Friday, December 21, 2012

Ten Months.

Double digits, buddy! Nolan is an entirely new baby this month. I can't believe how much he has learned. His personality is developing and I love watching the different ways he interacts with people. He is so affectionate with me. He will sit and cuddle with me and run his fingers through my hair for as long as I'll let him. Then the second he is in his daddy's arms, he starts playfully smacking his hands and yelling and laughing. It is absolutely hilarious.

We have a crawler. He was so close for so long, then all of a sudden on December 1 he just started doing it! He was a little wobbly at first, but he got the hang of it fast. We practiced by putting my phone on the ground and letting him crawl towards it (he loves our phones!) It took him a few extra days to figure out he could crawl on the tile in the kitchen just as well as the carpet, but he did. He started sitting up from a crawling position on December 9. On December 11 I went into his room in the morning to find him sitting up in his crib for the first time.  Now we can't keep the kid in one spot for longer than about twenty seconds. He just wants to move, move, move!

His top right tooth finally came through on December 9. That one was stubborn! His gum was swollen for weeks and although he didn't act like it really bothered him, he would squirm if I tried to lightly touch it with my finger. He is up to five teeth total now (two on top and three on bottom.) His smile is so precious with his little baby teeth. I just love it.

He seems heavier when we lift him, but he is still fitting in his 6-9 month onesies and 9-12 month clothes. We did have to move him to size 4 diapers because the size 3 diapers were leaking. He seems to be right on track for his age. He's never really had baby rolls but what little ones he did have are quickly disappearing now that he is moving around so much. That makes me sad but he is healthy and that's all that matters to me.

He is eating better. He still doesn't like chunks in his pureed food. He throws a major gagging fit if I try to give him anything like that. He is starting to really like solids though. Some of his favorites are string cheese and rice (not together.) One of his first times crawling was actually across the room to me so he could have a bite of my string cheese. He ended up eating almost the whole thing on his own. He is getting pretty good at drinking out of a sippy cup. He understands that if he lifts it to his mouth and drinks, he'll get water. He doesn't understand that if he bangs it on the wall or chair, the water will spill out. Well...maybe he does and he just thinks that is funny. I don't really know.

He is starting to grasp more complex ideas. He started clapping on November 18. At first we'd have to prompt him for a little bit before he'd do it. Now he'll clap for himself when he does something he's proud of. The other day I was helping him walk across the room and when we got to the couch he sat down. I said "Yay!" and he started clapping all on his own. He knows it is a happy gesture. He always smiles really big when he does it too.

He's "talking" all the time. So far the most obvious things he says are "Mama", "Dada", and "Baba" but the only word he really associates correctly is "Mama." He calls for me in the morning when he wakes up and in the afternoon when he is done with his nap. I'm pretty sure he is working on "Hi" and "Yeah" too. We'll ask him a question and he kind of nods and goes "Aaah!" but it is starting to sound more and more like "Yeah" every day. When he is really excited, he smiles and makes this adorable gasping sound like he just can't even believe how happy he is. It is pretty much the most adorable thing ever.

Oh, and speaking of adorable...he winks. It is with both of his eyes, but he is winking. He sighs, purses his lips, and closes both of his eyes really tight for just a second. My mom said I did the same thing when I was a baby. I hope he never learns to wink with one eye because I want to see him do it exactly how he does forever.

Little boy, you continue to amaze me. You're my best little buddy and there is nobody I'd rather spend my days with. You will be a toddler soon...I'm savoring every last second that you are my literal baby. You and I both know you'll always be my baby in my mind. I love you so much.




Friday, November 23, 2012

Nine Months.

Well, the little one has been a part of this great big world for longer than I was pregnant with him. Possible? It must be. How? I have no idea.

We took him in for his checkup on November 14. He is up to 19.8 pounds and 28.6 inches long. Both put him right around the 50th percentile for his age. His head...well...it is large. The circumference is 18.4 inches which bumps him up to the 90th percentile. I laughed when we found this out because his daddy's pet name for him is "Big Head" (in the most loving way possible, of course!) and I always respond with "he doesn't have a big head!" But I guess he does. His parents do too. It happens and he rocks it.

He wears 6-9 month onesies and 9-12 month pajamas and pants. Some of his 12 month clothes are still a little bit big on him, but they will fit him in the next week or two. He has a couple of 18 month shirts that I put him in sometimes because they seem comfortable, but we can't leave the house in them yet. He has started soaking through his size 3 diapers at night, so we moved him to size 4 while he sleeps. He still wears size 3 during the day though because they aren't as bulky under his clothes.

He is a mover! He is still rolling all over the place. He isn't crawling yet, but he will get up on his hands and knees and rock back and forth. When he wants to go somewhere, he drops to his belly and rolls. I still can't decide if he is going to crawl or not (as if it is up to me to decide...) He loves to "walk." If we hold our hands out to him, he starts laughing hysterically, grabs our fingers, and pulls himself up. He takes the most adorable jerky steps and will haul his little butt back and forth across the room. I really need to get it on video before he gets more steady on his feet. I never want to forget the proud look he gets on his face or the wobbly way he picks his feet up way too high.

He is up to four official teeth. He has three on the bottom and one finally came through on the top left on 10/22. His second one on top has been trying to pop through for weeks and it just won't! It is stubborn. He looks too cute for words with his random mouth of teeth. I just love it.

His hair is getting pretty long. I've actually been debating taking him in to get it trimmed because the sides are so poofy and hang over his ears. I always wanted to grow it out into a shag, but I'm thinking I might need to just cave here. Maybe for his first birthday.

We've been introducing new foods, and boy is he picky! He loves crunchy things like puffs and purees (only in baby food form), but nothing in between. I've tried giving him noodles, different sauces, soups, vegetables, lasagna...he gags and growls and yells at me like I'm feeding him Windex. The worst was when I tried to give him wild berry applesauce (I know, how dare I?!) He cried because he hated it so bad. I talked with his doctor about it and he told me to just stick with what he likes and try things with more texture every once in a while. Hopefully one day he'll just love it!

He is doing pretty well in his crib. He has started fussing almost every morning right around 3:00. This is the time I typically get home from work and I have a bad habit of going in to cuddle him for a while before I go to sleep. I think he's come to expect it. I feel torn because I don't want to create poor sleep habits, but at the same time I don't want to ever regret a moment that I didn't cuddle him or hold him when he wanted me. I realize that when I hug him at night, it is just as much for me as it is for him and I openly admit that. I think we just miss each other when I'm gone in the evenings.

His laugh is evolving. His baby giggle is gone. He started doing what sounded like a really forced cackle laugh instead. That has gone too and now he sighs and squeals like a donkey when he laughs. Each one was amazing, but this newest one has got to be my favorite. It is yet another thing I really need to get on video before he stops.

He's a talker! He has stopped saying "Mama" which I'm sad about, but it was his first word so I'm trying not to care too much. Now he says a lot of "Dada" and "Gaga" and "Baba." He screams and growls when he is angry. He cries to show emotion and not just when he needs something. He is becoming a little boy.

He is still the most amazing baby I've ever known. I was walking with him through the grocery store a couple of weeks ago and a lady stopped me to tell me he was the most beautiful baby she'd ever seen and she had 12 grandkids! I am even more in love with him than I was last month, believe it or not. He's the best. Plain and simple.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Eight Months.

Well...I pretty much no longer have a baby. I have a tiny little boy. We have had such an awesome month together and I swear he is more and more fun every day. He was sick for most of the month which sucked. It started out as a common cold. We took him in to get checked out by his doctor and found that he had a sinus infection and infections in both ears. They put him on Amoxicillan and told us to give him Tylenol and Ibuprofen as needed. I felt like I was constantly drugging him or suctioning his nose. He was so congested and miserable. After a week of antibiotics, he still didn't feel better. We went back to see his doctor and he was given a more powerful antibiotic. Tomorrow will be his last day of that (day 10) and he finally seems to be feeling better.

He is so amazing. Even when he was sick and miserable, he was not fussy. He laugh was all scratchy and his smile was under a swollen, red nose...but it was there. He is such a trooper! I'm just so thankful that he is finally back to normal and can start having real fun again!

My mom bought him some stacking cups to play with a couple of weeks ago. He loves them! He will pick two up and bang them together over and over and over again. He will also take one and lift it to his mouth as if he is pretending to drink out of it. This was hilarious to me because he hadn't used a sippy cup (correctly) before so he was just going off of what he'd seen us do with cups. We introduced a sippy cup again last week and he is slowly getting the hang of it.

As far as food goes, he is a whole new baby. We started really introducing solids on Sunday, October 14. We went to Olive Garden with my dad and Peggy and Nolan was sitting in the high chair. I broke off a piece of my breadstick and put it near his mouth to see what he would do. He took a bite, chewed it, swallowed it, and went back for more like he'd been doing it his entire life! That night when we got home, I gave him some sweet potato puff cereal with his dinner and he started pinching them between his pointer finger and thumb and lifting them to his mouth. He has also been drinking water out of a cup with no lid (with assistance.)

He typically wakes up between 8:00 and 9:00 each morning. We go downstairs and sit right down for breakfast. Right now that usually consists of yogurt and maybe a little oatmeal. Then he sits on the floor and plays with toys for about an hour or until he starts acting hungry again. At that time, he gets a bottle and takes a one-two hour nap. The rest of our day is spent playing it by ear. We run errands, meet up with friends, play, snooze a little bit, cuddle, and hang out. He isn't scheduled much again until around 7:30-8:00 in the evening when it is time for dinner. He eats a fruit or vegetable puree with either rice cereal or oatmeal mixed in. Then we do his bath, bottle, and bed.

On Monday, October 20, we moved him to his crib for the first time. Up until then, he'd been sleeping in his Rock and Play next to my side of the bed. We noticed he seemed to be outgrowing it and looked uncomfortable. The first night without him in our room was really hard on me. I cried and cried and cried. All I could think about was how he was going to wake up alone for the first time in his life and have no idea where he was at. We hadn't spent much time in his nursery before that night (besides the occasional rocking and book-reading.) He hadn't spent any time in his crib.

He did just fine! He cried a little bit, but not nearly as much as I did. The second night was quite a bit harder, but I think he was overly tired. He ended up crying for a lot longer than I was comfortable with and I wasn't able to calm him down in the way I wanted. I caved and brought him to our room for the night. Last night, I was at work and Chris decided to try the crib again. Nolan did awesome! He didn't cry going down and slept all the way through until almost 9:00 this morning. He even woke up and played with his toys in his crib until Chris got up with him instead of crying for someone to come get him. He is in his crib again tonight so hopefully he does just as well.

He is getting very good at sitting on his own and isn't as wobbly as he used to be. He hardly ever loses his balance. He started grabbing onto my hands and pulling himself to standing about a week ago. He couldn't take steps (while holding our hands) until two days ago, but now he is so good at it! He will hold our hands and walk clear across the room. It is so adorable. He isn't making any progress in the crawling department and I'm starting to think he isn't going to. He rolls like a pro and uses that to get where he wants to go. I think he'll use that as his means for getting around until he starts walking...eek!

He talks all the time. So far, his regular babble has consisted of lots of Mamas, Dadas, and Babas. He throws in a few other sounds every now and then. If I am not giving him the attention he wants, he will yell "Maa! Maa!" over and over until I look at him, then he will start laughing. I don't know if he fully realizes he is calling me yet, but it is adorable nonetheless.

We went to the zoo for the first time yesterday. He seemed to be more into the people watching than the animal watching. He had a blast though! He did have quite the conversation with a friendly gorilla through a really thick window. Nolan really wanted to make sure he knew about everything else going on in that crazy zoo.

He is still in size 3 diapers and he is kind of in between clothing sizes at the moment. His 6-9 month clothes are getting snug while his 9-12 month clothes are still too big. I'm not worried though because the kid is growing like a weed and will be outgrowing his 12 month clothes before I know it.

He laughs at everything. Seriously. He has this deep belly laugh where he has to stop and catch his breath because he is so out of control. His armpits are super ticklish and nothing makes him crack up quite like being tickled. However, he also laughs if he is sitting in his swing and I look over at him and smile. There isn't much that doesn't entertain him. He is so well-natured and genuinely fun to be around.

He is 2/3 of a year old and I literally can't believe it. I know I will be writing his nine month post before I know it...

Nolan, you and your daddy are the loves of my life. Thank you for being mine.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Seven Months.

What a month it has been! Nolan has had so many firsts this month that I'm going to have to try hard to remember them all. He has been a busy little nugget.

On September 6, we took our first family vacation. I'll write more on the trip in another post but it was Nolan's first time on a plane, his first major road trip, his first time sleeping in a bed other than his own, his first time to the ocean, his first time off-roading...the list goes on and on. He was awesome! He is such a great traveler.

While we were on our trip, his third tooth popped through. This one came in on the bottom on the right side next to his middle two. He's growing a whole row of bottom teeth with no top tooth in sight! We noticed this tooth on the evening of September 8 so I'm pretty sure it came in that day.

On September 7, he started sitting up completely unassisted. He had been sitting with help for a while, but all of a sudden he could do it on his own! He was so proud of himself and couldn't stop smiling.

On September 11, he woke up at around 3:00 in the morning and started babbling. I was laying in bed listening to him and all of a sudden he started saying "mama! mama!" I was half asleep so I kind of wrote it off and didn't think much about it. Then the next morning, he was laying on our bed and started saying it again. It is the absolute cutest thing I have ever heard. I was able to get a pretty good video of it and I think I have watched it about 7,000 times since then.

He is officially mobile. He is not crawling yet but the kid can roll. He gets where he wants to go by rolling like it is nobody's business. Gone are the days that I can lay him down and expect him to be in the same spot for longer than three seconds.

He is wearing 6-9 month clothes, but he is going to have to move up sizes pretty soon. This is the first time he has been on the large side for his clothes. He is in size 3 diapers and will continue to be for a while. He eats two solid meals a day. He usually has oatmeal or rice cereal with fruit in it for breakfast and rice cereal with a fruit or vegetable for dinner. He drinks about 40 ounces of formula a day as well. He holds his own bottle but lately he has been getting distracted while drinking so it gets pretty messy. He would much rather look at what is going on around him than focus on getting the milk in his mouth.

He is outgrowing his infant car seat and we will have to get a bigger one for him soon. It is so hard to carry him around in it. I have tried putting him in a high chair at restaurants and in the front part of the shopping cart, but he is still pretty wobbly. This in-between stage is rough but I'm not ready for him to be big yet so I can deal with it a little while longer.

He is an amazing baby. He hardly fusses and only actually cries one or two times a week if he is in pain from teething or really hungry. He laughs at everything. I use the nose-sucker (what are those things called?) and he cracks up. When we took off on the airplane, he laughed. I look at him and he laughs. He has the most awesome sense of humor and watching it develop has been so much fun.

He is beautiful. I can't take him anywhere without people stopping me so they can look at him. I feel weird saying that because I feel like I'm bragging, but he is the gorgeous one...not me. So I can brag about him, right? He gets compliments on his eyes and his cheeks all the time. Today, I was walking out to my car after getting lunch with my mom, and people were yelling from across the restaurant "beautiful baby!" I'm not even kidding. I'm sure it helps that he flirts with and smiles at every single person he sees.

I was going to do a "Nolan Loves, Nolan Doesn't Like" post, but there isn't much he doesn't like. He is so relaxed about life. He loves baths, eating, playing, people, phones, rolling, toys, Paisley, getting his nose suctioned, flying on a plane, riding in a car, going for walks, being outside, being inside...he loves it all. I guess he still isn't very fond of peas...so, yeah.

We are past the half-way mark and well on our way to his first birthday. I get choked up just thinking about it. It is going by so fast but this is the most incredible thing I have ever done. I love being his mommy.

First time sitting up!
Cheese!

I'm blessed.






Saturday, August 18, 2012

Six Months.

I swear, this month has been the most fun yet. Nolan is learning so much...he is like a new baby every day. He is drinking five 6oz bottles a day, along with a fruit or vegetable and rice cereal at dinner time. His doctor said we can start him on two solid meals a day, so we'll probably give that a try this weekend. He is wearing mostly 3-6 month clothes right now but it is about time to switch him to 6-9 month. He is in size 3 diapers. His second tooth should cut through any day!

His growth is right on track. At his doctor's appointment on Wednesday, he weighed 16.6 pounds and was 26.6 inches in length. That puts him right around the 50th percentile for both. I keep waiting for him to get some baby rolls, but he hasn't really yet.

He is gorgeous. I try to not to say things like that because I'm his mother and obviously I am going to think he is cute. He really is, though. People tell me all the time that I'm going to have my hands full with him when he gets older. I need to start working on my kung-fu skills to fight the ladies off!

He recognizes his mommy and daddy and is starting to show his affection and love for us. To love me, he strokes my hair or arm as he eats and stares into my eyes. He'll also grab the sides of my face and pull mine to his so he can give me a slobbery kiss. With Chris, he is more playful. He will wrap his entire body around Chris' shoulder and laugh if Chris even talks to him. I swear, Chris can get that child to laugh at the drop of a hat in a way that I couldn't if I tried for hours. He acts totally different with each of us. It is so sweet to see him start to show us how much he loves us and see how our relationships with him are developing.

He is such a laid-back baby. We get comments all the time on how calm he is. He is fine going anywhere and hanging out with anyone. He hardly ever fusses in public. He is content just about anywhere as long as someone talks to him every once in a while. He is very social and loves to just be with people.

My absolute favorite time of day is first thing in the morning. He loves mornings so much. He doesn't cry when he wakes up. He'll just make little noises until I wake up and look over at him. I'm always greeted with a giant smile and flailing arms. He kicks and squeals and smiles and laughs until I pick him up and hug him. Then he gets all sweet and snuggley until I give him his bottle. I freaking love it. I don't care how tired I am from working until 3:00 in the morning...I wouldn't trade all of the sleep in the world for those times with my boy.

Baby Bird: You, aside from your daddy, are my best friend. You make my days so much more incredible than I ever thought possible. I never knew I could love someone so much...yet every single day I love you more than the day before. You are more than I deserve. I promise to do everything in my power to make sure you never go a second without knowing how cherished you are. You are safe and so loved, little one. Thank you for loving me back.

Nolan Loves:
  • Jumping. All. The. Time. In his jumper, on our laps, on the floor...doesn't matter!
  • Paisley. If she is in the room, nothing else matters.
  • Orange Veggies. Carrots...sweet potatoes...squash...
  • Mommy's Singing. It is one of the few things I do that will make him smile and laugh every time!
  • Rolling. Only from his tummy to his back...he has a way to get out of tummy time!
  • People. Bird is social like his daddy.
  • Electronics. I swear, every single picture we have of him is goofy. He makes this super curious face and grabs for the camera or cell phone...
Nolan Hates:
  • Being Hungry. There is no warning! He goes from 0 to 60 in about two seconds flat.
  • Being Ignored. If he wants to talk, he wants to talk. There is no way around it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chomp.

Nolan cut his first tooth yesterday. He grabbed my finger and shoved it in his mouth. I wasn't paying much attention since he normally does this a million and a half times a day to gum me to death. This time, I felt something sharp poking through his little gum. Sure enough, little buddy has a tiny sliver of a tooth! Where is the time going?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Five Months.

He's almost at half a year, people. I know every mom says this, but I seriously have the coolest kid. I wake up every morning to his sweet face smiling at me. He has stopped crying when he wakes up. He'll just stare at me and wiggle around in his little rocker until I roll over and look at him. As soon as we make eye contact, he'll start kicking his legs, swinging his arms, smiling, and squealing. I love that he gets that happy just at the thought of getting out of bed and starting his day with me. It melts my heart...

He is my best little buddy. When he was younger, I wanted to spend time with him because he was my baby and I was his mommy and I loved him so much. Now, I want to spend time with him for those reasons, but also because he is such a blast to hang out with. We can sit and laugh at each other for hours at a time. Seriously. His sense of humor is developing like mad and the things he thinks are funny just crack me up. He is really ticklish (especially his tummy, his armpits, and his butt...haha!) He still adores Paisley and laughs really hard whenever we help him pet her.

We bought him a jumper a few weeks ago and now that he can touch the ground, he goes crazy in that thing! He can only tolerate it for 15 minutes or so at a time because it has a lot of lights and sounds, but for those 15 minutes he is a jump master. I'll sit on the couch and watch him play. Every once in a while he'll look up at me to see if I'm still watching, smile really big, then go back to jumping away.

He still hates tummy time and screams his little head off whenever I try it with him. I don't know if he is ever going to crawl. He much prefers standing. I think he might skip right to walking...yikes!

We're still giving him solids every night before his bath. So far he's loved everything but peas and pears. He gags when we give him peas and the pears are too sour for him. His favorites are sweet potatoes, green beans, bananas, and carrots. He's showing a major interest in food. We've had a hard time taking him to restaurants lately because he wants to eat what we're eating but can't. He doesn't realize he isn't big enough yet! He'll be fine until the food comes out...then he just yells at us until we finish. We actually had to leave 1/2 way through our lunch at Red Robin a few weeks ago because the little stinker was causing such a fuss and did not want his bottle. He wanted french fries and a chocolate malt, duh!

He's growing like a weed. He's still wearing mainly 3-6 month clothes but wears some 6-9 month depending on the brand. This is the first time in his life that he's worn a larger size than his age (which I know is not unusual...just sad.) He can still fit in size 2 diapers but we have a lot less leaks in size 3.

I really need to try to post more. I know I didn't even do a post with his four month pictures. I want so bad to remember all of the little details in his life but I don't want to miss them while sitting behind a computer either. I will try to do better...for my sake and for his.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Disturbed.

Warning: This post may be very disturbing to some of you. I'd advise those of you closest to Nolan (Mom-I'm directing this at you) to probably skip this post.

About an hour before I left to work tonight, I was overcome with the feeling that Nolan was going to die. Normally I'd be fine to let him play with Chris as I did my hair in makeup for the day, but I kept him wrapped on my chest the entire time. I couldn't put him down. Chris was headed to his parent's house for dinner as I left tor the evening and I kissed Nolan about thirty times before I could put him in his carseat. I left out the front door and the boys went out the back. I felt like throwing up the second I shut the door. I hurried up, got in my car, and sped around to the back of the house before Chris got Nolan in the car. I fought the urge to get out and kiss my baby again, but I wanted to...bad.

I've never felt this way before. I've had the normal new mom fears. I do my research and take the steps needed to be sure he is safe. I worry if he seems sick and I probably overthink a lot of what I do. I'm doing the best that I know how. He isn't sick right now. He is growing and healthy and strong...I have no specific reason to feel the way I did earlier.

Last night I had a dream that I was staying in a large bed and breakfast with my family. I left Nolan with the lady that owned the house as she was baking cookies. She was so sweet and loved him and I felt completely safe with her. I went upstairs to grab something and when I went back down to her, she handed me Nolan's burpcloth. It had been washed and ironed and was on a hanger. His blue sailboat binkie was hanging around the hook of the hanger. She didn't say anything to me.

All of a sudden, I heard Chris screaming my name. He was down another flight of stairs. I dropped the burp cloth and ran down the steps so fast that my feet barely even touched them. I already knew. He was holding Nolan...and he was blue. Chris had his face burried in Nolan's chest and was screaming. I fell to my knees and that's all that I remember. I woke up shortly after that with my hand on Nolan's chest (he's still sleeping next to our bed) and he was smiling up at me.

I have a hard time shaking dreams and feelings like those. I know in my heart that Nolan is safe. There is still that tiny part in the back of my mind that believes that since God works in such strange ways sometimes, maybe I'm being prepared for something horrible. I wish I could get that part of my mind to shut up. The part that says I'm having these feelings so that I stop and give him an extra kiss before I leave for work so that if something happens, that won't be one of my regrets.

I had Chris bring Nolan in to see me at work on his way home from his parent's house tonight. I held him and loved on him and kissed him before they went home. I felt physically sick as Chris drove away with him in the backseat. Right now, I'm going to credit my dream with my horrific feelings. Nolan is just fine. I just haven't felt this way before and felt like I needed to get it out. I'm sorry if this bothered any of my readers...I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow. I just love that boy so much. He is my world right now and I really think I would die if anything were to happen to him.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Four Months.

Okay...so this post is a little late. Nolan turned four months old over a week ago. Life has a tendency to get a little nuts while working 40 hours a week and caring for an infant. He is so worth it though. He is amazing.

He started sleeping through the night a couple of weeks ago. He was waking up at around 3:00 every morning for a bottle, but we switched him to a new formula with rice cereal in it and *BAM*! He slept for eight hours the first night, nine hours the second, and twelve hours from there on out! He's had one or two  nights that he's fussed a little, but for the most part he sleeps all night long. It is so wonderful. I get off work at 3:00 in the morning and I'm still able to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep before we're up for the day. Also, he's stopped crying when he wakes up in the morning. He'll just sort of grunt and turn over in his bed to watch me until I wake up. Chris said that he got up for work the other morning and I was fast asleep but Nolan was wide awake just staring at me with his mouth wide open like "Wake up, Mommy!" He's so funny.

Speaking of rice cereal, we gave him solids for his first time on Father's Day, June 17th. He'd been showing an interest in food for a while and grabbing at our plates, so we figured we'd give it a shot once we got the go ahead from his doctor. Dr. Hawks told us we were clear to start at his appointment on the 14th but we wanted to wait until my night off so Chris and I could both be there for it. The doctor warned us that Nolan would probably only take a bite or two and he'd probably spit most of it out. He said that Nolan wouldn't know what to do with a spoon. Obviously he doesn't know our family because, like us, our kid is a natural born eater. He took his first bite like he'd been eating off a spoon his whole life! He knew exactly what to do with it! He ate a small bowl of cereal that first night and we've given it to him every night but one since then. He's still getting the hang of it and it is a little messy, but mostly because he likes to put his hand in his bowl and play with his dinner. He's starting early.

His four month appointment went really well. He's up to 14 pounds and 3 ounces! He's right in the 50th percentile for his weight. My tall little love is over 25 inches long now which puts him in the 75th percentile for his length. He has such long and skinny legs. He barely has any chub on his entire body! How is he our child? He got his vaccinations and that always breaks my heart. He was staring up at the nurses and smiling and all of a sudden they jabbed these needles in his legs and he started screaming. They ruined his day. I got to run to the rescue though and hug him and make things better which is the only part of the whole thing that I actually enjoy.

He laughs and smiles all the time. He is such a happy baby. The only time he ever cries is if I don't get him a bottle in time and that is my own fault. He's taking between 6 and 9 ounces at a time and has started spacing his bottles out to only 4 or 5 a day. I'm trying to adjust to his new schedule which means I don't always have his meal ready when he wants it. I'm getting the hang of it though.

He has rolled over from belly to back a couple of times and from back to belly once (he was not happy about that one.) He hasn't shown much interest in rolling since then. He'll roll to his side to get a better view of things but he just stops there. He's much more happy if we help him stand up. He can support all of his weight on his little chicken legs and just needs help to balance. He smiles instantly the second he's in a standing position. I really need to get him a jumper.

He's comfortably fitting in 3-6 month clothing and size 2 diapers. We've stopped swaddling him at night because he outgrew the one he had. I didn't want to spend money on a new one and have to worry about him since he started rolling. We tried putting him in wearable blankets for bed a couple of times, but that didn't work out. He hates having his feet covered by blankets. It was okay when he was swaddled because it was tight on his feet, but the wearable blanket really frustrated him. He would wake himself up trying to kick the blanket off his toes, but obviously he couldn't because it was zipped around him. We switched to footed cotton sleepers and he started sleeping through the night again. My strange little love...so particular.

He plays with toys now. I mean, really plays with them. He'll grab at things he likes and stare at them and pass them from hand to hand. His favorite toy is this little crinkly fabric Winnie The Pooh book. I took him to Babies R Us a couple of days ago to get him a highchair and there was a small toy giraffe that was made of the same material. I picked it up and showed it to him and he got the most serious look on his face like "Mommy, I need that...now." I gave it to him and he hugged it, then shoved it in his mouth. He loved it so much! I had to buy it for him. He has had it with him for two days straight. Giraffe buddy is his new best friend. We'll have to come up with a better name for him than that...

Time is flying. I can't believe he is 1/3 of a year old. I had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday at the hospital where he was born. I hadn't been there since the night we took him home. I got so emotional walking through those doors knowing that the last time I did I was pregnant and ready to meet my baby. Now he is here and perfect and I can barely remember life without him. Between Nolan and Chris, I'm one blessed girl. I don't deserve either of them, yet I go home to both every night. I love my life.

I'm still working on getting his four month pictures uploaded and edited. I'll do a photo-dump when I get them done...promise.

Friday, June 8, 2012

There's This Boy.

He has completely and utterly stolen my heart. I don't think about much other than Nolan. Every day he is growing and changing. He is so smart and clever and incredible. He laughs and smiles all the time. He loves life. Watching him discover the world is such a privilege. That sounds cheesy, but honestly it is. I get to watch a brand new person see and experience everything for the first time!

His first laugh was to die for. Chris had just got home from work on 4/27 and we were sitting in the living room together. I'd been tickling Nolan's neck and chest most of the day to try to get him to giggle...he was so close! Finally, out of nowhere, he busted up laughing. Loud, adorable, belly laughs. Cute doesn't even begin to describe it! Chris started recording and we were able to get about a second of the end of the laugh on tape.

There are so many more things that he has learned, but I want to save those for his 4 month post next week (what?!) For now, I wanted to drop in and say how in love I am. Weird, huh?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

5/14/2012

My little buddy.

I should have put my hair under "Nolan Loves" because he is kind of obsessed.

The one smile I captured all day.

He just wanted to talk instead.

Officially as big as Scruffy!

How is this possible?

Three Months.

This post is a couple of days late. I've been pretty busy with work and...work... Anyways, little boy is a quarter of a year old! He is such an amazing baby and I don't have to have a more difficult child to know how blessed I am. He puts himself to sleep every night. He hardly ever cries. He smiles and laughs and hugs and coos like nobody's business.

I miss not being able to be with him all day, every day. He is learning and growing so fast. He has just become enthralled by his toys. This morning he woke up before I was ready to get out of bed so I put a little stuffed elephant in his cradle with him. He went nuts! He gets this hilarious look in his eyes when he is focusing really hard on something. He sort of squints and goes cross eyed and bats at whatever he is playing with. I could watch him for hours.

His hair is getting longer so I can put a little bit of Vaseline in it and spike it into a mohawk. He looks adorable. It never stays up for very long though.

He is still wearing 0-3 month clothes with a couple of 3-6 month items thrown in here and there. We had to switch him to size 2 diapers which I was a little sad about. We have a bunch of size 1 diapers that will now be turned into a diaper cake or something.

He laughed for the first time on April 27 and rolled over for the first time from tummy to back on May 15.

I had a hard time getting him to smile for his 3 month pictures. He is really interested in the camera and whenever I take it out, he stops whatever he is doing and stares at it. When the camera is put away, he basically never stops smiling. He has the most handsome, crooked smile. He won't laugh regularly. I've only been able to get about 5 deep belly laughs out of him. He giggles at the most random things! The first time he really laughed, I was pretending to tickle him. Now he just laughs at me laughing. He kills me.

Now, it is time for Nolan Loves and Nolan Doesn't Like!

Nolan Loves:
  • Clapping. I'll clap his hands together and say "Clap, clap, clap, clap!" If it doesn't get a belly laugh, it at least gets a major smile every single time.
  • Toys. His favorites are his plastic keys and rattles. He loves anything with a ring he can grab onto.
  • Family. He is starting to recognize faces other than ours. He is starting to greet his grandparents with some pretty big smiles.
  • Eating. I am pretty sure it is another growth spurt, but he is up to 7 ounces a feeding.
  • The Swaddle Game. I'd rather it not be a game, but he loves it. Whenever we try to swaddle him at night, he "walks out of it" and grins up at us. It might be time to retire the swaddle.
  • Licking. I call him my little lint licker. He discovered his tongue and it was all downhill from there.
Nolan Doesn't Like:
  • Lotion. I hated it when I was little, too. No big deal.
  • Sleeping In. Once 6:30 rolls around, he is up for the day!
I struggled with the "Doesn't Like" section this time. He is seriously so laid-back. Feed him, hug him, and talk to him...he's happy. How did I get so lucky?


This picture is so sweet that I am choosing to ignore that he's flipping of the camera. You should too.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Deeper Level Of Love.

Today is Mother's Day. It is filled with so many more emotions than I expected. Last year, this day tore my heart out. I was a mother with no baby to hold. I remember driving home from work at 7:00 that morning, watching the sun rise over the mountains, and wishing time would stop. I didn't want the day to continue. I wanted to curl up in a ball and pretend like Mother's Day didn't exist. But it did...and I survived.

This year, I get to drive home from work and give my son a kiss before I crawl in bed. I get to smell his hair and hear his cry when he wakes me up 15 minutes into my slumber for his middle of the night meal. I get to soak in his smile when he realizes I'm home and that I can't wait to pick him up to cuddle. I get to enjoy that private moment that we share every morning around 3:15 as his daddy sleeps next to us, oblivious. I get to kiss his forehead a hundred times over as he stares into my eyes over his bottle. Thankful doesn't even begin to describe it.

I wish I could say my heart was full and healed this Mother's Day, but it is not. It is still broken. It is broken for a woman and her husband that I've never even met. They are in the middle of a hell that I can't imagine. I have followed this woman's blog for a while and I can't stop thinking about her or her sweet babes in heaven. I want to hug her and let her cry and listen to her talk about her babies for as long as she needs to, but I can't. However, there is something I can do to help.

I would like to encourage you to read her story in her own words (warning: it contains extremely heartbreaking material and pictures), but I will share this taken from her fundraising website:

Help the Rasmussen family continue their dream of having a family.

No parent should have to bury their child. Yet on April 24, 2012 Dereck and Becky Rasmussen lost their second baby in less than two years. This fundraiser has been set up to help them continue their dream of building a bigger family.

Dereck and Becky tried to get pregnant for over two years before seeing a positive pregnancy test in July 2010. Liam Maximilian Rasmussen lived to be 26 gestational weeks old. He underwent a very safe fetal surgery on January 3, 2011 in an attempt to repair a neural tube defect and lost his life due to cardiac arrest after the surgery.

The fetal surgery and C-section left Becky at a slightly higher risk for pregnancy complications in the future, but doctors were confident that, if properly monitored, she could still have a healthy baby. Evelynn Augusta Rasmussen developed without complication. Her scheduled C--section date was April 27, 2012. On April 22, Becky's uterus ruptured, putting both Evelynn and herself at risk. Despite quick acting doctors and a well staffed NICU, trauma from the uterine rupture left Evelynn without brain activity and she was taken off life support at just two days old.


The uterine rupture has left Becky and Dereck with very few options to grow their family, and medical expenses are already overwhelming. They're exploring options for surrogacy and adoption at this time, but both options will require more money.

Friends, family, and many who don't even know the Rasmussen's have asked what they can do for the family, as they grieve Evelynn's loss. Why not give financially to their dream of building a family, through adoption or surrogacy, in the future? This fund will go toward medical expenses to help them have the baby they've been trying for.

If anyone deserves to bring a baby home, it is Becky. How much more beautiful of a Mother's Day gift can one give? I wanted to pass on this opportunity to my friends and family. It isn't often that something like this comes along. How incredible would it be for her to come home tonight from choosing flowers for her little girl's burial and see a massive surge in funds bringing her that much closer to having a child to bring home? Please, help me. Pass this on. Share my link, share her link, share this story. Make this a Mother's Day she will be able to look back on and smile through her tears.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the beautiful mothers in this world.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Work.

I came back to work on May 2. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I would rather give birth a thousand times over before going through that first night back again. I hadn't been gone from my boy for longer than an hour or two since he was created and all of a sudden I was leaving him for eleven. That is a long time.

I spent the evening of May 1 cuddling and loving on Nolan like I was never going to see him again. I sobbed through his entire bath thinking about how I wouldn't have the opportunity to bathe him again for five days. The absolute worst part was when I got him out of the tub and wrapped him in a towel. I wanted to spend some time rocking him in his room before putting him to bed so I decided I'd just keep him wrapped up and love on him before getting him dressed and ready for bed. We sat down in the chair with just the dim light from the hall coming into the room. Nolan peeked around his towel and gave me one of the biggest smiles I'd ever seen. He was so happy to be snuggling instead of going straight to bed like he usually does after he bathes. Well...I lost it. I burst into tears. My poor little love's smile instantly turned to a pouty lip and he followed my cue. We sat there crying together for a few minutes. Then I decided he needed to get dressed and go to bed before I depressed him any more.

I spent most of that night hoping he would wake up to eat so I could hold him a little while longer. I couldn't wait to get up with him the next day so I could get in every second possible before leaving to work at 5:00 that evening. Every time he smiled at me, I cried. I felt like I was abandoning him. All I could think about was how he has always had me right there and all of a sudden I was just going to be gone. It wasn't like I could explain to him where I was going. I didn't want him to feel like I didn't care. I didn't want him to need me when I couldn't be there with him. With each smile I saw a baby in love with his mommy. A baby that had no idea that in a few short hours, his mommy was going to leave and she wouldn't be back until he woke up the next morning for breakfast.

I held myself together pretty well until my mom showed up to sit with him until Chris got home (we had less than an hour between our shifts that was not covered that night and our house is on my mom's way home from work so she offered to just come over.) I was sitting on the floor with Nolan and she offered to take him so I could finish getting ready for work. Sobs. I couldn't even get words out of my mouth. Finally I was able to say "I...don't...want...to...leave...him..." Ugh, I really shouldn't be typing this at work...

I got in the shower and piled on eyeliner in hopes that it would keep me from crying more because I wouldn't want it to run down my face. I took a deep breath and went downstairs. I couldn't even look at my baby. I literally had to sneak out the door without telling him goodbye or I would have lost it again. I walked out covering my eyes and saying to my mom "I can't look at him. I can't look at him. I love you. Bye." As soon as I got in my car, I blasted some angry rap music and rolled down my windows. I guess I have a strange way of coping but it worked. I was okay (sad, but okay) by the time I got to work.

The next morning when buddy boy and I got up for the day, he did not want me to put him down. He has never been an overly cuddly baby but that day he clung to me like nothing I've ever seen. I carried him in his Moby wrap for hours and he snuggled up to my chest and gripped onto my shirt like his little life depended on it. If I tried to lay him down for a nap, he screamed. I didn't mind one bit. I carried my little one on my chest the entire freaking day and I loved every second of it.

After my first day back, things got easier. Not easy. Easier. I'm trucking along and getting through it because I realize that being a mommy requires more of me than just loving my baby. It is my responsibility to provide for him and for right now, that means I have to work. I wish it didn't, but that is a sacrafice I am willing to make to be sure that Nolan has everything he needs. I will do anything for him. This includes leaving him with his loving daddy while I sit away from him for eleven hours a night. I miss him but I can do this. For him.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Umm.

I don't know what in the world just happened. I had this conversation about ten minutes ago at the jewelry store while I was getting my wedding ring and the opal I wear for Eden cleaned:

Jeweler: Is opal your birthstone?
Me: No, it is my baby's. (Oh, no...)
Jeweler: Oh, my birthstone is opal too. My birthday is in October.
Me: Oh, that's cool. (Praying this is where the conversation will end. Nope)
Jeweler: When is your baby's birthday?
Me: October 7. (It just came out of my mouth.)
Jeweler: Fun! Boy or girl?
Me: Girl.
Jeweler: What is her name?
Me: Eden.
Jeweler: How old is she?
Me: (Not able to do the math quick enough to figure out how old my Eden really would have been...) 1 year.
Jeweler: That is such a fun age! Is she getting around pretty well?
Me: Yeah, she is all over the place!
Jeweler: Is she at the climbing stage yet?
Me: Yep, she is a wild little one. She is so much fun though.
Jeweler: You just wait.

I smiled and just let the conversation die out from there. So...that was weird. I don't know why I did that. I guess "October 7" seemed like a better answer to "When is your baby's birthday?" than "Oh, she was never born." I suppose I could have filled in the blanks with Nolan's information but it isn't a ring for Nolan...it is for Eden. Oh well.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dear Nolan.


You will never have to earn my love. 
I was created to do so. 
On the day I was born, I began my journey to you. 
My first breath, my first smile, my first steps, my first words...every milestone brought me closer to the day that my heart would be filled with the most pure and unconditional love I have ever known. 
You have brought out a deeper and more intense level of feeling than I knew was possible. 
If I could kiss every hair on your head, I would a million times over. 
I love the good you. 
I love the sad you.
Forever I will love the beautiful and the ugly. 

There is nothing you can do that will change the way I feel for you. 
I will love every ounce of your being until I die, no matter what. 
You are not perfect. 
You never will be. 
You are going to grow and you will fall. You will make mistakes that will hurt you. You will hurt me. 
There will likely come a time that you will turn your back on me. 
You will stretch your wings and stumble clumsily from my arms. 
Whether it takes you one try to soar or thirty, you must know that I will be there. 

You are beautiful. 
You, my love, are so much more than I can take credit for. 
My body housed God's most incredible work. 
How blessed am I that He trusted me with someone so precious? 
Even more so that He chose me to love you the way He loves me. 
This is my promise to you. 
I will do as He requires foremost of me as your mommy. 
Forever. 
For always. 



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Two Months.

Baby bird turned 2 months old yesterday. We've been to the doctor a lot this week so I know he is up to 10 pounds, 9 ounces. He has outgrown most of his newborn clothing and is fitting comfortably in most of his 0-3 month stuff. He is smiling more and more every day. I can't believe how in love with him I am.

As it turns out, he actually had RSV and pneumonia this past week. It started out with a little cough but I could tell he was struggling to breathe. After four trips to the doctor, a chest x-ray, multiple blood tests, and a respiratory test, he was sent home with a breathing treatment to be done every four to six hours. He seems to be feeling so much better today! We waited to take his two month pictures until this morning because he still was not feeling so great yesterday. Close enough, right?



He is becoming so much more alert. He has started to reach up and grab my hair. I get butterflies in my stomach when he wakes up crying at night and as soon as I turn the lamp on and he sees my face, he lights up with a huge smile. He is eating about four ounces ever three or four hours with longer stretches at night. Last night he slept from 9:30-4:00 and didn't wake up again until after 7:00 to eat again. He is an amazing baby. He has fallen right into a bedtime routine. Bath, jammies, breathing treatment, bottle, bed. He puts himself to sleep as soon as he lays down. He doesn't have to be rocked to sleep which I am so thankful for. We get our cuddles in while he eats his last bottle, then he knows it is time for bed. 

I go back to work in just a little over two weeks and the thought of it is killing me. I'm going to miss my little bird so much. He has my heart.

Because I haven't done this in a while:

Nolan Loves:
  • The Swing. He absolutely hated it until just a few days ago and I thought we wasted our money on it. All of a sudden it is so interesting to him. It has a mobile that lights up and he will stare at it and grab at the stars.
  • Paisley. Boy loves his puppy dog! He tries to pet her and will turn his head towards her whenever she is near him. They took a nap together upstairs this morning.
  • Music. He will sit and listen to music for hours. He gets his lets kicking and his arms moving and it looks just like he is dancing. It is hilarious to watch. His favorite song at the moment is "Cameo Lover" by Kimbra. So random.
  • Being Naked. Little one is not very modest.
  • Dark Contrast. We have dark brown stars hanging on our wall behind our couch and he will stare at them all day if we let him. Faces? Boring. Stars? Freaking awesome!
Nolan Doesn't Like:
  • Getting Out Of The Bath. This one explains itself.
  • Going To The Doctor. They are mean there. They prick his heels and take his blood and touch his chest with cold instruments. He is not a fan. He doesn't know it is all for his own good.
  • Mornings. Little boy is not a morning person. He is grumpy every single morning when he wakes up and doesn't chill out until we are out of the bedroom and we've started our day.
  • Socks. Or anything on his feet for that matter. It is amazing if I can even keep them covered with a blanket when it is freezing outside. Thank goodness for footed pajamas.
  • Nasal Aspirator. He doesn't just "not like" it. He hates it with a passion. Sadly, it is another necessary evil like going to the doctor. 
Happy Two Months, sweet boy. You get better and better by the minute. I love you so much.

Easter.

Nolan's first Easter was pretty laid back. I found an adorable Easter outfit for him the week before and he outgrew it by the time the day came. We had to settle for a cute shirt, shorts, and his new bib that was supposed to go with his outfit. He could have worn a paper bag and looked adorable so it was no big deal.

On Saturday night we were able to watch Chris' dad sing at church. It has been a tradition for a few years so it was really fun to be able to bring Nolan with us this year.

We went to our church on Sunday morning and everyone just loved him. He got a little fussy in the middle of the service so I took him to the overflow room where they had monitors set up. We were the only two in there so I got to enjoy some alone time with my boy on that special day. I sang along with the music at the end of the service and Nolan looked up at me with the hugest grin on his face. It is the first time he responded to my singing and it almost brought me to tears! It was such a sweet moment.

After church, we had dinner with my family at my mom's house. We gave him his Easter baskets and just hung out with everyone. He got some new books, arm rattles, binkies, a few cute stuffed animals, a new outfit, some gold and silver coins for his piggy bank, and some new pajamas. It was a nice and relaxing day!




Dedication.

We dedicated Nolan in front of our family and friends on April 1. We started the day with a family barbecue at my dad's house. Everyone brought food to share and took turns loving on Nolan for his special day.

That evening all of our family and a few friends came to show their support at our church. It was wonderful to have all of Nolan's grandparents, aunts, and uncles there (even the honorary ones-some of our best friends.)

Baby boy, you are so loved!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Poor Little One.

My sweet baby is so sick. He came down with a little bit of a cough about four days ago but it was only at night and wasn't bad at all so I didn't think much of it. Well, yesterday he woke up with what sounded like an old smoker's cough. He was screaming and could not seem to catch his breath. I made him an appointment for as early as I could get him in. His oxygen levels were at 100% and his lungs sounded great, so it is just a nasty viral infection. What does that mean? There is absolutely nothing we can do for him.

That sucks.

He spent most of the day yesterday napping and chilling by his humidifier. Having a sick baby is one of the worst things in the world. I feel so helpless. I'm supposed to be the one who can make him feel better and take his pain away and I can't. We spent most of last night dancing in the bathroom with a hot shower running because the hot steam seemed to calm down his cough. Every single time I tried to lay him back down (at an incline like the doctor suggested) he would start coughing which brought on crying which brought on more coughing. That is the vicious and ugly cycle we've been living in for the last 24 hours.

I'm going to try to get some sleep. Please, God...let this pass soon.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Smiles!

Baby bird finally started smiling on March 31. Finally! We weren't able to get pictures of it until this morning but I just have to share...

He has his daddy's crooked smile.

We were talking about him stealing my car keys to take a drive since he is so grown up now.

My handsome man is 7 weeks old today!

Friday, March 30, 2012

So In Love.

My baby boy will be seven weeks old on Tuesday. He is growing more and more handsome every day. I can't help but to sit and stare at this amazing person that my body created. He is truly a work of art.

His personality is emerging and it is feisty! He will cuddle with us for about 30 seconds a day and the rest of the time he is Mr. Independent. His absolute favorite thing to do right now is stretch out on a blanket on the floor and listen to music. He opens his mouth, makes cooing noises, and franticly kicks his legs and moves his arms. He will move his head from side to side and it really looks like he is dancing. Chris played the guitar for him for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I'm so happy I recorded it. He loved it! It was such a sweet moment between the two of them.

He is finally fitting in 0-3 month clothes and is growing so fast! He is now eating between four and five ounces in a feeding when just a couple of weeks ago he was only eating two. He's stopped vomiting and hardly ever spits up. He is so cute after he eats-he sticks his tummy out and holds it with his hands while he sleeps.

We are getting the hang of things! We go to bed around midnight after he eats and he wakes up at 4:00 and 7:00 for short feedings. We'll all go back to sleep until around 10:00 when we get up for the day. He is very predictable at night which I appreciate. Last night I put him in his bed when he was still wide awake and he put himself to sleep within five minutes. He knows that nighttime is for sleeping and daytime is for playing and we do lots of both!

I feel like I love him more and more every second. I am torn between not wanting today to end and not being able to wait for tomorrow because I know it will bring something amazing. Yesterday I did not even want to go take a shower because he was so close to his first smile. Every moment is so precious and I'm not taking one of them for granted. I'm blessed.

 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

One Month.

We brought our baby boy home one month ago tonight. I know everyone says this, but where has the time gone?

I feel like we're getting the hang of things. Nolan is slowly falling into a routine. He was only getting up once a night to eat so we were getting quite a bit of sleep, but that stopped a couple of weeks ago. He started getting really sick and projectile vomiting after every feeding. It made for very long nights and a very hungry baby. After a few days of not being able to keep anything in his tummy and a few nights of about 20 minutes of sleep, I decided to make him an appointment.

The doctor checked him out and couldn't find anything wrong with him. He was still gaining weight as he should be (as of his last appointment, he is up to 7 pounds & 12 ounces) and did not seem dehydrated. They took his blood to check his electrolytes and everything came back great. We came to the conclusion that he was just eating too much for his little tummy to handle and I was told to feed him one ounce an hour all day long instead of three to four ounces every four hours like he was doing before. He has only thrown up one time since then and that was because I thought maybe his tummy grew and I gave him two ounces at a time instead of one. I won't make that mistake again.

Other than that, things have been amazing. I don't go back to work until May 2nd and Chris isn't currently working so we have just been enjoying our new life. Chris spends a lot of one-on-one time with Nolan. They spend quite a bit of time playing with developmental toys, watching stimulation videos, and listening to music. Nolan absolutely adores Chris and noticeably lights up when he hears his voice or sees his face. It melts my heart every single time.

Every time someone meets Nolan for the first time, they tell me how tiny he is. He doesn't feel tiny to me anymore. I look at him and can't believe that is the same tiny, fragile baby we brought home just over four weeks ago. He is growing so fast and developing new skills every day.

He has really taken a liking to Paisley. We will lay him on the bed next to her and he will try to hard to roll and turn towards her. He reaches out his hands towards her face and pets her cheeks and ears. She is so patient with him and will just lay her head on his tummy and let him play with her. Paisley turned three years old today and I'm so thankful she is still young so they can grow up together and be best friends.

We are still waiting on his first social smile but it should happen any day. He is so close. He is very interactive and holds great eye contact when Chris or I talk to him. He has started to "coo" and has the sweetest little voice. He doesn't do it very often, but I know that will come with time. I need to be patient and stop wishing for him to grow and develop because it is already happening too fast and I miss my five pound baby.

I took a few pictures yesterday morning and will continue to do so on the 14th of every month until he is a year old. I'll leave you with some of my favorites...

Happy One Month, sweet baby boy. I love you more than you'll ever know. You have changed my world and my heart forever...you made me a mommy.



Friday, March 2, 2012

Two Weeks.

Nolan loves:
  • Baths. He's only had three so far (two at home) but he seems to really enjoy them! I think the warm water relaxes him. He gets a little bit fussy when I'm washing him with soap but as soon as I pour water over him, he calms down instantly. He looks adorable with his wet hair all slicked back.
  • Eating. The boy can eat. He has a sort of love/hate relationship with food as we've been trying to figure out what is best for his sensitive tummy. He gets frustrated with nursing very quickly so I will feed him as much as he'll eat, then I'll pump and give him the rest in a bottle. We've had to supplement with formula a couple of times a day because he literally eats every drop of milk my body makes and still wants more.
  • Infant Stimulation Videos. The last couple of nights, we've pulled up some black and white stimulation videos online (large shapes that move around the screen to music) and Nolan will sit and watch the entire thing! He flails his arms and coos and seems to pay really close attention to them. I wish I knew what was going on in that little brain of his!
  • Mommy & Daddy. There is nothing quite like the feeling I get when he is crying and the second I touch him, he calms down. Chris and I each spend a lot of one-on-one time with Nolan daily to build his trust in us and bond with him. He responds to our voices from the other side of the room by opening his eyes wide and trying to turn his head towards us. 
  • Sitting. He prefers sitting up to laying down and cuddling. He is very observant and loves to be able to look around and make eye contact with the person holding him. 
Nolan doesn't like:
  • Bedtime. We have been up until one or two every morning since we brought him home. He is so alert at night and just wants to play and interact with us. I know we'll regret this when our babymoon is over and we go back to work, but right now I don't want to miss those little moments with him so we don't push the issue.
  • Tummy Time. He doesn't mind it as much when I lay down and put him on his tummy on my chest. It seems to work just as well and he stretches his little neck muscles. We might do a couple of more days like this before we try it on the floor again...that was rough and he just kept smacking his cute face on the blanket.
  • Getting his pictures taken. We got his newborn pictures done on  February 21 (so he was exactly one week old) and while they turned out amazing, he was not so much a fan. When we take his picture at home, he flails his arms and turns away. He's a little bit camera-shy.
I am loving every second of being Nolan's mommy. He is the most incredible thing to ever happen to me (besides his daddy.) We are all so tired and it is so much work, but it is the most incredible work I've ever done. 

Nolan at one week old. The ring on my finger is Eden's birthstone ring that I've worn every day since before we found out we lost her.

Blessed.

Chris and I have the most incredible friends and family ever. We brought Nolan home on the evening of the 15th and since then, we have not had to make a single meal for ourselves. My mom made us freezer meals (chicken soup, lasagna, cheesy chicken and rice, and enchiladas.) Our friends Cody and Cindy organized a hot meal drop off for the first week we were home. We had dinner delivered by a different friend each night for a week. It was so fun to be able to see people and amazing to not have to worry about what was for dinner that night. Chris' family took care of breakfast two mornings (bagels one morning and homemade waffles the second.) After the first week, we had one day that dinner was not covered so my dad and Peggy got us a pizza. After that, our church family took over and we've had hot meals delivered every night this week as well.

I feel so overcome with joy and gratitude. I can't believe how loved we are or how giving people can be. The time and energy people have put into putting these meals together is so much more than we could have ever expected from anyone. I had no idea how much work it was going to be to have a newborn and I honestly believe if we hadn't been blessed in the way we have, we wouldn't have really been eating at all. Food has been the last thing on my mind but there is no better reminder that we need nourishment than a delicious meal brought to our door by someone we love.

Our first couple of weeks home have been long but we're getting the hang of things. Part of me can't believe it is already March and my baby will be a month old before we know it...the other part can't remember life without him. He brings me so much happiness. I look at him and feel like my heart is going to explode. I have never been so tired in my entire life, but I wouldn't change it for the world. He is growing so fast and becoming his own person right before our eyes. I love watching his personality emerge and seeing him develop. He makes me laugh every single day and I still can't believe this is my life.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Valentine. (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1.

Since my blood pressure was so high and I was past my due date, they decided to induce me later that night. They hooked me up for one more round of monitoring before they let us leave for the evening and Nolan looked great! We were told to show up at McKay Dee Hospital at 9:00 that night to get things started. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was finally time to meet my boy! We were released around 5:00 that evening and had a few hours to kill, so we went to Subway for dinner and went home to watch The Bachelor.

We got to the hospital just before nine and were taken right up to Labor & Delivery (in a wheelchair...ugh.) They took us to the delivery room and had me change into a hospital gown as Chris pulled our car around and brought all of our stuff inside. By 9:15, I was getting my blood drawn, answering a million questions, and being hooked up to an IV. Our nurse's name was Carrie, and she was so fantastic! She wrote Nolan's name on the whiteboard in the room, but for some reason she put quotation marks around it and Chris teased her most of the night about it. She was a good sport and put up with our giddy obnoxiousness.

Carrie called my midwife, Kathy, to let her know that I was there and ready to go. They started the pitocin and warned me that most of the time it takes a few hours for the contractions to start. Kathy broke my water and put in a monitor to watch my contractions. Within two minutes, not only did the contractions start, but they were regular and they were painful! I decided to get an epidural so that I could get some sleep and get ready for the delivery in the morning.

I was terrified to get the epidural. Terrified. I'd heard so many horror stories about how painful it was going to be and the horrible shocks it was going to send up my spine. The anesthesiologist came in with his cart and Carrie had me sit on the edge of the bed and hold her hands. All of a sudden, it was over. I barely even felt it! I was numb and exhausted. Chris and I slept as well as we could through the rest of my labor. It was so calm and relaxing and painless.

My mom came to the hospital at around 6:00 in the morning. We sat in the dark room and watched the news and listened to Nolan's heartbeat on the monitor as Chris slept. She decided to leave to get some coffee just as the nurse came in to check my progress. We were expecting some progress because my contractions were strong and regular, but I didn't think I'd be anywhere close to delivery. I'd heard so many times that not only does it take longer to give birth to your first baby, but pitocin and epidurals supposedly slow labor as well. She checked me and I was complete! All of a sudden, there were people wheeling things into my room and arranging diapers and blankets on the counter. My mom wasn't even back from getting her coffee! Everything was moving so fast.

At a little after 7:00, my nurse decided we would try a practice push. I waited for my next contraction and pushed through it. The nurse had me stop pushing and wait for my midwife to get in the room. Kathy came in and had me start to really push. One contraction later, Nolan Christopher joined the world! We didn't time the pushing, but there is no way I pushed for longer than one or two minutes. It was so quick and easy! I never thought I'd be "that mom" who breezed her way through childbirth and bragged about it, but honestly if I knew that every delivery would be like that I would have 15 kids.

When Nolan came out, they put him on my chest and Chris cut his umbilical cord (I know! I was surprised too!) I remember just looking down at Nolan's face and everyone else in the room was gone. He had his eyes wide open and was just staring at me. He wasn't really crying and was a little bit blue so they took him from me to get him cleaned up. As soon as the nurse grabbed him, he started wailing. He just wanted his mommy.

Chris went with Nolan to the nursery to get cleaned up and had to give him a bottle because his blood sugar was a little bit low. It felt like it took years for them to bring him back to me. After family met him and spent some time holding him, Chris and I ordered room service and cuddled up with our son for the night. It was everything I'd imagined and so much more.

Nolan Christopher was born on February 14, 2012 at 7:23 in the morning. He weighed six pounds, four ounces and measured 20 inches long. When I found out I was pregnant in June, one of the first thoughts that I had was how amazing it would be if my baby was born on Valentine's Day. Last year, I spent February 14 with the same midwife who delivered Nolan...seeing Eden's heartbeat for the very first time. It was almost one year later to the minute that my son was placed in my arms for the first time in my recovery room. That is not a coincidence and nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise.

I love you more than you'll ever know, Nolan boy.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Valentine. (Part 1)

He is finally here! This will probably be at least a two-part post, but I want to write out the story of Nolan's birth while it is still fresh in my mind. There are so many little things I never want to forget...

My last week of pregnancy was rough to say the least. On Sunday, February 5, I woke up and had a hard time getting Nolan to move. I started to get nervous and Chris and I decided to go into the hospital for monitoring. They tried using a buzzer on my belly and he didn't respond at all. They kept watching his heart rate and finally determined that it was not fluctuating a lot, but it was enough to send us home with instructions to count his kicks. I was frustrated but I had an appointment with my midwife that Wednesday so I figured I'd just talk to her then.

At my appointment, she did an ultrasound and decided to hook me up for a non-stress test because he still was not very active. When they started, they told me it would only take about 20 minutes. They kept coming in to check his stats and nobody would tell me why they weren't letting us leave. They tried to buzz my belly and had me drink some apple juice to try to get him moving but it wasn't working. After about an hour of monitoring, they came in and said they were finally able to "get him to pass" and we could go home. They told me to come back that Friday for another round of testing and I left with an induction date of Thursday, February 16 (today.) I was so upset. I was scared to death that nobody was listening to me and there was something wrong with my boy.

We went in for our next NST on Friday, February 10. My midwife was not working so there was a different doctor that was looking over Nolan's stats. He asked when I was being induced and when he realized it was not until the following Thursday, he said I needed to make an appointment and come in on Monday to meet with my midwife. He said that I would be having a baby "very soon." With that, we left.

We got home that evening and I was a ball of stress. I couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong and we ended up back in the hospital that night after over 2 hours of trying everything to get Nolan to move with not even the slightest kick. They hooked me up to all of the monitors (again) and tried buzzing my belly (again) and nobody could get him to kick. However, his heart rate was fluctuating like it needed to and looked a lot better than it did earlier in the day, so I was sent home (again.) I felt a little bit better though because he was able to do really well on his final NST and I knew he wouldn't be in there for that much longer.

The weekend went pretty smooth and Chris and I spent most of the night of Saturday, February 11, laying in bed and playing with Nolan in my belly. He was really playful and active. Chris used the flashlight on his phone to get Nolan to move around and follow the light. It put me at peace and for the first time in over a week, I felt like I would be okay to wait until the 16th to meet my boy (even though it was a week past his due date, which I was not thrilled about...)

We went to our follow up appointment with my midwife on Monday, February 13. They checked my blood pressure and for the first time in my pregnancy, it was through the roof. They couldn't even get their machine to read it so they had to check it by hand. I was a little bit concerned, but I figured it was just the result of being nervous about the appointment and stressed about the week prior. We were moved to the exam room and a few minutes later, my midwife walked in and the first words out of her mouth were "nine o'clock." I said "tonight?!" and looked over at Chris to make sure he realized what she was saying.

To be continued...