Thursday, April 29, 2010

Therapy and Mr Man updates

So I went to meet with the physical therapy doctor this morning. He thinks I'm actually doing pretty well considering. He seems to think based upon today's exam that I might have torn/over stretched the ligaments/cartilage in my pelvis but doesn't think I had a full separation.

He gave me a prescription for a 6-day steroid regimen (since I'm allergic to NSAIDs) to reduce the swelling. I start back into P/T this weekend and will also have acupuncture on my hips/pelvis starting next week as well.

I'm excited to get started and get to feeling better.

Mr Man is doing ok on the sleeping thing. He still sorta wakes throughout the night - wants his pacifier and sometimes just some attention for a few minutes. But overall, we're pleased.

Mr Man really started rolling over and over today. Yep back to tummy and tummy to back. So proud of my little dude. He's so full of smiles and silliness.

He made a friend in the neighborhood today - she's a couple months older and I'm pretty sure Mr Man is bigger than she is. Sadly though, they're moving soon to another state. :(

Mr Man has been doing well on his solids - he has them in the morning and for dinner. He has a good appetite and seems like he's ready for the next stage of foods. 

Mr Man turns 6 months on Sunday. Where or where has the time gone?! Trying to think of something to do to celebrate it - taking ideas!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22

So I put Mr Man down last night around 7:30. He woke up around 5am (wow!) so I changed him, nursed him and he went right back to sleep until 8AM. WOWOWOW! I hope he does the same tonight.

This morning an acquaintance of ours brought us a Jumparoo. This isn't the one we got (as it is several years old, and is Graco) but its in pretty much perfect condition and so far Mr Man LOVES it! I put him into it right after I put it together and he played for about 15min or so. By that time it was almost noon and he'd been up since 8, so it was getting close to nap time anyways so he started to fall asleep in it. I moved him to his swing so he could nap while I made lunch and got some work done.

He hasn't rolled from his tummy to his back since that first day. Trying to practice with him daily on that.

I went out yesterday with Mr Man on a major errand day. We went to 6 stores! That's a lot. We had a lot of fun and Mr Man got so many great compliments everywhere we went.
While I was at the baby store (out here the closest one is BuyBuyBaby) I picked up Baby Signs. We'll see how it goes but so far it looks pretty neat.  I'm trying a few signs with Mr Man now - even though he is on the young side. So far I'm trying milk, sleep, diaper, nurse, mommy.  I'll be adding more as he gets older, but I think that about covers the basics of what he needs at the moment.

While I was out I went to Penzey's and picked up some Vanilla Beans. I'm going to attempt to make some mini vanilla bean scones/glaze this weekend - just like the ones you can get at Starbucks. I saw the recipe on PW's site a while back and since I love the ones at Sbux, I figured why the heck not. This will be my first time working with real vanilla beans, but it seems easy enough. I'll try to remember my camera to post pics.

As promised - here are some Mr Man pics:

St.Patty's Day - and we're rolling from back to tummy

I put Mr Man here when I take my shower. This is what I came back to.
The kiddo doesn't seem to like his socks on much these days.

And because its cute: 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Can this be true?

I put Mr Man down for sleep last night around 7:30pm. At around 11pm he woke - he needed a diaper change and some mommy-moo (which I figured he would because all he'd had before the initial go down was some solids and he was too full for mommy-moo at that time). Then I went to bed. I woke up at 5:22 am hearing him on the monitor. Can this be? He slept for 6 hours? Which means, I slept for 6 hours? I hope this continues (and he sleeps for longer). But for the moment, this is a victory. I haven't had that much continuous sleep since Oct 2009 - while I was pregnant with him!

Also, I have a bunch of pics to put up later from the last month or so.  Potentially even a small video - if I can figure out how to work it all and get it loaded up.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

He did it!

My little man rolled over today! A couple times.

Yippee!! Can you tell I am so proud?!

He's still a little unsure of himself but he can do it.

I first noticed it this morning. I had set him down on his tummy to play and went back to working on some things for work. I then looked over at him and he was on his back and smiling at me.  Dang! I missed it! :(

Later, after Sam came home we took him into the living room and played. Sure enough he rolled over a couple times for us.
He's so cute when he does it. He rocks side to side and then sort-of heaves himself over. Takes a bit of effort on his part but he can do it.

I have also decided I'm a wuss when it comes to nighttime wakings and feedings. My heart aches when I hear him cry. I let him sort of cry and try to get himself back to sleep tonight after he woke. After about 5-7 minutes of his fussing, I went and picked him up. Within seconds of being in my arm he was asleep. He woke when I went to lay him down again - so I nursed him a little. Afterwords, he went down easy.  I'm sure at some point I'll have to stop, but I can't just do that to a 5 month old. I'll just go with my heart and my instinct on this one. As much as I'd love to sleep the night through - I care about his well-being more. Sleep will come, in due time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15

So this week has been pretty hectic around the Michael house.

Mr Man has been actually enjoying tummy time lately. Thank the heavens! Here's a little more on what he does (even though I sorta posted on it the other day). I can't help it! He just amazes me, I'm so happy and proud!
He's so so close to rolling over from his tummy to his back (he can roll from back to tummy for a few weeks now). When on his back now he loves to kick the ground with his heals. He actually worked up a bit of a clammy head the other night because he was having so much fun doing it. He does this thing now where he digs in his heals to the ground, pushes off and scoots around on his back. Its so cute haha. I just laugh at him and marvel at how he learns.

While on his tummy he's doing some rocking. He's trying so hard to scrunch up his legs under him and push with them. Just when he does it he tries to stuff his hands in his mouth at the same time, its so cute. Once he figures out something more effective to do with his arms (like pull or push up with them) I'm pretty sure we're gonna have a beginner crawler on our hands.

We've also been practicing sitting. He can't pull himself up yet, so I get him seated and then he tries to stay that way without tipping over. He's getting stronger.

He has so much personality - he's so bubbly and smiley. He's such a good little guy and truly a happy baby.
I tell Sam all the time how blessed we are to have such a wonderful, happy and healthy little dude.

As far as nighttime goes, I've been working on weaning him from his nighttime feedings. It doesn't seem like he really 'needs' them. All that happens is he winds up with a monster wet diaper (seriously, they feel like 5lb diapers). Its like the milk just goes in/out instead of being 'used' by his body for growth/nutrition like he does during the day (diapers are much less wet). He honestly seems fine with it.
For the times I don't feed him when he wakes at night, he just fusses a little, needs his pacifier again and a little rub on his head from me. Just that reassurance that mommy is there and loving him. He heads right back to sleep. I feed him ~1x per night now, when its obvious that is what he's wanting.

His new high chair arrived today - will post some pics/thoughts tomorrow. Thumbs up though!

I went to some doctor appointments this week. I found a new OB/GYN (more on this later), a family practice dr, got xrays taken of my hips/pelvis today, will likely need to work with orthopedics and will head back for another round of physical therapy. All this is for my hips. They've been increasingly painful for me in recent weeks and now that I'm not pregnant, hopefully they can figure out truly what happened and how best to fix it.
I told my doctors that I'd like to start trying for baby #2 at the end of this year or early next year and want my body to be ready to do so.  I'm ready and motivated to do what I need to do to feel better and fix whatever is wrong with my hips/pelvis etc.  So we'll see how all this goes!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mr Man is a Movin' and a Shakin'

I had Mr Man up in his room this afternoon and we were playing on the floor. I had him laying on his back and all of a sudden he started arching his back up, digging in with his heels and scooting his body backwards.  He did this sort of reverse crawl for about oh, 1 ft or so.

WOW.  And he repeated it numerous times!

Then later on I had him on his tummy and he managed to scoot himself backwards a few inches - maybe 4-5".
While on his tummy he does the whole rocking thing. I think with a little more learning and coordination this little dude is gonna be scooting around.

Lord help me.

And I better call the Stanley Steemer folks pronto.  Like...tomorrow.

WTB Sleep

So Mr Man has been on the same sleeping/eating schedule at night pretty much since he was about 2 months old. He'd go down for about 3-4 hours, then wake up and nurse about every 2-3 hours. This lasts for about 12 hours.  Since his bedtime is around 8PM, I'd go to bed around midnight or so. This means I get around 6ish hours sleep. I'm exhausted as I don't do well on that little sleep.

After talking with some family I decided to see if we could skip Mr Man's nighttime feedings and see if that will help him sleep through the night. I noticed over the last few months that at night, all the milk he nurses just goes right through him to a very heavy (like 5 lb) diaper. Doesn't seem like he's 'using' the milk for metabolism and growth like he does during the daytime. Don't yell at me over the science here. Basically what I'm trying to say is, he doesn't really 'need' the milk - its just quality mommy time that he wants.

So last night I decided to try this out. I put him down around 8pm.  He woke at 10 needing his pacifier, went back to sleep.  Woke ~1am, gave him his pacifier and rubbed his head like he loves. He barely even winced - just went right back to sleep.  He woke ~3am - I fed him here because I was pretty engorged at that point and was so tired I didn't want to go downstairs to pump.  He woke ~6 am. I changed his diaper - since I had fed him around 3.
When I did that, I noticed his little legs were chilly. I hadn't put him in a sleep sack last night as it was fairly warm upstairs in the room. However, before he went to bed (which was after me) Sam cranked up the A/C.  Poor little Mr Man was chilly and fussy from being cold.  So, I picked him up out of his bassinet (he co-sleeps in that next to the bed) and held him in my arms. I propped up a bunch of pillows behind me and went to sleep sitting up (like old times) with Mr Man sleeping soundly and as warm as a little bug snug in his rug.  We woke up around 8:45 and Mr Man had some mommy-moo breakfast. 

Not bad for the first night. He got 1 feeding and never really even fussed anymore w/o feedings than he would when I would nurse him. We'll see how it goes tonight again.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Loss: Acknowledgment and Healing. Or so I hope.

After reading some other blogs of mommies who have babies in heaven it brings back some memories that are sorta tough and that I sadly don't like to bring up or acknowledge. In Oct 2008 I miscarried my first baby. It was early, very very early in the pregnancy.  So early that I've tried to 'discount it' when I did have to talk about it to my doctors. But in private, I still get weepy thinking about it. I never even talked about it to family or friends really until recently and even then, I sorta just brush it off.  And then later that day my conscious will kill me about brushing off such a thing.  And then I cry.

Here's my story, I'm putting it to words to not only acknowledge what happened but to be more at peace with it as well. I suppose you could say that the Lord was merciful in that I didn't have to have the procedure to remove the fetus (which would have broken my heart more). Instead my body removed it on its own, which was painful, in more ways than one. That is actually what led me to the doctor.

So, I'd had a period a couple weeks prior as normal. Then sort of out of the blue, I started having really, really bad cramps and abdominal pain like I'd never had before. I had this strange urge to go to the bathroom and when I did, I had this burning pain and a lot of blood. When I looked down, I saw this little bean shaped thing probably the size of a lentil. It sort of looked like a blood clot...but different. Something inside of me, in my heart, ached an ache I never had felt before.  I bled a little more and still felt pretty ill, so I called my doctor.

They got me in right away and asked if I could be pregnant. I wasn't sure, I mean we weren't trying per se but we we also weren't preventing. He did a urine test. It was positive. A rush of emotions filled me. First came panic - what had happened to me in the bathroom? Was it a miscarriage? Was it an ectopic pregnancy? Was this accurate? Then came that joy: oohh, pregnant! Yay!
I tried to keep a level head and my doctor and I spoke about some possibilities and it kept coming back to the opinion that he was pretty sure that I'd had a miscarriage or what he termed: a spontaneous abortion (aka my body had killed it just as soon as it had formed).

Naturally, I say: but the test just showed positive?!  He said that the hormones in my body via the urine test would linger for a day or two even after miscarrying. He asked me to come back in 2 days to do a blood draw for a definitive determination.

I made up my mind to not try to get excited or say anything to anyone outside of Sam for fear that it might have been a miscarriage and I wouldn't want anyone else to ride that emotional rollercoaster.

The next couple days were pretty emotional and stressful. I wasn't sure what to feel. I kept trying to keep myself occupied so I wouldn't think about it. Friday morning came and I went over for the blood draw. I went home and tried to keep my mind off of it all.  They'd know the results by Monday sometime they said.
I got a phone call Saturday morning from the doctor. He was gentle but blunt, the result was: Not Pregnant. He said I'd likely miscarried as we had discussed.

I spent the day sad, teary and wondering what had gone so wrong. It was way to early to find out the sex or to feel anything.  After all, in reality, I had just barely even been pregnant. He figures at best, I was 3-4 weeks, possibly even less.  But to know that I had been and was no longer and to recall what I had seen in the bathroom was just overwhelming and so sad.

So I did what many do when something awful happens. I blocked it out, pretended it didn't happen and moved on.

Except that during quiet times I'd think about it.

Even after I got pregnant with Mr Man, I thought about it (in fact, my entire first trimester I lived in fear and in a mild state of panic that I'd miscarry).
I still think about that miscarriage and that baby. I never got to know was it a boy or a girl and that honestly haunts me. In one way I'm glad I don't know, because if I had known the sex it'd mean that I miscarried much later and what an even more tragic and horrid experience that would have been. But at the same time, I don't know really what to mourn besides a 'bean'. A life. I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me.

I feel bad even now thinking about it. I feel bad that if I mourn that loss or wish that I hadn't miscarried, it would mean that I wouldn't have my Mr Man. And I cannot imagine being without my precious little boy.  But all the same, I'm still sad in the quiet times when I'm alone with my thoughts.

I am over the moon for the child I have and wouldn't trade him for anything. I love him more than I could ever express. I'm happy for what I have and hopeful for another (or two?) in the future. But I think now, I'm at peace with the fact that its okay to remember and even to be sad a little. That me being sad about what I lost doesn't diminish what I have. In fact, maybe it makes me even more thankful.

Friday, April 9, 2010

10 Things I Love About Mr Man

  1. I love that he's such a smiley happy guy.
  2. I love the little sounds he makes when he nurses.
  3. I love the face he makes when he sees Sam. Pure love right there folks.
  4. I love that while nursing one hand flails around and the other holds me tight.
  5. I love the face that he makes when I gently blow on his face.
  6. I love his little grunts and squeaks and squaks.
  7. I love his fuzzy little head.
  8. I love the faces he makes and the way he furrows his brow when when learning new things.
  9. I love that he's perfect, healthy and silly.
  10. I love that he's my son.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure run/walk

So some co-workers are doing the annual Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure run/walk. I've chosen to walk with Mr Man.  The ‘Race’ is a 3.1 mile run/walk that will take place on June 5, 2010 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. 

A little about the walk:
Up to 75 percent of the Komen Global Race's net income stays in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area to fund local screening, treatment and education programs for the medically under-served. The remaining dollars support the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Global Promise Fund, a program which is dedicated to reaching under-served people in areas where breast cancer mortality rates are the highest.

Every dollar makes a difference:
$100 could be used to provide one mammogram
$250 could be used to cover five clinical breast exams
$500 could be used to provide five diagnostic ultrasounds
$1000 could be used to provide 10 mammograms

I've set my personal goal at $125. So I need your help. You can give online at or if you'd like to make a donation via my team you can go here. You can search via my name (Jennifer Michael) or our team (BRCAlators).

Our team name, BRCAlators, was conceived by a distinguished team member, Dr. Douglas Auld. BRCA (Breast Cancer gene 1 and 2). Mutations of the BRCA gene are one of many ways that make an individual more susceptible to develop breast cancer.

I've been out taking daily walks with Mr Man in his new stroller. As an aside, we got it a couple weeks back and so far I really like it. Very lightweight, easy to get into the trunk, should travel well on the plane and the thing I wanted most is that it reclines fully and if needed, will accept Mr Man's car-seat. I digress...

So that's what I'm gearing up for and hopefully it should be real fun.

Easter weekend

Well for Valentine's day, my step-dad gave my mom a set of plane tickets to come spend Easter with us. I was so excited (thanks Don)! She arrived Thursday evening and I set her right into the thick of being grandma and all that there is to do with Mr Man.  I had her diaper, feed him (haha, but more on that later), bathe him and generally smoosh him with love and affection. Then Friday we went to a baby store out here and then out to this huge outlet mall to get more things for Mr Man. 

Mr Man got hooked up! Bigtime!

So while we were out, we did find these little extenders for onsies that are really great. He's able to wear 9month clothes now - even though most of his 6mo outfits still fit. They're fine around, just a little on the short side. I think these little extenders will help fill that gap so he can keep wearing his clothes even longer.

We also went to this neat little store my mom was super excited about. Its called Penzeys Spices. They have all sorts of great spices at pretty good prices I must say - about the same as the grocery market but oh so much more 'oomph'.

We had a great time on Easter over at Sam's sister's house with their 5 kiddos. Sam's mom was there and made a wonderful lamb dish. I had never tried lamb prior to that. Everyone always says how "gamey" it tastes and that its an acquired taste.  Honestly, I thought it tasted great. No gamey-ness to me. I mean it didn't taste like any sort of meat like I'd had prior but I guess maybe I thought gamey to be like...grassy or something I dunno.

So about Mr Man and feedings.  
He still nurses about 95% of the time now. I try to feed him 1 meal per day of 'solids.' Lately this has been a lot harder. First off, he's so interested in everything around him during the day, he will hardly even nurse. He just wants to look around at everything.  He'll take a couple slurps, turn his head up to me, smile and start to giggle then look around or look behind him.
Recently, just within the last week or so, he has figured out how to do 'raspberries'. Now of course, naturally, the first few times he did these I was so proud and thought it was so cute. So I cheered and giggled and enjoyed it.  Then, he began doing them while eating his solids. I quickly learned I needed to feed him fast and feed him his favorite foods so that he doesn't try to splatter me with it.  I also learned I needed to arm myself with an apron and some diaper wipes for quick clean-up.

He does raspberries all the time now and it really is sorta interfering with mealtimes. Not really sure how to deal with it, except to hope that he outgrows it quickly and figures something else new to occupy himself with.  I'd love to hear from other mom's what they did.  So far I've tried saying "no spitting", "no, not during mealtime" (both yield blank stares), using a stern voice (yielded me a funny look), and stopping the feeding (he could care less). I've also tried not reacting to him doing it - but he'll do them in the car when he's alone in the backseat, he'll do them when he's in his crib and I'm in the other room. So me not caring or reacting has no impact on him doing them.  I really think they're cute, I just wish he'd not do them during meals.
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