Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Ethan just had his 4-month well baby check-up and immunization appointment at Valley Oak Pediatrics, but this time Joel had take him. Ha ha! YOU are the one who has to listen to his cries of pain and discomfort, dad!! Anyway... the doctor said that Ethan is doing great, and is in fact at the top of the range for babies his age in both his height and weight. He is 25.5 inches long and 15 lbs, 10 oz. That means that in two weeks he gained half an inch and at least half a pound. Yowza! And let me tell ya, you can really start to feel the heavier weight when you carry that carseat around. I feel like my arm is going to fall off!

It is really neat to see him grow up, though. I love it! His expressions, his smiles, his obvious joy... even when he cries, it's cute! Well, that is, it's cute unless he is in actual pain, which is when it is less cute than scary and upsetting. Sometimes he just has an entire day of fussiness, and seems inconsolable. We put him down, he cries. We pick him up, he cries. We hold him, play with him, let him sleep, let him sit, and guess what? He cries. Ack!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Scratch that itch

We may have had a breakthrough... Ethan has slept through the past three nights without waking up to eat in the middle of the night. For the past two months or so he has been on a fairly regular schedule-- goes to sleep for the night between 7:30 and 8:30, wakes up to eat at around 2:30, and then sleeps again until around 6:00. That wasn't so bad-- only getting up once a night-- but sleeping all the way through is even better!

We're so excited about the way he is growing. We already have him in the 6-9 month clothing, because he's just too long for anything smaller. He's holding his head up well enough that we finally turned him around to sit in the Bjorn carrier facing frontwards, and he absolutely loved it. That way he can look around and check out the scenery while we walk, and he seems to really enjoy that. He's making "ah-goo" sounds, and razzberries, and likes to blow bubbles in his own drool... lovely. :) He has his on and off fussy periods, probably connected to the fact that his gums are sore and a bit swollen. Usually, though, he's a happy kid, and we're all having a great time with him.

He might have some excema on his right cheek. He rubs it bright red all the time, but it's also quite rough/chafed looking, and the R.N. we took him to thinks it might be excema. So we're starting him on some intensive moisturizers, and hopefully they start relieving the discomfort for him. He also keeps getting cradle cap, where the top of his scalp gets super-dry and flaky. I know it must be so uncomfortable and itchy, because he has started actually scratching his head-- and it's the cutest thing ever! Usually, when you scratch an itch, your fingers are pretty much closed, and you either move your whole arm (as if you're holding a back scratcher) or you just move your fingers together, side by side. Ethan, because he's still figuring out how his hands and fingers work, has his own way of doing things. He spreads his fingers out like a starfish, and then his scratch brings them together towards the middle of his palm. It's so adorable... sad that he feels itchy, but so cute to watch him reach up there and do this weird-looking scratching motion. Tee-hee! :)

And he's been doing so well with Nina. She has been a lifesaver for us; the only reason I can even go into work right now is because I know he is with her and she is taking such good care of him. She already loves him, and even tells me that she misses him when he's gone. I'm so lucky to find such a loving and caring woman to take care of my son while I'm working. What a blessing!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Four Months and Counting!

I took Ethan to a new doctor's office yesterday-- Valley Oak Pediatrics-- and loved it. They have 13 providers in the building, and are open every day of the year. They even have evening/urgent care hours from 5-7 Monday through Friday. How cool is that? His former pediatrician was open 8:30-12 and 1-4:00 Mon-Fri; not very flexible hours. And the real problem was that I just didn't feel any connection to his doctor *at all.* She seemed so cold, distant, uninterested in him or us, and that isn't what I wanted from my baby's doctor. I have friends whose children still want to go to their doctor even past their teenage years, because they have built such a close relationship with them-- that's the kind of connection I want for Ethan.

So, the results are in: Ethan is doing GREAT!! At four months old, he weighs in at 15 lbs. and measures 25 inches long. That means he has doubled his weight and gained half a foot in length since he was born. How awesome is that? For a baby who took sooo long to regain his birth weight, and who had such a difficult time learning how to eat, he has made amazing strides.

And I think that the time has come for a major step forward for me: I am finally ready to give up the charts and schedules, and just let things be. It's time for Ethan to just be a baby, and for me to just be a mom, and for both of us (all three of us, including Joel) to just enjoy this adventure for what it is. He's healthy, and happy, and progressing so well, that there is no reason to keep worrying about things so much. I threw away the schedules last night, and what a relief it was! I thought I would really feel anxious about not being able to track his food/diapers/sleeping, but no such thing. It was like a weight off of my shoulders to let go of that and just enjoy him instead of constantly watching what he's eating and making sure he finishes bottles and so on. Schedules were necessary in the beginning to make sure he was eating enough and not sleeping all the time (which is what he *wanted* to do), but they have served their purpose, and it's time to let them go. Hallelujah!

Monday, April 13, 2009


It's amazing how much has changed in the past few months since Ethan was born. We just went over to visit Joel's nephew and his brand-new baby boy, and it feels like Ethan was just that size yesterday. I remember when he was so tiny and fragile and light in our arms, and felt like a little doll... now, of course, he's getting bigger and longer every day, and has these great chubby arms and legs that he loves to windmill and kick and play with. I remember when I used to fit him inside my shirt to hold him close to me, skin-to-skin, when he was only a few days old. And now he's already working on keeping his head up and looking around, making "goo" sounds and cooing and blowing bubbles, even reaching out to grab things (kind of) and sucking on his fingers. It's awesome to see him change and grow so much in such a short time. The other day I looked at him and suddenly had a vision of him as a man, and my eyes welled up with tears for a moment. I already know that when he does get to be that age, it'll still feel like all of this just happened, and I'll wonder how the time flew by so quickly...

It's the same way I feel when I see my niece, Leila. I was there when she was born, and when I see her today, at the cusp of 11 years old, I see her throughout her life--giggling 5-year-old, crawling toddler, sitting on my lap or singing or sucking her middle two finers, all of those moments and memories just sort of wash over me when we hang out. And here she is, almost a 6th grader, starting to talk about what it will be like when she has to attend classes in the high school area next year. How did this happen, so quickly?! That's my niece, my little girl, my "favorite"... I think having known & loved (and still loving, of course!) Leila is what lets me love Ethan so much. It's like she stretched out my heart a little bit and made it that much bigger, stronger, more open. I'm glad I got 10 years with Leila before Ethan came along, because it was nice to be able to focus on her while she was small. Now, of course, we have a different relationship-- and one where I see her less, too, unfortunately. But at least she is still in my life. And now she will be able to get to know Ethan from babyhood, while I get to know her through her adolescence and beyond. The great adventure awaits!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

T to the Eef

Oh my goodness! I think we might have figured out why Ethan has been so fussy lately. He finally discovered his mouth, and has been extra involved with it lately-- shoving his fists in his mouth, chewing on his fingers, gnawing on the bottle, drooling, and that type of thing. Add to that the fact that he hasn't been eating very well, that he has been more fussy than usual, and that he's been running a low fever (under 101), and it all adds up to teething. But isn't it too early? He's only 3 and a half months old! Still... I was rubbing his gums today and felt a suspicious scratchy part on his lower gum line; I looked inside and saw two white dots. His teef!! I'll check with his doctor when we go on the 20th, but I'm pretty sure he's just dealing with the beginning stages of teething. Pobrecito!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Ethan rolled over today!!! Well, it wasn't a complete 360 or anything, but it was awesome! He was propped up for some tummy time this morning, resting on his elbows/forearms, and apparently decided he'd had enough. He sort of "threw" himself over to his right side and then finished the roll onto his back. Ta-da! How cool is that? I, of course, set him back up on his arms/tummy to see if he could do it again. And he did! But only a couple more times before he got sick of me playing with him like that. (Tee-hee!) Anyway, a cool milestone to see...

He's really coming along, developmentally speaking. I think it all started to kick into high gear when we got him out of regular daycare and into Nina's home, where he gets one-on-one attention and she doesn't leave him sleeping in his crib all day long. Right now, he's three and a half months old, and in the past few weeks has changed so much. He can hold his head up so much better now, and I think he might even be ready to move into the forward-facing position on the Baby Bjorn. We'll try it out this weekend and see how he does... He's also starting to do a lot of leg exercises, "standing" up and pushing against my legs or the floor (or my stomach, sometimes!) whenever he gets a chance. I also noticed just this week that he seemed to be scooching himself along on his tummy-time mat, inching forward just a bit at a time... so it looks like crawling (or at least "worming") is not too far in the future. Yay!

Other than still dealing with his congestion and coughing, he is doing just great. He's such a happy boy, and usually very laid-back; unless you (ahem, Joel) happen to sneeze loudly near him, that is, which is when you see his lovely startle reflex kick in. I should really videotape that sometime... classic.