Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Update

So much has happened in the past month. Cooper hit 6 months adjusted on March 25th, and turned 9 months actual yesterday, April 14.

When he turned 6 months adjusted, we started solid foods. First squash, then sweet potato, pear, green beans, banana, and apple. He does very well with all foods, but certainly prefers pear and apple. It's tough to get in the first few bites, but once he gets the taste, I can't shovel it in fast enough! Next up, carrot, plum, peaches, and peas!

Cooper enjoys it when we sing, but really seems to like Taylor Swift, specifically the song "Trouble." His favorite game is to stand while holding my hands and rocking while I sing "Row your Boat." He also loves peek-a-boo, either with us hiding behind a blanket and popping out, or by throwing a blanket over his head and letting him yank it off.  Guaranteed giggles!

Cooper sits pretty well. He's still not balanced enough that I feel comfortable leaving him alone while sitting, but he can sit independently for sometimes up to a minute before losing his balance. He reaches for everything (especially my hair!) and everything goes straight to his mouth.

Two weeks ago, we tried cloth diapering. I found a deal on some Alva Baby diapers at a yard sale, so we decided to at least see if it's as gross as it sounds. It's so much easier than I expected! We are now part time cloth diapering. I'm still a bit scared to try them out of the house or overnight, and we really don't have enough diapers to full time cloth diaper. I am on the look out for some more of this same brand at a great price, and hope to eventually use only cloth diapers.

On Sunday, I caught a glimpse of white in his mouth, so I felt his gums and was pretty sure I felt a tooth. I was a little skeptical because he hasn't really been acting fussy lately, but at his 9 month appointment the doctor used a tounge depressor and without a doubt his bottom left tooth is visible and she said it's neighbor is not far behind! Sure enough, he had a restless night last night and I'm pretty sure we witnessed full on teething pain this evening. Hopefully the Tylenol helps him sleep better tonight!

At his 9 month appointment, Cooper was 14 lbs 6 oz (0%) 24.6 in long (0%) and had a 42.5 cm head circumference (14%.) His weight vs. length is 49%. The doctor is still not concerned about his weight and height being below the chart. He is growing and looks great. He is very healthy, so she says his size is perfectly fine.

We really love our pediatrician but she told us that the Air Force is eliminating her contracted position and will have the active duty nurse practitioner take on all of the pediatric patients. We will miss her so much, but changing doctors often is just another aspect of being a military family. At Cooper's 1 year appointment, we will meet our new pediatrician.

We've had a couple of non Cooper related changes as well, but I'll save those for separate blog entries.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

March Update

My blog post are getting fewer and further between. I guess that just means Cooper and I are having too much fun!

Cooper was 5 months adjusted last week and will be 8 months actual next week. He had his last synagis shot and 2nd flu shot today. No more shots until July! At the clinic this morning he weighed 13 lbs, 3 oz. Still small for his adjusted age, but growing!

I am amazed by this little boy every day. He is really working on sitting up on his own. Today he lasted over 10 seconds before flopping over. Anytime I lay him down, he does crunches to try to pull himself up. He is a pro at flipping from belly to back, but hasn't tried going from back to belly yet. He seems to dislike being on his tummy, so I doubt he will try that anytime soon!

Cooper likes to sit in his booster seat in front of the dining room window, especially when the middle school kids are walking home from school. Yesterday, we had a snow plow going back and forth on the street trying to clear all of the leftover snow. Cooper watched him for a long time!

Cooper LOVES the mirror! I stop by the mirror if I'm holding him as I walk by. He instantly locks eyes with himself, smiles so big, and tries to reach into the mirror! Can anyone tell me, does he know he's looking at himself yet, or does he think it's another baby?

He loves tags and ribbons. He has a Taggies brand stuffed dog and he pulls the ribbons right up by his face to study them. He also finds the tags on his bibs and pulls on them so he can check them out too. He is definitely into imitating us now. He repeats our fake coughs and raspberries. He gets pretty vocal when he's trying to fight sleep and does a high pitched squeal.

Yesterday was a big day. He tried a little bit of rice cereal! The pediatrician recommends not starting him on solids until he is 6 months adjusted, but to get him ready for spoon feeding, we are going to practice with rice cereal every couple of days. The nurse said he might be hesitant and spit it all out, but the kid loved it! He was opening his mouth in anticipation before I could get the spoon back to his mouth!

We are gearing up for the March for Babies. We are walking here in Great Falls on May 10th and have a team with our friends who had twins at 31 weeks. If you are untested in walking with us, or just want to donate for research to help preemies like Cooper, please let me know!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Catch Up

I have fallen so behind on blogging! I'm going to try to catch up all in one post.

Life really hasn't been too exciting. Cold and flu season is in full force in Montana, so Cooper and I hardly ever leave the house.

Cooper turned 6 months old on January 14. He had a great checkup and was 11 lbs 6 oz and 21.85 inches. He was finally on the charts for weight. He was at 5% compared to other 29 weekers at 6 months old. His height is still below the chart... short like his mama.

On February 6, we went back to the clinic for the synagis shot and Cooper was 12 lbs 2 oz and 22.25 inches. I felt like he grew alot in length, but according to the measurement, not much. The good thing about him being so short is that he will fit in 0-3 month clothes awhile longer.

Cooper is so much fun now! He still smiles so much, and laughs, and always wants to interact with us. He pulls everything to his mouth! He enjoys sitting in his booster seat and likes playing on the ground on his back. He still dislikes laying on his belly, but will usually be content for a few minutes before wanting to flip over. I think his favorite play activity right now is when we make his legs do bicycle kicks. When I stop, he kicks his legs like he's telling me to do it again.

I love to watch him think. He stares at certain things, like a toy or his hand, and I can tell he's really studying it, trying to figure it out. He likes to touch everything too. He's started a new thing where he likes to rub my shirt, or the leather couch, and even the dogs fur once! He tried painting last week and loved it! He really studied the paint and looked at his hand while rubbing it with his fingers. It is amazing that the brain can work like that at such a young age!

He babbles often and sometimes gets very loud! It's a happy noise, I think he just likes to hear himself. If we do a fake cough, he coughs back. If we stick out our tounge, he starts moving his tounge around too. I just love to see him learn!

After all these positive updates, here is one negative. He fights sleep so bad! He can be completely content then gets very tired and screams when he realizes that he's about to fall asleep. It escalates to the point that nothing will sooth him. He eventually gets exhausted and we can get him to take a pacifier and fall asleep while we rock him. I mentioned it to the  developmental consultant at our last home visit and she said that he starts out just trying to keep himself awake, but it gets to the point that he cannot calm himself down. She recommended massaging him and it works! This evening he started to escalate so I put him on his back and rubbed his legs, he immediately stopped crying and locked eyes with me. I'm hoping this continues to work until we can get through this phase!

I have been struggling with getting motivated to lose the pregnancy weight. For the first 3 months, I had the c-section recovery and then the excuse that Cooper was still in the hospital. Well Coop has been home for 4 months and I still haven't gotten motivated to work out. I know that I am motivated best by competition, so Jake and I are doing a challenge between the two of us. Each month whoever loses the most weight gets $100 to spend on whatever we want. We each have a different advantage. I have more excess weight to lose so it should come off easier. Jake's advantage is that he goes to the gym before work each day while I will have to work out at home without and equipment. I really want to win so I'll take any tips! We start tomorrow so we will be weighing in on the 12th of each month and I would like to lose about 30 lbs. I'm hoping we continue the competition every month until I reach that goal.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Favorite Things Friday - Baby Gear 0-3 Months

I know the are tons of lists of items needed for a new baby, but my list is specifically items that you don't think you really need, but that make life much easier! Obviously every new baby needs clothes, swaddles, diapers, bottles, etc, and we stocked up during the pregnancy. These are the items that didn't buy ahead of time because I thought I could make do without them. After bringing Cooper home, we ultimately got them. 

1. Homedics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier ($60) When we brought Cooper home, he was walking up every day very congested. The pediatrician recommended a humidifier. I didn't really do much research on humidifiers, just went to Shopko and this one was 40% off that day. It includes 4 sounds, lullaby, heartbeat, summer night, and white noise. We don't use the sounds very often, but we instantly noticed a difference in his congestion! 

2. Boppy Cuddle Pillow ($30) I had annoying hip pain during by pregnancy so I bought this pillow to sleep with. If worked great for that, but also makes a great nursing/bottle feeding pillow. I didn't think I would need a nursing pillow, but once Cooper was here and was so small, it was nice to have this one to use. 

3. Prince Lionheart Deluxe Dying Station ($12) I started out leaving pump parts on towels or paper towels to dry. It really didn't work well as I would have to flip the items to get all parts dry. Before Cooper came home I ordered this drying rack and love it! I picked it because of the reviews on Amazon. I feel like I wash tons of bottles, pump parts, pacifiers, toys, etc, and this rack really does hold so much! 

4. Fisher Price My Little Snugabear Cradle and Swing ($140) We got the Snugabear bouncer and I thought that would be enough, that didn't think we would need a swing. Once Cooper was home, I realized the bouncer was ok, but the swing would be even better. The bouncer was great if I needed to have Cooper near me in the bathroom or kitchen, but he didn't sleep well in it. The swing is like magic. The swaying motion and rotating bees lull him to sleep. It's tucked away in a dark corner of the living room, so I only use it when he is ready for a nap.

5. Kidcraft Adjustable Stool for Nursing ($40) We have a wonderful glider in the nursery, but 
after a few nights of feeding Cooper in that glider, I realized I needed something to prop my legs a bit higher to be able to glide comfortably. I chose this one from the Amazon reviews and my parents sent it to me for Christmas. Thank you! I wish I had this a long time ago! 

I already have a few items picked out for my 3-6 month favorite things, but I'll save those until his adjusted age is 6 months.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Big Cooper

Cooper got his monthly synagis shot on Thursday, which means they had to weigh him for the dosage. He was 10.5 lbs! That means he gained almost 2 lbs in a month! He is still below the growth chart, even for his adjusted age, but he's getting closer to the curve! I'm hoping that at his 6 month well baby check he will be at least on the lowest line. They did not measure his height on Thursday, but Jake and I have both noticed that he seems a lot longer, so I'm interested to see if he's finally on the chart for length as well.
Here's the latest picture of Coop.  He enjoys bath time, and only gets mad when I clean under his chins.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Post of the Year

Like everyone else on New Years Eve, I'm reflecting on the past year. From all of the posts on Facebook, it seems everyone can't wait to say good bye to 2013 and start 2014. I feel the complete opposite. 2013 was the best year of my life and I'm sad that time is moving so quickly!

Cooper amazes me every day with all of the new things he learns to do, and I am so proud when he shows development, but I don't want him to grow so quickly. I went through Cooper's clothes today, and packed up some of the smaller newborn clothes and it made me really sad. I know it's ridiculous and I do want my child to grow and thrive, but it still makes me sad that he's not going to be my baby forever.

On a happier note, here are some of the things Cooper has amazed us with lately:

He smiles all the time. All we have to do is talk to him or smile at him and he cracks a smile. Such a sweetie!

We've heard a few giggles. He really cracks up in his sleep, but I've gotten a few awake chuckles as well.

He tells very long stories. He gets on a roll jabbering and really shows off the facial expressions. He will furrow his brow and sound concerned, then raise his eyebrows and sound excited, then smile and squeal. It is so funny to listen to him!

He is going through a phase where he really dislikes tummy time, but he loves sitting or standing supported. He has such great head control. In fact people in public comment on how strong he is. I think it's because he is still so little that by size he looks like he's only about a month old. We have to explain that he's actually about 3 months adjusted age.

He is starting to reach out for items and actually grab them with his hands now. He usually doesn't hang on for very long, but he tries!

Cooper is teething again. I've heard in babies this young, they will have some discomfort but then the teeth recede back into the gum. He had a week that was fine, but the last few days he's been acting a little uncomfortable again. Lots of drooling, he loves when I rub his gums, and he really gnaws on his fists. I feel a spot on his gums that is elevated and hard, and it looks like possibly a tooth trying to break through. I would still be surprised if it does anytime soon. Most likely it will recede again.

Cooper gets his synagis shot on Thursday so I'll have a weight update them. For now here is a fun photo of him. We keep trying to put him on Diesel's back, but he just won't let him ride. We finally got Diesel to stand still with a peanut butter spoon bribe.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - Baby Christmas Presents

Cooper's adjusted age will be 3 months on Christmas, so we didn't feel the need to buy tons of gifts this year. It's also hard to find toys for babies under 6 months. Here are the items we ended up getting. 

1. The Muppet Christmas Carol DVD ($5) We are starting a new tradition of getting a new Christmas movie every year on Christmas Eve. I found this gem on sale at Shopko.

2. Carter's Microfleece Pajamas ($8) Since we got married, Jake and I have been giving each other pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve. Cooper's are red with moose. I bought them a month ago and got the 3 month size, so they are probably going to be pretty big on him! 

3. Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set ($10) Babies love balls and the different textures will be fun for his curious mind. 

4. Mamas and Papas Tummy Time Interactive Toy ($30) We have a tummy time mat that we like but I think this bolster will work great when he is a little older since it has lots of things to grab and play with. When I was a child, my parents always had one gift unwrapped on Christmas morning that was considered the gift from Santa. Since this one was impossible to wrap, it's the Santa gift this year. 

5. Fisher Price Soothe and Glow Seashorse ($13) Is getting tough to get Cooper to nap during the day unless I'm holding him. He can be exhausted but as soon as he feels me put him down he wakes up and fights the sleep. This toy has a soft glow and plays quiet music for 5 minutes then turns off on its own. I found this on sale at Herbergers and ended up giving it to him that same day. So far he seems to like it and it does seem to put him back to sleep when he is put down. 

As for his stocking, I found a few items that we will need in the next few months. A set of plastic links, a brush and comb set, mesh pacifiers for fruit, and more teethers.