Stress.

Monday, January 31, 2011
There is simply no other word for this post.

I've just come to be conditioned to the fact that regular well baby checks pretty much mean the rest of the day will suck due to the stress of said appointment. In one year's worth of appointments, I have never left not in tears or on the verge of tears. Despite what I was hoping would happen, last Friday's 18 month appointment was dripping in disappointment, just as the rest have been.

Now, certainly, don't get me wrong. This child is meeting and (often exceeding) every milestone on the charts. That is fantastic, and it's not something I take for granted.

However, the issues of eating, nutrition and weight gain/loss have begun to break me down and stress me out in ways that I can only get out in writing.

After gaining nearly two pounds in 6 weeks last Nov-Dec, he has now lost weight again. He dropped  a pound in about 6 weeks. It doesn't seem like much, but this brings him to just over 20 pounds as an 18 month old. He is officially no longer on the growth chart. I think he's pretty much the size of a 1 year old (6 months too late). My heart sank for the 6th time in as many appointments as Henry screamed bloody murder on the scale. I hate that scale. I hate it. Then, when the nurse plotted his stats on the growth chart, my heart hit the floor when she made the casual remark "He's a tiny peanut!". Umm, yeah lady. I'm aware...and I don't find it giggle worthy.

There is something that isn't right. The doctor doesn't think it's anything SERIOUSLY wrong with him or he wouldn't be meeting all his milestones. I get that.

But I go back to the fact that something isn't right. A child born at full term with a health pregnancy history and overall good health doesn't simply not gain more than 1 pound in 8-9 months for no reason, I simply refuse to believe everything is "fine" anymore. So here is the plan laid out by our pediatrician (pretty much 100% requested by me).

Lab work was conducted to check on the following: total nutrition work up (including how his liver is functioning and his levels of pretty much everything in his bloodstream). They will also be checking to see if he has a gluten intolerance/allergy and checking his thyroid. In order to get this blood they needed to draw blood from his arm. This was a brand new experience, and even though he screamed bloody murder, he didn't fight it physically at all and the lab tech said he was the best toddler she had ever seen. Yay for that.

So where do we go from here? I honestly don't know. We won't get the lab work done until 5-7 days from last Friday, so I guess we just have to wait and see right now.

One of the other recommendations given was to make an appointment with a pediatric nutritionist. Based on what I told the doctor, it appears that Henry's eating habits are no longer seen as "typical toddler eating habits". I understand that this could be a huge part of the problem, as there are dinners where he will have 3 bites and 2 sips of milk. There are countless foods offered to him that he simply refuses to try. AT ALL. Because of this refusal of anything new or healthy, he pretty much lives on grilled cheese, pizza, french fries, peanut butter and jelly and french toast. Short of shoving it in his face, which I won't do, and doesn't work anyway, we are at a loss. It also doesn't work to "trick" him. He's too smart for that and has pretty much learned not to trust us with a spoon. Awesome all around.

So I guess I will keep everyone updated via the blog once we know something. If all blood work comes back fine, at the very least I hope to gain some sort of insight from the nutritionist as to what and how to feed him. Mealtimes are almost always stressful, to say the least.

The icing on all of this came today. Remember the last appointment?   On top of the weight gain issues, we also walked out of that appointment with a double ear infection and impetigo. When that bill came in the mail, there was an office visit charge for $92.50 on it. We immediately thought "Hmm, an obvious mistake, well baby checks are 100% covered by our insurance."

After further investigation by Ryan, it turns out no, it wasn't a mistake. We were charged $92.50 because they found something. Honestly. Because my child just happened to have two ear infections and impetigo the day I brought him in for a regular check up, the clinic/doctor charged for it. I think we will continue to fight it, as we've never heard of such a ridiculous practice. But, maybe we're mistaken and it's common. Either way, I think it's a pile of crap.

We have a 1 and a half year old.

Thursday, January 27, 2011
18 months. 1.5 yearS (yes the "S" is meant to be emphasized). 6 long months from turning one. 6 short months from turning two. TWO! Insane, I tell you.

As I looked back, it's only been 2-3 posts since I last updated on 17 months, but there have been new things already, so I figured I'd actually do the 18 month update on time. Tomorrow is his big 18 month appointment, but I heard he only gets 1 shot, so that's great!

At 18 months Henry:

-Continually adding new words every. single. day. It is so cool to see and hear. He said his own name for the first time the other day. He also repeated after me the numbers 1-10 tonight.
-Has best friends at daycare. He loves a kindergarten girl named Morgan who he calls "Mo-Mo" and the new baby there. When you say "Let's go to Wendy's." he replies with "Mo-Mo?" He also called for "Mo-Mo" one day when he woke up. He also repeats the names of most of his other friends. 
-Officially climbs onto the couch without holding on to our arm or leg.
-Can walk down stairs really well while holding onto a hand and the spindles.
-Beginning to walk up the stairs--though he thinks he's a really big boy and wants to do one foot on each step (instead of one foot, two foot on each step) and then he'd fall back if I wasn't there. It's a work in progress for our over-achiever.
-More gibberish in sentence form.
-Very particular in book choices. He wants to read what HE wants to read. You can't switch it. Love that he loves reading.
-Climbs up on his rocking horse all by himself.
-Grabs our hands and leads us to floor to sit down and play with him.
-Beginning to learn colors (he sometimes labels yellow and blue right now).
-Stacks 10 blocks.
-Puts on one mitten by himself.
-Puts buckles together (no, we are NOT teaching him how to undo said buckles.)
-Has a new obsession with my hair brushes. Sometimes he wakes up a little early and will come in the bathroom with us while we are getting ready and he will "brush" his hair. He also imitates putting daddy's deodorant on. 

And for those wondering about the potty front---he will go to the bathroom door and open it when we say "Let's go potty." He will also sit down on it with his pants up on his own every time he goes in and he has sat on it sans pants one time. I'll have to take pictures of the incredibly perfect potty book I found last weekend.

Oh goodness. Onto the cuteness. I desperately wanted to recreate MY FANTASTIC Valentine photos from last year with the huge sucker, but alas, Walgreens was out of those precious suckers. So, I compromised and I thought of something more awesome.

A few reminders of the Valentine Photos, 2010 (I still have some of these hanging up at work).

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 My baby has changed, slightly. It also seems that mommy's photography skills have grown too.


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Love, love, love these last few.

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Red dress + Melting Pot + Whiskey = 26 years.

Saturday, January 22, 2011
Love birthdays in this house. Thursday was mine. 26. 26 is a little harder to swallow than 25 was. 25 was a milestone. 26 is one step closer to a more terrifying milestone. 30. Yikes. Weren't we just in marching band together? Umm...the answer to that is no. November will mark 10 years with the man below.

The red party dress made it better. And my handsome husband, of course.

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New loves of mine include the color red (specifically this dress).

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And the thing I'm looking into in the photo below. 


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The mirror (which I'll post more pictures of tomorrow) is courtesy of these two. Not sure anyone could possibly have neighbors friends more awesome than them.They handmade me a full-length mirror.

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Melting Pot was delicious. Spinach artichoke cheese fondue? Yes please.

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A "Love" Martini for the birthday girl.

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Steamy...

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Raw meat.

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I got a free piece of delicious cheesecake because it was my birthday.

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Blowing out the lone candle.

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And the blog's namesake? He stayed with Auntie Liz. Melting Pot isn't quite conducive to toddlers and I'm sure Henry enjoyed hanging out with the girls. He can't possibly not be pictured in a post though!

Blowing candles out with mommy at home. Ryan was sick most of the week and busy at work which lead to no homemade cake in time for my birthday. However, I hear he is going to make up for it by making one tomorrow and marketed the whole scenario as "But you'll get TWO cakes this way."  Because I insisted on blowing out 26 candles on my 26 birthday, here you see a pre-made Target cake. I got all the candles out in one puff too. Here's to hoping that my wish will come true this year.

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Oh. And the whiskey? I had some hot cider spiked with Whiskey at the Locale in mpls. I think it was my first taste of whiskey. It was pretty delicious.

*For whatever reason the font I have pre-programmed to be my title font doesn't like plus signs or the equal sign (though I could have sworn I've used those before). Anyway, the hearts you see should be + and the star should be an =. Use your imagination. **

The many faces of Henry...and some syrup.

We had french toast the other night for supper. Henry knew french toast meant syrup, so he got it out of the pantry and carried it around until supper was done. I was just shooting a bunch and caught a bunch of hilarious faces!

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Gangsta' baby.

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Irritated baby. He wanted the camera.

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Getting more upset.

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Not funny anymore mommy.

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Don't even know what this one is about.

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Don't take my syrup away!

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Throwing the syrup in frustration.

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Figuring out how to open it.

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Very pleased with his success.

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Saving the best for last as always. He had a Mickey Mouse shirt on under his sweatshirt. I asked him where Mickey was and this is the look I got. He was very excited about Mickey.

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A mommy birthday update and maybe some Valentine's photos later this weekend.

Belated 17 month update

Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I will try hard to document most of the important things that happened in the 17 month, (mostly because I want to remember them someday) but I know that because this is coming 2 weeks late, I'm going to speak more to the changes we've seen in just the last two weeks, which, have been insane.

Communication is absolutely exploding. I can't even keep track of the words he has said. He repeats just about ANYTHING now (so be mindful of your swear words when you are around him). He's repeated/said everything from "Tuesday", "yellow", and "Henry" to "There you go!", "digger", and "mountain". A quick google search just told me that most 18 month olds should have about a dozen words. We are WAY beyond that. Awesome. :) He's even begun to put a few two words together as of late-- such as more clearly saying "all done",  as well as "boots on", and "nigh-nigh". If he can see that we aren't quite getting something he is saying, he will physically take our hands and take us to where he wants. His new favorite word is "no". He finally learned it. He uses it most often with the puppies. Especially when Hershey scratches at the door. "NOOOOOOO!!" is what we hear. It's hilarious.

Cognitively he is exploding as well. He can point to 8 shapes (also can say circle, triangle, and oval clearly) and two colors. He puts all of his new puzzles together with ease and tries to figure out everything in his site. It's pretty cool to watch. His mind is always going and he pretty much never stops. The only thing that knocks this kid on his tush is a high fever. Diarrhea for 6 days didn't even make him skip a beat. He's also figured out the door handles in the past month. The garage door was switched out for one with a lock, the basement was switched out for a knob with a knob lock, and the pantry and lower level bathroom should be switched out this weekend to a knob. He still loves books and the current favorite is Good Night Gorilla. He also knows when we skip pages. New recent development just tonight: counting. Ryan throws buckets of water at him and says "1, 2, 3" before he does it. Tonight Ryan just said "1" and Henry finished with "2" and "3"!!

Adaptive/Self Help wise (hmmm...someone must be a special ed. teacher) He feeds himself with a spoon and fork really well. He is very careful! He used his fork for french toast this past weekend and has been eating a lot of applesauce because of the diarrhea and he barely spills! I bought small plastic cups a while ago, but we haven't been using them as much as we should. He's really interested lately in trying to get his own socks, shoes and pants on. While in New Mexico he was successful in getting a shoe on all by himself! He got one leg in his pants the other night. Potty chair is sitting in the bathroom. He finally had real poop today...so hopefully we'll give the potty a try sometime this week.

Socially, he still hams it up with people he is really comfortable with. He is a chatterbox, still loves giving his high fives and fist bumps. He also has learned how to "shake hands"...which is adorable. He now makes a "smooch" sound when he gives kisses, enthusiastically says "bye-bye" to random people at Target and Culvers, and is becoming more interested in his little friends at daycare.

Motor wise---he still runs everywhere. Fine motor wise he has pretty amazing skills. As I said before, he is very careful during meal times, puts puzzles together with ease, and can place things such as crayons back in a box with no problem. He really loves coloring with crayons these days. He also has learned how to do buckles and will sit forever until he gets it. Oh. He also does yoga. He gets down on all fours like he's going to do push-ups and lifts up one leg like he's doing yoga. Then he laughs about it. It's funny. He also just learned how to actually swing with his baseball bat.

Other new things we have seen include banging his head on things when he is mad...which I am desperately trying to eliminate by teaching him to hit pillows when he is mad. Hitting me has seemed to decrease a bit, so that is good. He also lays down right away when we put him in his crib so that he can be covered up. He still enjoys his cereal, his "boo" (glo-worm), and his choo-choo trains. He LOVES peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (he'll eat the entire thing minus the crust) and french toast sticks.

We love our little boy.

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New addition to the house.

Sunday, January 9, 2011
It's just about that time. 18 months. The earliest age you *should* attempt to begin potty training. We figure since this child signs/verbalizes to us every time he is about to poop (with about 85% accuracy, as sometimes it's just gas), that now is as good a time as any to give it a try.

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For now, it's just going to sit in our downstairs bathroom so that he gets familiar with it and comfortable with it.

And look. Smarty pants already knew what to do with it (zero prompting from me).

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And, he was really excited about it.

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He also had pointed to the big potty and said "dada!"

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Exploring.

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I went with the simplest one I could find. A potty that made noise and music seemed like such a distraction when you are trying to teach such an important skill. Verbal praise from us will suffice, I think.

I should have given him a book to add a little comedy to these photos.

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In other news: a new favorite book.

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Current favorite toys:

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He also really enjoys the Dyson.

Target clearance on toys kills me after Christmas. I got an additional Thomas set that was $39.99 for $10.00 (which included 2 trains!). And, I also got the Little People Airport (also ran $39.99 before Christmas) for just $10.00 as well.

I also need to do a 17 month update as so many things are new (especially in the last week). Maybe during nap time today. 
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