Goodbye old friend

On January 3rd, 2013 we said goodbye to Jackson, the big black dog.  He would have been 14 this year- he lived several years longer than we ever thought he would.  His last few years weren’t easy on him (or us)- he had thunder phobia and separation anxiety and was missing 7 teeth due to his antics caused by the anxiety- but he was always loved and we did everything we could possibly do to help manage his fears and keep him healthy. 

Just after Christmas he developed a bad cough, and then soon after stopped eating and started coughing blood.  X-rays at the vet showed he had lung cancer and his lung function was only 10% (!!)  That right there sums him up fairly well- even though he was probably in pain and struggling to breathe for quite awhile, he never showed it.  He was always excited about eating and going on walks, and even chased the ball and wrestled with his younger siblings.  In fact, the morning he went to the vet he still participated in the morning walk.  The vet said there was nothing much we could do to help him- steroids would ease his suffering for a week or so, but then we would be right back to where we started.  So we made the difficult (but correct) decision to have him put down.  He’s now buried with his “brother” Ty (who we lost on our move to Georgia four years ago, also due to cancer) in our front yard.  T marked their graves with large rocks from our backyard and planted some flowers- it’s one of the first things we see every day which is a nice reminder. 

I’m so glad I decided to break out the camera on New Year’s Day, because I got this great shot to show B when he’s older:

Miss you every day buddy!  RIP.

Murphy’s law

Remember how I said things were going great with our return to breastfeeding? Yeah, I need to learn to keep my mouth shut when it comes to things like that, because I’ve found with anything baby related, Murphy’s law kicks in the instant you mention something is going well. For instance- someone asked me a few weeks ago how he was doing sleeping at night. “Awesome” I replied…”he usually gives me a 7hr stretch followed by another 3-4hrs!” That night marked the beginning of our adventures into the world that is MSPI (milk soy protein intolerance) and his reflux kicked it up a notch too. Did I mention he also has reflux? Poor little guy- what I wouldn’t give to make it all better for him because I imagine it’s super painful. He is currently on prilosec to manage the reflux.

So you think I would be wary of saying things like “his sleep is great” or “breastfeeding is going really well” but I apparently haven’t learned my lesson just yet. Because yesterday marked our return to formula and pumping. Yuck. I noticed a return in his reflux symptoms the other day (sour spit up) and along with it his sleeping became irregular. When that happens I know something is going on, because he can be an amazing sleeper. So I put in a call to the pediatrician to see what she recommended- and was told to put him back on the formula. So it’s back to bottles for him and pumping for me, since we are hoping he can have breast milk at some point in the future (and we are trialing the formula over the weekend to see if it helps since we aren’t 100% certain that’s the solution to the problem.) The silver lining in all of this (because there has to be a silver lining somewhere) is that a set of grandparents are here to help for the next two weeks (grandma is currently rocking him upstairs as I write this) and bottle feeding means mommy doesn’t always have to be on night feeding duty (although I still have to wake up to pump).

Whew- babies should come with an instruction manual! I am hopeful that as he grows up (and becomes more upright) he will outgrow the reflux, and things will get easier. Maybe we will even look back on these early days with a sort of fondness. Or not. Good thing he’s extra cute- his smiles melt my heart every time!

The new normal

Well hey there!  LONG time no blog- I didn’t mean to take a 3 month blogging hiatus, but our latest DIY project has taken up A LOT of my time.  Would you like to see what we’ve been up to?

Meet Mr. B!  This was taken on his 2(!!) month birthday

Baby D (aka Brandon or Mr. B as we like to call him) made his appearance on 12/1/12…at 21:12 (9:12pm)!  I’m a bit of a numbers nerd so that was pretty cool.  He weighed 7lbs13oz and was 20.5in

Showing off his guns

Parenthood has been great, but has thrown us our fair share of challenges.  I seriously admire those parents who can do anything beyond taking care of the baby and themselves.  Babies are a full time job!!  It’s also very hard when all your family lives across the country- there’s no one to help out if something goes wrong.  Luckily we had my parents in town for the first 3 weeks of his life (and Christmas!), and T’s parents are coming to town this week for 2 weeks.  I’m hoping my parents will be coming out often to visit and help out- it sure makes things easier.  I’m secretly hoping they’ll move out here- my sister just moved to NY city, so what’s tying them to the west coast??

Dad, baby and mom getting our Christmas tree.  B is about 2 weeks old here

Holding his Nana’s hand

 For the first 7 weeks of his life, Mr. B did great with breastmilk only…and then one day we found blood in the diaper.  Yikes- talk about scary.  This indicated a potential food allergy- most likely milk/soy.  On top of this, we were battling some reflux issues that started getting worse- lots of spit up and very little sleep for Mr B (and his mommy and daddy).  We had to take him off of breastmilk for 2 weeks to let his tummy heal, while I cut out all dairy and soy from my diet.  So just around the time we were finally settling into some sort of a routine, suddenly we were back to square one- formula feeding (how much do you give him? how often? gas bubbles! stinky diapers!), pumping to keep my supply in tact, medicating him to manage his reflux.  Ooof.  I felt like a brand new parent all over again.  I am very grateful that I was not back at work yet during all of that!!

Baby mullets make everything better, especially when they stick out like a little bird tail

We survived those two weeks- and Mr B is doing great.  Smiling and “talking” away.  He is even back to breastmilk which makes both of us happy (actually it makes all 3 of us happy because formula diapers are serious stinky business folks).  He’s not showing signs of an reaction to my breastmilk, so fingers crossed we’ve cleared that hurdle, as long as I stay off dairy/soy.  Which, by the way, is a great way to lose those pounds gained during pregnancy!!

I go back to work next week (tear) and am having mixed emotions- I’m sad about leaving Mr. B all day with someone else (even though his daycare is amazing and I know he’ll do awesome there), I’m excited to be around adults again and I’m nervous about figuring out another new routine after JUST (sort of) getting the hang of this one.  I am pretty sure the first day I take him to daycare I will forget at least one thing at home and be really late for work.  But we’ll figure it out eventually, just like we do with everything else.  Right?  Right.

Mr B and his daddy, rooting for their favorite team

Anyway, that’s the new normal for us!  I’d like to get back to the blogging world, but seeing as it took me 3 days to write this post, don’t expect great things from me too soon!!