Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'll have Lucky Charms next time, please.

We got the green light for starting solids at Jake's 4 month pediatrician appointment, but decided that we didnt' want to rush things and would hold off for just a bit. After having him watch us like hawks while eating and even grab at our food in the past 2 weeks, we decided that the wait was over, maybe the little man was ready! So we armed ourselves with a box of rice cereal (Earth's Best brand, just for reference) and went to town!

I'd been warned that he might not take to it at first & that it may be a few weeks before he really starts eating much of the cereal....not so much the case with our little piglet!! After the initial "what the hell is this?" look of disgust on his face, he went to town. In between bites, he was kicking his feet and opening his mouth while staring at the bowl!

Here's the very first bite:

Here he is after his first few bites:

G.G. took a turn feeding him a few bites:

And here he is the next night after finishing his bowl, but grabbing the spoon and attempting to eat it as well:

A big week!

It was a big week here in our house...Jake sat up, skipped school, had rice cereal, got a mohawk, and Gracie had a playdate. Let's start at the beginning of the week...

On Tuesday night, we were playing with Jake on the floor before bedtime and noticed that he was holding himself up pretty well, so we decided to prop him up & see what happened...much to our pleasant surprise, he stayed up by himself! (for a few seconds) We propped him back up and held him there for a minute until he figured out to put his hands on the floor in front of him (his little kickstand, if you will)

Here, he seems to be saying, "Hello ladies!":

Gracie says, "what's the big deal? I've been sitting for years!"

And here he is, showing everyone that mommy isn't starving him and he's got the Buddha Belly to prove it!

Thursday night, G.G. and Pappy came up to visit, so Jake got to skip school on Friday and hang with the grandparents. A good time was had by all! That night, Jake had his first taste of rice cereal (but that's a whole other post!!)

Sunday afternoon, our friend Olivia came up with her doggy, Mabel to hang out & let the doggies run wild. The girls had a great time & wore each other they are trying to recover from their play session:

After Livvy left, we gave Jake a bath and mommy got a shower afterward, while daddy took Jake to get him lotioned up & put into PJ's. While left unsupervised, daddy decided it would be a good idea to give Jake a mohawk. (which worked pretty well, see previous post re: baby combover) Daddy later decided that he needed a matching mohawk and that there needed to be pictures to document this new trend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jake's Birth Story

I know this is way late, but I keep thinking that I should write down his birth story somewhere before I forget the details...but my handwriting resembles that of a 2 year old, so typing is much easier for me. Thus, I'm just going to post it here if I'm going to type it out! So cuddle in close kids, it was a wild ride. (this is very long!)

I've had high blood pressure for about 5 years now, but in my first 2 trimesters, it dropped so much that I didn't need my medication. However, right around my 7th month, it started creeping back up...slowly at first, but then went pretty high, followed by mass amounts of swelling in my face, legs and feet, and an unbelievable amount of water weight (one time I gained 4 pounds in 3 days!) After a scare in Magee triage being monitored one night, I started going to the dr twice a week for non-stress tests (for those of you not familiar with these, they basically hooked my belly up to a machine for a half hour or so and made sure Jake was moving around and that his heartbeat was ok) Thankfully, it always was and they sent me on my merry way. This went on for about 3 weeks and I had a few ultrasounds done in that time to check his growth and my amniotic fluid, which was always perfect as well.

Other fun activities during this time period included urine spot checks, home blood pressure checks 5 times a day, and being constantly worried about the baby and what my crazy blood pressure was doing to him.  And sometimes it included not being able to fit my feet into any shoes at all.  No really, sometimes they were so big that they physically wouldn't fit.  Or they would fit in the morning, but by afternoon, I was rolling around my office in socks. 

Here is the last belly picture I had, it was new years day, so I was around 37 weeks pregnant (I'm kicking myself that I didn't take one on our way to the hospital when I went into labor!)

Fast forward to Monday, January 14th...went in for my 8am non-stress test as always...only this time my blood pressure was through the roof and Jake was very slow to respond on the monitor. (even after they had me chug about 30 ounces of Coke...that always got him going!) was off to the hospital for further monitoring...fortunately, he was fine when they examined me there (the monitor was also showing contractions as 10 minutes apart but I couldn't feel them), but it was decided that he was going to be served an eviction notice. First, they told me they wanted to induce by the end of the week...then they called me back and said nevermind, we want him out tomorrow night!!! I almost peed myself (well let's face it, I almost peed myself every day at that point in the pregnancy, but that really came close!) I was so excited and nervous and the fact that I now KNEW when I'd meet him made the whole thing seem so real.

I went about my business that day but by late afternoon, I noticed that my contractions were about 8 minutes apart and I could actually feel them...they weren't painful, but definitely noticable. Though I was totally in denial that this could possibly be labor (even as my mom hinted to it) I must have had some type of instinct that it was the real thing because I did what any logical pregnant woman does and started cleaning the house. I tried to relax later on that night by watching TV but I was so distracted from timing the contractions. We decided to try and go to sleep around 11, but within minutes of going to bed, they started getting that point they were 5-7 minutes apart and about a minute long. I called the doctor who said come on down! I was the next contestant on "time to have a baby!" So...around 11:30, we loaded up the car, said a tearful goodbye to Gracie (well, it was tearful for me anyway-Brian had to drag me out to the car)

Getting to the hospital is not at all like it is in the movies...there was no rushing me back to a room, no one yelling "STAT!" or anything like that....nope, we sat in the waiting room for about 40 minutes until they took us at the registration window. It was at that point that I first asked for my epidural....I was informed that I had to be admitted first. which would possibly occur once I was examined. (Much love to those women who choose to go naturally....I couldn't even make it a few hours into labor without it!) Once I made it into the triage, they offered me Stadol to take the edge off...sweet relief! Once the dr made it in, he determined that I was 3cm dilated (I was 1.5 that morning) and 100% effaced, so they admitted me! (this was around 2am)

Once I got settled into my labor and delivery room, I inquired about the epidural...this time, they said ok! I was very nervous for the epidural after hearing horror stories of the size of the needle they use...I didn't even look at the needle, but I honestly didn't think it was that bad. A big pinch and a burn, followed by a LOT of pressure in my lower back, but not too bad (either that, or I was so grateful for it by that point that I just didn't care!)

While all of this excitement was going on, they were also continually checking my urine for signs of pre-eclampsia...unfortunately, shortly after my epidural was in place, they came in with the bad news that I had developed it. I remember tearing up when the doctor was explaining it to me, because I had gone all these months without getting it and here I was in the home stretch, only to be told that there could be complications for my baby. When you develop pre-e, they give you a magnesium drip through an IV to prevent seizures during delivery. The doctor warned me that I would hate the drip and she was made me feel so loopy & completely out of it. I'm pretty sure I was drooling on myself at one point.

After that drip was put in, it was pretty much a matter of sitting around and waiting for progress! My water never broke on its own, so she came in and broke it, though I'm not sure what time that was, but I know it did help to speed things along. Around noon, I started being able to feel my pain, but just the sensation of having them, so I asked about getting "topped off" on my epidural. Shortly after that, I suddenly felt like I was going to throw up and got the chills...the nurse told me this was a good sign that I was probably close to being ready to push...she went and got the dr and I was 10 cm! It was time for the real thing, kids!! Much to my dismay, the dr said no more epidural for me! (boo, hiss!) She said due to the mag drip make me so out of it, she wanted me to be able to feel the contractions so that I would stay motivated to push.

 I won't lie, the mag drip was just as awful as everyone said it is.  It made me groggy (so much so, that at one point in between contractions, the nurse yelled "we're losing mom, she's nodding off on us!"...yeah, that's just a whole different level of grogginess if you can nod off in the middle of pushing out a baby), and it also messed with my memory.  The whole time period after I got it is a big blur, I have relied on Brian and my mom to fill me in on things, but I just can't remember much of it myself.

I'll spare you the rest of the gory details and skip to the best part of this whole story...I pushed for about 45 minutes and every single minute was well worth it to see the most perfect thing I have ever laid eyes on come out screaming into the world. I could not get over just how beautiful he was. And tiny! I just remember thinking that he looked so tiny and fragile! The nurses told Brian that he received the highest scores in complexion (whatever that means) he didn't have a single bump, bruise or red mark on his body. he just had this fuzzy hair, big feet and the most alert eyes. Here are some of the first pictures of him (6 lbs 2 oz, 21 inches long-I'm not sure what the numbers on the scales mean in the picture below)

The next day or so was kind of a blur; I had to stay on that drip for 24 hours after delivery, so I was bedridden and still quite groggy from it. (and STARVING, I couldn't eat real food until they took it out!) the first thing I did was order a late lunch when they finally took it out, here is me enjoying my first taste of food in almost 48 hours:

The other negative aspect of the mag drip was that Jake was exposed to it as well, which meant he felt similar side effects.  I know all newborns are sleepy, but he was even more so, with no interest in eating at all.  With the help of a lactation specialist, we were able to get on a pump/syringe feed/breastfeeding training regimen in  the hospital that we then continued for a few days at home.  Thankfully, he got the hang of it after that!

In the end, the pain, stitches, starvation and grogginess were well worth it. Jacob Charles was the greatest gift we could have ever received and we have been grateful every day since!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Jake's Baptism

Sunday was a very exciting day for our family...Jake was baptized in Heinz Chapel, which is also where Brian & I were married (a year & 9 months ago, almost to the day!) with the same pastor performing the ceremony (we really hope to continue this tradition for all of our children)

Jake was such a good boy, I was a proud mama standing up there watching my baby boy be welcomed into the world. He didn't cry at all and when the pastor poured the water over his head, he actually reached up & touched her face, which melted my heart.

No tears and he didn't poop up his back onto his spiffy white outfit, so I considered it a successful day! Jake has always been fascinated by lights & ceilings and Heinz Chapel takes those two wonders to a whole new level...we've decided that sometime soon we're just going to have to go to Heinz to hang out for a bit & let him look all around & take in the new lights & windows.

Melissa and Dennis were the Godparents and they did a fabulous job, of course :) We got the grandparents involved as well, by vowing to protect and spoil Jake to the best of their ability. Candles were lit by Brian and I, Melissa and Dennis and both sets of Grandparents to symbolize the promises that were being made to him. (no one caught themselves or the pastor's robe on fire, so another success to the event)

After the baptism, everyone was close to death from starvation. We held a reception at our house & the weather cooperated to be outside all afternoon, hang out & chow down! Jake received so many generous gifts, we have the best friends & family!

Jake has his daddy's keen sense of investment already, here he is showing off a savings bond:

Nana & PopPop refinished Brian's old Radio Flyer wagon for Jake...he's not quite ready to use it by himself yet, but it looks great!

And of course, Gracie was longing to open some gifts of her own (don't worry, GG brought her a bag of treats!)

Book Review: "The Other Boleyn Girl"

The Other Boleyn Girl
(Philippa Gregory)

I'm not into historical fiction at all, but everyone kept saying how good this book is (and I wanted to read it before seeing the movie), so I figured I'd give it a shot. Overall, I really enjoyed it...the only thing that frustrated me was the length! I'm used to finishing books in a week or so, but this one was about 650 pages long (with fine print and lots of characters, so sometimes I found myself having to flip back through to remember who people were) so it took me almost three weeks! I found that I flew through the last half of it, particuarly the last 100 pages or so, it was one of those books that I was hoping we'd hit some traffic on the bus ride into work so that I could read a bit more.

Up next: Remember Me? (Sophie Kinsella)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Baby Comb Over?

When looking at the picture that I put in the Father's Day post, I had to admire Jake's swirl on top of his head. No matter what we do to the hair (comb it down, wash it & try to pull all the hair toward the front, attempt to create a mohawk, etc....) it always goes back to the swirl. Behold the swirl in all its' glory:

Also-please note that the swirl is darker than the rest of the hair, making it stand out even more!
Perhaps his goal is to style his hair like this someday?

While I don't have a clear picture of it, he also has a swirl on the back of his head:
Making me think that perhaps he's modeling himself after this guy:
And not wanting to be left out of the comb over trend, I caught Gracie browsing the web for a puppy comb over the other day...I think she's decided on this style:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Recipe-Taquito Casserole

This was given to me by a friend in my book club and it was really yummy and easy, so I wanted to share!

Taquito Casserole

1/2 box of taquitos
1 package of spanish rice (I used Lipton's Mexican rice)
shredded cheddar cheese
taco sauce
sour cream (if desired)

-Cook taquitos according to directions on package; while they are baking, prepare rice
-spray casserole dish with pam and spread rice in bottom
-Top with taquitos and squirt taco sauce over top of everything
-cover with cheese
-bake at 350 until cheese is melted
-top with sour cream if desired.

Happy Father's Day!

We had an interesting was Brian's first Father's Day, Jake turned 5 months old and he was sick. Again. Poor thing, we just cannot catch a break! He came down with a fever suddenly Friday night, so we took him to the doctor Saturday morning...fortunately, his lungs/throat/ears were all fine, so they said it was probably just a bad flu that we would have to just keep an eye on. (his weight at the dr was 16 lbs 8 oz!! He was 1 day shy of 5 months old) The fever shot up to 103.5 Saturday night, but thankfully that seemed to be the worst of it and he was back to his old self for the most part on Sunday, just in time for Father's Day!

Jake made a card and a magnet for daddy at school last week, which Brian loved of course (he also loved the Mario Kart for Wii that Jake & Gracie got him as well!)

We spent the rest of the day outside, which was nice...Jake enjoyed hanging out in his exersaucer on the patio in the shade! It's amazing to watch him in the exersaucer...he's figured out how to completely spin himself around in it to get to all of the toys, pull on the toys that make noise and turn the pages of the "book" that's attached to it! (and he laughs when the one toy sings to him, it's the cutest thing ever)

Later on that night, Gracie had a playdate with my friend Lisa's new dog, Geno. In her old age, Gracie couldn't hang very long, but they ran around for awhile and Gracie then slipped into a coma for the rest of the night.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Head of the class

When we first started looking into daycare centers, our first choice had a year long wait list. The center was big, nice, had lots of activities (even for the infants) and, as an added bonus, is about 1 minute from our house :) We put our names on the waiting list, but weren't expecting anything to open until the fall...fortunately for us, they had some changes there and we were able to start Jake this week!

While we felt kind of bad taking him out of the daycare he'd already been in for almost 2 months, we knew that this new center was a better fit. And so far, we love it there! They do so much more with the babies than they did at the other center...tummy time, daily walks in the stroller, mirror play, sign language, etc... They also have a smaller infant: teacher ratio (the state's requirements are 4:1, this center has 3:1 until they are a year old) We've been very pleased with what we've seen so far and Jake seems to be adjusting and making new friends. Here are some pictures of him on his first day of school (as you can see, he is very scholarly already):

Monday, June 2, 2008

Jake has a thing for the older ladies....

As you may remember reading about in an earlier blog, Jake had a date with an older lady (Amelia) a few months ago...he carried on this tradition this past weekend on his first date with Lanna. Lanna's mommy, Mandy, and I both belong to a local internet chat group (yes, I have internet friends....I meet them in real life and they do not turn out to be 12 year old boys, as my dad thinks they do) Anyway---the four of us met at McDonalds and even though the kids were too young to enjoy the play area, they had a good time checking out each other and "talking". A match made in heaven? Perhaps...we'll give it a few years & see how they feel.

The weather cooperated again this weekend (I'm scared to mention it too much for fear of jinxing ourselves & having a tornado blow through here next weekend) so Brian got more house stuff done (including finishing the paint job on the shutters-YAY!) Sunday we went to visit my parents in Washpa where we were served steak and more desserts than I normally eat in a week (I'm not complaining!) My dad threatened to sue me if I posted pictures of him on here without his written permission, but that's just too bad. Here is that side of the family:

At one point during the visit, I expected Uncle Nate to bust out some protective face gear, he seemed to have a paranoid fear of catching pink eye from us (we're all pretty much cleared up, by the way!) but I finally talked him into holding Jake. He has yet to carry out his formal initiation as an uncle by changing a diaper, we need to work on this.
In case you were wondering, Nate has a thing for "Cops" so he was wearing his wife beater, just in case we ended up on an episode of it during the family cookout. I guess you never know when a domestic dispute is going to break out; that's my brother for you, always the prepared one.

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