Wednesday, December 30, 2009

'Tis the Season #11: Uncle Pat and Aunt Kristine

'Tis the Season #11 is from my brother Pat, Colin's Uncle Pat and Pat's girlfriend Kristine:

From Uncle Pat:

To Colin,

I am writing this to you today because of how important you are to me and everyone else that has seen you grow in the past eight months. We couldn't have asked for a better addition into this family. In these eight months that I have known you I've watched you grow up so fast. It feels like yesterday when I was holding you in my arms as a newborn. You've brought so much joy to my life. Just taking a look at your pictures makes me smile and reminds me of the important things in life. When I take a look at your picture, a crappy job, money problems all become trivial when I know all the hard work my nephew has put in and has taken so many steps to where your at now! You have amazed us all and the amazement never stops. In no time at all you are already sitting up by yourself! The love and support you have is endless. It all comes down to the family and friends that make life worth it, and you certainly have the family and friends to help you prosper in life. I love you Colin!

From Aunt Kristine:
I have only known your family a short time, but in that time I have witnessed a love that never ceases to amaze me. It’s the kind of love that makes you feel at home every time you hear their voice or see their picture. Just being in the same room with all of them, the love I feel, can be overwhelming at times. You have only added to the love and happiness I see when I spend time with all of you! Family is one of the greatest gifts in the world. You have inspired every member of your family and many more people you have never met. You are loved more than is possible to understand, and you give strength to everyone around you! I know your uncle Pat and I would never think of jumping into freezing water in the middle of winter if not for you! It has been such an honor getting to know you, and I will be looking forward to the next time I see you!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We're Back!

Wow...this has been the longest stretch I've been on since updating the blog and I feel horrible! There were a crazy few days of traveling and enjoying the holiday and then the past few days have been hectic trying to get our house in order.

...Not to mention the fact that we got Nintendo Wii for Christmas and have been obsessed!

It's amazing to think that I updated regularly through my crazy student teaching and working schedule, yet, am slacking when I have a lighter week! I swear, I've been busy!

Over the next few days I'm going to get all my pictures up and running and update the blog with our holiday travels since there were a lot of firsts for our family in having Colin.

Colin had some therapy visits thrown into the week which did not go as well. We had to switch developmental therapy to the afternoon the past 2 visits and between the change and just "stuff" in general with Colin, he wasn't very much up for working. We know he will be better next time.

We had our first "run over to the doctor's office last minute" kind of visit yesterday. It was incredibly minor and we mostly did it because our pediatrician wanted to check him instead of just giving advice over the phone. Did I ever mention how much I LOVE her? She is the greatest and we are just so lucky that things worked out and we found her. She really cares for Colin. It turns out the rash he had over his whole body that came on quickly was probably an allergic reaction. He was crying a lot yesterday (so unlike Colin) and had a mild fever, so she was worried about an ear infection and that was what she wanted to check. Fortunately he was all clear! He was so much better by the evening last night and even better today!

I had to take Colin today for blood work to check his thyroid (passed his newborn screening but needed a follow up) and it was excrutiatingly (did I spell that correctly?) painful (for me!)! They drew it from his arm just like an adult and the nurse could not find the vein initially. She was fishing around for it and I thought my heart and head would explode. I wanted to scream out and say to her, "no adult would tolerate this!". Fortunately, what felt like an eternity only took a minute, but it was horrible. Colin was so good considering and only cried the "help me mommy" kind of cry instead of a scream scream. The "help me mommy" cry is so much worse though...ugh.

Colin got so many great gifts over the holiday and we had such a fun few days with him. It truly was special for us...

...More to come soon!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tis the Season #10: Aunt Jen

'Tis the Season #10 is from Colin's Auntie Jen and one of my BEST friends!

For those of you who don’t know me, a little about how I came to be a part of Kelli, Chris, and Colin’s life… I’ve known Kelli since 4th grade but we really became close in high school and our bond has been strong ever since. We “girls” (Kelli, Natalia, Veronica, and I) have shared an amazing friendship over the years and to me my girls are like family.

I’ve been thinking about my moment on the blog for a while now and just couldn’t figure out where to start…I guess that is why this took me so long to do. But I figured I would just jump right in so here it goes…forgive me for the length!
For Kelli…
Ever since I have known you, you have been the quiet, shy one. Of the four of us girls it is no secret that many times the three of us have over-powered you with our loud talking and strong personalities. But I always saw in you, and admired, the silent strength and depth of character you possess. You have been through so many challenging life experiences…while other people may have ended up bitter or resentful, you have turned these events into opportunity and blessings. Never has this been more true when it comes to Colin. It has been beautiful and amazing to see how you have grown from the quiet, shy one to a strong and proactive mother for your little boy. It’s a shining example to those facing similar challenges. Like you did…put one foot in front of the other and amazing things are possible. I love you!

And for Chris…
I wanted to take the time to honor you as well. Since Kelli is like a sister to me, that makes you just like family too! It seems sometimes that Moms get all the attention and support. But I want you to know that all you have done has not gone unnoticed. It has always made me so happy to see how happy you’ve made Kelli and it has been wonderful to watch you two grow into a family. I have seen first hand over these last few months how your strength has helped hold everything together. You too are an amazing example to fathers…you have been so involved and supportive and Kelli and Colin are blessed to have you.

And now for Colin…
You were the first baby in our group of “girls” and it was so exciting when we found out your were on the way! I couldn’t have imagined then what a gift you would turn out to be. Not only are you all the obvious: adorable, fun, happy, and simply a joy to be around….but you are here to teach us all a lesson about life and love. It has been amazing to see all you have accomplished and all the lives you have changed over these short 8 months. I heard a saying once “It takes a village to raise a child” and Colin, that is exactly what you have! I have no doubt you will grow up surrounded by love and support and I am honored to be a part of that. I love you so much!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Those "Moments"

I had one of those moments tonight where I looked at Colin and my heart swelled because I couldn't have loved him any more in that moment. He was sitting in his high chair while I finished getting dinner ready, and when I peeked around the corner, he just looked at me and smiled...

This is what i saw in that moment...

We are very fortunate because Colin will sit in his high chair and keep himself occupied while we eat dinner at the table, even though he has already eaten.

He practiced so many little skills during dinner! It was fun to watch!

We think Colin is teething a lot more the past week, so we tried giving him the frozen toy (he usually won't use it himself) and tonight, he held it and chomped all by himself!!

We've also been working on fine motor skills with his pincer grip and usually try the puffs. Since Colin isn't thrilled about the puffs, he usually won't go near them. So, Chris tried an M&M (under close supervision of course!) and he was able to pick it up with his thumb and index finger! Look at that fine motor skill at work!

I was a sucker at all of the different stores this holiday season for baby clothes that were holiday themed. He has already worn a few, but this is a favorite of ours... says "Daddy's favorite present".

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Real "Peach"

That's what Colin was today...a real "peach" or so the saying goes.
We think his gums/teeth were bothering him because he is NEVER like this...All day long Colin was cranky and crabby and did not sleep (normally he is very good at that).
During developmental therapy today, he had a sour puss on his face and would not give Miss D a smile! In fact, she pretty much only got pouty lips today and he had no interest in participating in her activities.

He was pretty good for Uncle Timmy today, who stopped in to see him on his way up from North Carolina (where he lives now)...

...but even when it was time to go to bed, he was WIDE AWAKE for at least an hour (at least he wasn't complaining) despite the fact he had only slept for probably a total of 45 minutes ALL DAY.

So we went back up there and found Colin like this...
I guess by the time he DID fell asleep, he fell asleep as he lie.
* Please note, we did NOT leave Colin like this...he is now sleeping soundly on his tummy *

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Wiggle

Colin loves to "wiggle" now! We think it's his way of dancing, but here will be times where he's wiggling before his eyes are even open in the morning!


This is going to be a long post to make up for my LACK in posting lately. Chris, Colin and I had a great weekend together thanks in part to the snow and to my student teaching being done with! It allowed me to get so many things done around the house which feels so refreshing!

Anyway, lots to update on Colin!

We had Colin's re-test at the audiologist on Thursday which did not go well. The woman is nice, but was unsuccessful in completing the test because she was trying to do too many things at once, the plugs weren't staying in his years, and after a few attempts at "shoving" them in there (what it seemed to us), Colin starting getting upset which did not help.

So, we left there as a "fail" again. I think we are at the point in trying a different audiologist to see if we can be more successful.

At physical therapy, Colin worked on some of the same skills including hands in knees and sitting. Colin is struggling with sitting right now because he immediately wants to extend back and even if you try to hold him in sitting, he pushes so hard against your hands!

He had a great session with Miss D (developmental therapy) and they worked on reading books and pointing to different things. Colin is really working on pointing at objects!

Colin, Chris, and Aunt Kimmy helped me to celebrate the ending of student teaching with dinner at the Outback (the night before my last night)!

Then, on my official last night, since I had to work at a basketball game, Colin, Chris and Aunt Kimmy came down to work to spend the night with me! I was so excited to see my little boy because it meant so much more time to spend together!

While the game was going on, Colin hung out in the stroller where he was doing something new! We put some toys on the tray and Colin was sitting and reaching forward for the objects! It's amazing how much stronger he gets on a daily basis!

We are still working on the "puffs", especially for the pincer grip skills, but Colin isn't a fan. He likes the yogurt melts much better, but with the other puffs we get these kinds of faces:

...and:Colin got his 1st Christmas ornament from his Aunties Natalia, Veronica, and Jen...

During a random act of kindness at Jersey Shore, Chris and Colin were given a teddy bear by an organization which Colin enjoys playing with!

...and finally, Colin experienced his 1st snow storm today!

He was not crazy about being so bundled up!but he posed for the camera...

with daddy...
...and mommy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

We Will Survive!

As I write this, I sing "I will survive!" in my head...

My family made it! This day is finally LAST day of working full time, student teaching full time, and being a mommy and wife all at once is over!

Phew...this feels good.

Pictures to follow!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Flat Head" Update

I titled this post "flat head" because Chris and I have been referring to Colin as a screwdriver. Stupid humor (but hey, whatever works!)

Anyway, I just wanted to update you. Since the last post, I've spoken with Colin's Developmental therapist, pediatrician and physical therapist, and they are all in agreement that Colin's head has a normal flattening in the back associated with the amount of time he had spent on his back in the beginning. His neck muscles are so strong, there is no concern (even in the beginning) over any tightnening/rotating of his neck muscles, or any other possible underlying condition. Plus, he spends a whole lot less time on his back now with sitting and tummy time. Even from the beginning, tummy time was emphasized so much that Colin only spent prolonged time on his back when he was sleeping.

When I spoke to the pediatrician, she felt that this was not something we should be worried about because she has been monitoring him on a monthly basis and if she had ever been concerned over this she would have referred us to a neurologist first. Since there are not ANY concerns, she told us to put this on the backburner and let it go.

This morning Colin had physical therapy (which he did SUPER at!) and she said that she has not been concerned at ALL because the flattening is very symmetrical (and relatively minor) and as I mentioned earlier, he does not have any underlying potential problems.

So, it looks like we are in the clear for now. Of course we will continue to monitor this, but it has only improved over the last few months so it is not a concern at this time.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Infant Toddler Assessment Program Update

Colin had his visit with the ITAP program at Jersey Shore today. He has been following up every 3 months and as I have explained before, he sees a speech therapist, developmental therapist, nurse, and developmental pediatrician while he is there.

After the last 2 visits, we have considered ending our visits to there because we have not always been happy with our experiences. However, we decided that it doesn't hurt us to go and we have now built up stronger shells to our experiences.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend today because of work and student teaching (3. more. days!) but this is the update from Chris:

  • The speech therapist reported that he is on track developmentally for his pre-language skills and is happy with his progress. Since he has not had any feeding issues, he is good in that area.
  • He weighed 16 lbs. (falls in the 5-10th percentile for the "standard" chart and 50-75th percentile for the DS chart)
  • He is 27 inches long
  • His head circumference is 42.8 and between the 10th and 25th percentile
  • The developmental pediatrician was very happy with his progress
  • For the 1st time of our visits there, Chris had to fill out a questionaire where the responses were either never, sometimes or often to questions like how many words can he put together, does he point to objects, does he respond to words that indicate a specific item, does he do things to make us laugh, etc.). Some of the questions seemed so far off from where we are at now (and probably developmentally ARE further off for any child) and some questions he easily does on a regular basis).

We have noticed that Colin is starting to have a flattening in the back of his head, mostly because prior to him becoming more active in terms of tummy time and sitting, he spent a lot of time on his back. We tried to get him to sleep on his tummy, but it would get to the point where he was so unhappy that we just couldn't leave him there. We have been making more of an effort for him to spend as little time as possible on his back including during sleeping. The past few nights he has slept the whole night on his back.

Chris asked about this flattening and they immediately started "reacting". They pulled other people into the room, started observing saying that one side was more prominent than the other, and acting very concerned. For Chris (and then for me once he told me), it made us feel very uneasy because of the way they "reacted". They gave Chris a phone number for a specialist who does scientific measurements for the possiblity of Colin wearing a helmet to correct the flattening.

My question to all of you...does anyone have any experience with this? Did any of your children have this problem and if so, did they need to wear a helmet?

We will see our physical therapist tomorrow and will ask her and then will be seeing the pediatrician next week for Colin's 8 month appointment but in the meantime, I was curious to see if anyone else had any experience before I start "panicking". I quoted panicking because that sounds drastic, but I am concerned.

I'll post some pictures over the next few days and see what you all think...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Did It!!

Mommy is going to have to break out my "I Did it" t-shirt because I am accomplishing skills left and right now! Even though I am accomplishing the skills (which I think are pretty cool!), I know I have a lot of hard work to do to be able to consistently do these things. But...I'm doing them and I often smile because I am so proud of myself after I do them!
I've been working pretty hard on rolling from my back to my tummy but I have only gotten so far as to roll onto one of my sides. I often get stuck here so my mommy and daddy will give me a little nudge to help me. However, I often get confused when they nudge me and will roll in the direction they are poking me!
Not today! Today I was trying to get to my favorite toy (the animals have something to say! or spin, spin a letter!) and after I was on my side, I got myself onto my tummy!! Once I got there, everyone was clapping and cheering for me! I just smiled because I knew what I did, but I didn't see what the big deal was! I looked over at mommy and she had tears in her eyes! I think she's pretty proud of me when I do things like this...

Unfortunately, I did it so fast the first time that Mommy wasn't able to video tape it, but then I did it again and she snapped a few pictures.

So, I start on my side...

...and then I kick my leg over, push, and then I'm on my tummy!

Oh and guess what?! I got to see Santa today! Of course I had to go and fall asleep on the way there which is a very short ride. We only had to wait 20 minutes to see Santa so Mommy and Daddy had to wake me up...of course I was very groggy and annoyed that they woke me up. But then, Mommy lifted me high up in the air just like I like it and then Daddy was doing funny things with me, so I started smiling and looking around.

I got to take a real quick glance at Santa and then they were ringing bells so loud to get my attention.

Of course I looked, they snapped a few pictures, and then Mommy had to pick me up so we didn't hold up the line. I'm sure I'll get to see him again though!

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

'Tis the Season #9: Grandad

'Tis the Season #9 is from my Dad and Colin's Grandad:

To my beautiful grandson Colin,

I never could have imagined that when I married your Nana, the day would finally come when we would become grandparents. Our greatest joys was when we had your mommy, Uncle Timmy, Uncle Patrick and Aunt Kimmy! I thank God for my family and the love we all share. Then your mommy married you daddy, who became part of our family, and then your parents had their greatest joy, YOU!!! And now you are a family!!! I'll never forget the day you were born and I'll never forget the day your mommy called me and told me about my grandson. I want you to know how strong your mommy and daddy are and that God blessed us all with you having your mommy and daddy as parents! All I knew was that you were my precious grandson, and that you were healthy, and I couldn't have been more prouder being your grandad.

I want you to know I will ALWAYS be there for you!! I will be there to encourage you, support you, and share in all your joys, and yet you will have my shoulder and hugs when you have those days that may be a struggle. In your young life, you have truly made me such a better person in this world, and I want you to know you have changed me and I want to thank you for changing me. I am so proud of you, and I look at you and see what you have accomplished each and every day with that beautiful smile on your face. I see your personality, and what a good baby you have been to your parents, (just like your mommy was to us---especially sleeping the night) and know you'll do whatever you set out to do in your life and I look forward to being part of your life. We are a strong family and you have all of us there supporting and loving you.

Because of you, I was able to run 26.2 miles! You were there every step of the way, and I would never have tried one without you in my life, and I was so proud to give you my medal, YOUR medal! You gave me the strength during the race and I know whatever challenges I had in finishing, did not even come close to the challenges you have faced and overcome in your young life and will in the future. I want you to know, that for as long as your grandad is able to, I am going to run 26.2 miles for you every year to come, and will honor you with YOUR medal!! I love you so much Colin.

All my love, Grandad.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

...and he sleeps.

We were able to get Colin to fall asleep on his tummy tonight in the crib. I decided to take the pillow out from underneath his mattress because I think we are FINALLY at a place with no cough and no congestion. It's ok for the mattress to be normal again!
So, I decided to try to put Colin on his tummy and see what happened.
He fell asleep...

But then later on when I went to go and check on him, he was pretty much face down. So, me being the worry wart, rolled him back over.

Hey, at least he made it a half hour! That's more than normal!