Saturday, April 28, 2012

Play by Play


I'm sure y'all are tired of this same shot of my living room floor, but this is pretty much where Fitz hangs out these days.  He sits here to play with his toys, watch Mickey Mouse, and scoot around.

He's still doing great from surgery, back to normal.  The only difference is that he eats twice as much as he did before surgery, and he still isn't interested in drinking very much.

You may ask: is he crawling yet?

The answer to that would be no.  BUT, he's trying more than he ever has, so maybe it won't be long.  I watched him yesterday, as he went from the position in the first picture...


to this position as he reached for his favorite, the red circle block.  As I said before, it's his favorite, and he gets mad because it can roll out of his grasp.  So, when I saw him going for it, I grabbed the camera.

First, he leaned over...farther than I have ever been able to lean over my bent legs.


Then, bottom up, with his head on the floor...


a little further...


And all the way down...so close...


Got it!  

As I type this, he is in that exact same position, reaching for that same red circle block.  We try to just let him be in whatever position he gets himself in, so he'll learn to crawl and get up himself.  He usually hates being on his belly, but he's not fussing about it as much, so maybe it won't be long!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm not sad.

It may be just me, and it seems like it is just me.  I see on Facebook and hear people say all the time things like: 

- I'm so sad, my baby is turning 5!
- I'm so sad that my baby isn't a baby anymore!
- My baby is starting school, I'm so sad!

Why are they sad?  I've never understood it and that has not changed since having a baby.  I am not sad when Fitz advances like he's supposed to, moves on to the next level, grows more.  That's what he is supposed to do.  I'm trying to enjoy (and endure!) each stage he goes through.  He doesn't want his bottle at all anymore since his palate surgery.  Does that make me sad?  No.  I'm glad it wasn't difficult for him to give up his bottle since the doctor said he should give it up around a year old anyway.  Am I sad that he's almost a year old?  No.  I'm thankful and happy that he's made it through two surgeries in his first year, and is a normal, healthy baby in spite of his rough start in this world (and happy to be able to stop buying formula!).

Each stage in Fitz's life is exciting to me.  When he slept through the night for the first time, rolled over, ate solids for the first time, etc.  All of that is fun to me, and exciting, and I don't want to go backwards to the time when he couldn't do all that stuff.  I don't plan to be sad when he starts school; that should be a fun, exciting time for all of us.  I don't plan to be sad when he's potty trained; who likes changing diapers?  When he shows his independence, I like it.  He won't drink a bottle, but he also won't let me feed him his sippy cup.  He wants to do it himself, when he decides he wants it.  I love that.  I want him to grow up to be independent, and do his own thing.  It is not sad.

He's in the floor right now, babbling and playing with his toys.  I'm not sad that he no longer wants to be held all the time.  I'm thankful and happy that he can entertain himself while I blog!

Is it just me?  Why are all these parents so "sad"?

Sorry there are no Fitz pics in this post and that it's a bit of a rant!
We'll be back soon with pictures and anecdotes and I'll get off my soapbox.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Surgery? What surgery?


From the way this cutie is looking and acting, you would never know he had surgery a mere 10 days ago!

This week we've been:

- trying to get Fitz to drink his formula
- figuring out his new feeding schedule
- marveling at how well he's doing.

I had tons of court this week, and Tootsie had most of the babysitting duties during the day.

Fitz has done very well with eating, and has learned to drink from a new sippy cup.  He will NOT drink from his bottle at all, which is fine with me.  However, he still will only drink a couple of ounces of formula once a day.  We've been tricking him by adding formula and rice cereal to each meal.  He eats either a fruit or a veggie mixed with rice cereal, and an additional container of food, so he gets a good bit liquids, but it's still not as much as he should be getting.  We're hoping that improves with time.

He's not taking any more pain medication, although all he's had for pain since we came home is Motrin.  Isn't that amazing?

When he laughs big, we can see the roof of his mouth, and the stitches are almost gone already.



Today, we went to a small antique/flower sale at a local nursery called Petals from the Past.  We took a ride on a trailer attached to a tractor, and saw the peach and apple orchards.  We learned all about the peach and apple varieties and it was really interesting.  Fitz liked the breeze on our ride.  I hate we didn't take any pictures because it was really pretty out in the orchard.

This afternoon, we relaxed and giggled with our sweet baby boy.  

We are so thankful to be past this surgery, and that everything went so well.  It was not nearly as bad as I expected after the surgery, and I continue to be amazed at how quickly Fitz recovers from these things.  We are continuing to praise God for Fitz and how well he is doing!  He truly answered all of our prayers!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Recovering


We all agree:  recovering at home is much better than recovering at the hospital!

Fitz went to sleep at 7:30 Friday night (our first night home), I put him in his bed and he cried for just a minute, then went right back to sleep.  He slept in his bed until 5:30 the next morning, which is pretty standard for him!  Last night, he went to bed at 8 and got up again at 5:30 this morning.

Mom and Dad (and Tootsie) were so glad to have a full nights' sleep!

Since then, he's been eating, sleeping, playing and avoiding his bottle.

See that huge grin up there?  I noticed him getting pretty still on his blanket and then heard a velcro sound.  I grabbed the camera and went to see what he had done, and that's the grin I got.


Upon closer examination, I noticed that he had undone the velcro on one of his splints!  He did the same thing on the other arm yesterday.  He didn't try to get to his mouth, or even do anything once it was undone, he just rested his arm on his leg.  Bless him!

As I said, he's been eating pretty well.  We tried to get him somewhat back on his schedule yesterday and he did pretty well.  He still will not drink his bottle, so all day yesterday, we fed him 2 oz of formula at a time, with a syringe.

This morning, he ate a large container of pears for breakfast, and then fussed through the whole 2 oz of formula.  Then at lunch, he ate a large container of apples & chicken, and shook his head "no" and cried when he saw the syringe of milk.  John grabbed a large container of pears and we fed him that instead.  He ate every bite and opened his mouth for more!  We grabbed a small container of squash and he ate that, too.  No formula, but 3 containers of baby food!

He's really doing well for all he's been through!  He lays around a little more than usual right now, but that's ok with us.  Please keep praying for minimal pain and that he will start drinking soon.  Thank you for all the prayers!

Friday, April 13, 2012

What's better than home?


Not much!  Fitz woke up not long after I updated the blog this morning.  Right when he woke up, he ate a container of baby food apples, and we tried to feed him his formula afterward, like we would at home.  He wasn't falling for that trick.  He turned his head away.  Tootsie had the idea to feed it to him in a syringe, like she has to do with some of her elderly patients at the hospital.  GREAT idea, Tootsie!  He took 2 ounces that way, which pleased the nurses and doctors very much.

After that, we took his arm splints off to give him a break while we were watching him play.  He watched Mickey Mouse for a while, then discovered his IV machine next to his bed and played with that a little, too.


He was pretty proud of himself with those IV wires and would not pay a bit of attention to Daddy while he played.

Our doctor's resident came by to see us before 7, and said she would go ahead and sign the orders for us to be discharged!  By about 9 a.m., we were heading home!

Fitz slept all the way home, and then slept some more once we got here.  We woke him up a little while ago to try to get him to eat since he hadn't had anything to eat since he woke up this morning.  At first, he resisted, but then we crushed up another grape popsicle for him to eat first and he ate that, and then a whole container of fruit.  He didn't want any formula, but that's ok, we'll just try that again later.  We think the popsicle may numb his mouth a little where it's more comfortable for him to eat.  If we have to do that every time we feed him, so be it!  As long as he eats, I don't care!


He was much happier after he ate, and wanted to play.  Even with his splints on, he was excited to be on his blanket at home and went right for the toys!


He grabbed the red circle, which he loves, and instead of putting it in his mouth (which he can't do because of the splints), he did his other favorite activity...banged it on everything else!

See his purple lips from the popsicle?

He was playing so intently that he wouldn't even look at the camera to smile, but that's ok with me!  I love to see him laughing and playing, back to his usual self.  His little cry when his mouth hurts is pitiful, but the medicine kicks in pretty quickly and he's better after that.

He's just as glad to be home and me and Daddy are.  It really is home sweet home.

Update on our patient!

Fitz was much better all day yesterday!  When he was awake, he was playing and laughing, and he only fussed when it was time for his pain medicine.  

He ate a container of baby food apples, then had a crushed grape popsicle, then had a container of baby food apples and chicken for dinner!  Eating didn't seem to bother him at all, but he still won't drink anything.  That's why the nurse suggested a crushed popsicle, and he enjoyed that a lot!  He's never had anything cold like that, and he ate it up.  The nurses seem very concerned about him not drinking anything, but the doctor told us that he would want to eat before drinking, and not to worry because his baby food has enough liquid in it to make up for not drinking, so I'm not as concerned as they are.  I figure the doctor knows more about it than they do, ha!  Dr. Grant said the record time a baby went without drinking after this surgery is 4 weeks!  We're hoping Fitz will not do that!

His doctor came by yesterday afternoon and said he looked good, and was glad to hear his is playing and laughing.  He said he's done this same surgery on adults and they complain for 6 weeks, but he does it on babies and they're playing the next day!  He did want us to stay another night since he had only eaten his apples at that point, but we expected that, so it's ok with us.

I'm not sure what time we'll be leaving, but I'll update later tonight when we get home...with pictures!  Please keep praying for minimal pain and fast healing for our sweet boy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Later that night...and the morning after


After I posted the blog last night, Uncle Zac came by, and Fitz really woke up all the way for the first time since the surgery!  He grinned at his bunny and at Uncle Zac, and let us sit him on the bed to play.

See those strings?  It's one string, put through his tongue from side to side.  They warned us before surgery that he would have it when he came out.  It's in case his tongue gets in the way and he can't breathe, we can pull it out to clear his airway.  We didn't have to use it at all, and they came and took it out this morning.  I'm glad because it got all yucky with his drainage and drool...and it looked weird, too!


He played with his pal, Scout, last night, too.  He loves all the songs he sings, and I'm so thankful we thought to bring him with us!

He'll have to wear those splints for a while on his arms so he can't get to his stitches, or put something in his mouth which may hurt his surgery site.

He would not let us put him down at all during the night, and he only wanted me to hold him, so I sat up in a chair most of the night and held him while he slept.

He did so well, and only fussed when it was time for his pain medication.  He's such a trooper!


He woke up this morning as happy as he usually is!  We found Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV and he snuggled up with his bunny to watch his favorite show.

See those socks?  He's only wearing them because one foot has his oxygen sensor on it and he kept pulling it off, and the other foot has his IV in it for fluids and he played with it, too, ha!

I'll try to update again tonight, and thank you again for all the prayers and checking on our sweet boy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Palate Surgery


We had to be at Children's Hospital at 7 this morning for surgery, which meant leaving our house around 5:45, just to be safe.  Fitz woke up at 5:15 and I just let him play and jabber in his crib until we left.  I got him out of bed, changed his diaper, and put him in the car, where he went back to sleep.  Thank the Lord!


He was happy as could be before surgery, and we only had to wait a few minutes before we were in a room, in a tiny hospital gown.  They let the parents walk down the hall to a certain point before you have to hand over the baby.  We gave him to the nurse, and he was so focused on her hat and glasses that he didn't even notice we left!

Surgery took about two hours, then he was in recovery a couple of hours before we got a room.  His doctor said everything went very well, and that he had strong muscles on each side to work with.  Great news!


This is how he looked right after surgery...swollen and he had a fever, which they said is normal after this surgery.


He looked better just a few hours later.  They are weaning him off his oxygen now, and he has been breathing great since he got into his room.  Our room is very small, the smallest one we've ever had here, but it's only for a couple of days, so we can handle it.

He's been sleeping most of the day, and only fussing a little when he needs pain medicine.  He won't let me lay him back down, and won't let anyone else hold him at all, except for me.  Do you think I mind?  I'll sit in this chair and hold him all night if I have to.  It's so hard to see him in pain and him not understanding what happened to him, but he's doing much better right now.

He just laughed and smiled for the first time and it made me cry a little to see him back to his old self.  He laughed at his bunny, and now he's trying to pull the oxygen sensor off his finger.  My funny boy!

Please continue to pray for his recovery to go smoothly with minimal pain.  We appreciate all of your texts, messages and prayers so much!

Prayer Request


Please say a prayer for this sweet boy today as he has surgery to repair his cleft palate.

We know Jesus will be right there with him in that operating room, and everything will turn out great, but please pray for wisdom for the surgeon, fast healing and minimal pain for Fitz, and patience and strength for me and John.

Thank you!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dedicating Fitz


As you all know, Sunday was Easter, and at our church, we not only celebrated our risen Savior, we also did Fitz's baby dedication.

John is only off for 8 weekends, every 16 weeks, so we just haven't had a good time to do it, until now.  This Sunday worked out great, since it was Easter, and Fitz has surgery this week.



I don't think I've ever shared much about our church, but we go to a small church that meets in the gym of a local school.  We are like a family there, and I love it.  My family helped start the church almost 20 years ago, so I've grown up with my pastor and his children, and his family is really like an extension of our own family.

Sometimes, our pastor gets a little emotional, especially about children, and I knew he wouldn't make it through Fitz's dedication without tearing up.  When he starts to cry, it makes us all cry!



Our friend Jessica made a video of Fitz's photos from birth until now, and it made everyone cry, too!  It was so sweet!

Bill (our pastor) gave Fitz his very own New Testament Bible, and Fitz loved it. He wouldn't let go of it the rest of the morning at church.  I can only pray that his interest in the Bible continues as he grows!


Fitz listened attentively as Bill spoke, and even talked back a little bit.


We were blessed to have John's parents (Papa and Grandmama) attend church with us today for Easter and Fitz's dedication!


We were blessed as well to have Pappy with us (my dad)!


Tootsie (my  mom) goes to our church, and is always there, but we were blessed to have her there as well!

It was a very nice dedication service for Fitz, and we enjoyed worshiping our God as well.  How blessed we are to serve a living God!  We took the Lord's Supper, sang, and fellowshipped.  All around, it was a perfect Easter Sunday.

I was baptized on Easter Sunday in 1988, and it was still the best decision I ever made when I asked Jesus into my heart.  I'm so glad He still lives there today, and now we have a special Easter to remember for Fitz as well.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Here Comes Peter Cottontail!


We left out the Easter basket I bought for Fitz (Pottery Barn Kids) last night, and the Easter Bunny came while we were sleeping and filled it up!


He left Fitz a sweet little lamb, a toy remote control (the Easter Bunny must have been watching because Fitz loves our real remote controls!), a poppity pop train, sunglasses and plastic eggs.


After breakfast, Fitz got his Easter basket and went straight for the remote control.  He was so happy to see it!


He wasn't so sure about the sunglasses, but I think he'll like them outdoors because he hates for the sun to get in his eyes.

Pappy got Fitz a sweet little Bible and a onesie, and Tootsie got him a bunny rabbit, which he thinks is really funny.

See?



Our Easter celebration did not stop there, come by tomorrow for more!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt


This morning, Fitz went to his first Easter Egg Hunt!  

My friend Kristy invited us to attend the egg hunt at her church since our church doesn't do an egg hunt anymore, and we were very happy to accept the invitation!  (The next youngest child at our church after Fitz is 17 years old, so we don't really do egg hunts anymore, ha!)


Kristy's church has a great gym, with a full kitchen, which is great for functions.  They served lunch while the eggs were being hidden, and Kristy found this walker for Fitz to play in while everyone was chatting before lunch.

Fitz has a jumper at our house, and an exersaucer at Tootsie's, but he's never been in anything like this that actually moves.  He went all over the place, but I don't think he ever realized he was making himself move!

The egg hunt was very organized, which is great when you're hiding 1000 eggs, but not so good for 10 month old babies.  Fitz did not have much of a nap before the hunt, so he wasn't too happy most of the time, while we were waiting on everyone to finish eating, and lining up according to age.  I think he'll have more fun next year, but we were definitely hunting eggs for his first Easter!


He did enjoy picking up the eggs and holding them, though!  


I tried to get a cute picture of him with his Easter basket and eggs, but he was DONE with it by then!

His shirt was so cute.  It said, "Egg Hunt Champion".  Kristy bought it for him and it was perfect for today's event.  I hate I never got a really good picture of it.  I also never got a picture of Skylar with Fitz, but he was there, too.  He was a little more serious about finding those eggs than we were!

We had so much fun today, even when we were a bit sleepy, and thank you to Kristy and Skylar for inviting us!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Play Day!


On Wednesday, we were lucky enough to have another play day with our friends, Mary Eloise and her mommy, Denise!

Aren't our two babies the cutest things you've ever seen?



Mary Eloise thought Fitz's blocks were really fun, and as soon as he grabbed the red circle, she had to have it!



Even though there are 2 red circles, Fitz wanted that one back, ha!

Even when they take toys from each other, neither one really fusses about it, they just watch for an opportunity to get it back.  Sweet babies.


Denise said Mary Eloise has recently started to love mirrors, and she really enjoyed Fitz's singing mirror from Santa.  She was so funny!  She didn't sit up at it for long, she would crawl over to it and peek up into the mirror and just grin like it was the funniest thing ever that she was in there!  Love this girl!


Fitz rolled over onto his belly for a little while, and didn't even fuss, so Mary Eloise tried to show him what's up with crawling, but that didn't last long.

We had a great afternoon playing and visiting and can't wait to do it again!

Wednesday evening, Fitz and I had dinner with my good friend from high school, Jenny.  We didn't take any pictures, but Fitz was so good at the restaurant, just playing with his fortune cookie the whole time.  Were we eating Chinese?  No, but in case I haven't shared this yet, Fitz loves fortune cookies.  He will carry one around, in its wrapper, for hours listening to it crinkle.  It's kind of like a lovey for him, ha!  My funny boy!

We had a great Wednesday, and are looking forward to a fun Easter weekend!  I hope the Easter Bunny plans to stop here!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cleft Palate Feeding


Several people have asked how we feed Fitz, or if he can eat food with his open palate, so I thought I would share about his feeding before we have his palate surgery next week.

Yes, Fitz can eat baby food!


It's not terribly difficult to feed with an open palate, once the baby learns how to get the food to the back of his throat, so he can swallow it.

We mix all of his baby food with rice cereal.  We figured out that it makes it thicker, and if it's thick, he can push it to the back of his throat and swallow it.

If I mix it just right, I only have to clear his nose once or twice during feeding.


As you can see, food does come of out of his nose.  On the few times I've fed him in public, at events where he just had to eat, people sort of freak out about seeing the food come out of his nose.  It's ok.  It doesn't bother him at all.

Food and/or formula has been coming out of his nose his whole life, so it doesn't burn or irritate his nose at all.  It's just something that happens.

How do we clean his nose out?

Well, we can use the bulb suction, which he doesn't like very much, or...

Post-sneeze, post-dinner

usually, Fitz sneezes 3 or 4 times after eating and cleans it out himself!

We aren't feeding any "real" food to Fitz yet because as you can see, baby food gets all up into his nasal cavity and who knows where else, and I'm afraid of where "real" food would go, and that we may not be able to get it out easily!

We started feeding with rice cereal only, and then we tried fruit and vegetables by themselves, and it was so MESSY!  He just had no control over the food at all.  Once we added rice cereal to it, he ate like a champ.  He loves to eat, and fusses when you don't have that next spoonful ready immediately after he swallows, ha!

Dr. Grant (plastic surgeon) said food will still come out of his nose after the palate surgery because there will be a gap between his gums and his palate, but that Fitz will learn to control it as he grows.  I figure that as he gets older, it will be a cool trick for him to show his friends, ha!  I believe that will be repaired when he has a surgery around 7 years old to put part of his hip bone into his gums to support his permanent teeth coming in.

Anyway, as you can see, Fitz can eat just fine with an open palate, but it's just a little messy, which we can deal with easily.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dear Fitz (Ten Months)


Dear Fitz:

Happy 10 months buddy!!  I don't know why, but 10 months sounds much older than 9 months did.  You are growing so much every day and it's hard to believe we started your monthly photos like this 9 months ago:

One Month

We finally had your 9  month check up last week, and you weighed 19 lbs, 6 oz, and are 28 inches long!  You are in the 25th percentile for weight, between 25th and 50th for height, and in the 75th percentile for your head circumference.  Your doctor said you are growing exactly as you should be.  You are still eating very well and love trying new foods.  We've been letting you sample some new tastes on our fingers, like Key Lime Pie recently, and you love everything you get in your mouth!  We're still waiting until after your surgery to give you "real" food, but I bet you are going to love it!


Out-take

You got something new this month, that I was starting to think would never happen....a tooth!  You have one little tooth on the bottom, which I tried so hard to get a picture of, but every time I pull your lip down to look at it, you cover it with your tongue, ha!  You are such a funny boy.  

You cut your tooth, and started trying to move a little more, after we had a play date with Mary Eloise.  That girl gets all over the place doing her army crawl.  Since we played with her, you reach more and scoot yourself around on your bottom more than you did before.  You're still not crawling, unless we count the crawl you do on your back.  You love to lay down and scoot backwards as far as you can go, so we say you crawl on your back!

Lately, you like for us to make your babbling noises back at you.  You think it's so funny when we make your sounds!  You're not saying any actual words yet, but the doctor said it's really too early for that anyway.  You will wave "bye-bye" at me and Daddy sometimes, and you have started waving at random people while we're out and about.

We have your palate surgery next week, and I must say, I am not looking forward to it at all.  You are so happy and I hate to see you in any kind of pain, but I know it is necessary, and it will be better for you in the long run.  I dread handing you off to the nurse to go back to surgery.  You were so young and little last time that you really weren't aware of what was going on, but now you are so very aware of everything around you and I don't want you to be scared or confused.  I know you will be in God's hands, and that He will be right there with you in that operating room, so I pray you will feel His presence and peace, and nothing else.

You are so precious to your Daddy and me.  We love you more and more everyday and continue to be amazed by you.  You are our miracle baby.  I hope and pray that you always feel our love.

I love you,
Mommy

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Twirl-O-Rama!

Hayden Claire, Libby Cate, Bella and Fitz

On Saturday, we went to a Relay for Life event called Twirl-O-Rama!

My friend Walter put on the event, and was a featured twirler there.   He is awesome!  I wish I had a video of him twirling for you to see because it is truly an amazing talent he has!

The event was a competition with modeling, twirling and all kinds of dancing.  Fitz had so much fun watching all of the girls dance and twirl!

The picture above shows Walter's niece, Hayden Claire, and my friend Angie's daughters, Libby Cate and Bella.  I didn't get to see Hayden Claire dance, but Libby Cate and Bella did great!  Bella made up her own routine for one of her twirling dances and it was really good.  I just think they're all so pretty!

We had a blast at the event and hope it raised lots of money for Relay for Life!