Weekend Trips & Baby Kate

We just got home from a couple of whirlwind weekend trips. Weekend before last, we piled in the car and traversed the Wisconsin-Illinois Interstate system to visit my parents. There, we celebrated my Dad’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, got our teeth cleaned, visited with Uncle Michael & Andy got a little catch-up time with friends before we piled back in the car and headed home.

Graham conquers Uncle Michael with huge foam pirate sword

Graham conquers Uncle Michael with huge foam pirate sword,
his balloon-animal-defense never stood a chance.

*This* weekend we made the voyage to Milwaukee. The trip wasn’t without its setbacks – Baby Reid threw up in the car upon arriving to the Milwaukee airport (on our way to Atlanta, no less), we forgot a umbrella stroller necessitating arm-disintegrating strength as we carried that sweet 30-lb sack of potatoes through the airport, and Graham did minor (but not insignificant) wall damage trying to be silly for Charlie’s benefit.

But I choose not to let those things define the visit because there is a baby girl to celebrate! We got to meet sweet baby Kate and all was right with the world.

Baby Reid meets his cousin in CUTEST INTRODUCTION EVER

Baby Reid meets his cousin in CUTEST INTRODUCTION EVER

Not only that, but we got our gang back together – even if just for a little bit. We fell into the visit just like it was old times back in the Big D.

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Except there are a lot of wonderful pint-sized additions now! (And a lot more conversations ditched halfway through to rescue something or someone from certain destruction!)

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If you want to see more great pictures from the visit, go see them at Michelle’s site: www.fischandmich.com

Bonus: On Saturday night, the boys were tucked into Charlie’s bunk bed and clearly carrying on some sort of rousing conversation. I snuck upstairs and slid my phone underneath the door to capture it. (The remaining adults were downstairs laughing about an SNL skit, by the way. Haha.)

Enjoy!

Note: Sorry about the low volume, once you get it adjusted, it should be easy enough to hear. If not, then there’s always the captions! :)

Happy Birthday, Baby Reid

365 days. One full, hold-on-to-your-hats, dizzying ride around the sun.

Our baby boy is one year old today.

Yes, this guy.

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Raise your hand if you remember that Reid was born with brown hair??

I remember a year ago with vague flashes of memory. I remember that Reid caused some really convincing false labor two times before he ultimately got his eviction notice. I was the Braxton Hicks queen of them all. Every night I had timeable contractions. Every night they got closer and closer together. Then I would go to bed, wake up not contracting, get dressed and go to work.

Then December 4th, we left Graham with my mom and headed to the hospital. My water broke at 8:00 a.m. and four hours later, Reid William was born – at 12:08 a.m.

As with Graham, it was the easiest labor & delivery ever. (They seriously need to put me on A Baby Story, because my experience would make first time mommies a lot less nervous for delivery. But then again, it would make terrible T.V.)

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Reid arrived on the scene peaceful and content. Day 2 brought some fussies, but we figured him out pretty quickly.

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“Wrap me up and feed me milk, and I’ll take it easy on your ears. Deal?”

Reid was pretty much my maternity leave buddy for 3 months. We hung out. Watched some T.V. Ate Christmas cookies. Thought seriously about sleeping a couple of times.

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Then the smiles came and with them, his sunny personality.

Where Graham was slapstick and drama, Reid was a ready smile for anyone who looked his way.

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Who could forget the ear infection that would not clear? The unprecedented three rounds of uber-antibiotic shots – one in each leg all three times. Sunk deep into those meaty hamhocks halfway to the thighbone. Dr. G, in his no-nonsense way telling me that we had two choices, do this ridiculous shot nonsense again or, at the ripe old age of 4 months, tubes. We made the right choice, after seeing what comes out of said tubes after each particularly nasty cold!

I had no idea just how many firsts we would have with our second child.

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This is about the time that Graham realized that being a big brother had big payoffs.

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He has more love for Baby Reid than I have seen him have for anyone else, bar none. Fierce protector. Thoughtful teacher. Willing playmate. (And, sometimes, overzealous snitch.) 😉

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One of the things that I love most about this baby is his willingness to just roll with it. Yes, right now at 12 months, he’s getting a healthy respect for the uncertainty of life. Getting more sensitive and quick to frighten. But for the most part he is a go-with-the-flow, feel the wind blow through your hair kinda kid.

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So very literally, sometimes.

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With Reid, I played dress-up. Every chance I got, I put this kid in a cutesy outfit. He makes such a great Ken doll. 😉

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And boy, did we have to make sure and change clothes a lot at our house because did Reid ever grow quickly! Especially between 6 and 10 months. In the 90th %iles for everything!

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Reid is a voracious eater. His thighs tell no lies, so they say. (Just kidding, nobody says that. Except me. Just now.)

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For Halloween this year, we dressed the boys in matching outfits. Graham as Tigger. And Reid as the cutest Pooh Bear you ever did see.

He’s so clever – bringing his own treats for trick-or-treating. 😉

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Shortly after, we moved out of Texas. (Always remember, Baby Reid, you were born there. You have dual citizenship!!) Onto Wisconsin. He took that all in stride too, of course. All said, this year we learned that he doesn’t really love car. Especially the last hour or two of a long drive. Thankfully for everybody we eliminated a big travel ordeal for one large branch of the family visits!

Reid has been acclimating to life here quite well. On the one hand, he’s had a pretty big sleep regression, but on the other – we get to look at him in all kinds of different adorable hats!! Life’s a tradeoff.

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Reid, it has been a joy to watch you grow over the last year, and it’s frankly so hard for me to remember you as itty bitty. Hard to believe you were not always this broad, strapping boy we know today. With cheeks that insist on stretching out for miles. And dimples that knock the breath right out of my body.

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So, here we are. One year old, and you have brought us so many laughs and so, so much love.

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This time last year, we had absolutely no idea who you were. Today, I absolutely can’t imagine life without you.

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Happy Birthday, my sweet, sweet angel baby.

Life’s a Beach

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted anything. That happens when I get busy and have totally bloggable happenings but don’t have time to write. Then, when I DO have time to write, I put all this pressure on myself to keep things in chronological order so I intend to write one massive post that does nothing justice. Then I’m like, “I don’t have time for that either,” and then I write nothing.

But I’m throwing all that out the window because these pictures aren’t going to post themselves!!

We’re on vacation, y’all. We met up with my folks; Michael, Rose and their kids; and Tony, Erin and their kids in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. We’re holing up in some beachfront condos and logging some major water time and some epic naps too.

Here we are on travel day:

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Finally outgrew the height limit on his infant carseat. They actually looked like this, this morning. Getting everything sized right before installation.

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Since we’ve arrived, the kids have sort of been in this constant state of euphoria. Baby Reid and I stayed around the condo most of the day the first day.

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Graham has been repeating the phrase, “I’m having so much fun!” and, if he’s not around his cousins, he constantly asks where they are and what they’re doing.

He’s learning tons from Grandpa too. Grandpa was snacking on oyster crackers from a coffee mug the first night when Graham was saying goodnight to everyone. And guess what’s the first thing Graham wanted to do when he woke up the next morning?

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Hint: it involved oyster crackers and a coffee mug.

Been having a great time getting reacquainted with each other. Catching up, telling stories and getting some sun in the process. :)

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Six Months

Oh, Baby Reid. I look at you and simply cannot believe we’ve been blessed to know you for only a mere 6 months. 6 short months, and still I can’t seem to remember a time when I didn’t know you – when you weren’t a part of our family.

The last couple of months since your last doctor’s check-up have been quite a ride, son. You’ve endured some minor medical drama (very minor, thankfully) and hit a couple of big developmental milestones. But I think the biggest change I’ve witnessed is the evolution of this charming personality. It is absolutely heart-swelling. Your smiles seem so personal. Seem so… just for me. Daddy says this too. So do your teachers, as a matter of fact. I love how you absolutely love people.

And your favorite person of all… your hero… The-One-Who-Can-Do-No-Wrong?

Big Brother. Oh boy, Kiddo. You’ve got it for him so bad.

And he for you too, gladly.

He is both your personal court jester…

… your teacher …

… and your protector.

He cannot wait for you to wake up in the morning and always wants you to sit by him when he’s watching T.V. or eating dinner. He informs your father and I what you need (“blankie,” “bubba,” or “paci”), and will even sometimes get up and retrieve it for you himself.

Graham would walk over hot coals for you right now, baby. And I expect that even though someday – when you two are older and prone to bickering and out-and-out arguments – even though it may not feel like it, I’m pretty sure he would do the same to make sure you were taken care of.

What else for these past couple of months?

Early on, right about 4 months, we hit up the Dallas Zoo.

What a sweet little animal-lover. Most memorable thing about that trip was your pooping out of an outfit while we were waiting in a long line for the train. So I changed you right there in line, because it was like a half-mile walk out of the convoluted train-waiting situation to find a restroom, which would surely have the gagging-est changing table. Sometimes it’s maybe not so great to have a mom with some experience under her belt. Sorry, kiddo!

And who could forget the Earpocalypse and The Infection that WOULD NOT CLEAR.

I still say that those are the absolute saddest pictures I have of you. But you are tubed now, and doing fantastically! Best decision yet.

Thankfully, those tubes allowed you to get out of the swing-sleeping situation you were in and got you back in the crib for better sleep! It was about this time (just shy of 5 months) that you started rolling onto your tummy from your back.

But it didn’t take you long to realize that you preferred sleeping on your back. You would cry if you woke up on your tummy!

Sitting up started about now too, didn’t take you long to become a pro at that! Fully sitting up at 5-and-a-half months.

Of course, you’re not stopping there – and why would you? You’re now constantly reaching for toys. Getting on your belly. Streeeettching out to get something. Wiggling around, starting to pull knees in to scoot yourself over to a toy that’s just out of reach. Crawling’s not too far away!

At about 5 months (it was a busy time!), the 40 OUNCES of formula you were drinking started to not be enough. Given the doctor wanted us to stay under 35 ounces, it was time to start practicing with some solids!

Your first try was with rice cereal. Didn’t do too bad!

You liked your cereal well enough, but you weren’t really adept at opening your mouth for it at first. We started with about a tablespoon – of which you left most behind. That, coupled with 5 bottles of 8-ounces formula each, spaced about 3 hours apart, was your feeding schedule for the day at 5 months.

Now, at 6 months, you’re eating 4 9-ounce bottles of formula, two 2-3 tablespoon servings of rice cereal and a half small container of veggies with dinner. You sit at the table with us while we eat our dinner and, if you’re not eating too, you look over at Graham and open your mouth like a little baby bird. Hoping that he’ll get the message that you want some food. :)

All this eating is making you grow like gangbusters!

At your 6-month appointment, your growth was:

Weight = 20 lbs (88%ile)
Height = 27.5 in (80%ile)
Head = 18.3 in (>97%ile)

Believe it or not, I’m still cramming you into 6-9 month clothing, but I need to get out your 9-12 month box and switch over your closet. Truth be told, I had a couple of 18-month outfits hanging in your closet that ended up looking scarily comfortable on you. We might have skipped a size? Say it ain’t so!

Last – but certainly not least – you seem to have found your chatterbox. Sometimes when the mood is right, we get you talking and talking and you don’t stop! Absolutely hilarious. You clearly have a lot to share with us.

We love you SO so much, baby boy, and we are having so much fun with you right now. I’m not sure what we did to deserve such a lovable little bundle like you, but oh am I ever so grateful!

P.S. Those ankle circles you’re doing in that video? That started on our road trip to Illinois and hasn’t stopped yet. You like to do it when you’re in your carseat, high chair or when you’re lounging back eating a bottle. Usually it’s just one foot, but it gets to be two feet when you’re excited about something. :)

Earpocalypse Now

I am happy to report that Baby Reid has a brand new ventilation system! Cutting to the chase:

All went well with his ear tube surgery this morning, and we are now ready to get back to baseline health. Just say “no” to drugs, Baby Reid!

Of course I can’t leave it at just that, so here’s the rest of our morning’s adventures.

We had the first appointment with the surgeon for the day: 7:40 a.m. Not too bad, I thought, until the nurse realized that – since Reid is a baby – we would have to do the procedure at the hospital instead of the adjoining surgery center. It pushed our original cushy check-in time from 6:30 a.m. back to 5:30 a.m.

Ugh.

So, I got up at 4:30 this morning, threw on clothes, woke Baby Reid up, changed his diaper, packed him in his carseat, listened to him load up a diaper, unstrapped him from the carseat, changed the dirty diaper, watched him hose down the entire changing pad and pajamas, strapped on a fresh diaper, changed his clothes, threw everything in the laundry basket, restrapped him in the carseat and left for the hospital. Because NOTHING IS EASY… EVER.

But, he did look cute after his outfit change. And I’m like 50% sure he didn’t do it on purpose so…

FORGIVEN.

Even with the delays in morning progress, we still made it to the hospital on time. Promptly at o’dark thirty.

It was just Reid and I. Andy stayed back with Graham to get him off to school when they opened – at 6:30.

I was running on fumes and didn’t realize it. This has been stressful – playing the mommy role in all of this. The scientist in me wants to embrace all the “easiest surgery ever”s and “seriously, no big deal”s. But, as my mom said to me this morning: no surgery is routine when it’s YOUR kid.

Still, I thank everyone who has provided encouragement to that end. It helped, a TON. My logical side was able to keep my emotional side in check.

Back to the hospital: I got Reid all checked in. Papers signed. Credit card swiped. ID bracelets attached.

I had no sooner pulled his stroller up beside a chair when I heard a voice say, “Well THERE’S a familiar face!”

I turned around and saw two of the sweetest people I’ve known in my life. They go to my church. The husband is our head usher. Their smiles are easy and their hugs follow just shortly after. Turns out, the wife was having a procedure done that day.

I could go on and on about this but I’ll just stop and say: God arranged that for me. I have no doubt about that. The emotion I’d been suppressing about this entire surgery came immediately to the surface when I tried to answer their greetings. We talked for awhile about what Reid was having done. Turns out their daughter had had tubes when she was a baby. The wife nodded at me, knowingly and said, “It’s hard, isn’t it?”

This couple sat in the waiting room near me until we got called back to the back. Then we all walked back to pre-op together. There, Reid got all checked out. His weight now? 18.2 pounds. Which means he’s gained 2.2 pounds in less than a month. (!!!) He got his temp taken and his pulse-ox measured.

It was after this that I heard another familiar voice: my pastor, Doug’s, at the nurse’s station, asking after the couple I’d met in the waiting room. (Remember they were from my church? He was there to visit them!) I pulled back the curtain and said, “HEY!” So we sat and caught up. He prayed over us, and then ran to catch the other two.

Shortly thereafter, Andy arrived after dropping Graham off at school.


Daddy’s are the bestest.

This is where the waiting game really began. And guess what? Doug came back!

We hung around past our 7:40 a.m. scheduled appointment. Around 8:00 or so, Reid started to a get a little “Why haven’t you FED me yet, GUYS?!?!” and Doug offered to walk him around a bit.


He got Reid right into a zombie-like state. What a natural!

At 8:10 a.m. Reid’s ENT came to say “hi”, then about 5 minutes later, the anesthesiologist came to take him back to the O.R. Literally, we had time to update Facebook before the ENT came into our room with drops in his hand and said, “He’s so cute back there. His little hands are folded over his chest like this…” and then he did a little Reid impression and handed me the drops. We kinda looked at each other confused for a minute and the doc said, “We’re done! He did great!”

Ha! I thought he’d forgotten to tell us something and came back to see us before the surgery for some reason.

A few minutes later, a nurse came and picked us up to take us to recovery. We walked in and Reid’s bed had three nurses standing over it, smiling. He was laying in bed, still asleep. A little rosy-cheeked angel.

 


I know. Doesn’t that picture just break your heart looking at it? He was fine though. Just a few minutes later, he was up and wanting mommy and daddy. We had his bottle ready and commenced the most important part of recovery – the FOOD. 😉

He finished his bottle, his RN took his temperature, we packed him in the carseat and strolled right on out of the hospital.

In fact, kinda funny. There was another couple who was in the hospital that morning as well. The man, apparently, was the one having the procedure. We ran into his wife on our way out. She asked really sweetly how everything went, then she said that she couldn’t beleive what an awesome baby he was – being so good (napping even!) in the waiting room when he hadn’t eaten. She rolled her eyes and said her husband was sitting in the waiting room complaining about how hungry he was, and she said, “HEY. That baby hasn’t eaten either and he’s managing to keep it together!!” Don’t mess with Texan wives, man. They will give you WHAT FOR. :)

All said, we get back to the beginning. The procedure is done, and Baby Reid is doing great! I’m glad to have this behind us and look forward to less pain and more comfort in our future!


OH YEAH. And by the way…

Whaaaaaaaaaat?!? When did he start doing this?!