Monday, October 29

News and a Name Change

In case you didn't notice the blog's name change, and in case Brock's t-shirt hasn't quite clicked in your brain yet, I'll go ahead and state the obvious... We're having another baby :)

I'm about 11 weeks pregnant, and we've known for a few weeks now, but I wanted to wait until I got Brock's t-shirt in the mail to announce it. Then when I got the shirt, Brock came down with that nasty rash and I didn't want to make the announcement with him looking like he was a leper. So finally I got some pictures this weekend to let everyone know our news. As you can tell, B is super excited (his face in that picture makes me laugh).

Here's the ultrasound picture we got at the 8-week appointment.
Very enlightening, I know. But it does amaze me to see a little heartbeat and to look at that tiny little bean-shaped human and know that it's my baby and that eventually it will be as big as Brock is now and will add so much more joy to our family.

In the meantime, I'm trying to keep my meals down, trying not to be depressed that my pants are already getting tight, and trying not to think about the long, slow, painful process of training another baby to sleep 12 hours a night. We wanted our kids to be fairly close in age, and the timing will be perfect because Blaine will be on summer break for a couple of months, but I have to admit there are days when I think, "Oh crap, what have we done?"

It should all make for some interesting blog posts at least. P.S. If we're taking bets, I'm pretty sure this one is a girl because I have had so much more sickness and discomfort already than I ever did with Brock.

Here are some random pictures I got while trying to get the perfect shot of Brock (which I never accomplished since he would never smile when the shirt was visible). These make me smile though.

"No more pictures please, Mother"
"Ok, just one more since I'm making this sweet face"

Tuesday, October 23

A Rash By Any Other Name

I have one reason for writing this post. I am a WebMD / Google Image self-diagnoser, meaning any time one of us gets sick, I immediately check the internet to figure out what the sickness might be. Granted, I usually end up with concerns that I have some rare form of cancer or genetic disorder, but it saves a trip to the doctor and a bit of money. Anyway, I'm posting this entry to potentially help any self-diagnosers like me out there who might be searching the internet trying to figure out what is wrong with them or their child (Disclaimer: Please do not really base your diagnosis off of my blog; call your doctor. I don't want to be sued by anyone).

Brock started running a fever last Thursday and was acting really tired and clingy and fussy. My maternal instinct must have been in overdrive because I kept feeling like I needed to take him in to the doctor. Actually, it's probably just that I was already off work and had taken a shower that day so I figured I should go ahead and take him in while it was slightly convenient for me. After an hour and a half, a traumatic finger prick, and an equally traumatic (but overly dramatic) reaction to the doctor's exam, the doctor told me, "He is fussy and unhappy because he doesn't feel well (gee, thanks, I had no idea). It's just a virus and should go away in a few days." So I went home swearing to myself I'd never go see the doctor on the first day of a fever again; from now on, I'll wait until someone is clearly dying or in need of medication.

Fast forward to Friday evening. While changing Brock's diaper, I noticed several red bumps that looked like mosquito bites all along the backs of his thighs. After checking with Blaine to make sure he hadn't taken Brock pants-less through an enormous swarm of mosquitos, I figured it was just some kind of diaper rash... until Saturday morning when it had spread all down his legs and up to his arms. I put on my doctor's coat and started googling things like "red spots on legs and arms," "multiple bumps resembling mosquito bites that aren't mosquito bites," "fever then red spotted rash." None of these turned up anything substantial, but by the time I was done, my guess was that he either had hives, Rocky mountain spotted fever, or bed bugs.

My mom suggested it might be chicken pox, which I immediately dismissed because he'd had the vaccine at 12 months. I googled it anyway though, and the images did look similar to Brock's condition. I also found out from the internet and friends on Facebook that, while less likely, you can still potentially get the chicken pox even after having the vaccine, but it is a less severe form of the virus. The rash didn't seem to be bothering him though and he hadn't had a fever since Thursday so I decided to give it until Monday when the doctor's office was open again.

Here is what the spots looked like on Saturday evening:

Those under his eyes were the ones I was most concerned about
because they were so close to the eye and like large patches.

The backs of his legs had it the worst (which may be because he had a patch
of eczema on the back of his legs before the rash ever popped up).

What was weird is that there were practically no spots on his stomach, chest, or back.
It was all on his arms, legs, and face.

Here is what the rash looked like by Sunday evening:

I know his eyes look sickly in this picture, but it really was just the flash that made him look that way.
He had been acting completely fine all weekend, other than maybe a little extra whining.

They had spread more on his arms by Sunday and had moved to his hands and feet too.

They look really terrible, but I promise he wasn't scratching at them or anything.

By Monday, the biggest spots had faded some but he was still getting new spots. They weren't turning into blisters like chicken pox either, so I wondered if it was because he had had the vaccine or because it was something different. I called the doctor that morning and took him in for a visit. After having to be quarantined in the hallway and seeing several parents warily looking at us while shielding their children behind them, we finally got tucked away safely in a private room. Dr. Smith came in and examined him (a no less traumatic or dramatic exam than Thursday's, I should add), then concluded that Brock had Erythema Multiforme. Oh... that old thing (??). Apparently it's a rash that is the body's reaction to a virus. The fever Brock had Thursday was some sort of virus and this was the way his body reacted to it. It can also show up as an allergic reaction to medicines (particularly antibiotics), but I knew that wasn't the issue since he hadn't had anything new recently. It is usually itchy I think, but luckily it didn't seem to affect Brock in that way. So Dr. Smith told us it would go away in 7-10 days, it was no longer contagious since he hadn't had the fever for over 24 hours, and then he sent us on our merry way. Wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to pay anything for a doctor visit if there was nothing they could do for you?

Today (Tuesday, 4 days after the rash first appeared, 5 days after the fever) the spots are mostly gone. He still has a few small ones on his legs and arms, and one on his face, but they look much better. And now I think he's getting a cold (it's always something!), but we'll just be toughing this one out because I've had enough of the "There's nothing we can do for it; it will get better on its own" to last for this month. I did want to post about our scary-looking rash and its fancy name though, in case anyone else out there is doing a Google search, trying to figure out the same thing.

Tuesday, October 16

Cell Phone Photo Dump

I had some random pictures on my cell phone that I needed to delete to open up some space, so I thought I'd dump them all here because they make me smile and I may want to remember them. Nothing fancy about this post, just some recent candid photos of my goofy boy.

He put on his hat all by himself

A big, poofy coat and it was only like 65 degrees outside. 

I heard him giggling in the back seat and turned around to find this 

Riding the choo choo at Northgate Mall with cousin Anna.
I love how gender specific we are with their clothing.

He found some cheez-its in the pantry, pulled the bag out of the box and
hoisted himself up on the couch to relax and watch Ellen with me.

In no way is this truck supposed to be a riding truck, but he made it into one

Playing together nicely... at least that's what I'm assuming.
I didn't stand there long enough to find out for sure.

Walking the dog 

Monday, October 15

Eighteen Months

I figured I'd do an 18 month update just to be able to post something on the blog and to record some of Brock's milestones at this stage. We haven't been back to the pediatrician since his 15 month checkup, and he was about 25 pounds then but I don't even remember how long. We don't have another checkup until 24 months, so all I know about his height and weight at this point is that he is getting taller and he is too heavy to carry for more than a minute or two. The biggest physical change since twelve months is just that he has a lot more hair now.

Eighteen months has been a fun age to me. Really from about the 12 month point forward, every month seems to be a little easier and a little more fun. Actually it may not necessarily be easier, but just that certain challenges go away and are replaced by different ones. We don't ever really have sleep issues anymore, but we do have occasional issues with temper tantrums and throwing fits. We don't have much trouble with teething now (they're all almost in), but we do run into problems with eating (eating anything other than chicken and cookies, that is). We're figuring it out as we go though, and it's an interesting process.

Here are some of the things Brock likes and has learned to do between 12 months and 18 months:

  • He started walking at 16.5 months. Kind of a late bloomer, but that's pretty much how every other physical milestone has been for him. He's either lazy like his mom or a slow, methodical learner like his dad.
  • He likes to wear shoes but not clothes as you can see in the picture above. He loves to get in his shoe drawer and bring them to us to put on. He'll do this over and over until he's tried on every shoe that he can. And most of the time he is happy with just one shoe on his foot. He is not a fan of getting dressed though and gets really frustrated if it takes more than a second for me to put his shirt on, which it usually does because his head is so large.
  • He can say almost all of his ABC's now. He needs a little help to get through the whole alphabet, and he still leaves a few of them out, but he can remember about 19 out of 26 of them.
  • He can also do almost all of the numbers 1-10 now. He leaves a couple of those out too, but he's got the majority of them. Whenever he finishes saying the alphabet or his numbers, he always congratulates himself and says, "Jood job Brock!" (He can't make the right G sound yet so it sounds like Jood instead of Good)
  • He can correctly pronounce most of the sounds of the letters now. We're still working on G, L, R, V, and sometimes C & K, but the rest of them he can pretty much say. This has been an interesting developmental process to me because I'll notice that he has trouble with a letter one month and then the next month can say it fine, so it is neat how they slowly develop the abilities to talk. We have an alphabet book we go through where we'll say, "A is for Apple, ahh, ahh, apple" and that has helped a lot with his pronunciations.
  • He knows pretty much all of the basic shapes now (except rectangle and square) and can say them by name. He also can tell you what most of the common animal sounds are, like, "What does a dog say?" These are really useful distraction techniques when we're getting groceries or when we eat out and he needs something to entertain him while we're waiting for our food. He hasn't completely figured out his colors yet. He knows purple and sometimes blue but those are the only two he can consistently identify so far.
  • One thing Blaine is really excited about is that Brock is learning some German. We have a German DVD that he has watched since he was just a few months old and that teaches basic German vocabulary. The other day Blaine started counting in German and Brock just picked right up and started saying the German numbers. We were both pretty shocked because we had no idea he had learned this, but he could almost do all of the German numbers from 1-10. His favorites are Zwei (2) and Funf (5). He also knows the German words for "eyes", "hair", "nose", and "sweet dreams". It is really clear that his brain is like a sponge right now because we tell him something and you can see him just adding it in to his data files and then he'll throw it back out perfectly later on.
  • He says A LOT of English words now too. At about 17 months, he really started repeating everything we say and was adding a new word it seemed like every day. He's starting to put together two word sentences also like, "Daddy work" for "Daddy is at work" and "Piper treat" for "Piper needs a treat because we called her a good dog" and "Go outside" for "I want to go outside now because, much to my mom's dismay, that is the only place I ever want to be and it is all I ever talk about" (or "Outside Mimi" if I won't take him out because he knows his Mimi would let him play outside all day long so he wants her to come get him).
  • He's a picky eater, unfortunately. Up until about 13 months, he ate anything we put on his plate, then something changed and he only wanted certain foods so I stupidly started giving him only those foods so he started only liking those foods and now won't even touch anything new. Not even cotton candy! I have to be tricky and buy applesauce or yogurt that has vegetables in it or make smoothies so he can get a serving of spinach. It's annoying. I'm hoping he'll grow out of it soon.
  • He still uses his blanket and sucks his thumb (pictured above; he's covertly sucking his thumb, hiding it behind the blanket) to sleep, but here in the past couple of weeks he has wanted his blanket more frequently. Normally he only had it at nap time or bedtime, but lately he'll whine for it and wants to carry it around with him. We haven't yet had to take it out in public with us; it's just been an at-home thing for now, but I don't know why he started going through this phase.
  • Just this past month he has started getting over his separation anxiety and now he will play and have fun at church when we drop him off. He still has a little bit of stranger anxiety and needs a minute to warm up to people, but he's getting a lot better about it.
  • He loves treats but hasn't quite gotten the concept that you only get one treat and that it is for good behavior; you don't get more treats by whining and throwing a fit and saying "Treeeeaaaaatttt" over and over. I told him yesterday that he was never ever again getting a treat, and Blaine told me that I probably should not say that unless I meant it. 
  • He has had to have a couple of pops on the leg in the past six months (I believe in spanking). Once it was for kicking me because he didn't want his diaper changed, and once it was for smacking at his daddy because he didn't want to sit in his high chair. There may have been a couple of other scoldings but those were the two most dramatic. Amazingly though, he has not once kicked at me again, and he has caught himself a couple of times when he wanted to hit out of anger and turns it into a flailing hand thing instead (like, "Oh I wasn't going to hit; see I'm just waving my arms around).
  • He loves Yo Gabba Gabba still; as a matter of fact, we're all dressing up as Yo Gabba Gabba characters for Halloween. He has also recently become a big fan of the show Pocoyo. I still try not to let him watch a lot of TV, but he'll watch an episode or two of those shows each day and he learns from them too so they can't be all bad.
  • He loves to read books. He would probably be happy if we did that all day long, especially if he can have his blanket while we're reading. 
  • Since the time change in the spring, he has gone to bed around 9:00 and sleeps until about 8:45 or 9:00 every morning. He also takes a nap from about 1:00-3:00. When the time goes back an hour, bedtime will fall back to 8:00, which I'm a little excited about because that means I'll have more time to myself before I have to go to bed. But our summer hours have been nice because we can stay out longer and don't have to rush to get home for bed. 
Those are most of the highlights and the things I can remember for now. His developments are more mental than physical these days, but it still seems like he learns something new every week. I've enjoyed finding activities on Pinterest to make for him to play with, and it is neat seeing his coordination and his fine motor skills become more advanced. But that's what our 18 month stage looks like for the most part. He's growing up really quickly now it seems.