Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fun with Our Phones Monday #1

Okay so I realize it's now officially Wednesday (although since I haven't gone to bed yet it's still technically Tuesday in my mind!) but since it was my birthday and we wanted to have fun evening hubby took Monday night off and well, I forgot, lol...

Anyways, I first saw this link-up last week via some bloggers I recently started following and decided I wanted to start participating in a weekly post again since it's been awhile and well, I'm always taking photos of Jay at least throughout the week if not other random stuff we see while out and about =)

 Showing off his Robot jammies I bought him from work and of course he's wearing his bib as a cape - I call these his "Super Jay" pics, lol...

Since Jay now has a pair of jammies for every day of the week I've been letting him pick out which ones he wants to wear but putting them all in front of him and whichever one he grabs first is his selection. We've been doing this since he was a newborn, giving him options and letting him "pick" - I think it's good for him and gives him a little bit of independence and lets him express his personality.

I went in to check on him before we went to bed and found him laying asleep like this in his crib! I'd say he looks quite comfy!

 Last Thursday I was over at my parent's house, hanging out after work as I had to pick Jay up anyway and my sis's boyfriend decided he was going to make pizza for dinner and invited me and hubby to join as the pizza was quite huge! We hung around for a bit too and I snapped some cute photos of Jay. The 1st one he's got his eyes closed cuz of the flash (oops!) and the 2nd one he just looks mischievous!

 My birthday ice cream cake from our family cookout we had at our house on Sunday! 2 candles on 1 side, 7 on the other (cuz we don't own 27 candles, lol...)

Jay snuggling with his daddy after all our birthday guests left and his sugar high from the bit of ice cream cake he had finally wearing off (kiddo was literally bouncing all over the place, lol...)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

We have an escape artist!

That's right folks - Jay has become a little escape artist!

This afternoon I decided to leave him parked in his walker in the living room (it doesn't move on carpet) with some toys and PBS Kids shows on while I went around the corner to get myself ready to go for the day. I came back after brushing my teeth and checked on him and he was sitting there, watching TV and playing with toys, so I went to go get dressed.

I wasn't even gone 5 minutes, finishing up what I needed to do and went to go get him to get him ready to go as well (and change his diaper as it was quite stinky!).

I come around the corner and see the seat of the walker lifted upward like it often is when we pick Jay up out of it... but yeah... Jay wasn't in his walker!

I looked around and there he is, on his tummy on the floor next to his walker, playing with the toys he had dropped!

I have NO CLUE how he got out of his walker! You'd think if he fell I would have heard a thump and obviously the walker wasn't tipped over... craziness!

Guess this means he's getting put in the pack n play from now on when I get ready - no more unsupervised play in his walker, even if it's only for a minute!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A weekend of news

This weekend has been full of new things for us.

He was beating the table too, like "Give. Me. Pancakes!"
Friday evening I had to work and didn't get home til a little before 11pm as the store was pretty trashed and there was only 2 of us to pick everything up. We always go out for dinner on Fridays but since it was so late we opted for something 24hrs and instead of our usual choice of Denny's for late-night diners, we went to IHOP as I had a coupon for a free entree. It was time for Jay to eat his bedtime bottle too so I picked him up out of his carrier and started feeding him as we waited for our food, but he was too excited about sitting up at the table - we decided to try letting him sit in the restaurant's high chair and well, he seemed to enjoy it!

Saturday they didn't need me to go into work, so after putting away all the groceries we bought at Sam's Club that afternoon (which I LOVE shopping there!) I played with Jay in his bedroom for a bit while daddy went into work. I've had a container of my old blocks in there that I brought over awhile back from my parent's house, however I hadn't really went through and thought they were all 1 type of block but turns out I had some soft plastic ones and some wooden block blocks in there too! I cleaned em off and gave em to Jay and he seemed to enjoy them! He also sat up with no support and played with them for a good 15-20 minutes too! He did that on Friday as well and seems to be getting better at sitting by himself!

He also pushed the empty diaper box in the photo below across the room, while "military crawling" the whole way - he's getting sooooo close to actually crawling, as he's got the stance down but then resorts to the military crawl where he drags/pushes himself instead, lol...

This photo also cracks me up as it's got him and Tiger having a stare down too (and no, she wasn't getting ready to pounce - she had been sitting/laying down watching him and got up to stretch, lol...)

Oddly though, bedtime the last few nights have been rough - you can tell he's tired as he's rubbing his eyes and getting all fussy, but he DOESN'T want to go to bed. I'll hold him and try to get him to snuggle and calm down... read to him, sing to him... and he's fine til you put him the crib and then he freaks out! It's been 3 nights in a row now - unless he's completely passed out when you put him down, he doesn't want to go to bed and we have to just let him cry it out til he wears himself out enough to fall asleep. I hate letting him cry it out, but nothing else seems to work! I think part of it is the separation anxiety but still... mommy always comes for him when he needs me and he knows that deep down.

Jay's room, part 2

Since making my post the other day, showing off Jay's room, I've added a few things over the weekend!

Saturday night I was reading through one of the parenting magazines we get and saw an add for these really cute framed name signs for your child's door or room. After picking one out online with hubby, it dawned on me - why I don't just make one myself? I mean, I did go to college for graphic design and do it somewhat professionally... duh!

So I sat down for an hour or so, made one up, sent it off to our local Fed-Ex/Kinko's to be printed on stronger paper, picked it up Sunday afternoon and got a few things at Walmart to put it together (ie: a dollrod and shoestring) and here's the finished project on his door:

I love it!

I was also looking up dresser knobs online the other day too, looking up mushroom-like ones when I came across a photo on DeviantArt of someone who made their own Mario ones and duh! Just buy white knobs and paint them myself! So I picked some up Sunday while I was at Walmart and voila:

My creative way to let them dry, lol...

He also has a small reading lamp in his room next to the rocker so I can read him some books before bed and I decided to get around to painting that like a mushroom too:


And I also decided to make a vine going up into the clouds like there are in certain Mario levels that we can use to measure his growth over the years!

I remember being a kid and getting all excited about putting a new mark on a certain spot of the wall to show how I'd grown every so often and I'm sure Jay will love it too!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jay's room

Just realized I've talked before about how we're doing Jay's room all Mario Bros (since our kid's are most likely going to be into video games and well, it'd just be awesome and hopefully be something he'll appreciate even when he's a teenager if we're still in this house then) but I've never posted any of the pictures!!

First stop, is the changing table area:

You can see he has a stuffed Eeyore, Yoshi, and Tails (from Sonic) on the actual table and some fun stuff on the shelves above - Mario & Luigi figures, Jedi Build-A-Bear, Yoda & Darth Vader mini bobbleheads, an Elmo lunchbox (which he picked out), a mini Clifford, and some keepsake stuff. I did those paintings weeks before he was born.

Here's the outside wall:

As you can see, doing World 1-1 from the original Super Mario Bros is still a work in progress (I honestly never have enough freetime away from Jay to work on the painting it seems), but I have the outline of the pipes, boxes and even the castle done. We hung red curtains to contrast the blue walls and that's his sound machine on the nightstand (and Tiger stretched out, looking out the window). His closet is to the right around the corner on the wall next to the changing table.

Another shot of the outside wall:

You can see more of the painting a little bit as well as part of his crib.

And the 4th wall:

This is where the painting starts and has his bookshelf with books and toys and the rocker with a little table and lamp.

Friday, August 19, 2011

True Life: I'm a [Mommy] Blogger

A few weeks ago I linked-up my general/catch-all blog for the "True Life: I'm a General Blogger" link-up that Tara and Mrs Monologues were hosting... this week they're hosting a "True Life: I'm a Mommy Blogger" link-up!

For all the newbies from the link-up, welcome!

I'm Rachel, we live in northern Illinois and I am a new mommy to 6 and a half month old Jaydran Alexander (we call him Jay for short), born on February 4, 2011.

August 14, at his 1st county fair!
My son's name is quite unique (our last name is Johnson, so we felt he needed a unique 1st name since there's a million and one Johnsons in our town!) and if you do a Google search you'll find that he's the only one with that name too! The story behind it is that my husband came up with it. He writes sci-fi as a hobby (and hopefully professionally someday!) and when he played baseball as a kid, one of the boys on his team had a sister named Jaydra. Liking the unique-ness of the name, he decided to make Jaydran the male version of it and use it for his writings. And yes, it's also the name of his World of Warcraft character, which caused me to initially veto the name but it grew on me and it seems to fit Jay as well, as he's quite an awesome little boy!

So this is my mommy/personal blog, as I chronicled our journey of trying to have a baby, my pregnancy and our adventures of being a family!

Having dealt with quite a bit so far (gestational diabetes, "failure to thrive" and eating troubles, breastfeeding woes, hydrophrenosis and a UVJ Obstruction requiring eventual surgery), I hope that by sharing my experiences and struggles I might be able to help other moms experiencing what I have and give them answers and insight to things they might be wondering (I know I tend to Google a lot when I'm looking for an answer or someone who's been there, done that and can offer insight on what I can expect).

Anyways, Jay is a special little guy who's had quite a rough start in life.

He LOVES Elmo!
Before he was born they were concerned about his femurs being a little a on the short side and his left kidney appeared to be enlarged. Due to a lack of growth between weeks 30 and 37 they decided to induce me at 37weeks, 5 days so he was a few weeks early. To be honest, labor was pretty easy - took just under 9 hours and was natural (but with a dose of dilauted to help with the back labor) and I honestly didn't feel much of anything until the last few hours, not to mention I went from 7-10cm dilated in about 10 minutes and the last half hour just flew by (you can read his full birth story here). His kidney was still enlarged though so they diagnosed him with hydronephrosis and had us start seeing a local urologist.

We also tried breastfeeding for the 1st few weeks however instead of gaining weight he lost weight! Then he gained a little back but not much so the doctor had us spend a week in the hospital while we tried to figure out why kiddo wasn't eating enough to grow. I found out at my 6 week post-partum check-up that they failed to mention to us that there was a knot in the umbilical cord, which would explain his eating problem - he got used to eating just enough to survive and his stomach never got big enough to take in more! Ever since the week in the hospital with him hooked up to a feeding tube to stretch his stomach out he's been quite the eater now, eating several full bottles a day, 2 servings of rice cereal for breakfast and veggies and fruits for dinner (he hates peas though, lol...).

He had a little too much fun
with his peaches!
As far as his enlarged kidney... the local urologist sent us up to the children's hospital in Madison for further testing where we learned that the blockage is at his bladder and not up at the kidney like we initially thought but that there is no reflux which is good. They referred us to a pediatric urology specialist at the children's hospital up there who has us coming up there every 3-4 months to check on it, saying that it appears to be a UVJ ureter obstruction. He'll most likely need to have surgery by the time he's 2 to correct it though, as his left ureter tube is pinched off at the bladder and they'll go in, take it off, snip it and reattach it to the bladder.

The idea of my baby having surgery so young is something I try not to think about, as I don't want to worry about it until it's time, however the specialist was very comforting and made me feel confident about it, saying he's done it plenty of times and has always been successful so far. I am not too thrilled though that he'll have a surgery scar though. Not gonna lie, with his week long stay in the hospital and all the testing they've done on his kidney, it's been really hard having to watch them do all this stuff to him... fortunately he's so little he probably won't remember it when he's older, although it wouldn't surprise me if it's what causes his monthly night terrors (he's had 1 a month since he was born, where he freaks out in his sleep for several minutes and won't wake up out of it).

Chillin' with daddy!
My hubby works a lot (he has both a day job as an inventory & purchasing manager for a Verizon authorized retailer and works 3rd shift as a part-time UPS supervisor - we're hoping he goes full-time there soon though so he can quit the day job) leaving me to take care of Jay most of the time during the week. I do work part-time though at The Children's Place which is pretty nice as I get 25% off Jay's clothes (and sometimes 40% when they do employee appreciation weekends!) on top of whatever the sale price is - he is quite the well dressed little guy! Fortunately my parents don't live too far from us so my mom babysits Jay when hubby and I both have work so we don't we have to worry about daycare.We also have a domestic Egyptian Mau kitty named Tiger and she will be 3 years old in October and we just bought and moved into our first house back in April! Needless to say, it's been quite a year for us!

Showing off his shades!
For now, Jay is our only child and we've discussed it and decided that we'll most likely wait until after his kidney/ureter issue is resolved before we decide to try for another (so probably when he's close to 3). Ultimately we'd like to have at least 1 more kid and maybe a 3rd (I love Jay despite my lack of experience with little boys however I would like to have a little girl too).

Jay is quite the well-behaved baby though, only really crying when his mouth hurts (due to teething - he currently has both his bottom front teeth) or he's hungry or overly tired - he behaves very well in public! He loves Elmo and anything with Elmo's face on it, he enjoys staring at pictures and playing in his baby walker. He is also VERY curious about electronics such as smartphones, computers, the remote control and the PS3 controllers! He doesn't crawl yet, but is very close (he drags/scoots himself across the floor instead!) and he does like to roll EVERYWHERE! His bedroom is being painted to look like world 1-1 from Super Mario Bros and he has various Mario Bros and Star Wars collectibles throughout his room!

 And some more pictures of Baby Jay:
One of his 1st pics, 6lbs 7oz, 19inches long & a full head of hair!
One of my favorite pics - Jay & daddy
He was soooo little!!
My poor baby with his feeding tube in,
pumping his tummy full of milkies
Being all cute during our move from
a 1 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom house!
Our little family (minus Tiger our kitty!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's getting colder...

I've been wanting to get Jay some sleepers for this fall and winter but I figured I'd wait until it got colder out so I could get a size he'd be in for at least a little while...

...well, despite it being August, the nighttime temperatures have been in the 50s and 60s so letting Jay sleep in just a onesie is a bit out of the question. I was letting him sleep with some lightweight sweatpants on that he has, however him never being one for his legs to be covered would find a way to get them hiked up to his thighs so when I'd check on him before going to bed myself his legs would be all cold and have goosebumps (as were his arms). We let him sleep with a heavier blankie last night which he kept on him for the most part (the lightweight swaddle blanket we used in his crib he would always kick off easily) but I'd rather not do that as the thought of SIDS terrifies me.

So I gave in and bought him some sleepers from work the other night, a month or so earlier than I was hoping.

Dinosaurs, Robots, Football & other sports,
and Bears (with bear faces on the feet!)
He's getting so big!!
I picked out these 4 for him for now, thinking I'll get him heavier ones when it gets closer to winter. Got a great deal on them too - they're on sale for $8 (originally 2 for $24) but my discount gave me $2 off each so I got 4 for $24 - $6 a piece! Not a bad deal, considering the 0-3 month ones I bought him last spring at Walmart were $5 each. While he still fits in most 3-6 month clothing from work still (our stuff runs big on him I've noticed), I bought these 6-9 month hoping he'll be able to get a couple of months out of them at least - they seem to be fitting him okay though so maybe we're ready to move into his 6-9 month clothes...

I was showing them to my mom when I came home from work last night and Jay seemed to really like the bear one as he started grabbing at that one out of the 4 and seemed really excited over it so I let him wear that one first tonight!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cuteness: Overload!
Modeling his adorable bear beanie
mommy got him from work!
Today I had a long day at work (basically a 9hr shift when normally the shifts are 4-5hrs) since I was on call prior to my actual shift tonight and they needed me to come in for it. This meant I dropped Jay off at my mom's a little after 1pm and I didn't get to see him again until around 11pm when I got home tonight.

As usual, my mom hung around for a little bit before leaving, chatting and filling me in on what I missed with Jay during the day and when daddy fed him last, etc. When she left he was standing on my lap, holding hands with me to keep him from losing his balance and falling over onto the floor.

And then the cuteness happened.

He leaned forward and wrapped his arms around my neck like he was giving me a hug!

And then, if that wasn't cute enough, he pulled back and then leaned towards my face again with his mouth open like he was wanting to give me one of his "open mouth" kisses* on the cheek, which of course I let him!

Then he pulled back and smiled at me - how cute?!

I guess he really missed his mommy today!

*Jay hasn't quite mastered giving kisses yet so he gives you 1 of 2: 1 is where he just puts his lips to your face or wherever for a moment, and the other (his latest version of a kissy) is the open mouth kiss where he'll put his open mouth to your face and give you a kiss that way, lol... at least he's got the idea down!

Separation Anxiety

I'm glad Jay's bonded to me, my mom and hubby, but this whole separation anxiety milestone he's reached... I'm not a fan of it!

He started getting upset the other day anytime I would leave his eyesight for more than a split second (like to go around the corner to put his empty bottle on the kitchen counter or a 30sec trip to the bathroom to empty my bladder).

Well the other day he REALLY freaked out.

I had to get ready for work so at first I put him in his crib while I went to do my pre-shower stuff (ie: brush my teeth). He didn't like that and started fussing after a moment or so. Now usually when I take my shower I've been putting him in his pack n play lately since he's gotten too big for his bouncy seat (which we moved to our storage room this week - how sad!), but since he didn't seem to like being in the crib I figured I'd take a quick one and let him play in his walker in the kitchen since he seems to like playing in there anyway and the main area of the kitchen is confined enough that he couldn't squeeze the walker anywhere unsafe, plus he can't really get into too much yet as far as the drawers and cabinets go.

So I put him in it, explain I'm just going to take a shower and will be out shortly and for him to play.

I no sooner step in the shower and he starts freaking out in the kitchen on the otherside of the bathroom wall (you would think by now that he would establish that when the water in the bathroom is running and mommy is nowhere to be seen that that means mommy will be back soon after the water stops). I hurry and wash my hair and shave part of my legs, although his screaming and crying is getting worse - it almost sounded like he was having a panic attack as he had cried and screamed so hard he was gasping for breathe. If you didn't know better you would think he was being brutally tortured in the next room, he was freaking out so bad.

So after spending only 5-10 minutes in the shower I quickly hop out to check on him, fearing the worst that maybe he flipped the walker over or something - he hadn't moved from the spot I sat him in and as soon as he saw me he was all smilies like his freak out never happened!

My mom noticed the other day that he started flipping out at her house when she was letting him play in his Johnny Jump-Up there and went out his eyesight for a moment to put something in the kitchen.

Ugh... and I hear this is just the beginning too, with it getting much much worse.

I didn't have time to take a shower today before work, but I think if hubby's not around I'm going to have to bring his walker into the bathroom with me or set it in the hallway outside with the door open (the hallway there is carpeted and his walker doesn't move on carpet) so he can see I didn't disappear.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Jay's 1st fair

Where we live, there are 2 big fairs that happen every year. And while we technically live in one county, we usually go to the other nearby one just because it's bigger and has more to see and do.

Originally we had planned on going on Friday as I requested off work for it, however around the time hubby got home from work the weather took a turn for the worse and there were tornado warnings going off for nearby counties and it started raining pretty bad. The outlook for Sunday looked clear though so we decided we'd try to go then since neither of us had to work that day either.
Jay petting a lamb with daddy at the fair
This morning we slept in a little bit as a family and Jay did 2 amusing things - first, after I farted in bed with him snuggled up next to me he looked up at me with this disapproving look as if he was like "Mommy... that's gross." Then later, after I had gotten myself ready to go I walked into the living room to retrieve Jay from his daddy to get him ready to go - my husband was sitting on the couch but I didn't see Jay so I simply asked "Where's Jay at?" As if trying to get my attention, I notice him in his walker on the other side of the room, raising his hand like "Here I am, mommy!" It was pretty cute!

Anyways, we got out to the fairgrounds at about 2pm and put Jay in his stroller like a "big boy" (he's got about 5lbs til he's outgrown his carrier so we've been transitioning him out of being in there all the time when we're on the go). He didn't know what to make of the fairgrounds! He was looking around at everything, mouth wide open like "whoa!!" We met up with my parents and took him to the petting zoo and wee animal farm. He didn't know what to make of all the animals he had only seen in his books or on TV before. The petting zoo had mostly lambs with 1 shy goat, but we did get close to a lamb for him to pet! I got my regular fair food - a baked potato, a corn on the cob from the boy scouts, and ice cream from the Milk Maids. We let Jay try some of our ice cream - mine had 1 scoop of mint chocolate chip and 1 scoop of cookie dough. Jay *really* seemed to like my mint ice cream so we let him have several scoops.

Poor kiddo though - he was so in awe of everything and all the people that he was fighting his nap all afternoon (he usually falls asleep between 130 and 2pm and naps from 45min to several hours!). About 430 he passed out... but only for 20 minutes! He did take a nice 3 hour nap after his dinner though and crashed for bed a few hours later.

All in all I'd say it was a good 1st trip to the fair for Jay!

On a side note, we're trying to teach him to say "Mmm Mmm" "Nom nom" or "Yum yum" to mean he wants food, as he does make similar noises while he's eating his food - it's pretty cute!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oh Eeyore...

So remember last summer when I posted about how I bought baby's 1st stuffed animal at Kohl's - a super soft Eeyore plushie??

And then remember a few weeks ago when I posted about how I took Jay to see the Winnie the Pooh movie?

Well despite him sleeping through most of the movie, he was awake for the 1st and last 10 minutes, catching the majority of the storyline with Eeyore and his missing tail.

Now that Eeyore stuffed animal has been sitting on his diaper changing table ever since he was born, but it wasn't until about 2 days after I took him to the movie that he noticed it and really took an interest to it - it was like he saw it and was like "oh hey, I remember seeing this on a big screen!" He's been attached to Eeyore whenever we change him ever since! It's pretty amusing!

6 month check-up

Today we had Jay's 6 month check-up and it went VERY well!

He weighs a whopping 16lbs 14oz - just under 17lbs! - and is 26.5 inches long! Last time, at his 4 month check-up he was 13lbs even and 25 inches long, so he hasn't gained much length-wise but he did gain almost 4lbs in 2 months! This puts him in the 50th percentile for weight for 6 month boys and 50th percentile for his weight for his length, meaning despite a rough start our baby boy is now average for his age!

So exciting!

His next check-up isn't until his 9 month one inNovember (aside from his trip up to Madison in September to meet with the pediatric urology specialist). The doctor said physically everything looks good and told us to keep using the Johnny Jump-Up (he said he wasn't fond of walkers) and to make sure he's getting plenty of tummy time since he'll probably start crawling soon. He didn't say too much about his bottom front teeth already coming through, other than the average age for teeth is 6-9 months so he's a little ahead there. He did say he's got great muscle control in his neck though! He said to keep him on formula and the solids until a year old...

Little Man (with daddy) greeting mommy after
a night of work
...which means we can put the sippy cup on hold, as Jay doesn't seem to really be taking to it much either. The 1st day he at an ounce or so and the 2nd day he ate 2oz but he hasn't been interested in it since. I think he gets too frustrated with it as he can't drink it as fast as he can a bottle. Guess we'll just keep trying from time to time though!

We've finally gotten through all the veggies and fruits. Jay doesn't seem to like green beans but he'll still eat them - the only solid we've tried that he won't eat is peas, lol...

We also tried giving him a bath in the "big tub" as he's definitely outgrown his baby tub (we put him in it and all the water goes out, lol...). He LOVED the big tub! He hasn't played with any of his bath toys yet, as he's too busy splashing in the water while we clean him, lol... bathtime has been much more enjoyable for all of us since moving him to the big-tub as he would scream and cry in his baby tub for no apparent reason! But not anymore - no more crying at bathtime!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

6 Months!
Today Jay is 6 months old.

Half a year old.

It really doesn't seem like it's been that long! Since having him, it seems like the months have just flown by - honestly, where did June and July go?! They both flew by so fast and now it's already August!

Since my last post, he now has 2 - TWO! - teeth! That's right, Jay now has both of his bottom front teeth now and I'm pretty sure he's working on a few more, the way he's been gnawing on everything lately!

His 6-month check-up isn't til next week but I'm positive he has to weigh AT LEAST 15lbs, if not more - he's getting quite heavy for me to carry him in his carrier!
Rockin' his shades
Today we're going to try giving him a sippy-cup and see how he does with that for dinner, along with his usual fruits and veggies.

The other night I was sorting and storing his old clothes that he no longer fits in... looking at the newborn size stuff he wore those 1st 2-3 months... they're SOOO tiny compared to how big he is now!

I also got the rest of our photos developed so we're all caught up on our life in pictures. I filled an entire 200-photo album of Jay's first 5 and half months! Ooops! Oh well!

Happy half birthday, Jay!!! Mommy & Daddy love you!