we are a year later and our boys are happily playing trucks together on the floor.  They are joking around together putting apples on their head at a local orchard's Fall Festival.  They laugh and run and climb and get on each other's nerves.  Dare I say it?!?! - things seem to finally be getting a bit "normal".

We have had a fantastic fall.  We have survived going back to school and daycare, visited a local amusement park, picked apples, played outside, enjoyed each other's company.  We went to a fair and a festival and can't wait for the next few weekends of fun Halloween activities.  All of it without the stress that came with last year.  It is refreshing, invigorating, surreal at times.

What a difference a year makes!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Birthday Party

We had such a fun birthday party for Jack's First Birthday!  We did a hungry caterpillar theme to match his nursery theme and we were so pleased with how everything came out!

Some pics for you to enjoy of the special day!

The invite:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

ONE YEAR

Jack -

You are one year old!  Since the moment you were born, you have kept us on our toes.  The first year of your life has been a wild ride, but we wouldn't trade it for the world.  You are an amazing little man and you certainly complete our family.

The most exciting part of you turning one is that all of the digestive issues that you had during your first year are better.  You have outgrown your milk/soy protein intolerance which is very exciting!  It means that you (and Mama) have no more food restrictions!  It also means that you were able to have cake and ice cream for your first birthday just like Dr. Repucci promised us way back when you were just 8 weeks old and completely miserable.  You still struggle with reflux and we will continue to work with the doctor on this issue.

At one year old, you are crawling like a maniac.  You pull up and cruise along everything but you aren't walking on your own yet.  You will be walking soon and watch out when that happens - there will be no stopping you then!  You can climb like a wild man - you love to climb the ladder on the swingset and it is a bit too high for our liking.  You do a great job climbing the ladder in the kitchen when your brother is on it too!

You absolutely LOVE to be outside.  You like to play in the sandbox and throw the sand.  You also love to play in the toy house and "drive" around backwards in the Cozy Coupe car we have.  You  have almost sent yourself down the hill a few time in it.  You also really enjoy the water table both with and without water in it.  Your favorite thing to do in that is drop the balls down the center tube and wait for them to spin out.

You are an amazing eater.  You basically will eat anything that is put in front of you.  Most meals you eat more than your big brother does!  You are great at feeding yourself and you often eat 4 meals a day as well as your snacks!  You love to eat pork chops and steak right along side Mom and Mama and we often wonder where you are putting all of the food you eat!

You absolutely adore your big brother Drew and he can make you smile instantly!  You love to play with him and he loves you too!  When you are upset Drew will often make sure you are ok and he is great at singing to you to get you to calm down.  I can't wait to see how your brotherly bond gets stronger and stronger as you get older.

You aren't really saying any words yet, but you jibber jabber and babble all of the time.  We think you say some form of Mama and Kitty, but they aren't really easily understood when you say them.  You have the greatest conversations with your Opa all of the time!  You are great at pointing at what you want and letting us know if we are "understanding" you!

You love to go to Nana and Opa's house and see all of the animals.  You also love swimming in their pool and riding in the little push car that they have.  You also discovered Opa's tractor and whenever we go over you point to it and want your Opa to take you for a ride on it.

Your first year was full of challenges and obstacles.  Your MSPI and reflux made a lot of your early days very miserable.  You spent a lot of your first few months screaming and sleeping very little.  We hated seeing you so miserable and wished there was more we could do to help you.  You ushered in your 7th month with an overnight in the hospital for RSV.  When you were 11 months old you made a trip to Urgent Care for Nursemaid's Elbow. You had a lot of trouble self soothing and entertaining yourself.  With each passing month, we saw small improvements and now that you are a year old, things are much better.

In spite of all of the challenges your first year brought, we had a lot of fun experiences too!  We traveled to MN twice to visit family.  We went to Florida in February for a nice warm weather vacation.   You celebrated your first Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.  We went to Storyland and Great Wolf Lodge.  You picked your first apples, strawberries and peaches.  You took your first trip to the beach and loved playing in the sand.

You are wearing some 12 but mostly 18 month clothes.  You are in size 4 diapers.  At your 1 year appointment you were 31 inches and 22 pounds.  That put you in the 92% for height and 48% for weight.  You are a big boy!  You still have hardly any hair but what you do have certainly has wisps of red!  You just keep growing and our little baby is turning into a toddler right before our eyes!

Jack, you are an amazing little soul and we are so lucky to have you as a part of our family.  Your curiosity keeps you so busy and you don't miss a thing that goes on!  The way you scrunch up your nose and flash a tooth filled smile brightens anyone's day.  Your big blue eyes  are mesmerizing and you capture everyone's heart with your cuteness!

We love you so very much!

Love,
Mom and Mama and big brother Drew.

ONE

Happy FIRST Birthday to our silly, inquisitive, smart, crazy littlest boy. You are amazing, Jack and you certainly complete our family. We are so blessed to have you!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summer

We are a bit somber this Sunday evening.....you see, it is our final carefree Sunday evening - next Sunday evening we will be preparing for our return to work.  We are somber because we have had an amazing summer with the boys.  Being teachers we are so fortunate that we get 9 weeks off with the boys in the summer.

We have had the perfect mix of being busy and hanging at home.  We have filled our 9 weeks with wonderful time together and we have made some amazing memories.  We will be soaking in the last few days of vacation this week and also prepping for Jack's FIRST Birthday on Saturday.

Here is what we have done this summer...

Visited MJ's family in Minnesota.  We had lots of fun with aunts, uncles and cousins.  We took a trip to the zoo and took lots of walks to the park to play.

Went to a local water park, amusement park, the beach (twice), enjoyed Dis.ney's Pirat.es and Princ.esses, played in the backyard.

We spent three days at the brand new Gre.at W0lf L0dge here in New En.gland.

Got a new HUGE swingset/play structure for our backyard thanks to some friends.  Played with the neighbors.

Had a bunch of backyard fires and roasted marshmallows and made smores.

Made a pact to read through ALL of the books on Drew's bookshelf (we are making great headway and should make it by the end of September- the boy has a TON of books!)

Played mini golf, ate ice cream, learned how to play Chute.s and Ladd.ers.

Laughed, loved spending time together, made memories to last a lifetime.

We are so very blessed.





Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tough Year

Yesterday I alluded to the fact that we have had a tough year....

Here is the story....

Soon after Jack was born he started a cycle of nursing CONSTANTLY from 5-11 at night.  We just figured it was cluster feeding.  He also spent most of that time crying, and we just said it was his "witching hour."

Then came the fact that he was up every 2 hours all night long often with a period between 2-4 AM where he spent most of the time crying/needing to be consoled.

It wasn't so bad the first 5 weeks as MJ took maternity leave as well so we could tag team.  We just figured we had a needy baby.  Drew had been so ridiculously easy  - we just figured that we lucked out the first time and now we had our tough one.

By the time MJ went back to work and I was home alone with the boys by myself things just went south.  Drew watched WAY too much TV and played outside way too little, but Jack took so much of my time there was nothing else to do.  I would dread having to change Drew's diaper because the minute I put Jack down he would scream.  To the point that he would sweat through his clothes.

Going anywhere in the car was a NIGHTMARE.  Trips that should have been 20-30 minutes would take an hour and a half because we would have to stop so many times.  Jack would scream inconsolably and sweat through his clothes.

Jack (and we) lived in a cycle of nurse, catnap, scream; nurse, catnap, scream.  Once he fell asleep nursing I often didn't dare to move him because he would scream.  He NEVER slept more than 2 hours at a time.  He spent 15-18 hours a day crying and screaming.  We spent a number of nights sleeping in the recliner in the living room because it was just easier.

When he nursed he would sweat profusely.  He would gulp for air when nursing or bottle feeding.  EVERYTHING was difficult.

At Jack's 2 month pedi appt we talked about all of these things.  She quickly diagnosed him with severe silent reflux and possible issue with dairy.  I cut out all dairy and we put him on reflux meds.  Not much change was seen.  Cut out all dairy, soy, nuts, and eggs plus a different reflux med.  Saw a tiny bit of change.
Then our pedi gave us a referral to a pediatric gastro doc.

Jack was diagnosed with Milk/Soy Protein Intolerance and allergic colitis plus the severe reflux.  I continued my dairy, soy, nut and egg free diet and things improved a bit but he was still a very needy child.  He has been a full time job all on his own. I ended up taking an extra week of maternity leave because there was no way we could send him to a babysitter in this state.  In December we switched to a third reflux med and it made a world of difference.

Even though we had my diet under control for his nursing and the reflux meds finally figured out, he was still so tough.  We never went out to eat as a family, often one of us would just stay home with Jack instead of running errands, etc together as it was just easier.  He had very little ability to entertain himself and almost no ability to self soothe.  He still was up to nurse 2-3 times a night until just a few weeks ago.  It has been exhausting.

However, having said all of this......Jack has the most amazing smile and he scrunches his nose in the cutest way when he does.  He really is quite silly and has a great personality when he is feeling well.  He loves his big brother to pieces and has a laugh that is ridiculously contagious!  Drew has been an absolutely amazing big brother and we are so proud of the big boy he is becoming.

I think we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  This summer we have had so very many more good days than bad.  We have been to the beach, an amusement park, swimming, the zoo, and so much more.  We can go to a restaurant together.  We can do things as a family.  These things would not have been possible a few months ago.  Jack is finally able to play on his own for some time.  He still has great difficulty self soothing, but that will come with time I am sure.  He is sleeping through the night finally.  We are getting there.....

Our little family of 4 is perfect and we are so blessed with these boys.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Miss Blogging

It has been MONTHS since I updated here and I miss it.......

I miss having the record of what is going on........

I am sad that I don't have as much documented for Jack as we do for Drew.....

So.............here we go............I am going to start blogging again - my goal is once a week, hopefully more!

It has been a tough, tough year in our family - more on that in future posts.

But, we have made it through and our baby will be ONE in 2 short weeks and our big boy is on the verge of 4!

We are soaking up the last moments of summer vacation and loving life.  

I promise a more detailed update soon, but for now - here are our handsome dudes!




Thursday, December 5, 2013

One Year Ago

What a difference a year makes....one year ago today we were sitting in the Doctor's office wondering if the IUI we were about to have would be "the one".....9 days later we saw those lovely 2 pink lines and now we have an amazing 3 1/2 month old. Happy Conception Day, Little Man!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

THREE MONTHS - JACK

Jack,

You are three months old.  One quarter of your first year has flown by already.  We had a MUCH better month this month than your first two!  You are finally feeling better and because of that you are a much happier baby.

This month was spent getting you feeling better.  After two trips and three phone calls to your pediatrician and a visit to a pediatric gastroenterologist we finally have you in a good place.  You have reflux as well as a milk/soy protein intolerance.  That means that you take medicine three times a day and Mama has to avoid eating anything with dairy, soy, nuts or eggs.  We think this has been the trick though as you are no longer screaming, sweating through your clothes, gulping when you eat and being just plain miserable.

This month you have been full of smiles and coos.  It has been so nice to interact with our happy baby.  You flash your smile to anyone who will make of you and it melts our hearts every time we see it.  You have really started "talking" a lot too and boy do you have lots of stories to tell.

You have really started to take an interest in toys and you are beginning to be able to hold on to them.  Of course, everything goes right for your mouth and you have mastered getting your fingers/fist right to your mouth when you want to.  You love to be over someone's shoulder so you can suck on your fist.

You have also started sleeping much better this month.  You generally are asleep for the night by 10 and sleep until 5:30.  This has been made so much better now that you have medicine for your reflux.  There are a number of nights that you fall asleep by 8 and we "dream feed" you at 10 and then you are out for the night!

You celebrated your first Halloween this month.  Your brother was a pirate and you dressed as his parrot.  The two of you were very cute together!  We enjoyed a storybook hayride and went trick or treating at Nana's office.  We can't wait until you can run around next year for Trick or Treat!

This month you also went to daycare as Mama's maternity leave was up.  You have made the transition as smoothly as we could have hoped for.  Lisa takes such good care of both of you and we are so happy that you are with her while we have to work.

You wore 3-6 month clothing and size 2 diapers for the entire month.  We know you grew at least an inch and you are still around 13 pounds. 

You are an amazing little boy and we can't wait to celebrate the holidays with you!

All our love,
Mom and Mama