Thursday, April 29, 2010

4 months, and a journey to capture a smile



Dear Dylan,

Today you turn 4 months old. Four months. In some ways four months ago seems like an eternity ago, and in some ways it seems like only yesterday. I remember the day so vividly. I don't know if I'll ever feel entirely caught up with the rest of the world after being confined to your NICU room for that month, and that's okay. So what are you doing these days?
***You are smiling!! You decided that your first real, true, reactive smile was going to be on April 13th. That also happened to be a day when you had your blood drawn, and I figured you would NEVER SMILE AGAIN after that. But you still smile. Sweet, happy boy!
***You can still wear 0-3 month clothes, but you also fit nicely into some 3-6 month clothes, too! A friend from Canada sent you some 3-6 month clothes, and they fit perfectly!! Thanks, Heather!
***You still wear a size 1 diaper, but we're trying to get through them so we can get to the ginormous box of 1-2 diapers that your grandma bought you before you were born.
***You are doing a little bit of yelling at your toys now. It is so precious. You get so excited!
***You are impressing your OT with how strong your lower body is, and we're still working on that upper body strength! But you are finding your hands at midline more often, which is great!
***You are still sleeping through the night, although the last time I bragged about that on here, you did a few day stint of waking up in the middle of the night, so I hope I didn't just jinx it again! Because right now you're THE PERFECT sleeper!
***You love, love, love your big brother! Sometimes, when you go on a little fussing jag (which isn't often, admittedly), big brother's the only one who can get you to stop!
***Your favorite Saturday morning activity? Staring at your daddy! It's not just "looking"... you STARE HIM DOWN. It's so funny! Daddy gets up with you on Saturday (and usually Sunday) mornings so your mommy can sleep in, and you two have a stare-down contest til I get up!! hehe
***You have been taken off your Actigall and synthroid medicines! You are down to prevacid.
***You are thoroughly, completely, unconditionally loved!!
*************************************************************************
So, like I've been saying, my dear, precious son goes stone-faced as soon as the camera or phone comes out. Allow me to demonstrate:


You were smiling just seconds before this.

You eventually threw me this small bone.


You were just "talking" in this one.. you were telling me that you were getting a little rumbly in your tumbly!


Yesterday was a close one... you would do the CUTEST SMILES EVER, and somehow everytime I clicked the camera, I would miss it!!

And now, the very closest I've gotten to an on-camera smile... keep in mind that I am making tons of faces at you, holding the camera where you can still see my face and not just the camera, and tickling your back all at the same time, well, that and I'm a crappy photographer... hence the poor quality of the picture.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You know what's funny?

...my kids are total opposites. Besides the obvious fact that one has a bonus chromosome and the other doesn't, there are a couple of things that stand out so much to me about how different they are.

1) Sleep:
Little M: Fights sleep for all it's worth; sometimes up til midnight or later; usually wakes up when Daddy is up and getting ready for work, which is between 5 and 6:30AM; hates naps; extremely cranky before AND after a nap.
Dylan: Loves sleep! Sleeps most of the day away! Sleeps through the night! Falls asleep at about 8:30PM and is out til about 7:30 in the morning! Sleep = his favorite activity evaaaahhhh!

2) Behaviors:
Little M: Extremely stubborn; has the 2-year-old defiance thing down to a fine art; but also very polite and funny and almost NEVERRRR acts up in public. (That's an "almost" never, because it does happen... just not very often.) People who are around him think he's the best behaved kid ever, and they never believe the stories of fits thrown at the house.
Dylan: Best behaved baby ever. Hardly ever cries. Gets around other people, though? Total bawlbaby. lol... smiles, does lots of moving around and playing around with his voice when we're home alone, but as soon as OT shows up, starts cry-griping and doesn't want to participate much! Hard to convince people that he is actually a super duper happy and content baby. lol

How they're the same...

1) They are both thoroughly and completely loved by me, their daddy, and all of their family members. Nobody in our families treat Dylan like there's something wrong with him... everybody knows he's just a regular little guy.




Okay, okay, no more posts til I get a picture of the smile. Seriously, though, as soon as he sees the camera OR the phone, he gets this stone straight look on his face like, "you want me to WHAT?! I've never heard of this *smile* thing, and I shall never do it!"

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hodgepodge

Still no picture of a smile from Dylan, but Daddy DID get to finally see it!

Skipped an appointment at OU today because it was pointless and because his doctor here is also an endocrinologist, so why waste my father-in-law's hard earned money stealing um, borrowing his Pike.pass to get up there and back for something that can be taken care of here?

The weather needs to make up its mind. The changes and the blooms are knocking my two Michaels for an sneezy-faucet-nose-watery-eyed-loop.

Must. Call. Walgreens tomorrow so the ONE PHARMACIST THEY'VE GOT THAT DOES COMPOUND DRUGS can start getting Dylly's refill done. Thanks for reminding me, yall.

Still staying pretty annoyed with people, and I'm trying so hard to not do that.

Must. Start. Exercising.

Read some really old emails today. It's funny (and a tad disturbing) to me to read stuff I wrote so many years ago, because I honestly don't remember any of it. Like, apparently I set up this diaryland account called "girl with eyes" back in 2003ish... I swear, I have no recollection of this AT ALL.

Made Pioneer Woman's BBQ Meatballs tonight for dinner. Third time I've made them. They're pure heaven, I tell ya.

Been working with little M on counting things. He knows how to count, he can recognize his numbers, but when it came to me putting out, say, 5 toys and asking him how many there were, the answer would be something like "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,16" (yeah, he skips 15 a lot.) But recently he has shown interest in really counting, so we've been working on it through the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. (It's edging up there as His Favorite Book, next to One Fish, Two Fish...) He's such a fast learner. And a great counter! Now if he'd only start using the potty...

Monday, April 19, 2010

I will NEVER forget.



It was April 19th, 1995. I was 15. My sister was having her baby that day. My mom was on the phone. I was impatiently waiting for her to get OFF of the phone so we could get to the hospital to see my sister. With all of my 15-year-old attitude, I flipped through the channels on the tv, annoyed that the same thing was on every channel. Footage of what looked like some war-torn country, with a blown up building, smoke, and people crying. "Is there NOTHING ELSE ON?!" I whined as I saw the same footage on about the 5th channel I changed it to. It was only then that I saw the caption at the bottom of the screen. "Live in Oklahoma City".... wait, what?! What IS this? I finally actually tuned in to one of the stations, and that's when even my 15-year-old-it's-all-about-me heart sank into my chest. Someone attacked us! Oklahoma! MY State! My state capital!

From that point on that day, while we waited in the waiting room for the arrival of my brand new niece, all we could do was watch footage of what was going on just 80 miles down the road. The babies, covered in ashes and blood, being pulled out of the building... people stuck just beneath some rubble, but alive and screaming for someone to help them. Smoke billowing up in the sky like the world was ending. Speculations on who did this and why started flying...

As horrific and scary as that day was, good did come from it. My beautiful niece was born and was healthy. Oklahoma City's community shone through the smoke and ashes, as people swarmed together to help each other out and console each other. It was like all the people of Oklahoma linked hands and hearts that day. The next few days at school, our teachers decided that there were no lessons that were more important than the one that was going on in our very state, so we watched footage of rescue and recovery.

I will NEVER forget that day or the days that followed.

I always tell my students about that day so we can observe the 168 seconds of silence in honor of those who lost their lives that day. This happened well before they were born, so even though it's a sad story and something they'll undoubtedly have to learn for a history exam one day, it doesn't touch them like it does if you've actually lived through it. But I hope, for the sake of our future, that they do learn something out of it so that history never repeats itself.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rainbows, Lollipops, and Unicorns

...my mood really hasn't changed since the previous post, but I'm determined to not become a somber whinypants. So how 'bout some randomage instead?

1) The Dylan-ator has been perfecting his newfound skill this week. That skill? THE SMILE!! It's beautiful and wonderful and funny and precious. BUT! He refuses. REFUSES! to smile for the camera. Picture it, he's all *GRIN GRIN GRIN, I'M THE CUTEST BABY EVAH!!!* Then I get the camera out and he's all *WHAT?! Lady, please, I do NOT know what you're talking about. I do NOT know how to smile!* (Yep, he gets attitude at the ripe ol' age of 15 weeks. hehe) He also will NOT show off his smile to his daddy. He's all :-) and I'm all LOOK MICHAEL and Dylan's all :-|. Get it?

2) Dyllywilly had an appointment on Tuesday with the gastroenterologist (Dr. Grunow). Everything's lookin' fine... he goes back in July... Dr. Grunow will schedule another endoscopy to check out the area where Dylan had an ulcer before, and if that's clear, we'll no longer be considered gastroenterology patients! Which is happy and sad.. happy because, duh, nothing's wrong with my kid's gut! And sad because, well, we LOVE Dr. Grunow! We'll miss him! And by "We" I mostly mean "me" because Dylly + strangers = eh.

3) Little M continues to answer everything with "yes it is", and has also picked up a passion for the phrase "Oh my gosh", which is interchangable with "Oh my goodness", depending on his mood. Like, today... a person on my facebook had pictures of her family with Mickey Mouse, and my son saw it and said "OH MY GOSH! I can't BELIEVE it! It's MICKEY MOUSE!" Thing is? I don't know where he picked up the phrase "Oh my gosh"... because I'm very careful not to say that around him (because, hi, he's a friggin PARROT! Or Mynah bird... or... whichever bird talks and repeats what you say. You get the idea.) Ah well. It could be worse. Like the time his dear ol' daddy called someone on the road a jackass, and mister man repeated THAT...

4) Me? Nothing new to report on me. I find myself longing for adults to talk to, but I suppose it's a small price to pay for the job I get to do now. It's the job I was born to do. So I'm not complaining. Much. It'd just be nice to have a conversation with someone above 3 feet tall, is all.

That's all, folks!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stuff I've learned. (alternative title: Want some cheese with that whine?)

I'm kinda down tonight. I think I'm being over-sensitive. I feel ignored by people that were once my dearest of friends. I feel dumped by a few of them. Now that I'm home with my boys, I'm not around other people a lot. I don't know what's going on in people's day to day lives, aside from what they post on facebook or what I find out through the occasional text message. I know I've shut myself off to a few people, because it seemed like they were phishing for information on my family to be the first ones "in the know" so they could spread the word. I'd tell them something, and pretty soon the entire world would know it. I'm not worried about losing friendship or burning bridges with those people. But the people that have surprised me the most are some of the people I loved and trusted the most. No, not family. Family has been great. But those people that are outside of your family, that you take into your heart and MAKE part of your family because you love and respect them so much. Those are the people that I feel betrayed by the most right now. My real-life friends are dropping like flies. I'm down to less than a handful. Would I give up being at home to save my friendships? Absolutely not. These friendships must not have had a strong foundation to begin with if they were so easily crumbled just because I'm not in the physical presence of these people anymore. Learning who your true friends are is a tough.and.bitter.pill.to.swallow.

*sigh*

My next post will be upbeat. Even if I have to make up some lollipops and rainbows and unicorns-type stories! Promise!

Friday, April 09, 2010

30 makes you fall apart.

Since I've turned 30, the following things have happened:
1)My face is breaking out like I'm 12.
2)My bones are creakin' like I'm 80.
3)My eyes are getting worse like I'm...well.. whatever age your eyes go bad.


It's sorta cheating to blame the 3rd one on 30, because I've had glasses since I was about 13 years old. But hey, 30 is a *insert not nice name here* so I'm blaming her anyway.

In I-watch-too-much-tv news...
Okay, slap me, but I've been watching some really stupid shows lately. Like...


This show. Jerseylicious. A bunch of Jersey girls in a hair salon, with the focus on the extremely orange Olivia and her arch rival Tracy. I will lie and call you crazy if you ever repeated this, but I. Love. This. Show.

And there's more. Oh, there's more. But it's getting late and I'm getting too tired to embarrass myself further.

Back to the important stuff...

Dylan Thomas has not started smiling yet. But he's going to ANY DAY NOW. I can feel it. He is finally giving me some reactive facial expressions, and I just know that smiling and cooing are coming. I can't wait. It's funny how when little M was a baby, smiling was just expected... it happened, it was definitely cute and I definitely got pictures of it, but it wasn't ceremonial like I know Dylan's first real smile will be. Dylan is changing and has changed so many things about me. The way I think, the way I feel, the way I parent, the way I love, the way I act, the way I react... the list goes on and on. He has helped me prioritize. He has made things that seemed impossible before seem not only possible, but necessary now.

Little M.... oh, that kid. His imagination absolutely blows me away. The way he can make ANYTHING into a telephone and carry on conversations for long periods of time. The way he pretends his toys can talk and has them converse with each other. The way he thinks long and hard about the right thing to say, like when he says "no, please", then pauses and says, "I mean, no THANK YOU!" The things that come out of his mouth that make me laugh, even when I probably shouldn't. His newest answer to my questions is "Yes it is!" This can be the answer to any yes or no question where the answer is yes. "Did you have a good sleep?"~ Yes it is! "Do you want pancakes for breakfast?" ~Yes it is!

Have I mentioned that I absolutely adore my children? Because... I do.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

This. That.

1) D man had an appointment today with the geneticist. We were never referred to a geneticist while he was in the NICU... my guess is because we already knew his diagnosis before he came. So by the time we saw one (at 3 months old), we're already doing everything they wanted to talk about. hehe. Monitor his thyroid/ get him an endocrinologist? Check. Work with early intervention/therapists? Check. The geneticist was like, "what are you guys here for, again?" lol

2) D man is up to 10 lbs 14 ounces!!! And while he's somewhere in between the 25-50th percentile in height/weight for a baby with Down syndrome (and less than 3rd percentile on a regular growth chart), that's still a huge jump from a couple of weeks ago when he was at 9 lbs 6 oz!

3) And because what post is complete without a Michaelism?
(He was in the bathroom, playing with a car and my hairbrush)
Talking to the Car: Brush your hair, car!
Talking for the Car: I can't brush my hair!
Talking to the Car: Brush your hair, you'll feel better!

:)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

In which I have not much to say

... except that He is risen! :)

And... I managed to not take a single picture of my boy participating in Easter egg hunts. But my relatives did, thank God. So now I'll just have to bribe them (or threaten them, whatever)for copies! :)

I did get a picture of Little M in his Easter finest... the outfit he wore only long enough to get a picture because it was far too HOT here for the sweater vest and long sleeves.


...He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.~Isaiah 53:5

Friday, April 02, 2010

Ex. Haust. Ed.

Remember how I bragged about my 3 month old sleeping through the night? Yeah. I jinxed that. We've been up at 1:30 or 2:30 every night/morning since.


But who can be upset with him? Just look at him and see if you can get upset.



And because both of my kids are pretty darn cute, here's little M, too.


And... here's baby footsies.


Finally, today is World Autism Awareness Day. We're wearing blue in support of our friends who have children with autism!

(pay no attention to the fact that I didn't brush my hair today, but just slopped it back into a ponytail. We'll pretend it doesn't look that bad, k? :) )