Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Allergy Testing

Shortly after Jackson turned 1, his pediatrician told us that we were free to try any food with him. So we did. When he had peanut butter, I experienced the scariest moments I have had as a parent. Within minutes after eating less than half a teaspoon of peanut butter, he started acting really irritable. A few minutes later his face and lips started to swell, followed by his eyes swelling shut. We gave him a big dose of Benadryl and prayed. I was moments away from putting him in the car and taking him to the ER when the Benadryl kicked in and the swelling started to subside. The advice from his pediatrician following this episode was to wait until he was two and then have him allergy tested.

That fateful day was today. I was seriously dreading this. I went through allergy testing when I was about 9 and it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my childhood. I remember lots of needles scratched on my back followed by dozens of itchy, red welts that I wasn't allowed to scratch and then that being followed by no less than thirty "intradermal" tests (i.e. shots) in my arms. My poor mom....I remember sobbing "you must hate me!" during the testing. (I'm still sorry about that mom...I know you were just trying to help me). You can understand my apprehension about the testing today. I'll start by saying that we were extremely relieved at how easy it was!

When we arrived, they took us to a room with a ton of toys and a tv. They first applied a numbing cream to his back. It had to sit for 50 minutes to fully take effect, so they wrapped him in saran wrap and a bandage and we hung out watching cartoons.

Here he is with his bandage and showing his muscles!

He insisted on putting his shirt back on, but he LOVED playing with these dinosaurs. Dinosaurs like this are definitely on his wish list now.

Once the numbing cream took effect, they started the allergy panel. He mostly just giggled and said it tickled when they were doing the prick tests. Phew. They tested him for the full nut series, fish and shellfish since it is such a common allergen, and strawberries.

Don't you wish your love handles were this cute?

That big blotch on the upper lefthand corner is peanuts. =(

He was really a very happy, cooperative guy for the whole thing. He got to spend the morning with mom and dad, play with fun, new toys, watch cartoons, and eat goldfish. To Jackson, that is a pretty good day!

The bad news: He is allergic to peanuts. The good news: He doesn't appear to be allergic to anything else. The tests for all other types of nuts were negative. So at least he can have almonds, cashews, etc. And it is possible that he could outgrow the peanut allergy. We will be having him retested annually to see what happens.

As we left the office, he said "Bye Bye Doctor!" and happily waved to all of the nurses. The most traumatic part of the day was when they sent us upstairs to the lab for a blood draw. They had to restrain him and then get a vial of blood from the vein in his arm. It was awful. But at least it was over relatively quickly.

Afterwards, we were headed to meet Nana for lunch, so we swung by Petsmart to cheer him up. He loves looking at all of the animals and it was the perfect distraction to help him get over his ordeal.

This is definitely our week of medical testing--I failed (by 8 measley points) my blood glucose screening last week so I have to go in for the 3 hour test tomorrow morning. Ugh. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Swimming Lessons

We just wrapped up our first week of swimming lessons. It's amazing to see how much Jackson has developed since we took swimming lessons last year. Whereas last year was mostly about water acclimation, this year he is able to kick, blow bubbles, and make "scoops" with his hands.

Justin and I alternated lessons with him this week. He loved every minute of it!

On the first night, Jackson told me "Mommy! See dolphin swimming! Dere (there!)" Of course there was not actually a dolphin, but they did a whole unit on the ocean and sea creatures last month at school, and I guess the dolphins made an impression on him. What an imagination!

He's a great floater! He doesn't mind putting his ears in the water and just gets super relaxed, and sometimes starts to sing.

He's getting pretty good at blowing bubbles!

On this night, he really wanted to touch the flags and wouldn't focus on anything else until I let him touch them.

His favorite part of each lesson is the part at the end when they sing songs. He does the hand motions and tries to sing along.

It really was a big week because every evening after we got home, he would sit on the potty before getting dressed. He pee-peed in the potty every night this week! Go Jackson! Swimming also makes you work up an appetite because he was basically a bottomless pit every night. It was a little flash forward to when he is a teenager and eating us out of house and home!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

28 Weeks

I have worn 4 different polo sizes this summer! I started with mediums and now I'm rocking a 2XL! The 2XL is really big but I NEED the extra length now!

How far along? 28 Weeks! We will now be seeing our OB every 2 weeks. Holy cow, it's getting close!

How big is baby? BabyCenter says about 14.8 inches long and about 2 lb, 4 oz. But again, I am adjusting based on our 24 week measurement and guessing Mr. Andrew is probably just over 3 lbs. At the doctor today, she said we will likely have another ultrasound around 34-36 weeks to see just how big he is and how early we may need to induce. When he moves now, my whole belly twitches and I've been playing "guess the body part" with the various nudges and bulges.

Movement: All the time. I remember at this point with Jackson being worried because I would go hours without feeling him move. I never worry with this one--he's a mover!

Sleep: I'm starting to feel more fatigued again. Not anywhere close to how I felt in the first trimester that was a constant hormone induced feeling of "I must lay my head down on the desk right now or pass out". This is just a plain old, physical tiredness. I've fallen asleep on the couch a few evenings this past week after putting Jackson to bed. I'm definitely slowing down...which is probably a good thing.

Food cravings/aversions: Definitely craving MILK! I drink some in the morning, sometimes with my lunch and definitely at night. The colder the better.

Gender: Boy! Andrew Grant!

Symptoms: Nesting is setting in. This week I organized two closets in an effort to make some room for Andrew. I cleared a section in Jackson's closet and half of the dresser to make room for sweet little baby clothes!

Labor Signs: This is a new category for the updates! I am experiencing several Braxton-Hicks contractions a day, some being somewhat uncomfortable (feels like a belt tightening around my middle--they don't hurt really, they are just not comfortable). I don't really remember having any with Jackson. This is apparently normal for 2nd pregnancies.

What I miss: This is a theme for me but oh wine, sweet wine. Justin got a bottle of my favorite moscato when our guests were here this weekend--I know, what a jerk, right? ;) I indulged in the tiniest little glass--it was literally about 3 sips but oh it was so good. Go ahead...judge me.

What I am looking forward to: A massage on Thursday after work. Can't wait!

On the to-do list: Find a big boy bed for Jackson! We don't need the crib anytime soon because we have a mini-crib that Andrew will sleep in in our room for at least the first 3 months and then probably the pack n play in our room for a few more months. But Jackson is just about ready for a big boy bed, I think. We have his bedding already. I'm just having a hard time finding an actual bed I like that isn't crazy expensive and will hold up to a rowdy little boy.

Daddy is...hanging in there as I make all of "our" lists and give him tasks to get everything all checked off!

Jackson is...starting to talk about his baby "brutter Andwew"! My parents got him a book, "I'm a Big Brother" for his birthday and Jackson now wants to read it every night. I change all the references to "the baby" in the book to "baby Andrew" and replace "big brother" with "big brother Jackson". I think he's starting to get it...as much as a barely 2 year old can anyways.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Operation: Bye Bye Paci

I am proud to say that we have been completely pacifier free for one week!

Proud mama and proud boy for being so brave! He has a newfound love of saying "Cheese!" so he can "see Jack Jack!"

For many months now, Jackson has only gotten the paci at nap and bedtime. But anytime he was mad, he would pitch a fit and cry for his paci and it seemed to be the only thing that would calm him down. We were ready to be done with the paci for good.

We had heard from friends that the paci removal process could be long and painful and we were not looking forward to it. Finally, last Monday night, we worked up the courage and just decided to go cold turkey. At barely two, I just wasn't sure that he could really cognitively grasp the idea of trading his paci for a new toy, and I thought cutting the tip off would just make him mad (we had tried this once earlier when we weren't totally committed to giving it up altogether).

The first night was tough. It didn't help that I had worked late and made it home just as Justin was getting him ready for bed, and he was already upset that I wasn't there and daddy had said no when he requested his paci. For a long time, he just sat in my arms sobbing..."want ONE paci" while holding up his one little finger. I finally got him to calm down, sans paci, and he drifted off but woke up when I was laying him in his bed. He cried and cried for a long time. It was painful. Justin went in to comfort him and he finally went to sleep.

We talked to his teachers at school and they were on board with the plan. They reported after the first day that he fussed just for a bit at nap and then went to sleep just fine without it. That evening, we went to Target and let him pick out a new toy, a Mr. Potato Head, as a reward for being so brave to give up his paci. I don't think he really made the connection but he enjoys the toy and it perhaps somewhat assuaged our guilt for taking away his trusty friend! That night bedtime wasn't nearly as dramatic or drawn out.
I wasn't sure if he would really "get" the Mr. Potato Head but he is quite proficient! He puts all of the parts in their correct holes. He just gets a bit confused with what to do with the "extra" pieces like a mouth AND a tongue.

By night 3, he only asked for it once and there were no tears when I told him no. Each night thereafter was just as easy. So it appears we are now paci free! Hooray! For all my friends out there who are going to be saying goodbye to the pacis soon...be brave! You can do it! If we had known it would be really only two nights of tears, we would have done it months ago. But then again, I don't know if he would have been as ready a few months ago, since he's only now really embracing this idea of being a "big boy".

I'm hoping that in the next 11 or so weeks until Andrew is here that he diassociates from the paci completely so that there is not drama when baby brother gets one and he doesn't. Wish us luck!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Visit from Aunt Judy and Grandma

We had special guests in town this weekend--Justin's Aunt Judy and Grandma Ann!

Judy and Grandma stayed at a nice hotel in town with an indoor pool. This kid was in heaven! 
The cutest little fish!

I'm loving getting to swim with him because this late in my pregnancy, it's getting hard to carry him, let alone be silly and throw him in the air like he loves to do. In the water I am much more agile and he is significantly lighter! We have a really good time.

"My chair. Jack Jack sit wit Judy."

Gracie LOVED Aunt Judy. Judy is a cat person and Gracie just basked in the extra attention. I think she would have gladly gone home with Judy. I can't say that I blame her! While Jackson adores her, I think Gracie's idea of affection is a little...ahem...different...than Jackson's!

On Saturday night, Justin cooked us all a yummy dinner and then we got to help Judy and Grandma celebrate their birthdays! 

Jackson loved the cake. I mean, really, really, loved the cake. At best, he kind of picked at his own birthday cake, but he gobbled this one up...

And then once the sugar rush kicked in, he even tried to lick the crumbs off the table...this was his face when daddy lifted his head off the table to stop him from cleaning the table with his tongue...

Thanks for coming to visit Grandma and Judy! We loved having you!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Wedding, 12 Years, and a visit from Grammy and Pop

On Saturday night Justin and I got to celebrate the marriage of one of his childhood friends, Wade to his bride, Wendi. It was a lovely evening! We didn't really know anyone else at the wedding, so it was just a nice time for us to visit and have an "adult" night.

On our way to the wedding, Justin reminded me that it was our 12 year "dating" anniversary. I had completely forgotten, so major points to the hubby for remembering that one! We had actually been hanging out for a couple of weeks by this point, but July 7th commemorates our first "public appearance" so we always considered it our anniversary while we were dating.
July 7, 2000
....notice the little pink pager on my hip. LOL. Only a couple of my friends had cell phones at the time. I was cool! I swear!

There was no way I could have known 12 years ago that this guy would turn out to be the love of my life and father of my children. All I knew then was that he was really cute and he made me feel like the most special girl on the planet. And he still does (and I think he's gotten even more handsome in 12 years).

While we were at the wedding and enjoying our trip down memory lane, Jackson was staying with Ms. Erica! They had fun playing and then Aunt Abby arrived to help put the boy to bed.

Jackson was not feeling the picture...little turkey!
A huge thank you to Erica for giving up her Saturday night and a really huge thank you to Abby for giving up her 2nd to last night at home before leaving for Africa for a mission trip on Monday! Please pray for Abby and their team for a safe trip and boldness as they share the love of Jesus to the people of Uganda! You can read more about Abby's journey here.

Today we had a lazy day at home and then got to enjoy a quick visit with my parents. They arrived right at the end of Jackson's nap, so I went in to wake him up and he was already stirring. I said, "Jackson! Grammy and Pop are here!" and he sat right up and said "Gammy? Pop! 'Cited! (excited)" We enjoyed a late lunch at one of our new favorite restaurants in town, Freddy's.

This is Jackson saying "Cheese!"

He doesn't care much about ice cream that comes in a bowl and is eaten with a spoon, but man does he love an ice cream cone!

Friday, July 6, 2012

26 Weeks

How far along? 26 weeks and 2 days -- hello 3rd trimester!

How big is baby? BabyCenter says about 14 inches about 1 lb, 10 oz. But considering he measured in at 2lbs, 3 oz a week ago, and is supposed to be gaining 4-6 oz per week at this point, I would guess he is somewhere around 2 lbs, 8 oz? Let me tell you, when he stretches or decides to use my internal organs as a springboard he feels plenty big.

Best moment this week: A wonderful July 4th holiday in the middle of the week! Swimming felt wonderful. For just a little while I didn't feel like a huge, lumbering person.

Movement: He's a feisty one. Those sweet little kicks that were so precious a month ago are increasingly "owww" inducing. Thankfully, he is kicking less and it's just the sensation of actual body parts passing by. It's very odd and definitely apparent that I am being inhabited by someone at this point.

Sleep: Same old, same old. Crazy dreams, and 1 trip to the bathroom halfway through. Rolling over is getting more difficult.

Food cravings/aversions: I'm really very boring. I desperately wanted some fried chicken this weekend and my sweet hubby was happy to oblige. It was SO good. And I do love my almost every night ice cream!

Gender: Boy! Andrew Grant!

Symptoms: New this week is the hot flashes. Ugh. I mean, it's hot outside and all, but it's super annoying to be sitting in a meeting and all of a sudden start sweating profusely and then 5 minutes later be fine again. Strangers have started asking when I'm due, so I am very obviously pregnant now.

What I miss: Being able to get down on the floor and play in any kind of active way with Jackson.

What I am looking forward to: Heading to the beach! My parents rented a beach house in Surfside, TX for a week at the end of the month. I am so looking forward to some extended family time and relaxation.

On the to-do list: Starting to inventory the things we need for baby. Our list is not too long, but there are some things that we need to replace (bottle nipples, pacifiers, etc) as well as a few things that Jackson has not outgrown that we need two of (sound machine, carseat for Justin's truck, etc). I need to do some research on double strollers, and in about a month we will get down the tubs of Jackson's baby clothes to see what we need there. This baby is coming in a different season, so I know we will need more small sized cold weather clothes than we needed last time. And then we have to make room for all of this stuff! We've decided not to dedicate a room to Andrew at this point because we are hoping to move next spring/summer (in town, just to a place with more space). It doesn't make sense to go through all of the effort to set up a whole room when the child will likely not spend a night in it before we move (Jackson stayed in our room until he was 9 months old).

Daddy is...looking forward to painting my toenails tonight for the wedding we are going to tomorrow night. Ha! He's not really looking forward to it but is willing, and for that I am grateful!

Jackson is...thinking my belly button looks super funny. If he notices my big belly, he doesn't mention it but he does poke my almost-an-outtie belly button and laugh hysterically.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Fourth!

We had a great 4th of July! It was kind of weird with the holiday falling on Wednesday and having a day off in the middle of the week. But we absolutely made the most of the day off! 

Uncle Marc came to spend the day with us and we loved hanging out with him on Tuesday night and Wednesday. On Wednesday morning, the lawn desperately needed to be mowed, so the men knocked it out while Jackson and I made breakfast. Thanks Marc for all your help! We didn't intend to put you to work while you were here!

Once that was done, we headed to the pool! Thanks Erica for letting us come hang out at your pool! It was absolutely perfect!

After a fun time swimming, we had lunch and headed back to the house where Jackson convinced Uncle Marc to read him just a few books before nap time.

Later that evening, a few work friends came over to eat and hang out. I think we must have had the most spirited spread to go alongside our hamburgers and hot dogs--these folks are so crafty!

Silly boy loves being the center of attention! He belted out his ABCs with gusto once he realized that everyone would clap and cheer for him.

We love this sweet boy!

Happy 4th of July!

It was so fun hanging out with everyone while we waited for the fireworks show!
Abby and Erica

Chris and Norma
Christen and Jake

Carrie, Lisa and Lenet

Finally it was time for fireworks! We found a great spot on campus near the Bush School, close enough to hear the orchestra and then waited...
It was WAY past someone's bedtime! Heck, 9:50 is late for me, much less the little ones!

Handsome little boy!

Finally the fireworks started!

Jackson LOVED them. He watched in awed silence for a few minutes and then started saying "Boom!" after each one and telling us the colors he saw.

We hope you had a great 4th too!