Wednesday, December 31, 2014

21 Months!

Despite my desire for him to remain my little baby, Ryder continues to grow and grow.  In fact, now that we have Vivien, he seems like a giant!  He is clearly a kid now and not a baby.

Ryder is talking more and more, with new words appearing in his vocabulary every day or two.  My personal favorite new word is Mommy, especially since he has been saying Daddy for months! When we got our Christmas tree, he learned that word on the first introduction.  That was probably the first time that we said a word to him and he said it back and remembered it.  The cutest new word of the month has to be Owly, for one of his stuffed animals.  In addition to his plush friend, there seem to be owls everywhere, so he has many occasions to say Owly and it is just so darn cute.  He continues to be able to understand more and more directions and to recognize more words, now he can point to almost everything in all of his books.

He is still eating up a storm.  He eats good meals still and now so many snacks!  His new favorite this month has to be clementines- he has eaten three in one sitting!  That's a lot of vitamin C, no scurvy around here!  We continue to be amazed by the range of foods that he'll eat.  He has been chowing down kale soup with potatoes, carrots, lentils and sausage all month.

He can now play with his toys by himself for a few minutes, which is helpful when chores need to get done around  the house.  He loves to build trucks with his Legos and play with his other trucks.  He likes coloring, in fact one day we found him with one of my colored pencils writing all over th e wall and fireplace!  Luckily it was a watercolor colored pencil and it wiped right off!

Then of course, there were two big events this month- getting ready for Christmas and having a new baby.  Ryder loved the Christmas tree and Christmas lights.  First thing every morning or whenever we got back home, he would walk around the living and dining rooms and point to all of the lights that needed to be turned on.  He even pointed out the light bulbs that were out.  He was all about getting into the tree- we have no ornaments below the three foot mark basically.   I'm sure that his new sister came as a complete surprise to him, but he has been very interested in her.  He likes to kiss  her and is always trying to hold her.

The only picture I got of him really smiling!

He always has his hands behind his back.

A little unsure why I'm bothering him with this camera.

Such a cute pose, but wouldn't give me a smile.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Another Star Is Born

Much to nobody's surprise, baby Vivien arrived a month early, a couple of weeks shy of Christmas.  Starting at about 32 weeks, I was very nervous, but Ryder's birth day of 34 weeks 5 days came and went without incident.  After that, I just kept hoping to make it to the next Friday. Two more Fridays and we would just about make it to vacation.  The next week I oriented my long-term sub and made it to Friday!  Another small victory!

I was, however, super huge by then, which everyone noticed!  Yet again we were saying, "How can that belly get another month bigger?!"  I wanted to take a photo, but since with Ryder's birth we took a picture of that big belly and he was born that night, I was a little superstitious and refrained.  That Friday night I made chocolate covered Christmas Oreos and got some small coworker gifts together and then stayed up late to do the dishes- nothing worse than a sink full of dishes on Saturday morning.

At 3am I got up to go to the bathroom and it was total deja vu.  Just like with Ryder, my water broke out of the blue, but at least this time I knew what it was.  My mom came over to watch Ryder and Janda and I headed to the hospital.  Since we were at 35 weeks 6 days, we were nervous, but we figured since Ryder was OK, this little girl would be too.  Babies who are born before 36 weeks have to go to the Special Care Nursery for 48 hours, so we were trying to avoid that since we wouldn't be able to stay with her if she went there.  We talked to the midwife and doctor and we all agreed that we would try to make it to the next day- so if I needed another C-section we would do it after midnight.  At 8am that almost seemed like an impossible dream.  Little did we know...

Not only did we make it until midnight, we made it past noon the next day.  At 1:36pm, baby Vivien was born at 36 weeks exactly- no Special Care Nursery for her!  She was 19 inches long and 7lbs.  It would seem that Janda and I are two for two with producing early yet huge babies!  Because it was officially 36 weeks, she got to stay in my hospital room the entire time I was there, which was a dream come true after Ryder being whisked away to the Special Care Nursery and then Children's.

All wrapped up at the hospital

Ryder was fascinated when he came to visit

On Tuesday we came home while our new wood-burning fireplace was being installed.  Not ideal!  But, a few hours later all four of us were enjoying a nice fire.

Home at last

Still puffy!

Admiring the new addition

The fireplace has made it so warm and cozy

The next day Vivien had her first doctor's appointment, as a check on her jaundice.  Just like me and Ryder, Vivien was a bit yellow. The doctor had her go for a blood test the next day.  At 4 o'clock on Thursday we go the results of the test... and had to rush her back to the hospital.  She went under the lights immediately and was admitted into a pediatric room that evening.

She and I stayed there for 2 days.  Luckily we had a double room to ourselves, so she had her incubator and I had the bed to sleep in right next to her.  It was terrible to be away from Ryder and Janda again, but being in that bed forced me to keep my feet up a lot, so it actually helped with my swelling and recovery.  When we left on Saturday, her jaundice was down to a reasonable level and my legs were back to their normal size.

Under the lights 

Chilling in the hospital room

Home for good!

We got home a few days before Christmas, so there was plenty of time to settle in before our first Christmas as a family of 4!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

20 months!

This month Ryder has been talking a lot more.  In addition to learning new words, he is also making nonsense words and sentences, so he is trying to say a lot more.  The funniest new phrase from this month is "Odd Squad."  PBS has been previewing their new show "The Odd Squad" for months.  Ryder has always liked the ads, but he has been getting more into them lately.  A few weeks ago when the ad came on, he yelled out "Odd Squad" out of the blue and then said it non-stop for days.  He requests "Odd Squad" videos by name when he wants to watch something.  He is back to saying Yeah constantly when we ask him questions.  That helps to narrow it down when he is pointing at something and crying and we can't figure out what it is.  When we read books, he continues to be able to point out more and more objects.

We have a couple of fun new games this month also.  He has been playing a silent Simon Says game with us, where he or we do something and the other copies.  A lot of it is touching/covering body parts is included, occasionally there is some weird walking and hopping.  He also can touch about a dozen different body parts when you ask him too.  He will also touch our body parts if we ask him.  The cutest one is definitely belly, since he'll lift up his shirt or mine to show it off.

His fine motor skills continue to improve too.  He is getting good at putting Legos together and doesn't need that much help to build his big trucks.  He can hold a pencil/pen/crayon very well now and wants to write whenever I am writing.  He is quite good at making marks but not very good at knowing where the marks belong.  He was coloring one day and he got tired of the paper and tried to draw on the floor and then over a scuff mark on the wall.  Luckily I was right there and nothing got ruined!

This month we worked out some residual complications from his Hirschsprung's Disease and he has been eating more than ever.  He has gotten really good with the spoon and can eat a bowl of cereal basically all on his own.  He gets all annoyed when something gets on his hands, so I have to wipe his hands a few times while he's eating something messy.  Two molars have broken through and some more are coming I'm sure, so he can eat more foods now.  He likes to eat dry cereal, Goldfish, etc, but unfortunately he also likes to dump them out and/or throw them.  He dumped out a whole box of graham crackers one day, which was fun to clean up.

Can't take his eyes off the banana
 He loves those bananas

Never stops running around

Never stops smiling either

He loves to run full speed at us and jump up into our arms

The seated portion of the photo shoot didn't go too smoothly- he wouldn't sit up and smile