When You’re Kid Has Plagiocephaly

My kid has a flat head.  And has for months now.

At his 2 month well check, his doctor showed little concern.  Yep, it was flat, but so are a lot of kids’ these days because protocol is for them to sleep on their backs.

He was getting stronger and stronger, so we thought the time he spent sitting up and/or on his tummy would help remedy the problem.  But, it didn’t.  By 3 months, even his daycare was pulling us aside to make sure it was on our radar.  I was relieved to be able to tell them that, yes, it was – but also worried that it was getting so bad they felt the need to seek us out to talk about it.

At his 4 month well check, his pediatrician acknowledged that it was quite flat.  It was flatter than most kids, but it wasn’t the worst she had seen.  She wasn’t overly concerned, but thought it was worth us seeing a specialist to get some measurements done.  So, we did.

We’ve now learned that Eddie has a severe case of plagiocephaly – that’s a fancy way of saying he has a flat head.  And let me be clear – it isn’t a flat spot – his head literally drops off in the back.  Also – note that it looks much more severe in this photo than it does in “real life” – I think his hair standing up in the back makes it look like it slopes up on the top of his head from front to back.  It’s flat, yes, but not pointy!

eddie - fh

The specialist (whom Eddie hated, by the way) told us that it’s quite severe.  He is 6 standard deviations away from what is considered “normal.”  His head is significantly wider across the front (ear to ear) compared to the front to back measurements.  Hearing it was severe made me emotional – but she had some really reassuring information for us.

First of all – he won’t be put in a helmet at this point.  For cases of plagiocephaly, this specialist does not put children in a helmet before 4 months and rarely does right at 4 months.  It is having zero impact on Eddie’s cognitive development, therefore she is taking a conservative approach.  In two months, we will go back to have more measurements done to see if things are getting better or if they are staying the same.

The specialist also told us that in about 50% of her patients, things significantly improve to the point that they never need a helmet.  He’s doing a lot of development right now – learning to roll over, sit up, etc.  Learning all of those things mean that he spends less time on his back – which is what he needs to do in order for his skull to develop properly.  She also told me that this generation sees a lot more of this condition than generations past because of the protocol for babies to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Her telling us those things made me feel better.  I’m hopeful that we have the opportunity to remedy it without medical intervention.  And it’s reassuring to hear that it’s more common than I may think it is.  I feel like every person I’ve spoken with knows of at least one child that has been put into a helmet – maybe not a personal acquaintance, but they know of someone.  I’m obviously not happy that others experience this, but it makes me feel like I’m less of a “bad” parent for letting my baby’s head get flat.

I feel like his size has also contributed to a certain degree – being bigger and heavier means needing more strength to roll/sit up and develop balance.  It’s also a lot of weight on the back of his little head!  The specialist told us that even if/when his head rounds out, it will stay a little wider than “average.”  And that’s okay – just gives him a little extra character!

We have a plan in place with the help of daycare to help remedy the flatness without medical intervention.  I’m optimistic that we can return in June to find that everything is resolving itself.  Time will tell.

The reason I’m sharing is because all of this has been new/unknown/a little scary for me.  I’ve felt a lot of guilt and uncertainty – and (perceived?) judgement from others because of how my child looks.  I’m that mom that is offering an explanation before the question is asked because I feel like they’re wondering.  I hate that I do this.  It’s not really their business, right? But, I hate the idea that they may draw inaccurate conclusions.  But, on the other hand I’d equally hate it if they had the audacity to ask.  Sigh.  There’s no winning with me.

Ultimately, Eddie’s plagiocephaly is purely cosmetic.  It’s possible that, for that reason, insurance wouldn’t cover treatment (I have yet to check).  But, honestly, who cares right?  He’s healthy as a horse.  He’s the happiest little boy.  And he’s meeting his milestones like a champ.  If our kid ends up in a helmet for a few months, so be it.  There are much worst things, this I know.

That being said, we will be making a concerted effort to avoid the helmet.  So, if you need Eddie over the next couple months, you’ll find him like this:

eddie go pod

Or this:

eddie - pillows

Here’s to Eddie growing a round head!

Edison – 4 Month Update

Friday morning, Eddie and I started our day as we normally would.  I got him up singing “good morning” to him and he gave me the biggest of grins and immediately started telling me about his dreams.  I changed him, kissed him, made him giggle, and we settled into the nursery chair for breakfast.

AND THEN.

And then my baby proceeded to grab his bottle and feed himself.  The entire 6 ounces.

My baby doesn’t need me anymore.  Cue the waterworks.

He might as well be going to college tomorrow.

eddie 4 mos

UGH.  Honestly.  I shed tears.  I’m going to be THAT mom.  You know the one – the one that falls to pieces for everything.  Significant or not – there will be tears.  I thank my own mother for that.  Commercials can make that woman cry.

So.  Four months.  Four whole months of this little nugget.  Four best months of my life.  Without further ado, may I introduce you to: Four Month Old Eddie.

height
2’3.5″ (100%ile)

weight
20lb 5oz (99%ile)

head
17.5″ (99%ile)

Side note: while he is certainly a big boy, he is very proportionate.  Like in the 50%ile, proportionate!  He’s as tall as he is heavy!  Which is so strange to me because we don’t really have any unusual height or size in our family.  Maybe he will slow down at some point?

Another side note?  We met a 2 1/2 year old yesterday that weights just 22 pounds.  #what

eddie 4 mos bumbo

naps
The kid doesn’t nap.  His daily daycare report indicates cat naps no longer than a half hour and that’s how he is on the weekends, too.  Which is mostly okay.  Until he has a day like he did last Sunday – he was a beast.  We couldn’t wait until bedtime.  We thought it was a growth spurt – which was confirmed at his doctor’s appointment.  SO BIG.

eddie 4 mo bunny

clothing
He’s moving into 9 month clothing.  Thanks to Grandma Jo and one of his aunts, he has a whole new 9-month wardrobe.  I never thought our kid would get so spoiled on Easter.  It was like Christmas all over again.  We weren’t complaining, though!

bedtime/sleeping
We moved up bedtime out of necessity.  Daycare wears him out and he started becoming really special (that’s the kind way of saying: BEASTLY) around 6:30.  His mood dictates his bedtime between 6:30 and 7.

All of his sicknesses have seriously impacted his sleep.  His new routine includes a feeding between 2 and 3am.  We don’t love it.   Hopefully the change in his formula (see below!) will help us drop this extra feeding.

After his 4 month vaccinations he passed out at 6pm.  He passed out hard.  Takes a lot out of a kid.

eddie 4 mo

eating
SO MUCH.  One of the things we addressed with his doctor was our thought he was developing some acid reflux.  However, his doctor thinks that it could also be because he is just eating so much.  He’s eating 6 ounces at a time, 6-7 times a day.  That’s a lot of formula for his little belly.  And he definitely needs it with how he is growing!

His doctor suggested that we start mixing rice cereal in with his formula.  The thought is that its thicker consistency will mean he will need to take less formula and it will better settle in his stomach.  So far, he’s been handling it really well.  She started talking introducing solids to him (because of the amount of formula he is taking!), but acknowledged that he needs to be sitting up first.  Note: Never add rice cereal to formula unless directed to do so by your physician!

development
He loves talking and cooing.  His giggles come more regularly.  His head control is solid – and he loves spending time in a saucer when he is at school.  Eddie (aka Craig) won the basketball pool at Craig’s work, so I suggested we get a bouncer for him at home.  Hopefully this weekend!

He’s started interacting with toys more and more.  By interact, I mostly mean: grabbing it and trying to shove it in his mouth. Ha.  He also loves the singing dog that he got for Christmas.  He consistently follows things with his eyes and there is zero doubt that he recognizes people he sees on a regular basis.  I love how his face lights up when I show up at school (I get the biggest smile).  Though, I have to say I’m quite envious of the reaction that Craig gets – little boy loves his papa.  The happy reaction he gives when he sees his teacher, Miss Shannon, warms my heart too.  Leaves room for zero doubt that my baby is well loved and taken care of during the week.

In the spirit of shoving things into his mouth – he often does this with his left fist.  Not his right, just his left.  But seriously – he tries so hard to fit it in there.  It’s almost concerning how hard he is shoving.  But, it’s mostly cute.  He hasn’t tried to suck his thumb (thank goodness), but is still quite attached to his bink – and that’s okay with me for now.  You can take the bink away – you can’t take a thumb!

likes/dislikes
Loves talking to mama and papa and telling us about his dreams.  He loves sitting, facing us and look at our faces.  He is really starting to love interacting with people.  He still really loves his vibrating monkey chair.  And his soft teddy bear.  And ceiling fans.  And lights.  And his papa’s silly faces.  Loves those silly faces.

He hates when people sing to him.  Oh my goodness.  It’s hilarious.  At first I thought it was just me, because truly, my voice is terrible.  But, Craig actually has a decent voice and he was met with the same reaction.  He just does not like it!  But he loves his singing dog toy – riddle me that.

eddie 4 mos brewers

On this day (wearing his Brewer’s gear), he told me that he really hated the Brewer’s starting their season 0-4.  That face says it all.  Thank goodness they pulled off a win last night!  Nobody wants an unhappy Edison.

other notes
We have an appointment to take Eddie to the Craniofacial Clinic next week.  His head is uber flat.  His doctor isn’t super concerned.  She said that while his head is flatter than most kids, it isn’t the absolute worst that she has seen.  (He doesn’t just have a flat spot, his head is legitimately flat on the back.)  She did think it was worth seeing a specialist to have measurements done, so that if for some reason, it doesn’t remedy itself as he begins to sit up and roll over, we at least have a baseline to work off of.  She isn’t a huge fan of helmets, but again, acknowledged that she isn’t a specialist.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love his doctor?  She’s so realistic and I’ve never, ever felt like she “guesses.”  She will openly tell me when she isn’t sure about something and will find resources to give me up-to-date information.  She doesn’t over-prescribe meds and isn’t quick to diagnose.  I appreciate it so much.  She is also super patient.  She spent 45 minutes with me at our last appointment to address my laundry list of concerns.

Another concern is Eddie’s skin.  It’s so sensitive.  There is a spot on his right temple that hasn’t healed since before he was 2 months old.  It’s just dry and agitated.  During this visit, she felt it looked a little infected (I agreed!) and so she provided an antibiotic cream.  We also discovered a touch of a yeast infection in his neck rolls.  So we have something to treat that as well.  My kid is a hot mess.  Good news is that what she prescribed is already working in making improvements!

She talked me through what I can do to help his sensitive skin.  I had already cut back on his baths (as they wash away all of the natural oils), but she made some suggestions for alternate moisturizers and such since the Aquaphor didn’t seem to be working.  I’d already been using unscented EVERYTHING for him, but she made some additional suggestions – like just paying attention to clothes that seem to irritate his skin more than others.  Y’all, I have learned so much about baby skin care in the last 4 months!  Here’s to hoping the little dude’s rashes and dry spots heal with our new plan.

Also super strange – Eddie has never had a diaper rash.  Ever.  The rest of his body is constantly reacting to something, but never his bottom.  Imagine that.

We finally figured out how to FaceTime with GiGi – but it took some time for GiGi to figure out her phone.  These were the sad faces we sent her as we impatiently waited for her to figure it out.  Eddie: already nailing the selfie.

eddie 4 mos sad

Lastly, Big E got his first “hair cut.”  Meaning – mama took a scissors to his hair.  He has lost majority of the hair he was born with and what is left has seriously lightened up.  It was long and weird.  So I trimmed it up so he didn’t look like a mad scientist anymore.  Plus, tomorrow is picture day and I want my little man’s hair to be on point!  (You can also see that spot on his right temple that we are trying to get to heal up!)

before after

mama/papa updates
We are still doing good!  I’m still proud of the team we make.  I know days pass when I feel like I’ve taken more on than Craig and I know that days pass when Craig feels like he’s carried majority of the load.  I really feel like it evens out – and if we ever feel like it hasn’t, we’ve talked about it.  There has been minimal tension surrounding balancing and/or sharing our responsibilities.

I’m still loving my new job.  I couldn’t be happier with my decision to leave the credit union.  I worked with great people there, but the job and culture were just not a good fit.  I’ve noticed how much that job impacted other areas of my life, just in terms of my attitude and stuff.  The enjoyment I find in my job has noticeably carried over every aspect of my life.  I’m a better mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend.  The longer I’m back working, the harder it is for me to imagine being a stay at home mom.  Don’t give me wrong, I’m sure I’d adjust and love being at home full time – but for now, this seems to just really “fit.”  And truthfully, I’m 100 times happier right now that what I ever thought I could be as a working mom.  That in itself is testament to how much I’m enjoying my new job!

Fun part of having a kid?  Being able to pick on him sometimes – BUNNY EARS!  Such an unsuspecting victim!

eddie 4 mo ears

I’m already asking Craig when we can start trying for babe number 2.  I usually just get an “are you flipping kidding me” face in response.

With a kid like Eddie, you can’t blame me for asking, though! 😉

Busy Bees

Hello, friends!  It’s been a little bit, eh?  Ooooof.  Time has been flying – seriously, by the time I’ve accepted the fact that it’s Monday – it’s already Friday.  SLOW DOWN.

eddie surprise - mwn

We’ve settled into a nice routine since my return to work and I think it’s safe to say we are all happy as clams.  Well.  Eddie is still sick (now a mixture of coughing and pooping), Craig caught the stomach flu, and I had a tooth pulled.  So, really, we are a sorry bunch – but we’re all smiling.  In Craig’s case he finds it within himself to smile between heaving.  But, mostly, yes, we are a happy crew – even if we are a sorry one.

How about a little catch up?

eddie badger - mwn

First of all – YEAHHH BADGERS.  Final Four!  I’m a fair-weather fan and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  I care very little until the last rounds of the tournament.  I’ve been in bed for most of their earlier round games.  It’s what happens when you work full time and have a sick baby.  Sleep takes priority over everything but baby.  And I mean, everything.  ANYway!

So what’ve we been up to!?

Mostly just loving on each other.

My aunt finally got to come and meet Eddie.  Eddie LOVED her.  So many smiles shared.  He’s a lucky boy – loved by so, so many.  Also?  BABY IN A VEST.

eddie vest - mwn

Kelsey and I shared a night out together.  One of her favorite bands is Gaslight Anthem and when I saw they were coming to Milwaukee, I knew I had to scoop up some tickets.  We went to dinner beforehand at Wolf Peach (fellow Milwaukee peeps – SO GOOD!) before heading to the Pabst for the show.  I’m slightly obsessed with my sister and love spending time with her, so it goes without saying that we had a great time.  We couldn’t be more different, but man, get us together and we just fit so perfectly.  It was definitely a highlight of my month.  It was also a nice break from my pooping baby.

I had a birthday.  SURPRISE.  I know.  I could hardly believe it when it came, either.  Between being back to work, finding a routine, and having a sick baby, it just sort of snuck up on me.  Everyone’s favorite question was “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO!?” and my favorite response was “NOTHING.”  Seriously.  I had the best evening at home with my boys, eating take out sushi.  A year ago, I was still reeling from my miscarriage and was quite a sad sight.  It’s amazing what can happen in 365 days.  Amazing.  I remind myself of that every time I’m wiping explosive baby poop off of my walls.

I had the chance to head west and grab lunch with some girlfriends.  We’re pretty good at making it work about every other month.  These ladies range in age from 28 to 65 and we all love each other to pieces.  I also stopped in to see my grandma and my aunt, which is always a treat.  I love watching them with Eddie.  I think they’re smitten – and Eddie is, too!  Again, so much love!

On a not so fun note, Thursday I had to have a tooth pulled.  I had a tooth that cracked when I was pregnant with Eddie and finally got around to getting it taken care of.  I was so anxious about it.  But, no worries.  They drugged me to high heavens and it went off without a hitch.  The mixture of Valium, laughing gas, and Novocaine (or whatever the goodness in the shots were) proved to be exactly what I needed to not sweat bullets.  I wonder if I can request the same goods for my regular cleanings.  Probably not.

eddie stroller - mwn

And that brings us to today.  We have zero plans for the weekend and I’m thrilled.  It’s cold, but it’s sunny.  Eddie and I enjoyed a nice, long walk.  My parents got me a jogging stroller for my birthday and it’s seriously the greatest thing.  Super easy to handle and Eddie LOVED being forward facing.  I’m excited for him to get just a little bit bigger so I feel more comfortable actually jogging with him in there – probably once we officially hit the 4 month mark.  (Side note: he weighs the same as a 1-year old at school. hahahahhaa.)

Well, I think that wraps it up for now.  ‘Til next time!

Day Care Wins

As I’ve already mentioned, I fully expected Eddie to get sick during his transition to school.  I was not expecting it to span almost 3 weeks and 2 totally unrelated illnesses.  Eddie needs to catch a break!

And so do mama and papa!

Stop reading now if you have a sensitive stomach.  Lots of poop talk are all up in here.

The Sunday after his first week in school landed us in urgent care.  What had started as congestion developed into a nasty cough that we could hear in his lungs.  Being only 12 weeks, Craig agreed that we should error on the side of caution and take him in to be seen.

Yes, he is sleeping with his eyes partially open.  Creepy.

Yes, he is sleeping with his eyes partially open. Creepy.

After 2 hours in Children’s Urgent Care, we were told it was bronchiolitis.  There wasn’t anything they could really give him to help since it was a virus.  We just had to wait it out.  It’s such a weird thing – I was SO grateful that it wasn’t anything requiring meds, but at the same time, it didn’t really give us any solution!  By Wednesday, though, he was on the upswing.  The cough lingered through the following weekend, but it started to sound better.  Through it all, he never once had a fever which also helped ease my mind.

YAY we had weathered our first illness and survived.  Despite being sick, Eddie stayed in relatively good spirits.  Sure, he was in bed around 6:30 every night because little dude was exhausted and crabby from adjusting to school and being sick, but given the circumstances – he stayed pretty darn happy!

Just as he was kicking that first bug – ALL THE POOP CAME.

So much poop.  Nasty poop.  And I’ll spare you the description that led us to another doctor’s appointment.  You’re welcome.  But, even his teacher said that in her 20 years she had never seen anything like it come from a formula fed baby.  It is disgusting.

This past week has been a blur of diaper changes and a hungry baby that won’t eat.

sick eddie gopod

It used to be that Eddie came home in a different outfit than what I sent him in because he spits up like crazy – but now it’s because he poops out of his diapers left and right.  His teacher went through 4 diapers in one change because it just kept coming. 

I had noticed he wasn’t eating well (barely 2 ounces, when he usually downs 5 like it’s nothin’!) and when I asked his teacher, she said that at school he might be taking longer to eat, but that he was finishing his bottles.  Then by Wednesday she called to tell me that his eating habits were significantly different and he wasn’t having many wet diapers – just plenty of poo.

After calling the doctor, she said that since he didn’t have a fever and still had some wet diapers, we should just keep an eye on him.  Initially, they thought it was the same virus he originally had moving through his system.  By Friday, he was having less than 6 wet diapers in 24 hours, so the doctor overbooked us to get in to have him checked out.  We were worried that he might be dehydrated and with such a wee lad, you have to be careful with that.

Welp.  It was determined it was a new virus, but alas, a virus, so there was nothing they could do.  She said he seemed hydrated to a point that she wasn’t concerned, but again to watch was he was expelling and to take him to the ER this weekend if he started showing different signs.  I love his doctor – she spent the time to tell us exactly what to watch for, explained how she determined he was hydrated enough for the time being, and what they would likely do if we had to take him to the ER.  She is so thorough and so kind.

So, here we are today.  It’s been 55 degrees, sunny, and beautiful here in Wisconsin and Eddie and I have been inside all day because I don’t dare go too far and risk explosive poop all over clothing, car seats, our car, stroller, etc.

He’s been sleeping a ton.  Until he wakes up screaming his head off, like if he doesn’t eat right this minute, he might die and then proceeds to eat an ounce.  Per his doctor’s recommendation, we’ve been offering Pedialyte as well.  Between formula and Pedialyte I think he is staying hydrated, but we are changing icky poopy diapers every half hour or so.

Outside of seeing my first baby sick, perhaps the worst part has been lack of sleep.  Gone are the nights that Eddie sleeps through the night.  He gave us a glorious 6 weeks of that – but it’s gone now.  He’s up at least once a night to eat.  And be changed.  And scream his head off.

sick eddie bumbo

I spent an hour trying to get him to eat at 2am this morning.  And he wouldn’t eat.  But, the minute I put him down he just screamed.  Took me an hour to realize that all he wanted was to be held.  He didn’t want to eat.  He didn’t need to be changed.  He wanted his mama to snuggle him.  So, I grabbed a blanket and spent the rest of the night on the couch sleeping with our sweet boy.  And you know what?  He slept like a champ.  Sometimes sick babies just want their mama.  And you know what else?  I couldn’t be happier to oblige.

Day Care: 2
Eddie: 0

PS. In the time between me drafting this and getting around to adding pictures and posting – he projectile pooped all over me and his nursery mid-diaper change.  Motherhood: Not for the faint of heart.

Edison – 3 Month Update

How is my baby already 3 months!?  The days have been long and short all at the same time.  I know that this is a little bit late – but better late than never?  This has been written since March 5th, but the thought of uploading pictures proved to be too much for me until now.  Also, I don’t really have his measurements.  I just have his weight from when we were in urgent care.  Just trust me when I say that he is a big boy.  A big, cuddly boy! 

3month - mwn

weight
17lbs 8oz

naps

Still no regular nap schedule, but based on his teacher’s notes, I can tell she is trying to get him on one!  Mom-fail.  Before I went back to work, we did just fine without one.  I just stayed flexible and ran errands right after he had a bottle.  As long as he wasn’t hungry, I could get out and about with him with no problems.  But, going to school (with all the extra stimulation) wears him out quickly and he isn’t super stoked about napping.

clothing

So, we’ve established we have a big dude.  BUT.  This is nuts.  He is thisclose to being in 9 month clothing.  He is 3 months old, people.  In 9 month clothing.  Good thing I never went nuts buying him clothes.  He’s gotten good wear out of every single outfit we’ve ever owned!

3month2 - mwn

bedtime/sleeping

Bedtime had been at 7:30 until school started.  Now, when he gets home from school he is exhausted.  We aim for at least 7:00, but if he makes it to 7:30, we are flexible.

My first week back at work, he slept until I went in to get him at 6:45am  I never had to wake him out of a deep sleep, but he wasn’t truly awake.  Week two was a different story!  Being sick has really messed with him.  Overall, though, he is a great sleeper.  I attribute the ease of our transition into parenthood and working to that.  Having a baby that likes to sleep can be a crap shoot, so I’m definitely counting my blessings!

eating

He eats 5 ounces every 3 hours.  It’s so tricky though – no matter how much he eats, he always spits up.  Always.  And sometimes it’s a lot!  He’s gaining weight, so I’m not concerned, it just means I do a lot of laundry.  He never comes home from school in the clothes he went in!

day14

development

His neck is getting so strong.  He doesn’t mind tummy time and it’s fun to watch him start swinging his head around.  He moves around like a little fish.  I think he’s anxious to get moving!

He’s also gotten really vocal.  My favorite part of the day is first thing in the morning.  He’s so chatty.  I like to think he is telling me about his dreams.  He’s definitely a morning person.  Something he did not get from his mama.

likes/dislikes

He loves school.  Seriously.  I have seen zero negative change in his demeanor since he started going – if anything, he’s even happier.  He’s a social butterfly!

The teachers have told me multiple times that Eddie gets a kick out of his friends dancing for him at school.  They set him up in a bouncy chair and his friends dance for him.  He’s already making friends!

That being said, he definitely has a personal bubble!  He doesn’t enjoy being held all the time.  I get snuggles every day, but he doesn’t like being held for long periods of time.  He loves his vibrating monkey chair.  Sometimes I have guilt that he spends so much time in it, but then again, he really does love it.  He will sit there and chat your ear off.

He also doesn’t like having a lot of people in his face.  We’ve had some gatherings and of course, everyone is super excited about him.  He’s easily overstimulated and gets mad when he is passed around (remember, he doesn’t like being held all the time) and even angrier when multiple people are in his face.  It’s hard explaining that to people without them taking offense, but they usually realize I’m right when he calms down when taken into a quiet room for a bit.

day15

new this month

GIGGLES!  Oh my goodness I about cried when I heart that sweet, sweet noise.  He loves when papa makes funny noises and thought it was so silly, he actually laughed!  WHAT.  My baby laughs!  He doesn’t do it consistently, but I’m so excited to hear those little sounds more often.

other notes

I knew Eddie going to school meant we would battle illness.  I think it happens to just about every kid.  I thought within the first month it would happen – not the first 3 days!  A stuffy nose progressed to a pretty icky cough, so we went to Urgent Care on Sunday after his week at school.  He had bronchiolitis, a virus.  He never had the fever (thank goodness), so there was nothing to do but wait it out.  He’s still a little congested and coughs when he gets worked up, but overall he is definitely on the upswing.  He did more sleeping and wanted more cuddles (yay!).  He certainly had his moments, but even as a sick kid, he’s generally a really happy kid.

eddies first week school

mama/papa updates

Craig has been great.  It took just a couple days for him to adjust to a new morning schedule.  With me working, he had more to do in the morning.  He makes up Eddie’s bottles and gets the dogs’ peanut butter bones prepped for me.  (Yes, the dogs get peanut butter-stuffed kongs when I leave for work.)  He’s works a lot of hours, but happily agreed to pick up 2x/week and drop off 1x/week.  That gives me some flexibility at work if I have hours to make up.

My first couple weeks back to work have been great.  I think I’m truly going to like my job.  I’m so busy during the day, I don’t have a lot of time to think about how much I miss Eddie.  I love being the one to shuttle Eddie to and from school.  At first, I thought it would be a burden (it’s an extra half hour), but I love having that quiet time with Eddie every day.  The one morning Craig has taken him, it made me so sad.  It’s nice to know I can count on Craig to do it – but I think for now, I’ll be happy doing it myself.

We both continue to be well rested.  I think overall we do really well working as a team – the minute one of us starts to feel like we are “giving” more, we talk about it.  Having a baby can be super stressful at times, but truthfully, I think we are getting along better now than what we did when I was pregnant.  We fought so much when I was pregnant and I think it’s because we were so uncertain about how Eddie would change things.  Yes, life has changed.  Yes, it can be hard.  Yes, tensions can run high.  But, looking at the big picture, these transitions (most recently, my transition back to work) have gone smoothly.  I’ll happily give Craig most of that credit!

I’m a Working Mom

A week in, I can officially call myself a “working mom.”  And truthfully, it hasn’t been half as bad as I thought it would be.*

eddies first week school

*Eddie slept well.  We got plenty of sleep.  Our mornings were drama-free.  Talk to me after a week that he is sick.  Fussy.  Or generally angry.  I may rescind that statement.

But, in all seriousness – I think everyone adjusted as well as they could’ve.  Getting up early is a bummer.  If you know me, I am not an morning person.  Thankfully, Eddie seems to be, so seeing his smiles first thing in the morning make getting up a little more bearable.

eddies first week mom

On our way to school Monday morning, I shed a few tears while giving him a pep talk.  I assured him that I loved him and that I was going to miss him all day long.  Truthfully, I did that every morning last week and it will likely happen every single time he is away from me (for the rest of his life, poor kid).  Tuesday morning, I was able to give him his pep talk without the my tears.  Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday went well, too.

His girls at school are the sweetest.  I don’t doubt that I’m leaving him in good hands.  What they say in their daily notes lead me to believe that Eddie is adjusting well.  What they describe sounds exactly like my little boy – happy and full of smiles.

eddies first week dad

You can tell that he’s absolutely exhausted when he gets home.  He’s definitely got some adjusting to do – he isn’t used to all of the excitement.  It’s a bummer to have just a couple hours with him at night when he is overtired (read: crabby) and dozing.  Sigh.

As to be expected, Eddie is exposed to a ton of new germs at school.  I figured within the first couple weeks we would battle our first cold.  Low and behold, Thursday night we could tell something was making its way in.  And by Friday night the poor kid couldn’t breathe.

eddies first week spidermonkey

Him not feeling well, though, meant that he couldn’t get enough of his mama.  I was A-okay with that!  It broke my heart to see him so sick, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t love being able to hold him all night long.  Until he literally started screaming anytime I tried to put him down to do anything!  Poor babe!

Friday night was rough.  He kept waking himself up coughing and not being able to breathe well.  He was up every hour between 12 and 5am, which is a far cry from his typical 10 hours straight of sleep!  Craig and I were zombies most of the day Saturday.  I was grateful it was a Friday night and not a week night!  I can’t quite fathom having to function at work feeling like that.

eddies first week sick

All in all, I can’t imagine having a better week back.  I was definitely dreading it.  I still think I’d rather play all day with my little buddy, but we are making the absolute most out of it!  I truly think I will enjoy my new job.  I truly think that Eddie will love playing with friends all day at school.  I miss him like mad all day long, but wrapping him up in a great big hug at the end of the day makes my heart so full.

Here’s to an excellent week 2!

Serious Case of the Mondays

SO.  Today is Monday.

But, not just any Monday.  My first Monday back at work.  Enjoy reading this.  Because I’m surely in a corner somewhere in a puddle of my own tears.  Eddie didn’t get the memo that I had reserved yesterday as a full-on cuddle day, because he fell asleep around 4pm in his little monkey chair (as I was folding laundry) and didn’t wake up until it was time to eat before bed.  And you know – never wake a sleeping baby.  So, I left him at home with his papa and got some grocery shopping done, returned home, did some meal prep, and spent remainder of my evening gazing at him – silently sobbing.  Dramatic, much?

ANYway.  Before we get to the oodles of photos of our sweet boy, we have some catching up to do.  We’ve already established, that I’m back to work.  BUT.  I’m not returning to the credit union.  That’s right.  Mama got a new job.

When Edison joined our family, I knew that I couldn’t continue to work the hours I was working at the credit union and keep my sanity.  My days were too unpredictable – an 8 hour day could easily become an 11 hour day.  Craig has a job that he works 6:30am to AT LEAST 5:30 every night, so it was super important to me to have a more regular schedule.  We didn’t have a baby for him to spend all of his time at daycare.

My new role is putting me back into more of a support role, which I am A-okay with.  I can honestly say that I didn’t enjoy “being management.”  We are taking a noticeable pay cut, but the benefits of my new role greatly outweigh any amount of money.  The timing was perfect and in the end I only “lost” a week of my maternity leave.

I am closer to Eddie’s daycare.  I’m closer to home.  I may have the opportunity to work from home occasionally.  My hours are regular.  No more Saturdays (that was huuuuge).  All in all – more time with Eddie.

Our family’s decision for me to go back to work was a hard one.  Truthfully, I wish I wasn’t.  But, reality is that I am.  And I’m grateful that we were able to compromise by me finding a more flexible position. Regardless – as I said, I’m likely a basket case today.  Or perhaps speeding down the road to visit Eddie on my lunch.  Or maybe, if we are all lucky, you’ll find me coping as a rational human being should.  If we are so lucky, you can be promised that I’m still counting the seconds until I head out the door to scoop Eddie up in a great big hug tonight.

And now.  Some pictures!

day1

Gosh, I think he looks like my dad here.

day14

So chubby. So cute.

day12 day13 day15

Show and Tell Tuesday: Love Story

Hello, strangers!  Yep, it’s been a bit since I’ve popped in.  And yes, I have the typical excuse of “life has been crazy,” well, because it has been.  I will have an update for you in the coming days.  I’m currently enjoying my last week of maternity leave.  I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone by.  My heart is already breaking knowing what is waiting for me Monday morning.  Ugh.

But, in the meantime, you can enjoy (yet again) my little love story.  Linking up with Andrea!

Show and Tell Banner - mwn

You can find the most complete story of “us” on the “what makes us, us” page.  For the sake of reminiscing, I’ll give you the highlights here!

hand ceremony

Craig and I didn’t meet in the most conventional way – he happened to be dating my best friend at the time.  There was zero romantic connection.  I was dating someone else and I thought that Craig just talked…a lot.  The kid had more energy than most people I’d ever met.

During our sophomore year of college, about 8 months after I met Craig, he and my friend had parted ways.  But, when my friend’s father passed away – Craig and I stepped in to help her cope.  Despite the fact they were no longer dating, I watched Craig serve as a constant comfort to her.  It was during this time that Craig and I began speaking more – mostly about about we thought she was doing and what we could do to help.

love college Collage

Our senior year of college, Craig lived on the upper level of my apartment building.  Craig and I started hanging out (he helped me through a break up, we’d watch football together, head to the bars…you know, all the things that friends do).  Still zero romantic connection. By the end of the year, I was back into the relationship he had once helped me get over and he was dating someone else, too.  So yeah, the photos above are those of friends having a good time – not friends that have interest in dating one another.

Time goes by – and it wasn’t until almost 4 years after Craig and I originally met that I saw him in a different light.  Our courtship was long distance, for the most part.  We weathered a lot in the 6 months we officially dated.  I think it was all of those tribulations that really drew us close to one another and quickly made us realize it was the real deal.

engagement1

In December of 2011, Craig asked me to be his wife.  I think our families were a little surprised (we only dated for 6 months, after all), but we knew.  I had known Craig for almost 6 years by that time.  I knew who he was when I wasn’t the girl he was trying to “impress.”  He served me Manwich for goodness sakes (grossssss).

kiss

We were married 9 months after that, in September, 2012.

Marriage is hard.  Unfortunately, we’ve weathered a lot of tough stuff in the short 2 1/2 years we’ve been married.  Fortunately, we always find our way through it – together.  And even more fortunately, we’ve had a lot of happy, happy times over the course of our relationship – most notably the arrival of Eddie in December, 2014.

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I love Craig a whole lot.  He challenges me and loves me in a way that no one has.  Watching him with Eddie…sigh.  Let’s just say I didn’t think I could love him any more than I already did – and then we went and had a baby and I love him a bajillion times more.

Don’t give me wrong – we fight with the best of ’em.  But, you know what?  We love just as hard as we fight.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

For more:

How I Met My Mister I
How I Met My Mister II
Dating My Mister I
Dating My Mister II
Dating My Mister III
Engaged!

And for the wedding posts – you’ll just have to head to the What Makes Us, Us page.

 

Edison – 2 Month Update

Month two of parenthood has been fun stuff.  Edison is such a fun little kid and I’ve love being able to spend my days with him.  I can’t believe how quickly my leave is passing.  I’m just soaking it up while I can.

2 month - mwn

We headed to the doc today for a well visit.  Little man got 3 shots.  For about 10 seconds he screamed his head off.  And then – he was totally fine.  He just went back to sucking on his paci and looking around with his bright eyes.  The nurses were impressed!  We snuggled when we got home, he got a bottle, and now he’s sleeping the day away.  He was a champ.  Mama’s so proud of her tough little boy!

Height
25in – 99%ile
Weight
15lb 1oz – 95%ile
Head
16.93in – 100%ile

Still a big baby!  We could tell that he had a growth spurt – he’s gotten so heavy!  And when Craig holds him I can see just how long he is.  Combine that with some fussiness and you have yourself a tell-tale growth spurt.  He still has a big head like his mama, poor kid.  Good news is that he is in the 50%ile for his proportions.  So, while he may be huge, everything is equally is huge.  We love our chunky monkey!

2 month 2 - mwn

Naps

hahaha.  We don’t know what real napping is.  He gets so overtired so often and we can’t quite figure out how nice napping is.  And by “we,” I mean “Eddie.”  He gets so crabby, rubs his eyes, fusses, suddenly dozes for 20 seconds and then his eyes get real big and he’s back awake.  I don’t dare put him in his crib unless it’s bedtime or he gets pissed.  He does tend to fall asleep whenever I put him in the car, but for no more than an hour.  I’ve made some trips to see family members and he sleeps for about an hour of the trip and then is awake and unhappy to be staring at the back of a car seat.  When he does doze off during the day, I’m lucky if he’s out for more than 20 minutes.  But, for the kind of kid he is overall, I’ll take the no-napping feature.

Feeding/Eating

He eats like the big boy he is.  During the daytime hours he eats every 3 hours, pretty consistently.  Sometimes, I can squeak an extra half hour in-between, but usually, after 2 1/2 hours I’m holding him off.  And yes, I hold him off sometimes, because child had the tendency to spit up a good portion of his meal if he’s fed more than every 3 hours.  He takes 5 ounces during the day and we typically give him 6 ounces right before bedtime and during his night feeding.

Clothing

My 6 week old baby was already in 6 month clothes.  I know that baby clothing isn’t always accurate – I was told that babies usually are in “bigger” sizes than their age would indicate.  But…seriously?  Six MONTH clothing at 6 WEEKS!?  I know we have a big boy, but it was pretty surprising when his sleepers started getting short on him so early.

Bedtime

I’m very much a routine person, so we may have started Eddie on a “routine” before he was really capable of following one.  I think his bedtime routine is just as important to Craig and me as it is to Eddie.  We start bedtime at 7:30; he gets changed, mittened, swaddled, fed, burped, and rocked.  The sound machine goes on, as does the humidifier.  Depending on his mood – he will take a pacifier.  Routine, routine, routine.  It has paid off.

Sleeping

We transitioned Eddie to his crib from our bedroom around 5 weeks.  I really think it helped me practice “the pause,” which is something that deserves it’s own post.  He wasn’t readily available to me whenever he made a noise, so naturally it has resulted in much better sleep for mama and papa!  The first few nights were a little nerve wracking for me, but once I learned that I had no problem monitoring him from our bedroom it got better.

We’ve already established that the kid doesn’t nap – but he sleeps like a champ.  Majority of nights he is up around 5am to eat.  But, he has surprised us with a few nights sleeping through until 6 or 6:30.  Just last weekend I woke up at 7:15am and panicked.  I turned the video on the monitor and I found him wide awake, but just looking around.  He didn’t cry at all.  I got up and fed him right away, but I was shocked!  So yes, some nights are better than others – but I can’t remember the last time we had a “bad” night. (knock on wood.)  I really think our established routine has very much attributed to our nighttime success.

Development

He started smiling in response to us shortly after he was one month old.  We got a few smiles before that, but I’m certain there were attributed to bowel movements and REM sleep.  And now he is a smiling machine.  He has the most adorable sideways smirk that he will give before breaking out into his full, gummy grin.  I really think we have a handsome boy on our hands.

He is thisclose to laughing.  So, so close.  He makes strange huffing noises noises when he smiles super big.  His eyes just sparkle that remind me so much of my Grandpa Wally.  Earlier this week he made a “mooing” noise.  Craig and I looked at each other so confused – it was the weirdest noise ever.  And then he literally sat there grinning looking like he was proud.  It was so sweet.  Gah.

He’s always had pretty good head control, since we brought him home from the hospital!  No joke.  We’ve had him in his Bumbo on a couple occasions, but only when he is closely supervised and it lasts for no more than a couple minutes.

2 month smile - mwnNo smiles for mama until he gets back into his favorite, vibrating monkey chair!

Likes/Dislikes

He loves mornings.  He is the happiest baby right after he gets up.  (Let it be known this is completely opposite of his mama.)  He especially loves when you play with his little toes and talk to him after he gets up.  He will give you smiles for days.  He loves funny noises and when you “boop” his nose.  He thinks it’s the best thing ever.

He loves Myles.  These two are forging such a neat relationship.  Earlier this week he spent a good amount of time staring and grinning like a fool at Myles.  I have some fun photos that I’ve posted of the two of them on Instagram.

Eddie hates tummy time.  He’s good for about 30 seconds and then just gets mad.  He hates napping and just won’t do it.  He hates loud noises and doggie sneezes – both of them startle him like crazy.

Mama/Papa Updates

Doing great!  I feel rested: Eddie has been kind enough to let me get a decent amount of sleep.  I’m still operating on less than what I’m used to, but I don’t dare complain.  I know that I’m getting more sleep than many mamas at this point.  I feed a little sad: I’m dreading going back to work and leaving Eddie at daycare, that will be a sad, sad day.  I feel so happy: this little boy brings me so much joy.  They tell you how wonderful it will be, but sometimes that can be hard to realize when you’re in a sleep deprived fog.  This month I’ve seen that with clarity.  Eddie brings me to the verge happy tears at least once a day.

I think papa is doing good, too.  He has been blessed with the ability to sleep through any of Eddie’s noises, so that means that he’s well rested for work.  It’s fun to see the joy on his face when he interacts with Eddie. I know that he is really looking forward to the day that he can actually play with Eddie.  Craig has also been having to put a good amount of effort into keeping my baby fever at bay.  Ha.

A couple outtakes – sneezes and his bff Myles photobombing:

2 month sneeze - mwn 2 month myles - mwn

Show and Tell Tuesday: Groundhog Day

Show and Tell Banner - mwn

So it appears we have 6 more weeks of winter.  And apparently some groundhog bit some mayor or something.  That’s what Facebook told me yesterday, anyway.

If I could choose one day a time in my life to live over and over again – I think I would choose a day my sister and I spent in Europe together.  That trip was almost 5 years ago!  I’m not sure how that is possible, five whole years!?  Time flies.  Gah.  Because it was 5 years ago, I can’t pinpoint a particular day, but I’d love to relive that trip over and over again.

I was finishing up my first year of grad school and Kelsey was wrapping up her semester in Spain.  We planned a little tour that included Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Ireland.  I am really close with my kid sister, so being able to experience what we did together was so special.

We booked flights and hostels, but outside of that – we went without a plan.  I’m type-A and that was really hard for me.  Kelsey is much more of a “go with the flow” personality and I ended up relying on her heavily as we made our way through Europe with minimal direction.

In each city we found a grocery store and bought water, Special K cereal, and apples.  That was our diet.  We “treated” ourselves to one local meal in each city.  Hey, we were both college kids and on tight budgets.  With what we ate and how much we walked, we both lost a decent amount of wait over those 13 days!

It turns out that all of those things were the recipe for the time of my life.

Copenhagen, Denmark
We picked Denmark because my great grandfather immigrated from there when he was a young boy.  My mom had studied abroad there when she was in college.  I have all sorts of nationalities in my background, but this is the one Kelsey and I identify the most with.  We spent our days walking the city – visiting parks and museums.  We took a boat tour and saw where Hans Christian Anderson lived, as well as the Little Mermaid statue.

denmark flowers

flower lined sidewalks

denmark hca

honoring Hans Christian Anderson

denmark houses

HC Anderson lived in the brown building

denmark ship

Danish ship

Malmo, Sweden
Sweden was a day trip.  We took the train from Copenhagen.  The train went under the ocean.  It was crazy.  It was awesome.  Sweden wasn’t originally part of our plan, but once we realized how easy (and quick!) it was to get there, we went for it.  We did some shopping and wandering.  There are so many beautiful parks!  We had fun frolicking through the flowers and mimicking statues.

sweden malmo

on the square

sweden statue hug

hugs?

sweden statue jessi

twinsies!

sweden statue kels march

it’s like where’s waldo, isn’t it?

sweden statue kels

twinning!

Berlin, Germany
When we arrived in Berlin, we got lost trying to find our hostel.  Trying to read a map when all of the words are no less than 15 characters long is hard.  It was raining.  I was dragging a rolling suitcase (yeah, learned that lesson, definitely backpack Europe, don’t do suitcases!).  The sidewalks were stone.  I was pissed.

Despite that, Berlin was by far my favorite part of the trip.  We first found a free city tour and at the end they told us about paid tours we could take, including one to a concentration camp.  We visited the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, which was surreal.  Many of the original buildings were still there – complete with drawings some of the prisoners made on the walls.  The camp was outside of Berlin, but in the city was the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

We also saw a book burning site near the university where Einstein worked before coming to America.  We visited the East Side Gallery, which is part of the Berlin wall, now covered in graffiti artwork.

Another notable stop the the Berlin Parliament.  The building is lit by the reflection of light off of an impressive dome in the center.

berlin

Sachsenhausen

berlin memorial

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

berlin book burning memorial

A memorial to the book burning in Bebelplatz square

berlin einstein

Humboldt University

berlin east side gallery1 berlin east side gallery

berlin parliment

Ireland
Truthfully, Ireland was probably my least favorite stop.  I wasn’t a fan of Dublin – it wasn’t much different than any old, dirty city here in the States.  But, I know plenty of people have visited and loved it, so I suppose it’s just a matter of opinion!  We picked up another free city tour (like we did in Berlin) that took us to see Trinity College and other historic sites.  We did more wandering, toured Guinness, and took a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher.  On the way back to Dublin we also made a pit stop at Kilmacdaugh monastery and Doolin Beach.

ireland trinity

Trinity College

ireland guinness

Gravity Bar, Guinness Brewery

Gravity Bar, Guinness Brewery

ireland cliffs of mohr

Cliffs of Moher

ireland church

Kilmacdaugh

ireland coast

Doolin Beach

Kelsey and I had the best time.  If I could relive this trip over and over and over … I would in a heartbeat.  I got to relive our trip to a certain degree in August 2012, when Kelsey helped me plan a sisters trip to NYC before I got married.  I don’t doubt that another sisters trip will happen in the future – which will allow me to relive our adventures together again and again.