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 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'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 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 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 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