Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It is a little black rain cloud...

After all, it stormed yesterday.  The weather obviously inspired Banner artistically.

Trevor disagrees.  He can't decide if Banner's latest masterpiece is the mist from LOST or a "smushed mosquito".

Trevor has no imagination.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Warning: Pity Party below...

Sorry I've been MIA.  I started to feel like a broken record with posts about being sick all the time.  Which, of course, means that I got sick again on Thursday.  I wasn't going to say anything about it this time, because it is embarrassing to admit it when your immune system goes on some sort of semi-permanent holiday.

It is just that I am generally a healthy person.  I've been at the museum since 2004, and have never used all of my allotted sick time in a given year.  Even last year with all the day care bugs, I still managed to let 1.5 expire.  But 2013 JUST started, and I've already gone through a third of my sick days.  It simply blows my mind.

Granted, I've only used half a day so far for my own illnesses.  The rest have all been Banner-related.  But that is simply the "luck" of falling ill on the weekends and over the New Year holiday.

It has gotten so bad that my doctor actually drew blood on Thursday and tested it for everything from viruses to vitamin deficiency to kidney and liver function to anemia to leukemia.  But everything (thank goodness) came back normal.  In fact, the only things that were revealed are that my body seems to be fighting some sort of nasty infection and I'm dehydrated.  Which, considering that I came in on Thursday with what I assumed to be a nasty case of food poisoning, really isn't all that surprising.

The thing is, though, I've been running a low grade fever since my fever broke from whatever I had last weekend.  Nothing too high, but just enough (between 99.9 and 100.9) to make me feel just...well, crappy.  And, of course, the stomach problems have been adding insult to injury since they began early Thursday morning.

I'm simply tired of all the sore throats, coughing, pounding headaches and night sweats.  I'm sick of being stuck in bed and trying my best to choke down saltines and Gatorade.  Heck, I'm just sick of being sick.

I miss sleeping next to my husband, who has possibly slept more nights on our couch than in bed with me this month.  Poor Trevor has had to do more than his fair share of parenting lately, and I know that taking care of a one year old is hard enough without a chronically sick wife to worry about.  I've tried my best to help out, but I know I'm not fooling anyone.  Taking care of the baby requires energy, and I simply do not have any.

But, mostly, I ache for my Banner.  It has been weeks since I felt well enough to chase after him and play.  I'm missing so much.  Trevor says on Saturday, Banner crawled over to the couch, grabbed a blanket and dragged it back over to where his daddy was lying on the floor.  Then, without any prompting, Ban curdled up next to his father, pulled the blanket up to his chin, snuggled in and fell asleep.  AND I MISSED IT.

I've been joking that Banner is going to forget who I am, but I didn't really mean it.  But this morning, Trevor brought him to me for a goodbye hug, and Ban started to cry.  He didn't stop until he was back in his father's arms.

It just about killed me.

If there is any good in any of this, it is the 8-10 pounds that I've lost since Christmas.  Although, I'm not sure I'd recommend "The I'm Sick Diet" to anyone out there.  Still, if there is a silver lining, there it is.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ariana has big feet, but she's also almost two so this is probably to be expected...

Apparently, Banner is a BIG fan of having his feet dipped in paint.
Good to know.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bad oranges, chamomile and big, yellow boxes of corn starch...

Yesterday, I ate bad oranges.

To be fair, I had just consumed Greek yogurt.  Citrus after dairy always tastes weird.

But then I saw the mold and...well, you know.

I'll spare you the details, but - suffice it to say - there were several trips to the bathroom to purge myself of said oranges.  Which sounds awful, but really wasn't.  I wasn't even nauseous.  It may have even been psychosomatic.  I ate moldy fruit.  I was disgusted.  My body took care of it.  Problem solved.  The end.

In fact, my biggest fear was that one of my coworkers would overhear and mistakenly assume I was suffering from morning sickness.  Which, no.  I'm most definitely not.

In other news, Banner has been suffering from terrible diaper rash.  He is on amoxicillin to treat his double ear infection, and it has caused a whole host of tummy-related misery.  We've worked with the pediatrician's office to adjust the dosage (amount, timing, etc.) with some success, but he is still having some issues in the "stool" department.  To put it bluntly for all the nonparents out there:  diarrhea begets diaper rash.  Especially when it lasts FOR DAYS.

Seriously.  Don't say I never taught you anything.

Anyway, the diaper rash went from bad to worse in a matter of days, and my poor baby started screaming like we were burning him with fiery hot pokers whenever we broke out the wipes.

And then he stopped sleeping.  Because whenever he peed, it burned, but fixing the problem involved the use of wipes AND OMG.

Available at your local Fiesta Market.

But don't worry.  Things are looking up thanks to our fabulous babysitter.  My friend, Ashley, has been swearing by Molly's "miracle cure for diaper rash" for MONTHS, but it wasn't until yesterday that I actually became desperate enough to call my babysitter and BEG for her to come over and work her magic.  And work it she did.  Twenty-four hours, two chamomile baths and a day's worth of diapers FULL of Fecula de Maiz and Banner is now diaper rash free.

Even day care is impressed, which is awesome considering the questioning looks Trevor got from Lupe when he dropped Banner off with a box of corn starch this morning.  Ebony even asked where we got the Maizena that afternoon because she wanted to get a box for her 13 month old daughter.  She was THAT impressed.

So, Banner now has a permanent yellow box of corn starch sitting next to his diaper changing caddy both at home and school, and is a much happier little boy because of it.

Don't diss it until you've tried it, folks.  Or, like us, become too desperate not to.  Because it cleared Banner's bootie up so fast that I was left feeling very guilty for not calling Molly much, much sooner.

Poor baby.

And, just in case you are wondering, Molly swears that you don't get the same result if you use other kinds of corn starch or manzanilla.  It has to be the brands listed above.  But don't worry.  They are super inexpensive.  I bought two boxes of Maizena and ten bags of chamomile for under $13 at Fiesta.  A one pound jar of Desitin at Babies R Us retails for $13.99 online.

So, yeah, in the words of Charlie Sheen circa 2011:  WINNING.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Seriously, Universe?

Banner was up half of last night with a stomach virus.  I think we changed his sheets three of four times.

Poor little guy.  Throwing up is the worst.  And he already has a double ear infection.  Talk about adding insult to injury.

Then, I woke up this morning with a sore throat and a temperature that has spent most of the day between 100 and 101.5.  

Good times.

In other news, being sick (again) means that I've spent a significant amount of time watching highly questionable TV.  Because you know you are ill when changing the channel is too much effort.  Which explains why I think I watched 3 or 4 hours dosing in and out of consciousness to a HOARDERS: BURIED ALIVE marathon.  Until, that is, our power (mercifully) went out.  I'd like to think some sort of higher power was saving me from myself.  Because I'm already stressed out by the mere idea of too much clutter.  Throw in a fever and the fact that I was only half awake all afternoon, and you have a recipe for some exceptionally bizarro nightmares involving garbage, six foot high piles of newspapers and the occasional dead cat.

If it weren't for the fever, I'd totally be on a cleaning spree right now.

Here's to hoping for a better feeling tomorrow!

Friday, January 18, 2013


...Banner got bitten by one of his classmates this afternoon.  On his left cheek.

It doesn't look like it broke the skin, but I think he will have a bruise.

Sweet baby.  He's had a bad day.

Heck.  What am I talking about?  He's had a bad year.

All he wanted to do was climb up on the toddler love seat and...CHOMP!

Trevor says one of Banner's teachers slipped up and used the pronoun "she".  Which means, he got beaten up by a girl.  Again.

Poor little guy.  He just can't catch a break.

At least it is a long holiday weekend.


I spoke too soon. There is something worse than poop in the bathtub.

Banner had to go to the pediatrician this morning, because he had "goopy eyes".

Y'all.  I was terrified it was conjunctivitis.  And it didn't help that Trevor kept doing everything in his power to touch Banner and then promptly rub his own eyes.

I'm so not kidding.

The whole thing stressed me out.  Because nothing puts a proverbial cherry on top of a terrible start to a year like a little pink eye outbreak.

But no worries.  Banner made sure to rub his eyes and then sock me in mine at 6:30 this morning.  If we were going down, we were doing it as a family.

Anyway, I took Banner to the doctor expecting the worst.  But, instead, learned that it wasn't, in fact, pink eye at all.  My poor baby has another double ear infection.  The doctor says he's probably been in  a lot of pain, and he was kind of surprised that Banner's ear drums didn't rupture.

Which?  I feel like a terrible mother for not figuring it out sooner.  Poor baby!  I had no idea!  I thought all the fussiness was caused by the molars breaking through!

But, the worst, was finding out what was causing the goopy eyes.  Banner's poor ears couldn't drain in a typical manner (down the back of the throat, out the nose, etc.).  So they drained in the only way they could:  OUT OF HIS EYES.


I didn't even know that was possible!  Clearly this is some sort of design flaw.

I'd type more but I am too horrified.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The horrible moment I realized that there are things worse than snot...

Banner pooped in the tub this evening.

This has me suddenly questioning whether or not I made the right career move when I decided to become a mother.  It has been hours, and I'm still incredibly disgusted.  There just isn't enough bleach.  Or wine.

Banner, on the other hand, thought it was hysterical.

As did my very own incredibly unsupportive mother.  Something about payback being hell followed by a lot of hysterical laughter.  She obviously has me confused with one of my siblings.

Trevor's in charge of bathing from here on out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Because it would be too easy to simply say, "Trevor got his dang robe. The End."

I know everyone has been waiting on pins and needles to find out whether or not Trevor got his perfect robe.  Because there are problems out there, international crises, war, famine...and then there is Trevor's lack of an ideal, non-poofy bathrobe.  


(We have a lot of those around here.)

I apologize for keeping everyone waiting.

Tragically, the order for Trevor's "Men's Special-Knit Waffle Kimono in Navy" was canceled.  But, undeterred, we returned to the mall on the 5th to look again.  Because I am nothing less than determined when it comes to un-sucking at Christmas.  And, well, the house shoes I bought Trevor were still sitting in the box, because everyone knows that you can't possibly break in new slippers without donning the perfect bathrobe first.

I mean, obviously.

It wasn't just for the robe, though.  Apparently, Les Mis wasn't Trevor's movie of choice the week before, and I "owed him" after spending four days in bed with the flu.  So, we had a repeat of our date night on the 29th a week later, except Trevor requested we see a flick with less singing and more...well, HOBBIT.  In 48 FPS, no less.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you.  Because he also REALLY wanted to see the TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D.  Which?  No.  I'll take dwarves, elves and the creepy, split-personality hobbit Dobby any day.

(Trevor says hobbit Dobby is named "Gollum".)  

(Whatever, Trevor.  Everyone knows what I mean.)

Anyway, we found another more expensive Nordy's thermal robe in blue that Trevor claimed "would do".  I made the purchase, we went to the movie, yada, yada, yada.  My phone died somewhere in all of this robe-buying, Hobbit-viewing fun, so it wasn't until after we got home and threw the new robe in the wash with the rest of the darks that I got the voicemail from Carla at the Nordstroms at North Park informing me that she had good news regarding my previously canceled "Men's Special-Knit Waffle Kimono in Navy".  

An XL had been located.


Trevor took the news relatively well, and insists he prefers his completely adequate thermal robe over the previously described "pure kimono perfection" now that he is...well, committed.   

He is such a good sport.  Merry Christmas, baby.  Here is a picture of the robe you will never have:

(Photo Credit HERE)

(I'm so sorry.  You knew I had terrible luck when you married me.  XOXO.)

(And, no.  I'm not sorry enough to go with you to watch TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D.  I've got to draw the line somewhere.)

Monday, January 14, 2013

In case you've been wondering where we've been...

Y'all.  It has been quite the week.

Banner turned one on Friday, we celebrated on Sunday, took him to the doctor for his 12 month appointment on Monday and he was in the hospital on Wednesday.

Yes.  You read that right.  The hospital.

Banner started running a fever Monday night.  We called the doctor, but everyone assumed it was just a mild reaction to the shots he received that afternoon.  No big deal, right?  It is a pretty common reaction to vaccinations, and the fever wasn't even that high.  Just under 102.

Tuesday morning was pretty awful.  Poor baby had the chills and cried non stop until the baby Motrin finally started working.  Then, mercifully, he fell asleep on my chest for two hours.

Trevor and I split the day.  I stayed home with Banner in the morning, while Trevor went to work.  And we swapped in the afternoon.  By three, Trevor reported that the fever had come back but lower than it was that morning.  Only 101.4.  But Banner had taken another two hour nap and seemed to be feeling better.

Wednesday morning started fever free.  Trevor even considered taking him to school, but I wanted him to be fever free for 24 hours before taking him back to day care (even though we were still convinced this was a shot-induced fever, and our little guy wasn't contagious).  It turned out to be a wise move, because his fever was back up to nearly 102 by mid morning.  Unlike the day before, however, the fever didn't seem to be making him feel bad, and he was busy playing with all his toys.  So, I held off giving him a dose of baby Motrin until lunchtime in the hopes "that letting the fever burn" a little would help his immune system do its thing.

He also had two big poops that morning.  The second of which resulted in an unexpected bath and emergency load of laundry.

Yes.  It was THAT bad.

Trevor was unable to come home on Wednesday afternoon, so my sister babysat while I put in another half day at the office.  When I checked on Banner, she reported that he had taken a nice, long nap and was busy eating some apple slices and Cheerios that she had prepared.  She had taught him to make "fishy faces" that afternoon and he was still making them when I returned home around 5:30 that evening.  Banner was in a great mood and even greeted me at the door.

After Amy left, I changed Banner and - even though he felt cool - checked his temperature.  100.9.  A fever isn't considered a fever in a baby until 100.4, so this was pretty low grade.  I remember thinking to myself that he was finally getting better.

This was around 6 PM.

Trevor arrived home about 20 minutes later.  I was in the process of giving Banner his last bottle of the day.  But, unlike most nights, Banner didn't seem interested in his milk.   At first I thought it was because he was full from all the snacks he had eaten with Amy, but - on a whim - I asked Trevor to take his temp again.  You know, just incase.


I called the on-call nurse at my pediatrician's office, and left a message for them to call me back.

Fifteen minutes went by, and Banner was looking worse and worse.  His eyes were starting to weep, and he was lethargic and pink.  Trevor took his temperature again, and it was over 104.  Not knowing what else to do, we hurriedly packed a diaper bag, put Banner in the car and drove to Children's Hospital.

The on-call nurse at our pediatrician's office never did get around to calling us back.

Trevor had never been to nor heard of Children's Hospital, which I found strange considering I had been there just last month on a foundation-related tour of the cardiac ICU.  My brother had been a patient there back in the mid 80s when he lost one of his kidneys, and - really - if you have a sick kiddo in this city, it is simply where you go.  I even chose my pediatrician, in part, because he did his residency there and still has privileges.  Trevor would say I'm a catastrophist.  I prefer "prepared".

We arrived at at Children's around 7:30.  I had cried for most of the drive in an effort to get it out of my system and compose myself before arriving at the hospital.  It almost worked because my tears turned to anger when we exited I-35, and Trevor had no idea where to go.  He kept trying to pull into a parking garage when - clearly - the hospital was across the street.  To say I was "irrational with worry" would have put it mildly.  I pretty much tore his head off.

We ended up pulling up to the main entrance valet, where I got out, took Banner and left Trevor to figure out the part about parking and whatnot.

I still to this day have no idea where the emergency room entrance is to Children's.

Since I entered through the hospital's main entrance, I had to ask where the emergency room was, and - promptly - started to cry.  The anger had disappeared and been replaced with what it was all along:  SCARED.

A man handed me a sticker with "E.D." printed on it, and a very nice lady took the time to walk me through the maze of corridors to the emergency room.  I was so grateful.

When we arrived, it was clear that the emergency room was overwhelmed with patients.  There weren't enough chairs for everyone, and families with sick children littered the floors and hallways.  Nurses kept walking through telling people to "clear the area", but there was no place for any of us to go.

My mom later texted me that the lead story on the news that evening was how slammed the ER at Children's was with the flu, RSV and other respiratory illnesses.

I filled out the initial paperwork, handed it in and proceed to do my best to stay out of everyone's way.  Trevor eventually found me in all the chaos, but said he might not be able to wait with me for long.  In an effort to cut down on the number of people clogging the waiting areas, only one parent or family member was allowed to wait with the sick child.  Everyone else, including Trevor, had a sticker with "Lobby" printed on it.

There was another family there with a baby that looked to only be a month or six weeks old.  Trevor and I gave them our newly acquired seats in the waiting area when we saw them.  I just remember thinking about how little and fragile their baby was, and how terrified they must be.  At least Banner has an immune system and twelve months of vaccines and day care viruses under his belt.  Their baby was too young, and yet there she was in the middle of it all.

I hope she is doing okay.

We were called into triage around 8 PM.  We described Banner's symptoms, and they took his temperature.  It was 104.7.  They told us to take off all of his clothes in an effort to cool him down and that we'd be admitted to the emergency room shortly.

About fifteen minutes went by, and Banner and I were taken across the hall to another waiting area.  Trevor couldn't come with us, and went to wait in the lobby.  The ER waiting room was much less crowded than triage, and there were more than enough chairs for everyone.  Banner and I tried to sit as far away from everyone else as possible.  Not because we were afraid of germs (after triage, it didn't matter), but because it was cooler away from all the other feverish bodies.  And my baby felt like he was on fire.

The hardest part about waiting in the ER was that I had to do it without Trevor.  I had my cell phone, though, and took the opportunity to notify family of the situation via text.

Around 9 PM, Banner was taken back to be accessed by the ER nurses.  They did a whole host of tests back there, but the only one I remember was the taking of his temperature rectally.  It was 105.2.  They immediately gave him a dose of Motrin, and asked me if I had noticed any signs of seizures in my baby.    Apparently, when fevers spike so quickly in infants, their bodies can't handle it and they often seize.


The nurses made it sound like these kinds of febrile seizures are no big deal, but I assure you - had it happened to my son - it would have been a very big deal.  I'm not sure I could have handled it.

After the ER evaluation, we returned to the waiting room for about thirty minutes before being reunited with Trevor and taken back to an exam room.  Banner had perked up quite a bit by this point, and I was oh-so relieved to discover that his fever had dropped back down below 103.  The Motrin was working.

Of course, now that his temperature was down, they wanted Banner to eat or drink something.  Fevers have a way of rapidly dehydrating a person, and getting some fluids into him was essential.  Problem was, Banner was completely uninterested in the formula or Pedialyte they offered him.  He even refused water.  We were able to get a squeezie in him, but everything else was turned down or made him gag.

Then he started throwing up.  The first time was just like a larger than average spit up, but about forty-five minutes later he blew chucks.  And I mean that literally, because I was suddenly wearing the apple slices Amy had made him earlier in the afternoon, along with everything else he had in his stomach.

It was awful.

(Although, I did get a very comfy pair of scrubs out of it.  Trevor was immediately jealous of them, which is funny since I would have done just about anything to not be thrown up on in the first place.)

Because he couldn't keep anything down, the doctor wanted to take blood, run some tests and give Banner fluids intravenously to help rehydrate him.  I was going to stay for the procedure and help hold Ban down, but realized very quickly that I have no stomach for needles as far as my baby is concerned.  So, Trevor stayed with him, while I excused myself briefly to change out of my puke-stained jeans into the aforementioned scrubs.  I'm glad I did, because Banner apparently moved during the procedure and blood went everywhere (seriously, when I returned it was all over the gurney and floor).  Had I been there, I'm pretty sure I would have fainted.

After the IV was in, though, I curled up with Banner in the chair.  Poor baby was exhausted and fell asleep in my arms.

It took about an hour for the contents of the IV to drip slowly into Banner.  After which, they wanted us to try to get him to eat of drink again.  But, just like before, Banner refused everything we put in front of him.  Which is why, at 2 AM, the decision was made to admit Banner to the hospital.

It took two hours for them to find a bed because the hospital was so crowded.  And, even then, it was on the cardiac floor.  We were taken to it just after 4 AM.

On our trip up to the room, the nurse told us that there were still over 50 people waiting to be seen in the ER.  That's just how busy it was Wednesday night.

Upon arriving in the room, Banner was hooked up to another IV and FINALLY had not one, but TWO wet diapers.  I've never been so happy to change a diaper before in my life.

After the nurses finally left and we got Banner down, Trevor and I fell asleep (he in the chair and I on the couch).  It was just after 5 AM.

The thing about me being a catastrophist and all is that sometimes it works out to our benefit.  Everyone in the ER the night before knew our pediatrician.  The ER doctor knew him as "Joe".  They had done their residency at Children's together.  And one of the nurses used to work with him at his current practice.  But the best was seeing his face when he walked through our hospital room door a little before 8 AM Thursday morning to examine Banner for himself.  Apparently, he had been notified in the middle of the night that one of his patients was admitted to the hospital, and we were his first stop that morning.

Granted, I have generally NOTHING nice to say about the on-call and advice nurses at his practice, but considering we don't go there to see the nurses, I've decided this doesn't really matter.  The doctors are fabulous, and seem to genuinely care about their patients.  And, with a year of parenting under my belt, I'm starting to figure out what constitutes an emergency and what doesn't - especially now that I've gotten comfortable administering baby Ibuprofen and Tylenol on my own.

I guess it is all about perspective.  Which is kind of funny considering I was seriously thinking about switching pediatricians less than two weeks ago because I was so fed up with the practice's on call nursing staff when I had the flu.  And then a real emergency happened and I (re)realized all the things that I already knew were important.  I guess it takes a crisis to truly focus sometimes.

But I digress, after my pediatrician visited, we got the green light to try to get Banner to drink again.  They ordered the same formula that he is used to at home, and we finally got about four ounces into him around 9 AM.  When that stayed down, we gave him four more a little while later.  By early afternoon he was able to keep down eight all at once, which meant that the doctors finally gave him the green light to come off the IV (although they left the needle in his arm until we were discharged just in case).  It was clear by that time that Banner was feeling better - he started to play, laugh and cruise around his hospital crib.  I've never felt so relieved in my life to have my baby pull my hair and throw his toys in my direction.

We were discharged around 4 PM Thursday afternoon, after Banner was rehydrated and his fever had stayed at bay for twelve hours.  The strange thing is that no one was ever able to figure out what was wrong or what had caused the fever.  All of Banner's viral panels had come back negative, and nothing in his blood work even hinted at an infection.  Even the cultures that took two days to grow yielded nothing.  His official discharge papers from the hospital just allude to dehydration caused by high fever.

I was worried that the fever was caused by Banner's twelve month vaccinations.  After all, the fever started within hours of receiving the Hepatitis A, Chickpox (varicella), PCV13 and MMR.  The problem is that allergic reactions usually take place immediately (not 48+ hours later), and involve things like rash/hives, swelling and rapid heart rate.  And, while MMR is known to give high fevers in babies, such a reaction does not generally occur until 7-10 days AFTER the shot is administered.  Same with Chickenpox.

So, even though no viruses were found to explain the fever, the doctor's best guess is that Banner had one.  This theory is supported, somewhat, by the fact that I know of two other babies that have been hospitalized with nearly identical symptoms either just before or after Banner.  Sounds like some sort of mystery virus is making the rounds, but no one really knows.

The good news:  Banner is definitely on the mend.  He ran a low grade fever Thursday and Friday night, but felt cool both Saturday and Sunday.  Despite a 4 AM coughing fit last night, he seems to feel fine and is back in school today.

The bad news:  Trevor was sick all last week, and got worse during our hospital stay.  At the time, I wanted him to go home and rest, and was frustrated that he absolutely refused to do so.  Rationally, I got that he wanted to be with his son in the hospital, but it just about made me crazy to see him hacking all over the place.  By Friday morning, he could barely function.  My mom had come to stay at home with Banner so I could go to the office for a bit and catch up since I had barely been at work all week, but she never saw Trevor because he was barricaded in the bedroom.  Both our doctor's offices were completely full, so poor Trevor had no choice but to go to the local PrimaCare.  Since everyone in the metroplex is sick right now, it took hours for him to be seen.  The diagnosis:  the flu AND a nasty case of strep throat.

Seriously, Universe?

Trevor started antibiotics on Friday afternoon, but only started moving around again yesterday.  I did my best to keep Banner out of the house as much as possible over the weekend (THANK YOU, GRAMMY PAMMY), slept in the guest room and took care of all household and baby-related duties.

So far, 2013 has really been a doozie for my family health-wise, and the year isn't even two weeks old, yet.  So many things have fallen by the wayside in the interim.  Thank you notes remain unwritten, presents haven't been put away...heck, Banner's first birthday decorations are still up in our living room.

I just can say enough to all those who have helped out, brought us food, risked "contamination" to play with Banner and keep me sane.  You all know who you are, and I am so grateful.

Hopefully, we are all on the mend, and things will get back to a sense of normal (whatever that is!) soon.  Thank goodness everything we have had recently has been treatable.  It has been miserable, but we will recover.

In the meantime, here's to the rest of 2013 being a healthy and happy one!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Twelve Month Wellness...

Today, Banner had his one year check up.  He had four shots:  MMR, Chickenpox (varicella), Hepatitis A and Pneumococcal (PCV13).  Additionally, he had a heal prick to check lead levels in his blood (all normal).

Banner didn't cry at all during the heal prick, which surprised both the nurse and me.  This was not at all the case during the shots (he screamed like a banshee), although he recovered quickly.

He has gotten very clingy during doctor visits, and no longer wants to play on the exam table.  I think he has started associating it with needle sticks, pain and "bad things".  So I spent most of the visit holding him and telling him that everything was going to be okay...then he got his shots and all his little fears were realized.  Poor baby.  I felt like such a liar.

In other news, Banner is now 23 pounds (55%), 32 inches long (95%) with a head circumference of 46.8 cm (70%).  He is long, lean and growing like a weed.  He has stretched out more than two inches since his nine month wellness in October and nearly a foot since he was born.

Additionally, my little pork chop has more than tripled his birth weight in a year.  He is just a big boy, which explains the size five diapers and the fact that we are now securely in 18-24 month clothing.

Banner has also gotten the green light to switch to whole milk from formula, and we are going to start phasing out things like bottles and pacis over the next several weeks.  Banner has sort of regressed when it comes to table foods lately, and wants more purees and cereal.  The doctor thinks it is because he is getting his molars, and it hurts to chew.  There really isn't a problem with him sticking with purees and cereal temporarily as long as he continues to try new things and expand his diet.  The most important thing is that he continues to eat since he is growing so fast.  He needs the calories.

All in all, it was a good visit.  He is completely on target developmentally, and the doctor is happy with his progress.  Since he has shown no signs of any food allergies, he has no food restrictions and we can start experimenting with things like nuts and honey.

Or, as the doctor put it, "He can now eat anything you do.  Have fun."

Next wellness visit (and shots) are scheduled for April at 15 months.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

First Birthday Party...

What can I say?  My baby is ONE!  

There really wasn't a theme.  Well, unless you consider Banner to be it.  The invite had a dinosaur on it, the cakes were all about THOR (of course) and the decorations mainly involved pictures of my baby over the last year and a fabulous Banner banner made by his pseudo-aunt, Melissa.

Most importantly, the party was all about BANNER.  There were no other babies in attendance.  Just people who love our baby and wanted to celebrate with us.  

We thought it was perfect.

Banner had a great time.  Even though the party went on for hours (and he skipped his afternoon nap), he never fussed or cried.  Just smiled, giggled and crawled around with a green balloon tied to the back of his blue jeans and a newspaper hat on his head.  He ate cake, opened presents and insisted on going for about fifty rides in a red shoe box.  

It was a wonderful afternoon.  I wouldn't change a thing.

(I don't think Banner would, either.)

Now for the pictures:

Balloons are awesome because they defy gravity.
They blew Banner's mind.

Banner and his grandparents.

Banner with all his aunts and uncles.