Monthly Archives: March 2011

She Says… Baby Butts

First of all, awesome comments and conversation on yesterday’s post about food. Thank you all for your suggestions and thoughts, and thank you for helping out other readers who posted some questions too.

I have another little conundrum that maybe you can help me out with. Owen has always been a HUGE nighttime pee-er. Ever since he was a tiny little guy he’s been exploding diapers (with poop and pee, but right now I’m just talking about pee). His diapers are SOAKED from front to back when he wakes up in the morning. They weigh as much as he does. Thankfully, a few months ago I discovered overnight diapers (we use Huggies Overnights because I’ve heard they’re the best, and we also use Huggies diapers during the day because they seem to fit Owen’s skinny little bod the best with the least amount of blowouts). The overnight diapers have been doing the trick… until recently.

During the last week when I’ve lifted Owen out of his crib in the morning, he is drenched from butt to neck. It seems that the pee comes out the back and seeps right up his back/side since he is a back/side sleeper. In the past when he’s peed through his diapers (night or daytime), I find it’s generally time to go up a size. The little guy weighs about 18 pounds now and wears size 3′s during the day and is already in size 4′s at night, which are supposed to go up to 24 pounds.

I did some Googling about it a few days ago and found some ghetto homemade solutions like adding a maxi pad to “double” the diaper. Worth a shot, I thought. I had these left over pads from my postpartum days that are gigantic and practically like diapers themselves. I thought they’d be perfect. The first night I stuck one between Owen’s diaper and his pajamas, around his back waistband area, in an effort to catch the overflow from the diaper and keep his skin dry. Mommy fail! The poor kid woke up the next morning soaking wet and with a big, dry maxi pad stuck to his side. Ummm, oops. Hope he never reads this post.

The next night, per my logical husband’s advice, I tried sticking the pad right onto the inside of the diaper essentially adding another layer of protection. Mommy fail #2! The pad was so big that the diaper didn’t seal tightly at the top and he was soaked again.

Ok. enough with trying to use up old maxi pads on my baby.

Yesterday I got the next size up (size 5′s) of overnight diapers, despite the fact that the package says “for over 24 pounds” and they are intended for, like, toddlers. He was dry this morning (yay! success!), but now we’re having a new problem.

In the last few days he has started having a huge, wet poop every night. He hasn’t pooped at night in AGES. Why now? Why all of a sudden? Why diarrhea-y, when his other poops are solid little balls?

Ok, apologies for the poop talk without warning, but I’m slightly confused about the night time pooping. Anyone have experience fixing leaky night time diapers and/or with a sudden period of pooping at night when he/she used to regularly poop in the morning?

I’ve started slathering his butt in [STINKY] Desitin at night instead of our usual Aquaphor because it creates a better barrier against the wet poop. But his little buns are getting a bit red and irritated after a few nights of poop in a row. Thoughts? Suggestions? Seems cruel to both of us to wake him up just to change his diaper if he’s happy to sleep through it, but I also don’t want him to get some nasty diaper rash because he has poop on his butt for several hours every night.

Sigh.

P.S. Owen, sorry to talk about your butt on the blog.

She Says… Food, Glorious Food

Eating has always been one of Owen’s favorite pasttimes. Yes, we had issues with nursing and breastfeeding, but eating food has always been a highlight of his day. Gee, I have NO idea where he gets that from.

I recently had a reader (Hi, Megan!) ask me to post about Owen’s eating and how it has progressed since we started solids. Happy to oblige.

We started “solids” super early with Owen. 4 months and 5 days, if my blog is correct. His first food was avocado mixed with breastmilk, and he gobbled it right up. At that point we did food midday, between bottles, whenever it was convenient. I think I started by doing it every other day, and then slowly got into the routine of doing it once every day. For the first few weeks he ate only avocado, peas, butternut squash and brown rice cereal. At almost 5 months I figured out I had excess lipase in my breastmilk, and breastmilk was still giving Owen reflux issues, and I was about to go back to work, so I made the decision to switch him to formula full-time. I wanted to make sure that the switch to formula wasn’t eliminating subtle flavors that Owen enjoyed, so I took his solid food to the next step.

At 5 months he was eating 2 solid meals a day, in addition to 4 bottles, and his repertoire had expanded to include oats, carrots, apples, prunes, bananas, green beans and sweet potatoes. Each meal was 2-3 food “cubes” (frozen ice cube tray sized cubes of pureed food, I think about an ounce each) with some oats or rice to thicken it into a paste. Instead of keeping foods separate, I started to mix and match. Even weird combinations. Anything to change the flavor slightly to give his taste buds something new. Apples and green beans? Sure. Sweet potatoes and avocado? Yum. Peas and oats? Delish.

By 6 months Owen had graduated to 3 meals a day, and honestly sometimes he would not even give me an “all done” sign like turning his head or pursing his lips. This kid could eat, eat, eat all day long. I imagine that if we’d actually kept feeding him we would eventually find the bottom of his little stomach, but I would usually cut him off after a bowl (or two) of food. I started making all kinds of foods to mix with the ones he’d already eaten. Spinach, white beans, lentils, yogurt, chicken, pears, blueberries, peaches, corn. He gobbled every single new thing I made him. There isn’t a single food he has refused (YET!). The mixtures got more and more fun as he consistently ate 3 food cubes at each meal. I could make little “complete meals” like chicken and sweet potatoes and green beans. Lentils and butternut squash and peas. I started adding spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and garlic. They were like little science experiments, mixing and matching and adding a dash of this and a pinch of that.

Now, at 8 months, a new development. I’ve been giving him chunkier purees for the last 2 months to try to encourage him to “chew” (aka gum, since he doesn’t have teeth yet) and to tolerate thicker textures. For awhile he would NOT tolerate chunks, and would do this very dramatic heaving/gagging when a single pea or blob of chicken escaped the food processor blade and made its way into his mouth. Finally something clicked, and he figured out how to moosh solid food between his gums. So now, in addition to three bowls of 3 food cubes a day, he’s also putting back a handful of puffs or bites of bread. Oh, and 28+ ounces of formula. Despite how much food he eats, he never really cut back on his formula ounces (he was drinking 30+ ounces of formula at 6 months!).

I know “they” say that babies under 1 only need formula or breastmilk to meet their nutritional needs. But I gotta tell you, I’m pretty certain Owen would be starving without his 3 meals a day. He is a HUNGRY kid. Lord help me when he gets to be a teenager.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I’ve noticed that his cheeks turn bright red and get hot after he eats bread, so I’m presuming that he has a sensitivity to wheat. Neither Benjamin nor I have any food allergies, so I followed the AAP recommendations to introduce wheat at 8 months (ok for non-allergenic babies). I’m pretty sure it’s a reaction to the wheat since it happened about 30 minutes after he ate, and lasted only for a few hours. But we’ve only tried twice and I am not 100% certain that’s the issue. Has anyone else had this happen or dealt with similar food sensitivities? Did they turn into lifelong allergies, or were they just a baby thing?

Any ideas for other finger foods I can introduce that don’t contain wheat (just to be careful for now, until I ask the doctor about the possibility of a sensitivity/allergy)? Last night I made some mixed veggies and offered him individual peas and pieces of carrots. He did NOT like the way that they didn’t mush up in his mouth like the puffs and bites of soft bread, so I’m thinking he’s not quite ready for veggies. What else can I give him? The kid loves to eat :)

She Says… Barefoot Books and Painting Pottery

This past weekend was the first HEALTHY weekend our family has had in a long time. So we celebrated by attending an event at our local Barefoot Books store on Saturday. Barefoot Books is an independent children’s book publisher with a cute-as-can-be flagship store in Concord, MA. Remember when I did a giveaway of some of their beautiful books? The store is super fun for kids of all ages. They have a storytime area with pillows for lounging, an area for yoga classes for little ones, and lots and lots of toys and books to sample and play with and read. The event on Saturday was the grand opening of their pottery painting studio in the back of the store.

Even though Owen is a little young for painting pottery (hmmm, grabby hands and delicate ceramics? NOT a match made in heaven!), we decided to make an afternoon of it and invite some baby friends to meet us there so we could all just enjoy the fun atmosphere.

As it turned out, we even decided to get in on the pottery painting fun and made a plate with Owen’s tiny hand prints.

We don’t generally do a lot of baby-centered outings. I mean, sure, we do playdates and we take Owen everywhere we go, but generally we have playtime in our house, or go for a walk, or run errands. He’s still so young that I don’t think he really knows the difference between the Children’s Museum or the grocery store, so at least for the next few months, I’m going to skip the kiddie activities for the most part. Sometimes when I hear other mothers in my mom group talk about going to the Aquarium and taking their child to Gymboree, I wonder if I should be engaging in those activities too. But you know what? Between daycare, days with me and Benjamin, and our busy weekends, I think Owen is getting quite a variety of experiences, and as long as we’re talking and laughing and seeing new things, I don’t think it has to be baby classes all the time.

That said, focusing our day on a kid-friendly activity was super fun for the whole family. We had a fabulous time watching Owen and his little friends climb up on the pillows and storytime chairs, and giggle as we painted their hands to decorate pottery.

What a little cutie pie.

Once we move into our new house, I think I’d like to join a baby swim class and maybe a music class. I think Owen would really love those activities and it will probably be a great way to meet some parents and babies in our new neighborhood. But beyond that, I’m not so big into jamming our schedule full of baby classes. There’s plenty of time for that in the future!

What about you? Do you take your kids to classes? Which ones have they loved? How old do you think they need to be to really enjoy them?

She Says… 8 Months

My tiny man,

You are 8 months old! Well, you’re actually 8 months and 4 days old, Mama’s a little behind on getting this letter written and posted. It’s not a wonder, though, we’ve had a LOT going on in the last month.

If I had to pick one thing that characterized this last month, it would be SICKNESS. You poor little monkey, you spent the last 4 weeks going from one illness to another. First a high fever (so high I ran to pick you up from daycare and demanded that the doctor see you right away), which morphed into pneumonia (which necessitated our first trip to the ER on a night when Daddy was out of town for work — scary!), which was followed up by a rash, which we had to treat with meds that made you sick to your stomach. Boy am I glad that we are through that month! Despite all of those trips to the doctor and different medicines and symptoms, you were your jolly, laid back little self. Even sick, you are one of the happiest little people I’ve ever seen. At the hospital the nurses barely believed that you needed to be there because you were giggling and babbling so sweetly. Then they listened to your chest and were surprised at how sick you really were. We’ve had a few healthy days without any medicine in a row now, and let me just say, I much prefer those days to the sick days! Let’s try to make it to your next well visit (in a month) without any more trips to the doctor in between, mmkay?

The other thing you just couldn’t get enough of this month was STANDING. You are not satisfied unless you’re standing and stomping and practicing walking. Recently you’ve been climbing all over everything. You push right up from laying down and scramble yourself all the way up to a standing position on me, your crib, the couch, wherever you are.  You have always been an active baby, but this newfound ability to move move move is pretty amazing.

We keep saying that you’ll probably go right from sitting to walking, and skip crawling altogether, since all you want to do is stand and walk, but then once in awhile we see a glimmer of crawling. Just last night you were rocking on your knees and testing out lifting one leg and then the other to see if you could propel yourself forward. Since you’re so excited about walking, your “crawling” looked more like a weird Spiderman-esque, downward facing dog move with your butt in the air and you on your tippy toes and hands. You’re such a strong little guy, I don’t think it’ll be long until I’m chasing you down the hall.

You and Schnitzel have continued to develop your adorable friendship. When he comes into the room, your face erupts into a gummy grin and your eyes dance. You’ve started grabbing at his hair and sticking your fingers in his mouth. It’s a good thing he’s so tolerant :) When friends come to play, Schnitzel parks himself right next to you as if he is your protector. Sometimes we don’t even need toys because you just sit and laugh and laugh at Schnitzel for entire playtimes.

Mealtimes continue to get more and more fun too. Just a few days ago something clicked and you began “chewing” (aka gumming… no teeth yet!) things like puffs and pieces of bread. I have been waiting for this milestone so I can introduce you to more table food. I’m so excited to expand your tastebuds beyond the purees you’ve already tried. Though you eat a wide range of foods and spices already, not having to mash everything up into a paste will be nice for both of us.

I baked some homemade bread (Daddy’s favorite) and gave you some of that. You seemed to really dig it, as you kept opening your mouth for more bites. But then I noticed one of your cheeks and one of your ears got fiery red after eating the bread. It wasn’t exactly like your eczema that we’ve dealt with in the past, it was much more like flushed cheeks, but in a very specific pattern. Not normal. I tried again the next day and unfortunately I’ve deduced that you may have a reaction to wheat. I’m sad for you if this turns into a real allergy, but I’m hoping it’s just a common baby sensitivity that you’ll grow out of. I’ve really got to keep an eye on your skin! It’s amazing what things set it off.

You’ve started crying a little when we drop you off at daycare in the mornings. At first it made Daddy and I a little sad, but then you started crying when we came to pick you up, too, so I’m confident it’s just a developmental phase that you’ll grow out of soon. It’s the only time I ever hear you cry! Other than that you are loving daycare. You love to be around people and whenever we’re in new places or places with other kids you are wide-eyed and amazed. You are incredibly social, smiling and grabbing everyone, whether you know them or not. You LOVE to be the center of attention (and judging by Daddy’s and my personalities… we know where you got that from!).

I love you so much, my perfect little person. I marvel at your huge personality that is becoming so evident, and the way your smile charms everyone around you. I wake up every morning so excited to see what new skill you’ll learn today, or what new sound you’ll make. We have SO MUCH FUN together. Every day is a joy.

I love you more than bears love honey. And that’s a lot.

Love,
Mama

P.S. For your viewing pleasure… an outtake from our photo session:

Guess that’s the end of the photo shoot…

She Says… I Do Declare

I do hereby declare, on this 24th day of March, in the year two thousand and eleven, that everyone in the This Place is Now a Home home is officially HEALTHY.

After a month of back-to-back illnesses, we totally deserve it. Owen is still on the last few days of his anti-viral meds, but his rash is healed, his eczema is nowhere to be seen, and his cough and sniffles have cleared. My ubiquitous nose congestion is gone as well, and although Benjamin has remained pretty healthy for the last month, he’s feeling good too.

HALLELUJAH. It’s a new day.

Now if only the weather could cooperate. I’d really like to start strolling around town with the sun in our faces and to be able to walk out of the house without being bundled in snow jackets and gloves. I’d like to have picnics outside and take long walks together and remind Owen of what it feels like to be outside just for the enjoyment of being outside. But do you know what I woke up to this morning? SNOW. White stuff on the ground. Harumph.

Still, even the neverending winter can’t squelch my spring-y, happy feeling since we’ve finally emerged from the fog of being sick for so long. I’m even going dancing with a bunch of girlfriends this Saturday night. Yep, really. I know. I’m turning over a new leaf :)

No whammies this weekend, mmmkay?!

P.S. Owen is 8 months old today! Pics and a letter to come tomorrow. ‘Cause, you know, we’re behind. But I’d say we’re doing ok if we’re only a day behind after all that’s happened in the last month.

She Says… Breaking the Rules

Owen usually wakes up once or twice a night, makes some noise, and falls right back asleep. I learned a long time ago that going in to “check on him” when he’s making this noise is far worse than letting him fuss it out for a few minutes. Once he sees me, he brightens to a smile, calms immediately, and then goes right back to fussing the second I put him back down in his crib. This little awake time with Mommy in the middle of the night actually makes him cry harder and louder and longer in order to get back to sleep again. So I stay out of the nursery 99.9% of the time.

If he cries for longer than normal, or the cry sounds different to me, I go in, despite my reservations about waking him up more. Once in a long time something is actually wrong (wet diaper/pj’s/bed, hand sticking out between the crib slats, etc.). But the vast majority of the time, it’s just his thing. It’s what he does. Strangely enough, these wakeups are usually at the same times each night. Sometimes even to the minute (does he have an alarm clock in there?). His favorite times are 4:17am and 5:17am. It’s that “I’ve gotten enough sleep so it’s kind of hard for me to go back to sleep but I still need more sleep so I’m kinda cranky” period. I generally don’t wake him up for the day until 6:00am at the earliest.

Given the puke incident on Saturday night, I wasn’t taking any chances on Sunday night. When I heard that little cry (not at one of this normal times), I shot up out of bed like a gun had been fired. I slowly turned up the light in his room and walked over to the crib. Biggest. Smile. Ever. Damn, I thought. He got me. There’s nothing wrong. But then I picked him up to give him a little pat and noticed his pj’s were soaked. Apparently that overnight diaper couldn’t contain his massive amounts of pee (a problem we’ve been dealing with since he was born!) and he and his bed were all wet. No wonder he made noise. A pee ‘splosion at night hasn’t happened for several months (since we started using Huggies Overnights… awesome invention), so we were both surprised when I took him over to the changing table and started stripping off the wet pj’s. One quick change later, I put him back in his crib.

The crying ensued, as I knew it would, since we’d just had a nice little midnight Mommy time.

I got back in bed and checked the clock. I give him a time limit. If the crying doesn’t stop by that time, I’ll go in, give him a little love, and put him back in the crib again. Normally he stops after a fraction of the time I’ve allotted, and we’re all back to sleep quickly. But that night, the crying continued long beyond what it has in the last 4 months.

So I broke the rules. MY rules.

After a few tries to get him to go back to sleep, I silently picked him up from his crib and carried him into my room. I laid him down on the bed next to me, and pulled the covers over his little legs. I wrapped my arms around him and in about 5 seconds our breath slowed and we fell fast asleep. Benjamin was leaving for a work trip super early in the morning, so he was already up and out the door, and Owen and I had a little special sleepytime in the big bed.

Although Owen is almost 8 months old, I had never done this before. I had never slept with him in my bed, even when we were nursing and he was a newborn. I was very strict about establishing the sleeping habits that worked for our family. I am very glad that we did what we did in the past because it established sleeping habits that make our whole family happy and well-rested, but I’m also glad that now that those habits are established, I am able to bend the rules to have a very special moment like that one. Seriously. There is nothing better in the entire world than cuddling in the dark with a sweet, clean, dry little baby. One of his little hands wrapped around my finger and one clutched his lovey. His dark eyes peered at me in the darkness and he smiled as he drifted off into sleep. I nuzzled my nose into his warm little neck and breathed him in as I, too, fell asleep. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Maybe some rules were meant to be broken.

She Says… Mom Of The Year

Uhhh, not quite.

Poor Owen has had a rough 3 weeks. First it was the super high fever, then the pneumonia, and now, when I thought he was finally out of the woods, a new virus strikes. After our ever-so-fun night in the ER, Owen’s pneumonia improved dramatically. We did at-home breathing treatments for a few days, and that plus the antibiotics cleared his gunk up quickly. By Tuesday he was back to his jolly self without a wheeze in sight. He had four lovely, healthy days while I was away in New York for work. Benjamin kept texting me to say, “We have the BEST baby”. I smiled every time. I know. It’s true.

I got home from New York on Friday night after Owen’s bedtime, so by Saturday morning I was about ready to burst into his room and give him a good snuggle as soon as I heard a peep from the baby monitor. Sick or well, I had missed him SO MUCH. I scooped him up and nuzzled his little neck and smelled his sweet little baby smell.

And then I saw it.

A scary looking patch of skin on the back of his neck. Looked like a little group of blisters or bug bites that were raised and white, and surrounded by red skin. Yuck. Although Owen has been through a lot of colds and viruses, I’ve never dealt with an acute rash or skin issue (beyond his eczema), so I was immediately worried. When I changed his diaper I noticed red bumps all over one of his legs and in his diaper area. Double yuck. What was this rash? It didn’t seem to be itching him and he was laughing and giggling as if nothing was wrong. While that’s generally a good thing, I’ve learned that Owen will still smile and giggle through some pretty serious symptoms, so I can’t necessarily take his happy face to mean that nothing is wrong.

Benjamin assured me that rash was not around for the last few days while I was gone, so it must have started overnight. The doctor confirmed that the thing on his neck was a viral infection, and the little red dots all over his leg and torso were just his body’s reaction to the virus. So he gave us an anti-viral medicine and sent us on our way.

The medicine had a big sticker on the front that said, “This medicine may upset your stomach. Take with crackers or a small meal”. Hm, I thought. Hope it doesn’t upset Owen’s stomach, because it’s not so easy for an 8 month old to just munch some crackers while he takes his meds. He has to take it three times a day, spaced out as much as possible. That  means as soon as he wakes up, and right before he goes to bed, and halfway in between. NOT exactly mealtimes (though he does drink a bottle upon waking and before bed).

Saturday night I gave him his meds right before his night time bottle, and put him to sleep like normal. He went to sleep after a little “da da da”ing in his crib. I heard some fussing around 10pm, but only for a minute or two, and then silence. That’s not out of the ordinary, so I didn’t think anything of it. He slept soundly all night, and woke up around 6:30am on Sunday.

When I went to get him out of his crib on Sunday morning, I screamed “OH. MY. GOD.”. Benjamin came running in.

He was COVERED in puke. I mean, covered. The entire mattress, his lovey, his pj’s, his hands, his face, his hair. COVERED. IN GREEN, CRUSTY PUKE. (Note to self: Lentils, sweet potato and spinach looks pretty much the same coming back up as it does going down). It was everywhere. EVERYWHERE! Clearly he had vomited at some point after he went to sleep at 6:30pm and before he woke up at 6:30am but didn’t think it was enough of an issue to LET ME KNOW that something had gone awry. I appreciate that he’s a good sleeper, but really?! Sleeping covered in his own puke?! DISGUSTING. I felt horrible for not knowing, or not checking on him, or not guessing that this might happen.

Mom of the year, right?

He Says… First words?

Okay, so it’s not really a word that he’s saying, but I am just going to assume that he is saying Dad, Dad, Dad.

Happy Monday!

She Says… Missing my Boys

Ok, enough about the strange publicity our pregnancy test video has gotten recently. Back to regular blogging!

I’ve been in New York since Wednesday afternoon. Without Owen. Or Benjamin; but I’m used to being without him. Prior to this trip I hadn’t left Owen for more than a night (and I only did that one time). I’m incredibly lucky that Benjamin is so comfortable handling everything Owen-related so I can go on my trip without thinking twice about if Owen will be in good hands. Since Benjamin and I each work 4 days a week and have Owen by ourselves one day a week, I think it has helped us both become really adept at doing everything from morning routine to bedtime.

We both do the same things, but we don’t always do them the same way. I think that’s key to keeping Owen flexible and teaching him not to get stuck with the same person doing the same things all the time, since that won’t always be possible. Daycare helps immensely with this too, and I can already see ways in which Owen has grown to be a really laid back kid. Who knows if that’s nature or nurture, but it certainly helps when we have to switch up the daily plan! He can sleep in his crib, the stroller or the car. He can eat his food hot or cold. He can drink his bottle just about anywhere. He doesn’t mind being bundled up or dressed in just a onesie. He’ll play with just about anything you hand him, as long as he can fit it in his mouth. He honestly couldn’t care less about sitting in a dirty diaper for a long time (though I find that disturbing).

I love coming back after leaving Benjamin and Owen for awhile and seeing the little things that are evidence to how Benjamin does things differently than I do. The outfit he wore (NOT what I would have picked, but adorable nonetheless… and probably even more adorable than normal because Daddy picked it out). The toys strewn around the house in different places. The diaper bag stuffed with receipts or camera batteries instead of baby wipes.

It’s so cute to think about my two favorite boys having a little man time.

But I really miss them. I missed 2 bedtimes and I’ll miss tonight’s bedtime as well, since I’ll be on the train back to Boston. I missed two mornings, the sweetest time to see Owen shake his head and rub his eyes as I come into focus and watch him smile. Already looking forward to Saturday morning.

I’ve enjoyed my trip. I wandered into H&M when I arrived in New York and bought myself a new shirt. Not something I generally have the luxury to do. I had lovely (expensed) dinners with glasses of wine. I slept in a hotel room, by myself, with nice soft linens and plush pillows. Nice, nice, nice.

But still, I prefer to be at home with my boys. So live it up, guys! Mom comes home tonight!

He Says… This is just bizarro

So, thanks to reader Liss, who commented that she saw our video on the Australian Today Show, I found the video on line and am posting it here (at least until they pull it from Youtube).

Craziness, right?  Certainly we think this is cool/weird/annoying.  I guess at this point I think we want a chance to speak on the other side, our side, since, so far all of this reporting has been rather one-sided.  They’ve clearly made no attempts to contact people to find out why they are doing this.  Also, I love how they talk about these videos as if they are live to Youtube.  The “reporters” comment on the woman who says she hasn’t told her husband yet.  My guess is that he found out before her video went online.  Duh.

In other news, Kate is in NYC for a few days for work so it’s me, Owen and Schnitzel holding down the fort.  He was so great last night and in a wonderful mood.  Look at how I found him when I picked him up at daycare yesterday: