Ears.

I occasionally blog about this topic in passing, but I don’t know that I have ever devoted a full post to it, without adding additional photos and updates. Usually when one of us is sick I forget afterwards to blog about it because by the time I get back on the blogging wheel it is past the time. However, now that we are having to make some serious decisions about it, I thought I would share my thoughts.

Almost exactly a month after A turned one he got an ear infection. A bad ear infection, on our first road trip, to my husband’s parents’ house. Until I became a parent I never realized how distinctly you remember things that children often forget over time. I will never forget A holding his ears crying “no, no” as we drove around trying to decide between taking him to pediatric ER with a four hour wait, or a doctor friend of my husband’s parents. We went with the doctor friend and were able to get antibiotics for A, and he was on the mend within a few days. Then the ear infection returned. The problem with A’s ear infections is that they would recur but not consistently. It was about every two months that we would return to the pediatrician and after about the fourth time I began asking when tubes would be helpful. However, they told me the ear infections were not happening often enough and said he would probably grow out of it. So we did various antibiotics, occasionally they failed and we got other antibiotics and that of all things worried me the most.

As a child who grew up taking a lot of antibiotics, I know about antibiotic resistance. If you don’t think that exists please come sit with me for an hour and I can convince you that it does. My body now laughs at antibiotics half the time, and it wasn’t until receiving a pneumonia vaccine back in 2011 that I have had some success in being able to get a cold without it turning into a full-fledged bronchial infection that requires a heavy dose of antibiotics and steroids to knock out. That’s antibiotic resistance. However I had no choice but to take antibiotics when I was a child, because of my asthma. It was the only thing that would kick the infections I had then. So back to A.

A hit two and his ear infections seemed to subside. We had maybe one or two that whole year, nothing consistent and nothing that caused concern….then he turned three. The week (literally the week) he turned three he got an ear infection. And the antibiotics failed. And he had to get a shot of rocefin and another round of antibiotics. Then he got one the next month, then the next month, we skipped January (barely), then two more. So October, November, December, February, and now March, A has had an ear infection. With a round of antibiotics each time, and now the subject of tubes has gotten brought up again. However, now A is three and while he meets the criteria for tubes based on the number of infections, there is a possibility that he could grow out of it soon. Basically our pediatrician has told us it is a personal choice. After taking him in this last time I asked for a referral to an ENT just to see what they would say, and we are now waiting to have that appointment.

So now we wait. I am wrestling with the decision of A having surgery (as minor as it is), or the possibility of him continuing to have to take antibiotics. I know that the tubes wouldn’t prevent A from getting the viruses that cause the bacteria to build up, however, I also know that A doesn’t really get noticeably sick besides the ear infection. Sometimes he doesn’t even run a fever, or have a noticeable cold. Usually what happens is A gets a bit of a running nose, that looks similar to allergy issues. Then it goes away. Then he starts taking less naps, but sometimes he naps more. Sometimes he eats less, sometimes his appetite isn’t affected at all. We got an ear check monitor on recommendation from our pediatrician, and while it is fairly accurate it doesn’t seem to pick up the fluid levels until his ears are so bad, they are telling me not to panic if his ear drum bursts. My point being A’s symptoms are so asymptomatic it’s hard to tell if they are an ear infection or normal toddler behavior. I can’t tell if his hearing is being affected or if he is just ignoring me. However, the other day when he was in time-out in his room he asked if he could come out. I was down the hall in our room (which is about ten steps from his room). I called back to him “yes, you can come out now”. Silence. Ten seconds later he called again if he could come out, I called back yes. Then he called again…then I yelled yes. Then he called again. And at that moment I realized I definitely wanted to know what an ENT had to say. So I’ll post back when we find out more.

And since we haven’t had a lot of pictures of A lately…here is my sweet boy.

How can anyone resist that wink and Elvis lip?? He is hilarious!

 

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Pizza, Pick 3, and a Movie

One of the ideas we started since J arrived is weekend movie night. My sister and her family have been doing this for awhile and I really liked the idea. We thought it would be fun to start for A, and gives him something to look forward to on either Friday or Saturday night! Our first movie night we watched Tangled (which A LOVED). This past Saturday we did make your own pizza, and we watched a little Jack and the Neverland Pirates movie I had DVR’d. I also started a pick three with A. First, make your own pizza.

We bought fresh pizza dough from Publix, which was really good. I let A help me put it all together which he really enjoyed and then we all got to pick our toppings for our third of the pizza.

Rolling the dough…

Spreading the sauce…

Sprinkling the cheese.

A only wanted cheddar and monterey jack cheese, while I opted for mozzarella, ham and red onion, and my husband had mozzarella and pepperoni.

While the pizza was cooking (If you get the pizza dough from publix there are instructions on the package for cooking it), I started making our salads, which leads me to my pick three for A.

We have had some trouble getting A to 1) eat at dinner and stop talking, 2) eat the meal we make, and 3) stop running around singing at the top of his lungs while we are finishing dinner.

Based on this I started a pick three for A. I put out the items for salad, vegetable, etc. and let A pick three selections of them and put them in his own bowl. I set out some fruit, vegetables, and lettuce choices (some of the ones I usually have out are a choice of blueberries, mandarin oranges, spinach, cucumbers, carrot sticks, romaine lettuce pieces, tomato halves, croutons, asparagus tops…it depends on what we are having). I let him pick one fruit, one vegetable, and one lettuce choice. I don’t give him a large portion either, as I have found he does better starting with smaller portions. Then we let him sit at the table and color on his little coloring mat and eat his pick three bowl while we finish making dinner. It has really worked out great. We found that he eats most of what is in the bowl and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we aren’t hovering over him while he eats it. Then once we sit down I feel less stressed about making him eat more of the main part of the meal because he has already started with a healthy bowl of food. We don’t do this every night, but I am trying to incorporate it at least three or four times a week. If you need more options of food choices, I have found some great food lists on Pinterest, here and here!

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Two Weeks Old

A little re-cap of our second week with baby J.

J is now 8 lbs 5 oz (WHAT!), and 21 and 1/4 inches long. Suffice to say he is growing and eating a lot. We are still working on schedules, but he is still sleeping decently in the pack n play at night, and has gone for a three and a half hour stretch at one point. He had a great second week check-up and no shots (except for a yucky PKU test) this time.

We started out with some dancing at M’s birthday party…

During the week we caught up on cleaning, laundry, and vacuuming…

Fit in a few naps…

Kind of.

And managed a quick photo op…

J found playtime exhausting…

And decided to take a nap instead.

I cannot believe two weeks has already gone by!

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The Arrival of Baby JAM

Baby JAM is here! With those initials we just know it means he is going to be one hip and sweet baby. Before I put up all the pictures and let them speak for themselves of his arrival, I wanted to provide a few memory moments for my blog memories and our family and friends.

First, the name. I don’t post any of our names on the blog, but I wanted to provide the story behind the name and the initials because our close friends and family knew it took us a LONG time to come up with a name. We didn’t finalize a name until about one month before his arrival and it was after a lot of deliberation and back and forth.

His first name was picked by his daddy and Super A. Pretty much as soon as we knew as it was a boy J was the name my husband picked. However, I couldn’t decide and we had two or three first names that we went round and round with for months. Finally one night at dinner I said “okay I give in, J it is”. A turned to me and said “I like baby brother J, J is a good name”. Which pretty much solidified the choice because for months the only name A would say he liked was Pasta.

The A in his middle name is for my Dad’s brother. As with A I wanted to choose a special middle name from my family and the middle name of A is very special to my Dad and his family, so we settled on that easily once we had the first name.

And of course the M is my husband’s last name which makes it wonderful! We also liked the quirky factor of the initials because we are a bit quirky ourselves, HA! And A has a similar quirk in his initials that we find equally charming.

Second, the delivery and his arrival. I am not big on details when it comes to these sorts of stories, but let’s just say baby J established a personality before he even arrived. My doctor told me that every delivery is different and this definitely proved that point. If the delivery indeed depicts his personality it’s that he does things on his own time. The only thing that was similar from A’s arrival was start to finish it was 12 hours. Almost down to the minute! Despite the drama leading up to the actual delivery J arrived safely and healthy and we are so glad to have him here!

Third, how things are going since we have been home. Despite lack of sleep and A testing the waters a bit it really has been good so far. I have felt monumentally better this time around than I did with A, and it is a really nice feeling. We are adjusting to schedules and two kids, but I really just feel blessed and grateful to have these two healthy boys in our life.

And now on to pictures! These are in order from J’s arrival to us leaving the hospital.

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Baby J Preparations

We have been busy getting things prepped around here for Baby J. My parents took the mattresses out of the nursery for us, I am beginning to complete the process of decorating the room, and my husband has been busy getting things out of the attic (trying to muddle through my confusing labeling system…I really don’t know what I was thinking when I labeled half the stuff in the attic), and he has been putting together all the many items that we had forgotten a newborn needs. We have been really lucky to be able to borrow from my family a lot of the big items this time. However, one of the items we purchased was a new swing. Somehow when taking our last swing apart after A, it broke.

After the crazy process of putting the new swing together, I can understand why the old swing broke when we tried to take it apart. I told my husband that we are going to just leave it up forever. HA!

A prepping his drill…he takes putting together baby items VERY seriously.

A helping screw in a piece together. He does amazingly well at this…good hand eye coordination.

Testing out the buttons.

Testing the crawl through capabilities of the swing. Yup. You can crawl through it.

I didn’t take a picture of the finished product, but it looks great! I choose the swing because you can easily remove the seat to use as a bouncer, however, I am a bit bummed that the bouncer does not lay back unless it is in the swing. Which means the bouncer part is not really useful until Baby J gets older. Which means I will be calling my sister to see if we can borrow their bouncer again!

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Birthday Celebration!

There is not much more that all the boys love than a birthday right now. A birthday means presents, cake, ice cream, balloons, and being able to get together and play! We had a great time celebrating my Dad’s birthday!

First present opening…also titled “there’s something about Granna” because this time the boys were incredibly well behaved, even sitting for pictures and waiting patiently as each present was opened. If you don’t know the history of that title check the earlier posts from my Mom’s birthday party in October!

After my Dad opened this card (which was from his Mom) M exclaimed “you got three dollars, look there are three bills there! Man! I wish I could get three dollars on my birthday!” So hilarious!

Our group family gifts (from my sister’s family and mine) was a picture calendar and a tap and die set…apparently the only tool set my Dad does not own. Although he brought up another set at the party that I bet we are all wishing we wrote down. It’s hard to find a tool or tool set my Dad does not already own!

Waiting on cake.

The cake! Chocolate with my Mom’s white frosting. So tasty!

Blowing out the candles. We managed with three boys to light the cake, blow out the candles without anyone touching the flames. An accomplishment in my opinion. Happy birthday again Dad!

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Christmas Cookies-Snickerdoodles

Today we began making Christmas cookies. As I was taking pictures of A making the cookies I flashed back to him making cookies when he was barely one, in a little dishtowel apron with only a stripe of hair and a little green dinosaur shirt.

Flash forward to today:

My baby is now a three year old, who can reach the counter with his step stool and stir the cookie dough.

Poured the sugar over the cookie dough balls…

And enjoyed the benefits of eating a successfully baked cookie.

And tada…snickerdoodles! Notice how lovely they turned out. I attribute this to two things. One is packaged recipe (I do much much better with packaged recipes) and the other is silpat baking mat. It’s fabulous! And we added a little red sugar to the cinnamon sugar packet that came with the recipe for Christmas effect!

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The Big 3

Celebrating with a birthday bagel on his birthday day October 16th.

I’ve been meaning to complete this for awhile, but kept getting sidetracked with other posts, so better late than never! A compilation of things that A is into, accomplished, and looking forward to at the sweet age of 3.

A weighs in at 29.6 pounds (50th percentile), and around 38.5 inches high (75th percentile).

A is completely potty trained, we got rid of the pacifier a couple months ago, and he moved into his big boy bed this past February, so we actually accomplished my New Year’s Resolutions for him!

A is wearing 3T.

For breakfast A loves: waffles, bagels, life cereal, and “punchrise juice“.

For lunch A loves: PBJ sandwiches, grapes, turkey, cheddar cheese, and Apple and Eve Berry juice boxes.

For dinner A loves: lasagna, spaghetti, pizza, cheese/chicken quesadillas, and meatballs.

A loves playing hot potato, legos, hide and seek, and with his new bat cave.

A likes helping in the kitchen, going to the car wash, and looking for rockets, hawks, and cows when we are driving.

A’s favorite things about preschool are: music time, painting, playdough, and lunch.

A knows his colors, is counting to twenty, and knows all of his letters. We are moving on to phonics, with letter sounds.

What I love about A being in preschool: A has accelerated in learning letters and phonics, shapes, learning more new songs, and he is starting to read some. It has been awesome!

It’s hard to sum up a year in one post, which is part of why I have been putting it off, because A has grown so much this year. He is so excited about his baby brother’s impending arrival, he loves reading and asking us all about the books we read together, he loves discovering how things work and how things are made (Two of his favorite shows are Unwrapped on Food Network and How it’s Made on the Discovery Channel). He likes playing Mario Kart and of course is still singing and dancing.

A has all the characteristics of a 3 year old, being extremely energetic, constantly trying to figure out what situations he can and cannot control, and likes to do things himself. A is also such a loving and sweet boy, and I know he is going to be a terrific big brother!

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Costumes and Candy

I wasn’t kidding when I said A really did not want to dress up for Halloween. Here is his first costume:

I could hardly get him to keep the sticker on. So imagine how it was trying to get him into the next costume:

He has the roar of the dinosaur down well.

The only way I got him to wear either the dino costume or the sticker to take pictures was to bribe (yes bribe) him with being able to paint his little pumpkin.

Do you see the face on the side? He made that! I was impressed.

After pumpkin painting and dinner, A decided that he did not want to go trick or treating, but had a great time passing out candy to the kids that came to our door.

He even let me put his dino costume back on for a few minutes to pass out the candy.

Running to answer the door. He waved at everyone, and wanted to know when the kids were coming back for more candy!

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Monster Mash 3rd Birthday

I cannot believe A is three! Despite having to go on a new round of antibiotics the night before his party, A’s birthday party turned out great, and we had a good time celebrating with the family!

Up first, pin the eye on the monster…

Then, presents…because A could NOT wait any longer.

A’s shirt was made by my Mom. Didn’t it turn out sweet?

Reading cards…most of the cards had to wait until later to be read.

A new train signal track piece.

Checking out the new batcave…

Opening the batmobile from Aunt K and Uncle K and the boys…

Which goes as fast as the real batmobile I think, HA!

A got tired of opening presents after awhile, so he recruited help.

Reading his new book.

After presents it was time for dinner and cupcakes…

One of A’s requests was party hats.

A was very excited about his birthday cupcake and getting to blow out the candles…such fun!

Stay tuned for a post on the decorations and A’s 3 year post!

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