Wednesday, July 29, 2009

To the left, to the left please

July 8

Spoiler Alert – Little Guy is just fine (in case you missed that on previous postings Off the Charts and ENT).

Here we are, July 8, and Big Poppy, Little Guy and I will be meeting at one of the branch offices of the local children’s hospital. The ENT doctor has indicated that Little Guy most likely has torticollis. That is why we are here today, to confirm the diagnosis and set-up some physical therapy (PT) treatments.

Big Poppy and Little Guy arrive before I do. What a great impression I’m making! I’m late for the my little sweethearts appointment. On a positive note, this has mortified me and since this date I have not said “just five more minutes” to wrap something up, which would normally force me to drive too fast if I do not want to be late for a family and/or friend function. Yes, I am a changed woman. I leave work and I leave the work at the office. I truly enjoy my career and feel guilty about my clients not getting enough of me, but that guilt is nothing compared to the guilt I feel if I don’t get my Little Guy and Big Poppy time. But, I digress (and I am thinking how great it is going to be starting on Friday when I will be working even less!).

Little Guy’s cute (ask Big Poppy or Little Guy, they will agree) physical therapist is doing the once over, twice over and maybe even three times over. I’m a little nervous because at this point, the once golf ball size pump on the side of Little Guy’s neck is now no longer visible and so small that it is hard to feel when you put your hand on his neck. I am not nervous because it has gone away. I am thinking that the medical profession is going think that Big Poppy and I have Munchausen by proxy syndrome because there has not much of an indication, except for the original peds visit, that there is actually anything wrong with Little Guy. Someone is going to note this in Little Guy’s medical file and then if he is ever in need of something dire, they will be slow to respond to the real need. I tend to worry too much. I’ll work on that flaw next year.

The physical therapist tells us that Little Guy has a very slight, less that 2% off from what should be his center alignment. He definitely favors turning his head to the right but it is not painful to turn to the left. She gives us some stretching to do with Little Guy to help lengthen the muscle and get Little Guy aligned properly. And then she sends us on a merry way.

Relief and embarrassment of wasting the ENT and physical therapists time when they could be seeing someone that really needed it wash over me. Big Poppy and I have been stretching Little Guy one to two times a day as prescribed. He still favors the turning to the right and I find myself singing at times, To the Left, which drives me a little batty. I’m more of a Nickelback kind of girl.

Oh well. Let them think Big Poppy and I are slightly crazy. Better safe than sorry.

Picture taken a couple weeks ago, but on my phone he looks like a doll!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

We Are Family

July 2 - 5

The 4th of July has always been a time for family to come back to my hometown. The high school even does the class reunions that weekend. A little birdie mentioned that it was my 15 year class reunion. I thought they were kidding, there is no way I am old enough to be out of high school for 15 years but I played along and decided to go the reunion more because I was going to be there than for any other reason. It was the perfect weekend to show off Little Guy to my family.

July 2 we had a quick appointment for Little Guy then we headed off to the heartland. We buckled Little Guy up in the car seat and he seemed a little bored with the entire situation. What do you think?

We broke the trip up and stayed with my Aunt and her family five hours into the trip. I think that my two cousins fell in love with Little Guy, well according to Soy, he wasn’t all that crazy about Little Guy at first because he doesn’t do that much. I have to admit that Soy is right but in Little Guy’s defense, I don’t know very many babies that are ready to toss the ball around yet. After the warm up period for Soy, he and Little Guy got along very well. Soy was even in charge of picking out pj’s and outfits while he was around.

GrandB had gotten Little Guy these pj’s complete with hat and coat. Little Guy was all decked out for bedtime. We didn’t make Little Guy were the coat or hat to bed but it looked pretty cute on. Big Poppy and I would have been able to trek across the frozen tundra with Little Guy…well, that might be stretching the truth.

On July 3, Big Poppy, Little Guy and I made our way to the class reunion. I had an outfit all ready to Little Guy off in. You can see the shorts below but I failed to take a picture with the “All American Boy” shirt. I love the shirt and need to get him in a few more times and post a picture. The reunion was small and late, I guess my classmates and friends have not mastered the art of a watch. :) It was nice to see old friends again. We might try this class reunion thing out again in the future.

The 4th of July means parade. Little Guy wanted to make sure everyone knew he was the hometown hero and insisted on wearing a shirt telling everyone. Right now I cannot resist what Little Guy asks for and Big Poppy is glad that Little Guy hasn’t been asking me for a new car yet.

Have you ever wondered how a 6 week old enjoys the parade?

It is not like some of his cousins scrambling with joy for candy. Instead, despite all the commotion, all the marching bands and floats, Little Guy enjoyed his first parade oblivious to his surroundings.

One of my cousins has a new little boy too. Her boy is 6 weeks older than Little Guy. My Grandpa had us put both boys on the floor so he could compare them. They look like they will be great friends.

I think the reason Grandpa wanted the side-by-side comparison was so he knew which one to hold in which arm. Grandpa looks pretty happy with his new great grandson’s.

On the 5th, it was time for Big Poppy, Little Guy and I to make the trek back home. We have a seven hour drive ahead of us but we haven’t taken the picture I have been waiting to take. Here’s Grandpa, Happy Mom and Little Guy (Little Guy’s outfit was a gift from Soy).

We made it home just fine (it that wasn’t obvious from my ability to post). We did normal (read dull) things that need to be done. If anyone wants to come over and do laundry, clean house or mow the lawn, come on over any time. It was an early night for Big Poppy’s castle; we went to bed around 11:30. Big Poppy dressed Little Guy and when I went over to kiss and tuck Little Guy I could not help but laugh. Just a few weeks before, these pj’s were way too big for Little Guy and now the pj’s don’t quite make it to his knees AND Big Poppy left Little Guy in them. I was rolling. See for yourself.

I don't think Little Guy likes the short pants.

Though he doesn't seem to mind it here.

But all I can think of is when Little Guy wore it a few weeks ago and we had to roll the pj's to have them fit.

Love of Reading

July 1 - Book Club

Warning - boys may not understand the significance of Judy Blume.

I was sitting on a friend's patio this summer, basking in the sunshine, when we started to think about the next book club selection. After some searching on items to read and a few of my own ideas shot down (I have strong opinions on what we should read because so far I would say it is 50/50 if I like the book club selection, if I pick it, I should like it, right?) the July Hostess, my good friend Mack, decided on Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, a collection of essays written by young adult and adult fiction writers and editing by Jennifer O'Connell. I was excited to remember all the great Judy Blume books.

Reading the book confirmed what I had hoped when I first heard about the book - Judy Blume didn't just teach us about being a girl, she taught us about life. I honestly don't think I knew a single girl who didn't read a Blume book. She got us when we were young with Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great and Superfudge. Then just as we were deciding we were too cool for Blume she hit us with Starring Sally J Freedman As Herself and Blubber and Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (which I never read and wonder if that is why I still don't understand everything). I found out recently that Judy Blume even wrote a book about find that special someone (Forever) and yet another book for us girls later in life (three to be exact).

I am sure that each person will have essays that speak directly to them, and essays that are less personal. However, all of the essays are thoughtful and well-written. I was amazed at how moved I was while reading the essays - I flew back in time to my childhood, laughed at some of the memories and cried at others. I felt myself nodding over and over as I completely identified with what I was reading.

I tell you so much about this book because Little Guy was really the center of attention. Surrounded by so many women, he was just as laid back as always. He spent precious moments with each of the lovely ladies at book group and won over their hearts too.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


June 26

I can hear the boo - hiss of the peanut gallery already...there are no pictures being posted. I just did not think to bring the camera to our first visit to the ENT (ears, nose and throat for those of you not up on medical abbreviations - Big Poppy and I are one of those not in the know). As a reminder (spoiler alert) from our Off The Charts posting, Little Guy is just fine. Any hysteria you read is that of a new mom when big words fly over her head.

When we took Little Guy in for his one month check-up we asked the pediatrician about a lump on the side of his neck. Little Guy had a breech birth and a little shoulder injury from the birth. The shoulder healed just fine and has been moving around without any pain or hindrance. Big Poppy and I asked the pediatrician about the lump on Little Guy's neck out of curiosity on when the lump would go away assuming it had something to do with the breech birth since it was on the same side as the shoulder injury.

Well, you would have thought that we were asking if we could have an ice cream sundae for breakfast. I get that babies have no neck. It's head and body, sometime down the road Little Guy will suddenly sprout a neck and if we are lucky it will not look like E.T. I do expect when giving my little baby a once over, that maybe the pediatrician will check for the first signs of his neck. The pediatrician did not notice the huge lump on Little Guy's neck at all. (She is competent and we like her, we have just learned that if you want anyone to do anything more than what the checklists tell them to do, you need to speak up - hopefully in a nice voice, not a mean voice.)

After an initial once over the hidden neck (I have now learned that babies have necks, the neck is just hidden beneath that cute little head and cheeks), the pediatrician says she is going to get someone else. Hmmm...maybe you should not leave new parents in the room for a loooong period of time alone, with their thoughts, when they can see that you are unsure what has caused the basketball (exaggeration) to form on the side of their precious little baby. That's just my opinion, but what do I know.

Another, more experienced (that does not always mean older but in this case, it does) pediatrician. Our more experienced pediatrician feels around and concludes that she believes it is a branchial cyst but to be sure they are going to refer us to the ENT.

Great, I have no idea what ENT means but get that it is some kind of specialist. Branchial cyst, well that does not sound so good either. I am beginning to think that I need to become one of those people that know everything and worry about everything just so I can keep up with what they are telling me. They do finally tell Big Poppy and I ENT is ears, nose and throat and I feel like a silly (or bad) mom for not knowing this already. We make the appointment for June 26 and go home - were I very quickly googled branchial cyst and confirmed what the pediatricians have told us, that it is nothing serious and can easily be taken care of.

Now Big Poppy and I are sitting in the ENT's waiting room. I'm curious as to what the ENT will do to take care of the cyst. Big Poppy and I can tell that the cyst has been reduced to the size of a peanut now. Maybe it will just go away and we do not need to ever think about it again.

Well, the ENT calls us in. We talk about the potential branchial cyst and he is looking at Little Guy, Big Poppy and I like we have "LIAR" written on our foreheads...or else the ENT is just thinking that Big Poppy and I are parents that run their baby in for everything. He cannot feel the cyst and thinks that the problem is really...

...well we had to wait a good five minutes to hear what the ENT thought while he just sat there and looked at us. I admit, Little Guy was crying and we were trying to calm him down. Little Guy did not like the way the ENT moved his head back and forth. ENT did mention that he was waiting for Little Guy to settle down so we could hear what he was going to say but it was still very uncomfortable sitting there with ENT looking down at us.

A few kisses and whispers settle Little Guy down. Big Poppy and I are anxious to hear what ENT has to say. Well the word starts with a T and for a while that was all I could tell you. Our ENT says that torticollis is likely the culprit of the phantom cyst, which I am quite sure he does not believe ever existed, and the reason Little Guy tracks to the right when looking around.

With a quick referral to the local children's hospital we are off again with assurance that it a minor injury that a little physical therapy and stretching at home will cure. Oh boy, our little boy was so active before birth that he caused an injury to himself that requires some PT. I can hardly wait to see what happens when he is seven!

Big Poppy and I are relieved that it is not the branchial cyst. That would have likely required a same day surgery and that does not sound pleasant for anyone, let alone our Little Guy at such a young age. Now we just wait for confirmation at the children's hospital.

To be continued...

Friday, July 24, 2009

You Can't Get Enough of Me

June 22 - One Month Pictures

I know, I know. Little Guy was one month old on June 19. It just would not work to have the photographer we wanted to come to our place that day. I might not agree with the stance that some people make of not dropping everything when we are ready for them to join us, but I have to live with it. I hope that you agree that the pictures are worth the wait.

Little Guy was alert for most of the shoot and would often just follow the photographer when her camera was up. We are just in love with the sneak peek pictures and cannot wait to receive the full set. I will post a slide show once we have received all the pictures for your viewing pleasure. I would highly recommend our photographer. She does families, babies, weddings, and just about any event you would want to capture. Let me know if you would like her information.

On a very sad note, shortly after these pictures were taken our wonderful photographer had two unexpected deaths in her life. Our thoughts are with her family and friends. To my slightly bigger angel, pictures will be coming. I am just a little delayed until these arrive. Know that we think of you and cannot wait to share the pictures with you.

And now, our Little Guy, who is clearly ready to take on the paparazzi (the pictures are posted small to decrease the load time of the page, you can click on the image to see a larger image).

This beauty shows how long his little legs have gotten.

Shortly after this picture, Jeter came down to make sure he was not forgotten.

Can you see how he is looking right into the camera?

Here's a beauty that will ensure Little Guy hates Happy Mom when he's older. My defense: Every mom deserves a sweet little picture like this one.

Let me point out the smile. I also think this one helps remind us how little he was. There's a reason for the Little Guy to be called "Little Guy" until his true personality shines through. This will be harder to remember with how fast and big he is growing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Big Poppy's Day

This was Big Poppy's first father's day! Little Guy and I made a fabulous breakfast, with a little help from Panera Bread (yummy in my tummy). After a quick round of opening presents, I am a little sad that Big Poppy will always have one more Father's Day celebration in comparison to my Mother's Day celebrations (oh, wait, everyday is a celebration for me - and the crowd groans), we are off to Big Poppy's grandpa's for a little family gathering.

At Great-Grandpa's home we are met by GrandB and one of her lovely sisters. There are presents for Little Guy and Father's Day and MOTHER'S Day cards from Big Poppy's auntie. What a surprise! I guess I should not pout so loudly next time.

After more family arrives, it is picture time.

The Main Attraction Family (at least in my mind)

Little Guy Checking Out GrandC
Great-Grandpa (GrandB's dad) Checking Out Little Guy

Four Generations: GrandC, Big Poppy, Great-Grandpa (GrandC's dad) and Little Guy

All in all, I think Big Poppy's first Father's Day was a success, mostly because he started the day with a nice breakfast that Little Guy and I slaved over.

Happy Belated Father's Day to all!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Off the Charts

June 18

It is hard to believe that Little Guy will be one month old tomorrow. It does not seem possible. Didn't we just get home? Big Poppy and I will be taking Little Guy to his one month appointment today.

Every talks about how quickly babies grow. Little Guy is no exception. It is unreal how quickly he has changed. Less than a month ago he was just a little baby (look here at The beginnings) and now...well he is still our little baby but someone has been shrinking his clothes.

While Little Guy was getting some love from Jeter it became very apparent that the washing machine was making Little Guy appear bigger than he was. The little jacket sleeves no longer reach his wrist and to help maintain a cool body temperature, the slacks are now manpris (think capris for guys).

Despite how sweet the little outfit, with matching hat, was, Little Guy was none too pleased to be wearing something that the washer shrunk. He did not take long to let me know that he was over the outfit.

There is no doubt about it, Little Guy does not rock the manpris. While his style is still being defined, manpris are not in his near future. The washer and I are going to have a little talk about the case of the shrinking close (It's not just Little Guy's clothes that get shrunk sometimes. It has also happened to Big Poppy and Happy Mom).

With a quick change into clothes that fit properly, all three of us are off to the pediatrician. There we hear the most mind blowing news.

The washer has not shrunk Little Guy's clothes (it is debatable on the washer's involvement with Big Poppy and myself). Instead there has been a HUGE growth spurt.

The Vitals at One Month:
Height: 22 2/8' (75 percentile)
Weight: 9 lbs 9 oz (50 percentile)
Head Size: 37 8/10 cm (25-50 percentile)

With a quick referral to the ears, nose and throat doctor (more to come here but not to worry, Little Guy is just fine), a clean bill of health and a quick note to keep doing what we are doing the one month appointment comes to an end.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jeter Love

It was great to sleep in our own bed. It is amazing how you can miss the little things in life sometimes. I missed my pillow. Sleeping that first night home was almost heaven. Oh how I missed that pillow.

Our Little Guy slept rather well thanks to GrandB. She had the cradle all set up in our room and he seemed to enjoy it just fine.

With all the craziness of flying home and meeting AuntT (nickname TBD), Steffey and Energizer Bunny (EB for short = our beautiful niece/cousin), one family member did not get the opportunity to properly inspect the Little Guy. Jeter, our American Eskimo, who is such a little lover himself, did not get the chance to spend much time with our Little Guy.

If you cannot tell from the photo, Jeter is a white fluff ball and kids always want to play with him. Our Little Guy will have such fun with Jeter and Jeter loves to play soon as the Little Guy gets his crawl on.

Jeter gave Little Guy the proper head smell and was generally checking out the situation. At this point, Jeter is a little confused. For two weeks he has been with other family members and has met family with the big Texas draw (who he fell in love with) and then Big Poppy and I return with this new smell.

Little Guy passed the Jeter inspection. Within moments there is Jeter Love. Little Guy has won over another heart.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Trains, Planes and Automobiles...otherwise known as the trip home

June 12

Who can ever forget Steve Martin and John Candy in Trains, Planes and Automobiles. I admit that Big Poppy finds more humor in the flick than I do but after receiving clearance to go home this classic comedy came to mind. What would go wrong with two very new parents and a newborn on the return trip home.

Are you sitting down while you are reading this?

Big Poppy, Happy Mom and our little guy had no trouble at all. It was smooth sailing...err, flying.

After returning the our car rental it was a short shuttle ride to the airport terminal. Up to this point Big Poppy and I are thinking, this is not so bad. We can do this. By now you are probably wondering what big even happened. A baby on a plane, wait, a newborn on a plane, something had to go wrong.

As you can see...
Who can see the emblem on his shirt?

Waiting for the boarding call was quite taxing on the little guy.

There was the take off and all the ear popping. Not a problem.

Landing and ear popping. Again not a problem.

The landing and trip to the terminal gate looked a little like this:

Yes, there is the big flaw in the travel. Big Poppy needed to change our little guys clothes. During a diaper change the little guy let loose a little more than planned and Big Poppy did not get the diaper to cover the spray fast enough.

In Big Poppy's defense, after we landed I took a quick trip to the bathroom and had the same thing happen. You got to really watch those little boys!

We were all greeted at the airport by our favorite niece and AuntT (we are still working on those nicknames). Big Poppy and I hear from our favorite niece - come on now, she's our only niece but will always be our favorite niece because she was first - calling out "I got to see him. I GOT to see him." Have I mentioned that our favorite niece is just about 3?

Well, NieceK (until those darn nicknames fall into place) let's me know about every 15 seconds that she has got to see him. In between letting me know this demand we are also hearing, where is he, how long until I can see him and "I GOT to see him". She said this a lot and it was darn cute.

At home our good friend Steffey is waiting after mowing our lawn in her work clothes, including work shoes. Steffey claims to have forgotten to bring along tennis shoes but I think she wanted the neighbors to talk. :)

Shortly after arrival home (oh, it is a sweet, sweet home) NieceK and Steffey hold our little guy.

With joy in her face, NieceK says: "Happy Mom! I like him! Let's keep him!" And so it was further decided, he's a keeper and instantly part of our entire family (as if there was any doubt).

NieceK is a big help. She really enjoys feeding our little guy.

And so it begins, after a plane ride and car rides, our family is home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

June 11

June 11

This Thursday morning started out like any other day.

Big Poppy and I stared at the precious little guy in our lives and hearts forever.

After taking a quick inventory of everything that our fine living had to offer we determined that it was time for a Costco run for some more formula. Let me tell you, Costco is crazy. Love saving money, not a big fan of everyone else wanting to do save money at the same time as me.

A quick walk back to the baby items and Big Poppy and I have found what we are looking for to help our little guy grow big, strong, healthy and smart. I figure we have time to kill. It's not like we need to rush off to the movie or anything, and start looking at all the baby items we can purchase, mentally running the price per ounce/diaper/wipe through my head (I have forgotten that the nice little signs will do this for you).

What does It's a Wonderful Life teach us? Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings...well my phone sounds a little like bells. Right there in Costco, Big Poppy and I hear the bells again. On the other line are best sounding words (after hearing a wonderful slightly bigger angel had selected us of course). You can go home!

Big Poppy and I quickly determine that we have enough formula to get us home the next day and put back the formula. Next we are on our phones calling GrandC/GrandB and AuntT (I'm working a more suitable nickname for my sister-in-law - both of them actually - family tree will develop over time) letting them know we are flying home TOMORROW.

Back at our home away from home, Big Poppy notice that both the little guy and the Happy Mom are all smiles.

No one should comment that it's "just gas". He's happy to fly home and meet the rest of the family. Trust me, I know.
This is how excited our little guy looked when we told him we would be driving all the way home. We did not make that drive but it was fun to see the look of surprise on his face.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Has it Started Already?

June 8 - 10

Each day continues to bring us joy. Our little guys cheeks and arms are starting to fill out. The feedings seem to be working there but have yet to fill our his little legs. The little guy is getting rather long. Big Poppy and I took him in for a quick check-up on June 10.

Length: 20.5 inches
Weight: 8 pounds 6 ounces

Even better than the growth of 2 inches putting on a little weight since birth, all has healed on the little guy's shoulder!

Look at those cheeks! Can you believe that is a newborn size onsie?

Big Poppy and I have noticed something about our little guy. Maybe it's the rock and roll music or maybe he just thinks it is sooo cute, but the little guy likes to be naughty. Take a second look at the picture and you'll see that this time he wasn't being naughty but we have caught him with a different finger. Has it started already?

Does being naughty start so young?

But with a face this cute, it is hard to say anything he does is really all that naughty.

Notice the LONG fingers? Big Poppy cannot wait for him to pick up a ball. I wonder if I should tell him that a friend told me that the long fingers are perfect for piano playing.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chilling in California

June 5 - 7

After the big day, Big Poppy and I both noticed that we had been holding in some tension. It was just the anxious nerves waiting for everything to come together. It was not a large amount of tension but it felt good to have our shoulders relax down.

The next few days were just spent:

Staring at our beautiful, I mean handsome, baby boy.

Preparing to head off to our first baseball game...

Only to have a spit up mid picture (can you see it coming from his mouth?). So it was a quick custom change for the little guy.

The little guy must have been happier with this choice because the outfit lasted the night. (Take a peak at the pacifier in the mouth. )

We got to enjoy a few innings of baseball eight rows up behind home plate for $10. This may be our cheapest night out ever.

We returned to our home away from home early in the night due to the cold California air. Who knew we needed our Midwest clothing in June?

And just having cheesy grins with our little guy.

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