Saturday, July 31, 2010


The boys had their "well child" doctor visits this week. Owen's three year went great. He's well ahead on many developmental milestones - "Does your child jump with two feet?" As Scott says, "How about, 'Does your child do 360 degree jump spins with two feet?'" I also laughed at the question: "Does your child ask 'Why?'" Does he ever!

Josh's 9 month visit was a combo illness follow-up. We spent last Saturday in Urgent Care to discover that Josh had infections and compacted wax in both ears. That would help explain the prior two weeks of minimal eating, refusing the bottle, and micro naps. (I guess he wasn't teething after all!)

Good news: Josh's ears look fine and he's doing pretty well on the development milestones.
Bad news: Josh is LAGGING, to say the least, when it comes to growth.
9 month stats: 15 lb, 4 oz and 25.75 inches

He's not even very close to the 3rd percentile line in either aspect. The doctor said the weight is partly attributed to his illness, but the height is "concerning" (I don't think she said "alarming," but I don't quite remember.) because it indicates a longer term calorie deficit. It's a little odd to hear your doctor say, with great sincerity, "We really want to see him up on that 3rd percentile line."

For perspective, I looked back at Owen's stats, and it's not pretty. At 6 months, Josh was trending ahead - he had 8 oz (1/2 a pound) on Owen at that point. At this appointment, Josh was a full 1 1/2 pounds LESS than Owen was at nine months. Owen was never a "big" eating baby, but he managed to put on 2 more pounds between 6 and 9 months than Josh did (and Owen was still spitting up dozens of times a day during that time). Since Owen's height/weight put him in the 5th percentile, it tells us that Josh needs to quickly gain 10% of his body weight and nearly a full inch to get back on the growth charts. Yikes!

What to do? Our doctor advised us to focus on high fat/protein foods (dairy!) and shoot for 6 meals a day. The prospect is daunting, to say the least. Does 5 puffs count as a meal? Because that's what I was able to sneak into Josh's mouth at the pool on Friday.

I am trying not to be stressed about it, and I keep telling myself that we just need to do our best for the next month and see if Josh can rebound. But, it's only been two days and I already feel a bit overwhelmed trying to scheme up how to get more calories in this kid. He just doesn't EAT anything. I felt like our whole day was a battle of constantly trying different foods in different settings - with only shaking heads and angry screams to show for our efforts. We've done all the standard pureed fruits and veggies and then finger foods: Cheerios, puffs, bananas, avocado, cooked carrots, zucchini, potatoes, blueberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, pears, pirate booty, rice, toast, pancakes, waffles, sweet potato fries, hummus, graham crackers and saltines, beans. So far, the only foods he seems willing to eat are pureed squash (we can usually get 5-6 bites of that one!), crackers, and corn... one kernel at a time.

One bite of Ricotta cheese resulted in horrid screams yesterday. I'm hopeful that some full fat yogurt will be a winner, but Scott couldn't even get Josh interested in chocolate frosting last night. Of course, give Josh a piece of newspaper or an envelope and he will chow down. What gives?

So, after I wrote all that, Scott and I had a chat about Josh and what we can do to get some more weight on. Scott was able to talk me off the ledge and suggest that rather than stressing about 6 meals a day, we first try just getting Josh to eat SOMETHING 3 times a day. Once we figure out some foods that work, we can up the frequency. So what if he only eats pureed squash and corn kernels? If he ate those two items 3 times a day, we would be making progress. We're basically going to take a step backwards, stop pushing the table foods, and revive the purees. 4 or 5 bites of pureed carrots is better than no bites of table food.

So, this afternoon, I'm back in the kitchen with my "Blender Baby Food" book and renewed energy. If Josh likes corn, then I'll make creamed corn. We'll restock the freezer with squash and carrot combos mixed with extra butter, cheeses, cream, and yogurt.

Five bites of cherry-banana oatmeal this morning? Awesome. One tablespoon of blueberry-banana with rice cereal and 1/2 a saltine for lunch? Fantastic. One sweet potato fry and a bite of carrot-broccoli puree at dinner... not so great, but all together, that's more food than Josh ate in the last two days combined.

Baby steps baby!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Birthday Party

We celebrated Owen's birthday with a joint park party with Will and Owen S. That's 3 boys turning 3! We had the party at the same park where we had Owen's first birthday, and it was great to watch all our friends run around and play - soccer, bikes, playground, and cupcakes!

All 3 birthday boys have the exact same bike!

Nana managed a cranky, napless Josh.

How great that our kids are old enough to do the swings on their own. Can you believe these two boys were both 5 pound babies? Not anymore!

These three boys were in the pool together before they were born. Now we can't keep up with them on the bikes!
We said, only in Bend would you have the spread of cupcakes - regular, vegan, and gluten free. A little something for everyone!
These boys are the first in our group to turn 3. These joint birthdays are so fun!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Owen at 3

Owen turned 3 at the beginning of July. I can't believe we have a 3 year old, but I also can't believe how much Owen has matured recently. Due to a rotating illness floating through our family, Scott and I have each had some one-on-one time with Owen and we both were amazed at how much he really is a little boy. He thinks ahead, carries conversations, and is full, interactive, involved member of our family. We are loving age 3!

Funny quotes from Owen at age 3:

"Good job mom. You didn't spill the milk. I am supervising, aren't I?"

He is certainly getting creative about prolonging bed time. As I walked out the door recently, he said: "I want you to stay in my room and bother me."

"I want be mean to Cisco. I want put horns on his head and put him on the cross, so he will die, like Jesus."

"When I am 3, I will use the potty. And you will wipe my bottom."

"Mom rhymes with boss."

"Dang it!" - though he thinks this term should be used when something is totally awesome... "Mom! I scored a goal!" "Great job Owen." "Yes! Dang it!"

Other things about Owen at 3:
He makes up and tells stories - they always start "once upon a time" and end with "theeeee end."

He sings along with our kids music CDs - currently playing: Sack Lunch by Recess Monkey.

Owen recently taught me a new song he learned at school. I was amazed that he could sing and do the motions well enough for me to understand it!

We always get comments about how he's such a good talker for a 3 year old.

He repeats lines from his favorite movies and acts out scenes with his toys. Cars, Madagascar, and Veggie Tales are favorite movies. Diego and Sesame Street are favorite TV shows. We try to limit TV to an hour a day with the occasional movie on the weekends.

Owen loves crafts and takes great pride in his work. Just this week, he really mastered the use of scissors.

He is a HELPER - he loves helping cook in the kitchen and can already tell me how to make his favorite - PB&J! - and will select foods from the pantry or fridge for snacks and such.

He plays independently, especially with his legos or cars. I can always here him telling stories about what the cars are doing.

Owen is a book lover - hooray! We go to the library every 3 weeks, play in the kids area, and check-out 5 or 6 books. Favorites are "Harry and the Dinosaur" series and "The Bear and His Boy."

He likes to "read" books and has quite a few memorized. The other day, he flipped pages of a library book and told a whole story to Josh after we had only read it twice! He also knows nearly every story in The Beginner Bible.

He loves talking to people, but gets pretty shy when they talk back or initiate a conversation with him.

Owen's favorite game in the car is "You take a Guess." Anytime I ask him a question (Ex: "What sports will you play at your class today?" or "What's kind of snack will Ms. Stephanie have at school?") Owen answers the question and then yells, "Now You Take a Guess!" and we're off, back and forth, taking smart or silly guesses until we reach our destination.

Owen is an amazing big brother. We feel incredibly lucky that he continues to LOVE Josh and doesn't take out his frustration the baby. This morning, he turned to Josh and said, "Josh, you're my be-est friend!"

Sunday, July 11, 2010


After much build up, preparation, discussion, promises, bribery, and hoopla... Potty Training Day #1 was nothing short of an epic failure. It started with a tantrum at the suggetion he run around naked, tears when we pulled out the awesome underwear, and fist flying wrestling to eventually get Owen into pull-ups. A trip to Target to pick out a new potty ring (Diego!) and some potty prizes brought a small glimmer of promise. But in the end, we learned that Owen does have great bladder control and has ZERO desire to exercise that control in any location other than his diaper. Not so awesome.

Thankfully, Scott and I were able to recognize that we won't ever win a battle of wills on this topic. So this morning, we put all the potty-related items back in the closet and told Owen we would use diapers for a while longer until he chooses to try using the potty again. He seemed very relieved (and frankly, so were we) and his behavior was infinitely better today - further confirmation that all the "potty talk" was stressing him out.

And then this evening, after his shower, he did his first ever poop in the potty.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Where We Were

1 Year Ago: Sitting at the Blacksmith Restaurant, contemplating what it would be like to have 2 boys in our family.

2 Years Ago: Finally feeling "in the groove" as parents and so appreciative of the wonderful community of friends we enjoy in Bend.

3 Years Ago: Just home from the hospital with tiny, baby Owen (and I think take-out pizza). We had no idea how the energy in our home would forever be changed.

4 Years Ago: Recently returned from a much anticipated trip to Belize; talking about starting a family.

5 Years Ago: Just moved to Bend and then promptly returning to Washington. I spent the evening at Carole's Wedding Rehersal and Scott was at Brian's Bachelor Party.

6 Years Ago: Really settled and enjoying our house, friends, and community in Seattle. Thrilled that Scott had recently escaped a very draining job and exploring if we could work for the same company (ultimately not a sweet idea, but the commute was much more enjoyable!)

7 Years Ago: "Enjoying" one very lame celebratory dinner that still brings us laughs today. Quickly getting over it because we were in Hawaii for a week for Sheri's wedding. Preparing to scour the pet shelters when we got home for our first dog - Hudson!

8 Years Ago: New homeowners. Just brought home the tiniest kitten (Cisco), who was small enough to walk under our couch. Occassionally feeling overwhelmed by the responsiblity of caring for that little creature. (Overwhelmed by a cat - seriously? I guess times have changed.) Within a month, recruiting a friend for that fast growing kitty - Pippin.

9 Years Ago: Taking advantage of the long 4th of July weekend to spend some time in... Canada. Summer vacation on the cheap in Whistler.

10 Years Ago: Bundles of nerves, mountains of excitement, oodles of optimism, and the stunned look of two "kids" seeing each other on either end of a chruch aisle. We stood before more family and friends than will ever be gathered in one place and committed to tackle the adventure of life together.

Life is not easy. Marriage is not easy. Parenting is not easy. But the victories are sweeter when you have someone to share them with. Whether we're celebrating major milestones, wrestling with major decisions, struggling to find our footing, laughing at the absurdity of it all, or collapsing in exhaustion at the end of the day... there's nobody I'd rather be facing life's challenges with. I love you babe!

Let's give this marriage thing a shot for another 10 years.

P.S. Today: Preparing for lovely dinner out, contemplaing what's next for each of us and our family, and looking forward to a kid-free week in Mexico come September.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Wrestle Mania

We've tried to delay it as much as possible, but two boys cannot be denied.... Wrestle Mania sessions are now part of our daily routine. Owen has figured out how to roll Josh off the floor and onto his tummy and Josh is sturdy enough to hold his own and vocal enough to let Owen know when he's had enough.

So far, we have set three rules to try and avoid any major injury:
1. No laying on top of someone smaller than you.
2. No jumping around Josh.
3. Only wrestle on the floor (lest you both end up falling head first off the couch and yelling for mom to rescue you)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Baby J is 8 months!

Josh hit the 8 month mark on June 25th. True to form, he was kind of at the "more of the same" point at the end of June, but the last week has brought some significant changes. At 8 1/2 months, Josh is:

A Food Avoider: After 3 months of trying, Josh is finally eating some food. We've tried all our tricks, but in the end, I think Josh just needed a little bit more time to get ready. Now, he's doing a few bites of pureed fruit and veggies, plus cheerios, puffs, saltines, or graham crackers at every meal. This weekend, he delighted us by opening his mouth without major cajoling on our part. He's also very clearly signals he's finished by trumpetting his the lips that spits any remaining food across the table.

A Nature Lover: Josh is our nature lover! At daycare, he LOVES to sit in the grass and explore the textures. He is constantly trying to pull the leaves off our plants. He was completely entertained by his own sprig of basil while I made dinner the other day. He dug and kicked the sand forever at the beach. After our recent camping trip, I've been joking that we should just set up a tent for him in the backyard for the summer because he was peaceful and content watching the woods and then ate and slept so well, Scott kept asking "who's kid is that?"

A Music Lover: Dad's guitar is still a hit and we were told that Josh squealed with such delight at the piano at daycare that he nearly hyperventilated. An impromptu guitar concert by the grandparents on 4th of July brought a similar result.

A Lazy Roller: The motivation for movement is starting to surface, but Josh has been a front to back roller for several weeks and just today, he FINALLY rolled from back to front. I think crawling is a few months off, but he could surprise us.

A Talker: Josh has one "word" that he repeats in great frequency - ala, ala, ala - and loves to carry on a conversation of alternating "ala"s.

A Sleeper (....just kidding): Sleep is slowly improving. We cut him down to one feeding a night, which has reduced the night waking and helped me get over the fear that he was waking up from hunger. Now, we're working on putting him to bed "drowsy but awake," but most days he is so exhausted from all the excitement that he conks out 2 minutes into nursing. He probably needs a bit earlier bedtime, but it's a miracle if we're done with dinner before 6:30, so we do what we can.

A Budding Wrestler: Josh is quickly learning to hold his own in the daily brother wrestling matches. A separate post on those events is on the way.

A Little Swimmer: Josh LOVES, LOVES, LOVES the pool. I was hesitant about how I would be able to manage 2 kids at the pool this summer, but we went twice in one week when the weather heated up. Josh hung out in my lap, kicking, swimming arms, and floating confidently on his back for over an hour. If you're trying to find us this summer, you know where to look.

Owen's new nickname for Josh: "Josh-a-bee!"