Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What a Christmas!!

Took a break from blogging during Christmas break. We traveled it up and got to see so many people that we typically only see once each year. A good time was had by all, with the exception of the terrible colds that Ryan and I had during the trip (why is it that the word "cold" sounds so insignificant, but they can really make you miserable??). I tend to write on and on, so I'll try to bullet-point all the main happenings and not make this a huge blog post.

Slideshow first...

  • Camden spent a week at his dad's, but we still managed to work it out so he got to see all the extended Boyer and Priddy families (my dad's and mom's families), which was really great! This is the only time we see most of these guys since we live so far away.
  • At the Boyer Christmas, there were three new babies! Aiden. My cousin Jamesey's little girl McKenna, who is just 8 days younger. And my cousin Bryan's little girl Braelyn, who is 8 weeks younger than Aiden. It was a lot of fun having them all together. Aiden also got to meet all my other cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmother, and great-grandmother (his great-great-grandmother). We, of course, got the obligatory 5-generation photo shot...

Five Generations - Bobbie (great-grandmother), Mom Elsie (great-great-grandmother), Daisy & Aiden, Terry (grandfather), & Camden

Here is Braelyn, Aiden, and McKenna.
Aiden was as happy as could be all day up until we took these pictures, which was right before we left. He was so tired by this point!!

  • At the Priddy Christmas, there was yet another baby for Aiden to meet and play with. My cousin, Michelle, had her new baby, Cody Lee, who is exactly 4 weeks younger than Aiden. Cody was rather interested in Aiden and especially interested in Aiden's Santa hat. Aiden was interested in his own feet. (But he did notice Cody after a little while!)
  • At my mom's, there will be two new babies NEXT Christmas! What fun that will be!!!
  • We had a total of 7 Christmases this year, including our own. Camden had an additional one at his dad's. Most people did a good job of going along with our request to get the kids small gifts since we had such little room in the car. The ones that didn't had already planned on shipping the gifts but wanted us to open them there. (How nice!) The kids didn't get TOO much but still got spoiled just enough. And we received some items that we've really been wanting, esp some camping gear that we will put to good use this summer!
  • The night before we left to come home, Aiden rolled over PURPOSEFULLY!!! He's rolled over a few times before (did it a couple times about two months ago, actually...), but they were all just by chance. This was intentional. He kept getting stuck but finally got it! He hasn't gone from belly to back yet, but anytime he's put on his back, he sticks those legs up and rolls onto his belly!
  • The day we drove home, Aiden got his first tooth!!! He has been a pleasant teether so far, too. He fussed a little bit on the way home - about 20 minutes - but that's a long time for him!! He gets frustrated when he can't get something in his mouth to chew on the exact way he wants. You can barely see where the hole is in his mouth, and you can barely feel the tooth but have to use your nail. But it's there!! The one beside it is soon to follow, I can tell.
  • Aiden also learned to do the little "Indian call" while at Mammaw Melly's. She put her hand up to his mouth and patted it some while he called out. When she stopped, he pulled her hand right back! It was pretty funny, and he still is doing it quite a bit.
  • I recieved a very special gift from my brother. He knew I wanted it, but he took the time to get it. My mother collects M.A. Hadley dishes. One day (hopefully WAAAAAYYYY in the future), when she passes away, we're going to be fighting over that set - I just know it. She mentioned him getting it in her will, and I said....Ummmm...NO, I want those!! So we'll see. She suggested starting a set of my own, but, of course, I want her set. Anyway - back to the point. When Camden was born, I got him a M.A. Hadley "Baby's first Christmas" ornament - and it broke!! (I still have it, broken.) So Daniel, went and got me two new ornaments "Camden's First Christmas" and "Aiden's First Christmas," both dated the year they were each born. Probably my favorite present (even though we agreed last year not to exchange with each other anymore and he forgot but I remembered and didn't have anything for him...).
  • Our gift to all of our parents were photo books about Aiden. The books took them through the pregnancy and his birth up until now, but each one was tailored for them and included pictures of them visiting (i.e. my mom's had pictures of her, Ryan's mom's had pictures of her, etc, etc.). It took some time to make, but they were so worth it! I think everyone really enjoyed them, and we were excited to give them!

  • Aiden did an amazing job with his napping while traveling. He still went right to sleep on his own even though we stayed at three different homes over the week and a half. I would like to say I was blessed with a great sleeper, but I don't believe that. He has been taught how to go to sleep on his own (and withOUT crying!!), and that is why he is so great about it. No luck involved (or needed). When he gets tired, we read a story, we lay him down with his paci and his bunny, and he rolls to the side and goes to sleep. I was impressed he did so well while away from home, though. :)

  • Many people on all sides of our families (even Ryan's) have said that Aiden has my eyes. I agree. Started noticing this about a month ago. (The kid looks so different than he did at birth already!!) Other people will comment that he has Camden's eyes - which means he has mine since Camden is not Ryan's biological son. Nice to know he's getting SOMEthing from me! ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FOUR Months!!

Aiden turned four months old on the 6th (yes, I know that was a week and a half ago...we've been a bit busy lately!!). He's changed so much and experienced so much this past month. He has been on two road trips - one to KY for Berea College Homecoming and one to WV for Thanksgiving with Daddy's family. He babbles all the time these days, and he will let out the most adorable belly laughs from time to time. It's hard to predict when he'll laugh, and you can't really "make" him do it. He laughs at what he wants to! But once he's on a roll, he'll go for minutes on end. We laugh so hard that we're nearly hurting afterwards! He's also really enjoying reading with us and tries to "read" along himself, talking as we read.

Sleeping - well, it was going GREAT! Sleeping "through the night" and only waking once to nurse, then right back to sleep. We've been working on going down for naps on his own, too - which he does SO well with (and did it withOUT crying-it-out!). He had a brief week or so where he was waking more at night, and we assumed he was going through a growth spurt. Then Thanksgiving happened. He was waking every two hours AT LEAST while away, and he just kept that trend up once we returned home. We've been working on it, and he's waking up only a few times now. Naps are still going well, though they're shorter again - about 40 minutes each (where he was napping for longer before the traveling). I'm not going to complain much, though. This is a little blip in the big picture, and if it was a result of the traveling and being in new places - we'll deal. Being with family is too important, and I can manage the sleep issues from time to time, if that's what it takes. (Easier said than done sometimes, but still!)

We've tried the bottle with Aiden a couple times - but to no avail. He's just not interested. Chews on it a bit and then looks around like "You really think I'm going to take this? Ha." We tried it with the sippy cup one day - I think that's more likely to work. Most likely we'll just not worry about it much b/c there really isn't a need for him to drink from a bottle at this point. And soon he'll be drinking from cups, so... No big deal. Daddy would like to be able to feed him sometimes, but that might have to wait until he's eating actual food and drinking from the cup - which really is NOT far off!!

Here are the four-month shots. I LOVE the one of him looking at his feet. Anytime he is sitting, he just stares and stares at them. He's quite interested now that he's realized they are part of his body!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas

If you've heard this song, you either love it or hate it. Well, I love it!!! Usually I'm not crazy about these kind of annoying songs, but I just can't get enough of this one. So, when I saw this ornament at Hallmark, I wanted it!

Apparently many others do, too. And many others have gotten it. We cannot find a store that still has it in stock - most have even sold the display! My mom has even looked around where she lives in KY - sold out there, too.

So, if any of you want to get me what would be my favorite Christmas gift of the year, this would be it. ;)

(Or if you find it - just get it and I'll pay you back!!!)

In case you haven't heard it (or just want to hear it now - who wouldn't???)...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hard to Impress

This kiddo can be hard to impress. When you WANT to impress him or you want him to react with a smile, he tends to show you his stubborn side, his "you can't make me" side, which of course makes US laugh. He can be pretty funny... Here are some examples...

Here is a pic from our family portraits we had taken in November. The lady was acting completely RIDICULOUS! I mean out-of-her-mind crazy! And Aiden would not crack a smile. I think his look pretty much says "so?"

He's yawning in another. But most of them, he looks just like this. Like "you aren't impressing me, lady."

And here we are at My Gym. A group of us mommies went for a trial class after the owner came to one of our Baby Steps classes (a class for mommies with new babies at a local hospital). Some of the babies, esp the other boy, LOVED it and were squealing with joy. Others smiled a lot and obviously were having a decent time. Aiden? He had the same "so?" expression on pretty much the whole time. I know it made ME laugh. It looks like he's trying to say he's just too good for this and he knows it. Haha! I laugh every single time I see this picture...
"I am soooo over this..."

This picture below is the closest to a smile we got during this visit... (Granted, he was tired. Yawned on the way over - and after we left, he was asleep before we were 3 miles away.) He never got fussy. He just never got excited either.
On the trampoline with Julia, Jonah, and Stella. Others were giggling over the bouncing. Aiden just looked like he was kinda indifferent.

We've taken Aiden to get his pictures taken twice. Once for the family pics, once for his 3-mos pics. Both times (at different places, different photographers) - the photographers started saying to him "well, you're just mr. serious, aren't you?" Haha! Since I'm posting some pics, here's the 3-mos one, too. ;)
The little half-smile here (if you can call it that!) was the closest we got!

Now what is even funnier is that Aiden will CRACK UP laughing - I mean hysterically! - over nothing! Most times he does this, Daddy is holding him, and I am talking to Daddy. Talking as in normal conversation, nothing funny at all. And Aiden will burst out laughing and will laugh for minutes on end! When he does, he even throws his head back while he laughs! It is hilarious.

When Aiden gets this "can't impress me" attitude, Ryan adds in "wonder where he gets that???" I guess maybe this is what he gets from me, since the looks are all Daddy. Hmmmm... ??? I'm not sure about that, though. I think his looks often seem to show INDIFFERENCE, which is totally not me. I'm definitely opinionated. Ryan's the one that's more likely to be indifferent. Give it a little more time, we'll see which one Aiden really is. My luck - he's probably very opinionated!

Kids and Coffee - Be sure to vote!!

Speaking of coffee (see previous post), Camden constantly asks me "When can I drink coffee???" Keep in mind, the child is NINE years old.

I let him try mine from time to time. Just a sip here and there. But I'm not sure when I'll be ready to give him a cup of his own... Now, I started drinking coffee very early. My mom tells me that my grandmother would spoon-feed it to me! I drink some almost every day - just for the taste of it. I don't need the kick from caffeine. In fact, I always drink decaf, even when not pregnant or nursing. Camden assures me he would drink the decaf - he just likes the taste, too.

(I'm not saying it's ok to start kids out on coffee really young!! I don't agree with that. But I'm saying that's part of the reason I'm not so sure what is a good age - b/c I was drinking it so early on. I think that's why this is a difficult thing for me to think through... Make sense?)

Camden already is a big tea drinker. But we usually drink green tea or herbal, so I'm not opposed to him having that. And he drinks his with honey, no sugar. So it's pretty good for him in most ways.

So, I want to know what some of you think. What is a good age to let a child drink coffee???

Leave a comment with your thoughts. And be sure to vote on the poll. I'm interested in reading what you all have to say on this topic. This is one area where I'm really not sure how I feel. (Shocking, huh?!)

Gingerbread Galore!

Recently, someone I know blogged about some goodies they had tried and loved from Trader Joe's - one being their Gingerbread mix. I have been on quite the bread-making kick lately - banana bread (which is something I make lots anyway), chocolate chip zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, and now I'm going to try the gingerbread. Most of the things I bake are homemade. I'm not much of a mix person, partly b/c there is a satisfaction of making something yourself and partly b/c the ingredients aren't all that good in mixes. But TJ's mixes aren't so bad - no high fructose corn syrup for one - they use the real stuff, and that's what I go for. Honestly, we haven't found much from TJ's that we don't like! (This is going to be a problem if we move back to KY one of these days - unless they put a store there.... Let's cross our fingers!! I just checked and, as of now, the closest store to where we would be in KY is Cincy - a couple hours away...)

While at TJ's picking up the bread mix (the pumpkin bread mix is very good, too!), I decided to try their Gingerbread Coffee. And so glad I did. It is SOOOO YUMMY! Mmm. I'm drinking some now.

Of course, Ryan tries it and says he doesn't like it much. Why? B/c he doesn't really like gingerbread flavored things. Nice to know after we bought a few boxes. And I make gingersnaps every year at this time........ Oh well. Camden and I will still enjoy all the gingerbread goodies. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Our Christmas Tradition

I saved this picture for a post of its own. This is Camden putting up the first ornament - "his" 2008 ornament. (Normally my Kristy Yamaguchi ornament is first, but I gave it up to Camden this year...)

When I moved out on my own, I realized I didn't really have my own set of ornaments. I had some hand-me-downs that were given to me (meaning ones that were not really wanted by the giver) and I got to buy some. I appreciated what I had (hey - it was better than nothing! and they were given to me), but I remember having a tree full (or not-so-full, I should say) or ornaments I wasn't crazy about for a while and thinking that I would start a tradition that would leave my children with their own "starter" set of ornaments when they moved out - ornaments all their own, ornaments that had special meaning to them.

So, each year, Camden gets to pick out "his ornament." He chooses based on whatever his interest is at the time, and I write his initials and the year in a hidden area. We have quite a few Spider Man ornaments, a soccer one from last year, and this year, he picked out a Star Wars one (that makes noise, of course...). When he moves out, all of these ornaments go with him.

Now that Aiden is here, we get to start the tradition with him. I'm sure that my now full-of-ornaments tree will soon start to have too many ornaments (especially when we add the next baby, huh?!), but what fun that will be! Camden really enjoyed getting out all of "his" ornaments this year, seeing which ones were from each year, and counting them to make sure there was one for each year since he was born. He doesn't yet understand why it means so much to me or how much it (hopefully!) will mean to him when he moves out on his own, but it still is such a big deal to him. He loves picking out his own ornament each year - all on his own (no matter what we think, we don't get to tell him he can't get it b/c we don't like it - it's all about him!). It's become a tradition that we all really enjoy and look forward to each year.

It's Christmastime!!!

It is now officially Christmastime!!

Side note: Christmas does not start in our home until AFTER Thanksgiving. We do not put up any decorations, listen to Christmas music, or any of that until after Thursday. I feel that a lot of people end up overlooking the importance of Thanksgiving because they are so excited that Christmas is around the corner. Sometimes Thanksgiving gets a little neglected. But I love the Thanksgiving holiday - it's a time when you get to spend time with extended family for no reason other than to be with them. It's a time to focus on the blessings you have in your life - not to focus on what others are giving you or what you need to get for others. It's just a time to BE, to be together, and to be grateful. (That's how I see it, at least.) :)

But now Thanksgiving is officially past and Christmas is here! We are getting the tree decorated, all the decorations out. Christmas music is going pretty much nonstop. I love listening to Christmas music. It's so festive and just gets you in the spirit! That is all I listen to during December (well, now there are also some lullabyes and classical music with the baby here....).

I'm trying not to get too stressed out over the holidays right now. This week has been stressFUL to the max! There is just so much to do, Aiden's sleeping schedule is all out of whack from the traveling (no matter how hard we tried to keep things consistent while gone), and more traveling is coming up. BUT in the end, it's all worth it. We make every effort to see ALL of the family over the break - the grandparents, all the extended family, everyone! It's a lot of work, and I know Aiden's schedule will be even more difficult this time around - but the work and the stress are temporary. The memories and the time with family stick around. That's what matters. So, I am looking forward to focusing on that. Oh, and we have some great gifts for our parents, and we're excited about that, too. Hopefully they all like what we have in store just as much as we do!

Now, on to finishing the decorating and baking up some Christmas smells even!! :) What a great time of the year!!!

Here are some pictures from a night of decorating

Aiden was more interested in chewing on things instead of decorating...

Me and my boys after we started putting the ornaments up

Aiden helped a bit from his seat in the sling!

Daddy got in on the fun, too

Aiden is checking out the lights - he wasn't sure what to think of them

More pics of the finished product once we actually finish it! ;)

Giving Thanks

We have a LOT to be thankful for this year!! It has been quite the year for us! I graduated from grad school, Ryan is now *officially* a CPA, and Aiden joined us. We went through a bunch of hoopla with Aiden's tushie, but now we have been given the green light to assume it was not much of anything unless it returns. We're so thankful to have Aiden, that both him and Camden are healthy children, and that we are a family together. I am so appreciative of so much in our lives right now. Everything may not be perfect - but all the important things pretty much are. God has given us a lot to be thankful for this year, that's for sure!

For Aiden's first Thanksgiving, we visited Daddy's family for the long weekend. Aiden did well on the ride there, though I experienced motion sickness for the entire trip (well, after the first 20 minutes of the 8 or more hours we were traveling, that is).

We had a lot of fun visiting with Ryan's dad, Susan, and Susan's mom and then visiting with Ryan's mom and David. Aiden also got to meet Ryan's Granny. We got some really good pictures of that. He missed out on all the yummy food this time around, but he'll get to enjoy it all next year!

The ride home was not quite as calm as the ride there... What should have been a 6-8 hour drive took nearly 11. Due to traffic - not Aiden. Aiden actually slept a lot. Camden was very patient with it all. But after slow traffic for a while, Aiden decided he had enough and let us know it. He doesn't like sitting still in the car seat. So he had a bit of a meltdown, we stopped as soon as we could, and the second he was out of the car seat, he was happy as could be. He must have known we all needed a break - it really helped. Ryan, in the heat of all the stress of the traffic, said - next year we're staying home! But we'll end up traveling just like we do every year. ;) I reminded him, once we move back to Lexington, traveling will be much easier............... (wink, wink)

Here are some pics from the trip:
Aiden's First Thanksgiving 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sleepy Time

Lately Aiden has been sleeping at night wonderfully but struggling with his naps. I got this book, which I think is GREAT. Lots of common sense stuff, but let's face it, sometimes even common-sense things get overlooked or forgotten and we need reminding. But there is also a lot of other good stuff in there. And it's not a plan to just follow - it's about coming up with a plan that fits your individual family, deciding if it's working, and tweeking it every so often if needed. (We're not all about the cry-yourself-to-sleep method...that's just not for us.)

Before all this, Aiden would nap after nursing, sleep for about 20 minutes, and wake back up still tired but wanting to nurse again. Sometimes he would sleep for up to two-and-a-half hours, sometimes only the twenty minutes a few times a day. It would vary each day, which was frustrating for both of us. He needed the sleep, I needed the time to do stuff around the house. Something had to change, and I wasn't going to do it by letting him cry it out. Enter the book. Thankfully it was a quick read and had things I could start using right away. :) Otherwise, how would you find the time to read on ways to help your baby sleep - if your baby never slept! Hmmm..... We didn't need the book for bedtime - that's easy for now. We do have a better routine, and he goes out even quicker than ever! But our focus was naptime.

So, I decided to alter Aiden's naptime schedule a little bit, and WOW has it made a difference! It's not much, but it works. At the very first eye-rub, yawn, or anything to indicate he is tired (if we are home and I am able!), I take him into his room, we sit down with his little stuffed bunny (that only comes out at naptime and during the day) and a book, read, then he goes straight to the crib with a paci (which he just started taking two weeks ago today!), and we turn on our sleepytime music. The child goes right to sleep (well, ok, not every single time - but 9 out of 10 he is out within just a couple minutes) without fussing at all.

Aiden napping with his little bunny

We're still working on sleeping longer without waking and needing to nurse or get his paci. But that will work out in time. He's already getting better at it. Naptime is just working so much better these days, though. He's happier, mama's happier - it's a win-win. :)

Side note: Aiden did go through a week of starting to wake every couple hours at night - but we think he was going through a growth spurt b/c we could tell he was just HUNGRY! And he's getting back to where he was - almost there!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Aiden's Medical UPDATE

If you haven't read about Aiden's medical issues, you can learn about it all here. Otherwise, this won't really make much sense.

We went back to the dermatologist at Duke last Thursday. After getting the results from the geneticist, he told us we could relax some and not worry so much. Not so bad to hear after all the drama we've been through, huh? Now, I am the kind of person that likes to have answers. I like to KNOW things. BUT...I figure if two specialists at Duke can tell us that we can relax a bit, then we can assume they are right and do just that. If it does come back, we know who to call to and what the next step will be. But for now, we (for the most part) have a clean bill of health. That's nice! There are obviously some unknowns still, but aren't there always? We'll deal with other stuff as it comes up and be happy with what we currently have in front of us.

We did come away with a diagnosis of eczema, though. I knew this going into the appt, but I like to have confirmation from a medical professional. :) He gave us a prescription for some spots that were really affected - such as one of Aiden's birthmarks. Apparently birthmarks can really get the brunt of eczema.... And he recommended this lotion, which is not cheap but feels soooo darn good. The first time I massaged Aiden with it, he just grinned the whole time!! So, it might just be worth it. And his skin feels so soft now after using it regularly. Camden has mild eczema but I doubt he will start using this... The only time he wants to bother with lotion at all is after swimming (b/c he KNOWS that can break him out big time).

So - good news in our home! We are happy with the results for now. And we have been reminded what a blessing it is just to have this little boy in our lives. That is a lesson we won't be taking for granted. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

THE Santa Talk

I've never been a huge fan of encouraging Camden to believe in Santa. In fact, it's always been a source of tension for me. Why? Because I want the focus of Christmas to be on the real "reason for the season" - the birth of Jesus. And Santa kind of conflicts with that... In my opinion. So, while I've never really discouraged his belief, I've never really encouraged it, either. Sure, Santa has always brought him a couple things (but not much), and we have on occasion put out milk and cookies, but that's about it. I spend my energy on trying to teach Camden about the spirit of giving (not getting...) and about Jesus. I have been waiting and waiting for him to ask about Santa b/c I have a policy of not lying to him (which is just another reason I don't like this whole pretending that Santa exists thing...). So, he FINALLY asked. We were running errands, so we talked briefly (I did the whole "What do YOU think?" when he asked if I believed Santa was real) and told Camden we would discuss it more at home.

What led to this discussion is him bringing up The Polar Express movie and wondering about the boy who said Santa hadn't visited him before (the poor boy in the movie, not the main character). He wondered if Santa really didn't visit some kids or what that was really all about. So, we sat down with Camden last night, armed with brownies and ice cream (ok, that was more for me...) - and it all came out. (I am SO relieved!) I expected him to know what might be coming since we put off the discussion until we were at home and since we asked him "If Santa weren't real, would you want to know?" (To which he answered yes.) But he didn't put two and two together until we outright told him. We explained where the idea came from, who St. Nicholas was, etc. At first he was a little mad that parents lie to their kids about the whole Santa thing (which I totally get). We explained many of the reasons that parents pretend about Santa, and I think he got it. We looked up more about St. Nicholas, and he was really interested in the truth behind him, which was pretty cool.

But what was he REALLY upset about?? The same thing from earlier the same day... When he first brought up the whole "poor boy thinking Santa forgot him" - he got really upset and was crying. He thought it was awful that some kids would feel that they got overlooked by Santa. And this was still bothering him. He was upset about this all night - about the kids who get so little or nothing at all. Now, he doesn't get much either. Part of it has been b/c of money, yes. Being a single mom in college - you don't have a lot to spend. But I also don't agree with splurging even if you have it - kind of takes away from the real meaning. But back to the story... He hated realizing that some kids really don't get much and that they might think that Santa just didn't stop at their house. He thought it was so sad and felt really badly for those children. He was upset all night and had such a hard time going to sleep.

I reminded him about how he gives to a child each year to help with this. At his school, they have a "Dolphin Tree" (their mascot is a dolphin), and he picks out a child and buys them a gift with his own "charity" money that he has saved up. I explained to him that while it is sad that many children are worse off, instead of focusing on what they don't get and simply feeling sad about it, it is better to do something and try to make it better for some. So then he got upset because we only signed up for one child this year. When I told him we could do more, he was upset b/c he didn't have enough money in his charity money for this. I explained we could help with that. I mean, this is the point I want him to get!! And he's getting it. Regardless of how much or how little we have, I want him to learn to give to others and consider those less fortunate - and not just to consider them but to DO SOMETHING about it.

I love that my child has such a big heart. It nearly broke my heart seeing him so very upset and crying over children he doesn't even know, over a character in a movie. He kept wondering why they would put such a character in the movie b/c it is too sad. And I think this is one reason why. I'm so proud of Camden right now. We had such a great talk, and I'm glad that the biggest thing that came from it has nothing to do with finding out that Santa isn't real but that it has to do with caring about those less fortunate. I had many "proud mama" moments last night.

Oh, and when asked if he thinks we should teach Aiden whether or not there is a Santa, Camden thinks we should not. This is another reason we have wanted Camden to find out - b/c we weren't sure we wanted to keep it up and teach Aiden there was a Santa. It's nice to have the opinion of a child that just found out b/c, honestly, I forget what I felt when I first realized it. Sure, we can still have fun and pretend, but I would rather my children have a little fun with that while focusing on what Christmas is really about. Like Camden said, "so that really is why it's called Christmas - CHRIST!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Road Trip!!

Haven't been on to blog in a while... We've been pretty busy! This past weekend, we took a short road trip - Aiden's first!!

We drove up to KY for the Berea College Homecoming and to visit with some of my girlfriends. It was a jam-packed, hectic weekend, but it was also a lot of fun! Aiden did really well on the car ride. We stopped on the way to spend the night at MaMaw Sharon's (it was already after 11pm when we got there since we left after Camden got out of school), then onto KY the next day to visit with some friends at Mammaw Melly & Pappaw Gene's house. My closest girlfriends were all there with their little baby boys. We all have boys born within 11 months of each other! And Sonia's older son, Justin, is the same age as Camden. Talk about good timing, huh? It really made me miss being in KY b/c it was not only great being around them - but it was so wonderful to have all the boys together!! While there, my brother, his wife, and their kids stopped by to meet Aiden, as well.

Joaquin and Aiden meet - I love how Aiden is just grinning! They'll be best friends just like their mommies are!!

Patsy w/ Joaquin (6 mos), Kathy w/ Johnathan (14 mos), Me w/ Aiden (3 mos), and Sonia w/ Christian (13 mos)

Baby group pic! :)

Saturday we spent the ENTIRE day in Berea. It was soooo nice being back there. Man, I miss that place! We walked around campus, saw some of my favorite professors (and didn't get to see a few others), saw a few friends (but didn't see nearly as many as I had expected), had lunch at Boone Tavern, dinner at Papa Leno's (take out, though), and visited the Ecovillage, where Sonia and I both lived for a couple years while at Berea. It reminded me how much I love Berea and how fortunate I was to go to school there.

A few of us at the Psych Alumni Reception

Kris - one of the best. professors. EVER.


A quick walk down to the Ecovillage to visit where Mommy & Camden used to live

On the way home Sunday, we stopped just to have breakfast with PawPaw Gary and MiMaw Susan. It was a quick visit and Aiden was pretty tired, but it was good to see them and break up the trip a little bit, too. Aiden wanted to stop and eat a little more often on the way home, but he still was quite the trooper! By the time we arrived back home, he and Camden were OUT!

Aiden never stays asleep while being taken out of the car seat or when being laid on the changing table... This shows how tired he must have been!!

Click on the album to see the rest of our pictures! We got a bunch of really good ones!
Nov '08 - Visit w/ Best Friends & Berea College Homecoming

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Aiden's Medical Issues

I will start by saying that this is a long post (long even for me). There is not a simple way to write this out without sharing what we feel are the important details. We have been through a lot during Aiden's first 10 and a half weeks of life, and we want to share it with you now that we have some solid answers. We have included as much information as we can so that you can understand what has been going on. We've tried to shorten it and make it simple and not too drawn out, but it is still a lot of information.

When Aiden was just 1 day old, we discovered some marks on his bottom near the base of his spine. (You may have seen some pictures on our online albums from when he was first born and still in the hospital.) The doctors there did not know what it was, so the dermatologists stopped by when they were doing rounds. They weren't sure - thought maybe a birthmark but wanted to do a biopsy, which we OK'd. We went back to Duke to see the dermatologist that next week (the spot was almost gone at this point) and received a diagnosis: incontinentia pigmenti (from here on out referred to as IP). This is a (typically) genetic condition and has many components to it - but mostly affects girls (and more harshly affects girls). It is a very rare condition - and even much more rare in boys. There can be a number of skin abnormalities, there can be severe eye problems, teeth problems, developmental and neurological problems... We were told that the good news is that most boys are limited to having the marks on their skin and that is typically it - this is what the dermatologist said he believed, at least. BUT we were referred to a geneticist to receive testing and confirm the diagnosis.

We got more information, though, from some family members. I have an aunt that is an OB nurse and one that is a family doctor. Through them, we learned more and were more prepared for what could be our reality with this diagnosis. From them and our own research we found out that there is a reason so few boys have this diagnosis - most do not make it through the pregnancy. For those that do, many times the reason they survive is b/c they have an extra X-chromosome (which would also mean they would have Klinefelters - causing them to be infertile). (Klinefelter's is NOT genetic and is completely random.) This was scary news for us, that our child might be infertile. It was hard to digest that something that could have possibly saved him and allowed him to be born could have this other result, too. We were warned that b/c so few boys are born with this condition (IP), there is little known about it with this gender. So we were told to limit his exposure to other people and wait until we met with the geneticist to proceed with any vaccinations - all b/c it is unsure how strong his immune system was until we found out more. (So...if you were one of those people that visited or saw us during Aiden's first few weeks, and you wondered why we held him so close and did not share, please understand this is why.)

We called the dermatologists again and asked more questions - especially asking how certain are they of this diagnosis (fairly certain due to consistencies with IP and the biopsy and the marks that were on his skin - only one other diagnosis was considered and the marks would have gone away sooner with that diagnosis). I had tons of questions, and the resident on the case was very patient and answered everything. It was reassuring that they were giving us the time - and that we had a dermatologist on the case that deals with uncommon conditions (esp in children). We also asked for (and recieved) a referral for an eye exam at Duke to check for any eye abnormalities (which can be a more serious problem with this condition and people are urged to be checked sooner rather than later - the eye problems can result in vision loss, so we didn't want to put the exam off!). That eye exam (at 3 weeks old) showed that his eyes were perfectly normal - good news for us.

This appt with the geneticist was first scheduled for November b/c she is so busy, but after repeatedly calling and asking (very relevant and important) questions, they were able to bump us up and overbook her - so we got in when Aiden was just 3 weeks! Thank God!!

At this appt, we went through a very intense family history creating a very detailed genogram of our family - including any known issues with developmental problems, miscarriages, births of boys (b/c remember that most boys w/ IP are miscarried and do not make it to birth), skin conditions, and a multitude of other possible indications of a family history with IP. (I mean, this took a LONG time!) Aiden had to have blood drawn - and a LOT of blood, the poor thing (a few regular-sized vials!)! That was hard on all of us... They did one test to look at the NEMO gene (yes, it's really called that - just like Finding Nemo...) to see if there were any abnormalities - that would indicate IP. They also did a chromosomal test that would show if there was an extra X chromosome. The results... due back in ONE MONTH. Thus began one of the hardest waits we have endured....

Aiden after getting his blood drawn. They drew soooo much - he had to be exhausted from losing so much. He looked so pitiful! :( It was a rough day!!

As you can now guess, this has been a very, very emotional and difficult time for us. We were worried about our son's present and future all at once. We did not know if he had this condition, how he got it, and what exactly it meant for him (b/c so little is known about boys with it). We have spoken with very few people about what we have been going through. Why? Because this is so sensitive and difficult for us, we did not want to be faced with a lot of questions (that we really had no answers for) or reminders. We talked with parents and a few close friends that would pray for us (and most did not know the details but just knew we needed prayer). We hope nobody is offended that we did not tell you about this. It is what we felt was right for our family while we waited for more answers.

Onto the answers - the ones we do have.

After a month, we approached the night before our appt with the geneticist. That was a hard night (and then a hard morning) to get through. LOTS of praying - that our baby was ok, that we could accept what lay ahead if he wasn't, etc, etc. LOTS. And lots of worrying and crying. I know that God has a plan for Aiden. He has it all mapped out and knows everything about his life. We don't know what that plan is, whether or not it includes this condition and the effects from it, but we prayed that we can accept what we do find out and follow in the path that God has set in front of us.

At the appt, we had to wait a couple hours before getting to see anyone, which made things even harder, caused the anxiety to build even more. When she came in, there was a man with her, which worried us a bit. He turned out to be the cyrogeneticist (he works with the labs and is there every so often to help explain lab meanings/proceedures/results, etc.). It was very helpful to have him there. They had lots to say, we had lots to ask. So - results... As soon as she said the word "normal" I started to cry. What a release! (Not necessarily relief - but just the release of all that anxiety built up!!)

One test was for IP - came back "normal," no mistake in the NEMO gene. This means (reality check here) that there is still a 20% chance he has the condition, BUT the 20% that doesn't show up on the test are usually very mild cases. He could also have a mosaic form of IP, which would mean that it would be localized (only occuring in the same spot he had the marks before) and it would also mean that it is NOT genetic! (That means it would have happened RANDOMLY, as it could have with any other person, at some point during the division of the cells during fetal development. It also means that we have no reason to worry about having other children with this - which was a valid concern, especially if we were to have a girl in the future.) So what now? Can we test for THAT type of IP? Well, if the spot were to return, we will contact the geneticist to come in while the spot is still there and do another biopsy to check for the mosaic form of IP. But there is the possibility that it will not return. And there is the possibility that he does not have IP. We also go back in a year for a follow-up to see where he is then.

Next test - chromosomal.... This also came back normal. Another reality check here - this was only one form of testing for an extra chromosome (blood test). There is another way to test - skin test. (Most other places do not go to this next step - they stop at the blood test, so we are very thankful that we are at Duke and that we got this other test performed b/c it will take us one step closer to an answer.) They did a buccal swab - they took a little toothbrush type thing and swabbed inside Aiden's cheek (no blood to be drawn this time!!!). This test was only to take a couple weeks and we would not have to return to the office for the results (which is nice partly b/c specialists visits are not cheap, and we're accruing quite a few here). Now, these are the two most common ways to test for the chromosomal abnormality. After that, there is an indefinite number of cell types to test!!! But first, this skin test. Even if it were to come back as positive for the extra chromosome - it would mean something different. It would mean that he would have a skin mosaicism form which means he could be infertile or could NOT be (basically, time would be the answer to that). Why? Because a mosaic form could occur at any point in the cell division of fetal development. For example, if it occurred at the 16th division, only the descendants of that cell (any other divisions on that string) would have this mosaicism. If one of those descendants had something to do with his sperm - then he could be infertile. But there would be the chance that it did not, leaving him able to have children. If the test were to come back negative - finding no extra X-chromosome.... Remember that I just said there is an indefinite number of cell types to test for this. You could test forever and not get a definite answer. BUT if it came back normal, we would be able to assume that Aiden has just as much of a chance as ANYONE else of being infertile.

We did not get the test results in the mail at 2 weeks later, as expected. (Though we did get a write-up of our first visit and read through the entire thing, anxious as can be, wondering where are the answers we are looking for! That was not a lot of fun...) After the third week was complete, we contacted the doctor to find out what was going on. She emailed us and stated that this test came back as normal and we could rule out Klinefelter's Syndrome. (We just got the paperwork with the write-up this week, so now it's in writing!)

So, we have some very good answers - no Klinefelter's, only a small chance of Aiden having a mosaic form of IP (which we all could live with b/c it would mean only some marks showing up on a covered area maybe another couple times in his life if at all). But we still don't know if this is what he has or if it is something else. And how would we find out, seeing as the spot has been gone since a little over a week of age? We do have a follow-up visit with the dermatologists in November - and we will see where they want to go next. We would love to have an answer, but only time will tell. (Continued prayer for Aiden in this regard would be appreciated!) Right now, we are happy with what we do know.

We are very thankful right now for so many things. We are very thankful that we live here, that we delivered at Duke, and that we are going to Duke for all of this medical stuff. We both agree - THIS is why God brought us to this area. We would not be getting this treatment from such knowledgeable medical staff anywhere else! This condition he could possibly have is very rare, and there is no better place for us to be. Even the geneticist has treated a child and written a report on a case of IP with the Klinefelter's syndrome - it is so rare that it was a huge deal to treat someone with that, and our doctor has done so. That is very reassuring and causes us to be so thankful.

And most of all, we feel so blessed to have Aiden with us. For a long while (what felt like a long while to us!!), we were faced with thinking that Aiden could have easily not made it through the pregnancy. We have not taken one day with him for granted and are so thankful he is just ALIVE and with us.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Edited for Update: Please visit here for the most recent blog update on Aiden's medical issues (as of mid-November 2008)

Breastmilk - More than just lunch...

Earlier yesterday, I had to take Aiden to the dr. Took a while to get him in, but they wanted him to be seen. He had some yucky stuff coming out of one eye and it was swollen. :( He wasn't bothered by it, but it was a Friday, we have pictures coming up on Sunday, and it's never a good sign to have yellow gunk coming out of anything really... So, in we went. The dr said they can't actually test to see if it is viral or bacterial. And it's most likely just something he got from someone in the house, and we're not showing signs b/c our immune systems are stronger. (I tell Camden this ALL the time, reminding him to wash his hands - esp after school! and not get right up in Aiden's face, which he loves to do b/c he loves Aiden like crazy!) And both Ryan and Camden have colds, so.... Anyway, she's about to write up a prescription for eye drops when she turns to me How old is he again? Um, 12 weeks. Yeah, he's too young for drops.

She wheels closer. Props her elbows on her knees, leans towards me, and says Now, you're going to think I'm crazy, but just listen... I already knew what she was going to say. I've heard you can do this for ear infections... So I didn't think she was crazy. She said many people do when they first hear it. Put a few drops of breastmilk into his eye a couple times a day. Yep, folks - it's more than just yummy food for the babies. And guess what - it's almost back to normal. In fact, anyone else wouldn't even notice there was anything wrong. I just do b/c I'm mom.

Just thought I would share.

Happy Halloween!!

Last night Camden spent most of the night at a friend's party - where he was the only boy there! (Well, one other boy was invited but didn't make it, and the girl's brother was there - so we heard he and Camden spent most of their time together.) He did want to trick-or-treat some, so we went out for about an hour. Towards the end, we heard this girl that looked to be only a year or two older than him yelling from her porch Come on trick-or-treaters! We haven't got all night! It was pretty entertaining. When we got there, she started talking to us about how lovely the weather had been. Haha! (It was actually quite cold by this point, though...)

The next house, while Camden was leaving, he took off his mask - which then left him wearing his UK toboggan. The lady at the door saw it and said they were from Lexington. :) Small world.

Camden discovered that only an hour of trick-or-treating does not get you a whole lot of candy. But he also realized he didn't care. (He hardly ever eats it anyway! He ends up forgetting about it...) He had more fun at the party. (Maybe b/c he was surrounded by girls... What do you think?) ;)

Here are pics from the night - there are just a few (really - I know that may seem impossible with me, but it's the truth this time). We did put Aiden in his little costume for a few minutes. Long enough to get the pictures, at least. He was really cute. Camden loved it and kept saying He's so cute! He's so cute! (He really IS crazy about his brother!) There are also pics of pumpkin-carving. Camden drew a face on one and we did an "A" for Aiden on another.

Halloween 2008

And here are our "Pumpkin Pictures" - pictures of Aiden and Camden with pre-carved pumpkins. They turned out really cute! And they were a lot of fun to do. :) Aiden even made friends with one of the pumpkins and had a whole conversation with it. Haha!

2008 Aiden & Camden Pumpkin Pics

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

TAG - I'm it...

Someone recently tagged me, and it has to do with pictures, so I can't help but join in. :) (Anything to do with pictures pretty much reels me in...)

I have to post the Sixth Picture from my Sixth Folder.

This is a picture from when we lived in the Ecovillage at Berea College - probably senior year (2006). (If you click on the link, my apt is the one that you see the most of - I loved that place!!)

Camden was helping me fix dinner - spaghetti. He's got his little apron on with his name (he loves this thing and it is TOO cute!). And then when I turned my back to rinse something off, he caught a tea towel on fire.... There was a brief moment of chaos, but we quickly got it under control. Aaahhhhh, gas stoves! ;) Actually, I would love to have my gas stove back again.............. And yes, Camden still helps to cook. He actually really enjoys it and wants to try everything out. He can chop an onion, crack eggs into batter, and he likes to try all of the spices and seasonings that go into a recipe. He may not always even want to eat the end result, but he still enjoys the cooking part! :)

Ok - YOUR TURN! Who else is going to join in??

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Giving Our Children Presence

October is Attachment Parenting Month! :)

The theme for 2008 is "Giving Our Children Presence," which is quite appropriate with the holidays coming up!!

We are using this approach to parenting in our home and encourage everyone else to do so, too. A secure attachment between children and parents is SO very important!

Find out more about AP Month here!

What is Attachment Parenting? Find out more about that here:
Attachment Parenting International

Here are just a few things we do in our home to help Aiden form a secure bond with us...
  • Co-sleeping No, not IN our bed. But he sleeps right next to our bed, in the same room. That way, we can respond to him right away when he wakes and is hungry. He is learning that we attend to his needs, and having him close by ensures we can do that quickly.
  • Baby-wearing
  • Breastfeeding (on demand) exclusively
  • Responding immediately to Aiden's cries Infants do not cry for no reason - there is something they need. It is their way to communicate. We are teaching Aiden that we are there for him and he can expect us to help him. We do not let him "cry it out."
  • Giving ourselves and our marriage time, too. It's difficult to be an effective parent if you neglect yourself or your relationship with your partner. So we carve out time for that. It's hard, and time to ourselves is hard to come by, but it's important.
  • Early bonding Not only immediately after birth (thankfully I was able to hold Aiden minutes after he was born via c-section as opposed to a couple hours with Camden), but also at home. Ryan was able to take 6 weeks leave from work, which was great for him and Aiden to bond!
  • And many other things..... This is how we approach parenting our children every day.
What about you? What are some things you do with your kids?

Pumpkin Picking

This past weekend, we finally made it to a pumpkin patch. We went to Ganyard Hill Farm, which was recommended to us. There was a lot to do there - hayride, corn maze, petting zoo (and you could feed the animals corn kernels), pumpkin picking, a "hay mountain" with slides, etc., and even cotton picking. Camden had a great time and is already asking to go back next year. (We told him we might check out someplace else b/c, while it was really nice, it didn't seem really worth the admission price...). Anyway, a fun time was had by all. Aiden slept the entire time, except to stop and eat sometime in the middle of the visit (then back to sleep). It was cool weather, but we waited until it got cool b/c it didn't seem right to do fall activities with t-shirts on. :)

Here are pics from the day!

Ganyard Farm - Pumpkin Patch, 2008 October

Friday, October 17, 2008

Breastfeeding IS Beautiful - Update...

Someone recently made a nasty comment after reading my blog post about breastfeeding. Here is a note that I put onto the bottom of that blog (after deleting the comment). And please, if you're going to post a nasty comment on someone's blog, have the decency to show your name and not post it as "anonymous." This blog isn't public, so only people that I know and have given out the link to are reading it. I don't appreciate that. If it was you, feel free to speak up and let it be known.

Here is what I added to the blog. I'm posting it here for those that have already read that blog and won't happen to see the update...

Side note
- I do use a nursing cover when I feed Aiden out in public - so my goods are NOT just out there for the world to see. Someone recently made a nasty comment about people nursing in public - I doubt they have children (or if they do - that they have breastfed). You would be surprised to know how discreet someone can be when nursing, and nobody has ever even looked at me in any negative way for feeding my child. Everyone that has known what I was doing was very accommodating and respectful. And yes, in the photo of Angelina breastfeeding, she is in her own home and not in public - but she is allowing the public to see the picture, which is beautiful - and hopefully this will help others think differently about nursing in public (with their own child or when seeing others doing so).

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Camden has a friend over this afternoon - school let out early today. While I was in Aiden's room feeding him, Camden and the friend were playing the Wii. Here is a snippit of the conversation I heard:

Camden: What's that guy's name?
Friend: What - Who?
Camden: The artist. He does blobs.
Friend: Monet?
Camden: Yeah - Monet. It looks like a Monet painting.

I have no idea what on the Wii looks like a Monet painting... They're playing Wii Sports (golf, I think). But I thought hearing this was entertaining.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Through the Night??

Apparently "experts" consider a baby sleeping for a 5-hour stretch at night "sleeping through the night." Well, Aiden has been doing this since he was between 5 and 6 weeks old. But I disagree with calling it "through the night." I mean, if he goes down at 9:00pm, 5 hours later is 2:00am! That is not "through the night." That's IN the night - the middle of it. Even now, he'll go down around 9 (sometimes a little earlier or later - it's not too consistent just yet) and typically wake up between 4 and 5, which means he sleeps about 7 hours in a row. I still hesitate to call this "sleeping through the night," especially when I am not waking up for good at 4am. And especially when he goes right back to sleep, waking again 1-2 hours later, then sleeping again before finally getting up for the day.

So I'm still trying to figure out when to put that "Sleeps through the night!" sticker up on Aiden's calendar... I disagree with the "experts" out there on this one.

Smart Guy

This morning, I was getting ready to nurse Aiden.... I had him lying on the couch next to me as I sat down. I usually have a cloth between us when he nurses - for any possible spills (anyone who has nursed or even bottle-fed a baby knows what I mean!) or spit-up even. This morning, before I picked him up, I just went on and laid the cloth across his shoulder on his chest. This was a brand new cloth, clean as can be. Immediately, his eyes lit up, he started getting all excited, bouncing around. He turned his head to the cloth and kept opening his mouth - ready to eat!

Sometimes I use a cloth that has my scent on it and lay it near him when he's trying to sleep (and having difficulty) - the smell helps him calm down. It's really fun to see. But this morning, this showed that the smart little guy has figured out that a clean cloth on him like that means TIME TO EAT! :) It made my morning. I love watching him learn and make those connections!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Passing It On

Family traditions are important to me. Different types - not just family gatherings. It's those little things that family members give/lend you or the habits you learn from them, you know. Those things are big.

My mom passed on to me the bassinette that I slept in when I was a baby. I used it with Camden when he was born, though he barely got to use it because he was just so big! But he napped in it some. Aiden has been using it at night since he came home. Sadly, he is getting too long and spent his last night in it recently. Last night was his first night sleeping in another bed. He's not in his crib at night yet. He's in the playard bassinette so that he can stay in our room at night.

Notice the pink sheet and yellow bumper - those are originals from when I slept in this bassinette! :) My mom did make a firmer mattress with a waterproof cover to fit in the bassinette when Camden was born, since she used a pillow with me (and we don't do that these days!), and she also made some handle covers to match the yellow bumper. She said she had more sheets, including some non-pink ones, but we never found them. So both my boys have slept with the pink one. :) It has meant so much to me to be able to use this!!

Here is a picture of Camden in the bassinette, too.

Another thing that has been passed on is a song. My mom says that she learned it from her grandmother, and it's one that I sang with Camden and now sing with Aiden. When he was born, you could hear any of us singing it or humming it whenever we held him - me, my mom, or even Ryan. The song is simple - you sing "Bye-O-Baby, Baby, Baby" to the tune of the "Rock of Ages" hymn. Camden even sings it now when Aiden is fussy, but he made his own version, simply singing Aiden's name over and over. It's very cute. One day we were talking with my mom on the webcam. Aiden got a little fussy, and she started singing this song, and he immediately quieted. He probably recognized both her voice and the song.

Maybe one day these boys will be singing this song to calm their own children...

Breastfeeding IS Beautiful

I've never been a fan of Angelina Jolie. Really. I know many men (and lots of women) think she is just beautiful. But for various reasons, I haven't cared much for her, to be honest. But...I will praise her for what she is recently being noted for - her photo for the cover a magazine, where she is breastfeeding one of her new babies.

I nurse in public (NIP - or some call it BIP, breastfeeding in public). It's not always my first choice, but it's how I feed my baby, and if he needs to eat, that is my top priority. Not my comfort, nor anyone else's, for that matter. Many women are hesitant to do this, and one reason is that others seem to frown on it. Breastfeeding a child is a beautiful thing and should never be looked at in any other way. And I will do so wherever and whenever my child needs to nurse. I refuse to nurse my child in a restroom because I might cause someone else discomfort (seriously - would YOU want to eat in a bathroom?!). I refuse to let my child cry because he is hungry and I don't want to offend someone I don't even know.

I think it's great that organizations such as La Leche League and people like your doctor encourage women to breastfeed as long as possible (they're now saying to try for 2 years if you can for the best health benefits). I think it is great that ordinary people talk about it being ok and that women do nurse in public (though I rarely see it - but maybe that's because they're so inconspicuous or because I'm not looking for it). BUT I think it's even better that someone of such high status is allowing herself to be seen by everyone nursing her baby. Kudos to you, Angelina.

Side note - I do use a nursing cover when I feed Aiden out in public - so my goods aren't just out there for the world to see. Someone recently made a nasty comment about people nursing in public - I doubt they have children (or if they do - that they have breastfed). You would be surprised to know how discreet someone can be when nursing, and nobody has ever looked at me in any negative way for feeding my child. And yes, in the photo of Angelina breastfeeding, she is in her own home and not in public - but she is allowing the public to see the picture, which is beautiful - and hopefully this will help others think differently about nursing in public (with their own child or when seeing others doing so).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Have you given him a bottle yet???

Ummm - NO.

We haven't.

Are you going to try one soon???

Ummm - Not sure. We're in no rush.

Now, if you want more of an explanation - here it is, briefly. When Camden was a baby, I went back to work part-time (just a few hours a day, a few days a week) when he was three months old. It wasn't long enough to pump, so he just got a bottle during those times, which wasn't much at all. But then at six months old, my milk went away. Was it because of the missed feedings and getting a bottle every now and then? I don't know. But I know I tried everything I could (and everything that was suggested by "professionals") to keep my supply going. Tried pumping - and nothing would be accomplished after way too much time with a pump. Tried feeding more often. Tried it all! It was a difficult time, and in the end, my milk was just gone. I was devasted - totally not ready to give up nursing. Thankfully Camden had no difficulty - it was just Mommy. That's not something one enjoys being forced to give up.

This time around, I'm doing everything in my power to NOT have that happen again. If that means I exclusively breastfeed, so be it. I don't mind. (Yes, it can make other things in life a little more difficult at times, but it's worth it.) We may offer him pumped milk in a bottle eventually, but we don't know when that will be. And we're ok with that. Ryan is on board with this and very supportive. In fact, we don't even HAVE a bottle in the house for him! (Ok, I picked out the kind I want, but the store didn't have the size we needed. It was just in case, anyway, so we're in no hurry to get it.)

Nursing is such an amazing experience - many of you know that and understand the bond that develops and how special that time is. Being able to nurse is something I certainly don't take for granted. Plus, it's so beneficial to the baby, and I intend to nurse Aiden as long as possible.

Just thought I would bring this up b/c some inquiring minds have wanted to know. And I'm sure more will ask. Many understand and even agree, and I'm sure some do not. That's ok (just keep it to yourselves, please). :) But if you want to encourage, comment away!

Day Off

Camden had a teacher workday this past Friday, so Ryan took the day off, and we planned on doing something fun with Camden. The plan was to go to Ganyard Hill Farm for some pumpkin picking, hayriding, corn-mazing, and lots of other things... But then the night before, the weather forcast was for Friday to be pretty hot in the 80's. So, we changed our plans to going to the Durham Museum of Life and Science - so we could be inside, esp since we would have Aiden. He has been wanting to go back there for a while, and we'll do the farm on a weekend soon when it's a little cooler. We had a lot of fun and got to do almost everything.

We ran out of time to do all of the things in the Catch the Wind exhibit (which is where I suggested we START, but no.....nobody listened to that until it was too late). Therefore, we didn't get to go up in the Ornithopter or do most of the other activities, other than guide the small sailboats. Camden really wanted to explore more of this area after he saw what it was (me telling him earlier didn't convince him...). We know where to start next time!!

Here are the pictures from our day:
Durham Museum of Life and Science (Oct 10, 2008)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

TWO months old - and SHOTS!!!

Aiden turned two months old yesterday (wow!). Here are his two-month pics.

We had his check-up today where he got his first shot! We are using an alternative schedule of immunizations, so he hasn't had any shots yet and got less than most would at this visit. He'll still get all of the shots - just on a different schedule. During this visit, he got one shot and one oral vaccination. The oral - he hated (even though the nurse said it's very sweet and babies love it). After a couple drops, he started coughing, and I warned her that if he was coughing, he was likely to spit it up - after which he proceeded to do so. The rest stayed down, though. The shot was horrible for all involved, of course. He cried and cried. I got tears in my eyes. Ryan didn't - and I told him I would write that in the baby book so Aiden knew he was mean (just kidding!). I got to be the savior and nursed him right after the shots - he fell right to sleep and did really well the rest of the day.

Aiden is now 13lbs, 7oz and is 22.5 inches long. He's GROWING!!!

And in many ways... These days he talks to us quite a bit. He's a morning person for sure (morning for him being anywhere between 8 and 11am), talking to me lots while we change his diaper and clothes. Sometimes he tries to talk to me while he's nursing... He'll look up at me, smile, and start to coo. I try to tell him it's time to eat, not play, but then I can't help but return the smile (and then we just decide we'll play and eat later!). He smiles a lot, especially at his star next to his changing station. He has learned how to make the toys on his bouncy seat move by kicking his legs. He's able to go to sleep for some of his naps (and go back to sleep if he wakes) on his own - no fussing. :) (Sometimes - not always - but it's still wonderful that he's learning to do so!) He still sleeps a lot - about the same # of hours as when he first came home. But more of it is at night. He goes to bed anywhere between 8 and 10-something (depending on naptime - and the later time is usually after he's been asleep and we wake him to change into bed clothes). He'll then typically only get up around 2-3, again at 5, and then sometime between 6-7 (then he's back to sleep until later in the morning). So, some would say he's really only waking up twice in the middle of the night (depending on how you look at it!).

There's so much more, and it's just amazing watching him grow and learn so much everyday!!


Saturday was a big day for us!! After the soccer game, we went to Chapel Hill to visit some friends and their new baby boy, born exactly six weeks after Aiden. What a cutie he was!!

A (very blurry) picture of Kate with Baby Brent and me with Aiden (and Camden in the background there!)

After that, OUR visitors arrived - my mom and grandmother. We have two Mammaws in our home this week. :) It's been great having them here and spending the time together. We've done some shopping, cooking, and lots of other things.

I'm also learning how to cook (and eat! Haha!) some veggies that I haven't had in a long time or just never liked but have determined to like now. So both Mammaws are teaching me how to pickle beets (because I haven't had them in years like I like them - and now I know how to make them!), different ways to cook zucchini (because I always hated the stuff but I know it's good for you) and sweet potatoes (because Ryan and I decided recently we have got to learn to like them) and winter squashes, among other things... I joked to my mom - Why didn't you teach me this stuff when I lived at home??? Ha. She always had this kind of food - I just didn't like any of it or didn't pay attention! I guess I've grown up, huh?

Here are some pics from the visit so far...

Mammaw Gerry, Mammaw Melly w/ Aiden, and Mommy

Walking home after getting Camden from school

Aiden with his cool shades on the walk home (had to wait until he was asleep to get them on, and he still moved his head around to shake them off!!)