Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year!!!

Is anyone still there???

First off, to anyone who reads this blog occasionally, I'm sorry for the darkness...but if there is one disadvantage to doing a mostly online educational program, it is that the last thing you really want to do when you are done schooling for the day or charting for the day at work is get on a computer for recreation. 

In brief... We are all alive and well and still sooooo very happy that we have a child to share our little adventure of a life. Happy New Year, and we hope your holidays were amazing!

Director's Cut:

I seriously didn't think it had been 6 months....oh where has the time gone?...Well, I'll tell you...

July was a bit of a whirlwind as I was only home for 1 week of it between vacation (cue sad violins) and what I like to call nurse practitioner camp, but what Frontier Nursing University [Best read with uppity Haaaarvard voice] would like for me to call Clinical Bound.  It was scary, exciting and also the most fun camp-like experience where they threaten to kick you out of the program 3 of the first 5 days...I was very fortunate to have gotten to experience this with, well to steal from my study buddy, Dan, "My Team".   
Your future healthcare team.
These four people are absolutely amazing, and somehow, we all worked it out to be able to go to our clinical bound at the same time...so they all came to my house since I live the closest to school by a little (They are from Jordan, Alaska, Texas, and Florida).  We have been through thick and thin, illness and strife, and even prodromal labor pains together.  We had SOOO much fun together from the moment Dan landed at the airport to dropping Holly off the next week. We all did really well on our assessments. I mean, I did lose a point because I didn't introduce myself to my patient, but that wasn't on the rubric...and as an introvert, basic social skills are not always innate to me.  Thank goodness for BJ... For the record, I have never once forgotten to tell the patient who I am since starting clinicals, so at least I am very trainable...

Then I moved back in with my parents to do my first two rotations for grad school in my hometown.  It has been great so far. I have a month left and then I will "move back in" with my husband in late January.  Matt has been coming with me for most of the week and we split custody every other Wednesday which makes for all sorts of interesting story lines for people staring at us during our rendezvous at random fastfood parking  lots.  'Look at her just hand her baby over like it's nothing!' 'They're still wearing their wedding bands.'  'OMG they kissed!' 'They're having an affair with their exes!' These are what I imagine people thinking as they stare at us...I also have a terrible Teen Mom habit...

BJ is basically working two full time jobs to makeup for my slackerhood/graduate student thing.  He's been a total champ.  I keep writing that I don't deserve him, and I truly mean that.  I don't know what I did right, but BJ is all of those right things in one human.  He is teaching classes at a couple of different colleges/universities on top of his full time job. He's such a good guy...well, he did make me watch the extended version of Lord of the Rings Trilogy back-to-back-to-back once, but he's pretty much an all-around good guy.

As for the star of our little 6 person and critter show, Matt is just the bee's knees.  He started school, and he has learned many things like washing his hands, drama, art, groupthink (cry when someone else starts crying cuz their mom dropped them off) all sorts of noises, but Ga-ga also helps with that.  He is in a Montessori class for 2 year-olds, and we think he has a great time.  He's the youngest and one of the smallest in his class. I would love to be a fly on the wall, because I imagine it's like herding cats, but his teachers love him and we love his teachers.  I did, however, find out that he will have to repeat the 2 year old class next year, so...basically...Matt flunked 2 year old Montessori school, which is supposed to be impossible...but then again, we weren't supposed to have kids, either...so there you go! 

He is still jibber-jabbering with a few more words thrown in that may have some similarity to a Latin word here or there.  I was always kinda annoyed by the parents that are like "my child talks so much as has so many words!" and the kid is like 'wah wah bwha, shis ba'. And they respond, "Why yes, Johnny, we can go to the art museum on this fine Sunday." And I'm like 'you just made that up.'  But now, I am starting to see that I have learned some Matthewese... Like Oc-POH, is octopus, clearly.  Shish is fish...wauer is water, who-zat is Who's that? And also, he seems to have a Boston accent which is pretty disturbing to my southern ear. Car is "Kaw" I think he's doing well for first born boy.  There are words he refuses to say...Like most P words such as please and pumpkin...yet he says poopy, and pee pee...While not a P word, he also says stinky pretty clearly.  So foul mouth and bathroom humor, here we come!

Which brings me to the topic of toilet training...BWAHAHAHAHAHA....he's gonna go to kindergarten in diapers...Honestly, he doesn't give a damn at this point.   There are physical signs he's ready (dry naps and such), but mentally, honey badger don't care. He can sit on his potty for 2 seconds, and he can flush for you..., well, if you pee fast enough...It's quite frustrating to him that it takes us so long.  My peers sing the praises of the naked weekend, and I have thought about doing the naked weekend.  I just don't quite see how this magical naked weekend is so magical for a boy, as it doesn't run down his legs and he doesn't have to clean it up... So honestly, we will just keep introducing the idea of going to the potty and hope that something sticks, eventually...ideally on this side of kindergarten.  

He's a mess.  After watching him try to ride his ride-on down stairs, or off the Fisher Price trampoline Santa got him, I have concerns.  If he's advanced in any one area, it's his gross motor skills. (I've seen his artwork, and fine motor is not really his thing.)  He's been jumping off the ground for three months and can balance on one foot for a few seconds. He's been running since about 3 weeks after he started walking consistently.  He hangs and does toes to the bar trying to turn upside down. He somersaults without hands...cuz who needs those...He loves to be upside down, and he loves to jump and "race".  He also loves his iPad, so there's that. (It's a hand-me-down iPad2...as in the 2012 model...as in you aren't making me feel guilty for judging me, because I already feel guilty....His Grammy did it!)  Anyway, so far I'm not too concerned with the amount of time, because it doesn't hold a charge very long (hehehe) and he goes back to doing the above things frequently.  It's definitely a wonder at how quickly things like "screen time" become a thing...sheesh...I mean the kid still can't even speak English, yet...or go to the bathroom by himself...GAH!

The holidays were magical with our nearly two year old...He recognized all the "Ho-hos" in decorations...(that's Santa for the perverted among you) and also like "Froshy the No-man". (That's Frosty the Snowman, clearly...also clearly is that all no-mans are Froshy).  Overall, he got way too much and he loved being with his people. This week will be a rough transition, but he usually adapts pretty quickly.  I got lucky like that.

Matt Facts:
Height:  32.75"
Weight:  23.5 lbs" give or take a dump...
Teeth: 16
Skills: Jib-jabbing, running, jumping, blowing strawberries, flirting, driving his Thomas the train backwards, brushing his teeth, car noises, tractor noises, farm animal noises, and being adorable.
Object of affection: He sleeps with his V-tech flashlight ...kinda sensible...I'll give him that...
Bane of his existence:  Rubber squeaky pig toy for dogs, Fisher Price Dragon, and getting dressed or undressed intermittently...also bananas occasionally, too
Favorite food:  Instant Carnation Breakfast Drink and ketchup, but not together...well, not yet, anway. 

Peace, Love, and Crickets,

Mary Katherine

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Months 14-18 In Which Your Mother Finally Carves Some Time Out to Write About You...

Let's call a spade a spade.  I meant to write this blog 16 weeks ago between my previous quarters of graduate school, but quite honestly, I've just not wanted to be on my computer after spending so much time on it for school.  I want to be with Matt!!!

The last 4 months have been wonderful, minus Mother's Day weekend.  However, we did get to spend that weekend together, so it wasn't a total loss.  He's growing a little bit, he's picking up some words, but mostly he just plays and is happy.  We have the happiest little soul.  And oh, that sinister sounding giggle.  I'm already having a hard time not laughing at him when he makes a poor life decision, but when I tell him no, and he sounds like the jack-a-lope from America's Funniest People (just look it up, kids), I have to bite my lip.

He LOVES the pool.  It's been so much fun playing with him in his water table or in the pool. He gets the biggest kick out of walking off the side of the pool.  Our biggest issue is he's so small, we can't find a "level 2" flotation device that works well for him...Fortunately, he tolerates his infant life-jacket better than he did last year.  But mostly we've just held him in the pool without anything.  He enjoy's splash pads, playgrounds, and mostly just being outside.

I'm sure everyone has seen those meme's that say, "Mom's a nurse, so we don't go to the doctor unless we're dying."  Well, yeah, I had that moment...

So my parents were driving into town, and we were going to take Matt to the zoo for the first time.  Matt had started to really watch animals and point at ducks...so I was really looking forward to it, as it was going to be my only day off before 3 shifts in a row over Mother's Day weekend.  So anyway, the day before, Matt seems to have a cold, but is playing and running and even eating, which he absolutely does not do when he is sick, so I just made sure to have Boogie Wipes on the ready. Anyway, he had a rough night.  Ends up sleeping with us from the early dawn hours, but he does go back to sleep after I dosed him with some baby Tylenol.  By the time Matt and I wake up, my parents have already left to meet us at Knoxville. I start to get him ready, and notice he's puny - which in my version of the nursing world, is a term we use professionally to mean you are doing the opposite of thriving, but you aren't really dying, either... So I count his respiration rate...and I'm like, 'Nope, it's not the 50s...let me do it again...OK 44...that's not 30, but it's not dying, either'...Maybe he needs to run around and loosen some congestion up...yeah, he'll be fine. Are you hot? No, you're not hot, hot...You're just puny.  Here is some ibuprofen. OK, you're OK...I mean why have a cold at home, when you can have a cold at the zoo...we'll just skip the splash pad...' After a bath with a some cold remedy stuff mixed in, he eats a few bites of oatmeal to little objection, and I let BJ watch him while I go get ready.

BJ comes up and says, "Did you see how fast he was breathing? I don't think going to the zoo is a good idea."

I agreed, all the while feeling like the biggest asshole that ever Mom'ed before. I took Matt's 'going to the zoo' outfit off and then saw the retractions - when your baby is working too hard to breathe (SUCH AN ASSHOLE). I listened to his lungs with my handy-dandy doctor's stethoscope and heard some wheezing, but also some coarse crackles, too.  So I called the pediatrician's office and left a message and then called my parents.  The nurse got back to us, and gave us an appointment time for mid afternoon.  Matt seemed okayish, miserable, but okayish.  Mom and Dad came to our house, and Mom was not impressed with Matt's condition.  I had set him up in front of a humidifier, but really he didn't look like he was improving much.  I called the pediatrician again, described what I was seeing and hearing.  She asked me if I could nebulize him at home, and I explained that I didn't have a nebulizer while thinking, 'how many people just have a nebulizer lying around?'...turns out, several do...Anyway, they moved our appointment up 2 hours and told us to take him to the ER if he got any worse.

So when we get there, the nurse looks at me and says "He's working awful hard, Mom." 'Are you shitting me? I asked you what to do, and I told you he was having retractions and what his respiration rate was!' His pulse ox is 87 (I'm a super-asshole...I get it) his respirations were still in the 40s, and wheezing was his game.  After a chest x-ray and RSV test which were negative, they tried suctioning him, and he only ended up with a nosebleed.  So then they gave him a nebulizer treatment...well, actually they gave my mother and I a nebulizer machine with a dose of albuterol and basically said, good luck and left.  So we wrestled my "sick" child, until my mother managed to put him in some sort of cross-legged sleeperhold.  I think we got as much, if not more, albuterol as Matt did, but his O2 saturation improved to 97ish so we were like, 'yeah', but not yeah, because this might mean he has asthma.  And I was devastated for him...I mean, we did all the things...he wasn't in daycare, he still has never had RSV, we exposed him to all the allergens...sigh...So they were giving us a nebulizer to use at home, when the nurse was said, "He doesn't look any better, does he?"  And honestly, he looked like he was working harder than he had earlier.  So our pediatrician sent us on to our local children's hospital.

He did have bronchiolitis, just not from RSV.  His third breathing treatment in a row which was racemic epinephrine did the trick, but he was still only saturating in the low 90s, so we got to stay overnight, and then another night because he was still retracting, and then another night because he caught norovirus somewhere among all of that...And the kid, he was smiling, saying "hai" and "bye" until norovirus overcame him the third day...but rallied later on the 4th, even smiling and waving at the nurses who started his IV the day before.  His personality is just the best.  We really scored in that department.

So let's see...He's managed to recover full cognitive function despite me depriving him of oxygen for 5 hours...He's turning into quite the jibber -jabberer. He chatters nonsense constantly, and it is totally adorable.  He answers remotes, cell phones, basically anything that may modestly look like a phone with a hello now.  He chatters a bit, and then says goodbye.

He is big into saying Emma's name, "EM-mah".  Bless him, he loves our dog, who continues to tolerate him.  He's also saying Mimi, Pah-pah, Grammy and Gaga purposefully about 50 percent of the time.  Ma-mah, and Mahm are even said somewhat purposefully.  "WOW!" that's a fun oldie he seems to have rediscovered....and then we think he's said a few phrases that even seem appropriate to what he was doing, but I don't know if it's just random or not.

Matthew is a ton of fun right now.  He loves running around the gym I take him to a few times a month.  He is enjoying "jumping" into the loose foam pit. He loves to run up and down ramps, wedges and any inclined surface. He insists on walking up and down steps like a "big boy" which is slowly becoming more successful than not, but it's kinda harrowing for your mother to watch you insist on navigating stairs by yourself.  He looks like a solid bruise from the knees down with at least 3 or more everywhere else.  He will hold your hand for a little bit, now, especially if it's to lead you.  And he loves to push things around the house, so those play lawnmowers have been very successful.

I can't stress over how much I love this age.  EVERYDAY is a new adventure. And if Matt is anything he is completely unreliable.  I have no idea what his favorite food is from minute to minute except maybe cheese puffs.  I'm not proud, but at 18 mos and 20 lbs and some change...he can have some cheese puffs. But I have no idea what he'll eat from day to day...if I'd written this last month I would have told you Mac-N-Cheese would be a reliable choice, but not anymore. I've promised myself I'm not gonna stress over my child's eating habits.  He'll eat when he is hungry enough, and we'll try to keep offering him a variety.  Lately, he's gorged himself on guacamole, started eating chicken and peas.  He hated peas when he started solids, so like I said, he's unreliable.

He loved the beach last month.  The water did not intimidate him one bit.  He thoroughly did not care about the aquarium we took him to and modestly enjoyed the water park. He loved being the apple in Ga-ga's eye.
Is this too deep, Ma?

Tomorrow we start trying to institutionalize him.  He starts going to Day School a couple of times a week.  It's a 2 year old class, so he's the youngest and smallest.  I hope he keeps up, but I'm sure he'll manipulate his way into the teacher's lap.  He will start using an open cup (better there than at my house) and partake in art projects (I'm rolling in the floor as I type this).


Peace, Love, & Cute Toddlers,

Mary Katherine Roberts

Matt Facts:

Wt.  20.75 lbs
Ht. 31 in
Fave toy:  Anything, and I mean, ANYthing he can push
Fave comfort item:  Mama
Fave food: Hell, if I know.
Fave word:  Wow! and hi-yah or Eeh-yah!
New Skills:  Going up and down stairs upright.  Walking off the edge of pools and pits.  Dancing, Kissing with sound effects, hugging girls and other people's moms. Manipulating.
Teeth:  10 - just this month, he was stuck at 8 for forever and the top two molars are making him miserable as I type this!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

13 mos!!! Plus some...

Oops!  I know, I'm a slacker mother....He's going to be 14 mos in less than a week and I'm just posting 13 mos...it's been a little hectic for me to say the least.

My toddler is the cutest toddler on the block.  Both of us have spent most of the month congested, but we've managed to stay out of the doc's office. And mostly he's had a pretty good attitude about it.  Occasionally he needs some extra snuggles at night, or maybe I think he needs extra snuggles at night, but we live by the motto he's only little once. 

The amount of things he learns so quickly is just amazing.  He pushes his V-tech cars along a track, he works buttons on things with purpose, he says more words appropriately, he identifies a couple of body parts on himself and other people. He puts my stethoscope in his ears, he is starting to call objects by name...It's amazing what his little baby brain can do. 

He's running now. He still can barely walk in a straight line, but he didn't let not being able to stand still hold him back from walking so why let walking hold you back from running? The sound of pitter-pattering feet with an extra swish of diaper is truly one of my favorite things.  I have a happy child.  I have a full of life, wonder, curious, and happy little boy.  He is the apple of my eye, for sure!

Emma Grace is starting to warm up to the idea.  She now associates paying attention to Matt as something she deserves a reward for doing.  She licked his hand the other day, and then immediately came over to me full of pride at the goodwill she exemplified and fully expected to be showered with the praise and treats she deserved.  She's ridiculous, but we love her.  She cleans up well after Matt eats, too. 

The cats are trying to train him into the realization that he is a lesser being.  He does not deserve the space he takes up in our house according to Gaius and Lucifer who can often be found on/in/on top of all of his things.  Gaius also baits Matt into petting him just so he can scratch him by trying to look all cute and lying on his back.  The boy has to learn...I did, sort of.

Matt has his grandparents wrapped around his fingers.  They absolutely spoil the crap out of the kid on both sides.  They are the best (or worst).  I love it.  He's such a goober, so far he doesn't know how good he has it, but if he ever gets in trouble, all he'll have to do is call 1-800-GRANDPA and someone will sweep into his rescue and convince us that we were entirely wrong.  I love getting to share sweet Matt with his grandparents.  For as much as we hurt throughout our battle with infertility, our parents had to hurt for us, and for the potential loss of becoming grandparents to our children we couldn't have.  It's probably not something many people pay attention to, especially when dealing with their own infertility, but it does lead to some very real and valid feelings for the would-be grandparents.  

Peace, Love, & Gagas
Mary Katherine & Matt

Matt Facts!
Height 30ish inches
Weight 20ish lbs
Teeth:  5...still, just 2 on top and 3 on the bottom...
Clothing Size:  9-12 mos. But we're finally starting to out grow some of the 9 month stuff for length. Not so much the waist...
Favorite comfort item:  I'm actually gonna say it's me...He doesn't need me a lot, but when he's sick or crashed from running in/off of something.
Favorite Food: Bananas!  He'll eat anything you're eating, but he loves to cram 1/3 of a banana in his mouth...to the point he can't even chew it. Actually, he's in the chipmunk phase where he believes all the food needs to be in his cheeks or he might starve to death...at least for the 3 minutes he's interested in eating.
Favorite Toy:  His "My First Superman" Book.  Not that it's really a toy, but he's very adamant about having it read to him. Who knew how painful cardboard books to the eyeball could be?
Nemesis of the Month:  Baby Gates - he hates them.  He hangs on them like a San Quentin inmate hanging out in the yard. 
Skills:  Running, hugging, stuffing huge chunks of food in his mouth, climbing, giggling, finding noses and belly buttons.
Words:  Baw for ball, Daw for dog, awf for off, ahn for on, Da-da-dee for Daddy. Mahma for Mama. In addition to his old faves like bye-bye.
Favorite thing he does: Wraps arms around my neck...always and forever will be my favorite thing.
Future Career:  Competitive hot dog eater.  

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

1 YEAR!!!!

So a couple of weeks ago, the miracle turned ONE!!!

A whole year has gone by already!!! I've not been sad, heartbroken, devastated, or loathing life for an entire year.  (I may have loathed graduate school every once and a bit, but that shouldn't count.)

It has been an absolutely glorious year.  It has been a tremendous year.  It has been the year of all years for BJ and me.  And this little dude...

How could anyone be sad when they get to have this in their life?  I mean you can tell from this picture, he's enjoying life with us at least a little bit.  Gosh, we love this kid!!!

I am just so thrilled to be the parent of a one year-old.  Maybe it's because I'm hopeful we will unfreeze some more of his kind one day, but I'm just so excited watching him master each new skill and cross each milestone.  He just soaks up so much stuff right now!!!

When he's not being totally adorkable, he's being totally sweet. He loves his people, and so far, everyone is his people.  He's still not too worried about the whole stranger anxiety thing, and seems like a pretty content little boy.  I'm totally biased, I realize, but he's rather charming for one.  Ladies, look out, here comes Matt-man!

He's become a much more proficient walker and prefers walking to crawling at this point, but hasn't figured out how to stand up w/out something to pull up on.  But once he does get up, he's off to the races. Just this week he's even trying to run a little bit...or maybe he's falling, it's hard to tell sometimes. He still has a pretty good inebriated penguin thing going on, but mostly because he's getting a little cocky.  Looking around, holding stuff, clapping for himself...you know, more important things than looking where he's going or minding where his center of gravity actually is.  

He loves to open and close cabinets, as well as turn a light on and off.  These are incredibly fun games!  He is trying to communicate with us more, but I have no clue what he's talking about most of the time, so I just guess.  My mother swears he says all sorts of words, but I'm just hearing 'ah'.  

For example...
Exhibit A.
Mom- "Look, he's saying 'dog'!".  Matt- "ah". Mom-"That's right, dog! You're so smart!"

Exhibit B
Mom- "Can you say off, Matt?"  Matt- "ah".  Mom- "Yes! That's so smart! You're just so smart!"

Exhibit C
Mom- "Matt, say OK." Matt- "Ah-uh-ah". Mom- "That's it. That's so good! You're just the smartest grandbaby."
So, anyway.  He's learning some words, but we're getting into a grunting and pointing phase.  Perhaps it's because I fail to understand his chatter so he has to speak down to me and use caveman talk. And so it begins... 

Peace, Love, and What a Journey It has Been!

Mary Katherine and Matt

Matt Facts

Height:  29"
Weight: 18 lbs 2 oz
Clothing size: 9 mos
Cuteness Factor:  11/10
Favorite Toy:  Fascinated with his train as it is self-propelled. And he's figured out buttons, so anything with a button is very interesting for a few minutes, at least. 
Favorite Food:  Birthday cake!!! He does seem to have a sweet tooth, but overall, is not that into any one food.  
Favorite Comfort Item:  Himself...he's not got any one thing that soothes him.
Nemesis of the moment:  Popcorn popper thing...I'm not sure what it did, but it has completely offended Matt, and makes him very angry...and I laugh, probably causing him to need years of therapy *sigh*
Skills: Oning-and-Offing a lamp, drunk walking, drinking milk out of a cup, throwing balls, laughing at himself, getting off of a bed w/out plunging head first or with assistance, hiding objects (like remotes) and re-enacting prohibition (you know...breaking liquor bottles).
Words:  Not many new ones (in my opinion). He seems pretty satisfied grunting to communicate his needs.  
Favorite thing he does:  Walks to me smiling and wraps his arms around my neck.  And my heart melts every.single.time. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Happy Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy 11 mos...

Yes, I'm so incredibly late with this post, but I don't regret it.  I spent most of 2 weeks w/out using technology and it was glorious!!!

Matt sleeping on Uncle Chris.
Matthew, my little man is shedding the last of his infanthood quickly.  He turns 1 in a week!!!! But his 12th month has been full of fun. He's gone from shuffling with encouragement between two parents to walking 50% of the time.  It's adorable.  Well, he looks inebriated... He has his arms over his head half of the time and gets stuck on one foot until he can get his center of gravity under control...I'm loving every single second of it!!!

He's still a totally cute little goober.  His communication skills are just exploding.  I have full conversations with him, I just don't know what language he's speaking to me in.  He just babbles away, changes his inflection and tone, nods his head enthusiastically and looks at me like I'm an idiot if I don't respond.  So much for boys not talking.  He's up to about 6 words...Mama, Dada, Meow, Muh-muh, Pa-pa, and his all-time favorite- Uh-OH.  Uh-oh means mischief is about to be made, by the way, not that a mistake happened.  This is probably a good thing because at least he tells on himself, but I'm not sure I like where the smirk and gleam in his eye as he intentionally 'uh-uh-uh-ohs' is going.

Our Christmas was great.  We got to spend some time with both sides of the family.  Matt was mostly underwhelmed, but was a good sport.  I thought he'd be more into the tearing of paper, and boxes, but mostly he just wanted to play with his old toys.  He'll get it one day...

He did get his first ear infection, but handled it like a champ, really. He's been sick every month and for every major holiday since September.  He seems to handle it pretty well, but has a hard time at night.  I will say he's an excellent sport at taking medicine.

I honestly can't believe he's not a baby.  I wanted a baby for sooo long! I had one, and now I don't! He's got some shimmers of two-ness coming through.  He started having tantrums in which he lays down and beats his head on the floor.  You know...that's my reaction when there is a wall where I want there to be a door, too.  But really? Where do they even learn that? BJ and I are full of character flaws, but neither one of us lays down and beats our head on the floor when we are angry or frustrated...and honestly, it's so hard to not laugh...I'm the worst mother...

Mommy's little monster!!
11 month Matt Stats

Weight: 17 lbs 8oz
Height:  2 foot something
Teeth:  5!!! I'm not sure what pattern they are coming in, but we have some.  We're also pretty sure we need to start saving for braces, immediately...
Favorite Toy:  Sit to Stand Walker
Favorite Food:  Macaroni & Cheese...the only thing I've seen him eat where he actually cared if it got in his mouth!
Favorite Comfort Item: Himself!
Word of the Month: Uh-oh!
Favorite Activity:  Growling...which I'm pretty sure he learned from my parent's golden doodle...Thanks, Marvin...
Least Favorite Activity:  Putting on clothes and having diaper changed.  This is a huge waste of time according to Matt.  Nobody needs that...
New Tricks:  Drunk walking, taking arms out of sleeves (which is no big deal in a t-shirt, but when you're in a onesie, it can be problematic), taking shoes and socks off,  mimicking elevator dings and random electronic equipment chirps.
Future Career: Sound-effects artist who lives in our basement well into his 40s. 

Peace, Love & Grrrrr!

Mary Katherine & Matt

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

10 Months of Thanks

For the first time in 5 years, it is so easy to give thanks.  I've said it many times, but the holidays just grow weary as each year ticks away when you are dealing with infertility.  It's a road that gets lonelier and lonelier the longer you stay on it because less of your friends can relate as they turn their focus on their 1, 2, 3... children.

Holidays are about family, and I've always been blessed with wonderful in-laws and out-laws (my side).  But even with wonderful families, it's just been that elephant in the room.  A sulky, sad, and embittered elephant at that.  And it's never been about not appreciating what I had, because I have always tried. But when the one thing you want, that comes so easily and naturally for the majority of people totally eludes you, it's hard to swallow the bitterness and focus on your blessings. The hole in your heart is just too raw.

Last year, I was preoccupied with being pregnant, and it was blissful.  I was so very blessed and fortunate to have such an easy pregnancy after the mighty struggle it took to get there.  Now I'm just so incredibly thankful.

It's easy to say I'm thankful for Matthew, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

I am thankful for the perspective that infertility gave me, both in life and as a parent.  I'm thankful for the ability to let the small stuff go, and just enjoy the miracle of Matt. 

I am thankful for my better half who fulfills me, completes me, cheers me and is just the best teammate to have as we tackle this parenting thing.

I am thankful for my parents and in-laws who supported us in every way imaginable as BJ and I continued on despite what seemed impossible.

I am thankful for my best friend and her ear as she has been with me through all of the thick and thin of my life and continues to be a constant source of knowledge and comfort.

I am thankful for the Fertility Center and every single person at that clinic.  When we were at our rock bottom, they were there with their hands out-stretched.

I am thankful for the honor of being James Matthew's mother.  It is such a privilege that I do not take lightly.  I love you, Matt-moo, more than words can ever express.  It is truly an honor to be the person you reach towards and say "Mama" (even if you call other women "mama" 😉). I hope after your teenage years, when you kinda start liking us again, that you'll be glad we got you, too.

In the midst of what has so far been a pretty awful week, it doesn't take much looking back to realize how truly blessed I am.

So tomorrow I look forward to Matt being the star of the show.  I've waited a long time to have a baby shoving mashed potatoes in his face. Hopefully his stomach will be over whatever has it so upset today, and he'll get to gum all the tasty foods.

Peace, Love, and Happy Food Hangovers!

Mary Katherine & Matt

Matt Facts:

Weight: 17lbs 2oz
Height: 2'4.5ish
Teeth: 0, but I believe we'll have at least 1 at our next update...
Favorite Comfort item:  Dada or Mama...he's really not too attached to any one thing just yet.
Favorite food:  Dog kibble, sweet potatoes, carrot cake and whatever he can feed himself.
Favorite toy:  His V-tech Sit-to-Stand Walker...unfortunately ours seems to have a short that makes it go off every 15 seconds whether he's near it or not.  Thank goodness for off-switches.
New skills:  Clapping, waving hi and bye,  cruisin-for-a-bruisin, stair-climbing, sticking the entire end of electronic devices in his mouth, and catching every bug that comes his way (yeah for breastfed babies...oh, wait), standing and stepping unassisted but with rapid failures, and falling.
Words:  Mama, Dada, Bah-bah (Bye-bye with a drawal), Hi, Lala and nanana (you know...just conversation filler)
Future Career:  Mechanical engineer.  He's all about wheels and gears and things that spin.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

9 Months...OR When the Miracle Eats Dog Kibble

Matthew...my little ball of energy is 9 months old!!! He's been outside as long as he was on the inside (literally, since he was 3 weeks early plus had a bonus week on the outside in a petri dish...).   What a crazy 18 months it has been.

Matt is just funny.  His personality is really beginning to come out, and I think we scored in that department.  He's pensive and introspective.  He studies new things carefully.  Yet he loves to have fun and enjoys being silly.  He's not a pleaser.  He does things on his own time after much thought and consideration.  He seems to be a little introverted, which I totally get. He's also pretty chatty with us, but less so in public. In fact our babysitter asked me if he was talking yet, and I was floored, because he's not usually quiet for very long.  I asked him to tell her "Bye-Bye" and he immediately said bye-bye. She was just as shocked as I was when she asked me if he was talking yet...*sigh*  This does not bode well for school, I fear.

He FINALLY clapped yesterday for the first time.  We actually took a rare and ever elusive nap and he woke up before me because I found him lying on his back studying each of his hands.  They were approximately a body width apart and had assumed an appropriate pre-"pat-a-cake" position.  He carefully brought his hands together and pulled them apart, then tried a little faster and got a little sound. I'm so very proud.  He refuses to clap for BJ, however...

His other skills include finding toys hidden under a blanket. Chasing kitties and golden retrievers. French kissing golden doodles. Speed crawling, waving bye-bye and feeding himself are also much more precise than they were during his 8th month.  Precise but not always accurate...

I make most of Matt's baby food because it kinda skeeves me out to eat 3 year old bananas. So anyway, I'm happily buzzing around the kitchen steaming this and blending that into some concoction for my toothless miracle when I hear his palms happily slap across the kitchen in a speed crawl.  He loves to splash in Emma's water bowl, so I make my way over there and try to distract him with a toy before returning to blending.  I don't hear anything for a while, so I glance back to Emma's bowls to see my little miracle baby eating dog food while I'm making homemade, hippie-approved baby food because Gerber is poison...So anyway...Gerber's probably fine...

We've also enjoyed eliciting those baby belly laughs.  Matt is not a free laugher....

It actually takes work. And things he found funny a couple of days may barely muster a smirk today. So when we do find something that evokes those throw his head back baby giggles, IT.IS.AMAZING!  It's definitely one of those 'we could have missed this' moments.

The pain of infertility is erosive to your soul, yet having a child after going through infertility is truly inconceivable. After over 5 years, I had no idea I could not hurt this much, or be this happy, or have so much to look forward to in life.  So when Matt giggles, the heavens open up and my heart fills with a joy I had no idea could exist.  And then I become overwhelmed with the thought of 'Wow, we could have missed this.' It is entirely possible that all of this could have eluded us, and my heart fills again.

So when people say Matt was worth the wait, they honestly have no idea.  He's not just worth it, he exceeds all of that pain with a sense of peace.  A peace that soothes my soul, and helps me look back with a sense of understanding.  He's an answer to so many prayers, hopes, desires. He's simply a miracle.  I couldn't appreciate this as much as I do without having gone through such an arduous journey, and I would never want to have a child without that level of appreciation.

And that same miracle...well, he eats dog food sometimes, too. :)

Matt Facts:

Height:  2' 3 1/4" for 13th percentile
Weight:  16 lbs, 13 oz... 8th percentile
Teeth: 0
Fave Food:  Cheerios are amazing...and Lucifer the kitty likes them, too!
Fave Toy:  Wheels...or anything that spins: squeaky frog toy
Fave Word: Bah-Bah-Bah (Bye); dew-dew-dew (No translation), La-la (Yadda-yadda); din-din-din (no translation);
Fave Activity:  Playing in a water table, AKA Emma's elevated water bowl; readjusting the wine fridge settings; Petting the kitties; playing in his tunnel.
Favorite Comfort Item: Mama & Dada...Wubba Nubs be out (Matt's choice...no parenting credits to us)
Future Career:  Wine connoisseur.