Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Going to California on A Big Jet Plane

Well let me re-phrase that.  It should actually read went to California on a big jet plane...and it should also  specify that Stephen was the one doing the going, not me.  That's right.  Three weeks ago Stephen packed up and headed to Pasadena for the BCS National Championship.  I had promised my blogger friend Amanda that I would post pictures, because she too is a Alabama fanatic, but I hadn't gotten around to it.  Better late than never. 

As a little back story...Stephen could possibly be one of the biggest Alabama fans of all time.  (In fact he is reading over my shoulder right now to ensure that I adequately describe his level of fanatasim...otherwise known as checking my grammar and spelling.)  I on the other hand was raised a Gator fan.  My mom went there, my dad went to medical school there, my little brother goes my Florida ties run deep.  I grew up going to all the games.  I went to a small private univeristy that was not a football power house by any stretch of the imagination, so I had always kept my Florida ties...until I met my husband.  I am now a converted fanatic and love AL football.  We have had season tickets for the past four years and we love going to games.  We both are just huge college football fans and it is something that we really enjoy together.  I guess it comes along with the territory of being born and raised in the south.

Anyhow, back to the real story.   Stephen had an awesome time and went with a big group of friends.  Perron and I got to stay home for the coldest weekend since the 1980s and have some mother son bonding time.  We did great together, but we were really excited to have Daddy home.  If you will recall, that was the weekend of no sleeping, no napping, and a trip to the pediatrician. 

Getting into the game

Remember the Rose Bowl We'll Win

Trying to get a picture in front of the Rose the TX team is driving in.

I asked for a picture of the Game Day crew hoping
for a picture of Herbstreit and Stephen comes home with a picture of Lee Corso

A happy and victorious bunch!

Monday, January 18, 2010

6 Months

Dearest Perron,

How quickly 6 months have gone by.  Looking at this picture I can not believe how much you have grown.  You are like a different baby than the one we brought home six short months ago.  I look at you now and find it hard to remember that tiny baby who laid in the NICU bed with tubes and wires coming out of him.  You are officially three times as big as you were when you were born.  I weighed you tonight before your bath and you weigh 11 pounds 13 ounces.  That is 8 pounds bigger than when you were born.  AMAZING!  You are still pretty much in your three month clothes, but you are starting to get a little long for those.  You are still in your size one diapers, but it is hard to imagine that size one is the third size of diapers you have been in.  You finally got to start on solid foods last night and you were so precious.  You seem to be enjoying them, although this morning you weren't quite as enthusiastic as you were last night.  Right now you get more food on you than in you, but it is so fun to watch you eat. 

Your personality has fully emerged and your daddy and I both agree that you are the cutest and sweetest baby we have ever met.  You have learned how to laugh this month and you think EVERYTHING is so funny.  You smile all the time and are getting to be quite the charmer.  You love it when I sing the itsy bitsy spider and you just laugh and smile the whole time.  You are officially a professional roller overer.  You can barely stay on your back because you are constantly practicing rolling over from your back to your stomach.  You haven't quite figured out that you can get yourself back on your back if you want to, so that can lead to some fussing until mommy or daddy rescues you.  You love to talk and are a constant stream of babbling.  We don't have to wonder where you got your gift of gab from.  You have gotten really good at holding your head up even when your chin gets down on your chest.  It is amazing how strong your little neck and back are.  You can hold things and maneuver them into your mouth with ease.  We are still working on you reaching for things, but we know that will come soon.  You're vision is doing amazing and it is sometimes hard to believe that we ever had concerns about it.  It might have taken you four months to make eye contact, but you are certainly making up for lost time.  You look at mommy and daddy all the time and can track anything that catches your attention.  It is a miracle and truly answered prayers for so many people.

Perron we are so proud of how far you have come in six months.  Your daddy and I can not wait to see what the next six months and beyond brings.  I already get a little sad when I look at you a realize that these baby moments are slipping by so quickly.  It won't be much longer and you will be crawling around, constantly on the go and won't need us as much.  While I am sad to see the little baby moments starting to pass, I am excited to see what the next phase of our life brings.  You are a true gift to this family and we treasure ever moment with you.  We are blessed to have you in our lives.


Mommy and Daddy

PS.  This second picture was so sweet I couldn't leave it out.  See what I mean...everything is soo funny!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Put it in my Mouth

Today was the big day for Perron.  His first experience with "solid" foods.  I use the term solid pretty loosely because the consistency of the rice cereal was pretty much the consistency of his already grainy formula.  Our GI doctor and his therapists had really encouraged us to wait until he was six months old to test any solid foods on him.  Since he has already shown a tendency towards allergies with his milk protein allergy, they wanted to make sure we didn't introduce food to soon.  Apparently the intestines are pretty permeable when they are young and the protien can pass through the lining of the intestines and cause the body to launch an auto-immune response in the form of an allergic response.  I am a little nervous how his stomach will handle it, because in so many ways I feel like we just got his GI issues resolved.  However, I know that he can not eat formula forever, so we are going to keep our fingers crossed that his stomach doesn't freak out.

He will be six months tomorrow, so we decided to give it a go.   He was absolutely adorable and did a really great job.  Please excuse the way we have his high chair rigged up.  He is too small for anything that requires a five point harness, so we have to improvise.  On a side note, I think this is the first time McKenzie has ever been excited that we decided to introduce a baby into her life.  Enjoy...Perron (and McKenzie) sure did.

The first bite goes in.

Hmmm...this taste different than my formula.

But I love to eat, so I will consider this for a minute.

Okay this is fun...for all parties involved.  I was having to fight McKenzie
to keep her out of the bowl.

Happy Baby!

The Aftermath!  I think there was more rice cereal on in than in him!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Heart Breaks...

for the people of Haiti, especially the mothers.  I have been thinking about this a lot today.  Is a mother's love not universal?  Does a woman in Haiti not love her child any less or in a different way than I love my own child?  A  mother's love is not defined by location, culture, race, religion, socio-economic status or any other label.  The love that a mother feels for her child is the same here as it is in Haiti.  And my heart just breaks to a million pieces thinking about what mother's there must be going through.  I just imagine what it would be like to be scared, possibly hurt, wandering the streets with no place to go, no way to feed or care for my baby, no place for him to sleep.  Or worse, I imagine knowing my baby was trapped somewhere, possibly left for dead, and having no way to get to him.  I can not imagine the pain and agony these women must be feeling.

So as I sit here on my couch, watching tv and typing on my computer in the comfort of my home with a baby safe in his bed, I think of a woman a world away from where I am.  Wandering the streets in the dark with no where to lay her baby for the night and I know she feels no less than I would for my Perron.  And my heart breaks for her.  May God be with the people of Haiti.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Teething Fairy

The Teething Fairy, the lesser known evil twin sister of the tooth fairy, has come to visit our house.  Unfortunately it looks like she is in for an extended visit, as there is no sign of a tooth anywhere to be found.  Well let's be honest, I am actually  having to guess that it is the teething fairy in an effort to keep my sanity as I try to figure out reasons (aka grasp at straws) that Perron could be cranky and REFUSING to sleep.  That's right people, refusing to sleep.  Not a pretty situation at our house.  Of course the teething fairy decided to take up residence at the Crigler abode while Stephen was out of town.  She knew my defenses were down and I would not be able to fend off her attacks for a few days.  Conniving B$%#H!   

It started like this.  Stephen leaves on Wednesday to go to California for the game.  I am able to get Perron down like a breeze in 20 minutes flat and he stays asleep the entire night without making a peep until 6:30 the next morning.  He must be in cahoots with the Teething Fairy because he too likes to lull me into a sense of smug satisfaction at what a perfect mother I am before he sucker punches me in the gut.  So Thursday comes and bed time rolls around.  He again goes to sleep like a perfect little angel and again I am patting myself on the back and filling out my application for Mother of the Year.  Well of course the game was on, so I didn't get to bed until midnight...way past my bedtime.  He then was up at 2 and 4 and then up for the day at 7.  I thought okay, not great but not horrible, only one more night til daddy's home (read:  I can pawn off bedtime and night waking responsibilities on him).  Well Perron decided to save his best performance for last.  I got him down easy again, but he was up about 45 minutes later....and then did not go to sleep until midnight...and was then up again at 5 am for good.  YIKES!  Oh and did I mention he is pretty much refusing to nap as well.  Like I said, it isn't pretty.

This was the final straw and I called my mom.  I told her that I thought he was teething, but I was wondering if it could be an ear infection.  Of course my mom jumps on the ear infection band wagon immediately and says I need to take him in to get checked out.  I unfortunately allowed my mom to peer pressure me into taking him in to see the doctor on a Saturday morning.  Note to self:  NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!  It was like the bubonic plague had hit Birmingham and my pediatrician was the only person in the city who could cure it.  I knew it was going to be bad, because let's be honest a parent has to be pretty desperate if they are willing to pack it up bright and early on a Saturday morning to go to the doctor.  That is unless they are me, and then they just allow themselves to be talked into it by their mother.  Long story short, his ears are perfectly fine (which if I had trusted my mother's instinct, I would have known that without exposure to the bubonic plague) and the doctor looked at his mouth and said he is teething.

Again, not sure how he knows that since there isn't a tooth to be found anywhere in his mouth, but I guess I will trust him.  He left me with these reassuring words of wisdom: "He could cut a tooth by midnight or he could wait around until Easter for the tooth to show up."  Surely he is kidding...right....someone please tell me he is kidding....I can not wait until Easter for him to quit being cranky and sleep through the night again.  That tooth better be here by tonight or I am going to go on a witch hunt for that Teething Fairy and shake a damn tooth out of her.  Or maybe I will just go sleep at my parent's house and let Stephen deal with it.  Just kidding...or maybe not.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A New Look!

Notice anything different?  YAY!  I got my blog professionally designed.  Remember how I mentioned thinking about doing it in one of my rambling posts a few months ago.  I think I might have been waxing on about how much I hate uploading pictures into Blogger and proclaiming that one day I would consider getting a new look for my blog.  Well guess what....I did it.  I am SO excited I can barely stand it.  I worked with Danielle over at Design Girl Studio and I think it turned out fabulously.  Danielle was so easy to work with.  Even though I spend all day working with designers and specializing in emerging/social media, I didn't really understand how the whole blog makeover process worked.  Danielle was very patient in explaining to me what I needed to do and how it all worked.  Like I said, I think it is pretty fab...although I am probably a bit biased.  I hope you guys like it too!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nap Bootcamp Has Officially Begun

Welcome to Nap Bootcamp 2010!  Join us on this somewhat painful, often stressful journey of getting Perron to nap in his bed instead of in his swing.  Nap Bootcamp has been a longtime coming.   He has napped in his swing pretty much since he got home from the hospital.  He would occasionally take a nap or two in his crib, but I can probably count on one hand the number of times that has happened.  We conquered the first step of getting nap bootcamp kicked off by kicking the swaddle habit.  I must say, I was dreading that step the most.  My sleep and I have a very close and intimate relationship and if I don't get enough of it, let's just say things are not very pretty around here.  Luckily, the swaddle breaking was much easier than we both expected it to be.  He is still a little harder to get down some nights, but for the most part it has gone extremely well.

Now that the swaddle habit has been kicked to the curb, I have to get him to nap consistently in his bed.  I know that I can not send him to daycare napping in a swing so that is a big motivation for me.  I chose today as the kick off to bootcamp mainly because he was refusing to nap in his swing.  He would sleep for 30-45 minutes and then he would be awake.  His OT is coming today for his first therapy session of the new year and I did not want that to occur with him sleeping a total of an hour all day.  Trust would not have been pretty.  I figured I didn't have much to loose. 

I put him down in his crib and turned on his mobile with just the music playing.  As a side note, we practice a very wimpy version of cry it out...that really doesn't involve much crying to be honest.  We put him in his bed and let him cry for a few minutes.  After that, I will go into his bed and pat his bottom for a minute or two.  I then leave the room.  If he is still not asleep, I let him fuss for another minute or two and then go back and bottom pat again.  Then I will usually just sit in his rocking chair so he can sense that I am in his room, but not see me.  The main thing is that once he is in his crib, we do not pick him up unless we absolutely have to (take for example last night when he waited until he was put in bed to poop).  Well, this afternoon it took 30 minutes and several trips in there to pat his bottom....but I did it!  He is now sleeping in his crib.  Let's see how long this is going to last.  I would love it if he would sleep all the way to his therapy appointment so he could be good and rested for that.

Now the hard part is going to be consistency.  If you think I am a wimp when it comes to him crying, you should meet my mom.  Hopefully I can get her on the same page and she can follow the routine that we set in place.  Luckily we have the common goal of getting him to nap in his crib before daycare gets here...and we have four months to make that happen.  The next thing we will have to work on is trying to figure out a way to get him to nap with 8 other kids in the room with him.  That should be interesting.  But for today, we will celebrate this one small victory!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The List

I love to travel.  I have since I was a child.  I can thank my parents for that.  We were never allowed a vacation where we were not going to go somewhere to learn something.  There was no lounging on the beach, being lazy for us.  No siree!  We would march to the point of exhaustion through museums, historical sites, and cultural events.  It sparked a curious mind, it taught me so much about history and other people's culture, about the importance of experiences, and it gave me the travel bug for life.  It is one of the greatest gifts my parents gave me.   I love trip planning almost as much as I do the traveling part.  I 100% for sure get that from my dad.  He would have us scheduled within an inch of our lives on vacation...down to the places we would eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner based on where we were going for the day and what are of town we would be in.  I love looking up information about the destination and mapping out where all we will go, so as not to waste a single sight-seeing moment.  I can not wait to share my passion for new places with Perron when he gets older. 

I don't know if it is because of the New Year and I am reading everyone's resolution/to-do  list, but I have been thinking of all  of the places that I want to go to before I die.  Kind of a morbid thought I guess, but something to think about.  So I am going to start composing my list.  Some of these places I want to take Perron to, some of these places I have already been and I want to share with my family, and some of these places are for Stephen and I to adventure to alone.  This is the first installment of the list.  I want to write places down as I think  of them, more as a mental note to myself, than anything else.

1.  Grand Canyon
2.  New York City at Christmas time
3.  Maine
4.  Boston
5.  Yellowstone National Park
6.  Napa/Sonoma
7.  Driving down the California coast on Highway 1
8.  Skiing in Colorado
9.  Italy:  Rome, Florence, Venice, The Amalfi Coast
10.  Drive through the Texas Hill Country during Blue Bonnet season
11.  Rent a cottage in Provence.  I love Peter Mayle books and they have inspired me.
12.  Las Vegas
13.  Niagra Falls
14.  Chicago
15.  Turks and Caico's (I have to throw this one in there since Stephen loves tropical destinations so much!)
16.  London
17.  Greece
18.  Philadelphia
19. Disney World
20. Washington DC

There is a story behind each one of these places and why either I love it and want to share it or why I want to go.  Rather then bore you with all of those details now, I will save that for another day.  I am always up for suggestions, so if you have a favorite vacation destination or a place you think I can not miss, please leave me a comment and tell me about it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009: A Year in Pictures

I thought that it might be neat to do our year in review through pictures this year. Mainly because I am too lazy to come up with witty things to say about the best and hardest year of our lives. We were very busy this year..

We started the New Year in New Orleans. 
7 weeks pregnant+NewOrleans+ humiliating Alabama loss=No fun at all!

We got our first "big" snow in Birmingham since we have lived here.

We took our first pregnancy picture (14 weeks).

We went to the beach with great friends.

We went to the Grand...

which lead us to a not fun night here...

We took pictures in Destin right before my thrid and final trip to
 the hospital during our one week of vacation

We had a baby too soon

He was very small

but a fighter from the beginning

We got to take him home after 17 days in the NICU

We lacked a lot of this

We celebrated

We prayed

We played

We spent our first Christams with our baby

And we received the greatest gift God could ever give us.

May God continue to bless us in 2010 the way he did in 2009.
Happy New Year from our family to yours!