Monday, December 31, 2007

Porter's Baptism

Porter's Baptism was yesterday, and we ended up having a really nice day and a nice party at our house. Porter was a very good baby during the baptism and hardly cried. Connor on the other hand was fairly naughty during mass and kept saying "I'm bored. Really, really bored". Of course we were sitting in the front row, right in front of the priest! To his credit he was very tired from all the hard playing he has been doing for almost the last week straight with his cousins. They all left to go home this morning. It's very quiet in our house all of the sudden! Hopefully they will have a safe trip back to Chicago today, and won't have as much snow and treacherous driving as they had on the way up here.

It's hard to believe that Porter is almost 3 mos old already, and that I am going back to work in just 8 days. I'm not sure if I'm totally ready for it. It would be nice to have another month, but what can you do. I don't have as much benefit time as I had when I had Connor. Somehow those kids just suck up your sick time!

Here are photos from Porter's big day:

Claudia & Grandma dressing Porter in the Ingham family baptism gown:

Godmother Claudia, Porter and cousin Daniel:

The whole gang around the baptismal font:

Porter being baptized:

Jeff, Nancy, Father Bob, Porter, Godfather Steve Dolan & Godmother Claudia Roberts:

Porter in his baptism gown:

Porter with his two Grandmas:

Porter with Papa Dan:

Big smile:

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas in Chicago

We survived our trip to Chicago. Actually the boys did really well on both the trip there and the return trip. The worst part was the fog on the way down to Chicago. The visibility was really bad at some points, but we made it there and back safely. We had a fun Christmas holiday with our cousins, aunts & uncles and Grandma Ginny. On Christmas Eve it was just Virginia, Jeff & I and Connor & Porter. We went to mass at 4pm at Claudia & Dave's church. We ended up sitting on the floor in the vestibule area. Connor was so tired he fell asleep in my lap! We then went back to Claudia & Dave's and made shrimp pesto pasta and had a nice meal together. We had Christmas Day dinner at Claudia & Dave's house. We had yummy Gumbo and appetizers courtesy of Steve & Virginia, and a great steak dinner that Claudia & Dave made. Yuri & Dave brought yummy desserts from Deerfield Bakery, and Virginia brought some cookies she made, as well as a cake that Steve & Angie made. Connor has so much fun seeing his Chicago cousins. They all had a blast together, even poor Allison who was the only girl there! There is a boy every 2 years from Daniel all the way down to Porter now, so 5 in a row. I'm sure when Porter is big enough he will be right in the mix.

So now Claudia, Dave, the 3 boys and Grandma are making the road trip here to Minnesota for Porter's baptism on Sunday. Hopefully they will have good weather and a safe trip. I'm sure the boys will continue to have more fun together.

Here are some photos of our Christmas:

Porter's First Christmas:

Grandma Ginny & Porter:

The boys opening presents together:

Mommy & Porter napping together:

Connor & Porter opening presents:

Jeff & boys:

Porter in Snowman outfit:

Tyler & his buses:

Claudia playing Guitar Hero:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas craze

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am ready to just get on with the holidays! There always seems to be one more gift that you should buy, and it makes me feel nuts just thinking about it.

We are packing up and going to Chicago to spend Christmas with Jeff's family. Jeff said something about a snowstorm there on Saturday which is when we were planning on leaving, so I guess we'll play our departure by ear depending on the weather. It will be Porter's first roadtrip. I hope he does well.

He has been a champ lately in the sleep department, so I'm psyched about that. He has had 5 nights in a row where he has slept 5-6 hour stretches!! I think I'm safe saying that now and not jinxing myself since there have been several nights in a row. Of course a few of those nights I have been woken up by Connor during the big stretch, so I haven't gotten 5-6 hours. Must be some sort of Mommy Murphy's Law or something, that when your baby starts sleeping through the night your other child will awaken you! Anyway, I feel like we are falling into some sort of rhythm and getting a bit of a schedule, which I'm sure my daycare provider will appreciate!

After we return from Chicago, some of Jeff's family will be coming up for Porter's baptism on December 30th. So, we will have a busy but fun holiday season, and before you know it my return to work day will be here on January 8th. It's hard to believe. I keep saying that, but I feel like Porter's babyhood is going by so fast. I'm sure he'll do fine at Marylee's (my daycare provider), and I know Connor will love having him there with him. He's very proud of him and wants to show him to everyone when we are at preschool or daycare.

Here is our Christmas photo:

And here are a few cute photos of Porter in the shirt that my friend Keri gave him:

He has just been so fun and smiley lately and he is really getting "talkative" with all the cooing. It's fun to see his little personality emerge. I could just smooch him up!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Our Elf e-card

OK, so I fell victim to the cute "I elfed myself" trend, and I made a card for us.
Here it is:

I elfed myself

Not the greatest photo of Jeff, but he probably doesn't care about it anyway!

Here are some more recent photos of Connor & Porter.

I caught Connor trying out my breast pump:

Some serious rolls going on (sorry about the nudie shot!):

Check out those eyelashes!:

Smiling at Mama:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Porter's 2 month check-up

Porter had his 2 month check-up with Dr Delahunty today. He was 90th% for length, 70th% for head, and he's off the charts for weight. Actually she said 97th%. He weighed 14lbs 6oz!! He is 1lb 3oz bigger than Connor was at 2 mos, and Connor was 90th%. Well, I guess there are no concerns about failure to thrive! He's not missing any meals. Otherwise his check-up was good. He had to get 3 shots, and was not too happy about that, poor guy. He also got an oral rotovirus vaccine, which I think tasted terrible, but he managed to keep it down.

He's been a bit on the fussy side for the past couple of evenings, and it's bringing back memories of marching around the house trying to keep Connor content in the evening. Good thing this won't last forever. Hopefully it will be over quickly. It's so hard when you don't know what to do for them. He doesn't want to eat, he isn't falling asleep when he's put in his crib, he doesn't seem to need to burp, he just wants to be held and walked around. At least I can have Jeff help me by taking turns. Good thing he's so darn cute!

Dr D listened to Connor's lungs and said they sound great, so hopefully he is mostly over his cold/cough. He still needs to continue with his breathing treatments, but hopefully only for a week or so more.

Not much else to report. I think we got more snow yesterday than we did on Sunday. It's pretty cold today though, so I'm not too excited to get outside with Connor.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Porter is 2 months old!

Porter is 2 mos old today! I can't believe how quickly it's come. I suppose we have had a lot going on in the past 2 mos though, but time sure flies! I'm sure my return to work date will be here before I know it too, and Porter will be 3 mos old.

We had his follow-up appt with the pediatric surgeon today, and basically we are still just in a wait and see pattern with his hemangioma. He wants to see us again in 6 mos. He said he would probably get an MRI at some point, but most likely when he's around 18 mos since he would be able to get a sedative then. He also said he thinks it will need to be surgically excised at some point, mostly due to cosmetic reasons, or because it has gotten uncomfortable. To me it seems to have not changed much in appearance, though it is lighter colored and he definitely has more fat on him now! I guess I hardly notice it anymore. Porter has his 2 mo well visit and shots :( tomorrow. He did great last night with feeding intervals, and did his first 5 hour stretch! Yeah Porter! Keep up the good work!

Connor has been on antibiotics and doing twice daily breathing treatments since last week for his cough and upper respiratory infection. He seems to be getting a bit better, but I will probably have Dr Delahunty take a listen to his lungs when we are there with Porter tomorrow anyway. Of course I caught the cough too, and will be glad when it's gone!

Here is a really funny post I got from a Babycenter friend about a baby's perspective on crying it out:

Baby's Perspective on Sleep Training
"OK, here's my situation. My Mommy has had me for almost 7 months. The first few months were great--I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, day or night. Then something happened.

Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep thru the night). At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I've talked to other babies, and it seems like it's pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 6 months.

Here's the thing: these Mommies don't really need to sleep. It's just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep – they just don't need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan.
I call it the Crybaby Shuffle.

It goes like this:
Night 1--cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it's hard. It's hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying.

Just keep reminding yourself, it's for her own good.

Night 2--cry every 2 hours until you get fed.

Night 3--every hour.

Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights. Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours,
shhhh-ing. Don't give in. I cannot stress this enough:

If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night. I KNOW IT'S HARD!

But she really does not need the sleep, she is just resisting the change.

If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it. Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it.

BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with:

My sleep sack tickled my foot.
I felt a wrinkle under the sheet.
My mobile made a shadow on the wall.
I burped, and it tasted like pears (I hadn't eaten pears since lunch - what's up with that?)
The dog said "woof" (I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL.)
Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room.
Too hot, too cold, just right--doesn't matter! Keep crying!!

It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am.

You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies' internal clocks.

P.S. Don't let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, NO milk will come out! Trust me.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Snow & Smiles!

Porter is 8 weeks old now and really cooing and smiling a lot. He is getting to be really fun when he's awake. He could just look at you for the longest time and coo and smile. It's so cute. He's doing pretty well at night too, but is still usually up every 3-4 hours. I'm pretty used to it, and I may not have any more children, so I'm trying to cherish this time because he will never be this little again, and I will never have this special time with him. This week we have the follow-up appointment with the pediatric surgeon to look at his hemangioma on is leg, and then his regular 2 month appt with the pediatrician. I am a little curious to see what they recommend doing with his leg. They may want to continue watching it for a bit.

Here are some new photos of Porter:

We had a big snowstorm yesterday, but really ended up getting only about 4 inches or so I'd say. Even so, it was fun and Connor & I got outside sledding while Daddy gave Porter a bottle. He's got to get some practice since I will be going back to work in about a month! Hard to believe. It's gone by so quickly, and I'm sure with the holidays coming up the rest will just fly by. I'm sure it will be fine, and it's nice to know that Porter is going to the same daycare provider that Connor goes to, so I don't have to stress about that like I did when Connor was a baby. I will be going back to work 1 more 8 hour shift per week than I was before I had Porter. Hopefully that will work out ok. My daycare provider says it will be better for Connor since he misses out on some of the stuff they work on during the week just going 2 days a week. I will still only be working 3 days a week. Oh well, gotta pay off the basement and the baby!

Oh, and I added in some photos of our Las Vegas trip to the Las Vegas post.

Here is a photo of Connor sledding today:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Goodbye Firg :(

I'm sad to report that my dear friend Firg passed away on Wednesday night around 10pm. Firg has been my friend for 24 years since we met as freshman in high school. She was a bridesmaid at my wedding and just a great, lifelong friend.

Firg started to have problems with her neurological system about 3 years ago, and was eventually diagnosed with Vanishing White Matter syndrome, which is a recessive genetic disorder. Initially she had problems with balance and concentration, which progressed to the point that she was in a wheelchair. This was the ultimate cruelty for Firg since she was probably one of the most adventurous people I know. She traveled all over the globe and spent time mountain climbing in Nepal, exploring New Zealand, working in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, The Virgin Islands and many other places. She would work for a bit, save up money and then go off on these amazing adventures often for several months at a time. Little did she know when she was in this phase of life, that she would be so grateful to have gone out and lived life to the fullest.

I'm so sad that Firg had to battle this illness in the first place, but I'm thankful that she is no longer suffering from it. My friend Andrea called me on Wednesday evening to say that Firg's sister had called to say she wasn't doing well. Andrea & I made the decision to go over and visit Firg with our husbands that evening. I'm really glad we did, because we both got a chance to say our goodbyes to her and to wish her on her next journey. She died just 2 hours after we were there and both of us told her it was ok to let go. We then called our friend Nancy, who was probably Firg's best friend, and she was able to get there to see her and was there when she died. We are all going to miss her so much and were blessed to call her a friend.

Here is a photo of us going out to visit Firg in 2004 in Denver. Firg is in the striped shirt.

Here is a photo of my high school friends at Firg's wedding in Sept '05:

Me & Firg on her wedding day:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Survived Vegas & Other Fun

So, our trip to Vegas is over. We survived. Jeff and I both say that we can check that off our list and never return. I would be more interested in seeing some of the surrounding sites like the Hoover Dam or just some of the desert in general. We did go to a show at The Excalibur, which was sort of a Knights dueling on horses kind of a thing. The kids thought it was great. We also walked along The Strip and looked at hotels etc. The kids enjoyed going to Gameworks. I really liked the fountain show at the Bellagio. I would probably enjoy seeing more shows, but it just wasn't feasible with small children. By the way, the kids really did great. They both tolerated the plane ride without major incident, except for the return trip when we were landing. Connor's ears got pressurized and wouldn't pop. He cried for several minutes and then fell asleep! He slept right through the landing!

Here is the only photo I got of our airplane ride before my camera battery died:

Our hotel The Platinum Hotel & Spa was great. We had a ton of space and a kitchen, so that was nice. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was very nice. Out of the 9 grandchildren, 7 are boys and they are 13 and under. They were crazy on the dance floor, sliding around, breakdancing, you name it. I'm sure Yuri's nice respectable Japanese parents were mortified by our ill-behaved children! They had a blast, and I think we were the only people in that section of the hotel, so hopefully we didn't bother anyone. I was so bummed to find out that our rechargeable camera battery was no longer rechargeable! I ended up getting a disposable camera, but of course it ran out of pictures before the reception, so I will have to rely on getting photos e-mailed to me. I even managed to drive us all home to our hotel since I was the most sober! Scary thought, but I made it down the strip and got us all home safely, despite the fact that we broke some laws about how many people were in our car at one time.

It was great seeing Jeff's sibs and their families and his mom, and having Porter meet all of them for the first time. One bummer was that our two-year old nephew Tyler had a stomach virus most of the time and was feeling pretty bad. I think Connor caught some version of this since he had diarrhea (sorry TMI) and threw up once yesterday. It was quite the geyser of vomit which landed in the decorative basket full of magazines in our half-bath! Good thing the magazines were old since they went right in the trash. I had bad visions of him vomiting for 48 hours like Tyler did, but I think maybe it was just an isolated event. He seems to feel well today, and yesterday I mostly limited him to Gatorade and rice. I'm just hoping everyone is well for Thanksgiving, which we will be spending at my brother Tom & Jenny's house.

I had my 6 week post partum visit on Monday and brought Porter in to see the girls at work. They all said "He's huge!", so we had to get him weighed. I thought he'd be around 11 or 12 lbs, so I was really surprised when the scale said 12 lbs 9.8oz, so he's gained 5 lbs in 6 weeks!! He is pretty huge! He certainly likes to eat a lot and doesn't miss any meals, so I guess all that milk I've been making has been doing some good. I'm curious to see what he weighs at his 2 month check-up. I had to look back in Connor's baby book to see how much he weighed, and it was 13lbs 3oz at 2 mos. I don't have a 6 week weight to compare, so I'll have to wait and see.

Here is Porter in a cute sleeper that my friend Natalie got for him:

I'll add more photos later when I get my film developed.

Here are some more photos, though the disposable camera I got really stunk, so they are all grainy:

Dave & Yuri saying vows:
The 6 Ingham boy grandchildren (minus Porter):

Jeff & I on the Bellagio Terrace:

Dave & Yuri cutting cake:

Porter on our hotel bed:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

6 weeks old

We are getting ready to go to Las Vegas tomorrow. I know, it sounds crazy with a 6 week old and a 4 1/2 year old, but Jeff's brother Dave is getting married on Saturday. I am hoping that we survive the trip. The next entry I make will chronicle our adventures in Sin City. I figure I can do the slots during middle of the night feedings, only we are staying in a non-casino hotel. Actually, I am perfectly content with that. I have never been to Las Vegas, and really I have never had a strong desire to go. Now I am going with 2 small children and there will be 7 other nieces and nephews there who are 15 and under. The wedding sounds very nice. It will take place at the Belagio and the reception is at the Four Seasons. My only dilemma is that I need to wear something 2-piece because of breastfeeding accessibility, so I am hoping I will be dressed up enough. Jeff is going to be the best man, but doesn't need to wear a tux, so hopefully it will be ok for me to wear a skirt and a blouse. Hey, I'm not going to be the center of attention anyway, so who cares!!

So, we survived croup last week, but Connor still has a bad cough and some wheezing, which he has a tendency to do when he gets upper respiratory infections. Hopefully he will be doing better soon, but I think I may need to bring his nebulizer with us. Porter has had a stuffy nose for a couple of weeks now, but otherwise is doing great and growing like a weed.

Here are some recent photos:

Also, we finally got our basement furniture. We got a sectional and leather ottoman and some bar stools. It's finally coming together. Now I have someplace to sit when Connor wants to go play down there. We have been sitting on the floor, which hasn't been the most comfortable place to sit, and usually I am nursing Porter too. I'm just so happy with our furniture! Of course Jeff came home last night and said he didn't like the color pillows I picked out, but oh well, I guess he'll get used to it! ;)

Here are some basement photos:

Ok, I'm off to pack and do laundry while I've got a sleeping baby!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Croup and Other Joys of Parenting

OK, so last night was one of "those nights". The nights that parents dread, but are proud that we survive. It's the stuff that makes us parents. The stuff that makes this one of the hardest jobs ever, but we still wouldn't trade it.

I was up with Porter at 12:45 to feed him. Got back in bed around 1:30, got snuggled in and just started to drift off when Connor comes in to our room and flips on the light!! He's got that cough, the one that you know means you are headed into the steamy bathroom with the shower on. Poor little guy. He was coughing and crying and said it hurt to swallow. I managed to get him to take some ibuprofen and eventually the steam did it's job. We headed back into his room and I laid down with him until he got settled in. About that time the smoke detectors went off in all of our rooms from the steam! Yikes! I'm praying that the baby doesn't wake up, and praying that they just stop soon. They did after a few minutes luckily. After a bit I left Connor and got back into my own bed, and no sooner did I start to drift off, but Connor is back in our room flipping on the lights! He said the humidifier I put in his room was too loud and was worried that if he needed steam again we would set off the smoke detectors. Before I had a chance to reassure him and get him back in his room, my dear husband invited him into our bed! We hardly ever have him in our bed, and I prefer not to have him there, but I guess there are a few times I would relax that rule, so I suppose this situation warranted him getting in our bed. Actually he was fine all night, was quiet and didn't squirm around too much. Thankfully the baby didn't wake up again until around 4:15, so I managed to get a couple hours of sleep before he was up at 6am again to be fed.

Connor feels fine this morning, though he still has a cough. At least he can swallow without pain and isn't complaining. We did have to cancel a playdate with my friend Molly and her 2 kids, and I will be keeping him home from daycare too. I may not get a nap today, but I think I see a movie and some quiet time in our future. I'm just hoping it doesn't happen again tonight! I could really use a little sleep. I'm also hoping that newborns can't get croup! Porter does have a bit of a stuffy nose, but hopefully that will get better in the next few days.

On a good note, our friend Maggie came through her surgery with flying colors. They were able to repair the hole in her heart, and she was off the ventilator when I spoke with Nancy last night. They are hoping she will get transferred out of ICU today and will be able to go home in a few days.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Kind of caught a smile

I sort of got this smile captured. I'm still not sure if Porter is totally connecting with smiling yet or not, but it sure is close. It only seems to happen sporadically, but hopefully soon it will be much more often.

Here are Porter and Jeff getting snuggly:

Also, special thoughts and prayers are with our good friends John & Nancy and their daughter Maggie (see earlier post photo of her holding Porter) who is having open heart surgery in the morning to repair her atrial septal defect. We are pulling for you Maggie and hope that everything goes like clockwork!