Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Their LOVE

When I reflect, there were a lot of things about parenting I was prepared for.

Late nights, long nights, schedules, feeding, dependency, love. A lot of love.

There was also a lot of things I wasn't prepared for.

Csection. Trauma. Breastfeeding woes. Pumping. Poop. Barf. How much love there would be.

So far, the best thing about parenting two children that I wasn't prepared for--truly prepared for, was THEIR love.

Sibling love.

I should have seen it, right away, from the magical way she gazed at him. 

Just look at how much she loved him. From the start.

But you know, he was little, and lumpy, and had no emotion but feed me and sleep. Now that he is big, now that he is growing, he gives her the same looks.

When she walks into a room, it's the first thing he sees. He is her good morning, and she is his happy day. 

They laugh, they play. She is so gentle, and so helpful, and so careful to involve him in all things. She is the first to jump up when he cries, and the reason he is quickly laughing again. She would easily sleep with him if I let her.

This weekend, I took her shopping, just she and I. Within 15 minutes, she whispered, "I miss my baby brother."

He is her best friend. She loves him with all of her little heart and soul. And he sees the world when he sees her. 

Seeing them learn and grow, and seeing them experience the world together, side by side, hand in hand--there are just no words for how magical it is. It envelopes my entire being. I squeal like a schoolgirl at the thought.

I know that as they grow, it may wax and wane. It will change. They will change. But they will always be bonded together, and I hope hope hope they will stay as in love with one another as they are right now.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Clayton at 7 months! (A little late!)

My big snuggle monster turned 7 months just before Christmas. However with the holiday, and 2 weeks off from school, and life, I never got to write about it!

 I really can't believe this smiley guy is closer to one than newborn! Time is flying, and we are loving every minute with him!

Clay's skin is steadily improving, and although it's not 100%, he definitely looks better on a daily basis now.

However, he is getting a lot of diaper rashes, causing us to change around our Cloth diaper routine. We are switching to part time, and sending disposables to school, because that seems to be the best route for him.

Clayton is the cuddliest, happiest kid there is. He loves to be held, snuggle in to whoever's holding him (especially his daycare teachers! He just LOVES Them!). He loves to hold hands or grab for his big sister, who is just the apple of his eye.

Clayton has had some issues with his gag reflex, and therefore, we are going really slowly with food. His earlier sensitivities seem to be on their way out, but they have me really nervous to let him try anything, the way I did with Evelyn and BLW. So he is currently eating real avocado, banana and sweet potato, and also likes pureed carrots, squash, green beans and peas. He loves mum mums, too. That's about it in his world--I will stay slow until he gets his blood tested in February.

Clayton's favorite things include: ROLLING (he moves so fast!!!), his big sister, his doggie, and anything he can chew on. He got a sophie for Christmas, and he really loves it. He also loves figuring out the world--he spends a lot of time repeating something (like dropping his bath book out of his tub, looking over, finding it, picking it up, and doing it all again).

His sleep is improving, but that's all I will say for fear of a jinx.

I love this little guy so much. He routinely reminds me that he is the missing piece to my heart and soul, and he is the glue that combined our family into a stronger unit. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Clayton's Skin

When Clay was a newborn-3 months old, we spent a lot of time refining my diet to best support his digestion. He had a lot of issues with blood in his poop, and we finally identified dairy, eggs and gluten as the main suspect. We had gotten it figured out and were smooth sailing.

One of the earlier pictures of his face rash
When he was 3 months, he started attending daycare. Early in the first week, he came home with a face rash. We chalked it up to a new environment/cleaning products. It faded. Then it came back at home. Then it faded. Then it came back. And faded. And came back. So on and so forth.

Early on, his rash was all over his face. It would vary in intensity and we could not connect it to anything.  It was so frustrating, but he didn't seem bothered by it. We kept an eye on it, tried a variety of creams and oils, and yet it still kept coming. It also started changing.

It would change to a more "constellation" type pattern, like the picture in the monkey jammies, or sometimes, his entire face would get puffy, like in the picture next to it.

After fighting it for two months, our doctor finally prescribed us a steroid cream. We were all baffled by what was causing it, and just wanted some relief for my gorgeous little guy. The steroid cream worked...for about three days. Then, the rash migrated. It stopped coming to his cheeks and started forming largely around his eyes, as seen below. It looked like hives along his eyes. This was really nerve-wracking, of course, because it was so close to his eyes!

Then, the cream stopped working all together, and he was back to what he was before--a speckled mess of a baby. 

So, our pediatrician gave us a referral to dermatology. Unfortunately, it took a while to wait for an appointment, due to my daily schedule. We finally went on November 26th, and Clayton was diagnosed with perioficial dermatitis.

Also known as perioral dermatitis,  this is a skin condition that has no real cause and can last for quite a while. It is exacerbated by basically everything, and is treated with antibiotics. So the unfortunate result of switching to the antibiotic and removing the steroid is that for now, his poor face looks even worse, and probably stings. He has been moody and cranky since then, and screams like crazy when I have to put on the cream.

I feel really bad for my little dude, and wish there was some way to make him feel better. I have been cycling tylenol and ibuprofen on bad days, which does seem to help. But in the bath, if water touches his face, he gets really upset, so I know it's bugging him.

Hopefully, in a few weeks, we will see it clear up. If it hasn't by his follow-up appointment in January, we will have to try some other options.

Monday, November 24, 2014

6 months!

Clayton is officially 6 months old! I can hardly believe it!

He can roll both ways, sit unassisted briefly, grab and put things in his mouth, and now, eat real foods!

So far, he has tried broccoli and avocado, as well as butternut squash puree (his favorite so far!) and whole grain oatmeal. 

His sleep is a mess--let's not even talk about it.

He LOVES his sister and she can always make him smile. He also loves watching his doggy.

Clayton adores bathtime!

He is wearing 9 month sizes, and we will see at his well check tomorrow how big he is!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

On Turning 30.

Today is officially 11 days until my 30th birthday.

However, I am not bothered by this at all.

I know many people, my husband included, who struggled with turning 30. Something about that number seems so much bigger than it is.

But I? I have spent most of my life being the youngest in class. I always loved "catching up." I am finally as old as everyone else! I am finally a part of the group! That is until the next month when everyone was once again a year older.

When I reflect on turning 30, I feel nothing but joy.

First of all, I have had 30 years of this here fabulous life. That's pretty incredible.

I have been beyond blessed to end up where I am, doing what I am doing, with the people I do it with. Somehow, education found me, and it has given me a purpose.

I have the most amazing, loving, dedicated husband. He is not perfect. WE are not perfect. But for over 10 years now, we have decided that wherever we are going, whatever we are doing, it's much much better when we are together. I can only imagine what our next 30 years will be like, right by each other's side.

My children are the most incredible humans I have ever encountered. Evelyn teaches me so much, and fills our days and nights with laughter and joy. Clayton has a piece of my heart in a way I never dreamed possible. His happy little smile is all I need to put my heart at ease.

My family and friends are incredible. We have enough money for frivolous Old Navy purchases, while still paying off my student loan debt. We own a home that is far from perfect, but the perfect amount of cozy.

I used to think, at age 15, of all the things I would do or be by 30. I didn't want to have a baby until then, and now, odds are I am done having them.

I know this much: I never could have envisioned this incredibly amazing, absolutely flawed, overwhelmingly beautiful life that I have. I couldn't have dreamed it up if I tried. It's so much better than I ever imagined.

So when I turn 30, I will only continue to revel in that awe. Nothing about me changes with a 3 in front of my age, save for some newer aches and baby weight I can't get rid of. Everything else is just as incredible as 29.