Thursday, January 31, 2008

more milestones...

or shall I say mile"groans"- I only joke about this because of course I want Owen to progress and advance as all parents truly want for their kiddos, but I groan because my little baby is GROWING UP!

I just packed away the bottles (sniffle, sniffle). I am relieved to have broken the habit successfully, but sad that the era of his baby days are over. In fact, other than diapers and a "baby" carrier, he's more toddler than baby. So, we are now onto the search for the perfect sippy cup. It's been quite an unfruitful quest so far so, if you have a tried and true suggestion for me, I'm all eyes. We haven't progressed from his carrier yet because, one, he's only 17 pounds and we haven't needed to advance, but two, winter here is really cold and yuck and the carrier keeps him far more cozy than a coat would, so he doesn't even own a coat.

I shopped for a coat for him for next year yesterday. It was another sad experience of mystery and ultimate empty-handed shopping. I saw this really cute "big boy" coat that appeared that it might fit him next year and I looked at the size tag and it was 12 months-ugh. I put it on him and it hung about 4 inches too big in the arms and waist, which probably means I should've bought it but I was too sad to get him a coat for an infant when he would be wearing it as a 2 year old.

I realize, once again, I am not majoring on the majors and that many people would say, oh just get what fits and be happy he's healthy, blah, blah, blah-ok, duh. I know that stuff. I am. But as his mommy, I'm sad for the little things that make it a challenge to give him a normal life. Here's a perfect example: I was searching for the perfect outfit for him to wear for 15 month pictures. I must shop in the 6-9 months clothes. Since it's so cold here I wanted to get something with an essence of spring but not shorts and certainly not a wintery sweater, etc. Well, 3 major department stores later, I came home with a pillow for me (which Tim has stolen) and a "dust buster" for the boys since I'm tired of sweeping up their crumbs. Note here how I didn't mention the perfect outfit. Why? Because, things that are 6-9 months size look babyish. Part of me doens't mind, but I hate it when people ask me how old my baby is and seem shocked when I say 15 months. I can help him look a bit more age-appropriate by dressing him like his age and not size-but we run into problems (as all parents with short stature kids discover and must cope with) with how darn challenging it is to get things -most of which must be tops and bottoms, to fit him right.

Um, that might've been a bit of a not-so-well thought out paragraph. Anyway, to end on the positive, it is fun to have him at the mall now and see him walk across the play area and other parents look at him like he's a prodigy since he looks too small to be walking;-)

Better go so I can prepare for Lafayette's 3rd blizzard in a year! (for those of you wondering #1 was Feb 14th 07, #2 was mid-Dec 07 and #3 is supposed to hit tonight-milk, bread and eggs-oh my!)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Eureeka! Owen's big milestone ALERT!

I can hardly believe it...he went from wobbly to walking in just days! God is so good. I'll post more soon about his PT, new shoes, and such! Enjoy! Way to go Owey! Also, this video is available if you scroll all the way to the bottom in a bit larger format from you tube;-)

video

Monday, January 21, 2008

call to prayer...

Well, since I couldn't sleep, I was doing some fellow blogger catching up and I came across this AMAZING blog (http://www.cfhusband.blogspot.com) about a couple who's lives remind me that my silly "worries" are so insignificant ---there are people out there in the world like Nathan, Tricia and Gwyneth fighting for their lives. I must forewarn you (because you can easily spend a good chunk of time reading), it is very in depth as Nathan has blogged TONS of details about their recent journey of Tricia giving birth to their premature daughter all while fighting for her own life and working to get well enough for a double lung transplant-I can't even FATHOM! Their faith is amazing and will bless you-if you can start back in December 2007 to get the full story. And please, PRAY for them! I will also put a link on the side so you can find them easily in the future for updates!

The amazing broncho bucking baby!

"I can't" isn't a reason to give up...it's a reason to try harder. ~Anonymous

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.--Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?--Robert Schuller

Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway. ~Mary Kay Ash

I couldn't sleep (starting around 3am) and I remembered I had wanted to post about some of Owen's latest and greatest so here goes...please be aware (since I am) I may ramble a bit.

So, from the quotes from above, you may've caught on, this is a post mostly about determination. Owen is one determined kid. He's also funny, funny, funny! I so wish I could capture his amazing personality and put it here for all to see. He's just so FUNNY!
My sister Amanda (from WI who got married this past summer) and her husband Jason got Owen this silly "zebra" toy for his birthday-and truth be told, it just wasn't right for Owen. I knew the minute we put it together, that Owen would probably out grow it developmentally, before growing into it physically. Let me paint the picture for you. It's a ride on toy like a rocking horse, but it's a zebra on a post and it would swivel and bob up and down (when used properly). It has a weight limit up to 50 pounds, so Jake gave us a demo and it looked like he was on a mechanical bull. It was a riot. But, when Owen was put on it, it was clear he was about 5-6 inches (in leg length) too small. It made me sad, but I love my sister dearly and she picked it out so we brought it home and added it to the "at home toy store" Owen has acquired.

Well, not long after getting it home (late Nov), as Owen began pulling himself up, etc, we realized, while not the intended use, Owen enjoyed standing on the opposite side from the "saddle" and holding the hand grips and bouncing up and down on his own standing power and rolling the toy chamber on it and making it light up and playing music. And, I really can't stress how dramatic he is when he does this. Occasionally, someone will put him on the saddle and hold his hips and let him ride it like it's intended use, but he always goes back to his drama baby interpretation of how the toy "should've" been intended.

Well, low and behold, 2 days ago, the kid figured out how to climb on it and sit on the saddle-now he's not heavy enough to make it bounce, and he's not tall enough for his feet to touch the base-but darn it-he gets on there (after much effort and fussing) and rides it for all he's worth. So, here's a picture show of his efforts-including some that show off his crazy eye closing and such. More about this in a moment...












I really love a good hand-me-down....and this next photo shows one of them. Some of you may know Jacob was also a preemie. He unexpectedly decided to arrive over 6 weeks early (09-27-03) and had his own rough start to life. He had a few motor delays like walking and this is a great item my mom found at a yard sale to help him with standing, etc. I really hesitated getting it out for Owen as it's really made for a "taller" child but he is really enjoying it and as you can tell from the photos, was really "hamming it up" for me.

Uh, wait a minute-my pix loaded out of order-ok, keep these 2 (above and below in your mind)



Ok, so for the one where he's pushing the car-ahhhhh....one of his fav past-times. In fact, he gets VERY frustrated if the cars and trucks don't roll just like he wants.
The other is where I'll begin the part of my post I like to call "my concerns".
See how he's sitting on his knees and his hips are wide-for those of you who don't know, THAT'S BAD. Kids should not sit on their knees and have the weight of their body on their hips (or their bottom on the floor for a better mental picture)-it's bad for their hips. If he were sitting on his knees with his hips and knees in alignment (bottom on the backs of his legs), it would be ok, but the wide spread part is what is bad. It concerns me. It's hard to stop him from doing it as I can't watch him every second. He's also standing on his tip toes, another bad technique. And he is now closing his eyes when we ask him to take steps-he'll just close his eyes and go for it (falling each time of course). So, no he's not walking. He stands about 25% of the time we try to get him to for less than 10 seconds or so at a time and he has taken about 3 steps but it's really obvious that it's more momentum oriented than true steady steps. He usually lets his knees give out when asked to "walk or stand".
So, I'm concerned. He also really walks with one foot pointed out (while on his toes) when we hold his hands and help him walk. It stinks cause his therapies were all just dropped to next to nothing and now I'm going to have to get them back here a ton. Which, I don't mind, I just thought we were on the downward trend of needing therapy. If he had a "walker" he would and could get whereever he wanted in a vertical manner.
And, while I'm on my "concerns" kick, I'll throw in my ultimate concerns-Owen's future. I have lots of "web-friends" whose kids have Actual Diagnosed Dwarfism. I have lots of web and "REAL" life friends who's kids are expected to be average height. And, I'll start my disclaimer now, I know NONE of us know what tomorrow holds for our kids-but with that, work with me here, I'm pouring my heart out. No one I know has a child whom they know/strongly believe will be likely incredibly small for no "known" reason. I don't know where I/He fits in. He's not "average" and he's not a dwarf. But, in my heart, if I really try to take away my "mommy" eyes and look at him, I think he's tending to be more like a Little person. Again, I know he could have this so called amazing catch up growth-yada, yada-whatever. It's not happened as it's supposed to and they (who is they, anyway?) say he's going to catch up by 2 if he's going to catch up. A height predictor I used shows all 3 boys should end up around 5'9" based on us, their parents. I'd say TJ will end up tallest and Jake just behind-but Owen is showing no signs of this catch up growth. In fact, between age one and two, the average kid only grows about 4 1/2 inches and gains little weight-they stretch out so to speak, and loose some of their baby rolls.
Ok, great- but one, Owen has no rolls and two, 4 1/2 inches in a year puts Owen at the size of an average one year old and growth just keeps slowing from there. Now, I'm sure many of you are thinking, why are you worrying yourself about growth charts, his size a year from now, etc. My answer, you really can't imagine (nor judge) until you've walked in my shoes-and, it's not like I mope around about this day and night (well, maybe this one night, but typically, this stuff just plays through in my mind. Plus, almost all mommy's agree-it's natural for us to compare our kids and worry about our kids futures. By worry, I don't mean make myself sick over it, but just genuine concern for our kids. We ALL want the best for them but, most parents spend little time worrying about their kids future "size", unless they are known to have certain genetic issues such as skeletal dysplasias and other syndromes that cause growth problems. And really, I can't even convey what I really mean here-with no good words to describe it, I wonder where we fit in-ie should I hang out with other loops of parents who's kids are LP's or do they really think "hey, get out-you're kid isn't genetically like ours" yet, I rarely enjoy being outside the safety of my close friends because people make such hurtful comments like "he's one!?-wow, he's little" or when they see him cruising around like a pro, they'll be looking at him like, wow, he's advanced, how old is he, then when I tell them, they always make this look-it's a look of "hmmm, wonder why he's so small, does she know he's small?" Duh. And before you even think, don't be so hard on people, they're just curious and they don't know how to react-blah, blah, blah-I know all that-but it's easier to say then to accept. As we all know, people can be cruel and I KNOW WE ARE ONLY HURT if we let people hurt us. It's just easier to say and think than to believe and live.
Re-reading the above part, I realize it's not as eloquent as I'd like. I'm just really starting to get concerned for Owen again as all these issues seem to creep up. I didn't even mention that he still wakes up for a bottle every night and he's still on formula. While he's a joy and just wonderful to be around, he's also a stinkin' mystery!
Well, any encouragement would be appreciated. Even with all my concerns and such, when it comes down to it, I feel blessed to be Owen's mom and wouldn't change a thing about him (really)-I just wish I knew if I was doing what is best for him when it comes to diet and anything to help him developmentally etc, but otherwise, I LOVE him to pieces-I'm just a silly mommy who is sleep deprived, hormonal and honest-too honest probably.
And, while I'm on my honesty kick, did you know that there's actually "blog etiquette"? Yep, there is. Apparently, if you read someone's blog, you are supposed to comment from time to time, sign their guest book and link the blogs you read to yours-who knew? And while I say this as a little "hint, hint" it's mostly just because I'm really curious who I'm actually pouring my heart out to in the middle of the night. So, please consider signing my new guest book and even uploading a photo for it so I can put a face with your name-it's cool to see where in the world people are who read blogs, why they read them (or your connection to the blog) and such.
Thanks for checking in-maybe next time will be more uplifting-but hey, the first part about my determined precious little baby was pretty uplifting!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Too hot to handle...the AMAZING FLAMEBONEY!

Did the title pique your interest?

Another successful spirit day accomplished. What on earth was today's theme, you ask?

Well, it was circus day, of course! Why else would my son be aflame having animals jumping through a burning ring of fire (is Johnny Cash playing in your mind yet?). Don't worry, he's wearing a heat proof glove and the blue "safety" handle is made from special material to prevent heat transfer (gotta love blue painters tape).

For those of you "green" readers, don't worry, I recycled Mondays Saran Wrap Icicle, by wrapping today's ring with the saran wrap before setting it aflame with, no doubt, recycled tissue paper (it's the flame tissue paper from TJ's fiery inferno costume). School is hard.

Look closely, the animal is mid-air.

Disclaimer: No animals were harmed in the making of this post.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Icicles, stairs and cousins

Today when I was talking to my friend Amy on the cell phone I was multitasking and picking up TJ from school when, I found myself unable to focus on our conversation as this is what I saw:


Yes, I helped make him into icicle boy, but I had forgotten. It is spirit week at school and today was "polar day". So, with no polar type shirts nor toys, I got out the saran wrap and started wrapping his head. This, plus the snowflake robe was the end result. TJ was labeled as the most creative, so that was fun;-) I couldn't not tell Amy about icicle boy as I was chuckling and when I tried to describe him, she said she couldn't imagine, so this is the background info;-)


Here (below) is Owen trying to get up the stairs past the gate-he was successfully able to scale over it (the gate) and was elated when he reached the halfway point of our "landing type" stairwell;-)

I just got back from a Pampered Chef conference (shameless plug:-) Tim stayed home with the boys while I was gone. When I returned, Owen was standing, taking steps, giving hugs, etc. Tim says he (Owen) can do all our steps in less than 60 seconds-he's right.


Lastly, here are the latest cousin pix from earlier this month. Drew is only 9 months (and very mid-sized when it comes to babies his age)...Owen is 14 months. I've requested Drew's hand-me-downs:-)


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

14 months and counting...and you'll shoot your eye out kid!

Yep, that's right...Owen has hit the big 14 month mark (well, he will tomorrow January 3rd, anyway;-) I had him weighed and measured today at the Pediatrician's office-his New Year's stats are as follows: Height 26 3/4 inches, Weight 17 pounds even, and a head circumference of 46 cm. Which makes him about the size of your ave 6 month old for length and weight. His head is right on track for his age though. Love those big headed boys!

He has his bottom 2 teeth now cut all the way thru and none on top (though I really thought he was cutting some with his recent fussiness). He still has PT and OT, but the Occupational therapist says he is doing so well that she dropped us to once per month sessions as Owen continues to meet his goals. He isn't standing alone or walking yet but he sure can get around.


Check out Owen trying on Jake's "Torch" costume-he was really fired up about it (he, he, he.)

On another note, my family visited for Christmas this weekend and we had a wonderful time together. We celebrated a belated Christmas and TJ finally got some things from his wish list. Luckily, there has been no need yet to make up stories about killer icicles and such.