Thursday, October 14, 2010

Updates and Requests

I'm going to start off this post with a very important new development...  Austin said Mama!!!  He said it on Sunday while we were visiting friends in Tennessee.  My heart literally skipped a beat! He has only said it once more, but I cannot describe the feeling that overcame me when I heard it that first time.  It is completely indescribable, but so incredible and amazing!!  

We had a rough first week at our new daycare last week.  Nothing really bad happened, but there are some things that are done differently that are just going to take some time for us (okay, really just me) to get used to.  Austin seemed to do great, which I expected.  He hasn't really met a stranger, doesn't care who holds him....he's such an easy going baby that I really wasn't worried about him adjusting.  Me, now that is a completely different story.  But we made it through the first week and it can only get easier from here.

We went to Tennessee Saturday to visit our friends whose youngest daughter just turned one.  We had a great visit and Alex had a blast at her party.  Our only regret was putting Austin's pack and play in the room with us.  He ended up waking up as we came to bed and would not go back to sleep unless he was in my arms.  So, after all that hard work we did with the whole "crying it out" thing, we were back to square one.  Justin went to sleep in another room and I curled up in the bed with Austin.  The sleep wasn't great, but the cuddling was awesome.  We were wondering how Sunday night would be, if he would go back to normal or if we had regressed back to where we were just a week or so ago. Well, we did, indeed, regress.  Austin spent about an hour and a half crying in his crib in the middle of the night Sunday night before going back to sleep.  Luckily, I was off on Monday so I could take a nap.  Monday night it only lasted for five minutes and Tuesday night it lasted for 30.  Last night, we didn't hear from him all night.  So, hopefully we are back to normal!!

I would like to take a moment to thank the readers of this blog (if there are any) for any prayers they sent our way for my Uncle Rickey.  The doctors were able to remove all of the cancer from his colon, and his tests came back cancer-free.  However, his wife, my Aunt Theresa, went in on Monday to have a lymph node removed from her breast.  She is a breast cancer survivor so this was somewhat of a shock for our family.  The doctors have told her that the cancer is back, but we are waiting on the test results to find out if it has spread into her lymph nodes.  They are most definitely going to start her on chemo, but hopefully no radiation.  We'll know more when her tests come back, but please, please pray for my family!!  It is so disheartening to have my uncle be cleared, just for his wife to be told five days later that her cancer is back after eight years of being cancer free.  I would really appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers.  Please keep Nikki in those prayers as well.  Cancer is an evil being and I hate that it is affecting so many of my loved ones.  All we can do is pray...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

9 Months

I can't believe it has been so long since my last update.  We went through about two to three weeks of Austin not wanting to sleep very well and the lack of sleep just completely dictates our lives!!  It's amazing what a lack of sleep can do to a person, and even more amazing what some good sleep can do FOR a person!  We believe the issue is stemming from some separation anxiety that has started to set in.  Austin has gotten to where he is like a little lost puppy.  He follows me around everywhere I go.  If I'm standing somewhere, he pulls on my pants or stands up at my feet wanting me to pick him up.  If I put him down somewhere, he cries.  If he's in his Daddy's arms and I come close, he holds his arms out to me.  He will literally crawl around the entire house just to follow me around and be wherever I am.  Even if I can sneak out of a room, he will listen for my voice and follow the sound until he finds me.  At first it was really cute and made my heart swell with happiness and joy that my sweet baby wants nothing but his Mommy.  But now it is getting a little old.......Mom's need a break every now and then!!!  Poor little buddy, he just doesn't understand that.

He had been going to bed just fine every night, but he started waking up during the night and would NOT go back to sleep.  I was getting him out of the crib and rocking him back to sleep, just to have him wake up the second his head hit his crib.  Sometimes he would even stay asleep as I put him back down, but maybe 10 or 15 minutes later (you know, just as I was getting back to sleep), he would wake up screaming again.  This meant that I was getting NO sleep.  I can't really get comfortable enough in the glider to sleep while I'm rocking him.  I would try to get into a comfortable position on the chair or couch in the living room, but sometimes he would not be happy with that so it was back to the glider.  Eventually I decided that the only way he and I were both going to get any sleep was if we just laid down in the bed together.  So for the first time since he was a few weeks old, we slept in the bed together.  It is something that Justin and I have been very careful about doing for multiple reasons.  We didn't want him to get used to only sleeping in our bed with us, not to mention I don't sleep very well with him in the bed with me.  I'm not sure if it's a fear of rolling over onto him or what, but when he is sharing my pillow, my quality of sleep is about 50%.  Every little sound and movement he makes is enough to wake me up, so I'm constantly falling asleep and waking up again, and never getting that good REM sleep.  Now don't get me wrong - I LOVE cuddling with my sweet baby and would give anything to snuggle with him every single night!!  But we did not want to start that habit early on so we've tried to avoid it at all costs.  Until now, that is...

We went three nights in a row like this until finally by that Thursday, I was a walking zombie.  Justin and I were at each other's throats because we were so ill and sleep deprived.  Not to mention, I'm sure I (subconsciously) held a little bit of resentment towards Justin because while I was rocking a crying baby, Justin was able to sleep.  Comfortably.  In our bed, sprawled out all nice and cozy.  While I'm scrunched up in a glider praying for a few minutes of good sleep, or curled up in the extra bedroom sleeping with my head an inch above the pillow all night.  Even though there was absolutely nothing he could do to help, since all Austin wanted was his Mommy, I still couldn't help but feel a little jealous.  We've always said, if one of us can get some sleep, then they should.  There is no point in both of us being awake if we don't both need to be.

Around this time is when Similac had a major recall on their formula.  The containers we had at home were included in the recalled lots, so I called our pediatrician to make sure that swapping formulas after all this time wouldn't mess up his tummy.  While I had the nurse on the phone, I told her the sleeping issue that we were having.  She gave us some good advice and pretty much told me that he is going to have to cry it out.  She said me going in there and picking him up was exactly what he was wanting me to do.  She said to have Justin go in there, give him his paci and blanket, give him a little pat and then walk out.  As quickly as possible.  So that night, we gave it a shot.  Once he woke up and Justin went to check him, he cried for a solid hour before Justin went back in there.  Once he gave him his paci, he crashed.  The next night we got some relief from Justin's parents, but they had the exact same experience and also let him cry for an hour.  Since then we haven't had any other episodes except for a few nights where he cried for only 10 minutes before he soothed himself back to sleep.  Sooo, we have definitely made some progress, and have even had a few nights where we didn't have to go in there at all.  Hopefully it won't be long before we are completely back to normal and we're not having to go in there all night.  It's amazing how spoiled you can get!!!  Austin has been sleeping through the night since he was six weeks old, so this was a MAJOR shock and change for us!!  I can't tell you how hard it is for a Mommy to listen to her baby cry and not want to do something about it!  Even when you KNOW they are crying for no reason at all, it doesn't make it any easier to listen to.

Austin is now standing up every chance he gets.  He pulls up on anything and everything he can.  He will do a little cruising, but mostly he just stays in one spot.  It's funny when he gets tired, he just slowly bends his knees back to a kneeling position.  He'll rest for a moment and then stand right back up!  He is into everything these days.  Luckily our house was pretty much baby proofed when we bought it, but we have now triple checked that every outlet plug is covered and that there are no chords lying around and things like that.  Of course he wants to go to all the places he isn't allowed to go, like our bathroom.  He wants to be in there with me while I'm getting ready in the mornings, but we don't allow him in there because he will scoot around and mop up all the hair and who knows what else with his nice, clean outfit.  He also wants to pull on the free-standing fan we have in our bedroom (I can just see him pulling it down on himself one day), and he LOVES the DVD player and cable box on the bottom of our entertainment center in the living room.  Fortunately, it has given us a great opportunity to teach him "NO".  When he gets close to it or starts to reach his hand out for something he isn't supposed to touch, we say "Austin, NO!!"  He most definitely knows what it means, but sometimes he chooses not to listen or tries to test us.  Most of the time though, it works and he backs away.  He is such a smart baby! :)

He is now eating fruits and veggies galore!  He eats rice cereal and fruit for breakfast, a fruit and veggie for lunch, and either a fruit and veggie or two veggies for dinner.  He gets bottles in between, and we just dropped down to four (6oz) bottles a day.  He seems to slowly be phasing out the bottles though.  He eats less and less each day, which is why we made the decision to drop one this past weekend.  He has started eating more from his bottle at bedtime though, so I guess he is making up for the milk he didn't get during the day.  Who knows, really?!?!  The good thing is, only three more months until we can go to cow's milk!!  We are VERY excited about this!  It is much cheaper and it will take away the worry of wasting.  It can be crushing to warm up a 6oz bottle, only for him to take an ounce of it, because at that point, the rest of the bottle is completely wasted.  

One of his most favorite things to do is wave "bye bye". Once he learned how to do it, he started doing it all the time.  About half of the time he'll say it as he waves, but he mostly just likes to wave.  As soon as he hears the words he starts waving!  "Bye bye" were his first words, and just a few weeks ago he said "Dada".  Still waiting on that "Mama" to come out...  From what I hear, I could be waiting a while.

It's crazy to me that he is 9 months old already!!  I can't believe we are about to plan his first birthday party.  It is so exciting, but also bittersweet...  The time has literally flown by.  

Before I close, I have a prayer request.  My Uncle Rick was just diagnosed with colon cancer this week.  He had surgery on Tuesday and I hope and pray that they were able to remove all of the cancer.  The doctors feel confident they removed it all, but they are doing tests on his lymph nodes to make sure the cancer hasn't spread.  Please keep him and my family in your prayers.