Tuesday, February 26, 2008

6 months old!

Andrew turned 6 months old yesterday, February 25, 2008. He has his 6-month check-up this coming Friday, so I'll give an update on his weight and length after that.

As far as the photos go, I had been planning on taking some nice photos again, so I got my camera out on Sunday and took these semi-pro shots. I shoot with a Canon Digital Rebel (the original) 6.3 megapixel camera, for those of you that are interested. Enjoy! Please feel free to give feedback on which ones are your favorite and why.
















And...Daddy took a "Mommy and Me" shot of us...


Friday, February 22, 2008

Andrew is afraid of strangers...

It started a little while back when Uncle Jeff (my brother) held Andrew. He was talking to him and everything was kosher until about 30 seconds later...Andrew got a HUGE pout on his face and started bawling. Big, crocodile tears were running down his cheeks. I went to hold him and he was; of course, fine. I had Andrew in my lap and I had Jeff sit next to us on the couch and Jeff was able to talk to Andrew then, from a safe distance.

So, last weekend, the Fam (Daddy, Mommy, and Andrew) went on a trip (trip here = a whole 2 hours away) to Madison. We booked a hotel for Friday night. It was a lot of fun, especially soaking in the hot tub (we brought Andrew down by the hot tub in his carseat and took turns watching him).

Anyway, we decided to go to the mall. I thought it'd be fun to wear Andrew in the Snugli carrier. After all, I was in Madison...a lot of baby-wearing types live there and I could feel cool too. I got Andrew strapped into the carrier (facing out because he's a big boy now), wrapped a warm blankie around him (it was pretty cold out), and we ran into the mall. Not a minute into our walk, he started doing his cry that he does for strangers. I guess there were too many unfamiliar faces around us! He was just wailing! We had to stop and sit down at a bench to take him out of the carrier. People were staring at us. I just smiled at them and comforted Andrew. He was fine when he could see us again. I guess he doesn't like facing out!

The next morning, the Fam decided to go down to the continental breakfast (score!). I was talking to this really nice lady who was also eating there. She said that she and her husband were in town to visit with their granddaughter. She was talking to Andrew and telling him how cute he was and finally asked if she could hold him. I told her she could and she started talking to him. Ten seconds later: you guessed it. Crying! The pout is so cute though. I need to snap a picture of it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Success!

Andrew took a bottle for Daddy yesterday. This is awesome!!! I mean, I know he took them in the past for him, but then he refused them for several weeks. I just thought we'd give it a try again. I told Daddy that around Andrew's 10:00 feeding, warm up a bottle and try and see if he'll take it. If he didn't take it, I could come home to feed him. This way there was no pressure on Daddy (like he has to give it and there's no other way Andrew will be fed).

I walked around with a smile on my face at work after I finished pumping. I got to wipe the dust of my Medela, so to speak!

This might not seem like a big deal to mothers whose babies take bottles no problem, but to us mothers in the "Bottle-refusing Boobie-loving Baby Club", it's a major breakthrough! My goal is to just come home once a day (on my lunch break) to feed Andrew. This way I'm not doing so much running and Andrew and I get a little bonding time during the workday, albeit about 12 minutes. I don't want to jinx myself though, so I'm going to try not to get too hopeful about it. We'll see how today's feeding goes.

Update: So, today the bottle didn't go so well. A couple of minutes in, he started crying and crying. I got a phone call at work and I could hear the little dragon wailing in the background. I came home to feed him. Tomorrow is a new day and Daddy will try again with the bottle. Hopefully we'll have a repeat of Tuesday!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Anxiously awaiting spring...and the Heart Walk

This winter has been so unlike the winters of the past 5-6 years. If it isn't way below zero, it's snowing! We've gotten more snow this year than in the past 5 years combined, I swear. I keep telling myself that next month is March and most likely there will be a day (or two) that Andrew and I can take the stroller out.

In other news, on Saturday Andrew and I did the annual Heart Walk (at the mall) with my mom (a team from her work was doing it). Andrew sat up in his stroller like a big boy (usually I have it in the reclined position, but thought I'd try him upright). He really liked looking around at all the people! Mom and I are such power walkers that we were passing all kinds of people. Andrew ended up falling asleep and getting a nice, long nap in. We were on the news but it was such a quick shot of the overall team, that I only saw us for a brief moment. There was a large group from my mom's work and there was a sea of faces wearing black t-shirts and I saw little Andrew's bald baby head in the croud. It was cute!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

More teeth!

For the past week or so, Andrew has been teething (again...his bottom two teeth cut through when he turned 3 months). He's been very fussy, drooling like crazy, gnawing on everything, spitting up more, and crying out in his sleep (this is so sad!). I've been holding him a lot because he seems very clingy. If I can distract him with my love, why not? :)

Anyway, I have been watching the teeth try to come through. They almost look like canker sores on his gums (ouch) and you can see the white tooth beneath the surface. Anyway, last night I go to check-out what I thought was just the two top teeth, and I see that there's a third one coming through too!

I sent Rob to the store to get some Hyland's Teething Tablets. I've heard good things about them and it's worth a try. The Tylenol just doesn't seem to be "cutting" it (no pun intended).

I can't believe that by the end of this week (probably) the little guy is going to have 5 teeth. He's only 5 months old!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

We have ourselves a little charmer!

So, today the weather was nice (30s, instead of the recent sub-zero temperatures) so the three of us decided to venture out. The usual Saturday routine is to lounge around the house in the morning and then get ready for the day and go shopping (usually just grocery shopping at Woodman's, and making a couple other stops too). Every single store we went in, at least one person stopped to talk to Andrew. He gave big smiles and squealed (pretty loud) back to all of them. I thought to myself how nice it is that he's happier now, a nice change from his colicky days.

When we were in Festival (a grocery store, for those of you not familiar with this area), we were in the check-out line and the guy behind us (a burly man in his 40s) asked with a friendly chuckle, "how much does he cost?". Then he proceeded to talk to him, all the while Andrew giggling and squealing. It was so cute. I love guys like this--friendly, approachable, and not too uppity to talk to kids. A side note here: Andrew is reaching the age where he's starting to cry when held by unfamiliar faces. He knows my brother, Jeff, but isn't used to being held by him on a daily basis. The other day we were visiting at Grandma Sandy's house and Jeff was holding Andrew talking to him. All of a sudden the big pout formed and Andrew started wailing away. He wasn't happy until he was back in my arms. We sat down on the couch and I had Jeff talk to him while I held Andrew and then it was fine. A little later we attempted to hand him over to Jeff and; again, crying ensued. Last night we were at my BIL's house and both my 17-year-old nephew and my BIL got the crying treatment when they held Andrew. It's funny because there's about a 30 second delay before he realizes he's not in the safety of Mommy or Daddy's arms.

Moral of the story: as long as these other people who are not Mommy or Daddy talk to Andrew at a distance, everything is cool. The little dragon is free to interact with these strange creatures.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Here we are at five months!!!

Okay, we're finally to-date. These pics are from this week. It has been a long, cold winter. If we aren't getting sub-zero temps, it's snowing (and vice versa).

I put him in his snowsuit the other day and had to get a pic. He looks so cute!!!

Here is Andrew all snuggled up (he's not a fan of the carseat):


Andrew in his "Bounce Bounce Baby" (activity station). He picked this to be his favorite toy on the whole thing because it reminds him of Boobie! Daddy said he sucks on it all the time when Mom is at work:
There's that cute smile...
He's working on some more teeth (gnawing away at his fingers all the time, drooling, fussy, more spitting up). You can really see how big his bottom ones have gotten!

Our First Christmas and New Year...

Christmas was special for us. We had found out one year ago (12/24/06) that we were expecting, and this holiday season we'd get to enjoy our present. :)

This was the picture on the Christmas card we sent out. I took a whole lotta pictures and liked this one the best:


Grandma (my mom) with Andrew on Christmas Eve:

Mommy and Andrew on Christmas Day!
Opening presents at my mother's house (Andrew seemed excited by all the excitement going on):
As long as he is by Mommy, he's good to go.

Christmas Day fun (we put Daddy's hat on Andrew and couldn't stop laughing). You'll see by the third pic that Andrew realized it was funny too!


These next 3 are from 1/13/08, Mommy givin' some love to Andrew:

Big, blue eyes and a Packer shirt:

Changing right before our eyes!

At this point in the game, Andrew was approaching 3 months and changing so fast. We were amazed while looking at his newborn pics how much he had grown! He reached a few milestones: laughing, getting teeth, and being happy at more times of the day! We also took him off the Zantac. It's so weight-sensitive and we had to adjust the dose a couple times already. We didn't see a marked difference in fussiness in our trial runs off, so we decided to be done with it. Forcing down meds twice a day when we didn't even know if it was helping or not was not fun!


1st time in the Bumbo seat: he was almost 3 months here, and not too impressed!

His first laughs...

Mommy and her baby:
First teeth! 3 days after he turned three months, the bottom 2 teeth came in. My mom said we were early teethers, but not this early!

Daddy and Andrew (there's that ugly camo coat again!)

This is one of my favorite pics of him:

2 months old!

The days were winding down before Mommy's return to work (11/4/07). The plan was to do 2 weeks of 2-3 days a week before returning full-time after that. We just enjoyed every last minute of my maternity leave.
The next few pics are from the day he turned 2 months old (10/25/07):
Mommy and Andrew
He looks a lot like me in my baby pics:
The same pic as above, in black-and-white:
I love this one...

He was always happiest in the morning, right after his first feeding:


A daddy and his boy...

Plesae ignore my hubby's ugly camo jacket and look at the amazing interaction going on. I am so glad I grabbed the camera! 10/16/07 was the date on these, so I guess Andrew was about a week shy of being 2 months old.

Fussy baby, anyone?

I bought the Medela Pump-in-Style breast pump after reading tons of reviews. This one seemed to be highly recommended. I knew that when I returned to work, I would need a pump that could quickly extract my liquid gold as fast as possible without hurting my mammaries. :) We started Andrew on a bottle at 4 weeks, once a day. I would pump while Daddy gave the bottle so that my supply would stay up. The first few went pretty well. We had Daddy give them so that way he would hopefully associate Daddy with the bottle and Mommy with the Boobie. A few days in, I even hung out in the same room and watched Andrew happily suck down a bottle from Daddy. I thought, "this is awesome!". About 3 weeks in, he decided he hated the bottle. He screamed when it came close to his face. He even hit it away with his hands! We tried different bottles, different nipples, me feeding, Daddy feeding with Mommy out of the housee, Daddy feeding with Mommy in the house. We tried it where we'd let him fuss long enough and figure he'd eventually get hungry enough for it, which resulted in extreme crying and us feeling guilty.

Another issue started at 3 weeks. Andrew started projectile vomiting entire feedings. Needless to say, he was always on the Boob (any feeding that was lost, I replaced with another nursing). He cried A LOT. A lot, a lot, a lot. He didn't throw up all his feedings, but I would say it happened a couple of times a week. He would definitely spit up with every feeding. We started keeping him upright for30 minutes after a feeding, and that did help with some of it.

We took him in at 6 weeks. The doctor asked if he seemed to be less fussy when bounced or in the car, to which we replied, "yes". He said he thought Andrew was colicky, and we could try Zantac twice a day and treat him for GERD. The Zantac seemed to help a little bit with the fussiness, but not necessarily stop the puking.
If he wasn't being bounced in the bouncy, he was crying. Needless to say, this bouncy seat became our best friend. I love this pic of him. The look on his face is priceless!
Crying!
We went for a hike on this nice, fall day (movement = sleeping = happy baby)!
He liked the swing for about 2 weeks before he decided the swing was evil (bouncy trumps swing)!


The early days...

I'll share some pics of Andrew up until this point so that I'm all up-to-date!

his hospital pic:


These next 3 are from our first day home. He's wearing a preemie outfit because he was so small! I can't believe how tiny he was. Look at his little head compared to my arm.

I love his little feet! It was really warm out this day, as I recall.


He was just so cute all snuggled up in his bassinet!

He looked so tiny!


Our first family portrait at home (thank you, camera timer and tripod)!


His first bath at 2 weeks (when the umbilical stump fell out). He loved the warm water!


We were all dressed up to go to our friends' wedding. He was exactly 4 weeks old in this pic.

One month old (I loved this little outfit on him)....
To sum up the early days, it all went by so fast. The breastfeeding went very well. He was a good latcher and I think my only struggles were probably the first few days. It just took a couple tries to get him on. Once he figured it out, it was awesome. He was up a lot at night, which I expected. He would wake up to eat about every 2 hours at night, and sometimes fed on the hour during the day. We enjoyed the nice end-of-summer/fall weather and took a lot of walks with the stroller.