Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Poolside

We took Barrett to the pool the other day (lots of sunscreen this time) as a test run for our upcoming beach trip this summer.  He was so good!  I hope he is like that when we are actually at the beach...  He just contentedly lay on his towel and played with his toys on his tummy and then lay his head down for a brief snooze.

I wanted to try out our spiffy new baby pool float, complete with sunshade, but I was afraid the water would be too cold, since he's only ever been in warm bath water.  I dipped his little tootsies in the pool water and he didn't seem to mind, but we didn't take the plunge (ha).  The pool had all kinds of kid-friendly stuff -- I was so impressed!  There was an umbrella looking thing that spouted water from the top so it cascaded all around like a waterfall and a huge frog waterslide. 
*Mental note to take him back when he is old enough to play on that stuff.
They also had racecar-shaped baby swings over the pool.  Perfect!

Sorry, buddy, I didn't realize that I put you in the car with a "Princess" sticker.  Whoops.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunny, With a Chance of Flying Pigs

You will never guess what!  I finally finished my first blanket~~  Yippee! 


Barrett is the proud recipient and seems to like it.  Apparently, it tastes good to him, which is his most important qualification.


Happy baby! 

His fever finally is down to 100.3~  the stronger antibiotics must be working.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ladies Man

We had our good friends, Chris and Jill, over for dinner last week.  It was a fun chance to catch up and let the kiddos play together.  Their daughter, Reagan, is just 7 weeks older than Barrett.  Of course, they are destined to be sweethearts, right?  Well, I think we need to teach Barrett a little something about the art of subtlety, because this was his initial reaction to the pretty little girl:

Not very gentlemanly!  Can little boys go to charm school?

Reagan: Listen, buddy, hands off!
Barrett: But, Reagan, we've know each other our whole lives!  I didn't mean to offend you.  Wanna have a playdate at the park?  There's this new swingset I've been wanting to check out.
Reagan: Maybe when you grow up a little.  I'm not into younger boys.


Reagan's daddy, Chris, taught her not to put up with any shenanigans from little boys!

Lesson learned, right?  Well, the next day, Barrett was around another little girl -- Frances.  Frances' grandmother was holding both Barrett and Frances in her lap so they could socialize.  This time, Barrett acted like he was playing hard to get by turning his face away....until you noticed that his little leg was scooted all the way over so he could play footsie with Frances!  Geez!!  He is already ga-ga over pretty girls.  I'm going to have my hands full.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News

Brace yourself for an information-heavy post -- probably more than you ever wanted to know!
:::
Today we saw Barrett's pediatriac cardiologist, pediatrician, and had blood work at the lab.  Whew!
The cardiology appoinment was better that I even hoped!  His EKG did not show WPW this time (Wolff Parkinson White syndrome; a condition that showed up on his previous EKGs -- it scares the daylights out of me because it can cause sudden cardiac death where the patient can just drop dead without much warning or time to stop it).  The fact that it did not show up this time may mean that his previous WPW was related to the severity of his SVT and cardiomyopathy, not something he will have all the time.  Horray!  The echocardiogram showed that his heart is pumping blood in the normal range too~~  All-around, it was a great visit.  Dr. Brumund upped the dosage of his heart medicines, but will start weaning him off the medicines at 12m with a goal of having him completely off the medicines by 15m.  Holy cow.  This prospect also scares me because it seems like his heart will no longer be "protected" by the medicines.  But, the fact the doctor wants to try weaning him off is a good sign for his overall heart health, so I'm focusing on that.
:::
At the pediatrician appointment, I expected to learn than he still had ear infections to explain the 101 degree fever.  No so.  It must be some other fever-inducing malady, so Dr. Bankston ordered bloodwork to check him out, since he needed bloodwork for Dr. Brumund anyway (checking for thryoid and liver damage, caused by his heart medicines).  Off to the lab...
:::
I thought we would be in and out, no problem.  Man, was I WRONG!  They took SIX VIALS of blood via finger prick, drop by agonizingly-tiny little drop.  Barrett was inconsolable, poor thing.  I haven't heard him cry like that since the ER, when they were pricking him everywhere for an IV.  I kept asking why they couldn't take the blood from a vein, but apparently those are hard to find on infants.  Sheesh.  He was in fits for 23 minutes.
Barrett is now recuperating with (hopefully) a long nap.  Poor little guy.
I can honestly say that after having been through all that we have with Barrett's heart complications, I don't take my time with him for granted.  It seems dramatic, but days like today really remind me that he is a miracle baby.  He is so lucky to have such a wonderful team of smart, proactive, and compassionate doctors and nurses.  Although it is an ongoing process, his prognosis is 180 degrees different from before -- he is going to be okay~~  and I couldn't be happier.

UPDATE:
Barrett's blood work for Dr. Brumund did NOT show any liver or thryoid damage caused by his heart medicines!  Who-hoo!
He's still sporting a fever, so the pediatrician prescribed a stronger antibiotic.  Fingers crossed this one works...he's had a fever for 3 weeks now!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Photography Rant

Ahh, our wedding day.  The best day ever~~  Everything was just as I imagined.

Too bad I don't have any printed professional photos to peruse to reminisce (despite my mother's saintly and heroic efforts to put the fear of GOD into the photographer-- in a delicate and polite way, of course).  Although I have all the digital jpegs, not one. single. print. 
Yes, that's right, three years later and the deadbeat photographer (not to name any names, JOHN BALLANCE) still has yet to produce an album or print.  I won't get into the details, it is a sore subject.
When he mentioned that he would take Barrett's portrait gratis, as a "favor" to all of his wedding photography clients, I had to laugh.  I mean, I DO want to receive this portrait before Barrrett graduates from high school.  But I'm so soured by photographers, I don't have another go-to person to use.  I'm photographer gun shy.
So, I decided to take Barrett's christening portrait myself.  Trouble is, I'm not a photographer.  Not even a little bit.  As much as I admire the works of others, it just doesn't seem to be my thing.  I'm still sporting a digital Olympus camera that I've had for who-knows-how-long.  I can take cute candids of the bebe, but formal shots are a horse of a different color.
Come to think of it, I don't know why I thought this was a good idea. 
After about a trillion no-good shots where he looked really startled....


or he was blowing bubbles...


or he was more interested in sucking on his silver rattle I gave him as a prop (another bad idea)...



I finally got ONE good shot!  Horray! 

And Kelly magically removed the red eyes from it!  Even better! 

Now, I'm headed over to artscow.com to order a canvas. 
Take that John Ballance.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Double Trouble

I've been watching Barrett's temperature and calling the pediatrician's nurse with updates since last week (I'm sure she loves that...)  It's just been a little too high, in my humble non-medical opinion, and I'm not one to take any risks with him.  SO, I finally brought him in on Tuesday and found out that he has DOUBLE ear infections.  Bad ones.  Boo.... 
I'm surprised they were so bad, since he had seen the doctor only a week before.  I'm watching him like a hawk because last time he had an ear infection, it morphed into pneumonia and all hell broke loose (his heart rate would spike, I would freak out, went to doctor every day, basket case, etc.)  I'm determined to get him WELL as soon as possible.  Barrett likes this plan because it means extra TLC for him :) 
I finally broke down and bought Baby Einstein DVDs, thinking they would be a "treat" for him, and I don't know why I waited! He loves them! He got so hyped up watching it that he started a new I'm-so-happy-all-I-can-do-is squeal-with-a-huge-grin-on-my-face.
I wish I had taken a few more pictures of him in his blissful squeal-full state, but I was laughing too hard.  Baby Einstein is a hit.

After exhaustive research and in-store try outs, we finally bought a big boy car seat for Barrett~  This purchase is not sickness-related, he just needed one since he outgrew his infant seat length-wise.  Britax seemed to have the best safety ratings and felt the sturdiest.  He can stay in this puppy until he is 65lbs.  And the print is called "cowmooflage."  I'm a sucker for a cute name...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Weight Update

Operation Hungry Hippo is complete.  Baby Barrett gained enough weight in the past two weeks to get him back in the 50th percentile and off the pediatrician's worry-list!  Who-hoo~
Look at these rolls -- no skinny kiddos here.

His height is still in a higher percentile than his weight, but that's ok. Maybe his weight will catch up now that he is also eating baby solids.  Speaking of food, he has learned to love butternut squash and sweet potatoes too.  Zucchini was, well, an adjustment.  Ahem.  Still working on that one. 

Kermit was right -- it's not easy being green.

Mixing the zucchini with sweet potatoes did the trick.  Whatever works, right? 
Next up, yellow squash, sweet peas, and then apples.  I'm trying to withhold the fruit until he learns to like veggies.  We'll see if it works.  Like everything else parenting/baby/medical related, there is a breadth of information out there.  My philosophy is to read enough to become informed and make my decision, but stop obsessing about it.  Because if you research long enough, it all contradicts itself.  And you feel like you are constantly chasing your tail.  Which is not as much fun as you might think. 

We went to the park with friends the other day~  It was Barrett's first park experience.

He was a little shy at first; this swing doesn't look like the one at home....


But it is FUN! 

Note to self: Next time, put sunscreen on baby BEFORE you get to the park. 
It is more effective that way.  Eek.

And in final baby news, Barrett's 30 minute TV special is being filmed at our house on Monday!  Wow!  Do you think I have enought time to redecorate??

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hoppy Easter

Easter was lots of fun this year, but then again, everything seems more fun now with Barrett~  He gets excited to see new things, and I get excited about showing them to him, so we kind of feed off each other.
This year, we dyed eggs, but resisted the urge to hide them around the house and yard...definitely next year though!  Kristopher had never seen the little plastic wrappers you put around an egg and then lower into boiling water, zip!, making them sort-of shrink wrap the eggs.  I guess it is because he grew up so long ago, they didn't have those when he was little.  New technology.  Ha.  Anyway, so egg dying and decorating was fun for all.  And now, I'm making deviled eggs later this afternoon...I might as well use them now before Barrett is old enough to insist that we "save" the decorated eggs.

Watching the egg stampede hunt with Mimi after church service.  Looks like fun!

 Guess what?  The Easter Bunny brought Barrett presents!! 

And he must have been a very good boy, because the Easter Bunny even made stops by Grammy and Grandpa's house and Mimi and Papa's house too!

Barrett is stocked with lots of new books (YAY!), bubbles, clothes, John Deere sippy cups, an Elmo balloon, and even his own camo overalls for trips to the country~~

The bubbles were a huge hit and we've loved reading all the new books.  It looks like Rainbow Fish is the stand-out favorite.  I hold him in front of his bookshelf and let him "pick" which book he wants.  He lunges for Rainbow Fish most of all.  And his Day-by-Day Bible, such a good boy :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Squish Squash

So, we finally tried it.....baby solids!  Horray! 
First up: Butternut Squash.
I've never made baby food before (obviously) or even cooked butternut squash, but it turned out okay.  The baby food cookbook instructions were pretty simple and I didn't even need any special equipment.
I started with my butternut squash.

Then, cut it in half.  Scoop out all those seeds and strings.  Did you know, butternut squash smells like pumpkin?!  Ick.  I started having second thoughts here...I mean, I thought it would smell more buttery...or nutty...shows how much I know about squash. 

Anyway, then you roast it in the oven for about an hour, cut side down with about 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of the roasting pan.  Then, you scoop the "flesh" out of the skin and blend it up, adding milk/formula/water to thin it out.  Looks like this:

One squash made 38 ounces. 

Now time for the moment of truth.  I was taken aback by the NEON color of my all-natural meal, so I stripped him down to avoid stains.  I put on his bib and he got so excited.  All other bib + spoon experiences have been great in the past because he loves rice cereal.  He started patting the sides of his bumbo in anticipation. 
Here comes the spoon -- time for his favorite part!! 
Wait a minute, this isn't.....what in the world??....UGH!  MAMA!?!  You tricked me!!  (he literally shuddered here and shook his head back and forth).

Heavy sigh.  This is not looking good.  But, he has such a conditioned positive response to the spoon that he still opened his mouth like a little bird every time I held it up to him.  And then did his little shudder routine after each bite.  But at least he ate some.

For his second squash experience, I decided he might like dining al fresco, so the next day I set him up on the table on the patio.  He was too distracted by all the birds/breeze/sunshine so he didn't eat his entire portion.  But, the third try, back inside this time, went great!  He gobbled down 2 ounces right away~  I'd say the squash was a success.  Next up, sweet potatoes!