15 Month Check-Up

Jaxson’s 15 month check-up was this morning with Dr. H. We love him and his office staff and nurses so much! We had extra Similac Alimentum left over so we brought it in and they were SO happy. They helped us out so much with free samples, the least we could do is give back as well so other families can benefit. That stuff is expensive!

The actual check-up went pretty well, we really didn’t have many concerns other than how the F do we get this boy to eat?? He’s pretty much abandoned veggies and fruit in favor of meat a la chicken nuggets and hot dogs. We’re not happy about this being his main diet so we wanted some advice. As long as he’s eating veggies/fruit out of the pouches, that’s fine to keep giving him those since he’s got one or two favorites that he will always eat. And we’re taking his water cup out of the living room so he doesn’t have access all the time since Dr. H thinks he’s just filling up on water and then that’s curbing his appetite for lunch and dinner. We can keep giving him the Greek yogurt for breakfast but Dr. Helft was pretty upset at how much milk we’ve been giving Jax, ie: Not enough at all.

At his age he needs about 24 oz a day, but we have been giving him an 8-10 oz bottle at night before bed only. Sometimes he’ll get a bottle before his afternoon nap but still – not enough to meet the requirements. We’ve tried it in a sippy cup and a bottle, but he won’t hold the bottle on his own nor will he drink it out the sippy cup at all. He even turns down chocolate milk! So the suggestion was, try a little strawberry milk syrup in there and see if he’ll drink it. And sure enough, he did! J loves strawberry milk so go figure! At least we’ve figured out some way to get him the milk and calcium he needs. Dr. H also said to forget about weaning him off the bottle right now, it’s still too soon and he needs the nutrition it provides. Fair enough.

Jax still pulls at his ears but Dr. H wasn’t concerned, everything there checked out fine. He’s still got the heart murmur but its not a huge concern right now since most of the time they resolve as he gets older, so we’re just keeping an eye on it for now. His feet are doing good too and no concerns there, and he’s walking like a champ now. And growing like a weed! Here are his latest stats:

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I put his info into a height prediction calculator and it says he’ll be about 6′ tall, which I think is perfect! We always knew he’d be tall and the nurse was pretty amazed. She said that by the time they are 2 they are usually 36″ and he’s only 2.5″ away already! Dr. H was happy with how proportionate he is and overall Jax is a very healthy little dude. He’s also about to get in his bottom 1st molars, so that’s why he’s probably been a little extra fussy lately and refusing to eat.

Another thing Dr. H touched on was that right now, Jax is a “master manipulator”. He’s going to push every button, try every method he can think of, to get and do what he wants and get us to do what he wants. I’ve been saying this for a couple weeks now, especially when it comes to bedtime and him waking in the night. It’s time to start letting him “cry it out” and learn to put himself back to sleep, because the nice guy approach where we go in and lay him back down and have to stand there in the room until he falls back to sleep…however long that may take…is not going to work. We bought a video monitor a few weeks ago and Dr. H said that was perfect and would help us so much with dealing with Jax. He also said that consistency between J and I is vital right now and that to be successful in teaching him the behaviors that are acceptable we need to be a united front.

Now that we are armed with some information and a game plan for his eating habits and behavior, we feel a little better prepared. It’s hard when you get advice from parents, grandparents, siblings, What to Expect books, and online forums – every kid is so different that no single piece of advice can work for them all. And I think that’s what J and I need to do as parents – trust our gut, trust our instinct, we know what’s right for Jax, we can do this! I am just glad that J and I have each other as support and I know that together, we can raise our boy into the man we want him to become.  🙂

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Before & After

This was the other day at the park, having fun on the swings with Mama J! She is a very good swing-pusher, and Jaxson always has such a good time.

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His hair’s been a little crazed lately, and last time we got his hair cut before his 1st birthday, it wasn’t cut quite short enough (let’s face it, we were nervous to have it done done so close to his party so we went a little longer than we should have). However, its been in his eyes a lot lately (see swing picture above) and so J took him to the kid-cut place to get him all cleaned up, and I came home to this handsome young man.

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He’s growing up so fast! I can’t believe he’s only two weeks out from 15 months. Where has the time gone??

Motherhood: The Big, Fat F*** You

*title courtesy of ScaryMommy.com, Lisa Morguess

A friend of mine shared this perfectly titled post on her Facebook and it so perfectly captured some of the feelings that we have been having recently, and we only have a one year old! Jaxson is a very sweet, smart, and good boy, but lately he’s been quite the terror and really pushing our buttons – every single one of them. It’s so easy to get frustrated and feel like everything you do revolves around the baby and what he needs and when he needs it, and you start to forget your own needs. Day-to-day life can be a struggle sometimes, even just finding time to go pee or have a bite to eat. These are the things they don’t warn you about when you’re thinking of getting pregnant. Sure, they warn you that there are sleepless nights and you hear whispers of teething trouble and rumors of toddler terror, but there is no way you could possibly understand until you are living life with a baby. And the worst part is that you feel like a horrible parent if you discipline your child or get frustrated at them throwing a tantrum to the point where you throw your own tantrum right along with them.

Being a mom is so hard, and I don’t get the half of it. I get to leave for work every day and only see Jaxson for 4 hours each evening. The weekends are spent together, but we are usually out and about and busy as hell running all over the place doing the things we don’ t have time to do during the week. My amazing wife is a stay-at-home mom plus works a part-time job that is beginning to demand full-time hours based on workload, and its hard. It’s hard for her to listen to him screaming all morning, afternoon, and evening while she’s trying to review contracts. It’s hard for her to try to feed him and getting shut-down at every bite of food she offers him. It’s hard for her to try to run the house and keep up with the housework, take care of Jaxson, deal with work and all the crap that comes with that. Most days she doesn’t even have time to shower until I get home at 5, and to top it all off, she hasn’t been able to sleep at night for quite some time. Insomnia, stress, whatever – it sucks.

We were talking the other night about how everyone tells us we should feel lucky because Jaxson is so good. How he always behaves and never screams, how he is always in a good mood and smiling. How we are overreacting and exaggerating when we say he throws fits and gets angry and hits us. There’s no possible way that Jaxson could be doing these things, surely we are mistaken! It gets old really fast, hearing this and with or without realizing it, they are degrading us as parents, causing us to feel guilty and doubt our abilities to successfully raise a child, and casting a shadow of insecurity over us that maybe we just aren’t cut out for this and what did we do by having a child?? And I said that outsiders don’t get it because its so easy for them to deal with him for one day, but the every day is the part that sucks. Don’t tell us he doesn’t throw tantrums, don’t tell us not to fuss at him for reaching for the electric plug for the 5th time in the last 10 minutes, don’t tell us he never yells or screams while J is trying to do her work, don’t tell us that we shouldn’t get mad at him for XYZ, don’t tell us that he is a perfect angel and we should stop complaining because he’s a good boy and not everyone is that lucky. Just, don’t. Don’t tell us how to feel about parenthood in the here and now, don’t tell us how to raise our child, don’t tell us anything. Just be there, be supportive, be a listener, and keep your advice and opinions to yourself until asked (if asked at all!).

If only. So when this mom wrote about how frustrated she got, it hit home for me. I have felt like that on so many occasions, losing my temper, yelling and crying and feeling exasperated and questioning why we ever decided to have kids in the first place. And at the same time, loving him so much that the thought of being away from him all day still kills me, even though I know what I’d be dealing with at home were I there with him all day instead. And my poor wife, stuck at home 24/7 with no relief from the roller coaster that is life with a one year old, until I get home at 5. And even then, its not like I can put him on mute when he’s throwing a tantrum for me so that she doesn’t have to hear it.

Lately our lives have been rough and we’re tired, so so tired, compounded by the fact that he isn’t sleeping through the night regularly and one or both of us have to get up with him in the night. We keep saying that this too shall pass, but we can’t help but feel that once it does, it will just bring another “issue” our way. Parenthood sucks. One day its all worth it though, right? It’s hard to keep a positive outlook and keep our chins up and march on without some glimmer of hope on the horizon, regardless of how far-off that glimmer may be. I know that we are lucky to have a child at all, as infertility is a very real topic and struggle for so many people, in our daily lives as well as among my fellow bloggers. I don’t want to sound ungrateful that we have him, and I can’t imagine life without him. I do love him, more than I ever thought possible, but I am glad that we’ve decided to postpone trying for our next child, ’cause I don’t think we’re ready to start doing this all over again just yet. 🙂

Similarly related though, is this post, to capture our feelings of guilt and angst, worry and woe over losing our patience and getting frustrated and angry. With promises of doing better tomorrow and trying again to be the Moms we want to be, the Moms Jaxson deserves, who are patient, caring, understanding. We’ll get there one day. Soon, I hope.

14 Months

Jaxson turned 14 months on March 31, and in the past month he’s made leaps and bounds of progress!

  • He’s becoming more vocal and has about 10 words he says consistently/in context, and growing every day.
  • He can shake his head yes and no and will answer questions that way, such as “Jaxson, are you handsome?” to which he will give an enthusiastic yes.
  • He’s got some hand motions down for juice and food, and he’s started grabbing at his diaper when he pees to let you know.
  • He now points at everything and wants to know what it’s called. He has animal clings on the walls of his bedroom, and will have you walk around the entire room so he can point at them and you can tell him what they are. He remembers, too, and will point to them when you ask.
  • He’s starting to be able to find body parts when you say the name – ears, belly, eyes, and “pee-pee”! LOL
  • He can walk but is still defaulting to crawling just because its faster and less scary. Plus he’s a little on the lazy side, but when he does walk he does really well.
  • He has 10 teeth, including the top two 1st molars, and his top two canines are right behind those. No activity on the bottom recently, though.
  • Food has been a struggle lately, in part from teething, in part because he’s just a jerk when it comes to food sometimes (he’s gotten in the bad habit of throwing food down to the floor when he doesn’t want it anymore/at all or spitting it back out at you). We’re having trouble getting him fruits and veggies so we’ve been trying different things like baby dried fruit chips (he didn’t mind banana but strawberry was a no-go), veggie chips/straws, and are seriously considering Pediasure or some such thing to make sure he’s getting all the nutrients he needs. A child cannot survive on chicken nuggets and hot dogs alone! Oh and cheese, this kid loooooves cheese just like Mama J.
  • We’ve started weaning him from the bottle, and he’s no longer getting the morning bottle, and we’ve started phasing out the afternoon nap bottle too.
  • He loves when we play on the bed, tossing him into the pillows and flipping him around like an acrobat. And he loves being scared – if you sneak up on him, grab him, and yell BOO! you’ve probably just made his day.
  • He’s started wearing shoes out, now that he’s learning to walk and when we go to the park it is much easier because he will walk about while holding your hand instead of us having to carry him to the swing, the slide, the whatever. The other day we took him up all the ramps and went on the big-kid slide – he loved it! He couldn’t quite get the hang of the rock wall though. 😉
  • He can use hand sanitizer like a pro – we’ll put some on our hands and give him some, and he’ll clasp his little hands together and squeeze/rub before blowing on them. So. Darn. Cute.
  • The sleep regression seems to have regressed … for now. He’s slept through the night for a few days straight now, and also now that those two molars are through. He was sporting dark under-eye circles and a bad attitude for a while there!
  • He’s currently wearing 18-24 month clothing (and 18 month is getting snug!) and 2T with a few 3T thrown in. And he’s got big feet like Mama B and wears a 6/7. Not to mention he’s back in size 6 diapers again. Mr. Tall Butt LOL

I swear, he goes to bed and wakes up the next day smarter/taller/heavier/cuter! It is amazing how quickly he is growing and becoming a person right before our eyes. Sure, there are so many struggles with dealing with a fussy baby who won’t eat, take a nap, or sit down in the tub, but it’s all worth it to get one of his great big hugs at the end of the day. 🙂