My Little Budding Artist

We love when Ms. Marybeth, Grayson’s vision teacher, comes to visit. She always brings really creative ideas and craft projects for Mr. G to do. Today’s project: Finger Total Body Painting on the driveway!

By the end, both Grayson and Mommy were covered in paint (although if you know me, it’s not unusual for me to be covered in paint, so it was no big deal.) We did a quick rinse in the sink, and then when Ms. Marybeth left, Grayson went “swimming” in the bathtub to get the rest of the paint off. He loved it!

Grayson’s Masterpiece- I think I’m going to frame it and put it in his playroom!

 
Painting and swimming is hard work- he needed a nap after all that fun!
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Food, Diapers and Confessions

Grayson has eaten THREE solid food meals in a row! He loves….wait for it…pear yogurt mixed with sweet potatoes- cold, out of the refridgerator. And it should have been so obvious what he would like, since pear yogurt and sweet potatoe is such a compatible combination and this child acts like I’m poisoning him if his bottle isn’t at the perfect warm temperature.
And I have a confession- in desperation to get him to eat something, anything- last week at Walmart I bought pretty much every kind of baby food on the shelf, including pear yogurt. Off the shelf. Not refridgerated. How does that work? Yogurt that doesn’t have to be refridgerated can’t be great for you. But I give myself points because the sweet potatoes are organic. He’ll live.

And because what goes in must eventually come out, I’ve been changing quite a few dirty diapers. Which brings me to the topic of diapers. Several of you have asked me why we’ve switched to cloth. Here’s my second confession: when it comes to diapers, I could care less about saving the earth (not that I’m opposed to the earth being saved). I do, however care about saving money, and that my kid is cute, which basically are the two superficial reasons why G is now sporting a fluffy bootie. Plus, it’s good that he’s not being exposed to the 43,567 chemicals that are in disposables, but let’s be honest, I’ll give my kid yogurt off a Walmart shelf, so who am I trying to fool?

I read several blogs of women who cloth diaper, including Esperanza’s, and I always thought, great for them, but NO THANKS! Then I met Sarah in real life and watched her actually diaper her son and it looked so easy. So thanks to her mentoring and answering my million questions, we are now saving money and looking cute! So yes, I am a Cloth Diaper Doubting Thomas. I have to see, not just read your fabulous blog, to believe.

Which brings me to another topic- the name Thomas. I LOVE the name Thomas for a little boy. In fact-Confession #3- if I had it totally my way, Grayson most likely would be named Thomas. I talk to Grayson all the time about his future little brother Thomas and Ryan just rolls his eyes (he is not a fan of the name). But I did get him to agree that if we can’t have a human child named Thomas that our next bloodhound could be Thomas. But that would require actually getting another bloodhound someday. And the idea of that just makes me tired, and jealous of my son who sleeps about 15 hours a day.

In fact, Grayson has been asleep now for about an hour, so my get-stuff-done-around-the-house time is probably more than 1/3 gone. And yes, I really do have a lot to get done today- I’m having a Farewell Oprah party tomorrow because 1.If I watched Oprah tomorrow by myself I would probably bawl my eyes out (yes, I’m that person who is very sad the TOWS is not returning) and 2. When I was watching the Royal Wedding the thought occurred to me that it would have been fun to have a viewing party. And I like Oprah more than the royals, sorry. So back to my point- I have a lot of shoving stuff in closets so people won’t see our junk cleaning to do. So I better get to it, because once that little monkey wakes up, he might be hungry. Good thing there’s plenty of pear yogurt preserving very nicely in the pantry.

8 Months!

G was not interested in taking any pics
with his foot out of his mouth

I know I say this every single month, but this month flew by faster than any other. I’m still mourning that Grayson is no longer 6 months old, and poof! he’s now 8 months! This month was fast, but GOOD! Grayson packed in a lot of development and new skills into 4 short weeks.

New stuff:

  • TEETH! 2 sweet little pearly whites have poked through on his bottom gums. We had a weekend of low grade fever and fussiness, but other than that, it hasn’t been bad at all.
  • Grabbing! Yay!
  • Grayson is now noticing and is somewhat interested in the dogs. He even giggled at grabbed at Izzy the other day!
  • New sound- ga ga ga- it’s so cute and funny and I know he’s trying to say something very important when he makes it.
  • THIS funny little position (hee hee)
This can’t be that comfortable

Clothes: 6 month and 6-9 month. I love cute summer rompers and floppy hats! And yes, sometimes Grayson’s clothes make him look 8 months going on 80.

My sweet little old man

Diapers: Size 2 in Pampers, but we are now doing cloth diapers during the day!

Love that fluffy tooshie!

Food: Hit or miss. Some days, G is all about his sweet potatoes, applesauce and peas. Other days, not so much. I’m trying not to stress, but I’m worried. He’s still taking about 4 ounces of formula every three to four hours.

Prunes? My mom not only dresses me like I’m 80, she feeds me like I am too!

2/3 of a year down! Seriously, this little dude just gets cuter and cuter every day and even with all the not-so-fun stuff, he makes every day and absolute joy. I am so honored and blessed to be his mommy. I mean, who wouldn’t want to start the day like THIS:

Happy 8 Months Grayson Robert!

Worried About My Boy

We’ve had a few weeks where we haven’t seen any doctors or had to deal with anything medical, other than therapy. It’s been nice. We’ve been working hard on motor skills, but diagnosis, bloodwork and doctors had been pushed to the back of my mind.

Feeding (solids) hasn’t been going great, but I haven’t been really stressing about it. Grayson ate some applesauce somewhat enthusiastically on Monday, but other than that, has barely touched his twice a day “meals” this week. I’m still giving him as much extra calorie formula as he will take, but he only actually finishes a few bottles entirely in a day.

Wednesday I got a call from the nurse at his pediatrician’s office. They had been sent some of the bloodwork results and wondered if our neurologist had called me. Umm…nope. Well, the chromosomal tests came back normal, but there were two things that were high, but the nurse didn’t have an explanation for them (not that I expected her to know what all this stuff means). So I called the neurologist and they called me back yesterday- with no explanation- that nurse didn’t even see the same thing on her report. Oh and the doctor STILL has not read G’s EEG, even though they billed insurance almost $3000 for it. Frustrating.

The pedatrician’s nurse asked me about how eating was going, and I told her not great, and I didn’t think that he’s gained much or any weight in the last month since our weight check. So then she called me back today, and Dr. D is referring him to a GI doctor. So here we go again- another specialist.

I weighed Grayson tonight right after his bath-we have a baby scale- 14 pounds, 4 ounces. This is 5 ounces less than he weighed a month ago. 0.3 percentile. So obviously something is wrong. An 8 month old should not go a month and not gain any weight, much less lose weight. An 8 month old should not be under 15 pounds. An 8 month old should eat more than 4 ounces from a bottle at a time.

So that’s it. I’m worried. Stressed. Sad. There are so many pieces to this puzzle but none of them are fitting together right now to make a complete picture.

AAAAAA! That’s it- my Friday night vent. Thanks for reading.

What Motherhood is Teaching Me

In my last post, I asked for suggestions for blogging topics. I plan on writing on all of them at some point. My sister in law Megan asked me to write on what I am learning about motherhood. Here goes…

I’m learning to live in the moment. I’ve always been one of those who’s guilty of looking towards the next big thing in life, and right now, I just want to stay put. Grayson’s developmental delays have in some ways been a blessing- I am cherishing that he is staying in each stage a little longer, and yet, it still seems to be racing by so fast.

I’m learning to ask for help. No one can do this job alone, and no one should. Grayson does not benefit when I’m totally stressed out and/or resentful. Whether it be asking a friend to go with me to a doctors appointment or my mom to babysit on a Friday night, I’m learning that people are willing to help me and it makes life so much easier.

I’m learning not to judge. My breastfeeding experience taught me this more than anything. There’s no right way to parent, and there are always reasons behind people’s individual choices. I do what’s right for my baby and family, and it may not be what’s right for yours. That’s ok.

I’m learning the value of friendship. My life is so richly blessed right now because of my wonderful friends. Since having Grayson, I have grown so much closer to my friends who are on the same journey of motherhood, and have also made some new friends (both in real life and in the blogosphere) as a result of this new stage of life. I am being honest, I have the most wonderful friends in the world- funny, caring, and real.

I’m learning that life will never be perfect. I am doing the job I’ve always wanted- I have a husband, a house, and a baby. And yet, there are things in my life that are not ideal that I struggle with every day. I am frustrated that Ryan is gone so much, that Grayson is not sitting up yet. It makes me crazy that Gabby barks her head off at 5:00 every morning and Izzy poops in the house. I don’t like my body or the fact that I can’t afford to buy new clothes. I wish I had a bigger laundry room and shower. But there is more good in my life than bad, more perfect than imperfect. I am thankful.

I’m learning to be open to new ideas. These days, I don’t knock any idea until I try it. Babywearing- tried it, not for me. Cloth diapers- experimenting now, and so far I’m loving them. Grayson has three therapists who we absolutely love and all three of them have fantastic ideas and techniques to help him develop. I’m learning to rely on others’ experience and expertise.

I’m learning that I was right. I always thought being a Mom would be my “thing” but feared quitting my job to do it full time might make me bored and/or crazy. So far, I was right- this is totally my “thing”. I may be a little crazy sometimes, but I’m definitely not bored! Some days are hard, and there’s been a lot of tears and worry the past 8 months, but for the most part, I LOVE my job.

That’s What I Love About Sunday

We had a lovely Sunday-starting with Hank and his baby brother hanging out on the floor (in basically the same position)- too cute.

 Today was one of those rare Texas days where the weather was absolutely perfect- sunny, but not too hot or humid and just the right amount of a cool breeze. After church, we went to a barbecue at a local park and had a great time hanging with our sweet friends and their kids.
And because my kid loves his sleep, he took advantage and started his afternoon nap in his Daddy’s arms.


Then- the best part of our day- Grayson finally got to meet his Aunt Robin! Robin is Ryan’s sister who lives in Saudi Arabia. We last saw Robin last summer when I was pregnant, and were so excited to finally introduce her to her nephew. It was so sweet to watch them get to know each other. Robin will be here several weeks and we are looking forward to spending lots of time with her (and she even volunteered to babysit- woo hoo!)

On another topic, I’m in a bit of a blog rut….I can’t think of anything to write about! So, I’m asking for suggestions- any ideas? Anything you’d like to know? Help me out please!

Grabbing

Grayson started grabbing toys this week. I’m in awe of my little boy. I sit with him on the floor, prop him up against me and hold his cow or his rattle in front of him and he grabs it. I kiss his little cheeks and tell him how proud of him I am, and he giggles.

Grabbing, grasping and reaching- things we all take for granted. You want that book sitting on the coffee table? Reach over and pick it up. I can’t imagine how frustrated Grayson must have been all these months- seeing things and knowing he wanted those things in his mouth (he would open his mouth trying to will them in) but not knowing how to get them there.

Just like I take for granted that I can pick a book up off the table, I think if it hadn’t been such a struggle, I would have taken that skill for granted with my baby too. I might be annoyed that he now has a death grip on my hair when I hold him, or frustrated that he grabs the spoon when I’m feeding him, getting sweet potatoes EVERYWHERE- but I’m not. I’m just so unbelievably thankful that my boy’s hands work and he can learn and explore his world with them.

Having Grayson has really forced me to slow down- his pace is slow, and his development is slow. Every day that passes this bothers me less and less. But I fall in love with him more and more. If you read this blog but don’t know Grayson “in person”- he is just the greatest little guy. He is the best cuddler, has the sweetest smile, and gets this mischevious look on his face when he’s standing on my lap (uh oh!). He laughs, he rolls over, and he sure knows how to demand attention. And I know I’ve mentioned he’s the world’s best baby to put down for a nap or for bed. There is so much more that he can do than he can’t. I’m so blessed.

Oh yeah, and he’s pretty stinkin’ adorable too.

TGIF

It’s been a busy week. It’s funny how my definition of “busy” has changed so drastically in the last year. A year ago, a busy day consisted of a full day of teaching, then a few hours of work at Waggin’ Tails, finished off by a drive into town to tutor- all of this while pregnant. Was I nuts?!

These days, “busy” is a day where we have more than one activity planned. Most days, I get to 6:00 and think, what have we done all day that we are this wiped out?

This week, I was lucky enough to have 2 non-Grayson outings. Monday, I helped a friend (who I used to work for) take embroidery orders from a high school drill team. Afterwards, we went out to dinner and it felt wonderful to be able to relax and enjoy good food and conversation. Wednesday, I went with Denise from WT to the BBB Awards luncheon. Again, just nice to get out of the house and be reminded that not everyone in the world spends their days being drooled on- not that I would want to trade places with anyone who wears a suit and heels 5 days a week.

Thursday, Grayson had a doctors appointment with a new opthamologist, we had lunch with a friend who lives near her office, and then therapy later in the afternoon. I really liked the new doctor, much better than the first opthamologist we saw, but now I am just even more confused. This new doctor does not think G’s optic nerves are hypoplastic- she said they are on the small side, but are perfectly formed and functioning. She also does not think he has cortical vision impairment, which is what G’s vision teacher suspects. I have been reading a textbook on CVI, and G could be the poster child for it, according to the symptoms. However, he has nystagmus (his eyes shift back and forth when he looks at something) and she said nystagmus does not indicate CVI. Then she throws out that she suspects he may have Ocular Albinism- something that has never been mentioned. Ocular Albinism only occurs in males (although girls can be carriers) and can be indicated by light eyes, fair skin and hair. Ok, that’s G, but I am fair skinned, and Ryan has light hair and eyes. The good news is if he does have Ocular Albinism, just from the little research I’ve done online, it’s not as big of a deal as Optic Nerve Hyploplasia. The opthamologist said she would definitely label G as vision delayed but is optimistic about his vision developing.

Great news, yes. BUT- why can’t any two doctors tell us the same thing? How am I supposed to believe this doctor when I get a different diagnosis (or lack of diagnosis) everywhere I go? I have one other appointment scheduled for this month- with a neuro-opthamologist. I’m torn whether to keep it- I think I will go crazy if I hear one more disease or syndrome my son could possibly have. And the thing is- there’s nothing else we can do right now other than what we are already doing. What’s going to another doctor going to do, other than cost us another co-pay and confuse me even more?

Then, yesterday morning while we were at the doctor, the neurologist called and left a message to please call. I had a lot of anxiety all day yesterday because I kept calling and calling and only got voicemail. I thought it would either be EEG results (they told me they would call if it was abnormal) or blood test results. FINALLY, they called me back this afternoon- to tell me that TCH called them and they need MORE URINE. What?! We have to go back to TCH a THIRD time for this one order? AAAA! Well, at least it’s not blood. I think I would have had a breakdown if they needed more blood. Then, we were about to hang up and I asked about the EEG. She put me on hold for a minute and then said, “Oh, he hasn’t read it yet. I’ll put that on his calendar.” Again, What?! So much for no news being good news. Lesson learned- I can’t assume doctors (even ones I really like) are going to follow through on anything. I have to learn to be pushy, and demand answers. So yes, I will be calling next week to find out what that EEG shows.

This post is already a novel, but I have to brag on my little boy- this week, Grayson started grabbing toys in front of him! This is a HUGE accomplishment for him! He doesn’t grab everything, but if I put his favorite toys in front of him- his rattle or his cow- he will clutch them and bring them to his mouth. Go Grayson!

So What Wednesday

So what if I am doing a So What Wednesday because I don’t have anything else to write about today?

So what if hearing about other people’s MAJOR DRAMA makes me a little more thankful for my relatively drama-free life?

So what if the last two nights of being dog-free (I gave myself and our dogs a mini vacation from each other) made my life SO much easier? I love those dogs but dang, they complicate things!

So what if I’m excited about working on Mother’s Day? I love my job and hey, it gets me out of the house!

So what if my version of a pedicure these days is painting over the chips on the existing polish?

So what if I’m really excited it’s Wednesday because Wednesday means The Middle, Modern Family, and Criminal Minds?

So what if my kid STILL won’t eat his solids? So what- right?

What are you saying SO WHAT to today?