Tuesday, June 10, 2014

CJ at 9 Months Old

Time is moving so fast! Our little miracle baby is now 9 months old!

 This handsome little guy has gained about 16 pounds in just 9 months...he is weighing in at about 18 pounds.  He is wearing 6-9 month clothes and size 3 diapers. 

 He LOVES to eat!  He is still nursing about 4-5 times a day, but he is eating baby food multiple times as well.  CJ is also trying different real foods...pancakes with syrup, cinnamon rolls with icing, bananas, breads, and his absolute favorite...NUETELLA!  He will literally scream when it is taken away.  We did discover that CJ is highly sensitive to baby wipes.  His poor little chin is broken out from an allergic reacting to wipes.  We can only use the Pampers sensitive wipes.  I had bout the regular Pampers wipes, but it completely broke his chin in little blisters.  Luckily, they have scabbed over and remain clean. It looks worse than it is, but I still feel horrible for him. 

CJ is still a super happy baby...as long as he is fed...which, I'm the same way! haha  He is sleeping about 10-11 hours at night...SOLID!  He will also take a mid-morning nap for about 30-45 minutes, a 3 hour nap after lunch, and sometimes an after dinner nap. 

 Developmentally, he is such an inquisitive baby! His eyebrows are constantly moving up and down as he studies everything and anything in his eyesight.  He prefers to be outside and will get bored very quickly inside. He loves to look at books and watch his brother and sister play.  CJ loves to be talked to, he studies the way your mouth moves and tries to mimic. 

CJ is not yet sitting up on his own independently.  He can do it...but he sways and will fall over.  We are working on it though...he does not approve. 

CJ would rather stand...it is much easier for him to look around. 

 His other favorite thing to do is "bounce" when you old him.  He does this non-stop..it's a great arm workout! 

Tball is still taking over our life...but we couldn't be having more fun!  CJ loves watching the games...He loves to be in the baby carrier where he is rocked and is at a higher vantage point to see. 

Although when Mom is being taking pictures, the stroller is a nice place to watch as well...

And then there are times that he just can't wait for dinner...this kids loves to eat! 

The biggest accomplishment CJ has had this month is finally being discharged from his Pulminologist at Riley Hospital.  Since being home from the NICU, CJ has had monthly visits at Riley for the development of his lungs.  After 9 months of being weaned off of the oxygen, a sleep study, and 9 months of being hooked up to an Apnea and heart monitor he was deemed, "too healthy to come see" his pulminologist.  She did ask if we could send her a picture of CJ so she could have it on her bulletin board...he really is such a miracle!  

I have to admit, after pulling out of the parking garage, I did have to pull over on the side of the road.  I was so overcome with relief that the tears started flowing.  While Riley has given us the most amazing care and support, it is not a place a parent ever wants to have to take their child.  After 9 months at Riley with CJ's lungs and Lacey's heart surgery almost a year ago, being able to leave Riley and not have to go back is quite an accomplishment.   Thank you Riley!  It's been way too real, you've been super nice, but it's REAL NICE to be officially discharged!    
      That night I took CJ's monitor stickers off for the very last time...

 There will be no more ripping these off to give him a bath, no more having to stick them back on...just a normal baby!  No more beeping in the middle of the night for a malfunctioning monitor, no more worrying if he is going to get tangled in the monitor cords at night since he now wiggles about in his crib...such a relief! 

  Our next goal is to get him officially discharged from speech.  He has an appointment later this week with his speech therapist.  Since he came home from the NICU with a feeding tube, the speech therapist was part of his feeding team in order to help him be able to eat on his own.  As long as she doesn't see any hidden obstacles, I am hopeful that he will soon be discharged from that as well. We now have no looming doctors' appointments.  He will go back to his regular doctor at a year old for a routine well-baby check...but we are to treat him as a normal baby.  A normal baby?!?!  I just can't believe how incredibly blessed we are to have him in such wonderful health. 
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Monday, June 2, 2014

Clayton's Kindergarten Graduation

Our oldest son, Clayton, graduated from Kindergarten today.  Today was bittersweet.  I am beyond proud of him.... to the point of BURSTING with pride with joy...but I also mourn the days of him as a baby, a toddler.   Clayton has had to mature a little more quickly than most this year with me being practically MIA for the first semester of his school year since I was in the hospital with CJ and then at the hospital when CJ was in the NICU.  He has surpassed any expectation or dreams I had for him and I couldn't be more proud to be his mother.    Today I as I took his last day of school picture, holding CJ who was trying to eat the camera, I couldn't believe how far we have come in the 180 days since I took his beginning of school picture...when CJ was still in my stomach.  Clayton's first day of school I begged Curt to let me take his pictures, which meant I had to get out of bed from my strict bed rest to try and remain pregnant.  I'm so glad I was able to take his pictures...he has changed so much!

    First Day of Kindergarten                                              Last Day of Kindergarten                                          

       Kindergarten: Day 1                                                     Kindergarten Day 180

 Lacey, CJ, and I went to school for Clayton's award ceremonies.  Curt was able to briefly come to watch Clayton get an award in front of the whole Kindergarten thru third graders.   Clayton was the only Kindergarten student to achieve perfect attendance for the entire year.   Our school's principal gave a small insight into just how big of an accomplishment this was for Clayton with so much of our personal life in disarray.  Clayton came to school every day, never late, always with a positive attitude.  Sure there were times when he broke down in tears, needing a little reassurance that everything was ok, or just a quick hug because he was missing his mom who had been in the hospital for almost 2 months...but he was there.  Curt and I consider this a huge accomplishment for Clayton, but also for us.  It wasn't easy to get him to school, but it was important to us that Clayton how important  going to school to learn was for him and his future.   Both Curt and I got emotional during this award because an attendance award, especially at a young age, is a whole family commitment.  WE are a family that is committed to each other.

We then went back in Clayton's classroom for class awards. 

Clayton had two special ladies who made his Kindergarten experience so wonderful.  

Clayton loved Mrs. Tobias, the Kindergarten aide. 

Mrs. Joseph was Clayton's Kindergarten teacher.  She was PERFECT for Clayton.  She gave Clayton the right amount of affection that he needed to get him through the tough times.  Mrs. Joseph taught him more than just academics, she showed him how learning is fun and rewarding. She has helped to instill in him motivation to always do his best.  Clayton simply adores her! 

I am beyond excited to spend the next few months with my 3 little loves...wish summer could last forever! 

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