Doc has discovered a way to get Lord Imperial Toddler to eat a balanced meal. He calls his trick “Baby Shepherd’s Pie.”
Take some meat — ham, turkey, or a hot dog. Mince finely. Take some peas (or green beans) and carrots. Mince very finely. Mix this together in a baby serving bowl and heat until warm. Take warm mashed potatoes (made with margarine). Spread over the meat/veg mixture.
Voila! Something our toddler will eat!! It tastes like meat and potatoes, which he likes, and the vegetables are chopped too small for him to notice they are there!
Another meal that I discovered he likes is Japanese rice noodles, cooked till very soft and chopped into 1/4″ lengths, drizzled with lemon olive oil and salt. Mix this with finely minced vegetables and meat.
So Jamie now has six teeth: his two front lower ones, and four front upper ones. It’s terribly cute.
We didn’t even notice tooth #6 coming in this past week because its arrival coincided with a bout of “hand, foot, and mouth disease” (I am not making that up). Poor kiddo had a 103.2 fever last Saturday, then developed a spotty rash on his feet, ankles, leg-fat creases, hands, and around his mouth. Also, we suspect he had a very sore throat. The fever only lasted about a day and a half (and high fevers have their blessings, such as verrrrrrry sleepy babies), and the rash didn’t itch, but the sore throat kept him from sleeping more than an hour at a time for two days. Luckily, the virus is very mild and he was feeling much better within a couple of days. He didn’t eat much of anything except his formula, and half-frozen applesauce.
Jamie is now standing on his own, and occasionally he will take a couple of steps, but he’s not walking yet. I’m not exactly eager for that to happen — I can’t imagine how difficult it will be to keep up with him once he can walk — but at the same time, he’s so heavy now (probably 28 pounds) that it will be nice to not have to carry him all the time.
He isn’t saying any words yet (unless you count his normal babbling, and I can’t tell whether any of it’s purposeful yet or not), but he is beginning to communicate by pointing. He’ll point at things he’s interested in, such as his sippy cup or a toy, or he’ll point and make an inquisitive noise, which we interpret as him asking what something is. And we can ask him where various things are, like the ceiling fan or the light or the clock or the Christmas tree, and he can look or point in the right direction. So he clearly understands a LOT of what we are saying now. It’s nice!
And he will be ONE YEAR OLD on Tuesday! I hope to write a year-in-review type post this week. Mom is coming into town tomorrow so I might actually have a few spare moments to write!
An inpatient psychiatric unit specifically dedicated to women suffering perinatal (prenatal and postpartum) mood disorders opens and gets new moms the help they need.
hortly before last Mother’s Day, 28-year-old Lauren Meehan-Machos broke down in front of her startled husband. “This is more than I can handle,” she sobbed.
The typically confident and self-assured Cary, NC, mom — a former Miss New Hampshire — had felt overwhelmed and panicky since giving birth to her first child, Luke, two months prior. She’d obsessed so much about getting feedings and naps “right” that she stopped eating and sleeping herself. She cried continuously. She started throwing up.
Her doctor had prescribed medication for postpartum anxiety. But, she told her husband, the day before, she’d found herself at the wheel of her red Chevy Impala, rain falling in sheets from the sky, thinking, If I drive my car off the road, all this will go away.
“I was stunned,” recalls Kevin Machos. “She’d done a very good job of hiding what she was feeling.”
Immediately, Meehan-Machos’s obstetrician referred her to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). There, doctors had recently debuted a groundbreaking inpatient psychiatric unit, the first in the nation specifically tailored to women suffering perinatal (prenatal and postpartum) mood disorders. Unlike a general psychiatric unit, it offered:
A core group of doctors specializing in perinatal issues
Psychiatrists attuned to medications that wouldn’t harm a pregnancy or a nursing newborn
An unusual policy of allowing children, even babies, on the ward during extended visiting hours
Mom-only counseling focused on anxiety and bonding.
And though there were only six beds, one was available for her.
So the Infant Commander has skipped one of his two nightly feedings each night since last Friday. Could this be the start of a trend? His exhausted parents sincerely hope so!
Also, he stood all by himself for about 20 seconds this morning. That’s the first time he’s ever stood without support for that long. He was holding on to the edge of his Baby Corral, and I handed him a toy. He grabbed it with one hand, then let go and used the other to start pushing buttons on the toy. I don’t think he realized that he was standing without support until he fell on his butt and looked extremely surprised!
Update: this evening he stood on his own two baby feet, without support, multiple times! He clearly understood what he was doing, too. He had a small book in both hands and I was supporting his torso. I took my hands away and he grinned at me and stood there, slightly swaying, for probably 15 seconds before beginning to fall. I steadied him and took my hands away again. We repeated this probably 8 times or so before he got tired of it and crawled off. Milestone achieved!
So on Friday night, I tried for about an hour to get Jamie to go to bed. He just didn’t want to/didn’t feel well, and was getting more and more upset and angry as I tried to soothe him to sleep.
Finally I couldn’t take the shrieking any longer, so I set him down in his crib and walked out of the room. This is exactly what parents are supposed to do when they get frustrated — set the baby down in a safe place and leave to take a breather. I set the timer for 15 minutes (yes, 15… I was pretty frustrated) and by the end of it, he was lying down in the crib, still crying, but not standing at the edge of the crib and hopping like a monkey, like before.
I decided to give it another few minutes and see where it was leading. And at the end of five minutes, he had fallen asleep. This was 8:45 p.m.
This may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me, it is one of only a few times (literally… you can count it on one hand) that he has fallen asleep without a parent rocking/bouncing/soothing him to sleep. Crying yourself out is a crappy way to fall asleep, for sure, but apparently he actually can do it when he’s tired enough.
And after that, he stayed asleep until 4:20 a.m.! That is seven and a half hours in a row!! He semi-awakened twice during that period but both times self-soothed back to sleep.
Saturday night was a very different story, though. I got him to sleep, laid him down, and he woke back up. Instead of picking him up and re-sleeping him, though, I let him cry again. This time it only took about 5 minutes before he fell asleep.
He woke up about 2 hours later. We decided to let him cry and see if he’d fall asleep again on his own. It took maybe 3o minutes, but he did. It was dreadful, listening to him shriek.
About an hour later, he woke again. I tried for 40 minutes to get him back to sleep, and then Doc tried for about two hours. Finally he took him downstairs and we let him crawl around in his play area for a little while. Eventually I was able to get him back asleep. This was like 3:30 in the morning.
When we got up in the morning, we realized that at some point he’d vomited in his crib.
We felt absolutely awful about the whole night.
Last night we didn’t cry it out. And he skipped his second feeding. Slept straight through from 12:30 to 6:30. Go figure.
Roll a toy across the carpet with one hand while crawling
The milestones are flying by like crazy.
He also has gotten his top left front tooth, and should have the top right one within the next few days. I think he’s going to have huge front teeth like me. :)
He doesn’t yet use words to indicate something concrete or something he wants, but his babbling has expanded to dada, tata, mama, baba, and nana, among others. And he puts all those sounds together in strings of nonsense syllables and cute squeals and trills. It’s completely adorable to listen to him babble. He says “daddn” a lot – like “daddy” but with an “n” sound on the end instead of “y.” That’s one of my favorites.
We just returned from a two week vacation to the Pacific Northwest. We stayed with my parents most of the time, except for two days near Portland, Oregon (all five of us went) and two days in Victoria, BC (just me and Doc). My brother Bob came in from Boston for four days, and I actually got to see my ever-elusive brother Mike one afternoon.
Vacationing with a nine month old is wonderful and exhausting.
The weather was cool, sometimes rainy, sometimes crisp and sunny. I had to go buy a pair of fuzzy socks to keep my feet warm at night. We lit a fire in the soapstone stove one night, and had a wienie roast (and s’mores!) by the fire pit another night.
It was absolutely marvelous to have two extra adults to help keep Jamieson entertained. He seemed to hit some developmental milestones while at Gramma and Grandpa’s (more about that in another post). Jamie had a tough time adjusting to the time change and for the first several days he was awake and ready to begin his day by 4 a.m. or before. My mom saved my sanity by letting me wake her then to take Jamieson so that I could go back to bed for a few more hours. He got a tooth while we were there (his top left front tooth) so there were quite a few dicey days and nights.
Jamie was the best-behaved baby on the plane, both on the way there and the way back. He slept for about half of each flight. He was hard to handle the rest of the time but Doc and I are experts at it by now and I think other passengers noticed and appreciated how hard we were working to keep him calm and quiet; several of them mentioned to us how well-behaved he was.
Doc and I spent our first significant amount of time away from Jamie. We’d only ever been apart from him for a few hours at a time before, so last weekend my parents babysat while we went to Victoria, BC for about two days. We missed Jamie, but it was also wonderful to have a little break, to sleep in, to not get up in the night, to do what we wanted when we wanted. Actually I hadn’t realized how much we probably NEEDED that time by ourselves until we did it. I think that all new parents (and old ones too!) need to get away from the kids on a regular basis. It’s good for the marriage and your sanity. And I think it’s good for the kids, too.
Sadly, S0mething Shiny Disorder is suffering lately. The updates and blatherings on are few and far between.
I am sure my two readers are simply crushed by this shocking news.
Lately, the little free time I have (i.e., when the baby is asleep) is spent either sleeping or doing chores or running errands or spending quality time with my husband. All of that trumps personal writing at this point.
I hope that once Jamie is a bit more self-managing, I will begin to see an increase in the time I have available to write. I do miss it.
That being said, I am working on a catch-up post about (what else?) the latest on Jamieson. Stay tuned.
In early August, we drove to Wichita, Kansas, to visit Doc’s mom, great-aunt, and sisters and their families. Great-Aunt Patty is in poor health and so it was especially nice to get to see her.
The long car ride (7+ hours each way) taught Jamie an important lesson: the car seat is not so bad. The first half of the trip up was pretty bad; he screamed and cried for about two hours straight, until he fell asleep out of exhaustion. And then when he woke up an hour later, he was STILL in the car seat. You could almost see the wheels turning in his head: Hmmm. I’m still here. Crying did not get me what I wanted.
And on the way home, although he didn’t scream the whole way, we got tired of acting like clowns on crack and so we eventually just let him cry for a while. I think that those are important lessons for him: he doesn’t always get what he wants, and we can’t entertain him 24/7.
He still isn’t a huge fan of riding in the car, but since that trip, he seems to be a little more content with it.
On this trip, I learned that it is very difficult for me to share a room with Jamie at night now. I hear every little noise he makes and I wake up. I guess that’s my “mom ears.” Also, I have a hard time getting to sleep in the first place for fear that my snoring will wake him up.
On our last day, we took Jamie to the Sedgwick County Zoo. Normally I don’t like zoos, what with all the animals in little cages and all, but the Sedgwick Zoo is a very nice place, built from the ground up as a natural habitat zoo. Very few parts of it made me feel squicky and sad. A rainstorm blew through just before we got there, so the temperature dropped about 20 degrees into the mid 70s. Jamie seemed to enjoy being out in nature and he liked riding in the zoo stroller.
Next time, Jamie will be older and have a better attention span; hopefully we’ll get to stay longer and see more exhibits.
We picked up this recipe from Doc’s mom and Aunt Patty while in Wichita. I think it will become one of our weekly staple vegetarian meals.
8 ounces angel hair pasta
2 large ripe heirloom tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons capers
1 small can sliced black olives (or use Kalamatas)
1/2 cup sliced red onion
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook pasta to al dente. Drain, place in serving bowl, and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes and place into another serving bowl along with any juices that the tomatoes release. Add the garlic, capers, black olives, onion, and olive oil (about 3-4 tablespoons, or to taste). Toss to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve tomato mixture over warm pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
We’re taking it slow with the progression of Jamie’s diet. After running through a bunch of different fruits and veggies to make sure he didn’t have bad reactions to them, we have sort of “started over” again. Currently he is eating only brown rice cereal, oatmeal, yellow squash, avocado, and applesauce. All of those seem to work just fine with his system. We learned a couple of weeks ago that yams do not agree with him, and an encounter with some pieces of banana in early August left him with a bad rash on his face and arm that is still visible, even now. (But then, we rubbed some banana on his neck about a week later and he had no reaction at all.)
He’s eating really decent quantities now, too. He has three meals a day, consisting of at least one veggie or fruit and a grain. He typically eats about 1/4 cup each of grains and veggies/fruits at each meal. He has watered-down apple juice every morning, and water from his sippy cup as well as formula throughout the day.
I’m hoping that we’ll soon be able to stop feeding him Nutramigen AA. It’s insanely expensive. Even regular Nutramigen is expensive, but at least it’s available in stores and about 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of AA. I also think that he’s ready to start eating finger foods. Since the banana incident, though, we’re just not sure what to give him. We tried peaches but they’re a bit slippery and he wasn’t fond of the texture. Maybe super-ripe pear? Grape halves? Pasta spirals? And I know he ought to have some protein soon; I just don’t know where to start with that. I probably need to call his doctor to get some advice.
Here are some photos of me and Jamie, goofing off, from a few days ago:
Yesterday, we took advantage of the less-boiling-than-normal weather and went to the Arboretum in the afternoon. We have a membership (thanks, mom and dad!) and so can go whenever we like and stay as long (or as short) as we want to. We planted ourselves and Jamie on the grass under a big shady tree and hung out for a while. There’s a fountain plaza with four giant frog sculptures that spit water into the middle of the plaza. Next time we’ll be sure to bring along Jamie’s swimsuit!
Jamie had a temper tantrum today when I refused to let him nom-nom on the edge of the toilet! He gets mad sometimes when we don’t let him do things that he wants to do. I draw the line at licking the potty.
Jamie has both of his bottom front teeth. They’re maybe halfway in now. So cute!
He’s also saying “da” and “dada” and “dadadadadadadada” consistently, and throwing in a few new consonant sounds here and there for good measure. “Ba” and “Ta” pop up often. Every night after his bath, we look at the water going down the drain and say “bye bye, water!” Last night I swear he said something that sounded like “Ba Ba Wa.” I’m sure it was just a coincidence, and that my mommy ears hearing what they want to hear.
He’s doing well with solid food. On the menu are:
Yellow squash (his favorite) — or as Doc calls it, “squish!”
Green peas (another fave)
Carrots (he might be sensitive to these)
Bananas (he developed a bright red rash on one side of his face after eating bananas… allergy?)
He is pulling up all the time now. In his play yard, in his crib, on chairs and tables. Just today we saw him take a few steps sideways, which is what I think they call “cruising.” He isn’t very good at sitting down from a standing position, yet. He gets stuck standing up and gets frustrated. We are now shopping for a new coffee table that has drawers in it, since he can now pull up and grab the remote control, magazines, salt shaker, etc.
Has learned to crawl in the classic style. His usual pattern is to classic-crawl for a few seconds, then do a beautiful downward dog yoga pose, then sit. Wash, rinse, repeat. SUPER CUTE.
The past few days have been decidedly on the fussy side. Another tooth? We don’t feel any coming in but you never know. He’s also been more tired than usual and he has that blotchy rash on his face, which we have been attributing to the banana that he ate immediately before it developed. I’m going to call the doctor in the morning just to rule out any illnesses.
Last Saturday was fun. Kathryn came over and we went to the Farmer’s Market, then to lunch, and then hung out at the house for a while. Jamie had a pretty good day, which was nice, because it has seemed lately that every time we socialize with our friends, he is tired and/or cranky.
Yesterday evening I took Jamie to the splashpark again. We had a great time! He’s getting a little bolder and so we ventured beyond the tiny fountains at the edge of the play area. He especially liked being swung through some of the larger fountains – he giggled and squealed like crazy.
Currently we are planning vacations to Wichita and Washington, to see both sides of the family. I’m excited about seeing family, having some extra hands to help with the baby, and getting out of Texas for a while.
I’m going to yoga again to try to get back in shape. I’m tired of wearing 2 sizes above my previous wardrobe, and tired of the spare tire around my middle and the extra fat on my upper arms and back. I know it’ll go away, albeit more slowly than I’d like, but yoga will help with that.
I think my hormones are pretty close to normal again, FINALLY. I’m really feeling a lot more like myself again, and it’s been nearly two years since I’ve felt that way. I’m especially glad that the scattered fuzzybrained feeling I had during pregnancy and the consequent sleep deprivation of Jamie’s early infancy has mostly subsided. I think I can actually pick up a book and read now without losing focus and interest after a few minutes. I’ll start by rereading an old favorite or two, then move on to the stack of new stuff that awaits me. Yay, books!