Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

On Christmas Eve we went to the NICU to pay a visit to some of our favorite nurses.  We were able to pass out Christmas cards and say hello, knowing that some people are working over the holidays and are taking care of precious little babies.  They loved seeing the little guy in his Santa hat.  We went home, put out cookies and milk for Santa and gave Edward a bath.  He was all decked out in his Christmas pajamas. 

Our first Christmas morning together was wonderful.  I have to say though, Christmas with a little one is exhausting!  It literally took us all day to open presents from Santa!  Edward loves to take his time opening presents, ripping the wrapping paper to shreds, rolling around in it, etc.   I opened the last few presents for him.  Edward must have been a good boy this year, because our house is now filled with toys and books!  Thank you Santa!

Edward was able to go to church for the first time yesterday.  We never brought him to mass because of germs, blah, blah, blah, and Michael and I have spent the last several months taking turns watching him, while one of us goes to church.  We decided that he HAS to go to Christmas mass.  We were so excited to show off our little one in church like most normal parents do.  He wore khaki pants, a white button down shirt with a red vest.  Unfortunately there are no pictures of this outfit because he peed all over himself before we took a picture!  However, he was as cute as can be, blowing bubbles the whole time and grabbing and playing with my necklace.  In fact he was so loud that Michael had to take him outside for majority of the mass.  I sat in the pew by myself. Haha.  So much for a family experience!  But, in any case, we felt......dare I say it..... normal?   And we are grateful for that experience. 

I asked Santa to bring Edward his two front teeth for Christmas, because this teething business is for the birds!  He has been crazy and fussy with swollen gums and he has been unable to sleep/nap soundly.  Finally this week, two bottom teeth appeared, and they are sharp!  He is much happier and so are we :)  Can you believe that Santa brought Edward a toothbrush?   He is so smart and thoughtful!

 Visiting Santa at the NICU.  Yes, Santa does visit the little babies too.....  typical Edward face....
 Ugh, I don't know about this guy..........
 Help me, help me, help me! I am scared..... get me off of his lap!
 About to go to bed on Christmas eve..... leaving out cookies and milk for the big guy.....
Wait.... chocolate chip?  GIVE ME THOSE COOKIES!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ours goes to eleven....

Eleven months ago today, Katie and I welcomed all 28 ounces of little Edward Michael.  Today, two hundred and twenty eight ounces later, he tips the scales at exactly 16 pounds.  And he is a hot mess....but for all the right reasons.  He loves bath time and splashes the water all around, shoving his soapy hand into his mouth.  He blows bubbles of saliva in our face all day long.  He has (as Katie likes to say) 'stinky farts.'  Today, he threw his first legitimate temper tantrum - crying, arching his back, snot, tears - the whole nine yards (which of course resolved within 11 seconds of picking him up).  He pulls at hair, necklaces, eyeglasses and earrings with no abandon.  Today, as an 11-month birthday present to us, he peed all over his play mat.  These 'joys' of parenthood are, in fact, true joys.  We certainly lose perspective at times and forget how lucky we are, but Edward has continued to bring us such happiness - temper tantrums and all.

Overall, Edward is doing fantastic.  He has had some ups and downs here and there, but his past few months have been marked with a significant amount of progress.  For example, he still fights his bottles a few times a week, but he loves to eat food!  For example, over the past two months, he has tried butternut squash, peas, carrots, zucchini, avocado, green beans, apples, pears, bananas, blueberries, sweet potatoes, cheese, mashed potatoes, yogurt....the list goes on.  He is not too fond of green beans and pears (a little too sweet), but he will devour his yogurt, cheese + avocado.  He has also started to develop his pincer grasp and is now able to pick up a piece of cheese or a puff and get it relatively close to his mouth before losing control and dropping it on the floor for Winston to clean up.   He also loves to sit in his booster seat and 'bang' his toys all around.  He then glances at one of us, only to drop said toy right on the ground, waiting for us to pick it up.  This cycles repeats itself ad infinitum much to his enjoyment. 

Physically, he has also continued to make strides.  He continues to receive physical therapy every two weeks.  The physical therapist comes to our house and spends an hour with Katie + Edward, first assessing Edward's recent progress and current strengths.  She then develops a new set of exercises to teach Katie as well as goals to achieve over the upcoming two weeks.  With of all of this, Edward is now able to easily roll over front-to-back and back-to-front.  He is also able to get up on 'all fours' and rock a little bit.  He has yet to crawl, but he is starting to lurch forward to try to grab a toy.  He is also sitting up quite well.  He still loses his balance and 'face-plants' (very gently, of course) onto his play mat.  But to be honest, he is plenty tough - he takes the bumps and bruises of physical development while hardly shedding a tear.  I think the tubes, IVs, and poking + prodding in the NICU toughened him up.  Certainly, for 11 months, he is behind from a physical development perspective, but if you adjust for his age, he is pretty much spot on.  We are hopeful that the next month or two will lead to crawling and that maybe by 16-18 months, we will be walking!

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers.  We are sorry for not updating the blog more often.  Katie continues to nag, ahem, remind me to update it more often, but it turns out parenthood is pretty time consuming.   Furthermore, when Edward was in the hospital, due to the nature of my job, I actually had a small amount of insight into his care, felt comfortable navigating the hospital setting and subsequently was able to translate that into frequent posts.  In contrast, with fatherhood, I am pretty much clueless and insight is one of the last words I would use to describe my current faculties.  But at the end of the day, it has been pretty fun and very rewarding figuring all of this out with Katie on the fly, with advice from our parents, brothers + sisters, family and friends along the way.  As many before us have asked, what did we do before we had a baby?  .....I honestly don't remember.....

Friday, December 2, 2011

November News

Just wanted to write a quick update.  We had a great Thanksgiving with a few friends in Charlottesville.  Edward ate up some mashed potatoes and turkey baby food (smells disgusting, but he liked it!)  He managed to spill a beer by knocking it out of my hand.... twice!  He is now getting into EVERYTHING!  Whatever we have in our hands, he is grabbing at or trying to take it. A glass of water, our cell phones, food, anything! When he is playing with his toys while sitting, he practically launches himself forward trying to get something out of reach.  He is doing a great job sitting up and playing.  We are very close to letting him sit alone, I think. And he is rolling back and forth all day and starting to shimmy all about on his play mat. The last time we weighed him he was 15 lbs 4 ounces.  We are very blessed that he is gaining, growing, and enjoying eating, as we know that eating is a huge obstacle for many preemies.  We are praying and hoping this progress continues.

Basically, the month of November can be summed up by three words: leaves, bubbles, and baths!  While taking a walk one day, Michael and I were talking (kind of ignoring the baby) when Edward erupted into a full out belly jiggling laugh. Mike and I stopped walking to enjoy what we heard, but he stopped laughing.  We began walking again when he started giggling again!  We realized that he loved hearing the crunching of the leaves under our feet.  He thought it was so funny, so we tried to talk a walk everyday.  The day we tried to capture it on video, he didn't laugh as much! Of course!  Next, Edward is blowing bubbles like a crazy fool!  All day everyday, and even at night!  We hear him on the monitor talking to himself and blowing bubbles in the middle of the night.  Sometimes when we are feeding him a bottle, he will stop just to blow bubbles and dribble milk all down his face.  The drool is nonstop.  Lastly, Edward loves his bath.  I know I have said this before, but I think he would like to stay in the tub for hours!  He kicks, splashes, and squeals like a maniac!  I tried to capture everything on video, but it doesn't do it justice.  Enjoy a few clips from our daily lives!