Friday, January 29, 2010

Turning Point (or is it rolling point?)

Aiden has still to this point, not shown any interest in rolling from tummy to back. He rolls onto his tummy the second we lay him down on his back, but never the reverse. Sometimes when we lay him down at night he rolls onto his stomach. He will lay in his crib like that for a long time, talking away. Until he gets mad because he is tired and unable to fall asleep on his stomach, that is.

For some reason, he does not seem to grasp the concept of turning his head so he can lay down on his stomach. Instead he lays face down in the mattress, upset at the situation. Generally when we lay him down for the night, it takes him five minutes to fall asleep. When he is still jibber jabbering ten minutes after we've put him to bed, we know with almost complete certainty that he is laying on his stomach. To speed things up, we usually go into the nursery and flip him over.

Last night, I decided that it was time we let him fight it on his own. I was hoping for one of two things: 1) He would learn how to sleep on his tummy by turning his head to the side, or 2) he would learn how to roll over. We were in for a surprise. As soon as we laid him down in his crib, he flipped over onto his stomach. I told Travis I wanted to let things run its course, so we left him be and closed the door to the nursery. Five minutes later Aiden was silent. When I realized that several minutes had passed without a peep from our little man, I freaked out and ran into his room.

What did I find? Our son, asleep on his back. That little monster rolled from his tummy to his back!! I have only seen him do that three times before and it has been MONTHS since the last time. I have a feeling that he has known how to do it all this time, but never wanted to do it. Sort of like how he is with his bottle. He can hold it himself, and he will hold it himself if we trick him. But only for a few minutes before he realizes he is unable to completely relax. Then he drops the bottle and gets mad until we pick it up for him again.

That little stinker.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Only 127 days away!

Who wants to go to the World Beard and Mustache Championships? Huh, huh? Who's with me?!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Breastfeeding Tips

For those of you who are not breastfeeding or even interested in the topic, bear with me for a moment. I think this information is important to get out there. I got all this information from my doctor today.

Tips and info for after dropping that last feed:
  • It can take anywhere from weeks to months to stop producing breastmilk.
  • Consider wearing a tight top or sports bra to help dampen milk production.
  • Beware of breasts being hot to the touch. If this happens, check your temperature for a fever. You can still get clogged milk ducts after you are done breastfeeding (which I am learning the hard way).

If clogged milk ducts happens to you:

  • Warm compresses and hot showers are your friend.
  • If it lasts longer than a day, contact your doctor. She may prescribe antibiotics to prevent or treat mastitis.

This is harder than I thought!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Baby on the Beach

I took Aiden to the beach for the first time ever after work on Friday. It was too nice to not get out and enjoy the weather. Since it's about a 30-minute drive home, I figured we could get out in Galveston before the sun went down.

I was hoping Travis would be able to meet us there, but he ended up having to work late. Bummer. Ironically, as we were walking back to the car, Travis drove by in the work van, so we got a honk from Daddy.

There were a lot of people who had the same idea as us, so there was plenty of people watching for us. Aiden just sat and stared at the water and the sand before he started to get antsy. Then I took off his shoes and socks to let him put his feet in the sand. I've decided that baby footprints in the sand are absolutely adorable. I'm kicking myself for not getting a picture of that. I held Aiden's hands so he could "walk", which I realized I have not done very often. I'll have to do it more now that I know his arms can handle it. It was funny because he kept walking backwards. Hopefully he'll get that all figured out eventually.

Here is my little heart breaker going grocery shopping with Mommy. It was chilly that day, so he wore the hat Gramma Carol made for him. He always makes lots of friends at the store, especially since he has been sitting up in the cart. I love the cart cover I got for him. It has two little pillows that sit next to him so he doesn't tip over if Mommy has to make a race car move between the crazed shoppers that always try to cut her off. It's also nice because if he gets cranky, I can just flip him sideways and let him lay back on a pillow. It's like his own personal oasis in the middle of Saturday grocery shopping.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Changing with the Times

A few phrases that don't quite make sense in this day and age:
  • "Switch off the phone." (Phones don't actually have switches anymore, although we can still turn off the phone. Thankfully.)
  • "Rewind it." (You cannot literally rewind a DVD or CD as it does not have a tape to wind or rewind.)
  • And can we really use the word photograph anymore? Or photo, for short? Photography as defined by

"the process or art of producing images of objects on sensitized surfaces by the chemical action of light or of other forms of radiant energy, as x-rays, gamma rays, or cosmic rays."

Most of our "photos" these days do not ever make it off our computer or other various digital devices. Should they still be considered a photograph then?

Here's a question for the parents out there: What do you do, or what do you plan to do about a phone for your child?

When kids are old enough to use the phone, they will want to talk with their friends after school or on the weekends. Who has a land line these days? I know we haven't for years. Will you give your cell phone to your kid to call their friends? If you do, then your kid's friends will now have your cell number and will be able to call you any time of the day or night. Do you want that? And what about the dreaded "I want a cell phone - all my friends have them!" demand?

I'm hoping I still have the stamina for it in seven years, but my personal plan is to get a land line (if they still exist) so that Aiden has a number to give to his friends and a way to call me after school if he needs. The idea of my young child having an expensive cellular device in his possession thoroughly freaks me out. I would like to avoid that if at all possible. I suppose the pay-ahead option is always there, to allow him to reach me no matter where he is at, without the fear of a $500 phone bill. But still, why is it really necessary? I grew up just fine without a cell phone.

I like to think that I will follow most of the same rules I had as a child. I agree with them and I like to think I turned out well because of them. The significant deviations arise when there are situations my parents never had to deal with. The prime example is cell phones. I am still not 100% sure what we will do. There is still plenty of time for this situation to evolve to an entirely new one.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Doggy Drama

The doctor called with the results of the biopsies. The mass is a benign histiocytoma. Wahoo! Also good news, the doctor removed all of the mass, so we do not have to worry about it coming back. The skin biopsies were not as exciting. The dermatologist determined that it was dermatitis, but his skin was to infected and inflammed to be able to tell if it is caused by allergies or not. Boooo. We are still waiting on the results of the Culture and Sensitivity test to find out what antibiotics we can put him on.

The next step is DRUGS!!! Callaway will be on a long term (4-6 weeks) regiment of antibiotics. At the same time we are going to change his food to see if it might be a food allergy. We will keep changing his food, which unfortunately might take a long time. We can only change his food once every 4-6 weeks because that is how long it takes for a food allergy to rear it's head. It's going to be a long process, but it is way better than doing the allergy testing for $300-$600!!

Callaway's suture sites are looking good. I have an appointment for Saturday morning to have the stitches removed. That's going to be fun with just me, Aiden and the dog. Gah.

The other day when I met Travis at the disk golf park, I found out about a trick Callaway can do that I had never seen before. Travis had thrown his disk from the tee box, but after it went over the hill, we could no longer see the disk. Sure enough, when we reached the other side of the hill, Travis found his disk lodged in the mud in the middle of a shallow pond. Travis pointed at the disk and commanded Callaway to "get it". Callaway jumped in the water (not recommended if your dog has stitches) and pawed at the disk until a side of it came out of the water for him to grab with this mouth.

Travis never had to take a step in the water and Callaway was always too happy to do the job. Travis rinsed him off when we got home and, thankfully, he never got an infection. It was a dumb idea to take the dog to a muddy park four days after a mass removal, but we got lucky.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nikki's Nutshell is Two Years Old

I can't believe it has already been two years since I started this blog. When I read my very first post, I am stunned at how little has changed and yet how much has changed.

We are still living in the same house. We are two months away from being in the clear of any fees if we were to sell our house. The market is miserable at the moment, though, so there is time until we can sell the place (I'm hoping for less time than more). Even then, we still have NO IDEA where we would like to move to. Illinois vs Texas is a constant debate for us.

We still have Callaway and he still licks EVERYTHING - which causes more problems everyday. I do have to give him props for not peeing in the house (except when he is on steroids for his skin) and not digging in the yard anymore.

The obvious change to our lives is Lil Wodie, AKA Aiden. There is no way I have enough time or space on here to mention all the ways he has changed my life. Here is one just for kicks: Now when I watch TV shows and movies and there is a mother with a child, I consider them so much more than I used to. I get honest-to-god mad when that mother does not immediately hold her son and cover his eyes while a crazed gunman threatens to shoot yet another hostage. WHAT IS SHE THINKING?! That boy is going to have some serious mental trauma after this situation without having to witness some guy's brains splatting on the wall. Seriously, what is wrong with her?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Enjoying coffee at the moment because I CAN

Guess who likes Biter Biscuits?! He's not crawling yet, so much as he is creeping, but I couldn't wait to give him something to gnaw on while Travis and I eat our dinner. His teeth/gums have been really been bothering him for the last few days. Check out this biscuit face...

I have officially stopped breastfeeding. My body is still adjusting, but it was not as bad as I thought it would be. I am super upset about how fast we are going through formula now. Although, the good news is Aiden has started to like rice cereal and he's eating food three times a day. That means his doodie is starting to look like adult-doodie. It cracks me up because now I know when he is dropping a deuce because he gets quiet and still, then the smell hits me. Because of this, we have decided to take him off of the rice starch formula. Good news here is the regular formula is $5 cheaper. And at one tub of formula a week, that's huge savings in a year!!

Travis and I have started a new ritual for our weekday evenings. We take turns making dinner every night and whoever is not cooking, feeds Aiden his bottle and gets him ready for bed. Then we all sit at the table together to eat dinner. Aiden gets a biter biscuit or a piece of frozen fruit in the teething feeder while we eat our meal, then we feed him a little bit of pureed food. He is still mad for green beans and we are trying to get him accustomed to fruit. It seems to be a little tart for him, so he has constant food chills. I laugh EVERY time. Never get tired of that.

Aiden is sitting up so well these days. He still cannot be trusted to sit by himself, but he has almost mastered the skill. I don't know what's wrong with me because I never mentioned this ability to the daycare. I guess I just assumed that they would figure it out. But last week when I was picking Aiden up from school, his teacher asked me if he had ever sat up at home before. Oops! Well, now they know and can work on that with him during the day too.

This weekend was AWESOME. I ended up not getting to sleep in until Sunday morning because Travis went out Friday night. I am thankful I got to do it though!! Travis and I ran some errands Saturday and did a little cleaning around the house. Then we had our friends Allison, Jerry and their daughter Elise over for dinner.

After dinner, we threw Pinocchio on the TV and plopped Elise down in Aiden's chair. When we bought it I was super excited that Aiden could use it as a rocking chair when he was a toddler (right now he uses it in the swing). Elise was a little nervous about leaning back in the rocking chair, so we just reclined the seat for her so she could enjoy the movie. Her favorite part was the Wish Upon A Star video in the bonus features. That girl is so smart it amazes me every time I see her. She will be three in June and can speak VERY clearly. Her vocabulary is insane, she can feed herself with a spoon and she is socially outgoing. That's the fun part for me because there is no warm-up period like there is with most kids.

We stayed up late drinking mimosas (leftover from New Year's) and chatting it up. Aiden was in bed, so we were able to devote our full attention to adult conversation. The best part is I was able to enjoy it all because I knew I would be able to sleep in the next morning. I woke up at 8am feeling completely refreshed. Travis was yelling at me to go back to bed because this was my first chance to sleep in. What?! I DID sleep in! TWO hours!! And if you consider that I usually get up at 5am during the week, that means I slept in THREE hours. Holy cow.

When I got up Aiden was just going down for his morning nap. Travis hopped back in bed and flipped on the telly to catch up on football while I worked on a celebrity crossword puzzle. We didn't get out of bed except to bring food back until Aiden woke up at 10am. Travis went over to the neighbor's house to watch the Cowboys play the Vikings (they lost - boo) and I vegged out more, this time on the couch.

I had to run into work for a moment at 4pm, while Travis took Aiden to the park to play disk golf. I drove straight there after work to walk with the guys for a bit. All in all it was a great weekend!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Two baby-free nights in one week!

Last weekend was a busy one. I am still tired from it. Actually, I've decided that I am permanently tired. Even on the days when I could take a nap, I end up rushing around trying to clean house, or run to the grocery store. I've decided that this morning's feed will be the last one, which means Daddy gets to wake up at 6am with Aiden. Hooray for Mommy!! This will be the first time in SIX MONTHS that I have slept in past 6 in the morning. It's gonna be awesome.

Back to this past weekend... Saturday night Travis and I went to our friends' house in Houston. Josh turned 30 last week!! They had a BBQ and keg and lots of people. This was the first childless party Travis and I have attended since we've had Aiden. My mom was still here after Christmas, so she stayed home with him. It was easy for her though, because Aiden went to sleep an hour after we left.

I was so nervous about driving home after the party. Not because I was drinking - I was a responsible designated driver - but because I have not stayed up past 11 in months, let alone had to drive that late. To prepare, I brought along a mug of coffee which I started chugging about 30 minutes before we planned to leave. Everyone was pretty confused about why I would bring my own coffee to a party and then drink it without an alcohol mixer. Eh.

Saturday, Travis was out of commission until 1pm. He was not the DD, hence the heavy drinking. While he may not remember it, I think he had a good time. After Travis was able to make it out of bed, get a little food in his stomach and take a shower, we headed up to Chris and Alexa's house. We had a laid back evening hanging out and eating all their food. Thanks guys!! Oh and the boys were absolutely adorable...

Watching TV together on the floor. Can you see Aiden's spiked hair?

Blair was intrigued with Aiden's pacifier. It has a hole in the nipple so you can see into his mouth. About 15 seconds after I took this photo, Blair stuck his finger in said hole.

I can't wait to see this picture from Chris and Alexa's camera. They were all smiling!!! SO CUTE. Blair wanted to hold Aiden again, which cracks me up to no end.

Monday night, I was out drinking again!! Ha. A friend at work just finished graduate school and headed off to Maryland this week. To celebrate, he got a bunch of people together at a pub in Galveston. I killed time after work at Ariel's house, then headed to the pub. I stayed until 10:15, which was much later than originally planned, but I was having too much fun to leave! It was so nice to talk with Nadya, without the kiddos distracting us constantly.

I have spent the rest of the week trying to catch up on my sleep by getting to bed between 8 and 9. So far I've only been successful on two nights. Bring it on Travis'-two-day-weekend! Mommy can't wait for the help!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dog Interrupted

When Callaway was a year and a half old, he developed some sort of a skin problem. It looked like a rash in various patches across his body. The patches moved, but Callaway always licked them. After so many days of licking, the rash turned into raw wounds that would not heal no matter how much triple antibiotic ointment or hydrocortisone we put on them.

After several weeks of attempting home treatment, we took Callaway to the vet. The doctor did a skin scrape, but could find nothing obvious wrong with him. She decided to treat the symptoms and prescribed steroids, fish oil, antibiotics and bi-weekly baths with a special shampoo. That combination worked great and got rid of everything. Unfortunately, several weeks after finishing the meds, the skin problems cropped up again. We called the doctor and she refilled his medication.

We went through this routine once more, before the rash stopped coming back. We went months without any problems. Come this fall, it all came back. We have been doing the same thing over and over again. The rash goes away with treatment, but quickly returns.

This Christmas, we noticed Callaway was developing a lump on his back. It has been there for months, but was small so we just thought it was another scab from his rash. In a matter of weeks, the lump tripled in size. We were concerned, so we quickly scheduled an appointment at the vet to assess this new problem.

Callaway spent all day Tuesday at the vet while we were at work so he could get checked. The doctor recommended removing the mass and doing a biopsy. 1) So she could determine that all of the mass had been removed, 2) So we could find out if this was a malignant cancer that we needed to search for elsewhere on his body. Since he was already going to be sedated, she also recommended doing biopsies on his skin to see if we can figure out exactly what is causing all his discomfort.

It wasn't a pretty day for our bank account, but Callaway is getting the help he needs! He stayed over night at the vet and he had his procedure Wednesday morning. He spent the day resting in the kennel and Travis picked him up after work. Because Callaway already has a reputation as a licker, we were set with an e-collar to prevent him from infecting any of his biopsy sites.

He is so pitiful right now. Poor guy. Last night I took him outside to go potty. He got a little overzealous and tried to run up our back stairs like he always done. That stopped after the first step. I'm pretty sure the stitches pulled on at least one of the three biopsies on his belly. I think we got lucky and the site of the mass is unreachable for him to lick.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Baby Hair Gel

Big boy bath! I always worry that he gets too cold during his baths in the baby tub because of the low water level, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Turns out it's too hard. He kept tipping over. It's like the water threw off his balance or something. I did enjoy watching him try to reach the drain. I kept thinking he would stick his nose in the water, but it never happened.

The other day I tried to spike Aiden's hair so he looked like Daddy. Gah, so CUTE. Didn't last very long though, cuz I used baby lotion...

Last week we went out for Cajun seafood in Galveston. My mom and I each got cajun shrimp and Travis got the cajun grilled snapper. The seasoning on everything, including the potatoes, was ridiculously spicy, but it was DELICIOUS! Aiden had a great time playing in the high chair (SO COOL). As we were packing up the baby gear, the server asked if we were leaving. I told her ya, the baby was getting cranky. She was surprised we thought so because she hadn't heard a peep out of him all night. Gotta love it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Crazy Kate

That's what I'm calling her for now on. Crazy Kate. Seriously, that girl is a spit fire! She is so feisty and bouncy and VOCAL. It's insane how kids can have such varying personalities at such a young age.

Kate is one week Aiden's senior. Every time I go to visit, Kate is wearing an intense amount of colorful patterns, which only amplifies her enthusiastic spirit.

Pretty girl

Kate was really good about sharing her toys with Aiden. While it did seem that any toy Aiden had Kate wanted too, Aiden was all to ready to hand it over.

Sharing the bongos...

"Hey! You seem to have a small stature just like me! Let's be friends."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter Leaves

Every year during the week between Christmas and New Year, all the leaves fall off the large maple tree in our front yard. The up side is we only have to rake the yard once because all the leaves fall at the same time. The down side is we have an ENTIRE tree of dead leaves to rake up all at once. This year we got lucky because Travis' step-dad Rich was so bored out of his mind one day during his visit that he raked and bagged all the leaves for us. WOW, right? I was thankful. Bagging leaves is a pain in the arse!

I made a request that Rich leave one pile of leaves so we could have a photo shoot with Aiden. A few days after New Year's I finally found free time when it was not raining to take Aiden out in the frigid air. He was sporting his Christmas sweater and the hat Gramma Carol made for him. Oh and his little turtle shoes. =D

I messed around in Photoshop for a minute on this one...

That leaf pile is still sitting in the front lawn, killing the grass underneath. We'll get to that later...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Craving some pie and warm custard now...

Not quite sure what Ariel is doing here, but I know it involved her jacket...

Alex is obviously enjoying his apple pie and warm custard! It sounded so gross to me, but I have to say it was one of the most delicious things I've tried in a long time!!

Grampa G LOVED spending time with Aiden. For some reason, that guy is so interesting to kids. Aiden never turns down green beans though.

The day my dad and Alex drove back to Illinois, we all went out for pizza for lunch. I was STUFFED, but it was awesome. I'm always happy when I leave New York Pizzeria. Aiden fought his nap all morning, but couldn't make it through lunch. He passed out right after the bottle Daddy fed him.

Typical Hargus faces. Why don't we ever look normal?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

VIP Passes

Last week, Ariel treated us to a day at Moody Gardens. At a raffle at Robert's Christmas party, she won free VIP passes to the local attraction. Sadly, it is close to impossible to get Ariel out of bed before noon, so we were unable to take full advantage of those tickets. Since time was limited, we chose to go through the aquarium, which is where I used to volunteer (before getting pregnant). We didn't make it to the rain forest, which I was a little bummed about. I'll survive.

That evening, everyone but me made it back for a 10pm showing of A Christmas Carol in IMAX 3D. I was invited, but didn't think my old mommy body would make it that late. Especially knowing that I had to get up at 6am the next morning to take care of Aiden. We did it during the week so Travis had to be at work the next morning.

The Rockfish kindly posed for a quick photo shoot with Aiden. Either that or he was trying to figure out how to get to his next meal.

Oh the penguin exhibit! My favorite during volunteering. Those little guys are so cute - each with their own personality.

Caribbean exhibit - a tunnel through the tank.

Aiden and Mommy in jail?

Nope - just a shark dive cage!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Aiden's 1st Christmas

These past two weeks have been an absolute whirl wind. Most of the days blur together. There was lots of eating, lots of drinking and LOTS of family time. Aiden's first Christmas was definitely a blast. All of the celebrations occurred at our house, so there was also lots of dishes and showers. Can't wait for that water bill. :p

Aiden is so lucky to have such a loving family surrounding him. That kid got WAY too many toys. We rearranged the living room to accommodate the Christmas tree. We have since decided to leave the furniture layout as is so we can put all of Aiden's toys (which are much bigger than the rattles he used to play with) where the tree was.

When it came time to open gifts, Aiden was a champ. Despite being ready for a nap, he was game for some paper tearing. I'm sure he did not understand the concept of opening presents, but he definitely enjoyed the papers and colors.

He got a super cute reindeer bib from Gramma Brenda and a home-knit hat from Gramma Carol. The list of toys is too long for here, so lets just say he's set until he starts walking.

We opened all of our gifts Christmas Eve, and saved the stockings and Aiden's presents for Christmas morning. I think it was a little less stressful spreading things out.

Aiden always enjoys time in the door jumper. Gramma Brenda made things more interesting with surprise tickles and games of Peekaboo. Aiden has also become very aware of all our animals. Poor kid is going to think it's normal to have your very own zoo.

More pictures to come!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

6 Months

Oh my. Our child is half a year old! Ahhhh! I brought Aiden in for his 6-month check up this past week (took advantage of the time off from work). Here are the stats:
  • 16 lbs, 13 oz
  • 26 inches long (his percentile shrinks each time we go to the doctor)
  • 4 shots (2 in each leg) + 1 oral vaccination = 4 band aids

Four shots folks! And the doctor wanted to do five! Now that Aiden is 6 months old, he is eligible for the novel H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines. Since his fever spiked at over 103 degrees after his last vaccinations, I opted to skip the seasonal flu shot for now. I have to bring him back in three weeks for the novel H1N1 booster and I'm thinking about getting him the seasonal flu shot at the same time. I'll probably call ahead to see if that's even an option (since it's only a nurse visit).

I'll tell you what - that was the longest it has taken to give the vaccinations thus far. It felt like a decade of baby crying before I was allowed to pick him up. Horrible! Horrible, I tell ya!

No fever this time. It could have something to do with giving him Tylenol every 6 hours for a whole day after the appointment. Or it may have just been a fluke thing last time. No telling.

The doctor said Aiden is doing great developmentally. I was reading in my book that by the end of this month, Aiden could be able to feed himself a cracker. I can't believe it. I've started the weaning process this week. It's definitely harder on me that it is on him. This is all going entirely too fast for me. Call me an old lady, but I think he needs to SLOW DOWN.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Temporarily Bumper-less

Yesterday we took the bumper off Aiden's crib. Last night, Aiden got his leg wedged between the slats of the crib and started screaming bloody murder, signaling to us that all was not right. Travis ran in and quickly squared Aiden in the center of his crib. Then we spent the next hour alternating quick peeks into his room to make sure he was not in danger of losing a limb.

Our main reason behind removing the bumper is that several nights ago, when Travis and I were sleeping on an air mattress in Aiden's room (lots of family in town!) Travis heard him breathing very heavily, but it sounded muffled. When he went to look in his crib, he found Aiden wedged against the side with his face smashed against the bumper.

I have read a hundred times, between books and magazines, that once your baby can roll over, you must remove the bumper. Many groups recommend never using a bumper. But the bumper is so NICE. For one, it prevents limbs from getting wedged between the slats of the crib. Two, it prevents a pacifier from rolling right out of the crib and out of Aiden's reach. Three, I can remain in the room to put away toys and/or clothes after I've put Aiden down for a nap without distracting him from sleep.

I totally forgot, until last night, about something I had come across on a baby magazine while I was still pregnant. It seemed helpful enough, but I was unsure how much removing the bumper would actually affect us. Now that I know, I've decided to make the purchase.

Behold, the breathable bumper. We don't have it yet, but I'll be sure to give my review after it's been put to use. I'm hoping it will solve two out of the three problems of being bumper-less. The two most important!