Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Russell's first taste of solid foods!

Yes, we gave our little 6-month-old his first solid foods yesterday!  Rice baby cereal with formula.  Yum yum.

This is the "before" picture:

This is the "after" picture:
"Mmmm.  A full belly and feeling good!"

This is a video of the first bite:

This is a video of how the rest of it went:

He ate 2 tablespoons of dry rice cereal mixed with 2 ounces of formula!

And he loved it!  Holy cow, I have a kid who enjoys food!  It all seemed so unreal....

Until I saw this this afternoon (on both legs):
Eczema, anyone?  This is exactly what happened when we started Caleb on solid foods.  (By the way, it's much worse in real life than it is in the picture.)

If this is food allergies, that's right up my alley.

And in all of my worst nightmares.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Russell is 6 months old! What?!

My baby boy is seriously already half a year?  The next six months had better not go as fast as the last six months, or else before I know it I'll have a 1-year-old!

At six months old, Russell:

  • Wears size 2 diapers
  • Wears size 0-3 month clothes.  I noticed a few 3-6 month clothes were stored with the 0-3 month ones, and they fit, too, although all of his 0-3 month clothes still fit except a few of the smaller onesies and sleepers.  And some of his 0-3 month clothes are still pretty big on him!
  • Can roll over easily, and while on his tummy can pivot to face any way he wants
  • Got up on his hands and knees and rocked back and forth today.  Next stage: crawling!  Good thing I already went through all of Caleb's toys and packed away the choking hazards!
  • Isn't much of a talker.  It's weird for me, because Caleb was a chatterbox from the very beginning.  If I try really hard, I can usually get Russell to coo and "talk" to me about twice a day, and only immediately after a feeding.  Sometimes he laughs, too, but only if I tickle him just right.
  • Is only happy for about 10-15 minutes after each feeding before deciding to be a cranky pants.  He's also happy if we go somewhere (like the store) and he has new things to look at and be distracted by. He's a good little shopper!  Everywhere I go people look at him, he smiles at them, and then they say, "Oh, he's such a happy baby!"  I usually respond by saying, "yeah, right now he is," while thinking in my head, "if only you knew what it's like at home...."  But seriously, the child hardly ever gets any time on the floor to practice his motor skills because every time I put him down he cries so hard that it takes him 10 minutes after I pick him up to calm down.  It gets a little exhausting.  But if Nate is watching him while I'm out of the house, he's a perfect angel, until I get back and he sees me.  I haven't decided if he cries because he hates the sight of me or if he just loves me so much that he can't stand not to be in my arms.  Either way, I'm excited for this phase to pass.
  • Can sit on his own for a few seconds, and for much longer if he has a little bit of support.  He is able to support himself with his hands, but usually he just lunges forward to lay on his belly.  He's a belly boy!
  • Has THREE teeth, all on the bottom.  I'm fairly confident that the next tooth to come in will also be on the bottom.  The top teeth don't even seem to be close!  He's gonna have a bit of a goofy grin, I expect  :)
  • Often has red eyes.  They look pretty dry, so I plan on asking his pediatrician about it later this week
  • Got the memo on nap time and bed time!  He falls asleep on his own every single time.  Hooray!  He sleeps for 2-3 hours every afternoon, just like Caleb, and at the same time as Caleb!  It's so helpful for my sanity.  ;)  Almost every night is the same, with him going to bed around 9, waking up to eat between 5 and 6, then going right back to bed and waking up between 9 and 10 to eat again.  Before Caleb wakes up at 10, I have a little chat with Russell while he's happy, get him dressed, and put him back to bed for his morning nap, where (most days) he sleeps until about 11 or 12.  Then both boys are on the same schedule for the rest of the day.  Sometimes he doesn't want to take a morning nap, and then we adjust the day accordingly

  • Loves Captain Hook, and The Captain loves him!  Yes, sometimes the cat tries to eat Russell's feet, so we have to be careful.  But Russell is much more gentle with the poor kitty than Caleb is, so Captain Hook is smart and prefers Russell's company.  One early morning, after feeding Russell and putting him back to bed, I didn't notice that Captain Hook had sneaked into Russell's room.  Three hours later I found them cuddling in the crib.  It'll be fun to see them grow up together! 

  • Is in love with his feet.  Every time I put him down to sleep, I give him his feet as his comfort object.  I'm convinced that feet are better than thumbs or binkies, because a) feet are always there and he has the coordination to grab them on his own, and b) there will come a day when he can't reach his feet as easily so he'll wean himself from needing them on his own.  When that day comes, I'll give him a stuffed animal and a blanket for a comfort object
  • Loves stuffed animals.  Every time I change his diaper he turns to try to reach for the things by his head (spare diapers, wipes, etc.).  I give him his stuffed panda bear and he's happy as can be!
  • Went from pooping ten billion times a day to once or twice a week.  I just thought you'd like to know
  • Isn't very good at swallowing.  Once a day (sometimes more) he kind of chokes on his milk, sputtering and gasping for breath with a red face and watering eyes.  He swallows a lot of air when he eats.  I'm a tiny bit terrified to give him solid foods, because of everything that we've gone through with Caleb.  Caleb used to not be able to swallow even 1ml without turning blue and his heart stopping.  Seriously.  That's when the NICU OT realized that he needed thickened milk.  Once it was discovered that he was tongue-tied and his frenulum was clipped, he didn't need thickened milk any more.  Of course, I still worry that Russell is tongue-tied and that he aspirates/penetrates (the food goes "down the wrong tube").  Well, if I have yet another kid with feeding problems, at least I have a whole ton of experience there, and we have a feeding therapist on board who we love!
  • Shows interest in drinking from a cup (aka, he tries to drink his bath water as I pour it over him, and tries to grab my cup when I drink with him in my arms) but shows no interest in food.  Every day, after his dinnertime feeding, I put him in his high chair with spoons and toys while Caleb and I eat.  He loves to chew on his spoons!  This evening I'm going to attempt his first solid foods feeding so I can tell the pediatrician later this week how it went.  Wish us luck!
  • Gives the best kisses EVER!  When he's really happy he loves to grab your face and pull it to his mouth and give you a big, slobbery, wet, open-mouthed smooch!  I LOVE it!  
We love this little irresistible baby!

And now for a million billion random pictures.  Enjoy!

Workin' those abs!
 Just doin' some more ab crunches.

He's always been one to like hats.  It's a good thing, too, because otherwise his bald little head would get sunburned!

Rockin' the jungle theme.

Sweet sleeping baby.

Exploring the new toy his Momma got him on clearance!  Too bad he screams bloody murder whenever I put him in it, but he will go in it and play forever if Nate puts him in it.  It's rather frustrating.
 He sure loves that tongue!

Again, when he doesn't nap well in the AM and he gets cranky before his afternoon nap, Nate can put him on his belly on the couch and pat his back and he'll fall right to sleep.  But can I?  Yeah, right.  Maybe we should switch roles and Nate can stay home while I go to work.  I think Russell would like it better that way.


He was really happy today (YES!) so we had to enjoy some time on the floor and capture some of those silly expressions!

Classic Russell face.

See those toofers?  They're cute ones.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Forgive me while I vent.

I'm going to take a very short moment to feel sorry for myself.  I don't need anyone else to feel sorry for me.  I just need a moment and then I'll go back to seeing the beautiful things around me instead of the awful.

Here I go.

I hate that I cause my son pain just by feeding him.  HATE it.  

I force feed him via his feeding tube.  Of course he doesn't want to eat.  It HURTS.  And yet we put him through feeding therapy; we try all the tricks in the book to get him eating.  He doesn't hate us for it.  He tries.  But then he stops, because it HURTS.  So when he doesn't eat by mouth, I put it down his tube, and it hurts just as bad, only instead of hurting himself by eating, it's his Mommy who hurts him.

I only do it to keep him alive, I swear.  When we know that he's certain to throw it all up anyway, we just don't feed him (like at church).  He likes it better that way.

He had another scope on Tuesday and we got the biopsy results this morning.  The eosinophils are back.  The only foods that are changed from his last scope in November, where there wasn't a single eosinophil, are the formula (switched from Elecare [an amino acid-based formula] to Gerber Goodstart Gentle [a dairy-based formula]), peaches, pears, and sunflower/safflower/canola oils.  So he's reacting to at least one of those.  It's most likely the formula, since dairy is such a common allergen, so starting today we're trying a new formula.  But it could also be one of his other foods, since at the time of his scope in November he wasn't eating much other than apples, grapes and sweet potatoes, even though chicken, rice, tuna, and white potatoes were also allowed.  He just hardly ever ate any of those because he was vomiting so much that eating wasn't appealing.

So, for the past 6.5 months, Caleb has been in pain every single time I feed him.  That sure makes me feel like the mom of the year.

So much time wasted.  That's one fifth of his life.  I hate this guessing game.  I hate this disease.  I hate that my little boy has been so sick for so long and we never really knew.

Please, oh, please, just don't tell me that I have to take potato chips away from him.  It would break his sweet little heart.

There is something seriously wrong with my life.

The end.