steveandheather.net

How to train your Trevor

August 29, 2012 9:49 am
Posted by: heather
How to train your Trevor

Trevor is a big fan of  breakfast and dinner. He enjoys the eating part and he really loves the spoon. He loves to grab it and chew on it as I think the soft plastic feels good against his gums. However, as you can see, his love of the spoon leads to rather a mess. In fact it got worse once he learned to throw the spoon over the edge of his chair and we ended up with carrot EVERYWHERE.

I decided enough was enough. Carrot facials were not for me. So I decided to try to teach him not to grab the spoon. To be honest I didn’t think it would work but I figured I could at least minimize the mess if not prevent it. I started out by using my free hand to gently hold his hand down on the tray. . He was quite happy with this as he loves to hold hands and I would let him chew on the spoon every once in a while (when it was clean of food) to take a break to eat a bite of my own food.  After a few days of this I started letting go of his hand to see what would happen. For the most part he kept his hands resting on the tray but periodically would reach up and grab for the spoon. I would respond “No, No”, pull the spoon away and when he put his hand down (sometimes with my help) I would say “Thank you”.  After about a week of this he stopped grabbing. It was awesome. I trained my dragon, I mean, my baby. He no longer keeps his hands down on the tray but flaps them at his sides while opening his mouth and squealing “ah ah ah”  just like a baby bird waiting for a worm. He still gets the spoon to chew on at the end as a reward and a sign that the meal is done.

Hugs and Kisses

July 29, 2012 6:45 pm
Posted by: heather

When your baby first smiles up at you, it is incredibly heart warming, especially since you have been giving so much to keep this little creature warm, happy and fed and it is the first time you feel like you are getting some acknowledgement of your hard work. However, my favorite things are the first hugs and kisses. Trevor loves when I sit cross-legged and he stands on my legs facing me. He snuggles in close, puts his little arms around my neck, tangles his fingers through my hair and gives me sloppy wet open mouthed baby kisses on my cheek. I am in heaven. He is so gentle even with his fingers in my hair and has such a big grin on his face that you can’t help but be as caught up in the moment as he is. Damn that kid is cute some times!

PreK Graduation

July 6, 2012 9:35 am
Posted by: heather

My big boy is so grown up. He just graduated from Pre-K! They had a wonderful ceremony (designed to make the parents tear up!) that his teachers Miss Amanda and Miss Jackie worked so hard on with the kids. All the students memorized two songs which they sang then each child in the class was given an award. Quite appropriately Jace was named the class bookworm. He has loved his stories ever since he was a baby and sometimes the only time he will sit still is while somebody is reading to him. There was a slide show of the kids showing their activities from the past year and a mystery photo game where we had to guess who each child was from a baby picture. It is amazing how much they have all grown.

Jace has had a wonderful time at Teachable Moments this last year. We loved April’s daycare in Medford and were so sad to move on but I have to say this place has been a great experience and Jace has learned so much. It helped that he had his buddy William at school every day and such a wonderful teacher in Miss Amanda.

Jace will continue at Teachable Moments for the summer at their “camp” then it is off to Kindergarten in the fall!

Cranky Baby has an excuse

July 5, 2012 7:21 pm
Posted by: heather

Yesterday was July 4th and we had a very busy day going to the Melrose bike, trike, wagon and stroller parade in the morning followed by a bbq with friends and fireworks at night. Trevor was a cranky baby who refused to take an afternoon nap since wasn’t home in his snuggly bed. We tried putting him down in our friend’s pack and play, walking him around in the ergo but he was just unable to settle down. I was a little worried about going to the fireworks but Jace was so excited that I didn’t want to ruin his evening just because Trevor was having a bad day so we compromised on going to the Wakefield fireworks by our house rather than the Waltham ones with friends. The fireworks were wonderful and Trevor actually slept through most of them! The grand finale woke him up but he mostly just whimpered a little.

Today he was in an even worse mood and wanted to be held or played with whenever he wasn’t napping or eating. I couldn’t put him down long enough to go to the bathroom without him erupting in tears. It was like he was 6 weeks old again. Then around dinner time I was playing with him and let him chew on my finger (one of his favorite activities!). And what did I feel but one sharp little tooth poking through his bottom gum. Further inspection showed its neighbor is also coming in. Guess you can’t blame the kid for a little crankiness when he has sharp objects poking through his skin.

Jace at 5

June 29, 2012 6:50 pm
Posted by: heather

At 5 years of age, Jace is 44 1/2″ tall and 46lb. This puts him at at the 80% for height and weight which is actually a drop from before when he was around the 90th% for both. He is very active which probably accounts for the weight change as he eats plenty, just burns it off with his constant energy. At this age they don’t grow quite as much and it tends to come in spurts. I suspect Jace will have another growth spurt later this summer and grown out of yet more clothes before I know it. He has been in 5T clothes since last winter so we are now headed into the big boy’s clothing section!

He is still a very good eater. The kid regularly eats salad for lunch or dinner and will eat all vegetables except mushrooms, butternut squash and potatoes (well, he makes an exception for them when they are in fried form!). He loves sushi, seaweed salad and peanut butter and jelly (just in case you thought he wasn’t a real kid). We just had him retested for his walnut and pecan allergy and the test came back negative! That means I get to make zucchini bread with walnuts and see how he does. Hopefully there will be no reaction and we can gradually move onto raw nuts and send an allergy free kid to kindergarten.

Activity wise, Jace loves to run around. He is learning to ride a bike without training wheels although he is rather tentative and scared of trying even with daddy holding on tightly to the back. In fact, that rather describes his attitude towards most new things lately. He is rather apprehensive and scared. He has been taking swimming lessons for almost a year now and, while he is totally comfortable in the water after all our years of playing around at family swim, he is afraid to jump of the edge into the pool or put his face in the water. We are actually going to switch to a different YMCA for lessons in the hope that they will push him more at the Peabody Y since the Melrose lessons are all taught by high school students who are nice and encouraging but don’t give that extra push that Jace needs to confront his fears. He will also be doing soccer in the fall which should be lots of fun.

Jace has always had an excellent vocabulary for his age and that continues. Story time is his favorite and we have moved into reading chapter books at bedtime. We have read the Ralph the Mouse series by Beverly Cleary, several by Roald Dahl and are now onto Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Jace can actually read too but he is resistant to trying when asked. He will happily read random words all over the place on his own though. He managed to read all of Grandma’s postcard with the exception of two longer words. He can also write all his letters and numbers although, again he is resistant to doing it for us.

I guess that is his general attitude lately, resistant. He is generally a good kid but he has doesn’t like doing things that aren’t his idea and will mess around and act like a fool rather than just getting the task done. Drives me totally crazy. He is totally sweet to his brother though and will bring him toys, sing sill songs and dance to keep him entertained. He also loves to give him kisses and is very gentle with him. I don’t worry at all about leaving them alone in a room together if I need to go do something quickly. He also has the typical 5 year old habit of not listening to anything I say directly to him but will eavesdrop on any conversation that doesn’t involve him and interject with his comments.

I can’t believe he is starting kindergarten in a few short months!

I want it!

June 17, 2012 8:25 pm
Posted by: heather

Trevor’s new trick of the week is grabbing onto things. He has been working on it for a little while, starting out by grabbing at his ever present bib and trying to get it off. He succeeded enough times that I bought more of the bibs that have snaps!

He can now grab a toy that is held out to him. It takes a minute for him to get his hands in the right place and wrapped around it but he is clearly making a conscious effort to get the toy. You can almost see his brain working as he opens and shuts his fingers and moves his arm into position. A little left, nope, the other left, now up, open fingers, close. GOT IT!

He also loves being pulled to sitting and standing. However, he seems to think that this is worthy of him getting a reward for that trick. A chance to chew of your fingers. He is constantly eating his own, but I guess he like variety as every time I grab his hands to pull him up, he sits or stands, then turns and munches. Good thing he doesn’t have teeth yet.

Where should I sleep tonight?

June 14, 2012 2:40 pm
Posted by: heather

When we brought Jace home from the hospital, he slept in a bassinet in our room for about 3 weeks before we kicked him out to the crib in his own room because he was just too damn noisy! The kid grunted, wiggled and generally make some kind of noise such that I was up half the night trying to tell if he was just making noises in his sleep or stirring, wanting some food.
Jump forward to Trevor and we tried to put him in the bassinet in our room for the same arrangement to make night time feeds easier. Well he was having none of it. I don’t know if it was because he gassy so sleeping on his back stretched out is uncomfortable, because he spits up a lot so being on his back made it worse, or if he just didn’t like being alone but he was NOT going to sleep in the bassinet no matter how hard we tried. For the first month and a half to two months he slept snuggled in our arms in our bed. He was laying on his side which made him much happier to begin with and he was totally content if he had one of our arms wrapped around him. What can I say, he isn’t nicknamed snugglebug for nothing.

Of course the American Academy of Pediatrics and thus our pediatrician doesn’t approve of cosleeping and while I know plenty of people who have done it, and continue to enjoy a family bed, I was a little nervous about it. He is a very small being and unable to move on his own if accidentally relocated into a unsafe position. Also, I don’t sleep as well when holding a squirmy little thing. After talking to our pediatrician, we decided on a compromise. Instead of putting Trevor on his back in the bassinet, we would put him on his side with a rolled up towel at his back and knees to keep him from flopping forward or backwards, thoroughly wedged in. It took a couple of nights to get him used to this arrangement but he eventually decided that it was to his liking. Fully swaddled and unable to move, he is a snug bug!

Jump forward a month or so and I looked down at the bassinet one morning at the warning labels that are printed on everything these days. Actually makes sense to print them on the bed/carseat/packnplay etc because we don’t exactly keep the owner’s manual around for frequent review. Well, turns out our bassinet is designed to be used up to 15lb and 3 months. Well, Trevor managed to reach those two stipulations at about  the same time but we had only just gotten  to the point where we were all sleeping comfortably. Now I was faced with the proposition of changing things all over again.

I procrastinated for a week, then Steve was out of town which seemed like a bad time to make changes, so finally three weeks later I decided it was time to try to get Trevor sleeping in his crib. He had been sleeping on his back a little more at night time so I started with trying to put him down that way in his crib. FAIL. I would get him down to sleep around 8pm only to have him wake up 45 minutes later screaming his head off. I rolled up another towel and place it behind him in the crib even though if he rolls backwards, the towel will move away. I figured that he might like the feeling of something behind him after his previous snug arrangement. Slightly more success. He slept for a couple of hours before waking up, eating, falling back asleep then waking back up and screaming his head off. Each night we try to keep him in the crib for a little longer before bringing him into our room and putting him back in the bassinet. Hopefully soon he will learn to sleep the whole night in there because we are both exhausted from the night time screaming. Perhaps we should had done it at 3 weeks like Jace but I have to say I miss him when he is in the other room. For some reason, I really like keeping this one near to me even if we are both sleeping.

Mr. Curiosity

May 31, 2012 12:28 pm
Posted by: heather

Some babies are happy to lay around calmly in their chair or on their playmat waiting until their next feeding. Not Trevor, Mr. Curiosity. He wants to be up looking around at everything that is going on. It isn’t so much that he wants to be held (although he certainly appreciates that) but he wants you to hold him upright, facing out so he can see what is going on in the world. He loves going outside, to the grocery store or other interesting places. He wants to be able to sit up so badly that he is happy to keep on trying and trying (unlike tummy time which he thinks is a waste of energy). We are eagerly waiting to see Craig and Alyssa again so that we can borrow a bumbo for Trevor. But even better than sitting is standing. Yes, Trevor wants you to pull him up to standing and hold him like that for as long as possible. And I have to say, he is pretty impressive on the amount of weight bearing he can do on his little legs. Something tells me I am in trouble with this one and he will be pulling himself to standing and learning to walk as soon as he is able!

(Re)Learning how to Eat

May 16, 2012 10:37 am
Posted by: heather

Since I had a C Section, I didn’t get to nurse Trevor right away when he was born. After we were finally reunited in postpartum he was sleepy but we tried anyways. Despite the fact that I was in the hospital an extra couple of days this time, my milk didn’t come in until the last day. However, that didn’t stop Trevor from suckling really vigorously to get as much colostrum as he could. After a couple of days of this vacuum cleaner action (hmmm, seems I wrote a similar post about Jace’s suction power!) this was causing my nipples some serious distress so, having had latch problems with Jace, I made sure to seek the help of the lactation consultants on staff. I asked to speak to one on Sunday night and finally she showed up late in the afternoon on Monday. She check our positioning and said we looked fine and that I should just try nursing in different positions to give my nipples a break and gave me some soothie gel pads to help with the discomfort. Sounded a little odd to me but she is the expert right? Well, lets just say I am not impressed with the lactation staff at MGH.

After a week at home I was still in pain so I sought out the services of an independent lactation consultant. She came over to the house and after I explained what was going on, she immediately checked Trevor’s mouth for a tongue tie (which limits the ability for an infants tongue to move back and forth, thus making nursing hard). He was fine but it was immediately evident to her that instead of using his tongue to suck, he was pulling his lip and jaw in. This took her all of about 5 minutes in my house to figure out yet the consultant at the hospital never even bothered to check for either thing. She showed me a nursing position that forced Trevor to tip his head back and made it hard for him to nurse the wrong way. She also suggested we make Trevor “practice” by sucking on our fingers. You could easily tell when he was sucking the wrong way on your finger and could immediately pull it out and make him try again.

When Trevor was born he was 9lbs 11 oz. When he left the hospital he was around 8lb 14 oz which is a pretty big drop but less than the 10% which is when doctors get worried. After a couple of days at home we had a pediatrician’s appt and he was back up to 9lbs 6 oz which was great (keep in mind that while he was nursing incorrectly, Trevor was getting plenty of food). We made an appointment for a week later just to make sure he was back his birth weight. Well, during that week, that is when I was retraining Trevor how to eat and it didn’t go so well apparently. By the end of the week he had mostly figured it out but had actually lost weight and it was evident that my milk supply had dropped dramatically. So we spent the next week with me pumping, Trevor nursing every 2 to 2 1/2 hrs, syringe supplementing Trevor with pumped milk after feedings, and everyone getting frustrated and tired. It was hard work but at the end of the week we went back to the doctor for a weight check. He clocked in at 9 lb 9 1/2oz. Our pediatrician nicely gifted him the 1/2oz and declared him back to his birthweight. From that point we got to proceed with a more relaxed baby lead feeding schedule and Trevor thrived while my nipples healed.

How Trevor made it to the outside

May 15, 2012 1:01 pm
Posted by: heather

We all know that Jace was not a small baby. At 9lbs 3 oz and since he was as happy as a clam, it took some work to convince him to come out. With this history of a large baby and based on how big my belly was measuring, my OB wanted to keep an eye on Trevor’s growth as the pregnancy continued to make sure there were no issues and because, as she nicely put it, “we don’t want to break you!” This meant a couple of extra ultrasounds along the way which was actually kind of cool as I got to see him growing on the inside. The ultrasounds showed no problems but did indicate that he was trending along a size at least as big as Jace. At 38 weeks my OB said she would be happy for me to go into labor at anytime. However, she then stated that they won’t induce you just for having a large baby. DRAT.

Well, it turns out that I just don’t go into labor on my own. At 41 weeks they admitted me to be induced. I was about 2 centimeters dilated so we went right to the pitocin. And my body did exactly what it did with Jace, regular mild contractions that did nothing to progress the labor. By the afternoon I was getting grumpy from lack of food and it was clear that we were getting nowhere. So they stopped the pitocin and gave me some prostaglandin (I believe it was the same kind that finally worked with Jace. They also let me eat at 10pm so Steve was sent on a foraging mission down the to cafe as the fridge in labor and delivery was woefully understocked. The grilled chicken caesar salad was amazing (I might have been slightly biased, since I hadn’t eaten since 7am!).

I had a couple of doses of prostaglandin overnight and they checked me in the morning after the shift change. While my OB was not on this time around, the OB on duty on saturday was the woman I had seen in the office for the last checkup so it was nice to see a familar face. With this check it seemed that my body had made some progress so they started the pitocin again.  This time it seemed to do some work as a couple of hours later they decided that I had progressed enough to break my water as that had really gotten things moving when I was delivering Jace. Worked like a charm and soon I was having strong, regular contractions and that wonderful Epidural. Time was rather a blur at this point but I started to push around 3pm and the doctor was hoping he would be born pretty quickly. Trevor, however, had other ideas.

We made progress for a while but then he kept hitting his head on my pelvic bone and would not come any further. The doctor was willing to let me push for 2 1/2 hrs as that was how long it took for Jace but after about 2 hrs I was exhausted and it was pretty evident we were going nowhere. So on to plan B. This had always been an option on the table as we knew that Trevor was rather large but obviously the doctor and I had been hoping to avoid it. However, sometimes a C Section is just what is best for baby and mom so off we headed to the operating room. I won’t get into the gory details but suffice to say it is major surgery and I don’t respond well to high levels of pitocin. I was pretty miserable on my side of the tented drape but everything on the other side was going well. Trevor came out at 5:24pm. The clearest memory I have of this is the doctors and nurses guessing how much he weighed (they were estimating 10lbs) and somebody exclaiming “there is no way that head was coming out that way”. Welcome to the world coconut head boy…

(C) Steve and Heather Leibman, 2007.