Wednesday, October 28, 2009

8 Months of Charlie

This is such a fun age. I wish I could hold on to it for a bit longer. Charlie is so playful and exploring things and crawling around and has so much personality. He no longer has to get by on his tiny cute size alone. Charlie is almost always in a good mood - if he's not something is up. He smiles and laughs all day long - they love him up at daycare. Cheerful baby who they have finally figured out just needs to be put down awake for a nap and fuss for a minute before he goes to sleep.

Unfortunately these daycare naps have resulted in shorter sleep times at night - back down to 10 or so hours. This may also be due to teething and/or the medicine he's taking for his asthma which is somewhat stimulating. At least for Charlie. Mommy is exhausted. 10 hours is not much time to straighten up, get ready for the next day, relax for a few minutes, sleep for the night and get ready for work before he wakes up.

Charlie's crawling has improved and he gets around pretty quickly. It's still kind of a military crawl but some time during the weekend my mom was visiting he figured out how to make it very efficient. Instinctively he seems to gravitate towards the most dangerous thing in the room - typically electrical cords. I have to head him off and redirect him which generally ticks him off. He loves crawling under tables and his high chair too - go figure.

The poodles are still getting used to being startled when he sneaks up on them. Charlie finds the poodles to be hilarious - he wants to grab them and interact with them but doesn't seem to care for all the poodle kisses that accompany that. He's a good sport about it though.

Charlie seems to want to pull up but can't quite figure out how to make it work. I think we're getting close though. Oddly, he isn't that great at sitting up - he just doesn't want to. My theory is that when you are just sitting you aren't going anywhere. So really, what is the point of that? If you sit him up he immediately gets down on his stomach.

Charlie's finally starting to appreciate books as something more then an object to beat on the floor and destroy. He seems to enjoy being read to. He also loves when I sing to him - poor thing doesn't realize (or care) what a horrible singer I am. Daycare always puts a note on the report about how much he loves music day, which is Wednesday. He also likes any toy he can shake in the air and make a sound with or beat on the floor.

His next pediatrician appointment isn't until next month so I don't have a length/weight update. Charlie got weighed at the ER on Sunday but it was annoyingly in the metric system and I can't even remember what it was to do a google conversion. Let's just say around 20 pounds.

His 9 month size clothes no longer fit. Sniff sniff. We are solidly in 12 month clothes and almost to 12-18 month sizes from Baby Gap and Gymboree. His shoes are size 2 and they don't seem like they'll be fitting for much longer! I can't believe it. He is clearly not listening to my instruction to not grow anymore.

We are up to six teeth - the bottom center two came in together and then a couple of weeks later the top four center teeth came in over one weekend. Despite all the teeth we haven't had too much progress on the truly solid foods. He still loves all the purees but when I give him something like a puff or a piece of bread or cut up banana it usually gets stuck in his mouth somewhere and he coughs and gags until I come fish it out. So we're sticking to bigger solids he can gnaw on until they become mush. He's slowly figuring out the sippy cup and that the spout is for more then just chewing on - liquid comes out!

Well that's about it. I just got the 411 on some H1N1 vaccination at a clinic in Richmond so I'm off to pick up Charlie from daycare!

But before I go, what would an update be without out takes???

Also, here's a really long video of Charlie. If we aren't related please don't feel obligated.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkins and Charlie

The leaves here just changed last and are brilliant so we drove out to Ashland Berry Farm to get some pumpkins and mums. I thought it would be a nice relaxing way to spend Sunday afternoon but the drive was kind of tense because Charlie had a really bad cough after he woke up from his nap. It was like there was a 60 year old lifetime smoker in his car seat.

When we got there it was SO crowded. Hour and a half line for the hayride out to the fields where the pumpkins are. Apparently my idea of a nice relaxing afternoon in the country was neither original nor realistic! So we snapped some pictures, decided we'd just grab some pumpkins at the grocery store and headed out. Poor Charlie coughed the whole way home and I wasn't feeling too hot myself. Just icky.

By 5pm he was wheezing pretty badly so we headed over to the ER to get him looked at. What didn't occur to me until we got there was how packed the ER would be. There was a sign in the front that if you had any flu like symptoms to put on a mask and easily half the waiting room had one on.

Luckily yesterday was fairly warm - Brad ended up standing outside with Charlie while I got us checked in. Since the H1N1 vaccination is next to impossible to find here and it's running rampant through Richmond we wanted to keep Charlie away from the waiting room - but obviously couldn't keep him away from the ER all together.

Once Charlie had been triaged and they listened to him trying to breathe we were whisked to the back and they had him on a breathing treatment in no time. Two more treatments followed and some oral steroids and he was doing much, much better. They took an x-ray to make sure it wasn't pneumonia and it wasn't - but definitely asthma.

We went home with our own nebulizer machine so we can give him treatments at home. Charlie basically hates wearing the mask we have to put on him to receive the treatment. He fought us tooth and nail last night at the hospital and is a little bit better at home but so squirmy.

At our follow up doctor appointment today they told me to give him inhalable steroids through the nebulizer twice a day until December. Since he hates it that just sounds like a lot of fun! But he is back to his normal self and hopefully the daily treatments will mean colds are just colds and not a reason to rush to the ER for his breathing.

Through all of it last night I felt pretty cruddy. I'm not sure what is up with me - I was up a bunch of the night not feeling well and I stayed home from work today. I also had a dermatologist appointment and they took off 5 moles - 1 that was annoying and 4 she didn't like the look of. It takes 2 weeks to get the biopsy results. Seems kind of long, right?

I think we did some other stuff this weekend... oh yeah we went and looked at cars. Watched some football. Ate ribs. Went to bed at 8:30 on Friday night like 7 years olds!

Anyways, there's your Spooner health update. And a couple of pictures of a kid who doesn't feel that great being forced to pose on some pumpkins at the pumpkin patch:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On My Blackberry

This morning while waiting for Charlie's flu shot I was scrolling through the emails on my blackberry and found a couple of... interesting texts.

I have bleeped out the bad words but for viewing purposes this blog post is rated 'R' for strong language.

Text #1: Don't try ta play me my cousin saw u hugged up with dat ____. You dirty ___ mutha ___. I hope you caught something. We thru, Lose my numba ___. I can't believe u.

Text #2: My bad my friend gave me dis numba tryna be funny. I thought u was somebody else but dont txt dis numba back.

OK now, if you sent these to me fess up!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Watch out - he's mobile!

Charlie is crawling and getting quicker all the time. He is all over the place checking things out. He especially loves drawer pulls, door hinges, electrical cords and beverages. He laughs in the face of the concept of baby proofing.

The poodles don't know what to think. He sneaks up on them, grabs a leg or an ear or something and they pop up and give me this pained look like they just don't know why things have suddenly gotten so scary but can I please please please make the little person go away?

So here's a little crawling demonstration. Sorry it's so wobbly - I was trying to move back while sitting on the floor and get him to crawl further. He also kept trying to eat my camera.

Side story: Charlie was sweet enough to make his love of beverages known in the Saks 5th Avenue men's department on Sunday. A permanent reminder of Brad's venti soy misto from Starbucks now marks the cream colored carpet near the sport coats. Charlie executed a near perfect 5 second 'grab and drop while Daddy isn't looking' move. Sadly this was not caught on film.

Charlie's School Pictures

Somewhere between Trigonometry and Latin classes Charlie squeezed in a quick photo shoot for the daycare annual! And I'll probably order a few because I'm a big sucker like that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekend with Nana

My mom came to visit this past weekend to see 'her Charlie' and remedy her 'Charlie-itis' (the affliction of missing Charlie). She was a little worried he wouldn't remember her but I knew better. She went in to his nursery on Friday morning after getting here late Thursday night and he immediately reached out for her from his crib. He looooooves his Nana!

Charlie's been teething quite a bit lately and was cutting *FOUR* new teeth over the weekend. His bottom center two teeth are pretty much in and now the top center four teeth are breaking through all at the same time. Looks very painful. His cheeks are puffed out and swollen looking most of the time - I wonder if there aren't some other teeth breaking through I can't see.

Anyways, all this teething is manifesting itself in broken sleep - for both of us. It started last Wednesday when he mysteriously got up at 3am and there has been some form of sleep deprivation every night since then. My mom is so sweet - she got up with me each time. I think we sent her home exhausted!

In my typical rookie mom fashion, I naively had all these fabulous plans in my head for the weekend, none of which came to fruition. My vision was the perfect fall weekend in Virginia - visiting a pumpkin patch or apple orchard, maybe going to downtown Charlottesville for some shopping, cooking some yummy food and everything just being so cozy and perfect.

Reality looked more like a poor teething baby on an unpredictable schedule, miserable wet weather you don't feel like going out in and a new dishwasher installation taking three times as long as it should because of rotten floor boards underneath. Also, the quality of my cooking has really tanked since becoming a mom so none of the food I had planned turned out very well.

Even making it to the great restaurant we wanted to take my mom to on Saturday (Pescados) didn't happen because it was late, Charlie was tired and we didn't have time. So we ended up down the street at the Tavern. Again. For someone who doesn't live here, my mother has eaten at the Tavern a disproportionate number of times. For such a young baby, so has Charlie. Here he is in his neato Chicco high chair thing, probably thinking 'Really guys? The Tavern AGAIN???'

And stealing Daddy's iPhone since his computer wasn't available.

Charlie loves to get a hold of our phones and laptops - we joke that he has a lot of work to do and we are really messing him up by not getting him his own phone and computer. So my mom got him a toy laptop at Target! And he LOVES it! Finally he can get to work and tackle that long to-do list!

Sunday we stopped by the Fall Festival at Charlie's school very briefly. It was so cold and windy we really couldn't stay for long. They had a petting zoo, bouncy house, games, face painting and stuff like that. Obviously Charlie is too young for just about all of it, though Brad did try to make sure Charlie got a nice close up view of some of the animals. However, I think the other kids are as fascinating as the farm animals to Charlie....

Luckily I had left Charlie's hooded sweatshirt at school last week so we had something extra warm to put on him when Rookie Mom forgot to bring a hat for him.

Anyways, it was a really fun weekend. My mom is just fun to be around and she really didn't care about doing anything but being around Charlie. We did shop a little and just hung out and relaxed. Finally saw Confessions of a Shopaholic (firmly mediocre) and caught up on Project Runway. In hindsight I just have to laugh at the difference between my envisioned weekend and reality - so out of whack!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cute Finds

From Old Navy! Score!

This comes in a few colors, not sure why I love the white. There's a dark blue that's also appealing. With tights, big chunky heels and a long cardi I think this would be presh... and it's on clearance!

I am probably too old for this dress but I heart it anyways. If you are my sister or one of their friends, please buy this and wear it for me.

I love a long swingy top to cover my huge post baby booot-tay. I should quit buying so much grey, black and white though. I'm like Angelina if she ate all the McDonad's she buys for her kids.

And nothing is complete without a cute scarf... so we can all channel our inner Meredith.

Now get out there and stimulate this economy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bite Me

I think I mentioned in an earlier blog post that Charlie's bottom two teeth had come in. I was a little suspicious that was all that was going on in the teething department because it seemed like when he chewed on things he was aiming for the top and right side of his mouth. This weekend we got him to laugh while holding him in a variety of angles and I think I see at least one of the top two teeth breaking through and perhaps some on the bottom right side. There are white spots all over. No wonder this poor kid has had poop for days - he may have a full set of teeth in a week or so!

I think my friend/neighbor Kristen put it best - when Charlie was going to town chomping and gnawing on a piece of celery last weekend during the A&M/Arkansas game she said 'Aren't you glad you aren't breastfeeding now??' Indeed.

Speaking of the A&M/Arkansas game... wow. I married a Razorback and might get to live through this same experience annually for the next decade! I have to admit, I was guardedly optimistic before the game that we would have a decent showing. At the beginning of the broadcast one of the commentators was going on about how evenly matched these two teams were and I felt a glimmer of hope that we could win. I visualized some fun, teasing, slightly gloating phone calls to some of my in-laws. :)

By the time the game was over I had a big gulp straw in my wine bottle and was hoping nobody called me. Luckily they were kind enough not to rub it in. Brad gave me a little bit of a hard time on Sunday at which point I told him I thought it was really cute Arkansas found someone they could finally beat. He laughed but piped down after that. I could only say that for a week though because they played a great game against Auburn yesterday. Charlie once again wore his Hogs shirt and it may be the good luck charm the Hogs need. He'll have it on next weekend for the Florida game so we'll see.

Brad's dad got Charlie the Hogs t-shirt above the last time he was in Arkansas. To even things up a bit Charlie had his Texas A&M binky, which was a gift from my friend/coworker Kristen (not to be confused with friend/neighbor Kristen). The binky doesn't seem to have the t-shirt's magical powers so far - A&M wasn't looking so hot this weekend either.

We finally ordered Charlie's halloween costume. I was SO bummed because after going to place the order I realized the turtle only came in 0-6 month size - it was a 'bunting' - whatever that means. So I did another search and we decided on this little duck costume. I think you'll still be able to tell he's a duck even if he hates the hat thing on his head. Love the feet. Mama's little ducky!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Everybody Poops

And if you're Charlie, you've been pooping 8 to 12 times a day for the last 3 days. Let me tell you what a MOTHER diaper rash that leads to. And a MOTHER load of laundry.

If you've been paying extra close attention, then yeah, this would be the 3 days since I got home from New Orleans and Brad left for Charlotte that all of this has been happening. It's been haywire and the best thing I can say about it is that I did have some some wine stashed away so I MADE IT! I survived! Update my Mama Resume with another impressive bullet.

So nobody warns you about diaper rash. I was warned about many things before Charlie was born - sleepless nights, colic, separation anxiety... I really think diaper rash ranks right up there with the other very painful baby experiences for both parent and child. I haven't seen Charlie scream like this since he was a hungry newborn and nobody was *getting it* quickly enough that he was starving and no thank you but breast milk isn't going to cut it this time. The shakes..... you shall know his unhappiness by the shakes.

Diaper rash is also such a pitfall area for the rookie mom. The advice to fix it varies widely and you're trying to do the right thing but then you figure out that's the wrong thing and you change course and buy 8 different diaper creams at 12 bucks a pop just to find that all but the plain $1.39 vaseline makes it burn worse. I've now got a blow dryer in the nursery that terrifies him but does dry his tooshie, 3 kinds of Aveeno purchased in my quest to find the *right* Aveeno the first nurse recommended and poop all over the floor as a result of trying to let him 'air out' with no diaper. It's been a week.

I think we're finally on the right path, though. Today I talked to a really good nurse who I've seen before. She's actually known as the 'breastfeeding nazi' amongst some of the moms who go there so I did have to sit through her sniff of disapproval when I told her he was on formula. I of course wanted to explain the whole 'it's not me - it's him' and 'I tried but he didn't want me anymore' schtick but I've met her in person, heard the formula rant and she's really not going to believe me anyway. She did have some good advice, though. A formula made just for diarrhea, some antifungal and more vaseline for the toosh and nothing but bananas and oatmeal for a couple of days. If there's no improvement by Sunday morning we go in to see the pediatrician.

By the way, if you are in the market for a black poodle, I have one who would really make your home complete. I am so ticked at Zoe for making this whole ordeal twice as difficult as it needed to be. Say for instance Charlie had a poop event while in his highchair having dinner. I rush him away to clean him up and stop the crying and come back and all of Charlie's dinner has been eaten off the counter by Zoe. Or lets just say you leave any kind (clean or dirty) of baby wipe or wet clean up wash cloth lying around - it will be dragged to another room and chewed, shredded, tossed around - whatever. With plenty of extra mess to clean up. I have really wanted to wring her neck a couple of times. Seriously, she's totally cute and sweet and will fit right into your house. Call me.

Oh and the other thing that made this week extra special fun is that my car, the beloved but now slightly detested Elvis, has had another hiccup. I had to take him into the shop today and hope for a couple of days until we could get there that he didn't leave me stranded with a baby somewhere. There's something wrong with the engine, the brakes and the steering column. Much like a California felon, Elvis is under a 3 strikes and you're out statute. This is strike 2. When Elvis' time comes there will of course be a special tribute blog entry because we're talking 10 years people. Long enough to have fond, blog-worthy memories but not long enough to sink more then the car is worth into keeping him running.

Well I'm going to wrap this one up because I'm sure you need to use the bathroom by now. Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Role Reversal

This week for two days Brad and I got to change places. Well, sort of. I traveled out of town for work (New Orleans) and he stayed in town to work and take care of Charlie. It was really an abbreviated version of each other's lives - and frankly, quite a bit less stress the we each actually experience week in and week out. I don't have near the kind of work pressure that Brad shoulders on a weekly basis - I just have a lower stress and lower (read: low) glamour job - and it's a lot simpler to take care of Charlie for a couple of days then all the time. Let's just say I came home to quite a bit of piled up laundry for 2 days and no groceries. Trying to squeeze those kinds of things in with a full time job and baby care is really where the challenge lies. JV vs. Varsity, if you will.

Anyways, the highlights/revelations:
  • My is it easy traveling without an infant! This was my first trip alone since he was born. On the plane I read a book, had something to drink and didn't get a single dirty look from anyone! I had a glass of wine on the trip home. Also read quite a bit of the Lovely Bones. Have you read it? So depressing. Will be skipping the movie.
  • I woke up early in the hotel, despite being exhausted, and realized to my delight that for this one morning, nobody needed me. I read some celebrity web sites, worked out, read the paper over breakfast and while I got ready for work nobody screamed in faux distress!
  • While I hate running, going running in another city is a delightful form of sightseeing. It kind of makes it feel like vacation instead of work. I ran through the French Quarter and along the lake while the sun rose and feelings of peace battled it out with impending leg cramps and being embarrassingly out of breath.
  • It is still so striking to me how different eating dinner with others is when Charlie isn't with me. Even when he is being good it takes so much brain power to keep him occupied. I had dinner at K-Paul's with Lakshmy and Whitney where we had legitimate conversation that I actually contributed to and remembered! We also had a LOT of butter.
  • Lakshmy saw Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush in New Orleans - they are soooooo back together. You heard it here first. Unless you saw it on Lakshmy's FB wall first.
  • I ran down the hall to get Charlie Wednesday morning when he woke up - I was so excited to see him. By that night, diarrhea, diaper rash and upset baby had me daydreaming of a hurricane with a side of beignets.

Maybe in a couple of months we can switch again. While it's nice to do periodically I don't think I'd trade him. I think he'd rather be home too but we've got to make the most of what we're dealing with here. A travel job and some really bad diaper rash.... :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Random Things

  • Charlie was up at 5am this morning, was not himself at daycare today and has been very fussy tonight. I wish I could get a closer look but from what I can tell both bottom center teeth are coming in. I think I see the ridges in the teeth breaking through. If there are top teeth coming in I may never know - he is very protective of his mouth right now.
  • After several weeks of periodically checking the scale, it appears that 8 pounds of baby weight mistakenly thinks it has been granted permanent residence since it has refused to budge in quite some time. Eviction papers are in the works. Until then I will continue wearing the same 3 pairs of pants.
  • My alma mater (Texas A&M) and Brad's alma mater (University of Arkansas) are playing each other this weekend for the first time in a kazillion years or something. First time since I met Brad, that's for sure. 7:30 EST on ESPN 2. I think I read tickets for the game were just ridiculously expensive - $85 minimum.
  • We have a babysitter lined up for tomorrow night - yay - so we can go out to dinner after Brad gets back in town. Not sure where we should go just yet to try and feel young and normal while really feeling exhausted and stressed.
  • Does anyone know why there wasn't a new Top Chef last night? We're mid-season and it's not a holiday. Bravo is such a tease.
  • I need to order Charlie's Halloween costume soon. There's a parade type thing at daycare and a 'candy walk' at my work that I'm going to take him to. I'm hoping to get through it with no candy since Charlie can't eat chocolate and the aforementioned 8 pounds. Anyways, I'm debating between the following - thoughts?

Turtle (the side image made this much cuter to me)