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Dear TigerOne: You are 8 Months Old

19 Jul

Dear TigerOne,

I am behind in this process. You are in actuality 8.5 months old at this point, and it feels like we have lived a year of adventures and milestones in the past two weeks. We covered an awful lot of ground in your 7th month though! Here are the highlights.

We had a visit with a group called The Blind Babies Foundation. While you definitely aren’t blind, you do have nystagmus. So, Blind Babies taught us some exercises that we can do to help you strengthen your eye muscles, and they gave us some fun toys and this amazing quilt! Can we talk about this quilt? It has about every texture possible sewn into it on one side, a total sensory wonderland. On the other side it is all black so that we can put objects on it to help you focus on them. So brilliant. Big thanks to whomever made this and donated to Project Linus, so that Blind Babies could give it to us.

Coltrane received the most amazing multi-sensory quilt today from the Blind Babies Foundation (he's not blind, but does have a nystagmus). It's soft, shiny, corduroy, flannel, linen, quilted, crinkly, silky, netted, furry, lacy, multi-layered, ruffled, ro

Your sister, Olive, feels very strongly that the changing pad belongs to her. There has been some sibling rivalry in the house. The struggle continues. Cc: @cinemaone #siblingrivalry #territoryrights

You ate a twizzler in occupational therapy. Well, you mouthed a twizzler. The choices here were a twizzler or a slim jim so I think I made the right choice. You are making such strides with eating purees that we are prepping you to eat harder foods by practicing your bilateral tongue movements. You nailed it. Sugar can be a great motivational tool. We continue to work on liquids, slow going on that front. One day!

Practicing lateral tongue movements in #occupationaltherapy. The options were a twizzler or Slim Jim. I think we chose well.

Laundry hijinks. Pretty sure you were thinking “Are you forreal, Mom?” To which I replied, “Yes monkey footed boy, I am in fact forreal.”

"Mom, are you for real?" #laundrytime #thiskidmakesthebestfaces

Some Moms and I read an article about a Book Club for babies and we decided that we needed to start one of our very own. We read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” and were pretty impressed by the number of variations that folks turned up with. Not pictured: “Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?”

So many bear books. Not pictured: Panda Bear, What Do You See? #ericcarle #babybookclub #babygram

It was our family’s FIRST FATHER’S DAY! What a milestone. You have a truly wonderful Papa. He works hard to provide for us, and has really taken the challenges that have come with taking care of you in stride. We are lucky that he is here to be such a smart, tough and loving role model for you.

Wishing a happy first Father's Day to this amazing man. I couldn't have asked for a better person to be sharing this adventure with. ❤

We celebrated Father’s Day by taking you on your first swim at the YMCA. Oh my goodness, you LOVED it! You were born to be a fish.

Took #tigerone swimming for the first time. So much fun! The kid is a natural. #familyfun #swimmingbaby

We went on a road trip to Mount Shasta for a wedding. We got to put on fancy clothes. Look how handsome you are in your first tuxedo! Feeling formal.

When we got home from our road trip I noticed that your first teeth were soon to come. Those tooth buds were looking so tender and ready to pop!

Happy to be home and showing off the #toothbuds he sprouted while we were away. #babyteeth #epiclashes #tigerone #putabirdonit

Something pretty historic happened this month. The supreme court ruled part of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, allowing a lower court ruling to stand that struck down California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. This is progress, son. It does my heart good to know that you are growing up in a place that will honor your right to love whomever you choose.

The ruling occurred the Friday before SF’s gay pride weekend, and the city was a pulsing with more excitement, joy, and pride than usual. We got to march in the parade with the Kaiser contingent and had a pretty wonderful time. We put noise canceling ear muff on you to drown out all the ruckus and all of the rainbows, flags, balloons and floats were right up your ally. I love that our little family got to be a part of such a historic time!

Pretty much an excellent day. #sfpride #sfprideparade

Parade route #selfie with my    little. #sfpride #sfprideparade #babysfirstpride #babybanz

That’s all of the 7th month. Summer is in full swing though, and the fun won’t stop! I am so loving having adventures with you.

Love,

Mama

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Dear TigerOne: You are 7 Months Old

11 Jun

Dear TigerOne,

The merry month of May was busy, mister!

Mr. Blue Eyes is 7 months old today.

Your half birthday and your Dad’s actual birthday are one day apart, which is pretty cool. We celebrated both by heading to the horse races with friends and then having yummy Indian food. I was holding you in the carrier the whole time so I didn’t get to snap a photo at the races, but here are the two of you being cute in the yard.

This arugula looks suspicious.

There was cake too! It was either addressed to “Mr. Papa” or “Mr. Potato”…

Señor Papa

Then it was your first Cinco de Mayo. We didn’t do much to celebrate, but given that you are half Mexican I felt it was important to document this day with a photo.

Baby's first Cinco de Mayo

We bit the bullet and upgraded you from the “baby in a bucket” seat, to a big kid car seat. The downside of this is that you have nowhere to sit at a restaurant and that I have to wake you to bring you inside when you fall asleep on car rides, which is every car ride. Oh, well. You will soon be strong enough for a restaurant high chair, and you love the increased room and visibility of your new chair.

The new big kid car seat is a hit!

You continue to be more and more interested in the world around you. Suddenly books have taken on a whole new dimension and they are fascinating! Yay for books!

AM #tummytime with Fuzzy Bee & Friends. Such #focus & #determination

We celebrated my first Mother’s Day by going to a garden party at Annie’s Annuals, and then to a craft fair at Jack London Square complete with a photo both and rubber chicken. Then we rounded things out with some lunch at Cato’s. It was quite a wonderful day. Your Dad said that he tried to let you plan something fun, but your party planning skills are pretty weak at this point. He went all out though and built a sweet little dinning patio for me with some furniture and a giant umbrella. Good save, Pops! Our little work-in-progress yard is shaping up nicely for some summer time fun. Now we’ve just got to get some grass growing.

mothers day Mother's Day Portrait #chickenbombed

The biggest event of the month by far was your first surgery and a weekend hospital stay. We removed your very last NG tube early on Friday morning. Then you had a quick procedure to put your g-tube in. I was a mess while you were in the in the O.R. but of course everything went smoothly.

My little #toughguy in pre-op. #tigerone

The worst part of the whole ordeal was the 36 hour fast you had to endure. We spent one of our longest nights together while I sang you lullabies and tried to help you forget how miserably hungry you were. On Saturday afternoon you got to eat and by Sunday we were home with your new tube in place. You’ve been showing off your adorable naked cheeks ever since!

These naked cheeks are HOME!

Your sleeping habits completely tanked after the hospital. Suddenly there was lots of fussing before bed and waking up throughout the night. It was no fun. So I launched a napping campaign to try to get you on to a schedule. I also started introducing some lovies to your sleeping routines and it turns out you do in fact love them. You have been cuddling up a storm at night with the frog blankie that your Grandma gave you. You also really dig scrunching your homemade taggie blankie over your face at nap time, I have to move it after you’ve fallen asleep. It’s really fun to see you bonding with things.

Lovies

After about a week of terrorizing our sleep, things simmered down a little and it turns out that all of that disrupted sleep resulted in some pretty excellent developmental progress. Why do you babies insist on losing your minds when you gain new skills? Can you try to tone that down a little? Sheesh. At least the craziness had a payoff of more reaching, grabbing, and the major achievement — rolling! I discovered you could do this when you rolled yourself off of the bed… From here on out you will be surrounded by a pillow fortress on the bed at all times.

Onward to the eight month mark, tough guy!

Love,
Mama

Dear TigerOne: You are 6 Months Old

6 May

Dear TigerOne,

Half a year, already? It’s all going by so fast! One moment you were swimming in your 0-3 month clothes, and now I am stocking up on 12-18 month duds. You are in the mid-seventy percentiles for head and weight, and in the high nineties for height. If you keep growing at this rate you are going to need to get a job and buy your own clothes. I just can’t keep up.

Things are more fun now than when you would just sleep for 20 hours a day. You are a smiley, giggly little dude with dazzling blue eyes. You have a wonderful listening face, it’s very serious and thoughtful when a song or sound appeals to you. You like Reggae, Raffi, and Fela Kuti when it’s time to get excited, and rain forest white noise and cello music when it’s time to mellow out. You are starting to really enjoy story time, but bath time remains your favorite time of day. You love looking at bright lights, our collection of coconut shell masks, ceiling fans, Mardi Gras beads and out of windows. All things considered, I think you’ve got pretty well-rounded interests for a 6 month old.

In your fifth month:

We planted a garden! Ok, you slept under an umbrella while I did all the dirty work.

My first raised bed!  Coltrane is really impressed. #babygardener #squarefootgardening #sfg #letsgrowsomefood

No teeth yet, but you just wanna nom nom nom. Perhaps they are coming soon?
Welcome to my afternoon. #humanteethingtoy

Warm weather has come! Picnics with friends and summer adventuring abounds.
These dudes are down with springtime. #calemartin #coltranesirius
Summer fun

You are rocking the solids so hard that we have upgraded to stage 2 purées. You seem to like everything I give you, except for peas and humus.
Good, clean, messy fun. #omnomnom

You got approved for services in the Early Start Program, which is great news! You wore your little man shoes to your first meeting at the Regional Center, way to dazzle ’em with style, kid.

Big meeting today. Coltrane wore his little man shoes.

And right now, things that light up, BLOW YOUR MIND!

This mind blowing effects of things that light up.

Way to have made it on this earth for a whole half-year, little champ. It is so fun to watch you experience a world full of firsts.

Love,

Mama

Dear TigerOne: You Are 5 Months Old

18 Apr

Dear TigerOne,

Ok. So, you are actually 5.5 months old. Sorry baby, it turns out that raising infants does not lend itself to punctual blogging. Good thing I kept some notes last month so that I can remember what actually happened.

You are welcomed the dawn of your sixth month with the sniffles and a cough. It was sad to see you all stuffed up, but it made for some pretty good snoring. Because you are so little, your snores are pretty cute — live that up, kid! It’s a short window before it becomes not so cute. Likewise with your chubby fists and thighs. You babies have got it good.

March brought a big change in routine when I returned to work 3 days per week. We found you a sweet nanny with a solid medical background, and you seem to like her. I miss you a lot when I am at work, but I’m finding that spending some time missing you is probably making a better mother. I love you so much, but I think I was starting to get a little stir crazy at home with you all day everyday. Still, it’s been a bitter-sweet transition, and I think it’s going to take some time to get the hang of it. I am thankful that I can get away with working part-time, and still shuffle you around to all of your appointments and take adventures with you on my days off.

In Occupational/Physical Therapy we are:

  • Continuing eating purees, which you are doing great with!
  • Strengthening your obliques to increase your rolling skills
  • Encouraging you to touch your feet and knees
  • Encouraging you to reach out and grab things
  • Lots of visual tracking exercises and working on eye contact
  • Continuing to strengthen your neck muscles with tummy time

Here are the big events from your fourth month:

IMG_8930.jpeg

You had your second sleep study. I’m pretty sure that I will never get over the shock of seeing you hooked up to all of the wires involved in an EEG. Somehow you manage to look adorable despite it all — we call that major skillz. The sleep study showed that you are still having a lot of apnea, and we had to put you back on night oxygen for the foreseeable future. Your Papa and I hate putting the cannula on you, and you hate wearing it, but it’s preventing you from developing pulmonary hypertension, so it’s gotta be done. Thems the breaks, kid.

Baby guts #stomach #upperbowel #fluoroscopy #upperGIstudy

Check it out, another picture of your insides for your baby book! In your fifth month we got to see a picture of your stomach and your upper bowel. Everything is looking good in there. They said that your upper bowel is forming “a beautiful ‘c’ shape” which is what it’s supposed to do. Your guts are beautiful! I’m such a proud Mama. This picture was the result of a fluoroscopy that we had done in preparation for your g-tube surgery. I’ll write a more on that later, but after a lot of debate your Papa and I decided to upgrade you from the nose feeding tube to a belly feeding tube. It’s gonna be good for all of us in the long run.

4.5 months

You continue to allow me to dress you like a doll, and I love it. This is perhaps one of my favorite daily motherhood tasks. I am living it up before you crush my dreams by demanding to pick out your own clothes.

Captain calamari

Captain Calamari, the pirate octopus is hands down your favorite toy. Wherever you roam, he is typically not far off. Your favorite tentacle is that golden satin hook one, it crinkles. It is your highest goal in life is to get that one into your mouth and gnaw on it. Such lofty goals you have, my young friend.

Easter

Bunny brought #tigerone some things too. He must have been impressed with Coltrane's bunny portrait.

Easter

We went to Sacramento for Easter and you got to hangout with your cousins. The whole lot of you are pretty stinkin’ cute if I do say so myself. Your Auntie took some excellent Easter portraits, she’s good like that. And the Easter Bunny brought you a ducky basket filled with things to chew on! Does the Easter Bunny know you or what?

Picnicking with my little. ✨

We went on a couple of picnics. I’m not sure this picture can fully capture how much joy you bring me, but it does a fair job. Nothing better than spending a sunny afternoon outdoors with my little love.

5 months old today. Finally decided to grow some hair. #tigerone

And major news here: You finally decided to grow some hair! This is like, 5 times the amount of hair that you had the month before! I don’t think I had this much hair on my head until I was at least 2 years old. Way to show me how it is done. Also, it looks like your eyelashes got the hair growing memo as they have suddenly become amazing as well.

So, that’s the scoop on your fifth month. Way to keep on being awesome, kiddo! Your sixth month is shaping up to be busy and exciting, but let’s try to avoid spoiler alerts since I am supposed to blog about that in a mere 2 weeks. Let see how soon that actually happens.

Love,
Mama

Dear TigerOne: You are 4 months old

6 Mar

Dear TigerOne,

On March 2nd, you turned four months old. I had high hopes of creating a post like this for each month of your first year, but here we are, 4 months into your life and I am finally getting around to doing this. Better late than never!

You’ve done so much growing lately. I mean, I guess that’s sort of your job as a baby, but man, you are doing it so well you should get a raise! You are creeping on 17 lbs now, rapidly approaching double your birth weight, and you are getting so long! You are 26 3/4 inches as of today, which puts you in the 96th percentile on height. As a result, you are wearing 6-9 month clothing and rapidly outgrowing the carseat that was supposed to last you until you are about a year old. That’s okay though, I know what it’s like to be tall and to not fit comfortably into airplane seats and struggle to find pants that fit. I’ll show you the ropes.

Day to day you are now:

Smiling like nobody’s business

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Continually clasping your hands together

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Bringing those hands up to your mouth and sucking your fingers

Learning how to suck his fingers. Killing me with sweetness.
Being forced to do lots of tummy time and physical therapy exercises

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And all that tummy time is paying off, because your floppy neck is getting stronger!

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We are still having lots of sweet cuddle time.
I know that I am going to miss this someday and I’m trying to savor it.

Best of days. #16weeksalready #stopgrowingsofast

You are also usually missing one sock, constantly kicking your little legs, and drooling up a storm. You are more interested in looking at the mobile in your crib and out of windows. You are enjoying your swing. You are generally mellow but still pretty fussy around bedtime. Oh, and you are starting to chuckle more and more, I can’t wait until you full on giggle. My heart will probably explode.

In occupational therapy we are currently working on:

Rolling from back to belly
Not arching the neck & overall neck and trunk strength
Bottle feedings
Eye focusing

Big events and fun times this month:

You met your grandparents! They are your Papa’s parents and they adore you

Proud Grandparents

You had your first swallow study

Scene from early today at #tigerone's swallow study. Sort of fascinating to watch. #MBS #fluoroscopy

And your first sleep study too

Sleep study #1

You took your first hike with me at Tilden Park

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We went on a lake walk with the Bradley Class Mamas & babies

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And…. (drum roll, please….) you ate your first solid food! Sweet potatoes!First solid food! He ate them sweet potatoes like a champ. #soproud

Life with you is such an adventure, TigerOne. Along with all of the regular milestones that most kids have, your monthly updates include hospital visits, swallow and sleep studies, and progress at occupational therapy. These experiences are all part of who you are, so I’m not being shy about documenting them. I want you to be proud of all the hard work you are doing, and to never feel sad or ashamed for being a little different. You my son, are a little warrior. I’m cataloging all of your battles so that you can someday look back and see how fierce and incredible you were from the very beginning.

I can’t wait to see how you flourish in the next month.

Love,
Mama

Dear TigerOne: New Year’s Eve 2013

31 Dec

Dear TigerOne,

It’s New Years Eve and you have been fussy all day. You finally fell asleep around 10 and I got to take a long hot bath. It was the first time I bathed in about 3 days and it was heavenly. By the time I got out of the bath your father was asleep and snoring on the floor next to your crib. Did you know that one of us sleeps in the nursery next to you every single night? We do that so that if your apnea alarm goes off because you stop breathing in the night we can respond as quickly as possible. I’m told that eventually you should outgrow the apnea, and honestly that day can’t come soon enough. Coupled with the regular stress of being a new parent, we deal with the stress of knowing that you could easily die in your sleep. Sometimes in the middle of the night I watch the rise and fall of your little chest while reviewing how to do infant CPR in my head… I try not to worry about it too much, but I’m your Mom. That’s my job.

Anyway, I’ve gotten off topic. It is New Year’s Eve and I can’t bear to wake up your Dad to give him a kiss at midnight.
He is really exhausted from working hard all day and then coming home to care for you, so I’ll let him sleep. You’ve got a really good Dad. We both lucked out on that front.

So I’m sitting up alone basking in the light of our dried out a Christmas tree reflecting on 2012. The central focus of this year was bringing you in to this world. You were conceived in January and I gave birth to you in November. During those 10 months you and I spent a lot of time at my office, we rocked out at Coachella, went on day trips to the coast, flew to Portland, swam a lot at the pool, and had lots of other little adventures. There were lots of good times with you on the inside.

The last few months of 2012 were pretty insane. They were filled with some intense highs and lows. We were burglarized right before you were born and had a lot of valuable stuff stolen. You didn’t want to be born so I had to have a long induction. I got to have the amazing experience of birthing you naturally, and then I spent 3 long weeks at your bedside in the NICU. We had your brain scanned and learned that you have Joubert Syndrome. Eventually we got to take you home from the hospital and soon after I turned 30 while wearing you in a carrier and toasting mimosas with my friends. Last week we shared our first Christmas as a family. Life certainly hasn’t been dull since you came along.

I am hopeful that 2013 will be a little less dramatic. I think we’ve earned that after the past few months. This year I’m planning on
learning more about your diagnosis and helping you thrive in every way that we can. I’m really looking forward to seeing your personality blossom. I’m excited about lots of cuddle time and laughs and am ready to soak up every ounce of these sweet baby moments before you turn into a little boy. It’s going to be a good year.

Love,
Mama

Dear TigerOne 12/25/12

25 Dec

Dear TigerOne,

Happy first Christmas, my sweet boy!

We are spending the holiday with your Auntie, Uncle, and cousins in Sacramento. Your littlest cousin is romping around, he is 3 and he calls you his “Cousint”. He is really looking forward to a time when you are older and can play together, and has promised to teach you how to eat yogurt when you get bigger.

This morning you spent a long time in your bassinet transfixed by the Yule log flickering on the TV. Later in the afternoon we headed over to have dinner with your Great Grandparents and your Great Auntie. How cool is it that you get to have so many Great family members in your life? You weren’t very impressed with your gifts; a ladybug rattle, a travel sleep sheep, a monkey shaped binky holder, a shark onesie, a pirate octopus doll called Captain Calamari, a giant stuffed gorilla, and a of couple cute hats. Not a bad haul for someone not even 2 months old! I think you’ll appreciate the toys in the coming months, and since you are a fiend for white noise the sleep sheep will be of great use on the way home.

This year I think I you got to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas, spending time with family. In the next few years toy fever will probably take over and it will be a while before you realize that Christmas isn’t just about Santa and sweet treats and twinkly lights. It’s about fun traditions, making new memories, remembering good times, and sharing space with the folks who love you most. This is the beginning of a lifetime of magical Christmases together.

Love,

Mama

first christma