Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Finally clapping

Just a short note. Spencer finally clapped yesterday, December 22, 2014. And today he is starting to put toys into the bucket instead of just taking or tipping them out. 

Our holidays are going very well. Spencer did well on the trip here. He had one bad leg of the trip the first day. We are Loving the area as usual. Our church experiment wasn't quite the church we are looking for but the people were nice. 

Yesterday we had a visitor out of the blue from England. We knew he was coming to Canada and were planning on meeting them at their tail end of the trip. But they surprised us to drop off gifts for Spencer.

Spencer is slowly getting the idea on how to open presents. It is fun to watch.  


Friday, 19 December 2014

One Year Old

Wow time flies. He is officially one year old. He can walk and almost run everywhere now. He loves to walk the aisles at the grocery store and if you miss one you MUST go back and walk it. He is gear about not touching anything though, unless he is in the grocery cart, then hands reach out for everything if close enough. 

Occasionally he just Tucker's himself out shopping and has to take a nap. 


But he is getting the stamina now that he more so falls asleep in the car on the way home. 

It is fun to listen to him babble. Favorite sounds right now are dadadada, mmmmm, and eh. We have passed over brmm brmmm and mamam. For a little while he was sticking out his tounge and doing a raspberry, and getting spit everywhere in the process. Luckily that was short lived. I'm sure it will come back again. 

Food is always an issue. Now are we making a mountain out of a mole hill?  We try to have as balanced a meal as possible, to include 3-4 of the food groups. But when I google breakfast for toddlers it seems smoothies are a big hit or just oatmeal. For a sample meal we do, for breakfast we have peanut butter balls (peanut butter mixed with quick oats and rolled into little balls), high overs grains and protein, then we have something like yogurt, and finish it with fruit. The biggest fight is the protein portion. He seems to like protein alternatives better, like dessert tofu, cheese, or sometimes egg yolk. He isn't interested in chicken or beef most of the time. I guess it is a work in progress. We also need to work on more veggies. Sometime he will eat loads of broccoli sometime not interested, same with peas and carrots. At least he will now eat from a spoon. For alsmost a month he wouldn't eat anything from a spoon. 

Happy Birthday Little Man. 


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Kick to the Teeth

Well a year is almost up and Spencer is almost a year old. Wow time flies. But this post isn't about that. This is about misinformation regarding mat leave. My first six weeks off was for medical leave because I had a Csection. I was informed my Mat leave would start after that six weeks. What Service Canada neglected to tell me is that Mat leave ends when baby is a year old no matter when you started it. I can appeal that but it doesn't look too good. 

So we now start six weeks of no pay until I return to work in Febryary. 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Spencer's first Christmas Party


My work has a kids Christmas Party every year. This was my first time going to it. Spencer had a blast. They had a pirate  ship bounce house that they had some times for the little little ones. The attendant even tool Spencer in and down the slide part. Fantastic. Even when it was big kids time he bounced on the stair portion where Deb could hold him. 

They also had a panda mascot guy. Spencer followed him everywhere. It was adorable. And the guy was a great sport about it. He picked him up and let Spencer pull on his legs and bat at his head. And hug him. 

They also had face painting. Spencer had his first smiley face that wasn't a Walmart sticker. 


And of course they had Santa. 


He did pretty well with Santa. Not 100% comfortable but once he realized we were doing photos he kind of relaxed. No smiles though. 

Work also gave gifts. This bag was taller than Spencer. 


He got a snow man stacker you, some bedtime books, and a stuffed reindeer.  Which he loved to cuddle. 


On a brief note Spencer had a major growth sprurt. In the last two weeks he gained almost a kg and grew out of almost all his current clothes. Finding an outfit for the party was a challenge. Which is why he was in a skull onsie for an xmas party. 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Pregnancy weight

I'm being a true Sherpa and am gaining debs pregnancy weight. I don't like it. This yearosrly second half I have gained almost 10 pounds. Arg. I need to get working on that. I know I keep saying that. Everyone does. It is difficult to get grooving and gowing and eating less. 


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Movement felt

Yesterday while Deb was at work she finally felt baby move for sure. Before now was the "was that movement or something else". But she was positive. Hen last night laid in bed, we were watching her tummy and could see the movement. Then I put my hand on her stomach and baby did a good kick and I was able to feel him too. 

Yippee. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

40 minute naps

Spencer's naps are almost always 40 minutes. He wakes up very grumpy and crying and doesn't appear to be fully rested. We call that not cooked. Sometimes he will be rocked back to sleep or given some yaybies and he will fall back asleep. And when he does he sleeps usually for another hour or so. If he does that he wakes up in an exceptionally good mood and plays in his crib for a little while. I just can't figure out what wakes him up after 40 minutes that is so startling to him.  

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

11 Months Old




Today Spencer Peed in the potty. Slightly  by default though. A little while back he was interested in the toilet in our master bathroom one morning while we were getting ready. So we broke out our potty and stripped him down and sat him on both. Now mornings, when we have time we strip him down and sit him on it. Two days shortly after we took him out and while he is still in the buff, having diaper free time to help with rash, in the bathroom he has peed somewhere. Today however he peed while on his potty. Woohoo. (On November 19th)

Also his food pickiness seems to be slightly waning.  For a few weeks, which seemed endless, he wouldn't eat anything from a spoon.  He had to be feeding himself.  We tried to get him to use the spoon and that worked a little, but only for a couple days. 

His walking is coming along and he is getting more daring between objects.  He is also working on climbing things. 

The gagging himself thing almost subsided.  We chose to ignore the bad behavior.  Recently it is coming back. Not sure what else to do.  Hopefully it is a short stint. 
 
Spencer has now had a hair cut.  I had gone in to get a hair consult and ended up getting it done and while they were waiting for the perm to set they trimmed his hair.  It didn't faze him.  I was a little traumatized.  It was his first hair cut after all.  
 
 
This is the hair I had cut off to do a perm.  However they are redoing the perm as my hair didn't take to it as hoped. 
All gone. Well most of it.
 
Samantha Nottingham's photo.
 
Samantha Nottingham's photo.
 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Walking as of November 5


He loves to walk to the dog bed and belly flop onto it. 

He is also trying to do chin ups on the bars of his exersaucer and the desk, oh my.  Both Deb and I did a hold our breath.  We didn't want to make a thing of it, because then he will want to do it again.  He fist did the desk and then promptly went to his exersaucer bars and did the same.  He hasn't done it since, but oh my he has upper body strength. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

10 months (ish), Snot Face is back and general venting

Kids and colds are horrible.  Play groups are just a giant petri dish of germs.  Spencer managed to go almost nine months without so much as a cold.  Now that we are going to play groups and indoor playgrounds, snot galore.  This is Spencer's second cold in almost a month.  The first one took about three weeks to clear.  I hope this one isn't as bad. 

To help him with the cold we have a humidifier going during naps and at night time.  We are putting baby vicks on his chest and back after his bath/shower.  I've also been putting it on before a nap this time.  We also have the spray nasal saline solution for him that we use at night.  If his congestion gets worse we used it before each nap last time too. 

Poor little guy.  He gets spackled from head to toe after a bath almost. He gets baby Aveno for eczema on his cheeks.  That seems to finally be clearing up. We aren't sure if that is because he hasn't been having infant cereal much any more or because we have cone back to the blue label formula. 

Because he is sick he gets Vicks on his back and chest. Then he gets barrier cream and now because he is teething he also breaks out in a rash. Poor little guy. 

The latest battles have been feeding him. He is becoming picky and doesn't like being fed by a spoon. He wants to feed himself everything and even then he is picky.  We tried to ignore bad behaviour but now it has escalated to Spencer making himself puke. It used to be when he was bored in the playpen or exersaucer and I have merely tried to ignore it or reprimand bad behaviour but not give in to what he is trying to achieve. The other day during dinner Spencer was refusing all food and flinging it everywhere. So we decided to let him cool down in the high chair a bit. Well he started to make himself gag. The instant decision was to ignore him and wait out his tantrum of sorts. That was very hard and very messy. It lasted almost 15 minutes before he stopped doing that and moved on to crying to get out attention. I almost didn't make it but Deb helped me be strong and wait it out it I was ready to cry. Since then the "tantrums" have been much shorter and becoming fewer slowly. Being a parent is not for the feignt of heart. Hopefully this works. Ignore bad behaviour reward the good. 

The upside to going to play groups is Spencer crawling well and he also learned to go from the crawl position to sitting. He has loads of fun there. With being able to crawl he has been pulling up on different things exponentially, trying different techniques and what not. Considering though he has been pretty cautious about moving between objects. He is not cautious, however, about crawling off objects, ie the bed, stairs, the couch. We need to catch him all the time. Sometimes it turns into a game. Spencer has also been climbing stairs with relative ease. Sometimes he gets tired sometimes he does the entire flight. We now need to work on his down technique. He has no fear and wants to just walk down them or crawl down them. 

Ill try and upload a few videos when I'm on the laptop. 

This month has been a no spend month as mentioned before, and any money saved is going towards the Malawi Water Project with Helen Timoffee. It has been a good month and I'll give you the total at the end of the month. But with that being said, we have been watching Kijiji Free items and found a free play structure for the back yard. It was a great find and Spencer loves going on the swings and down the slides and can climb the climbing wall with some assistance. 


Friday, 24 October 2014

Unofficially

We are having a boy. 


The 12 week ultrasound was showing a proud baby boy measuring about 2 days ahead of schedule. Next ultrasound should confirm. 


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Toys at the table?

Spencer is a very active little boy.  When it comes time to eat, sometimes it is difficult to get his attention.  We are pretty routine that when it is time to eat he sits in his high chair.  Sometimes he isn't particularly fond of what we are feeding him.  When this happens it ends up all over.  As a distraction toys and or singing to him was introduce to get him to eat.  He would play or listen or interact with Yaya and we could feed him the portion we needed to of the veggie or what have you. 

This did bug me quite a lot.  It does feel like we are trying to bribe him to eat.  And to me this is not a good habit to get into.  We had a family discussion a couple of times saying no singing or toys at the table, or at least until he is done eating.  However the next day Yaya would start up again or ask if she can do patty cake.  By doing so, Spencer hears that and knows what it is and gets excited.  So I give in and say fine.  During the day when no one else is there we usually do pretty well.  Don't get me wrong we have a few off times.  I do more of the positive reinforcement approach and thank him for eating well and clap after a course that he eats without protest. 

For the most part the toy distraction works, but it seems to be a short period before you have to start something else to get him to eat.  Deb thinks, once he is eating fully by himself he won't need toys, he will just eat.  That might be applicable.  After last night's talk with her she will back me up with Yaya, but I kind of feel she isn't fully agreeable why I don't want toys at the table until after he is finished eating at least.  Am I being too strict about this? 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Stairs....oh dear

Today on Debs birthday Spencer decided to tackle stairs. We are in a 5 level split so we have sections of three stairs he has access to from his play area.  He was at his activity table and sat down then crawled over to the stairs and proceeded to up them. It was with great difficulty but an I caught him once but he made it. I guess we need more baby gates.



We also had a wonderful game of baby pong. He was using a ride on/walk behind toy from one end of the room to the other and at each end we would turn him around and send him back. In the middle was Yaya adjusting trajectory if needed. He was at it for a long time. But loved it.

Just the other day he stood by himself, no leaning or holding.



This is a push car we got at a garage sale.  He loves it 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

It's official

Spencer is now crawling. He is still hesitant but is now going through the motions and gets a few feet forward. It started yesterday with purpose. 

Yesterday he also pulled himself up in his crib. We got to watch it on the monitor a couple times as he stood up then sat down then up again. When we came into the room he repeated the motions as if to show us. He was so proud of himself. 

Poor little guy though. He is still suffering from a cold. We are about 6 days in, runny nose, cough. Hopefully he gets better soon. If anyone has suggestions to help him get through this that would be lovely. So far liquids and humidifier during sleep and baby Vicks at night. 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

$0 Spend month for October

Well this is going to be a challenge.  Here is the parameters.  Monthly bills still get paid, but every transaction is going under scrutiny.  The big savings is happening on groceries.  We are only allowed to buy produce (provided we don`t have it frozen.), milk/dairy, and ground beef if lean goes on sale as we have almost run out and we always try to buy meat on sale and freeze it.  We are also allowed to buy NEEDED items for Spencer, ie infant cereal.  Most other items we should have enough stock piled to cover the month.  That does mean however, no Walmart Smiles packages.  Only the free singles.  That will be hard, but I'm sure we will make it.

The general idea is to help bring budgets back into manageable spend, stop bad spending habits, and deplete items purchased but not being used because they are forgotten. For this month, any savings we do, we are donating to the Malawi Water Project.



This charity has been close to Deb's heart since it's development in 2009 (I think that is when.)  Back then Cherry was reading an article in a Calgary newspaper, about how Helen was trying to help in Malawi, which started by them sponsoring a child there and they went to visit.  The trip there showed how in need everyone was there.  When they got back they decided to try and fill a shipping container of needed supplies to send over there to help.  Cherry contacted Helen and met her for dinner with Deb to explain the project.  Cherry and Deb were on board.  Deb helped round up construction supplies and tools to send over.  As much as that helped there was just too many people that needed things.  Helen and family looked at the greater need, clean water, a lot of remote villages in Malawi needed access to clean water.  This is where the Bio Sand Water Filters come in, showed in the picture above.  For full details see their website.

Alas, on September 27th, we went to their fundraiser and wished we could do more.  We made a donation from the sale of Deb's rental house, but with being on Maternity leave and also donating to our church we didn't put any additional aside.  We are very blessed to live in Canada, and be able to do the things we do on a slight whim (but after much talk from the whim), like last month purchasing a new car. If we can afford to do that on Mat leave then we can afford to do more for the charities close to our hearts, and this is definitely one of them.

So, for every $1 we save this month we are going to donate it to the Malawi Water Project.   We are also having a mini garage sale and donating the proceeds from that too.  Let's see if we can stick to it.

Deb's cravings are starting, she has been craving Mexican, can't stand the smell of raw onions (I had that too), and her general appetite is getting stronger.  The onions thing didn't help that yesterday I processed 20 pounds of onions into freezable state, along with 20 pounds of carrots into puree for soups and baby food.  By the end I was fairly immune to the onion smell, but Deb wasn't too fond of our house.

Poor Spencer has his first cold right now.  Snot and sneezes everywhere.  We have a humidifier running full blast while he sleeps.  It is like running into a rain forest at night.  Hopefully he is better soon.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Pulling up

Today Spencer crawled (I use that word loosely) to his activity table and then pulled up to his knees and the to a full stand. All completely unassisted. 

He also is getting a lot closer to an official crawl. But he still loves to walk around. 

On this rd can he can also self propel a little bit. It is fun to watch. 


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Teeth update & such

Yesterday his top front left came through and today we can see his top right as well. Now they have popped hopefully his appetite will come back. 

Also yesterday Spencer was able to pull himself on the coffee table repeatedly. He needed help to get to the right start position after sitting again, otherwise it looked like he was doing chin ups. 

On the pregnancy front. Debs latest cravings have been Mexican food. Tacos and taco salads and wraps. 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Play Dates

Well I have been trying to get out of my bubble and take Spencer to play groups or play dates or something like that. But I seem to be having issues finding such groups for babies his age. 

First group I went to was at a church. There was about 7-8 kids there but more was closer to 1 year old. One baby was 9 months old which was nice to see and Spencer to watch him crawl and Spencer played and jumped in a jolly jumper. All of which he has at home. The moms there were nice however I didn't really "click" with any of them to just chat with. I tried to join in conversations but I am horrible at that. It felt like I was the third wheel mostly as their kids were 3-4 yo. 

Deb and I went to the zoo with Calgary Pride parents. It is a small group and there were only two other moms that made it, their kids were 7-8 yo.  They are trying  to schedule something once a month. I think I will try and go for items that work for Spencer. Their next one is bowling, so I don't think that will work. 

Today Spencer went to a trial class Gymboree. That was fun but it is $75/month. For his age range that is two classes per week but only if you go to both. Once he is in the next age group in a month or two it is only once a week. The rate does include general play times as well. I am not sure if it is worth that much money though. He did enjoy it though. 

Beyond that I am having issues finding something for us to go to that is for Spencer's age. What am I Missing?  

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Baby #2 Update (09/17/14)

I am so late in posting this.  But here is the news on Deb and her pregnancy.  So far things have been uneventful, thankfully.  Since we all got sick, Deb hasn’t had much of an appetite, she has been craving anything in liquid form, mostly milk, juice, and water.  Once she did start eating she was fine, but nothing really sounded good to eat, until she was eating it.  Recently, she is getting her appetite back however.  Yay. 

For our birthdays, we went to Stage West for dinner and a show.  The dress code doesn’t allow yoga pants, and that is what Deb has been wearing so far to accommodate the slightly bigger belly.  So Deb had to wear her first pair of maternity pants, reluctantly.  For now, she is back to yoga pants for work and what not. 

This is Deb’s first ultrasound at 8 weeks, just a peanut so far, but measuring right on cue.




And here is Deb’s first belly shot.  We are just going to take some random ones, not weekly like I did. 

Nine Months Part 3 (09/17/14)

Other notables about Spencer:
Favorite cuddle object: He is still just a lover of soft and cuddly things.  We are trying not to give him an object that he becomes dependant on, so we switch out his blankets and stuffies and what not.  So far so good.
Favorite food: Right now, blueberries are a hit, or Greek stirred yogurt.  He loves most things that come out of a Squeezms container.
Favorite activity: Still loves to bounce, whether in the jolly jumper or in his bouncing exersaucer, he loves it.  He still loves to go for walks in his stroller, and now he stays awake, most of the time.  I think one of his own things to do though is, take apart the alpha mat we have on the floor as partial cushion.  It used to be somewhat orderly in numeric and alphabetical, but now, I just want to make sure no two same color blocks are beside each other.  The picture below shows his path of destruction. 



Reflections from the heart: Being your momma is the greatest I could have asked for.  You have been a great baby still.  You are starting to develop taste for what you don’t and do want to do, and vocalize both ways.  Your napping routine was disrupted by our vacation to Sechelt in August, but slowly, you’re getting back into the habit of wanting to put yourself to sleep in your crib watching your fish mobile.  There are still occasions that you want to be held to go to sleep, and others we fight to get you there.  You’re latest food habit of closing your eyes if you don’t like something and wrinkling your nose, then peeking to see if the spoon is still there, is cute, annoying, but cute.  Hopefully you come around on proteins and non applesauce laden food soon.  You love to hold our fingers to walk around.  Sometimes you think you’re better than you are and let go, we then have to catch you.  For our photos at Walmart you light up for HH, our photographer, and she lights up to see you too.  Once she didn’t say hello to you first and you gave her attitude for a little while thereafter.  You have two teeth, and something on top is trying to pop through.  Hopefully it comes soon, as it shows that you are in discomfort because of it.  Tuffy is getting better around you.  He sometimes wants you to play and drops a toy near you in hopes you will throw it.  We sometimes help you pick it up and toss it, you think this game is hilarious.


We love you so much, and can’t wait to see you as crawling, walking, climbing, and as a big brother.  

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Nine Months Part 2

To keep with the form of 6 months, I'm breaking this post up a little, and to give you time to read part one, while I'm pecking away at part two. A Note about food lately, if he doesn’t like what you are feeding him, he closes his eyes, wrinkles his nose and looks down.  After a moment or two he peeks up to see if the spoon is still there.  He is such a turkey.

Milestones checklist From CDC website
Social and Emotional
May be afraid of Strangers – we have been working on this not happening for a long time.  If anyone (within reason) wants to hold him they can.  He gets to visit with a lot of people when at church, provided he is awake.  He still has a bit of a hard time with men however, especially if they don’t have facial hair, as most of the men he has been exposed to have beards.
May be clingy with familiar adults -  Spencer has his moments, when he wants to be with someone, or he gets upset if you leave the room.  We are trying to not encourage this too much. 
Has favorite toys – He definitely has a couple favorites.  Still he loves this soft red ball/rattle, we have this toy we call “Spin a Letter” shown below, and now he is liking ride on toys that make noise, he doesn’t quite know how to push them along yet, but likes to be pushed around or just sit on them and play with the levers and steering wheel etc.



Language/Communication
Understands “no” – The biggest time we use that word is when he sticks something in his mouth to the point he chokes on it.  He does this repeatedly, and it is showing a hard habit to break.  Lately I’ve just been taking whatever it was away.  This also gets used when he is reaching for the quilt we have hung above his change table, or when he is reaching for the outlet (which does have safety covers) in the bathroom after his shower.   When he hears “no” he stops what he is doing and then decides if he wants to continue to do it anyway, which involves further action from us.
Makes a lot of different sounds like “mamamam” and “bababa”- The Maaamaaa happened a long time ago, Spencer kind of took a break from babbling in general for a little while around 7-8 months, but he is starting up again with a vengeance.  He now does mamama, yayaya, sometimes da, and ba.  Ah and Eh are common sounds as well.   
Copies sounds and gestures of others – He has been working on sounds copied.  It usually starts with him making a sound and I’ll copy and then he copies back, and we do this repeatedly.  He doesn’t seem to copy gestures yet though.  Hopefully that is going to start soon enough. 

Cognitive (Learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Watches the path of something as it falls – Yes, he has been following objects for a while now.  The got it, drop it game with actual purpose has started recently.  We try not to perpetuate that too much, usually if he drops it, we put it away, and then he doesn’t have the toy, thus this hasn’t been too much of a game so far.
Looks for things he see you hide – He is starting to understand the inside things concept.  About a week ago he noticed where I put the toys, in bins on the shelves.  He has started to try and pull the bins out and pull out toys, as well as toys that fit things inside them he now knows to look inside for the letters or blocks etc.
Plays Peek a Boo - He loves this game.  He will sometimes put things over his face and pull it off for you to say peek a boo.  He also knows to lean over to peek around a corner or over a chair to see your face to play peek a boo.
Puts things into his mouth – This has been happening from the day he grabbed things.  They went directly into his mouth. 
Moves things smoothly from one hand to the other – This has also been happening for a long time.  He is probably going to have better coordination than I do. 
Picks up things like cereal o’s between thumb and index finger – He can pick up cheerios/puffed wheat and reasonably get it into his mouth to eat.  The pincer grasp still needs some work, but is coming along. 

Movement/Phisical Development
Stands, holding on – He has been one to stand for a long time.  He pulled himself up to standing with our fingers at 13 weeks.  His stance is definitely getting better though. 
Can get into sitting position – This is still a work in progress.  I’m not sure what I can do to help along though.  He can sit very well, but can’t go from laying down to sitting without assistance. 
Sits without support – Spencer is a good sitter.  He started sitting unassisted around 6 months and has been improving since.
Pulls to stand – This happened today (09/15/14).  He was sitting in his “zoo” enclosure and he used the door portion to pull himself up.  (The door is thinner for his hands to grasp).

Crawls – So far he has been a roll and pivot little boy.  He can now get onto all fours pretty well and wants to crawl so bad, but isn’t quite there.  He can also get into the teepee position, but usually falls over pretty quickly.     

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Nine Months (Starting Early) Part 1

Well, today is actually September 8, 2014, that I am starting this post.  I figured if I start now, I might actually be posting by the time his is actually 9 months.  Which means I have 11 days to update the past three months on his development.  Here is goes.

Sleep Patterns: Since our vacation in Sechelt, Spencer's sleep habits have been off.  I haven't been putting him in the crib to fall asleep, if he doesn't fall asleep while having his snack of a bottle or yaybie.  For the few weeks after getting back he was a handful to settle down for a nap.  In hind sight it might have been a little to do with he was no longer on the awake for 2 hours nap for 1 rotation.  He had moved on to awake for 3 hours or so and then sleep for 40-120 minutes.  Which is why he was fighting going down for a nap after 2 hours.  He was starting to wind down but wasn't quite ready to sleep.  For a long while he nitht time habits were, go down to sleep around 8 (give or take depending on the day), and then when Deb and I would go to bed around 11 he would get sleep fed either a bottle or yaybie.  (If I haven't covered the slang yaybie, look up a you tube video of it.  It is a comic that thinks BOOb is a negative word with boo in it, the term stuck from early on.)  After Spencer's sleep feed he would sleep until about 7, sometimes a little earlier but it was an excellent routine.  This was also disrupted by vacation, and him being sick with the stomach bug we were all afflicted with a couple weeks ago.  The past couple nights he seems to be getting back to the old, better routine.  It is nice to get more than 2 hours or sleep in a row lately. 

Doctor's Visits: He hasn't had any doctor's measurements done recently.  Home done measurements are he is now 8.6 kg which is 19 pounds.  His head still looks a little big, but as Deb says, that is to house all those brains he is developing, lol.  He measures about 30" tall.  A lot of people mistake him for a year old for how tall he is. 

Spencer's neck seems to be doing very well.  It is nice when he is sat on our lap and we see how straight he holds his head now.  It makes the screaming stretches worth it now.  We are glad we caught it early and dealt with.  Thank you to Calgary Physio. 

His testicles from Hydroseal seem to be doing better as well.  We have a follow up appointment with the urologist at the end of September, with an ultrasound the week before.  I don't see there being any issues with that. 

Spencer's cheeks still suffer from breakouts that fluctuate from day to day.  When they get bad we have started using Aveno cream for Baby Eczema.  Poor little guy.  He also seems to break out in diaper rash worse around when he is about to pop teeth through.  Poor little guy.  Neither seem to really bother him though which is good. 

Food: Spencer almost eats everything now.  We have changed brands of cereal though as when he is on Gerber or knock offs his cheeks seem to get worse, especially oats.  He seems to do better on Heinz cereals, so we have been sticking to that, but this might just be a coincidence.  His favourite foods right now are yogurt, and most things that come out of a squeezm.  When on vacation, we had purchased some store bought ones that seem to be main ingredient of apple sauce.  He is now hard put to eat straight veggies, so we have been making a mix to put in some refillable squeezms that we got off Amazon and lowering the quantity of apple sauce.  One of he current mixes are: Blueberries, couscous, carrots, apples sauce and chickpeas.  We try and feed him a little of what ever we are eating.  His full meals usually consist of a savory like, chicken mixed with carrots, peas and edamame or a lentil chili, then he will have some infant cereal, then some of the blueberry mix or something similar, and to top it off, some yogurt, all accompanied by a side of formula.  As we are getting this ready he usually has some puffed wheat and or cheerios.  When he wants to, this boy can eat a LOT.

While on the trip to Sechelt, Spencer learned to drink from a straw.  This is great for on the go, and when he wants some water.  We are still using sippie cups and that is going well.  He sometimes lifts it himself, but that is still a work in progress. 

He still isn't a fan of bottles during the day, unless he is going down for a nap.  On the upside though, he is more prone to taking the yaybie to go down for a nap now which is good.  Before he was fighting taking the yaybie because he would then fall asleep most of the time, but now as he is going down and/or waking up he will have some breast milk.  I am still taking Domperidone to help with my milk supply and that is helping keep things going.  I can feed through the night and most naps, provided I drink enough water through the day. 

Somewhere in this three months, Spencer outgrew his Lamb swing.  He still has a different swing that he still fits.  Occasionally he sits in it and watches the fish in our tank as some quite time.  But he usually doesn't fall asleep in there. 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Oh my

This stomach bug seams to be travelling.  First I got it, then Spencer.  The next day Deb was thinking morning sickness was kicking in, she was worried that this pregnancy was going to be a LONG haul with feeling this horrible.  Alas, a slight reprieve, it wasn't morning sickness, it is this stomach bug, so the end to feeling nasty has a closer end than 3-9 months. Next up is Yaya, she finally caught it today.  Not too good.  Poppi hasn't been feeling all too well this whole time.  What a downer.

On the upside, Spencer is getting his appetite back. Still not too interested in beef stew, but he did well with a pea/spinach/apple sauce mix this morning.

An even better note, it's official.  The doctor has confirmed.  Deb is pregnant.  She is now 6 weeks and 1 days along, and WILL be getting a dating ultrasound, which I didn't get.  So we get to see the little bean (s) September 5th.  We will get to make sure there is only one in there.  I keep bugging Deb about twins, but she is convinced she isn't having twins, as twins don't run in her family.  Alas, I still get to rib her about it.  15 days till we get to see our latest addition to the family.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Photo update


We went to a wedding a couple weeks ago and had these photos done in Spencer's outfit. Absolutely adorable in my opinion. 

Listening to

Your baby cry because he is sick is one of the hardest things to do. 


Friday, 15 August 2014

Stomach Bug Or Allergies

The past couple times I have had beef I had thought I was gaining a sensitivity to it, but unsure.  Two nights ago we had a roast for dinner, it was lovely.  However that evening I was nauseated, and then the next day sick.  But also couldn't keep my eyes open if I tried, dead tired.  First thing in the morning Deb was getting ready for work, I was hugging the toilet and Spencer needed attending to, so we called in the help of Yaya.  She came over and fed him and played with him till his nap at 9:30 and I napped as well till he woke up.  Spencer was a peach that day and wasn't fussy at all, played quietly in his exersaucer or playpen etc.  And relatively went down for naps without commotion.  I got some additional Yaya assistance in the afternoon, while I napped again.  By afternoon I was able to keep down a piece of toast and water.

Update: Spencer got sick two days later so I am guessing more of a bug. Poor little one. 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The results are in.....

Deb is pregnant. 


4 weeks and 4 days. Woohoo. Due date April 17, 2015. Sherpa duties kick in. It is weird being on this side of things. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Teeth

Spencer's first two bottom teeth have finally broke through the gums. Only Deb has seen them. He is on lockdown for me. I have felt them though. He is groaning up so fast. 

So far tests are

NegativešŸ˜„

But Deb is sure something is happening. Her boobs are soar which she has never had for PMS and her nipples are harder and she is a bit more tired than usual. She also "feels" different in her uterine area. 

The big red no has not showed up yet but her cycles are pretty long so she isn't due until Wednesday I think. The negatives and not knowing for sure but feeling it is hard on Deb. I remember my first try and feeling a lot of those type things. Trying so hard to be positive but not get excited. 

Lets hope for false negatives and hope we get a positive soon. We are buying a good test today, as we have been using the cheaper ones so far from Amazon. 

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Water baby

This vacation has proven our little Spencer is a water baby. 

 
This was boating onto the ocean 

And dunking his feet into the ocean 

And that was a hard day. Tuckered right out. 

Almost there

Tomorrow we are doing an early cheap test and the bigger one on Friday. 

This is from our vacation to BC. It is compelling to want to move here. 


Friday, 25 July 2014

First try for #2


Today is Deb's first IUI. We have three tries left including today. 

Well I started this post Friday July 25th. Here is the lowdown. 

Deb had her IUI on Friday afternoon. Everything went well. The sperm count was about 76 million with 42% high motility. (I need to find the sheet to confirm the numbers). In the end I think our count was 12.1 million high active sperm. Not the best we've had but not too shabby. 

Being on this side of things is very different. Our pregnancy test day is August 8. And so the TWW has started again. 




Correction on numbers. Count was 72 mil per ml with 43 rapid, and 2 slow. To equal 12.3 million.  

Friday, 18 July 2014

Impromptu shelf

Yesterday I got a wind to clean. So I was also rearranging stuff. When we moved furniture to accommodate toy storage shelves in the living room a love seat got moved by the window. This then partially blocked the book case that was at the end of our dresser/change table that doubled as a shelf for wipes and stuff. 

With organizing everything I figured the bookcase worked better somewhere else however that removed a very accustomed to shelf. So when Deb got home I asked her to build a shelf. I love having a handy wife that can do things like this on the fly, and has the supplies on hand.  So here is the newest shelf. 


It works like a charm an the diaper genie can now fit under it which frees up some floor space. 

Also here are a couple favourite photos from the latest smiles pictures. 



For all the latest photos see the smiles tab up top. 

Monday, 14 July 2014

First night of sick

The night before last was my first night of Spencer being outright sick. He woke to at 2:00 and I went to him and he was soaked. Originally I thought I hadn't put on his diaper properly and it leaked. I put him on the change table and noticed it wasn't pee. He was cover in sick as was the crib and bedding. I woke deb up for a little assistance. She held him while I cleaned up and changed sheets and what not.  

Once everything and everyone was clean I went to nursery/rock him back to sleep and deb went back to bed. He wouldn't settle and I put him on his side and once again got sick. All over the snoogle, my lap and the floor.  Once again I get debs attention for help. She held him and changed his outfit again while I wiped him down and the snoogle and cleaned the floor as best I could. Poor little guy.


We aren't sure if it was the heat, his latest vaccines or new foods we have tried. We suspect it might be the tuna we have him. So for now we have him back to basic diet and we will start to introduce new foods slowly again. We were getting a little careless with the two to three day rule. 

Today he had his first eye appointment. Do far looking not to bad. However he might be a little far sighted and have a slight stigmatism. He has an appointment booked for closer to one year and he will have his pupils dilated to allow the doctor to see more in his eyes. Overall so far his re health is good though which is good to hear. 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

CD1 - here we go again.

Well yesterday I started this post but I guess it didn't save. This is probably why I usually write them in my word copy and the put it into my blog. But bring able to write posts on my phone while rocking with Spencer or what have you it is a plus. The putting himself to sleep is a hit or miss and a work in progress. 

Alas here is the news. Yesterday was Debs cycle day 1 for her first try. My Sherpa duties are starting. First off was calling in her cycle day one to the fertility clinic and arranging shipment of the remaining sperm from Toronto. I should have thought of that sooner as we might have been able to get shared shipping and saved some money. 

I got the call today. Deb is to start testing for ovulation on day 15 of her cycle. She has fairly long cycles. I hope we don't miss it though. And her IUI is slated for the afternoons time when it happens. It's getting exciting. 

On another pleasant note we found out Spencer's godparents are pregnant. Yay.  That is fantastic news. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Avocado

Because Avocado is supposed to be good for babies we gave it a try. To me they taste like green margarine. And deb isn't too fond of them either. But to Spencer they are a hit. 

Next try is green beans. He seems to be a fan of green veggies. So that is fantastic. 

Yesterday was the big day of crying. I am still a sad about our two dogs but it was a necessary evil. Yesterday morning I kind of asked for a sign that we are doing the right thing and not more than 10 minutes later Gizmo had a seizure. It was time. They were both in pain for various reasons thunder was mostly because of his teeth but his muscle spasms (or seizures) were happening more frequent too. Like any grief it will come in waves I think. Our third dog is starting to realize they are missing and is slightly sulking. It is hard to know what happened but not be able to explain it to Tuffy. Alas it is done, our house is quieter, our hearts are sullen, but Spencer can enjoy more freedom on the floor. And we don't have to guard him from the dogs. They were loved and will be missed. 

Monday, 7 July 2014

Emotionally Spent.


I don't know how single moms can do this. I have support and that is the only reason I've made it this far. I'm not the best house mom, not the worst either. I know Deb would be over and above. Even when her energy is gone she can keep going. I feel I'm not living up to her expectations or mine. Yes I generally keep the kitchen kept because when it isn't everything in there takes seven times as long to do anything. (Weekends that kind of goes to pot though)  I make the dinners for us and Cherry and Randy most evenings. I try to keep the house tidy, that sometimes falls behind. Laundry is maintained and usually put away. But I don't seem to make time to do the extra stuff like clean the fridge from crumbs and spills. I haven't gotten to the pantry that had a powder formula accident a while back. Bathrooms get done but usually a little too long between cleanings. I have barely vacuumed the floors enough; they are in dire need of being done. These are the things that I know Deb wouldn't stop until try are done. Yet I can't find the motivation or the lock of time to get them done. 

This past week we made a very difficult decision. We have three dogs. Two of them are getting up there in age, 14 ish years old. One of them is getting very grumpy in his old age. He randomly snaps at people, ontop of that his seizures are getting a lottle more frequent. We can't risk him snapping  at Spencer. His counterpart is his sister. They have never been apart for more than a few hours in their 14 years. Her health isn't in the best of shape either and  she is starting to get testy. And without her brother I think her heat would be broken and health would deteriorate even further quicker. With that being said we have decided to put them both down. 

Theoretically they could live another few years. It is debatable on the quality of life it would be. This has been the hardest decision to make. But the safety of Spencer is the most important. 

The knowledge that their last trip to the bet is tomorrow is sending me into an emotional downward spiral. 

Today Spencer has had a bad day. I think his teeth are trying to come in. He usually naps for well over an hour and today he has been lucky to get 40 minutes. His waking time he has been grumpy too and this has been making me feel even worse. I have limited patience right now and can't seem to keep him happy. I know most babies have days like this and some more than others. I just can't imagine myself surviving a lot of days like this. 

Each time I hit this emotional low because I can't get things done it is like a tally in my head and each time is worse.  Each time I feel like a worse mom and a worse wife. Each melt down I feel this should be my last, otherwise I'm not doing my job and will make a horrible Sherpa, I won't be able to handle the first major stress as a mom when Spencer gets older. I won't be able to hold my ground in disapline and then Spencer will turn into a spoiled brat. Ill just turn into a permanent mess. 

Spencer is a great little one. Yes he has his off days like everyone does. I can't imagine my life without him.  These lows just happen, sometimes out of the blue, and it is hard to get out of them. I feel bad for getting into them as they are my fault alone. I should be able to do it all. 


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Six Month Discharge

Just a quick note.  Yesterday Spencer had his, hopefully, last physiotherapy session.  The therapist said that his neck is fixed from Torticollis.  His neck lifts each way with equal strength, and so we are free from doing the stretches on his neck which weren't pleasant.  His file will remain open for 6 months.  If he seems to be leaning too much for extended periods then we can bring him back to see her.  If she doesn't hear from us in 6 months, she will close the file.  He will always have a tendency to lean to the right, but she said that is ok.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Six Whole Months (07/01/14) Part 3

Other notables about Spencer
Favorite cuddle object -  He still loves anything soft and cuddly.  Some of his favorites are a green blanket we have that has a stuffed teddy head in the middle, a soft stuffed red ball that is also a rattle, and soft blankets that he does a cute move we call “smooshy face” into.  

Favorite security object – He doesn’t have one per se, but if anything it would be his suckies (pacifiers), or his green teddy blanket.

Favorite song or luliby – Still Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Walking in Memphis by Cher. 

Favorite food – So far favorites are wax beans, cereal, and honeydew melon. 

Other favorites – watching the live fish in our fishtank, bouncing; whether it be mom’s bouncing him, in his exersaucer, or in the jolly jumper, going for walks in the stroller or backpack, and going into the hot tub. 
Favorite game – Monkey’s bouncing on the bed.  We lay him on the bed and bounce him a little.  We use this to distract him from us doing his neck stretch, he giggles through the whole thing. 

Reflections from the heart – You are a peach to have as a baby.  We couldn’t have asked for happier little man.  Soft things are still a favorite for you, and you are going to be such a water baby, as you LOVE being in the hot tub.  (Please don’t fret, we only keep it at about 98-99 degrees.)  You seem to set your own pace.  When you’re ready to start a routine you start your own.  Napping in your lamb swing used to be the place to be, but once you could roll to your side, you wanted to nap in your crib.  You seem to know when there is a change to be made and are usually a step ahead of your mums.  Every milestone you get to, you seem like a perfect little man, you are forever learning and growing, and trying to be as independent as possible.  You think, look, learn, and bounce where possible.  Alas, we love you very much, and you are too cute for words.  We are blessed to have you. 




Other updates - recently Xytex notified me that there is a group for people that have children by our donor and one of them wanted to contact me.  Through a series of emails we now have joined a Facebook group that is for Spencer’s Diblings (Donor Siblings), and have been able to see pictures of 18 of his diblings.  It is fantastic to see his extended family.  

For a huge photo fix, if you like, I have added a tab to the top of my page that is for most of Spencer’s Smiles photo shoots.  

Six Whole Months (07/01/14) Part 2

Because I haven’t posted in so long and there seems to be so much information about Spencer’s development missing, and this post has turned out to be much longer than a post should be to give readers a break point for a quick read I have broken this post into a few sections. 

Milestones checklist From CDC website
Social and Emotional -  
Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger.  He definitely recognizes immediate family, his first arm reaches went out to Poppi (Randy).  He is pretty friendly to new women, in fact he is a little flirt to women.  Strangers that are men can make him cry.  I think we need to expose him to more men.  He is pretty good with the ladies at church that like to hold him and talk to him, but if a random man says hello to him he cries a little too often. 

Likes to play with others, especially parents – loves to play, Yaya (Cherry) is his favorite person to giggle with right now.  He loves anticipation games like going in for a tickle or bounce. 

Responds to other people’s emotions and often seems happy – He is a very happy baby over all.  His chemical melt downs are if he gets too tired or hungry and that is understandable.  He also responds to other peoples smile which is great. 

Likes to look at self in a mirror – Baby in the mirror has been a great game for a long while now.  It is also one of his physio exercises to tilt him in a mirror to get him to right his head. 

Language/Communication
Responds to sounds by making sounds – We talk all the time.  He loves it.  His current favorite noise right now is the brmmm brmmm noise.  When he is upset that is when we hear the Maaaa word.  We occasionally get a hiii back with saying hi to him repetitively. 

Strings vowels together when babbling (ah, eh, oh) and likes talking with parents while making sounds – His vowel sounds have been chatting for a long while now, we occasionally get the combo of Agoo.  Same as above we have long conversations of me parroting back to him.  He also recognizes questions like Do you want up, do you want to have a shower etc. 

Responds to his own name – Yes, for a little over a month now I think. 

Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure – He definitely giggles and squeals with joy.  That is the best noise every, hearing him giggle.  When I am trying to get a little more sleep and cuddle with him in the morning, if he is ready to get up he fusses and cries until I get out of bed.  He then knows that I will be getting ready and we will head downstairs to play and have breakfast. 

Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with m, b) -  As mentioned above, when he is upset Maaa comes out.  When he is just babbling brmmm comes out with varying tones behind it.  Baa still seems elusive though, but I guess we don’t say that one very often.  However he found brmmm by himself.  New sounds from him are fun to hear and encourage. 

Cognitive (Learning, thinking, problem-solving
Looks around at things nearby – He has always been a curious looker.  Everything he sees he seems to contemplate what it means and what is happening. 

Brings things to mouth – This started around 3 months and has progressively gotten better.  It was around 20 weeks that he was able to pick up his suckie and get it into his mouth correctly.  That is now a favorite game, kind of like a rubix cube.  He takes it out, turns it around moves it between hands and then repositions it in his mouth correctly.  Or he turns it to chew on the handle part as a teether kind of thing. 

Shows curiosity about thins and tries to get things that are out of reach – Ever since he could roll onto his side he has been trying to get to things that are for him, or some that are not.  We now need to watch how close his exersaucer is to things as he has a long reach and tries to get the table cloth or cords and the like. 

Begins to pass tings from one hand to the other -  This has been happening for a while now, his favorite, as mentioned, is his suckie, but he now does it with other toys as well. 

Movement/Phisical Development
Rolls over in both directions (Front to back and back to front) – Spencer’s first witnessed roll was from back to front on May 28.  For a while he was able to go from his back to his side but he seemed afraid to continue.  To get to his side he would lift his legs in the air and lean them over to use gravity to pull him to his side.  At his last physio appointment I was concerned that he was favoring going one way, but since then he has developed going both directions.  He can now go from front to back and back to front both directions which is great mobility.  Unfortunately due to the dogs we can’t leave him on the floor unsupervised, so floor time is slightly limited.  But I’m working more of it into our daily routine.  Since floor time has been incorporated, we put together alphabet floor mats to make cleaning a bit easier and to give him a little cushion for rolling. 



Begins to sit without support – June 18th was when Spencer was able to sit without support.  He is getting better at this and can now correct his position as he is slightly leaning.  It was a great day to celebrate.  Before his June physio we didn’t really think to start his sitting skills, but she showed what to do to assist his development with that and it worked fairly quickly after that. 

When standing, supports weight on legs and might bounce – Standing has been Spencer’s favorite activity for a long time, around 13 when he could stand with just us holding his hands for balance.  He is now learning the bounce technique when we are helping him.  He is also starting the stepping motion which is fun.  His balance still needs a fair amount of work though, and I think that is understandable. 


Rocks back and forth, sometimes crawling backward before moving forward – This is just starting to develop.  Not so much as rocking, most like army crawl of ooching forward.  His arms and legs aren’t quite coordinated to support himself up yet.