Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy 8 month Birthday Darlin!

Letter to come (I know, I'm always late)! Here's my happy boy :o)

The bean loves to rock himself on the glider.
This does not make for easy picture-taking!

Bundled up on a birthday walk.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Little Nibbler

This morning while feeding Charlie his pears and some squash Joe though he saw something white inside Charlie's mouth. After closer examination it was quite evident that the bean was on the verge of a breakthrough all his own :o)

This afternoon after a nap poor Charlie was feeling rather cranky, so we took another look and saw the little pearly white had popped. So ladies and gentlemen, we have our first official tooth, bottom middle right. A belated Christmas gift from the tooth fairy perhaps?

I'll try to get a shot and post it, but he was wiggling too much to snap one today...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We had a very busy day and I plan on writing about it but I'm too pooped to do it now. Hope everyone had a beautiful holiday!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Better late than never...

Our official 2008 Santa shot.
It was absolutely hilarious watching Charlie interact with Santa; the bean was awestruck.
He has that look of bafflement in the shot!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Not exactly out of the woods...

This weekend was not the best when it came to Charlie's reflux battles. Things used to be much, much worse: vomiting nearly every meal. Now we usually have one throw-up a day and it isn't too bad. Listen to me talking about vomit at length-only a mommy.

Every night this weekend Charlie had a full out projectile vomit, where he soaked himself, me the gilder, and this one is a new one-my hair. In the past I was smart enough to keep my hair in a pony most of the day...

The timing is what gets me. We are all cleaned up and ready for bed. With the colder weather Charlie is now essentially bundled in three layers because he can't have a blanket in his crib(he does laps around his bed at night). He has a long-sleeve onesie, feety pajamas and a fleece sleep sack.

Now the bean, like any typical male, is not a fan of clothing, so it's a battle to keep him happy while getting him dressed. When he throws up all over the place, having to change all those clothes leads to one very unhappy bean that was already peeved in the first place.

It also is a big bummer to have Charlie do this so late for selfish reasons of my own- I know that means we are going to have a bad night with multiple wakings. Not that we don't do that only a daily basis as it is now. But this makes for an especially 'wakeful' night.

My pedi told me that at this point Charlie should be able to make it through the night. I can't imagine what bliss that must be. I get impressions of a tropical beach paradise where the warm ocean water is lapping ticklishly at my toes and the sun is warming my cheeks.

The pedi gave me the name of a sleep specialist. I know older generations may scoff at this and laugh, but I am close to desperation at this point. I need sleep. This specialist is pricey, but will work with you via email for a fee of $35 per correspondence. So in an attempt to provide this woman with as much information as is possible in one email I have kept an extremely detailed log for the past week of all Charlie's activities, nocturnal and diurnal. How -do you ask- am I spending my Sunday night? Well I will be entering all of my collected data into a spreadsheet because I'm crazy like that. I know you envy me ;o)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wrappings and Trappings

This morning Charlie and I attempted to get some presents wrapped.
Charlie helped choose the ribbon:

I prefer classic red and green over sparkle...
This is some tasty wrapping paper Mom!
Here, let me help you with that :o)

Christmas time is sooo exciting!
Are we finished yet? I have a pressing meeting with my jumper in ten...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our sixth month

My sweet little boy,

You'll have to excuse your Mama's tardiness in writing out this letter. The past month has been keeping me busy as well as preparing for the upcoming holidays. Anyways, onto the fun stuff...
You have become so mobile this past month that it is staggering. You went from sitting up on your own, sturdy and unsupported to bobbing and rocking while you sit (resembling a metronome- you can surely keep a beat). And then the rolling, one day I put you on the floor for a second to grab some paperwork from the desk and I turned around to find you rolling across the floor and under our bookcase. You laughed when I caught you in the act and came over to fetch you.

You've also been attempting an army crawl, or what I more fondly have dubbed 'the inchworm,' where you scoot your tush in the air and then flatten out and push yourself along. You also adore jumping, so much so, that I bought you a jumper. More details on that next month.
You're getting so much more coordinated with those chubby little fingers of yours. You pick everything in reaching distance up and examine objects like a scientist. Flipping things back and forth, you try to get a view from every angle. You somewhat successful at holding your own bottle and sippy cup- at times.

Speaking of your hands, you love, love, love touching different textures. The glider in your room is your absolute favorite thing to touch. It is a thin waled corduroy and you enjoy listening to the sound the fabric makes when you splay your fingers after making a fist over and over.
You're more vocal testing out your voice and babbling mamama and bababa with some consonants mixed in for good measure. Depending on your mood you can be a flirt/social butterfly in public. Although sometimes when we are out running errands you can be shy and shrink into my shoulder if I'm holding you. I love it because anytime I can snuggle with you is a good time :o)

When you can't reach something you want you do this adorable 'grunt and stiffen' (your arms) in frustration.
You love music, but especially country. When you were still in my belly I had bought the Garth Brooks box set and played him through much of the third trimester-but let me tell you there is some magic in Garth's voice. There are times when you can be super cranky in the car and the ONLY thing that makes you happy is listening to #16 "Wrapped up in you." It is like turning a switch- amazing.

The other night I was holding you asleep in my arms and this wave of love and joy just rolled over me. As each day passes the depth of my love for you grows in ways I can't even articulate.

I feel so blessed that your reflux has improved and you're feeling so much better. I feel so blessed that right now I can be home with you and have you all to myself- selfish Mama! But more than that I feel so blessed that God chose me of everyone on this Earth to shelter and guide you. Some days I wonder if I could be doing a better job, but always know, my sweet boy, that with each new day I will try my best to make you feel safe, comforted, cherished...treasured.

All my love,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (I couldn't resist). The house is decorated! Yesterday Charlie watched us trim the tree from the comfort of his exersaucer. He is definitely intrigued by the holiday decorations. I can't wait to see him on Christmas morning.

Speaking of, he maybe be crawling over to the tree all by himself on the 25th. Tonight he got up on his hands and knees and rocked his way towards a ball on the floor. I was completely amazed. Joe saw it coming, he said he had a feeling ;o) It is a miracle and such a blessing watching my little boy grow.

Showing Charlie the first ornament I bought for him :o)

Friday, December 12, 2008

First Foray into Teething Biscuits

Yesterday Charlie and I went on a shopping excursion to Whole Foods in search of some 'heavier' jarred foods. My hope was that foods with more protein and calories would fill up his little belly and help him sleep (and consequently me) for longer stretches. He absolutely loved the organic chicken and sweet potato dinner I gave him last night. Despite the fact that he still was up at 11 and then 3 (for an hour and half, ouch) I still have hope that this new plan may end up working out.

While I was in the baby food aisle, I happened upon soy and dairy free organic vanilla teething biscuits- it's as if they were made for my sensitive bean! He loved them more than anything else I have given him yet as you can see in the evidence below.

All cleaned up:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


The past week has been a bit of a whirlwind so I'll try to recap what I can actually recall at this moment.

The bean-
We were able to quickly pick out a tree in the midst of everything this weekend. Unfortunately Charlie was not in the most chipper of moods so we rushed through the selection process. The tree resemebles my dear, sweet Joe- tall and skinny. It will be perfect.

Charlie has been doing what I call 'the inchworm.' The beginning stages of crawling, I'm sure. He scoots his toosh in the air and then flattens out, moving along slowly but steadily towards toys, Malcolm, whatever captures his attention.

As for our nights, they have been pretty bad lately. On a bad night we're up six or more times, and really good night is two times. Last night was about five, but considering I went to bed at 9pm I only have half a 'sleep hangover.' I'm not suer if it's teething or reflux or a combo but I hope we move out of this phase soon. I honestly cannot remember the last time he slept through, it's been many months.

Here's some snowy shots from this past weekend:

Joe's grandmother-
We had the wake and funeral for Ruth this week, the services were beautiful, but there is one moment that sticks out in my mind that I wanted to share.

At the wake, I was talking with some of Joe's colleagues from work and we had mentioned that Joe's grandparents had been happily married for 64 years. We talked about what a blessing that was that they had been able to share so much time together.

At the end of the wake, the pastor came and said a prayer and then it was time for the family to say goodbye alone. I watched as Joe's grandfather walked up to his wife and prayed one last time with her beside him. He stood up and tried to reach her to kiss her on this lips. That moment will be forever sealed in my memory. No matter how long you may live, there is never enough time for the ones who love you most.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A letter about Great Grandma- from Daddy

Dear Charlie,

Your Great Grandma passed away today so I thought I'd write you a little letter to tell you about her life and how much you meant to her. Someday you will be old enough to read this.

Your Great Grandmother, "Grams" or "Grandma" as we called her, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1918. This makes her 90 years old! As a young child, she lost her sister at a very young age due to an accident in the kitchen with boiling water. I believe they were heating water for bathwater on the stove which fell off a bench scalding her baby sister. They didn't have hot water heaters back then. A few year later, Great-Grandma's mother passed away from Pneumonia in 1929 when Great Grandma was only 11 years old. Back then they didn't have antibiotics so there was no way to treat infections other than hoping a person's fever would break. Great Grandma told us that her mom told her she wouldn't live through her illness. She arranged to have Tante Albina to bring her into her family after she died. There was always a hole in Great-Grandma's heart for the mom she missed so long ago. Tante gave Great Grandma a good family to grow up in and took great care of her.

Great Grandma grew up during the Great Depression. Her and Great Grandpa shared many stories of how bad it was during those days. In her mid teens, Great Grandma had to move away from her home to move in with another family where she worked as a mothers helper. She would go to school in the morning and then come back to work for the family doing homemaking for them. She wasn't paid much but it was something she had to do since our family didn't have enough money to get through those times.

Great Grandma and Grandpa met during a parade in town. I believe Great Grandpa asked Great Grandma out for a movie on their first date. I guess that date went well because Great Grandma and Grandpa celebrated their 64 year anniversary this year!

There were many stories she shared with us over the years. One of her favorites was the cross country trip they took in a car with your your grandma and her sister. For six weeks, all four of them drove out west and around the country. They camped with tents every night and laid down a board on the floor in front of the rear seat so your Grandma and her sister could sleep while they drove. Great grandma still has souvenirs and remembrances on the basement walls from the trip. I still use the box Great Granpa built for the top of the car as a trailer now!

Great Grandma had a long and wonderful life. She was blessed to have a great husband, a long marriage and special family. It was special to see how Great Grandma and Grandpa were like one. The love they shared for each other was beyond words. One cute thing that I remember was Great Grams would prep a dish of leftovers and hand it off to Gramps to put in the microwave because Great Grandma never could learn how to use the Microwave. They were a team like this in every part of their life. They were a perfect example of what a couple and a marriage could and should be.

So, a little about you. They both eagerly awaited your arrival! They always had great interest in how your Mommy was doing while she was carrying you. Since you were the first grandchild and great grandchild for my side of the family, they were very excited about your coming. When you were born, Great Gram and Gramps came to visit you while you were still in the hospital. We put you on her lap so she could hold you. I can honestly say that that day was probably the happiest I've ever seen my Grandparents. It doesn't get much better than that. They were both without word because they couldn't wipe the big smiles off their faces as they held you. As we put them in their car at the hospital to go home (yes, Great Gramps still drives well!), your grandfather (my Dad) said "Everything is complete for them Son, anything can happen to them now and they will be okay". You were their first and Grandma's only Great Grandson! Your birth was the perfect completion of their life. Great Grams loved to tell everyone how you made her "Great"! You meant so much to her.

They were able to join us for your Baptism which was also very special . Being able to kneel in front of the alter with You, Mommy and the two of them to take Communion in our Church was a special moment for me. Gram and Grams were devoted Christians and attended Church every Sunday. This gives me great comfort to know that Great Grandma is up in Heaven now looking down on all of us. One of her favorite verses was Psalms 121:

The LORD Is Thy Keeper
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

About 6 weeks ago, Great Grandma had what we figure is a stroke. Up until that day, she was "as sharp as a tack" as they say. Still staying up late to write thank you letters or holiday cards to her family. Just the day before, the both of them were shopping around town and even went out to dinner together! We often joked that they did more things in their 90s than people a third their age do.

The next morning she told Great Grandpa she was confused and didn't know where she was. Grandpa helped her to the bed to get some rest. As it ended up, he had to call the ambulance to bring her to the hospital. Over the coming weeks, they did everything they could to help her but God had other plans. After that day, she was in and out of consciousness. For the most part she was confused and not the same Grandma we all knew. On occasions she would have good days and be able to communicate a little but it was difficult to connect. One of the only ways I was able to get through to her near the end was to tell her about you! On one occasion I pulled out a picture of you from my wallet to show her. She stared at it for a long time. When I went to take it from her, she pulled it to her chest in adoration! In that one moment, I saw the Grams we all knew and I knew she was inside and able to take comfort in our presence and her love for you. The last time I was able to get her to respond was when I mentioned you name and how I was putting up a picture of "Little Charlie" in the room beside her. She couldn't talk or see but tried to move in excitement knowing that the picture of you would be beside her. The same one she had on display at home.

Great Grandpa told me these last few weeks that he couldn't' sleep while she was in the hospital. He missed her so much and just wanted her to come back home. Great Grandpa is now 92 years old. Every day he would go to visit her in the hospital and sit next to her. I'm sure knowing that he was there gave great comfort to her in these last few days. Now it is important that we take care of Great Gramps and make sure he gets to spend a lot of time with you!

When I learned of Grammy's passing, one of the first things I wanted to do was hold you. I couldn't hold back the tears knowing that a little part of Great Grammy lives in you. Always remember how much you meant to her, how much she loved you and how much she will be missed by all of us.

I love you Son,
Love Daddy

PS....Your Great Grandmother was never in a wheelchair as in the picture. We insisted that we push her in a wheelchair at the hospital so she didn't have to walk so far. Great Gramps enjoyed pushing her down the Maternity Hall while telling everyone "It was a boy". Your Great Gramps has a great sense of humor!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My little turkey

We made our follow up visit to Charlie's gastroenterologist today. The great news is that Charlie is improving, thank the Lord. I mentioned that Charlie is a tad picky when it comes to solids - he won't eat any fruits and basically only likes green beans and sweet potatoes. She told me that I could give him some turkey and chicken for added protein, but not the jarred stuff that resembles cat food. She told me to go to the deli and get thinly sliced turkey and give that to him in tiny pieces. The verdict- my bean is a carnivore! He absolutely loved it :o)

Update: I realized roughly an hour after I fed Charlie one tiny, wafer thin slice of turkey that it was the honey coated variety that I purchased. For those that may not know- honey contains botulism spores that the adult intestinal system can combat, but infants are susceptible and shouldn't have honey until 1 year of age, when their digestive system is more mature.

I called the manufacturer to make sure that honey was an actual ingredient. It was, so I called up my pedi and they told me not to worry at all, that I didn't need to look at Charlie as a walking time bomb, ha,ha. He is perfectly fine but now Mama has about a pound of finely shredded turkey she needs to eat all by herself...and I need to run out and buy the plain old version for the bean. Poor Charlie if he only knew I nearly poisoned him-the joys of being a first-time mommy...

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