Preliminary Photos...

Just fine without me

I'm back after a great work trip and it was so nice to make it home in time last night to see both boys before they headed off to bed. They do just fine without me, which certainly makes it easier to go, but i also know they were very happy to see me which of course makes the homecoming that much sweeter.

So, just a quick post to say that i've been gone which is why things have been quiet. Today is Halloween so we're off to our friends for their annual trick-or-treat hosting. They live by the Mars Candy Factory so their neighborhood goes all out for Halloween and is quite the destination for trick-or-treating. I promise to return tomorrow with a full-update, an account of Halloween 07 and pictures!


6 Months, 3 Weeks/ 2 Years 6 Months

First, a short PSA. I recently had a scare with a small spot that had developed on my nose. It wasn't a pimple but it an unidentified sore that came out of nowhere and kept scabbing over and then bleeding again at the slightest provocation. I was terrified it was skin cancer, which thankfully it's not-- but it is actinic keratosis which is considered a pre-cancercerous skin condition. It doesn't surprise me that i have this, growing up on Guam with the fairness of skin that i have. But, i encourage you to wear your sunblock and keep your mocking comments to a minimum when my children are covered head to toe in Victorian bathing costumes.

Now for the good stuff. Thankfully for both you and I, Silas has decided to return to his good sleeping habits after our two-week rough patch. He didn't cry at all when he went to sleep last night and only woke-up once very briefly. Of course this means he wakes up earlier in the morning, but i'll take that anyday over the extended crying bouts we've been trying to cope with.

If you've been glancing over at the "Henry's Expressions" segment of the blog, you might have wondered about his comment related to homework. At target the other day he picked out a pre-school workbook that is all about tracing and learning uppercase letters. He was excited to look through it at the store and when we got home and he discovered it at his little table, he was VERY excited to sit there and "trace" his letters. Even though we've shown him how it's supposed to work, he takes great pride in merely scribbling on top of each letter. Still, you can tell he's very impressed with himself and so excited to be "do-ing homework."

I've made some progress on the basement. Not as much as i would have liked to, but i got the carpeting down and curtains up to hide the things that just aren't going to be improved. I'm hoping to put in some false walls to further section some things off but that's probably not going to happen until November at this point. I'm also working on upping the lighting quotient down there-- for now the flash at least helps illuminate things. Here are some "in-progress" pictures of the steps to the basement and the various play "centers."


Caught Up

I think we are just about caught-up after getting behind due to all the sickness. However, somehow we've found ourself back in sleep battles with Silas, which frankly has me stumped. He still has a cold and we go back Thursday to make sure his ear infection is gone but he's started being a sleep menace in the early evening.

Saturday we went over the the Pendleton's for some family fun and Khyber Pass take-out. Henry had a wonderful time playing with the girls as usual and Carys was particularly excited to play with Silas now that he's sitting up. Unfortunately, when it was time for bed Silas began what will go down in the baby book as THE WORST NIGHT EVER. Right around 6:45, after he had his pajamas on and had nursed, he was acting very sleepy and tired. We had a pack-n-play set up for him and the sound machine going. He would have none of it, and after resting quietly for about, oh maybe 90 seconds, he started crying and continued to cry off and on until we finally left around 8:30. I tried to soothe him, Tiffany tried to soothe him, and although he calmed down some he didn't go to sleep.

He was awake but calm during the car ride home and seemed very drowsy. He nursed again when we got home and went straight to sleep-- for around 45 minutes. Then he woke up and truly screamed bloody murder for a full hour. At that point we were all exhausted and although i suspected he was just tired and fighting sleep i was also afraid his ear infection hadn't really gone away or he was otherwise sick (no temp though.) So, i rocked him until he was solidly asleep before putting him down-- something i've NEVER had to do with Silas and which brought back lots of memories of Henry's infancy.

I'd like to say it was a one-time thing but yesterday after taking 3 great naps and going to sleep without a peep for all of them-- he cried like a banshee last night for an hour and 45 minutes. At least once he went to sleep he stayed asleep except for brief wakeups. I'm still nervous about the possible ear angle, but my suspicion is that somehow he developed some bad habits while he was sick that now we have to work to disabuse him of.

Henry had fun playing with Corey and Troy on Sunday when they came over to help us carve our pumpkins.


6 mos, 3 weeks/ 2 years 6 months

Go figure, the sweetest thing Silas has had to eat so far he wasn't very fond of- bananas. I think he's not crazy about the thicker texture because when i mixed some banana into his squash he was okay with it-- unless he got a clump of banana and then he literally did the gag/yucky face. I sent him to Brenda's with sweet potatoes today and i'll be curious to hear how he liked them. I can't remember if i mentioned that last week he started sitting up really well. He went from basically not sitting up at all to being pretty masterful in the space of about a day. Now he topples over occasionally, but it's generally when he's reaching for a toy.

Henry has been bowling me over with all the stuff he's learning. At gym class the other day during circle time at the end, he proved that he knows circles, squares and triangles-- which was news to me. He's known his colors for awhile, and he's been counting in his own way for months (1,2,3,8,9,3!) but now i hear him counting more consistently in the usual way-- sometimes all the way to 10. He's also working on left and right and often correctly anticipates which way i'm going to turn on the way home. This freaks me out a bit, because i still don't have a great grasp on left and right!

Thanks to Sinin for the picture of me and Jack while i was visiting the office a few weeks ago. Jack and Silas are about the same age but Jack was born VERY early-- about 2 months early in fact. Despite his rush to join us on the outside (and his initial birth weight of just over 1 lb.) he's doing amazing as you can see in the picture! He's possibly even more cuddly than Silas which is hard to believe.


Helluva weekend

At least everyone has now paid their dues. First it was Henry waking up in the middle of the night Friday, having vomited. Then the stomach flu made it's way to me and then on to JT. The only saving grace was that it was a 24-hourish kind of bug. Silas' cold was getting worse and worse and his sleeping patterns at night were terrible-- and confusing. I kept him home from daycare yesterday and got him in to the Doctor and he has ear infections in both ears. Henry has thus far escaped ear infections so i was baffled and a little sad that Silas ruined our perfect record-- and of course that he was feeling so rotten. He's had three doses of antibiotics now and it seems to really be helping. The worst part was that they had to hold him down and pull out lots of sticky ear wax in order to look in his ears and determine that he did have an infection.

Some how we managed to largely stay on track with our "potty-training bootcamp" for Henry. He did amazing, especially considering everyone was under the weather. He's in underwear all day both at daycare and home and stays dry as long as you both remind him to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes, and don't take "no" for an answer when he tells you he doesn't need to go (usually when he's involved in something a lot more fun!)

Not to sound ungrateful for your interest, but i'm swamped now with work so i haven't had a second to download pictures. I wanted to give you an update on where we stand and hopefully by the end of the week i'll have caught back up enough to get back on track-- just before i go out of town on another work-trip next week and throw things into chaos again!


Silas sleep machinations

You guys haven't had a sleep update in awhile and although it isn't necessarily the most riveting topic for my general readers, it's really helpful for me to document where we are on the sleep continuum at any given age.

Because of Silas' growth concerns, i was told to continue the "dream feed" that i was doing around 10 pm each night. The way this is supposed to work, involves picking the baby up and feeding them while they are awake enough to eat, but don't fully awaken. For several weeks this worked like a charm. Around the time the Dr. told me i needed to keep doing it, Silas started waking up on his own and not being comforted by just a pacifier. I would have to feed him to get him back to sleep. He's started doing this earlier and earlier to the point that we've gone from a 10 pm dream feed to one around 8:45.

I'm not entirely sure if i should just keep feeding him at whatever time he wakes up or if at some point soon i should let him break the habit and re-set the feeding clock closer to 10.

Also, Silas alternates nights where he sleeps either all night or with only one brief wake-up with nights like last night where he was awake 2-3 times and then around 5 wouldn't go back to sleep until he was fed. I get the sense on those nights that he's hungry and stymied from going back to sleep for good because of the rumblings in his tummy. I've periodically offered him an extra bottle of milk before bed, but maybe i need to make that part of our standard practice now.

Other than sleep details, we've given the boys baths together twice in the past week. Silas still goes to bed really early so Henry winds up having a bath before dinner. It's not completely ideal because he can still get fairly messy at dinner, but that way they both get a bath and Henry is more likely to get into bed closer to 7:30 than 8:00 which is often too late for him. Lest you think Henry is already bored with his little brother-- i thought i'd post two pictures so you can see they're BOTH having a good time-- just not in the same photo.



With the shift in weather i've been digging into my cooler weather pre-pregnancy clothes. Am i able to put on my old jeans-- yes. Would i wear them out in public-- no. But i CAN zip them and that seems newsworthy in it's own right.


2 Years, 5 Months/ 6 Months, 1 Week

Pshew, the heat has finally broken! Unfortunately my parents visit coincided with a serious heat wave, but we still got out quite a bit and enjoyed some outings with the boys. We got to celebrate my mom's birthday with her which was wonderful-- especially because Henry gets excited to color people cards and to "help" them with their cake and gifts. He was a little peevish this weekend-- i had to take him out of a restaurant for the first time since he was tiny and couldn't help it. But, he loved spending time with Gran and Nonna reading tons of books, "cleaning" his bowls in the sink, and playing with all his new toys-- including his very first watch.

He's been pretty interested in JT's watch recently and asks to wear it all the time. He was paying close attention to my Mom and Dad's watches as well and Nonna told him that they'd have to find him a watch. Contrary to what i said, he remembered that and brought it up repeatedly until we took him out to choose a watch just for him. He had several selections, including two spiderman ones (which he identified by name) and something hot wheels related, but he went for a non-licensed one with footballs, basketballs and baseballs. He let me take it off for his bath last night but otherwise he's been wearing it 24-7 since he got it. If you ask him what time it is, he'll tell you "8:14" no matter what time it is and regardless of the fact that he can't count past 10.

I think we may have glimpsed a little bit of the sibling rivalry to come. Yesterday afternoon Silas, Henry and I were playing in the basement. I got out some toys for Silas to play with and some that Henry requested. Silas sat up (!) for several minutes at a time playing, but Henry basically wanted to play with whatever Silas had and even yanked his stuff away a few times or told Silas he wasn't playing with it correctly. He's generally very considerate towards Silas and often gets toys just for Silas, so i think it's normal stuff we're dealing with. Although what would i know, being an only child?

I just have to mention that Silas' sleep has not been great the past few days. Frequent night-time wake-ups and a 5:00 am start to the day this morning are taking their toll. I'm hoping to make it to bed super-early tonight to try to catch-up a little bit. Also, i sent formula for the first time for Silas to day-care. I still have pumped milk stored, but my stock is dwindling and i decided that we were going to have to introduce formula soon and it was probably better to start giving him some little by little. I'm a little sad that i can't exclusively breast feed him as long as i did Henry, but i also want him to get all the nutrients he needs to grow as big and strong as he's meant to be.


First Bites

Silas has done VERY well with this solids stuff. We started him out with yellow squash and after a slightly puzzled look after the first bite, he proceeded to gobble down 3/4 squash on his very first sitting. Yesterday we sent an entire squash's worth to Brenda's (thinking it would last two sittings) and he ate the entire thing. He's also been downing an extra 6 oz. of milk per day so i can only imagine we're going to be headed in the right direction at the weigh-in in 6 weeks.

Silas is still working on sitting unassisted, but he did stand on his own while holding onto/leaning on the coffee table the other day. His favorite activity was trying to grab onto things on the table and then shoving them off to the floor. This was a prime occupation of Henry well into his second year so it's a good thing we don't store much on the coffee table.

Henry is really looking forward to his Gran and Nonna's visit this weekend. We started talking about it a few days ago and every time we say "Gran and Nonna will be here in X days" he says "No RIGHT NOW." I'm sure he is ready to see his grandparents, but RIGHT NOW is the phrase of the day. It's funny to hear all the things he applies it to.


2 Years, 5 Months/ 6 Months

I'll just come out with it-- Silas had his 6 month check-up and it wasn't great. We're back to worrying about the weight of our baby, which i thought we had escaped with Silas. He gained about a pound, but he's down to the 10-25% percentile for weight and is down for height and head circumference as well. I don't think it's dire, thankfully the term "flatlining" was not used with Silas, but it's NOT what we hoped to hear at his appointment. We're supposed to start solids stat and see about increasing his milk intake. We have a weight check scheduled in 6 weeks which helps me stay somewhat calm about this development-- with Henry we were practically there every week to make sure he was on the right track.

Otherwise the appointment went well. He barely cried at all for his shots-- calming down before i even picked him up. He's sitting enough to keep the Dr. happy, bearing weight no problem, displaying great grabbing and passing from hand to hand and other fine motor skills. He's rolling and scooting backwards and in general getting strong. She said that it's not uncommon for babies to have trouble gaining around this time because they're so much more active, but with two kids that have gone through this (and this one that started off so big) i can't help but worry i'm part of the problem. We're not planning to do anything drastic, but here's hoping tonight's introduction of solid foods goes well. If so, we're supposed to pretty quickly ramp that up as an additional way to get calories into the boy.