Monday, December 17, 2012

9 months

Dearest Grayson,

I just got an email from a service I subscribe to that tracks milestones and baby's developments and it just said 9 months and two weeks in the email title, so I figured I better get on your monthly post before your 9th month flies by.  We are knee deep in the Christmas season and it is hard to believe that this time last year I was still pregnant with you!  It really seems like you have fit into our family so seamlessly that I can not imagine you not being here.

You are getting so big.  I took you on Friday for your nine month check-up, and you are in the 60th percentile for height and the 40th percentile for weight.  You are 28 and 3/4 inches long and you weigh 19 lbs 15.4 ounces.  You have slowed down in your weight gain some, but you are still wearing clothes this holiday season that your big brother wore when he was 15 to 16 months old.  You still wear a size 4 diaper and fit nicely into your 12 month pajamas.

You are eating baby food and we have started integrating table food into your diet over the past two or 3 weeks.  I can tell that you are a little more finicky then Perron was, but you still we pretty much eat whatever I put in front of you.  You love french toast sticks for breakfast, are pretty keen on lunchmeat, and will go through some yougurt melts like it is nobody's business.  We will continue to increase the amount of table foods that you are eating and will slowly start moving you off baby food. 

You are cutting your four top teeth all at one time.  Poor baby!  The two side teeth have already broken through the gums, but the two middle teeth are just bulging underneath the gums and haven't come through yet.  It looks very painful and if you bite down on something wrong or something hits your gums you just cry and cry.

You are quite the mobile little thing.  You can officially crawl a real crawl for a few steps, but you much prefer to drag yourself around "zombie" style as we call it.  You lay on your tummy and use one of your arms to pull yourself while your feet push behind you.  It really is an effective form of transportation and there have been many times we have heard you shrieking and laughing as you are dragging yourself down the hallway out of the playroom.  We have also caught you trying to eat trash out of the laundry room trash can.  Probably a signal that the baby gates need to go up.

You have also started pulling up  on things.  We learned this the hard way one morning after you woke up from morning nap.  You somehow manage to pull yourself up in your crib and then proceeded to fall out head first onto the hardwoods.  Needless to say, there was a lot of crying on both of our parts and your crib was lowered down as low as it could go.

I know that I say this every month, but you really are the sweetest, happiest baby.  Your aunt sarah called you a "trick" baby over Thanksgiving and that term has definitely stuck.  A trick baby is a baby that is so good that it would trick you into having a hundred more because you would think they were so easy.  It really is true.  You have the sweetest spirit and are always ready to share a smile and a giggle with anyone who will look your way.  You bring joy to the lives of everyone who knows you.

So as we celebrate your first Christmas season with us, we look forward to a lifetime of more memories.  We have truly been blessed!


Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

8 months

Dearest Grayson,

8 months.  8 months!  How are you already 8 months old?  This month has been a busy, busy month for you.  You have completely mastered sitting up and are an old pro at it.  I honestly can't really remember working with you that much at it.  I just kind of decided one day last month that you could sit up and within the next week or so, you were acting like that is what you had always done.  Sitting up has been followed very closely by crawling.  Not true hands and knees crawling.  More like an army crawl pull and scoot.  You love to get out of your sitting position and onto all fours, but when you really want to get somewhere you do your scoot.  You lay on your tummy and you pull yourself with your arms and then push yourself with your legs.  You are super fast like this too.  You have to develop that kind of speed so you can get to your brother's toys before he yanks them from you.

Speaking of brother, I am not 100% sure he is as thrilled with your new mobility as we are.  There is a lot of yelling Grayson that's mine or don't touch that or give that back or MOMMY!  Hopefully he will get used to this sharing thing soon because I don't see you giving up your desire to have his toys in your mouth.  As I mention, you can move completely out of a sitting position into a crawling position and you are just starting to move from a crawling position into a sitting position.  I have a feeling that by the time I am writing your nine month post you will be full blown, real deal crawling.  How did that happen so fast!?!

As I mention in your last both, I was guessing your second tooth would pop through by the time that I was writing your eight month post and I was right.  You have two tiny little precious bottom teeth poking through.  You are doing okay with your eating.  You tolerate pretty much any baby food I give you, although you had some very strong thoughts about a certain beef, carrots, and corn jar that i gave you.  You are starting to get a little less sensitive to the texture of non-pureed food and can not eat yogurt melts and puff without gagging...usually.  Next month we will start introducing some table foods and see how you do.  Your older brother was and is champion eater of the world, so you have big shoes to fill in that department.

You are still our growing little boy, but I think you have started to slow down just a little bit.  You are in size four diapers, size 6-12 month clothes, and size 12 month pjs (and anything else Carter's makes).  I am guessing that you are getting pretty close to the 20 pound mark.

You still are not babbling or making any sounds yet, but you are by no means quiet.  You love to shriek and squeal.  You remain the happiest baby ever and are very rarely with out a smile on your face and a giggle on your breath.  You are sweeter than sunshine and we love you so very very much!


Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

7 months

Dearest Grayson,

This month has been a busy month for you.  You have learned to sit up by yourself, gotten your first tooth, and had your second round of ear infections.  The ear infection part was no fun...neither was the teething really.

You can now sit unassisted for a pretty decent period of time and play with toys.  You sometimes have a tendency to throw yourself backwards so I have to be on the look out, but you are generally pretty sturdy and steady.  I must say that you look like such a big boy sitting up.  You still are not crawling, but now that you have mastered sitting, I have a feeling that won't be far behind.  You still using rolling as your primary way of traveling, but you can scooch pretty good to.  You love toys and they will motivate you to move to find a way to get to them.

You have broken one of your bottom middle teeth through and the tooth next to it is right under the surface.  I have a feeling it will be close behind and by the time I post your next month update it will have made your appearance.  You don't love teething and it makes you a little fussy and not sleep great.

Speaking of sleep, your teething and ear infections have done a number on your sleep.  You have been waking up two to three times a night and your mommy and daddy are TIRED!  You also have not been napping very well at all.  Luckily your ears are feeling a little better and you actually slept through the night last night which was a HUGE treat for your mommy and daddy.  Hopefully this trend will continue and we will be able to get you back on track soon.  You have had two ear infections in the past six weeks, so I have a feeling that tubes might be in your future.  Both mommy and daddy had bad ears growing up, so I am not all that surprised.  We we will see how that goes.

You are getting to be such a big boy.  When I took you to the doctor's on Friday for your ears you weighed in at just over 19 pounds.  You are officially bigger than your brother was at a year.  That is incredible to believe.  You are still in 6-12 month clothes, but probably won't be for long.  You are in a size three diaper, but I will be buying a size four box the next time I buy them.  You are eating more baby food, but honestly we haven't gotten you on a very good schedule with it.  You always have a jar of food at dinnertime, but during the day it is hit or miss.  I am really going to work on getting you on a better schedule.  I have tried some little table food with you, but you are not a fan at all.  If I put a puff in your mouth, you stick your tongue out and hold it there until it fall off.  If one does actually make it into your mouth long enough to start dissolving you gag and act like we are poisoning you.  What a stinker!  Hopefully this is just a temporary blip and not a textural aversion to food you are developing.  Only time will tell.

You aren't making any official sounds yet, but lord do you talk all the time.  You squawk, squeal and screech non-stop.  You love to laugh and smile and are always so so so happy.  You love your big brother and could watch him all day.

You are such a light in our lives and our family.  We love you to the moon and back!

Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

6 months!

Dearest Grayson,

I figured that I better get on your six month post since I just got an email from Baby Center on my 6 month and 3 week old.  You poor second children!  Better late than never.  So what have you been up to this month.

For starters we took you to your six month well baby check up and you weighed 17 lbs 11 ozs and were 26 and 3/4 inches  tall.  As a disclaimer, you had just eaten an 8 oz bottle, so your weight might have been a little inflated.  Regardless, those stats put you squarely in the 50th percentile for weight and height.  It is so hard for me to imagine that you are able to be as big as your big brother was at a year.  Definitely two very different more than just body type alone.  You are wearing size three diapers.  You wear size 6-12 month clothes and 9 month onesies and sleepers.

You continue to be the sweetest, happiest baby that ever lived.  You love to play with toys more than anything.  They are a huge source of motivation for you.  If I put a toy a little beyond your reach you will try and skooch as hard as you can to get to it.  You push your bottom up in the air and scoot on your shoulder and head trying to move for it.  You are a very proficient roller and I will find you on the opposite side of the room if you I put you down in the playroom and walk away.  You are staring to be able to sit-up for brief periods of time unassisted.  I can not believe how quickly you are growing up!

You are still doing great with eating.  I am lazy (seems to be a common theme) and you are still only eating one meal of solids a day, but Cammie and I keep saying we are going to add a second mid-day meal in there for you.  Maybe this week.  You have eaten apples, pears, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and peas.  While you are not as enthusiastic of an eater as your brother was, you still do very well and haven't refused anything yet.  You sit up in your high chair and make a big, huge mess!

Your night time sleeping continues to be pretty good.  You are usually asleep by 7:30 and then you wake up somewhere in the 5 or 6 o'clock hour to eat and then go back down for another 30-45 minutes or so.  Your napping has regressed a little and you seem to be suffering from short nap syndrome where you want to wake up after 45 or 50 minutes.  I am working with a sleep lady who I used with your brother to try and see if we can work out a solution.

You got your first cold since your hospitalization and unfortunately it didn't treat your lungs very well.  It has been almost a month since you got what was in reality a very mild cold and you are still coughing and wheezing.  It makes me very nervous for how we are going to handle the fall and winter cold and flu season.  I spoke with Dr. M and she said that if you got RSV or any RSV-acting virus that there would most likely be no way that we could avoid hospitalization based on the way you handled this cold.  Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled to hear that news, but we will continue to pray for the best and be prepared for the worst.

You love to squeal and shriek.  We call you our little baby pterodactyl.  You have just started imitating us and it is so funny.  Your big brother loves for us to cheer and yell "whoo" when he is playing sports in the back yard.  This weekend, as soon as I would yell whoo you would immediately mimic me and yell back.  It was precious!  You are such a smart boy.  You love your big brother so much and nothing make you happier than to watch him run around like a crazy person.  It is a sure fire way to calm you down if you are fussy or over-tired.

You are starting to get a little bit of stranger anxiety if people try picking you up or holding you before you are comfortable with them.  However, you are still so sweet and will give your smiles and giggles to anyone who looks your way.  Everyone always comments on how you have the sweetest little smile.

You are acting like you might be getting some teeth in, but you never will let me get a close enough look.  I think I might be able to see two bottom teeth underneath the gums, but nothing is close to breaking through the surface yet.

You continue to be such a blessing to our family and such an absolute joy and delight in our lives.  I can not tell you how much your daddy and I have enjoyed you.  You have been so easy and sweet and an absolute delight to be around.  We love you and can't imagine our lives before you were in it.

Love you to the moon and back,


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Three Years Old


My sweet, wild, precious first born.  How could it be that you are three years old.  i feel like just yesterday, I was laying on a table waiting for you to be born.  How far you have come from that little 3 lb 13 oz boy. 

You are one of the smartest little boys I know.  You have such a passion for music.  You love classical music and you spend almost all of your days with a plastic straw, your ba-ton (spelled like you used to pronounce it), in your hand.  You stand on a little plastic bathroom step stool that you call your compodium and you conduct like crazy.  Your three favorite conductors are Franz-Wesler Most, Allen Gilbert and Gustavo Dudamel.  You will tell that information to anyone who will listen.  Gammaw and Gampaw record classical music concerts and you love to go to their house and conduct to them.  You love Rhapsody in Blue, Radezsky's March, Songs from the Nutcracker, Rodeo, Mafiesto Waltz, just to name a few.  You can't understand why other three year olds aren't interested in conducting or who your favorite conductor's are.  You can  name every instrument in the orchestra and if you aren't conducting you can usually be found playing some kind of instrument around the house.  It is cute, but it is mind-blowing how incredibly intelligent you are that you can comprehend all of this at such a young age. 

You love puzzles and are VERY good at them.  You can easily blow through 24 piece puzzles without any help.  You have a Chuggington Puzzle that you were given for your birthday that has over fifty puzzles and you can easily do that without any help.  You love to read and there are several books that you can "read" back to us.  You can read Where the Wild Things Are and The Very Hungry Captepillar to name a couple.  It is always so cute to hear you read the stories because you read them back exactly the way you hear them read to you, same intonation and inflection.  Some of your favorites are The Bernstein Bears, Little Critter, Dora books, and Curious George.

I hate to admit that you are a bit of a technology junkie.  You LOVE LOVE LOVE to play on the iPad and would play all day long if I let you.  One of your favorite things to do is to get on YouTube and look up videos of your favorite conductors.  In fact, as you sit here next to me on the couch you are watching a video of Franz Wesler Most.  You also love looking at pictures on Facebook.  I love that you are already a little Facebook stalker at the age of three.  You know exactly how to get into the app, go to my profile, and find the pictures.  You also have several little games that you like to play.  Not surprisingly your favorite game is a musical instrument game.  You also love your Curious George Application, your matching game, and a game about shapes.  To go with your iPad addiction you also have a love affair with cable television.  Nick JR is your favorite channel and some of your favorite shows are The Fresh Beat Band, Dora, Diego, Wow Wow Wubbzy, and Team Umi-zoomi.  I must admit that since your little brother was born you probably watch a little more TV than you should.

Speaking of brothers.  You are such a good big brother.  You love Grayson so much and I can already see the bond forming between you too.   It is so sweet to see it develop.  You love to tickle him and grab at him.  I occasionally have to remind you to be gentle, but for the most part you are very good with him.  You constantly ask to hold him and will sit with your legs spread apart with him sitting in between.  It is getting harder for you to hold him though because his is already over half your size.

That is right.  You are still littler than a minute.  At your three year old check up you weighed 29 lbs 12 ozs and were 37.5inches tall.  You wear anything from 12-18 month shorts all the way up to 24 month shorts depending on the brand.  You are in 2T shirts and are about to move up to 3T shirts.  You are potty trained and have been since about May.  You still sleep in pull-ups for nap time and night time.

You unfortunately not a great sleeper, which is hard on mommy and daddy.  You still take one nap a day that last anywhere from an hour and a half to 3 hours depending.  Most days you are up well before the sun rises (before 6am).  We moved you to a big boy bed in January and you certainly have taken advantage of the freedom that affords.  In the past four to six weeks you have stopped sleeping through the night.  I will frequently find you standing nose to nose with me at my bedside at 4am.  Hopefully this is just a phase and you will grow out of it quickly because mommy and daddy are TIRED!

But the  most important thing of all of this is how much we love you.  You are the sweetest, funniest, most loving child.  You light up this household and our lives more than you could every imagine.  Your energy and zeal for life are contagious and we are so blessed to be your parents.  You have taught me so much about what true, unconditional love is, so much about myself and the kind of person I want to be.  You have tested me in ways I could have never imagined, but you have also shown me a kind of love I could never have imagined before you are born.  You are one of the best things I have ever done!

We love you!

Mommy and Daddy

Five Months

Dearest Grayson,

Wow!  Five months, well really five and a half months.  Such a big boy.  I can't believe we are just a few weeks from your half year mark.  Really how has it been five and a half months already.  You have fit so perfectly into our family that we really can't imagine a time when you were not with us.

You are getting so big!  I really can not even believe it.  You probably weigh around sixteen pounds if I have to guess.  We are squeezing you into size two diapers but you are just using up the rest that we had because you really need size three.  You are in either 3 to 6 month clothes or six month clothes; however, your six month pjs probably won't fit much longer and we are about to have to move you into your six to 12 months clothes.

You are a good eater and we just started you on rice cereal a week and a half ago or so.  You are doing really great with it and by the time I write your six month post you will be eating real baby food.  You take 4 eight oz bottles a day.

You have completely mastered rolling both ways with ease.  We will put you on your little playmat and turn away.  By the time we turn back around you will be all the way across the room.  I have never seen a baby love to play as much as you do.  You LOVE toys and are constantly playing with them.  You love to reach, grab, pull and shake anything you can get your hands on.  We got your jump-a-roo out of the attic and you love it.  You jump up and down and shriek like a little teradactyl.  Shrieking is another one of your favorite activities.  We can hear you squealing and talking all throughout the house.

You are sleeping pretty good.  We finally did away with the swaddle blanket.  We have put you in a little blanket sleeper called the Zip a Dee Zip and you are doing pretty well with it.  You will sometime wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning, but you go back to sleep easily.  Since you have learned to rollover you will flip in your sleep.  It is funny because sometimes you love it and you will sleep forever on your tummy.  Other times, if you wake up on your stomach you will freak out and grunt and cry until we come and get you or roll you over. 

You are still the absolute happiest, easiest baby I have every seen.  You love to smile and will give away smiles and giggles to whoever looks your way.  You also love to laugh.  You giggle constantly and think everything is so funny.  Especially your brother.  You love your big brother.  If he is in the room, it is pretty much a guarantee that you will be watching whatever he is doing.  You love it when he interacts with you or tickles you.  You will just laugh and laugh.

We are so luck that God sent you to us.  You are the light of my  life and you and your brother are the best thing  your daddy and I have ever done in our lives.  You are our light and our joy!


Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, July 12, 2012

4 Months Old


You are now four months old.  What a big boy.  I know that I say this all the time, but I can not believe how fast time has flown.  I wanted to wait to post your four month post because we took you to the doctor on Tuesday for your well baby appointment and I wanted your stats.   You weigh 14 lbs on the nose (40%) and are 24.5 inches (30%).  Even though you are only in the 40th percentile you seen so huge to us in comparison to your brother.   I put you in an outfit the other day that your brother wore when he was nine months old.  If you add a few more pounds, you will soon lap what he weighed at a year.  You are in 3-6 month clothes and we are about to have to bring out the 6 month pajamas because your feet are too big and you are getting too long!  You wear a size two diaper.

I know I say this every month, but you really are the sweetest, happiest baby I have ever seen.  You have added laughing to your repertoire this month and it is so cute.  You love to be tickled and will laugh so hard when someone gets your belly.  You have become fascinated with your big brother and will just stare at him and watch him so intently.  When he gives you attention you just smile so big and laugh.  It melts this mommy's heart. You have also really started talking and shrieking.  It is so cute and very very loud.  You honestly sound like a little monkey.  i sometimes have to take you into my room or outside if you are awake while your brother is still sleeping because you are that loud.

You have found your hands for sure and are getting pretty coordinated when it comes to using them.  You can bring your hands to mid-line and grasp them together.  You can put them in your mouth, which you do all the time.  In fact, I am a little nervous that you might be a thumb suckers because you love to suck on your hands and fingers so much.  I will admit though, when you do figure out how to isolate your thumb, it is the sweetest thing I have ever seen.  You can reach and bat at your toys and we will often find you working over your froggy toy in your car seat or the toys in your bouncy seat and playmat.

You can now roll over from back to stomach.  You have been able to roll from your stomach to your back for a while, but you still don't really do that very consistently.  We are starting to wean you from your swaddle.  You look like you are sleeping in a little baby toga because we have one arm free and one arm wrapped up.  You have transitioned to that pretty well and it hasn't really affected your sleep much.  You are still not sleeping through the night (bummer for mommy) and will usually get up in the 4am hour.  Luckily, you don't stay up too terribly long and I can usually be back in bed within an hour.  I will say that I will be excited when sleeping through the night has entered back into my life!  I must say that I am definitely tired; however...

What I have learned from your brother is that while the days might sometimes be long, the years are so very short.  Time passes so quickly and I know that in a blink of an eye you will be walking out of my door and off to a life of your own.  Being a parent is a true gift from God and one that you can never fully understand or appreciate until you one day are a parent.  I have learned so much about myself and about the depths of love a human heart can experience once they are a parent.  You and your brother are my greatest accomplishment, my legacy, and the biggest blessing in my life.  I thank God every day for the gift of being your mommy.  I love you to the moon and back!


Mommy and Daddy

Monday, June 11, 2012

3 Months

Dearest Grayson,

I know I say this every month, but seriously, how has three months already passed.  Time is a funny thing.  In some regards, it feels like a lifetime ago I was sitting in the hospital anxiously awaiting your arrival and in other regards it feels like just yesterday that you were born.  You continue to be the happiest, sweetest, most laid back baby who has ever existed.  You are so cute and love to smile at anyone who happens to look your way.  One of your new developments is that you have started laughing.  It is the most precious sound you have ever heard.  It started first with you making little coughing noises when you smiled really big, but has started to develop into full on chuckles.  You love playing Patty Cake and that almost always gets lots of giggles out of you.  You also seem to be a bit ticklish and that will get you going as well.

Speaking of giggles,  you are starting to notice your big brother a little more, which is very sweet.  He will come up to you in your bouncy seat and dance around and you think that is pretty funny.  We have to watch pretty closely though because he seems to think you liked to be bounced a little harder than mommy is comfortable with.  There have been a few times that I thought he might rocket you out of the chair.

We took you on your first vacation right at the tail end of your second month of life through the beginning of your third month of life.  If someone would have told me prior to your birth, that I would pack up my newborn and 2 year old and head to the beach, I would have told them that they were crazy.  This is just a testament to what a good baby you are.  You traveled like a champ and did so well while we were down there.  You slept great in the pack and play and were content to just be held by the pool.  Luckily we had Grandma, Grandpa, Ya-Ya, and Mark to help.

You are getting so big.  You have officially grown out of all of your newborn and 0-3 month clothes and our almost out of size 1 diapers.  The last time I weighed you, you were a little over 11 and a half pounds.  You are getting longer and you have big feet just like your brother.  You always grow out of the feet of footie pajamas first.  You continue to nurse and be bottle fed.  It has gotten a little dicier with mommy going back to work, but I am sure that we will figure out some kind of a system.  You are taking your bottles better after we got you a faster flow nipple, which makes feeding a bit quicker.  You are flirting with sleeping through the night, which makes mommy very happy.  About three nights a week you will sleep all the way through from 8ish to 5:30 or 6am.  You are also pretty decent about taking your naps in bed.  I can almost always get a one hour nap in the crib out of you in the morning.  Our afternoons are still a little hit and miss.  Seeing as your brother napped in the swing exclusively until he was 8 months old, I will consider this a victory.

We love you so much and have enjoyed seeing how much your personality has developed in the past month.   I  know how fast these newborn days go and it sometimes makes me want to freeze time to capture these moments; however, each passing day and the changes it brings makes us so excited for what the future holds.  Being a mommy to you and your brother is the best and most important job I have ever done.   I love you more than all the stars in the sky!


Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, May 27, 2012

2 Months

Dearest Grayson,

How could it be that two months have already past?  In fact, if you pay attention to the date on the post then you realize that I am actually squeezing this in right before you turn three months.  You have had a busy second month of life, but for good reasons not bad.  You have been smilling up a storm, you started sleeping in your crib instead of next to mommy and daddy, and you have even rolled over.

You have the sweetest little personality and it is becoming more and more evident every day.  You love to smile and are always quick to flash a gummy grin whenever anyone looks your way.  You are so laid back and content, just like your daddy.  You have started to find your voice and you love to coo and talk to us.  You love to be held, which I am more than happy to oblige.  Since you are my second, I know how quickly these days go by and I love to spend lots of snuggle time with you.  However, you are also perfectly content to sit in your bouncy seat or in your boppy and watch the world go by.

We moved you to your crib when you were six weeks old and you have done an awesome job since the very first night.  I must admit, I was sad the first night daddy moved you out.  I liked having you so close to me and I realized that it was the last time I was ever going to have a precious baby sleeping in a bed next to me.  You are a great sleeper and mommy is very appreciative of that.  We put you down sometime in between 8 and 8:30 every night and you usually wake up one time in between 3 and 5am to eat and then go right back to sleep until 7 or 8.  Such a huge change from your big brother!

I have to admit that we have not been very diligent with your tummy time, reference the statement about being held, but we have gotten you to roll over a couple of times.  I don't think it is intentional yet, you just get that head leaning to one side and its weight pulls you around. 

We took you in for your 2 month appointment and you weighed 10 lbs 2 ozs and 22 and a fourth inches tall.  Dr. McCain was very impressed with how much you had grown since you were released from the hospital.  You gained almost three pounds in one month.  It is hard to believe that you are now the size your brother was a four or five months old.  I have already had to start packing away some of your newborn clothes!  You still fit comfortably in your 0-3 month clothes, but we have had to move you into your 3 month pajamas even though they are a little big.  You are still nursing and taking a bottle afterwords.  You are definitely not as good of an eater as your big brother was.  You would much prefer to nurse and you take forever to take a bottle.  You get distracted so easily and you would much prefer to smile and talk to us then eat.

You have added such a light to our family and we love you so much.  Your sweet spirit makes us so proud and we can't wait to watch you grow more into your own.  We love you more than all the stars in the sky.


Mommy and Daddy

Monday, April 23, 2012

Grayson's Hospitlization Part 2: The PICU

So when we last left off, we were being wheeled up to the PICU on a gurney.  Once we got to the doors of the PICU, we were informed that we could not be in the PICU while they were admitting him and we had to wait in the waiting room until someone came to get us.  They said it should be around 10 or 15 minutes.  At that point I had to get off the stretcher and lay him on it to be wheeled back.  It was so sad and scary to see my tiny 19 day old laying on a stretcher by himself and not being able to be with him.  At this point we didn't know what he might look like when we saw him again because we still did not know whether they would have to intubate him or not.  They opened the big double doors and wheeled him away and we went into the PICU waiting room.  It was so surreal.  This is the first time that I really  let my guard down and let the enormity of what had happened over the past two hours sink in.  I just sat in a chair and cried and cried.  Some nice family member of someone who had a child in the PICU brought me some tissues and the receptionist for the PICU came out and asked if we needed anything or wanted some privacy.  Obviously, every family that was sitting in that waiting room had been in the exact same place that I was and could relate to what I was going through, but it is a bit like being in a cage.  You can tell that you are being watched and it is human nature to wonder what has happened to send you to the PICU, lord knows I wondered that about every face I saw in there.  The receptionist took us back to the family counseling room and told us that she would let them know we were in there.  Once in the family room I calmed down considerably, but then I realized what room I was in.  In my mind, the family counseling room might as well be called the room they take you to to tell you your baby is going to die.  I didn't think that that was going to happen, but it still freaked me out and I wanted to get out of there as quickly as I possibly could.

After we had been in there for about 20 minutes, I sent Stephen out to find out why they hadn't come back to get us and when we would get to see him.  After he left, a social worker from the PICU happened to walk by and see that the door was opened.  She poked her head in and asked what I was doing and if I had a child in the PICU.  I told her that my newborn was in the process of being admitted and I had sent Stephen to figure out what was going on.  I am so glad that she stopped in the room because she was able to tell us about the PICU and what to expect.  I will admit I was really nervous.  I had obviously been in the NICU before but I was scared about what I would see in the PICU.  In the NICU, you obviously know that there are critically ill babies in there, but the most you hear is the sound of a newborn crying.  The PICU is a whole different ball of wax.  Your 19 day old could be across the walkway from a 19 year old who is next to a 9 year old etc.  Let me promise you this, a 9 year old or 5 year old or whatever age is very aware of pain and being scared and the sound of them screaming and crying was more than I could handle.  I will never forget what that sounds likes and I hope I never have to hear it again.

The social worker explained how the PICU worked and told us to just focus on our baby and to not look around at the other babies too much because that would make it too hard.  Of course, again it is human nature and of course as soon as you step through those doors you are staring at every other child in there and wondering what is wrong with them and what their story is.  The PICU at Children's is one big open room and there are beds and cribs lined up in rows with curtains in that can be pulled in between them, so you see and hear everything that is going on around you.  Very unsettling.  After the social worker had explained everything to us, she said that she would take us back to see Grayson.  We walked through the PICU doors and rounded the corner and the first thing I saw was my dad standing there.  It was such a tremendous relief to know that he had been there with him while we were not there.  My dad didn't realize that we were not allowed in with him during admission so he just walked right in and they pointed him to his bed.  That is the miracle of the white coat.  If I ever have a child in the hospital again, I am going to borrow a white coat because you get to go wherever you want to go, no questions asked.

When we got back to Grayson's bedside he was like a new baby.  He was resting much more comfortably and was breathing easy enough that he could even suck on a paci.  He was still very sick, but it was evident that we had avoided intubation.  Such a relief.  The had him on 30% oxygen and he really seemed to bounce back well.  We met with the doctors and our nurse and then we just sat at his bedside.  Since the PICU is an open unit, you can not sleep in there with your child.  There was one glider bedside and then they pulled up an office chair for Stephen to sit in.  Stephen and I sat down and started to process everything that had just happened and started notifying people of what was going on.  Eventually, I needed to pump and Grayson was doing so well, that I went downstairs to the lactation room on the ground floor.  After I was done, I was getting out of the elevator when I saw Stephen walking out of the PICU with all of our stuff.  I was confused because the PICU wasn't supposed to close visiting hours for another hour.  It turns out that while I was gone a baby had coded in the PICU.  Not only did they obviously shut the unit down, but it just so happens that the crash cart was apparently located directly behind Stephen's chair.  He said one minute he was just playing on the iPad and the next thing he knew half of the PICU staff was flying over to his chair to try and get the crash cart out.  Stephen was definitely pretty traumatized from that experience.  Luckily the baby pulled through, obviously it was not something you want to witness.

Since the PICU was closed, we went home to see Perron for a few minutes and  clean up and get bags together.  The plan was that I would sleep in the chair next to Grayson and Stephen would stay until the 10:30 PICU closure and go home and come back in the morning.  Well, we got back to the hospital and he was doing so well they were talking about moving him to the regular floor the next day.  We were obviously thrilled and could not wait to get out of there.  The PICU was very crowded when we were admitted and they had to move beds around to make room for us.  Well, at around 9:30 that night they had a 5 year old that had to be intubated in the ER and they needed a space in the PICU.  Grayson was doing so well that they decided that we would be the lucky ones that got to move to a floor.  We were so happy that he was doing so well and so happy to be on the floor in much more comfortable accommodations.  We were smug enough at that point to think that our journey would continue to be easy and short, but boy were we wrong.  The doctor's that would be taking over Grayson's care came up to process the transfer and we were in our room at around 10:30.  Just in time for bed!

When we were admitted if you had told me that we would be there another almost two weeks, I would never have believed you.  The PICU holds 19 total children.  If you had told me on that Monday morning that my newborn would have been one of the 19 sickest children out of the hundreds of children that are in that hospital, I would have laughed in your face.  Things change quickly and our family is blessed beyond measure.  In those few hours in the PICU,  Stephen and I saw things that no parent should ever have to see and witnessed the silent heartache of 18 other families.  It is one thing to know that there are really sick kids out there as an abstract concept.  It is a totally different thing to see them with your own eyes.  Pray for the families that spend their lives up there and the incredible doctor's and nurse's who take care of them.

I will pick back up with the remainder of our stay on the floor in the next post.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Grayson 1 Month

Dearest Grayson,

How could it be that one month has already passed since you were born.  Well technically six and a half weeks have passed since you were born, but you are going to have to cut mommy a little're first month of life was a roller coaster.  It is hard to believe that you spent more of your first month of life in the hospital then outside of it.  You were a very sick little boy and we were very scared for you, but you are also a very strong little boy and were able to pull through.

It is hard to image our lives and our family without you.  In some ways it seems like this month has passed in a blink of an eye and in other ways it seems like you have always been a part of our family.  You are such a sweet, good baby.  You are so relaxed and content.  I think that after your brother, God knew that we deserved a little break.  You are happy to be held, but you are just as happy to sit in your bouncy seat and observe what is going on in the world around you.  You very rarely cry.  In the hospital while they were repeatedly poking you with needles the most you would ever do was grunt really hard and squirm.  Every nurse would lavish you with praise and tell us what a good baby you were.  We could not agree more.  You will take a paci but you are fully committed to it.  We will see if that changes as time goes by.

I would list some of the things that you like to do, but bless your heart, you have been in the hospital so much you haven't gotten to do much more than lay in a hospital bed or lay in the bunny seat (your bassinet/bed).  I have done a little bit of tummy time with you and you are so strong.  You can hold your head up away from our bodies.  In fact, you are exhausting to hold just like your brother was, because you squirm and practically climb up our bodies and over our back.

You are a wonderful sleeper.  In fact, most nights I have had to wake you up just to feed you.  You eat and then go right back to sleep.  You have been sleeping right next to mommy and daddy's bed.  That won't last forever though, because you are a very loud sleeper.  You grunt and squirm like nobody's business.  I have enjoyed having you close to me though because we didn't keep Perron in our room for very long.

You lost down below your birth weight during your hospital stay, but are up to a little over eight pounds.  We had to switch you to size 1 diapers while you were in the hospital because you were wetting out of the newborn diapers.  You can wear newborn clothes and 0-3 month clothes, but those are still big.  It is so funny though, because you seem huge to us.  You are wearing clothes that your brother didn't wear until he was 3 or 4 months old.

Speaking of your brother.  He loves you very  much.  He always begs to hold you and wants to kiss and hug you all the time.  He is very sweet and gentle with you for the most part and is so excited to have you here.  We have had to cut back on the amount he can touch you and he hasn't been able to hold you since you were sick.  We have to keep you safe.  I love watching the two of you together and know that one day you will grow up to be best of friends.

You are the light of our lives and we can not imagine what our lives without you in it.  If anything, our time in the hospital with you strengthened our love and commitment to you and reminded us to cherish each moment with you.

We love you more than words can say!


Mommy and Daddy

Monday, April 16, 2012

Grayson's Hospitlization Part 1: The ER

Hello there blog.  It has been almost a year since I have seen you last.  I would make excuses, but who has time for that.  The reality is that I am here now and I have a very important story to tell.  This blog, back when it was active, has always served to document our lives, the good and the bad, the exciting and the scary.  Well, a few short weeks ago, I have never been more terrified in my entire life.  It started simply enough.  Perron started coughing over a  weekend.  I wasn't alarmed.  I assumed it was allergies due to the early spring we have had.  Well, by Monday the cough had turned into a fever and a full blown cold.  We toughed it out and I tried to keep the boys separated as best I could.  For those of you with more than one child, especially one child who is a very exciting to big brother newborn, you know that is impossible.  We took Perron to the pediatrician's on a Thursday and he was diagnosed with a sinus infection and put on antibiotics.  All was well in the Crigler household...until Saturday.

We went to the zoo with my parents Saturday morning and I remember mentioning at some point that Grayson was getting a stuffy nose, but I didn't think much of it.  Then some of our sweet friend brought dinner over for us Saturday night.  While they were there I felt Grayson's head and he felt really warm.  I took his temperature and it was only 99.9 degrees, elevated but below the 100.4 cut off.  I called the ped's office and she paged the doctor on call because Grayson was so young (17 days old at this point).  The doctor told us we could hold off on going to the hospital but if anything changed she was sending us to the ER.  He stayed about the same Saturday night and still had an elevated temp on Sunday so she sent us in to get checked out.  We were checked out and at that point there was nothing really they could do so we were sent back home.

Fast forward to Monday.  I woke Grayson up to feed him at about 7 am and he went directly back to sleep.  I had to go to the grocery store since I hadn't gone over the weekend due to his illness, so I left Grayson with the nanny and headed out.  When I got back home he was still sleeping.  I thought he might be wheezing some and I could see his clothes moving as he breathed, so I knew he was working a little hard to breathe.  I called my dad, who is a doctor, and asked him what he thought a newborn wheezing sounded like.  He basically said it sounds like going to the doctor's office.  I don't know why I was so hesitant, but I guess I was afraid that I would look like some paranoid first time mom, even though this was my second child.  Luckily after my mom called and said dad had called her, I agreed and made an appointment for 10:45.

My mom and I took him in and we got to see the same doctor that we had been working with over the weekend.  Our regular pediatrician was in Africa on a medical mission for two weeks.  We saw the FABULOUS Dr. M and she said that although is oxygen saturation was 98 percent she didn't like the amount of work he was having to do to breath.  He was retracting and doing some very slight grunting at that point.  She said she was sure that they were going to laugh at her for admitting us, but she would feel most comfortable admitting him for observation.  She said she was sure we would just be in there for 24 hours and things would be fine.  I completely agreed, because I was sick of being a nervous wreck at home watching him 24 hours a day.  She said that we didn't need an ambulance and we could just go straight to the ER and we could be admitted through there.  She called ahead and let them know we were coming.  I still thank God to this day, and I will forever, that she had the foresight to send us to the hospital immediately.

So mom and I loaded up and headed down to the hospital.  I was perfectly calm and relaxed.  I called Stephen and let him know what was going on.  I told him to leave work and go home and pack us a bag, get lunch, and meet us at the ER.  I called the nanny who was with Perron and let her know what was going on.  I was chatting and having a gay old time in the car.  In fact, I even went the wrong way to the hospital because I wasn't paying attention and was headed back home until my mom asked me where I was going.  Long story short, the entire time were were in the car was probably not more than 15 minutes.  As we were coming off of the highway, I happened to look in my rearview mirror at Grayson and he looked horrible.  He was gray and he was working so hard to breath that I could literally see his head jumping up and down in the mirror.  I asked my mom to turn around and look at him and she agreed that he did not look that good.  At that point, I had her take off her seat belt and turn around in the seat and watch him the rest of the ride to make sure he was still breathing.  It's funny because I clearly knew that he was worse, but I didn't know how much worse and I was not really panicked at that point.

We get to the ER and I take Grayson in while mom gets all of our stuff out of the car.  I head to the triage desk and tell them that we were the people who had been sent in.  The triage nurse asked if he could listen to Grayson really quick.  I pulled back the blanket that had been covering him and he listened to him for two seconds and said that I needed to come back to the triage room.  I quickly got him out of his carseat and the nurse put a pulse ox on his foot.  I looked at the machine and it said 78 (it should be a minimum of 92).  I remember asking the nurse if that was accurate.  He didn't answer me and quickly but the pulse ox on his other foot.  The reading came back as an 80.  The next thing I know he was yelling come with me and we were running through the ER trying to get to a room.  We got to the room and two nurses and a respiratory therapist started working on him.  I will never forget that scene for as long as I live.  Grayson was a horrible grayish, white, his capillary re-fill was 7 seconds (it should be less than two), he was retracting so hard that I could see each of his ribs, and was grunting so loud trying to get air in.  The nurses were trying to get an IV in him and he kept blowing veins left and right.  The respiratory therapist had a mask that was pushing 5 liters of oxygen in him and I was just standing there in total shock.  Not even 15 minutes prior he had been fine and now he is in critical condition in the ER.

The ER attending doctor came in and I told her the story and she said that she needed to get a PICU consult down to the ER because they thought that they were going to intubate him in the ER.  WHAT!!!  That is when it really sunk in how sick he was.  I couldn't believe that they were talking about intubating my 19 day old.  As I mentioned, I was just in total shock and my adrenaline was pumping like a million miles an hour.  Thank God my mom was with me.  she immediately called Stephen and told him to stop whatever he was doing and get to the hospital immediately.  She also called my dad and as soon as she said he was satting in the 80s he rushed from his office to the hospital and met us in the ER room.

They kept giving him breathing treatments, stuck him a million more time to try and get blood because his iv wouldn't return blood, took chest X-rays, and pushed several boluses of fluid to try and get him re-hydrated.  Stephen finally made it to the ER and we just stood there staring at our precious baby as he was being worked on.  The PICU doctor's came down and talked to us about the intubation process and what the criteria were for intubation and then said we had to be admitted to the PICU.  He said they were really full in the PICU so they would have to move beds around to make space for us.  They left us in the ER while that happened and again I can not stress enough that we just stood there in shock.  I didn't really cry the whole time in the ER, I was able to joke with our wonderful RN's and REspiratory Therapist (all males by the way).  The main thing I remember doing is just pacing back and forth over and over.  They finally  let me sit on a gurney and hold him and we just waited to be transferred.  When it was time to be transferred the loaded up his monitors, oxygen tank, and me on the stretcher and wheeled us off.

We were on the way to the PICU.  Stay tuned for part 2 of the story...the PICU.