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Friday, July 31, 2009

Ben Stein

I got this as a forward in an email from my Dad. Just thought it was interesting and that I'd share...

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The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.I

don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.

I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide).

We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

If you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards,
Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dr visit AGAIN!

I ended up taking Aidyn BACK to the doctor once again this afternoon. He normally eats around 20-28 oz of formula a day, PLUS cereal in the morning and veggies at all of his other feedings (except before bed). However, since last Saturday and Sunday when he started acting all yuckie, he has only been averaging about 14 oz per day. Sometimes a little more, but not usually much. Since he normally eats a 7oz bottle, that means he is basically eating only 2 times in the 12+ hours that he's up. Not good! Luckily, he sometimes will still eat his cereal and/or veggies.

On Monday, when we went for his skin, the dr suggested trying apple juice with water, just water, or Pedialyte...anything cool basically that might taste good and soothe Aidyn's throat. However, since apparently he has learned to associate the bottle with pain, he turns his head and cries when he sees it coming! When he totally refuses it, we just skip ahead to the cereal or veggies. On some days, he'll eat later during the day or early evening...but I think it's because he's just starving. He's also started waking up in the middle of the night again (fun!) because he's hungry. So, ofcourse I feed him...I'm just glad he's eating something and he usually eats the entire 7 oz then as well.

So, anyhow, today he got up at 7am and by 5pm he had only eaten 4 oz and 3-4 cubes of squash. That's it...in 10 hours!!! I decided to go ahead and call back and see if I needed to bring him back in or not. Not for his skin this time, but because he won't eat. And, as you can tell from the title of this post, we went back in at 3:15pm.

We saw Dr.Taylor, again. Part of me wanted to see someone differently for a 2nd opinion, but then since he knew how his skin and throat looked previously, I was kinda glad it was him.

I explained the eating and that Aidyn has cut his intake in half (liquid and solids) and that he just hasn't been himself. The nurse wanted a weight check, and I'm glad we did. On Monday, Aidyn weighed 17 lbs 3 oz. Today, only 2 days later, he weighed 16 lbs 13 oz...that's a loss of 6 oz in 2 days. You can probably imagine how this freaked me out. On the way to the dr, I had told my mom that I was hoping maybe he'd lost an ounce or two so that maybe the drs would take me/him more seriously. I DID NOT anticipate 6 oz though! Ugh!

I asked if maybe he had an ear infection...nope, ears looked great. I asked if the sore spots were thrush...nope, the coloring, location, and "intensity" was not the same. I askd if he had strep...nope, they did a test and it came back negative. So, I asked how the sores got on his throat and what they were. This time, Dr. Taylor let me look at his throat. The sore spots (on Monday) were more yellowish and almost puss-like according to the dr. Today, they had gone down in size and were not as big. Not better, but not worse. Aidyn's throat was very red and just raw looking. Dr.Taylor said it's just sore but will improve within a day or two. I hope he's right!

Now, you can imagine that at this point I started crying and said, "So he's gonna be ok?" I couldn't take it anymore. As soon as I said that, while the dr was holding Aidyn (like he was standing on the exam table), wouldn't you know that Aidyn started laughing, smiling, and kicking his feet like he wanted to dance. And I'm in tears, haha...go figure. The dr just turned to look at me and said, "Look, mom, he's happy and fine. He's just got a sore throat and that's why he doesn't want to eat. There's a big difference in a sick baby and a baby that just doesn't feel well, and he just doesn't feel well. You don't need to worry." And then he continued to fuss at Aidyn for making his mommy worry. ;) And I was able to dry myself up and regain composure, ha.

I explained to him that we have tried cool milk (formula), water, juice, and Pedialyte but it's like he knows the bottle will hurt and so he refuses it. The dr agreed that he's associating the bottle with pain and so it may take some "convincing" for Aidyn to realize there's cold, yummy stuff in the bottle that will help his throat. Even when he is better, it may take a few days for him to realize the bottle "doesn't hurt" anymore. In the meantime, we are to feed him WHATEVER he'll eat...cold (slushly like) veggies, applesauce, infant yogurt (sparingly), juice, jello, cold formula, cereal, etc. The important thing is getting SOMETHING in him, not what the something is necessarily.

Now that I realize he IS going to be ok (I hope...right? ha), I'll try to stop worrying and realize that he'll eat when he's hungry and hopefully his throat will clear up soon enough.

Now, for the "crazy" part... (yep, you just thought this was a long post already!)

Dr.Taylor still isn't satisfied with how Aidyn's dry skin patches (1 on his shoulder, 2 on his back, and 1 on his tummy) are, or aren't, healing. He agreed that it is looking better, but not as quickly as it should. If we don't get it cleared up soon, he's afraid it may get infected and cause more issues...and we DEFINITELY don't want that. When he stepped out of the room to ask the nurse to do the strep test, he saw Dr.Pearson (another dr in the group). He came in, checked his throat and skin, and agreed with everything we'd already discussed and decided upon. He, just like Dr.Taylor, felt like we need to go ahead and take Aidyn to a dermatologist (skin specialist) to see if we can get everything cleared up.

Since there aren't any pediatric dermatologist (PDs) in the area, we had to get a referral to an adult dr that works with the Pediatrician's office. The peds office should call me back soon about setting up an appointment. HOWEVER, if that doesn't work or they can't get anything figured out or "fixed", then Dr.Taylor suggests we visit a PD in...get this...Nashville or Cincinnati. Nashville is a 4.5-5hr drive west from our house and I don't even know how far Cincinnati would be. I'm going to try and not think about that!

So, for now...
We're continuing his Prevacid for reflux twice a day. I want to start weaning from it (I don't think he needs it much anymore), but we want to wait until his throat clears up and he's back to feeling 100%, or close to it.

We're continuing baths only twice a week (to help his skin from drying out), medicated ointment on the dry patches twice a day, and thick Aveeno baby cream as many times as possible on the rest of his body.

We're now adding Omoxycilin (sp?) twice a day, for the next ten days, to help his throat feel better and maybe the dry skin...I'm not really sure on that one.

Aaaaaaand, Tylenol or Motrin as he seems to be "hurting" and needs it. I have been trying to use these VERY sparingly unless he seems uncomfortable. Today, he had T in the morning at the sitter's and then M tonight before eating and going to bed.

Yes, I said he ate! After only eating 4 oz from 7-5pm today and a few squash, he ate an entire bottle at 5:30pm (I think he was starved) and 4 additional oz before going to bed at 9:30pm.

So, there you have it. I hope I answered or responded to everything I could think of, questions I asked today, and what the drs said. If you think of something I didn't address, feel free to leave a comment here or on my Facebook wall...and if you've read this far...God bless you! :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back to the Dr

Usually, examination tables aren't worthy of having their picture taken. I actually haven't ever taken Aidyn's picture at the doctor...until today. Check out the AWESOME table he got to play on today!!!


Aren't you jealous? I know I am! Why didn't my dr ever have anything so cool?!?
Aidyn's follow-up went OK today. Even though he hasn't been eating well, he has not lost any weight, so that's good. Dr.Taylor said his skin IS beginning to look better. Ben and I didn't really think it was, which is why I took him back today. The dr said if his skin isn't MUCH better (like basically back to normal looking) within a week, we have to call back and get a referral to see a dermatologist. Great...that's what I want to be scheduling on our first week back to school. I pray it gets better.
The dr said to continue putting a good layer of the medicated ointment on his dry spots twice a day and the thick baby cream (like lotion, but thicker) on as many times a day as possible. I think a good rule of thumb will be just to reapply each time his diaper is changed. Looks like we better stock up on baby cream.
I also explained how Aidyn has not been eating. He'll act hungry, grab the bottle, drink like crazy for a few seconds, and then turn his head and cry. The dr checked his throat and said he has 2 sore spots. It isn't strep, "just a sore throat". After asking all of my questions/concerns I had written down, and Aidyn's becoming more and more irritable since it was nap time, I didn't even think to ask why or how the spots would have appeared. So...your guess is as good as mine.
He hasn't had a fever, rash, or anything else, so hopefully we're headed downhill from all of these issues. His throat "should" be better within the next few days and Aidyn "should" be back to eating. I sure hope so! I'm SO TIRED of going to the dr.
We've actually been so much that today, Gloria (the lactation specialist in the office) said, "Hey Whitney! Gosh...what's going on? You guys have been in here waaay too much lately!" I wanted to say, "No kidding!"

Remember the fire?

Anytime Aidyn gets fussy to the point of "no return" (hahaha), we like to put him in the stroller and go for a walk. Yesterday, after having a good day and him eating all of his bottles and veggies, I decided to take him for a walk as a treat. ;) Aidyn LOVES being outside and especially going for walks. This time, though, he INSISTED on sitting up. So, we went very slowly. To walk 5 blocks and back it took us almost an hour! The sidewalks in town are NOT in great shape, or atleast most aren't, and I didn't want to hit a bump and Aidyn go flying foward.

We live in Erwin, where Ben grew up, and it's a very small town. It's bigger than some "small towns", but it isn't much bigger. Here is just a glimpse of the downtown area that's down the street from our house.


Side note: I have to admit that when we first bought our house and I realized I'd be living in Erwin, I was NOT excited. It was too small for me, 20-25 minutes from Johnson City where everything is and where I grew up, and...NO walmart! haha However, now that I like to get out and walk with Aidyn all the time, I LOVE it!!!! I would not be able to walk and go so many different places with a baby and stroller if we didn't live here. It's funny how things change.

But anyways...back in March (or maybe April...around Easter) there was a VERY HUGE fire about 4 blocks from where we live. Remember this?

As Aidyn and I were out on our long, slow stroll yesterday, I decided to walk up by the fire location and get some after shots. Here is a pile of bricks, all that's left from the building...


...and the empty, grassy lot where the building once stood.


And incase you were wondering, haha, you can also purcahse one of the "original" bricks at a home furniture store across the street! Aren't you glad? hehehe

Howevere, there's only two left (so it seems)...so you better move quickly if you want one! And it appears they're on sale, too! ;)

6 Months Old

Really?!?! I cannot believe Aidyn is 6 months old...wow!


Aidyn trying to pick up his new bucket of toys...

and dropping his new bucket of toys...Uh-oh!


As much as I like to think he doesn't do that on purpose, I'm beginning to realize that he probably does. He's gotten to where he LOVES knocking things off of his highchair, walker, and the cabinet when he sits in his Bumbo. Luckily, all he usually has within reach are plastic toys or a paci. See that smirk on his face? He definately knows what he's doing!

Organic Teethers

You can't get much more "natural" than this:


Since Aidyn's been feeling bad, I can't decide if it's because of teething, a stomach bug, his reflux, the 6 month shots, etc. Because of this, we're headed BACK to the dr this afternoon.

But, when I was trying to come up with something I could give Aidyn (if it was teething issues), a friend suggested giving him a carrot to chew on. He doesn't have teeth and carrots don't "dissolve", so I figured we'd give it a try. To my surprise, he LOVED it! (Thanks, Aimee!)

I tried the net teethers first, but he wasn't a fan. Instead, I went back to the kitchen and got the rest of the carrot, washed it, "peeled" it, and just gave him the whole thing. And as you could see in that top picture, he went to town on it!


We keep a bowl in our refridgerator of teethers and now we've added a carrot! Once he starts on fruits, I plan on putting some apple pieces in the nets...or anything else that he can chew on and won't turn to total mush. I don't think I'll be putting a banana in there...maybe in the bathtub one night, haha.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Family 5k Roadrace

The local UCHS Varisty Football team, that Ben helps coach, had their first 5k Roadrace fundraiser Friday evening. Since Ben is one of the coaches, he had to work the race instead of run or walk. My parents agreed to come and walk with Aidyn and me. 5k is a little over 3 miles.

Aidyn stretching his legs and preparing for the race:


The race started at 7pm and we (my parents, me, Aidyn, and two other friends) finished at 7:50pm...but we did cheat. Yes, I hate to admit it, but we did, haha.
I had on the wrong socks and a huge blister was forming on my heel. It was getting time for Aidyn to eat, and he was getting tired of riding in the stroller.


Our friends that were with us had their dog, Harley. He kept trying to lay down in shady spots and rest, ha. So...as we came around a corner and realized that we were not supposed to turn down a specific road like we thought, but instead continue on...well, we turned down the road anyways, haha. It's horrible I know! However, it was only 1 block "too soon". So, even though we finished in 50 minutes, it probably really should've been 60 min.

Aidyn crossing the finish line...0:50:51

Oh well, haha. Who's counting?

Yuckies

Since Aidyn went for his shots on Thursday, he has NOT been feeling well. He had acted a little whiney on Wednesday, but nothing too bad that I thought anything of it. While we were waiting (in that teeny tiny room) for the dr on Thursday, he started pitching a fit. We tried rocking him, bouncing him, and even walking around the room...but there's only so much "walking around" you can do in an 8ft x 8ft room.

They must have gotten tired of hearing him scream, because the nurses FINALLY came in and gave him his shots. Then they said, "We'll check back in about 10-15 minutes and then you'll be free to go." What?!?! 10-15 minutes? Oh no! And so here started the crying again. I think it was probably only 5-10 minutes when they came back, said everything looked ok, and let us leave. Thank goodness! Within 5 minutes of leaving the dr office, Aidyn was quietly sleeping in his carseat.

His fussiness has continued since Thursday evening. We've followed the doctor's orders of giving him Tylenol every 4 hours for 24 hours. I'm not sure if he's teething or not (and doesn't have a fever), so I hate to keep giving him Tylenol because we "think" it's teething pain.

So, since Thursday afternoon, Aidyn's done lots of fussing and napping. On Friday he woke up at 7am. He then napped from 9-11am. He laid down for another nap at 1-1:30pm. At 4:30pm, I had to go upstairs and wake him up to eat! We were participating in a 5k walk/run roadrace for the local Varisty Football team.

On Saturday, Aidyn also napped on and off pretty frequently. He woke up at 10am and ate, would not eat at 1pm (except for sweet potatoes), but then ate well at 4pm. He would not eat at 7pm, nor 10pm when we got home from a friend's house. He woke up at 3am lastnight and ate, but once again...would not eat this morning. I FINALLY was able to get 5oz of formula in him through his cereal. Now, he is napping again and I just hope and pray that he eats at his next feeding.



If I could just get him to drink water or juice, even that would be better than nothing. I worry he'll become dehydrated if he doesn't eat. We're going back to the dr tomorrow since his skin isn't cleared up (per the dr's orders) so hopefully we can figure out what's wrong with his appetite also.

Our original plan was to take Aidyn to the sitter's everyday this week until about lunch time. This would help us all get into a "morning routine" since school starts back next week. Maybe we'll be able to get Aidyn feeling better and can continue with our plan (if not Tues, than Wednesday at the latest).

Friday, July 24, 2009

6 Month Check-Up

Aidyn went yesterday, 3 days early, for his 6 month check-up.

2 weeks ago, I found a knot on the back of Aidyn's head, behind his left ear. Then, early last week, we found 3 more. A second next to the first, and two additional knots behind his right ear. Freaking out, I called and moved his appointment up a week to this Thursday. The nurses said the knots sounded like lymph nodes. After schedulng his appointment, I posted on Facebook for prayers about the knots. By the end of the day, many people had posted comments in response about their child(ren) having the same thing and it being lymph nodes. The dr agreed and said everything seemed fine.

Aidyn's check up went well. Dr.Taylor said everything looked well...except for his dry skin. We left with a "strong" prescription of cream to put on his dry skin spots twice a day. The dr said if he isn't improving or looking better by Monday, we need to come back for a re-evaluation.

I asked about cutting back Aidyn's Prevacid (reflux) to once a day instead of twice. He said sure. So, I think we'll finish out August and then try going down to once a day and see how Aidyn does. When he was born, we were told he "should" outgrow the reflux by 6-7 months. But as we all know, not every baby does as they "should".

Aidyn will also continue eating every 3 hours. Most books say that by 6-7 months, babies should be eating every 4 hours, about 4 times a day. Sometimes Aidyn does good to make it to the 3hr mark, and then other days (like today) he won't eat for 4 or 5 hrs. Even though we try our hardest staying on a 3 hr schedule, Aidyn has good days and bad. He should've eaten at 11:15am this afternoon. At 11:30am, when he woke up from his nap...he wouldn't eat. We continued trying until 12pm and then put the bottle in the fridge. After I showered, I tried feeding him again. It's now 2:00pm and he's only eaten 3 oz since 11:30am and some peas. He's now taking another nap. Hopefully when he wakes up this time, he'll eat. Some days he'll eat around 28oz total, plus his cereal and/or veggies. Then, on days like today, it seems we'll be good to make it to 20oz. We'll see.

Here are Aidyn's 6month stats:
Weight - 17lbs 1oz (50th percentile)
Height - 26.25 in (50th percentile)
Head - 43.7 cm (50th percentile)

So...Dr.Taylor said, "Well, looks like he's found his "curve." For Aidyn's past 2 appointments, he's fallen on the 50th percentile mark for EVERYTHING. So as of right now, it seems as though he's going to be average height and weight. The dr said he seems to be doing very well and everything seems right on target...except for his dry skin. I hope it's cleared up by Monday or we'll be going back, again.

Future Homerun Slugger

Last Christmas, before Aidyn was born, Ben's grandfather bought Aidyn a toy. It's a mini-tball stand with a mini-baseball bat. Now, ofcourse Aidyn isn't coordinated enough to play with the bat and ball. But, he does like to sit in the floor and play with it. The ball sits on the mini-t and when he pulls it towards him, music plays or other sounds can be heard.

Here is just a quick clip of Aidyn enjoy his baseball toy that his Great-Poppy bought him. This morning was the first time he heard the music (we were out of batteries), and you'll notice his sweet smile everytime he hears it doing something different.

video

Thanks, Poppy!

Peas

We introduced peas into Aidyn's diet this week. He's now eating cereal in the mornings (on most days) and then vegetables throughout the day. Each of these "meals" also includes his normal bottle, or at least what he'll eat of it.

We started with butternut squash, then sweet potatoes, and now peas. I plan on doing carrots next and then green beans. The reason I skipped carrots is because I wanted to get some fiber into Aidyn's diet to hopefully help "regulate" him. Oh yeah, we've also introduced prunes for the exact same reason.

So far, he seems to really like them all. After doing 3 days of Gerber peas, I'm not ready to go buy a big frozen bag and make our own. To be sure that Aidyn doesn't have any allergies, I start with the Gerber foods, and then if he does ok...I buy and make a huge bulk. I'd hate to make 70+ servings of something and then realize he's allergic, ha.

Aidyn enjoying his peas:

You may, or may not, notice that Aidyn always has the same bib on in his eating pictures. When doing new or "messy" foods, I place one of those large, plastic-lined bibs on him. As much as we don't care for them, they are SO HANDY when feeding by the spoon. I guess I need to purchase atleast one or two more. Since we only have the one, after a day's worth of meals, it tends to be pretty nasty.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sippy Cup Fun

In the book I've read, been reading, and constantly refer back to...Babywise...the authors mention that it's a good idea to start introducing a sippy cup around 6 months. Just like parents that struggle with their children that don't like transitioning from breastmilk to a bottle, the transition can be just as hard for children to start using the sippy cup. Well, so I've heard, haha.

The book suggests several ways to "start" the sippy cup such as placing a little formula in there, placing a little water with just a tiny bit of juice (for some inticing flavor), and a few others. The authors also go on about what a mess it can be in the beginning, just like when starting solids and spoon feeding. One of their suggestions was to start with the sippy cup during bath time.

Wow! I thought that was a GREAT idea! Then, if it does make a mess or leak everywhere, what does it matter? So that's what we did! I bought Aidyn a small 7oz Nubby sippy cup at the store the other day. The spout is made out of the same materials as a bottle nipple. Although it's shaped differently, the child still has to suck to get the liquid out.

Aidyn did suprisingly well, or atleast to us, for his first time. He managed to get the spout in his mouth the very first time. He would try to drink it just like he would a bottle, and then he'd chew on it a while. I let him "play" with his cup for about 5-10 minutes before putting it away and moving on with his bath.



I didn't want to put yummy juice in the cup since he would be eating his bedtime bottle afterwards. I also didn't want to put formula in the cup, because I if it did leak out (which was inevidable) I didn't want him sitting in a milk cloud for a bath. So...I just added about 4 oz of barely cool water. This way it didn't matter if it spilled or not.


You know me, I just HAD to get a video! I actually did two quick ones. The first is my favorite of him drinking, but since he's in the bathtub...some things are exposed that I probably shouldn't share with the world, haha. I know he'd thank me for that if he could. ;) So, I hope the second video is enough of a "glimpse" of how he did. He's mostly chewing on it during this one. Oh well.


video

It won't be long before he's holding his own bottle and maybe even using a sippy cup. There's no rush or need for the sippy cup now...but I'd like to have the skill down by the time basketball season rolls around so we can take it to the games with us. He'll be 10 months when the season starts, but 13 months when it's over (maybe 14mo if we're lucky!) :)


Ouch!

I had a parent once (from school) tell me that she never wore her engagement ring anymore because she always scratched her sons. She said she only wears her wedding band. I can't do that...and not because I just want to wear my diamond, although I do! My band is seperated into two "parts" and the engagement ring fits down into it. To wear just the band would like down right stupid. But anyhow...I finally understand her reasoning, though, behind her decision.

The other day I somehow accidently scratched the backside of Aidyn's leg. He didn't cry, or if he did I never remembered it, so we didn't even notice until later that afternoon. Man, did I feel terrible!!!!!



I am still wearing my ring, though. Why wouldn't I? Now, I just try to be extra careful.

Look at me!

Aidyn is getting bigger and doing more "new" things each day. To encourage him to sit up more, we bought a few toys that he can sit up and play with.




He does pretty well until he gets distracted and turns to look or reach for something else.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Swinging

Last week, my parents bought Aidyn a swing for their house. Here are just a few pictures of him trying it out for the first time. I wasn't there, but they said he seemed to enjoy it.


Church Movie Night

Our church has been talking about ways to "reach out" into the community. For a few years, Ben and I have discussed the possibility of hanging a large sheet or tarp from the side of the building, and then projecting a movie onto it.
We finally got our chance!


Sponsored by our church youth, we hosted a FREE community Movie Night 2 weeks ago. We sent out postcard invitations to all of our VBS attendees from the past 2 years. We were able to get the local (Erwin only...it's AM) radio station to advertise everyday for 2 weeks, for free! We also created extra postcards and fliers for church members to hand out, mail, or give to friends.

We began the evening at 7:00pm with "games" for everyone to play. There was basketball, crochet, ladder ball, badmitten (sp?), a football, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, hoola hoops, bingo, and a cake walk. Members of the church baked or purchased items for our cake walk - yum! We also had an icee maker and a popcorn maker donated for our use on Friday evening, and we provided bottled water and kool-aid. At 7:30pm, our worship band also played several songs for some extra "entertainment".

At 8:30pm, we began cleaning up the games. Ben had prepared a short message to give. Unfortunately, many of the younger kids were running around and people continued talking and "mingling" amongst themselves. I felt bad for Ben because he ended up cutting his message short. People weren't listening and he said he couldn't concentrate for all of the little kids running around. We've decided that next time, on August 15th, we'll corral everyone inside the church for the message. This will also allow the sound "crew" to get the movie set up and ready.

At 9:00pm, we started the movie, Bedtime Stories by Disney (featuring Adam Sandler). It was a great success! We used a large painter's canvas (9x12) that we drapped from the side of the church building. We used our regular morning projector and speakers for the video and sound. We can't wait to do our next one, "Back 2 School", the week after school starts. Instead of giving away cakes, cookies, and other yummy treats...we'll be giving away school supplies.

We realize that doing the "Back 2 School" night AFTER school starts is a little different, but we weren't able to schedule it before...unless we did the weekend before. The reason we decided against that is because almost half of our congregation (seriously!) are either teachers, asssitants, or principals...(including Ben and me)...it's crazy, I know! We figured we'd all be in panic mode trying to prepare for school, haha, so we're doing the weekend AFTER.

Here are a few pictures that my dad took for us throughout the evening.










People brought blankets and chairs to sit on (in the parking lot) during the movie. We are currently trying to come up with a good family movie to show. Feel free to leave any suggestions in the comment section. We had almost 100 people total throughout the evening...we hope to have even more in August.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Changes

There are a lot of changes taking place in our household right now...or a lot on their way.

*WARNING* - This is a very long post, sorry.

Aidyn's changes:
Aidyn will be 6 months old in 10 days! Wow...that means sitting up, crawling, teeth, and more solid food are quickly approaching!

Aidyn will be changing his first tire in the next day or two. He isn't even driving yet, and already he has a flat tire! Ben repumped all of the tires 2 days ago and the air leaked right back out of his back tire. Oh no! This means no more strolls around the block, around town, or down the street.


Aidyn may have a new babysitter for when I go back to work. Originally, we had registered Aidyn for CCLC (Cherokee Christian Learning Center). It was the only place with openings for 6 month olds exactly when we'd need it, and the only place we felt really comfortable with. In his class, there would be no more than 8 students (ages 6-12mo) and 2 adults. My only concern is that due to state regulations, they are not allowed to have any sort of "restrictive" pieces such as bouncy seats, jumpers, swings, walkers, etc. All of the children sit in the floor on rugs and mats all day playing with toys. If Aidyn isn't sitting up by himself by July 27th, what will he do....lay in the floor all day?

So, 2 weeks ago, Ben found out about a girl in our town that recently got laid off and has decided to keep kids instead of looking for another job right now. After paying for childcare for her own daughter, she and her husband have "added up" the benefits of her staying at home and then keeping 1 or 2 other children. She has a 3yr old daughter, Riley, and keeps another 3yr old little boy, also named Riley. hahaha...I bet that can get confusing!

She said that Riley and Riley (ha) pretty much entertain each other and play all day. This means that Aidyn would get the attention he needs and not have to share that time with 3-8 other babies his age. He won't have to be sitting up in order to play, either. She has a Bumbo and a jumper. I may even try locating a cheap walker (yardsale) to leave at her house if all goes well. AND...she is only going to charge us $20/day! That will end up saving us $150/month. My only concern about his situation is if she or her daughter are sick. We will still need to talk to her about that. That was one of my biggest concerns about the first girl I met with. Not to mention, she was MORE EXPENSIVE than daycare and already knew of 2-3 wks that they'd be gone on vacation by October!

The biggest difference in the two is that our new person, Kelly, lives about 5 minutes from our house. Ben will be the one to take Aidyn in the mornings on his way to school. This makes it so much easier, since I won't have to worry about dropping him off on my way and worrying about traffic. It will take away my "worries" of leaving him with someone I don't really know, and I don't have to worry about their family being gone on different vacations (especially since she just got laid off). And...Ben will be able to pick Aidyn up after he gets out of school around 2:45-3pm. If he were at daycare, he would not be picked up until about 4:30pm, unless Ben or his mom drove to Johnson City to pick him up.

Regardless of how well we like Kelly, or anyone else down the road, Ben and I have agreed that by the time Aidyn is 2yrs old, we definately want him in a preschool structured program.


Ben's changes:
This Saturday will be Ben's very last EDs (Educational Specialists Degree) class. This is the degree inbetween Master's and Doctorate. He is already talking about doing the doctorate program, but he knows he HAS to wait. Now it's my turn! It will be great to have my husband back! (ha) This will mean that Ben's salary will have increased almost $5-6,000 in just 2 years thanks to his Ma and EDs. Yay!

Ben is now the Offensive Coordinator for the varisty football team in Erwin. He has always helped with the football program, but never really had a specific title. Under new coaching, great spring practices, summer practices, new (strict yet respected) expectations, I am very excited to see how this season goes!

Yesterday, as Ben was trying to leave practice, his car would not start. He's had this car for almost 9 years. It's been a WONDERFUL car! But it's a 2-door which almost makes it impossible to get Aidyn into the backseat. So, if I am going out of town or just out for the day and Ben keeps Aidyn, we have to trade cars. Ben's been wanting to look at new cars for a while (or new to him), but we've been trying to wait until I go back to work. After yesterday's adventures, it looks like we may be car shopping sooner than expected. Although, I guess 2-3 wks earlier isn't too much sooner than we planned.




My (Whitney's) changes:
Next week, Monday-Wednesday, I begin teacher inservice for this coming school year. Ben's mom will be keeping Aidyn on Monday and Wednesday. We will be leaving Aidyn at Kelly's on Tuesday to see how it goes. Even though most teaches are REALLY dreading July coming to an end, I'm excited.

This year, I'll be teaching 3rd grade. For the past 2 years, I've been doing a "split" team-teaching. I had a 4th grade homeroom class and Linda, my teaching partner, had a 3rd grade homeroom class. I taught both groups reading and grammar while she taught both groups math. Then, in the afternoons...we taught our own groups either science or social studies. Whew! Did you follow that? That's A LOT of planning! I am VERY excited to be a strictly 3rd only team this year with Linda! This means we will have half the planning since we'll only be teaching one grade. I can't wait to get started!

I will be "giving up" my days with Aidyn. As much as I TOTALLY LOVE Aidyn, I also have missed teaching and working. Being off and at home for 6 months with Aidyn has been priceless and well worth the cut in pay. However, being off and away from work for 6 months has also left me "chomping at the bit" to get back to work. It's weird. I don't want to have to leave Aidyn...but I cannot wait to go back to work. Weird, huh?

Also, in August, I'll be starting my Master's degree program. This why I said Ben has to wait on his doctorate because it's now MY turn. I have wanted to get my master's in reading for a long time. I know that going back to work August 3rd and having a new baby at home will be an adjustment. Hopefully, it won't take us too long to get adjusted and into a pretty set schedule. My master's will start the week of August 24th...and then things will get even more crazy. But once again, I can't wait! (I do realize however all of this excitement over teaching school and attending school will probably fade QUICKLY when all the work starts piling up, hahaha).

Homemade Butternut Squash

The first two foods I attempted to make for Aidyn were sweet potatoes and butternut squash.

Even though I started with the squash, I had some issues getting it to cook, so I posted about the sweet potatoes first. I finished up the squash yesterday morning. Since I only had 4 ice cube trays, which were all full of sweet potatoes, I had to wait for those to completely freeze so that I can dump them into my labeled freezer bag. After emptying the trays and rinsing them out, I filled them back up with the squash.

Cooking squash:
I followed the instructions given to me by Jeannie. I cut the squash in half lengthwise, scooped out the seeds, placed them "meat" down into a casserole dish, poured about 1/2 an inch of water in the pan, and placed in the microwave for 7.5 minutes. I think this may have been where I "messed up". The directions said to make sure the skin was soft before turning over. Part of the skin was soft, but not entirely, and I turned it squash over anyways.

Now, with the skin side down, I cooked the squash for 5 additional minutes. When I went to scoop out the "meat" of the squash, only the bottom, round portion would scoop out. The rest of the squash was not tender and fully cooked. To help the squash finish cooking, I cut it into 1.5 inch slices, put it back into the casserole dish (without water), and placed in the oven on 400' degrees for about 30 extra minutes.



After the extra cooking, the squash was tender and ready. Just like the potatoes, I scooped it into the blender, added water until it reached the right consistency, and then poured into the ice cube trays. The butternut squash did not yeild as much as the 3 sweet potatoes.

Instead of getting around 60 1oz servings, I ended up with 25 1oz servings. Even still, if you consider a Gerber package of $2.oo = $0.50 per serving and then my $2 squash = $0.08 per serving. It may not be $0.03 like the potatoes, but it's MUCH better than $0.50.
Aidyn's next food will be carrots. Now, that's a vegetable I actually eat!
*Side Note...I told Ben that we're going to have to start eating these other veggies ourselves. :( I do not want Aidyn to be a picky eater, like us, and so we're going to have to move beyond potatoes, corn, yellow squash, green beans, peas, and carrots.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Homemade Sweet Potatoes

I told you on a post a few days ago that I was planning on making Aidyn's baby food. Ben's uncles' sister (haha...can you follow that) emailed me with tips and advice on how she made her son, Will's, babyfood when he was little.

Today, I started with sweet potatoes and butternut squash. These are the two veggies that we have already introduced to Aidyn through the Gerber babyfoods. I started with the butternut squash. I've never eaten this myself, so I really have no idea how it tastes. I had some trouble getting it to cook, so I'll tell you about it later.

Next, onto the sweet potatoes. Before I started the squash or cooking dinner, I washed 3 large sweet potatoes and put them in a baking dish. I placed them in the oven on 450' for about an hour. Aidyn and I went for a walk, so it may have been just a little longer. Once the potatoes were good and soft, I took them out of the oven. Since the "meat" of the potato pulls away from the skin, it was VERY EASY to scoop that out with a spoon, even while hot. I scooped it straight into our blender. Forgetting about the amount of water I would need to add in a few minutes, I "accidently" added ALL of the potatoes.


*Side Note: Here is a picture of a set of containers I bought (Gerber squash) last week. I washed and saved these containers to use for when I made Aidyn's food. Thanks for the helpful tip, Jeannie! This 2-pack of squash, or any Gerber food, costs about $2. For Aidyn, that'd be 4 servings...about 1 day depending on how/when he eats. That comes to roughly $0.50 per serving. In this picture, they are filled with the sweet potatoes I made today.

Needless to say, as the blending and mixing went on, I eventually had to pour some into a bowl and then finish it during a 2nd round. I kept adding a little warm water at a time and just blending or pulsing the blender until the sweet potatoes were as close to the same consistency of the Stage 1 Gerber foods. I DID NOT add salt, pepper, sugars, etc...nothing to "change" the taste of the food. I don't even add salt, pepper, or other things to my food when I eat.

When all was said and done, and mixed to the right consistency, I poured the food into ice cube trays...and a few other things, haha. I told you I went a little over board. :) I had no idea how much 3 potatoes would make. Once the cubes are nice and hard, I'll pop them out and into a ziplock freezer bag that I've already labeled Sweet Potatoes 7/09.



Here are ALLLLLLL my sweet potato servings...out of 3 potatoes! Who would've ever thought, haha. Jeannie said to count one "cube" as 1oz, roughly. Sometimes Aidyn will eat about 2-3 oz of cereal. So, I'm counting 1oz as 1 serving (for now) so that we can compare this to the Gerber containers I just showed you up above.

In this picture, with 3 sweet potatoes for a total cost of $1.87...I made 63 servings! That averages out to $0.03 per serving. Do the math...I got all of this for less than $2.00 and if I bought it all by Gerber, I would've spent $31.00. Wow. Now, I am SO THANKFUL for the helpful advice from Ben's uncle's sister, haha. (I think that sounds funnier than just saying Jeannie, ha).

So, next time that Aidyn needs some sweet potatoes, I'll pull a few cubes out of the bag from the freezer and either let them thaw in the fridge or place them in the microwave until they are thawed and at room temperature. Something else that Jeannie suggested was that once her son, Will, was eating several veggies, she sometimes would thaw 1 peas, 1 squash, 1 carrots, etc.

I LOVE this idea because now I don't have to worry about Aidyn not eating the Gerber food within 2-3 days and having to throw it out. Now, I can thaw 1-2 cubes at a time and if he doesn't eat that...well, it's definately better than throwing away $1.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yardsale Find #2

A couple weeks ago, my friend texted me about a walker her mom had found at a yardsale...for $6. $6!!!!!! She asked if I'd like for her to get it and ofcourse I said, "Yes!"

When she came over for dinner last week, she brought Aidyn the walker. He hasn't learned to walk in it yet, but is beginning to try to scoot backwards. We needed something to keep upstairs in the office and/or bathroom while I shower. These are both rooms that I can shut the door when Aidyn eventually learns to use the walker. I DO NOT want him trying to walk around upstairs. Downstairs isn't an issue since he clearly can't "walk" up stairs in it.

Today, while I worked on the computer in the office, I put Aidyn in his new walker.


I had a blanket down under him that I forgot to get up when we were playing, so he clearly wasn't going anywhere today, haha.

Thanks Brenda and Kayla...he loves it!

Camera Hog

Aidyn has decided he likes the camera (probably because I've always got it out trying to take his picture, haha). Either that, or he's beginning to learn that when the camera is picked up, he's supposed to smile.


After getting his picture today during his sweet potatoes testing, he kept reaching for the camera. I was trying to get him to smile at me but he kept trying to grab the camera out of my hands. I cracked up when I looked at the pictures I ended up with...

"I know I can reach it!"



"Almost got it..."



"Yes! I got it!!!"
"Oh, shoot...bright flahes in my eye!"

Sweet Potatoes

To try and help with Aidyn's bathroom "issues", I've decided to keep on with the vegetables. I didn't have any green veggies in the pantry (baby food types) today, so I went with sweet potatoes. We've already introduced avocado and squash for several days. Since potatoes was all I had, I figured that was better than more cereal...which only makes constipation worse.


My "uncle-in-law" (I guess that's what you'd call him, hahaha...Ben's uncle) - anyhow. His sister emailed me some GREAT ideas on how to make your own baby food. I REALLY want to try it, soon. I bought carrots and butternut squash at the store the other day to try, so I'll let you know how it goes. I plan on posting her "advice" as well later on. It's quite lengthy but so incredibly helpful!

But that's just a side note. So since I only had sweet potatoes today, that's what Aidyn ate.
10:30am - Bottle + Sweet Potatoes
1:30pm - Bottles + Cereal
4:30pm - Bottles + Sweet Potatoes
9:00pm - Bottle

I knew we'd be at the mall during Aidyn's lunch time bottle today, and cereal isn't quite as messy as potatoes. So, I switched those first two feedings. Normally, we do cereal for breakfast and then in the evening. For some reason, Aidyn WOULD NOT eat at 7:30pm tonight. All he did was fuss, chew on the nipple, and spit it out. I tried making very "milky" cereal, but he didn't want that either. After an hour of trying, I poured the bottle out. Finally, at 9:00pm I made a 2nd bottle, and after getting his pjs on...he gave in and at the whole thing.

Since he went so long, he'll "miss" his 10:30pm feeding because once he goes to bed around 9:30-10pm, he's done for the night. Luckily, he ate just about 5.5oz at every feeding plus the additional food, so I think he'll be ok.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Magic Prunes

Well, as many of you know, poor Aidyn has been constipated lately. I think the biggest reason is because of the cereal we put in his bottles (to help with reflux) and the cereal that he is also eating now in addition to his bottles. Both "steps" have been recommended and suggested by his doctors, but it doesn't help with his BMs.

TONS of people have given us different suggestions on Facebook about how to help. After trying juice and the q-tip with vaseline...and no luck...I decided to try some prunes.



Now, I know you are supposed to start with veggies and try them all before introducing fruits. However, due to our "circumstances", I didn't think just a few bites would hurt. So, after Aidyn's lunchtime bottle and cereal today, I fed him about 3-4 small bites of Gerber Stage 1 prunes. As you'll see in the video below, he was NOT liking them, haha. Who would? hehe
video

Nonetheless, they helped and by this afternoon and was feeling better already. I'll let you figure out why. ;) I don't think we're totally in the clear yet to being back to "normal", but I think we're on our way.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Silly Boy

Aidyn is so silly!

Because of Aidyn's dry skin, the dr asked us to cut his baths down to once every 3 days or so. Since we go to church on Sundays, we've decided that his "bath nights" will be on Saturday and then Wednesday nights. This makes it easier than every 3 days and trying to keep up with it.

Tonight after finishing his bath, I wrapped him in his towel and then laid him on another towel in the floor so I could fix his bedtime bottle. I knew he was trying to roll over, but he was too close to the tub. He didn't like that! So, I scooted him over and went back to fixing his bottle.

I heard him chuckling and when I turned around...


He constantly makes me laugh (except when he's fussy, haha). I had to take his picture. What a priceless face! He LOVES bath time...unfortunately, by the time we got the bottle fixed, diaper on, lotion on for dry skin, cream on his dry spots, and finally pjs on...his face was making the COMPLETELY OPPOSITE expression. I'll let you use your imagination because I definately didn't take a picture then, haha. If you look closely (or click on the picture to enlarge it) you'll see one of the dry spots on his left shoulder.

Giggles

Aidyn has started laughing anytime Ben and I laugh. Nothing has to be going on either. All we have to do is just start "fake" laughing and Aidyn gets so tickled. It's halarious, so ofcourse I had to share.

Please disregard my high-pitched "witch" laugh...the point of the video is Aidyn's cute laughing, ha. Keep that in mind...

video

Isn't he just precious?

Mmm...icees!

Aidyn and I went to lunch with a friend of mine today. Thanks Jennifer for the invite! We both had coupons for a FREE Italian Icee at Rita's in Johnson City. So...we ate lunch at Jason's Deli (yum!) and then went around the corner of the building, literally, for some dessert.

I got a strawberry and shared it with Aidyn. He "only" got probably 10 small bites, but as you can see most of it ended up on his face and his bib. Either way, he totally loved it!

After we were done with dessert, it was time for Aidyn to eat. Yea...I realized you should never eat dessert first. ;) So we stopped by my parent's house to feed Aidyn before heading home. I tried getting another picture of him (not in his carseat) but he always stops and stares at the flash, haha. Oh well.

We also had Movie Night at our church lastnight. We had blueberry snowcones. Aidyn wouldn't eat but it was so hot outside that my mom offered him some of the ice. All of the blueberry sank to the bottom so he didn't get any of it. He loved it also! My dad took lots of pictures and videos for me lastnight, so hopefully I'll get to post about that soon!