Tuesday, December 22, 2009

tis the season to be jolly...

It has been a busy few weeks getting ready for the holidays! It is going to be a quiet one at home for the most part, but it is sure to be a memorable one regardless! We are fully aware of how lucky we are to be able to celebrate as a family this year. We have experienced many miracles this past year that have gotten us where we are today.

In Charlie news, he is doing fantastically well! He had his "9 month" check up a couple weeks ago at the pediatrician's. While I was not completely thrilled with how our pediatrician handled our appointment, he did not seem to have any problems with Charlie and his progress thus far! He gained a little more weight and was up to 20 pounds 6 ounces and measured in at 30 inches - though he was throwing such a fit as she tried to measure him, that I am not sure how she was able to get an accurate length! Unfortunately, as a result of our MANY trips to the pediatrician's for flu shots (4 total!) and now synagis shots, Charlie has learned to fear everyone there. He screams and cries as soon as anyone touches him, whether they are actually doing anything to hurt him or not. It is rather upsetting for me to see him so upset, but obviously the appointments are a necessity!

Charlie's walking continues to get better and better. He loves being mobile and no longer likes to be held still! The sippy cup still does not go over very well. He really wants nothing to do with it. As for finger foods, he LOVES his puffs! We have managed to teach him sign language for "more" but he has come to equate that sign with his puffs and asks for his puffs by making the sign. He really does not enjoy anything else that we have given him for finger foods - canned fruit, toast, cooked veggies, pasta. He doesn't seem to understand what to do with them and fights you when you try to put it in his mouth for him. He will learn with time though! Feedings are going fairly well. He has been taking his bottles well every day. He still has good and bad days when it comes to his food though.

He is starting to connect words with objects now. There are a couple toys that he will go and get when you ask them where they are (his sock monkey ornament from Dee and his lion rattle). Some days it seems like he knows "dada" and connects it with Vince - but then there are days like yesterday when he said dada to everything and everyone. He says something that sounds like "kitty" when he sees the cats sometimes. And with the influx of new toys he has received, he has started almost saying "ball" from time to time.

Charlie seems to be a bit mind boggled by everything having to do with the holidays so far! From chopping down the tree and putting it in our house, to gift wrapping and new toys left and right - he is loving every minute overall! Dee even made it possible for Charlie to spend a couple minutes sitting on Santa's lap! She arranged it for us to "crash" the NICU family Christmas breakfast and be first in line to sit on Santa's lap. He seemed a little overwhelmed and only lasted a few seconds before crying out to be taken away from Santa. Dee was happy to console him afterwards though! Grandma and Grandpa D'Angelo have headed to Florida for the holidays, so we celebrated with them a couple weeks ago. Charlie made out with bunches of great new toys and a toy box to store them all in! Now, if we could just teach him to pick up after himself! :-)

Winter has been far more mild around here than is typical, but we have made it out to experience the snow for a couple minutes here and there. Charlie likes to look at it and seems a bit perplexed by it. Once he touches it and gets his hand cold though, he is no longer happy to be out in it. Thinking about him toddling around in it later this season or next year is just amazing - so much to look forward to!

Charlie is his blue sweatsuit that used to belong to daddy!

"I don't know about this guys!!"

Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa D'Angelo

"Choo Choo! Coming through!"
Riding around on his new train from the Hinamans

"I love my new lion from Aunt Sheri!"
P.S. I really can't ride it by myself yet - I just like to pretend!

"Here's my monkey from Aunt Dee!"
(This is the rocking chair my PopPophad made for
me on my first Christmas many many years ago!)

Big Smiles!

Driving Mr Charlie

Showing our SU pride before Daddy headed
out to take his basketball team to the game!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

sad news

We are so sad to report that Briana lost her fight with CDH this morning. We know that they had an amazing team of nurses and doctors and specialists on their side at Crouse, but God had bigger and better plans for Briana with him. We have unfortunately been witness to too many babies being dealt this fate in the past year and we have cried for them all, but this one hits particularly close to home. Angela and Jim came to us over the summer looking for support and guidance and were inspired by Charlie and his brave journey. I wish we could have given them more than just hope. We were so blessed to have had them brought into our lives. Please continue to pray for them. They are amazing people and have been dealt what no parent should ever have to face.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Walking on Sunshine

Our little guy is not so little any more...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Double Digits!

Our little Charlie is 10 months old today! Its hard to believe! Where has the time gone?! He is doing amazingly well and is such a little man! He gets better and better at things every day.

Our Thanksgiving was very nice - an enjoyable time spent with family and friends. Even though it was an "off" day for his schedule, he was still a very happy baby all day and evening. He loves having people around to show off for!

We were finally approved for our Synagis shots to protect him against RSV this winter. Thankfully they approved us for 5 injections, so we should be good for the entire season. We went on Monday to get the first injection. Because the medication is based on weight, he required more medicine that could be given in one shot. (He weighed in at 20 pounds even!) So the poor baby needed an injection in each leg. And to make it worse, after four flu shots in less than two months, he has learned to be afraid and started crying hysterically as soon as I laid him down. Luckily daddy will be able to come with us next time!

After his appointment Monday morning we went over to visit with Dee and she watched Charlie for a few hours while I did some holiday and grocery shopping. When I returned she had given him a sock monkey ornament off her Christmas tree. He loves it! When you ask him where his monkey is, he looks around until he finds it and goes and picks it up. Such a smart little boy!!

He has been moving around more and more lately too. He cruises along the couch and between his toys with no problem. Earlier this week he started taking a few shaky steps on his own. He gets better and better at it every day.

He has also progressed from making random noises to definitely trying to communicate more logically now. He is saying something, we just can't figure it out. He keeps saying what sounds like "hiya" over and over. And just now as I was pointing at his hand and saying no as he was trying to grab the laptop, he started pointing at me and yelling something back. We are in trouble!

We are going to cut down our Christmas tree tomorrow, so we are sure that he will be in awe of all that goes along with that! We are really excited for this holiday season and everything just seems that much sweeter and more special this year. We know how blessed we are and we truly appreciate every facet of each experience we have.

We do think often of all the families missing their sweet babies and how hard this time of the year must be for them. Know that you are always in our thoughts and prayers. And please, continue to pray for Baby Briana and the Hayes family. Briana was born at Crouse early Wednesday morning and was put on ECMO a few hours later. She had a very stable day yesterday and is in very good hands, but still needs all the prayers we can spare.

Remember to count your blessings and enjoy the little things this time of the year brings! Don't get caught up in all the chaos and stress! Its just not worth it!

"Come on guys! Lets eat!"

"I'm ready for some turkey!!"

Eman and Charlie happened to bring the same pajamas
to Nana's house on Thanksgiving! Kodak moment!

"I gotcha Chester!"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Another CDH Baby on the Way!

Please say a prayer for the Hayes family as they are admitted to Crouse Hospital tonight and prepare for their induction. Hopefully Briana Emily will come into this world as easily and stress free as possible!

Angela and Jim contacted us after seeing our story on the news in July for the Letters for CDH project. They had just received their CDH diagnosis and were happy to find a personal connection with CDH close by. They have had a special place in our hearts since then as we know only too well what they are going through right now. They are in the best of hands though!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

"It isn't what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart." - anonymous

This year we are thankful for:

our journey over the past year. It has made us stronger, better people and we would not change a single second of it.

our families who have been there for us physically, emotionally, and spiritually through all our trials and triumphs – whether they were across town or across the country.

our friends who always looked out for us and knew when we needed them next to us and when we needed our space to breathe.

having a home to call our own. Even when fur balls can be found in the corners and dirty dishes in the sink, it is ours and is perfect in every way.

the ability to downsize to one income without suffering. We are lucky to have everything that we do.

all of the new people we have met and grown close with over the past year. Our family has grown exponentially and we would not be where we are without each of them.

all of the CDH families whom we have crossed paths with in one way or another. We hope that we have provided an inspiration for you as you have for us.

our camera that is always close at hand that has allowed us to document every moment of our lives. Being able to relive moments time and time again through pictures is such a blessing.

all of our blog followers, especially those who still check in with us now that life is so wonderfully boring. We have always been able to feel your love and support across the web.

our faith in God and all that is good in the world. We have been shown that blessings exist in every moment whether you see them at that time and place or not.

our love for each other – 11 years in the making - that has grown more than we ever thought possible and continues to grow with each passing day.

every month, week, minute, and breath that we have spent with our amazing miracle of a son, Charlie. We never knew we could love this deeply and are so incredibly blessed to have him in our lives.

For all these things and countless more, we are so grateful this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Shout Out to my Buddy, Baby C in NC

My daddy says: SU is going to kick diaper tonight.

My mommy says: don't hold you breath; SU has been known to disappoint in the past.

I say: put your game face on Carter! Basketball season has begun! :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

movin' right along...

The only way I can sum up Charlie over the past couple of weeks is that he moves - and he moves a lot! He has taken very well to crawling and is a champion at it. We had to buy a new "gate" to keep him confined to one area in our living room so that (A) he wouldn't hurt himself and (B) we might actually be able to walk away for a couple minutes in an attempt to accomplish something - even if it is just using the bathroom! :-) He doesn't seem to mind being confined. He actually likes the boundaries it seems. I think he feels a sense of ownership over the area.

We also bought him a new stand up toy because he is a pro at pulling himself up to standing now. It is a super interactive Leap Frog toy that plays all kinds of music and sounds and "teaches" counting, ABC's, shapes, colors, etc. He really loves it! We got it because he kept trying to pull himself up on his bouncer so that he could play with the toys on it. Unfortunately, by its nature as a bouncer, it is not the most secure thing for a wobbly baby to hold onto.

His two top teeth have popped through now - one more than the other. They seemed to bother him a little more than the bottom ones, but it was a fairly brief period of discomfort. Also, it is a little difficult to tell what the cause of his discomfort is these days with all the shots he has been enduring. At this point he has had both his seasonal flu shots and one of his H1N1 shots. He gets the second H1N1 next week and his next set of regular shots at his "9 month" appointment next month.

We are still at a standstill with the Synagis shots to protect him against the RSV. Vince talked to BCBS last Friday and they told him that they have not denied it for him, they are just waiting for a recommendation from a cardiologist or pulmonologist - neither of which he has. So, Dr Bode - our NICU savior - wrote a letter letting them know what a serious situation getting RSV could be even though he looks healthy now. Hopefully that will persuade them to approve him and approve him for shots through the entire season. We have heard that they are bring pretty stingy with how many shots they are allowing as well. So say a little prayer that we get good news on that front soon.

Charlie is in a good eating pattern right now. We still have our ups and downs, but right now we are up. He does not love vegetables, but we have found that if we mix them with a little bit of apple sauce he takes them more readily. Now we are working on decreasing the amount of apple sauce so that maybe he will come to like the vegetables for what they are! :-) We have avoided any dairy up until this point because of our concerns that he might have inherited Vince's allergy. But last week we decided to give yogurt a try and it went over really well. No signs of any allergic reaction and he loves it! We are very excited about that! He loves the organic puffs and we tried the Gerber cheese puff type things which he also enjoyed. Those are the only finger foods he will try though. We have been attempting pieces of banana, canned peaches, cooked carrots, ditalini pasta... He wants nothing to do with any of it - won't even put it in his mouth. We just keep trying though. He will figure it out eventually!

Overall, Charlie is happy, healthy, and just a complete joy to spend my days with. Vince and I are doing well too - have had all our shots and have managed to keep ourselves healthy so far! We love this time of the year and are looking forward to the holidays and all the new things Charlie will get to experience!

"Man, this thing makes my hands too cold!! Brr!!"

"How can it fit this whole cheese puff in
my mouth without mom noticing??"

"Yogurt?! Why didn't you guys let me have this before?!"

"Look ma, no hands!"

Charlie decided to turn his crib rails into a chew toy, so we had to rig this up for the time being in order to protect the crib and Charlie!

Charlie tends to hoard pacifiers lately. One is never quite enough! There is a fourth one somewhere. He is probably lying on it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Go Yankees!

Sorry Baby C, but I have to go with my girl, Baby K, on this one!
Plus, I am a New Yorker! :-)

And see Ms Kate, I am not a giant!!
I still fit in my Yankees outfit you got me!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Just Monkey-ing Around

It's hard to believe that October has come and gone and that Charlie will be 9 months old tomorrow! Christmas is right around the corner - not that I am trying to rush it at all! There is much I would like to accomplish before then!

I am enjoying being a stay-at-home mom more than I thought I would. As I have mentioned, I was always the first one to say that I could never imagine staying home with a child all day long - that I would never be able to handle it. But circumstances being what they are, demanded that I do just that. It is better than I expected by far. While I still get stir crazy (in part from staying out of the public eye day after day to avoid germs), it is manageable. And I have so many people in my life who make sure I am okay and step in when I need them. I am very blessed. As I sat rocking Charlie in my arms for his nap this morning (not a common practice, by any means - but nice from time to time), I realized that there is nothing that can compare with the time I am getting with him right now. I cannot imagine being anywhere else.

In Charlie news, he is doing well right now! He has just a bit of a runny nose, but we are thinking it is due to teething because there are no other symptoms. One of his front teeth just barely popped through a couple days ago and the other looks very close. He has woken up at night a couple times in the past few days which is very unlike him, so we think his teeth are causing some discomfort.

So far he has received his first seasonal flu shot and his first H1N1 shot. Our pediatrician has decided to wait a full two weeks between each shot, so he will go for his second seasonal flu shot this Friday and his second H1N1 two weeks after that. We are still waiting on approval for the Synagis vaccines (to protect against RSV). I talked to the coordinator at the ped's office last week and she was having some trouble with the paperwork required by our insurance (BCBS). They have very specific requirements for whom they allow to get the vaccines and Charlie is too healthy to fit into any of their categories. While this is obviously a good thing, we would like him to remain healthy and protecting him against RSV is very important for achieving that. So, we are giving our office another couple of days to try and sort it out and then we may make ourselves more of a force in getting it done.

Feedings are on the up swing again. He has stopped fighting us every step of the way for the time being. We had been waiting a full week between introducing new foods, but we have stepped it up to every four days now. We want to allow him to experience as many new flavors as possible in hopes of building a repertoire of things he enjoys as he gets older. He is not a lover of vegetables. We have gotten him to readily eat carrots only if they are mixed with some applesauce. Green beans went okay, but he usually will not finish them and they have to have something mixed with them. We are going to add some protein and some barley to his Super Porridge this month, so we will see how that goes. He LOVES his organic puffs! I don't think he has any sense of how many he eats and would just keep going and going if we let him!

We had a good Halloween. By upstate New York standards, the weather was fairly nice - - no snow or wind chills to contend with! Our nephew comes over every year to go trick-or-treating around our neighborhood, so Charlie got dressed up and came walking around with us! He was nice and toasty in his monkey suit, but was rather confused by the entire thing. Being out walking around at night with oddly dressed people milling around was a brand new experience for him! He seemed in awe of it all. Emanuel dressed up as Michael Jackson and was quite the hit! He did a little show on the front porch before we left. Enjoy the pics!

"I don't know who thought this would be fun guys!
I think you're crazy!"

Just beat it! Beat it!

Charlie is SOOO not into this whole thing!

Charlie gave us a hard time with dinner last night,
so we gave up and let him have some fun. It was bath night anyways! :-)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Angel Andrew

We are so sad to share that baby Andrew Weston Hobbs passed away at 5:35 this past evening. He had faced more challenges and waged more battles than most in his almost one month of life. Please say a prayer for the Hobbs family tonight, as we cannot begin to imagine how devastated they must be.

I pray for the day when we no longer shed tears of sadness for babies' lives cut short by this monster. It is just so not fair.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Life is good...

Its been a busy couple of weeks enjoying the fall weather, getting ready for winter, and dealing with the hubbub of daily life! Charlie is moving around better and better everyday. He has fallen in love with Chloe and thankfully she is a good dog who puts up with him trying to crawl all over her and getting so excited that he just bangs her in the head over and over! He has also managed to get his fair share of fistfuls of fur from the cats. They have also been very well behaved and deal with Charlie very well. Some days they are braver than others, but we have not had any problems with them.

We went to see Dr Ratner for our third surgery follow-up since we have been home. We love him and are always glad to get his take on Charlie's progress. We started with a chest x-ray over at the hospital and thankfully they did not have to use the same torture device that they used last time. We had a different radiologist who doesn't necessarily like to use it and Charlie is able to sit up on his own. So Daddy just held his arms up and they were able to get the shots that they needed.

Dr Ratner said that everything looks great. His left lung has pretty much filled out the entire space and will continue to develop from here. His diaphragm also still looks secure. This was the first time that Dr Ratner actually spelled out any specifics about reherniation. He said that the real concern is for the first year (that is when they see most reherniations occur) and that they usually continue to monitor for up to the first five years just to ensure that there are no problems due to the size of his repair. He didn't seem to expect there to be any problems though. He is pleased with Charlie's growth and thinks we are doing great! We go back in January for another checkup and probably in April for another chest x-ray and checkup.

His reflux has been good (KNOCK ON WOOD) with no increases in his reglan at all and no increases in his zantac since July. There are some concerns for using the reglan for extended periods of time, so we are trying him off of it and seeing if he really needs it. To try and balance that out, they increased his zantac dose to 0.8mls 3x a day (though he usually only ends up getting it twice because he sleeps so well at night). We have been doing this for a few days now and so far, so good!

Charlie's feedings (KNOCK ON WOOD) have been really good again lately. He finishes his big bowl of cereal and fruits or veggies and cries for more! We still have some texture issues - he gags on anything chunky or somewhat solid - but they also seem to be getting a little better. Over the weekend he started eating the organic puffs (something like Cheerios for babies) fairly successfully. Before he would put it in his mouth, but start gagging as soon as it was on his tongue for more than a second or two. We can only give him one at a time or else he chases them all over his tray trying to get them all at once, but he does well with them!

The sippy cup is another story all together! We tried to start introducing it a couple weeks ago. We used a Nuk cup and it went ok. He did pick it up and try sucking on it, but was not hugely successful. We tried the hard plastic sippy cup we had and he just chewed on it - so much so that he actually left little teeth marks in it. The more we offered it to him, the shorter his tolerance for it. We tried a Nuby sippy cup the past couple of days with no success. It has gotten to the point where he throws an outright tantrum when we give him the sippy cup. So we will go Charlie's pace as usual and wait for him to be ready. A little patience goes a long way with our little man!

Hopefully you enjoy our pictures! We did a little fall photo shoot for ourselves last week. Charlie wasn't in a smiley mood, but I think they are nice regardless!

family photo at the apple orchard

Eman posing on the pumpkins with fritter crumbs all over his face :-)

One of our super nurses, Nancy, came over for a visit last week. She had gone to Disney with her family a while back and brought Charlie a souvenir! He was the only one who got a souvenir from her trip, so he is very lucky! And he of course looks super cute with his ears on! A true Mouseketeer!

Charlie picking out his first pumpkin!
He wanted all the dirty ones of course!

Friday, October 9, 2009

movin' and shakin'

If I have learned anything over the past 8 months of my life, I have learned that Charlie does things in his own time - as slowly or as quickly as he pleases! In the past week or so he has decided that he needs to move and he needs to move now! He is mastering crawling in quick little bursts, though he does have a hard time once he is off his play mat and on the hardwood floor - not quite as much traction there! And he has also become quite the pro at pulling himself up to the couch and shuffling back and forth a little while holding on. He is quite the daredevil and even lets go for a split second here and there. Chloe and the cats are no longer safe and he has managed to grab quite a few handfuls of fur the past few days. Luckily no one has retaliated!

He LOVES the Baby Einstein Numbers Nursery DVD. He can be throwing a complete fit, but will settle immediately as soon as we hit play! I feel a little bit guilty about it, but I keep telling myself it is educational - numbers, vocabulary, moral lessons... Who ever though it up is a genius! We have tried some of the other Baby Einsteins, but he wont watch them. He knows what he likes! There is a little girl who at one point holds up two orange halves and says, "Two oranges!" with a big smile on her face. Charlie is in love with her and giggles every time this part is on!

He is clapping and making all sorts of sounds. I have not caught on to him associating any of the sounds with things yet, but he might be close. He still loves bouncing in his bouncer seat. The bouncer is his favorite place to watch his Baby Einstein. He gets all excited while watching and bounces like crazy! Today he was trying to master clapping and bouncing at the same time, but he is not that coordinated! :-)

He has been struggling with his food the past couple weeks. He had been doing great with his cereal and every fruit or veggie we introduced. Then he started not taking his evening meal and we blamed it on him being too tired. But then he started giving us a hard time at every meal - crying with his lips locked tight. If we do manage to get something in his mouth when he is like this, he wont swallow it and will start gagging as it sits there on his tongue. His bottles are still going well, but the food has become a frustration. ((Knock on wood)) The past couple of days have been better, but not as good as it was. We have an arsenal of tricks for getting him to take the food - including turning on his DVD. He goes into such a happy place trance that he will usually open his mouth automatically without any coercion as he watches.

Charlie got his seasonal flu shot last week and will have the second one the first week in November. I think we are leaning towards getting him vaccinated for the H1N1 when it comes out as well. I don't think there is one right answer, we are just trying to figure out what is best for him. We are still waiting to hear if he has been approved for the RSV shots. We weren't going to start it until November anyways since it seems most people have only been approved for 5 shots. This way he will be covered through March which tends to be the hardest part of the RSV season. Hopefully we will get that lined up soon! I am being very hopeful and keeping my fingers crossed that he might even get approved to have it administered at home instead of having to go into the office for it every month! I am not holding my breath though! :-)

We have videos to post, but they are still on the camera, so they will have to be added later! Something to look forward to! You will just have to settle for pictures for now!

I finally manages to catch a picture of his two little treasures!
And that would be carrots all over his face.
When feedings don't go well, it usually means a bigger mess!

"Mom, I don't know why you think I am going to
bother Chester! Besides, he loves attention from me!"

Oh those blue eyes are going to break someone's heart someday!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Angel Vincent Serna

Please pray for the Serna family who lost their sweet baby Vincent to CDH yesterday. He was a warrior to the end.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Check with your Pharmacist!!

My sister-in-law just called - she is a pharmacist - and let me know that there has been a recall on Ranitidine (the generic form of Zantac - real Zantac is fine!). This is the medication that Charlie is on, so we will be getting a new bottle from a lot number that is not affected my the recall. They did not give her a reason for why is was being recalled, just that it was as a precaution, but call your pharmacist and make sure you are not affected by the recall or get new meds if you are! Thanks Sheri!! :-)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Visiting Policy

Now that cold and flu season are upon us, we will be being extra careful with Charlie to make sure that we do all we can to keep him healthy. His lungs are obviously still recovering and developing and we do not want anything to interfere with that! Vince and I are getting our flu shots tomorrow and Charlie will be getting his the next day. Once the H1N1 vaccine is available we will also be getting that shot. We obviously recommend that everyone follows the advice being given to get the seasonal flu shot that is available now and possibly the H1N1 if it becomes available to the mass public. Doing all you can to keep yourself healthy should be important to you and it benefits everyone else as well!

After much discussion between Vince and I, we have decided that Charlie will be staying out of the public eye until spring time. We never brought him out to many places anyways, but he will have to live without the trips to Target that he has come to love! No malls, grocery stores, or restaurants for him! When it comes to social gatherings at people's homes we will make that call then as to what is best for Charlie. There are too many factors to consider to make one sweeping statement about what will be best.

As for visitors, we do not want to cut off Charlie's time with everyone and we trust that our friends and family who love Charlie so dearly will not do anything to put him in danger. If you are sick, think you might be getting sick, have been around people who are sick - please stay away. If you are planning on visiting after being out where you may be in contact with many germs, please bring a change of clothes. (We always change our clothes after being out at the grocery store, Walmart, church, etc and Vince always changes when he gets home from work before touching Charlie.) When you get to the house, please wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you come in (even if you are just coming from your own house) and sanitize or wash them occasionally while interacting with Charlie. We don't like to be rude or demanding, so please don't make us put our foot down because we have to do what is best for Charlie.

Hopefully by being overly cautious we will avoid any complications down the road. We are looking forward to a quiet, uneventful next few months! In all honesty, this is not much more than what anyone with a healthy baby should be doing! Its just good practice for keeping people in good health in general! Thank you everyone for being understanding and adhering to our standards! :-)

"Watch out Daddy! I am going to drool on your face!!"

"Hi there big guy! My name is Charlie too! Pretty cool, huh??"
from our visit with Charlie's great grandparents
in Saratoga Springs two weekends ago

The family who lives up the street from us let us borrow some of
their Baby Einstein DVD collection. Charlie was rather mesmerized!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Nothing much to report

There is not much new going on in Charlie-land. He seems to be extra sleepy lately - anothergrowth spurt?? He is so big now! He sits up with no problem by himself and in the past couple of days has mastered how to get himself into a sitting position without our help. He is trying with all his might to pull himself up on the couch and the rail of his crib. We did not realize how good he was getting at this until the other night when I went to peak in at him to see if he was sleeping and he was on his knees looking out into the room. Needless to say, we lowered the mattress all the way down that night! He is really really close to crawling. He has done what looks like crawling a couple of times, but he doesn't quite have it down yet. Any day now though! Time to start the baby proofing!!

His evening feeding has been rough the past few days. He has just been getting too sleepy and then wants nothing to do with cereal and veggies. So, we are brainstorming how to rearrange his schedule so that he is more pleasant at this meal. We are dreading the time change in a couple weeks and what impact that will have on Charlie! He has been doing well with the foods we have introduced so far with the exception of green beans. I don't know if I didn't make them right or what, but they are kind of chunky in texture and he just gags every time he gets them in his mouth. We tried a few different times with the same reaction, so I think we are going to forget about them for now. His cereal is brown rice and oatmeal now and he has had sweet potatoes, banana, and avocado and enjoys them all.

He LOVES the cats and Chloe! He starts to giggle every time they get close to him and reaches out to grab them. Stormy loves him right back because loves to be loved! Chester is a little more reserved, but doesn't seem to mind Charlie too much. And Chloe just goes with the flow. She doesn't go out of her way to pay attention to Charlie, but she doesn't mind him either. He was beating on her nose the other day and she just took it, so I think they will be good friends. Maybe she will even share her comfy bed with him some day!

We go for our regular seasonal flu shots next week. Hopefully all goes well with that. We still do not know for certain what to do about the H1N1. I want to talk to our pediatrician about it again and try and get more of an explanation about his stance on it. We will see! Other than that we are enjoying the fall weather! This is one of the best times of year to live in upstate New York!!

Mmm... Avocado
Can you see the sleepy glazed look in his eyes? :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

7 months and all caught up!

Charlie had his "6 month" appointment last Thursday and things went really well! He weighed in at 18 lbs 3 oz and measured 28.5 inches. This put him at the 50th percentile for weight (remember that he started at the 5th when we came home!) and the 90th percentile for height!! The nurses and Dr Dracker are all very pleased with the progress he has made, as are we obviously! He got his 6 month shots, which he was not very happy about, but was really good otherwise! We go back for his flu shot at the end of the month. Dr Dracker also wants him to get the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available, but we have heard mixed reports about what the recommendation is. I wish that there was one recommendation that everyone followed so that I am not left second guessing what we should do, but it seems like everyone takes their own interpretation of what is best. I was talking to Dee about it last night and she is going to do some investigating for us though, so we will see!

One of his little teeth on the bottom popped through last week. The one next to it is so close that I am sure it will make its appearance in the next day or so! He is eating really well. He seems to have fallen into a routine where he only eats 4 times a day, which makes me a little nervous, but he is eating a really good amount. We added oatmeal into his brown rice cereal this week with no problems and have mastered sweet potatoes and bananas now. We tried avocado for the first time last night and it seemed to go over well, though it does look a little gross! We have also let him start practicing with the sippy cup. He doesn't always succceed, but it gives him something to do while we are eating dinner! We tried those Gerber Finger foods (the puffs that dissolve), but he seems to just gag as it sits on his tongue dissolving. It is good practice to get used to though I guess!

Charlie is doing a great job sitting up. I sit him up on his floor mat with some toys and he just chills there and plays to his heart's content! He is able to maneuver himself around to get what he wants without a problem. If he falls over he can't manage to get himself back to sitting up quite yet, but I am sure he will get there! He really would like to be mobile. He gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth, but hasn't figured out the coordination yet. He is particularly fond of doing this when he wakes up from his naps, but usually ends up rocking himself right into the side of the crib or his music box and bonking his head - not something he particularly enjoys! :-) He keeps doing it though, so I guess it can't hurt that bad!

We made the switch over to Charlie sleeping in his crib at night. Up until now he has been in the pack and play in our room over night, but last week we decided it was time for the move. He is still sleeping really well and with the exception of one night, has continued sleeping for his usual 10 to 12 hours straight through! As you may have seen in older pictures, we used to have Charlie's pacifier taped to a rolled up cloth diaper. This was a trick we learned in the NICU that helped him keep the pacifier in his mouth or put it back in for himself. A couple weeks ago he started pulling the pacifier off the diaper roll, but still loves to cuddle with the taped up cloth diaper. It has become his teddy bear/security blanket, I guess! Luckily he doesn't seem to mind when I swap it out for a clean one, so that it good!

Charlie is really just getting so big and learning so much every day! I keep finding myself getting all teary eyed looking at him because he is just so amazing! Time flies when you're having fun!!

"Hi Mom! Just popping in to say hello!"

"I am a Super Star!"

"What's so funny? All the cool kids suck their paci like this!"

"I don't know why you guys make me use this thing. You holding the bottle for me is much more efficient."

"Pinned ya! I told ya you wouldn't beat me Teddy Bear!"

"What?! There is someone out there who doesn't think I am the cutest 7 month old ever?? Blasphemy!"