It seems that being a one-year-old is not good for Alexander’s health. Since his birthday, he’s had Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, an eye infection, and now a nasty head cold/mild ear infection featuring The Fever That Would Not Die. It’s been a hell of a month.
This latest illness has been particularly rough. He has a high fever and low appetite, and he’s just all around very pitiful and sad. Sometimes, when the Baby Tylenol is working, he feels better and almost acts like his usual self again. But in a few short hours, he’ll take a dramatic shift back to Fever-ville and become the most heart-breakingly listless baby boy you’ve ever seen. We’re on Day Three of this roller coaster, and we’re ready to be done.
The worst of it hit last night, when we rushed him over to Urgent Care because he was turning blue. His fingers, toes, and lips were blue, he was shivering, and his fever was climbing. It was terrifying. It had happened earlier in the day, too, but only in his fingers, and I was able to get him some Tylenol, get his fever down, and get him back to normal pretty quickly. I’d consulted the ever-reliable Dr. Google and learned that the blue fingers and toes thing is a fun trick that some babies do when in the “rising stages” of a fever, so I managed not to freak out. It helped tremendously that he bounced back so quickly.
Last night, however, it was worse. He was more blue than before, shivering like crazy, and completely out of it. And he didn’t seem to be bouncing back. We called the on-call pediatrician, who was completely frustrating in his lack of concern or helpfulness, repeated what I’d already learned from Google about this being something that can happen with fevers and babies, and basically said it was “up to us” whether we took him to an after-hours clinic or not.
We were scared, though, so we piled into the car and headed for Urgent Care, if for nothing else than to have the peace of mind that comes with having a professional look him over and assess the situation. When we got there, Tim explained to the receptionist what was happening while I held my sick baby and unsuccessfully tried to hold back my tears. The receptionist calmly told us to have a seat in the waiting area and someone would be with us shortly.
Now, the logical part of my brain was thinking it was a good sign that the Urgent Care staff wasn’t alarmed by our baby’s blue lips and didn’t immediately rush us back to an exam room. But the concerned mother part of my brain wanted to scream “What do you mean, ‘have a seat’?! MY BABY IS TURNING BLUE! DO SOMETHING TO MAKE HIM BETTER RIGHT NOW!”
I managed to hold myself together, though, and we sat, and we waited. Meanwhile, Alexander transitioned from blue to bright red and then settled into a nice, healthy pink just in time for us to be called back to see the doctor. The doctor checked his oxygen levels, listened to his lungs, and gave him a flu test, all of which produced healthy results. This doctor, at least, was very kind and understanding of the scared first-time parents in her exam room. She took her time explaining what could be going on and assuring us that the antibiotic our pediatrician had prescribed the day before would help, and Alexander should be feeling better within a couple of days.
So two hours and a few tears later, we walked out of Urgent Care with instructions to stay the course and come back immediately if the situation worsens. And a great sense of relief, knowing that we’re doing what we need to be doing to take good care of our little guy.
Today he’s still fighting off the fever, and we’re still stuck on this roller coaster of happy baby/feverish baby. Tim and I have spent the day napping and watching the baby in shifts. Alexander’s passed out on my chest while I write this, but an hour ago he was dancing in the kitchen while eating macaroni and cheese. He hasn’t turned blue at all today, so I’m counting it as a good day.
Hopefully tomorrow will be even better.
Superhero by day…
Skeleton-Slaying Kangaroo by night.
My baby boy turned one a few weeks ago. I still call him my baby boy, but he’s so not a baby anymore. I’m afraid he went and turned into a little boy when I wasn’t watching.
It goes without saying that this has been the most amazing year. Alexander is such a happy baby, and it’s so much fun watching him learn and grow. He’s super inquisitive, just like his Daddy, and he’s always trying to figure things out.
He loves the dogs, and is slowly learning how to pet them without yanking out fistfuls of hair. He constantly tries to play fetch with them, and occasionally they’ll deign to chase a ball that the baby has touched.
He cruises all around the furniture, but he’s not walking on his own yet. He’s stood unassisted for a couple of seconds at a time, but only because he didn’t realize he was doing it. As soon as he realized, he grabbed the nearest piece of furniture for support. It’s only a matter of time before he figures out he can walk.
He dances. All the time. Just about any song he hears will get him grooving, but the one song that always makes him drop everything and dance, no matter what he’s doing, is the opening credits music on The Big Bang Theory. Every single time.
He loves getting things in and out of boxes/bins/cabinets. He always hangs out in the master bathroom while I’m getting ready for work in the morning, and we are constantly finding random things — shampoo bottles, spoons, calculators, etc. — in our bathtub. When he’s in the bath, however, the favorite game is to throw things out of the tub. Bath toys are fun for the first few minutes, but then he enforces a strict “No Toys Allowed” policy…usually getting me soaking wet as he throws wet toys at me.
And for a few hilarious days, the best game was to put himself in things. And we all died of the cute.
He talks on the phone, where “talking on the phone” means “holding a random toy up to his ear.” Everything is a phone, whether it’s shaped even remotely like a phone or not. He’ll hold it there until one of us says, “Hello?” It’s adorable.
At his 12-month checkup, he weighed in at 23.2 pounds and just over 30 inches. Happy, healthy, and ridiculously cute: that’s my boy.
We’ve celebrated his birthday several times with various family members over the past few weeks, and Alexander has been loving every minute of toys, presents, and cheesecake. Especially the cheesecake.
Tim made this video of the baby’s first year, complete with Alexander’s theme song. He calls it “A Year of Smiles.” That pretty much sums it up.
(Can you believe how TINY he used to be?)
What it all boils down to is this: Alexander is just the best. The very best. And I can’t believe my
baby little boy is one!
Alexander’s tenth and eleventh months just flew by, and suddenly he’s only a couple of weeks away from being a One-Year-Old. I can hardly believe it. Before another month flies by, here’s a look at what he’s been up to the past couple of months.
The Tenth Month:
Alexander became an expert at eating real, non-pureed foods. He eats a little bit of everything these days and, so far, he doesn’t seem to be a picky eater. My only real concern is that he doesn’t seem to fully appreciate cheese yet. Sure, he’ll eat it, but given a plate of fruit, veggie, meat, and cheese, he’ll devour everything except the cheese, which he only picks at before throwing the rest to the dogs. Considering he was grown almost exclusively on cheese while I was pregnant, I’m not sure what the problem is. He’ll come to his senses eventually, right?
He also started teething in a BIG way. The first two bottom teeth he got a few months ago were no big deal, but then his top teeth started coming in, and it’s been a months-long ordeal of drool, gnawing on everything in sight, and more drool. His two front teeth finally broke through a couple weeks ago, but there are more coming in right along side them, and the droolfest continues. It’s tons of fun for everyone involved.
The biggest change during the tenth month is that Alexander started attending daycare. We found a home daycare, recommended by several of Tm’s coworkers, and we absolutely love it. The woman who runs it is great with the handful of kids she takes care of, she has a big friendly dog who all the kids love, and she positively adores Alexander. (How could she not?) One day, when Tim picked him up after work, she told him, “If I could have a dozen Alexanders, I would.” I love that our son is so loved.
Alexander’s making friends at daycare, too. There’s a super sweet three-year-old girl there who plays with him all the time. One day when I arrived to drop Alexander off, shortly after he started going to daycare, I walked in the door and heard this little girl’s voice excitedly exclaim from the daycare room “He’s here! He’s here!” My heart just about melted.
When he’s not at daycare, odds are he’s in the tupperware cabinet. We put baby locks on all the cabinets except this one, and Alexander positively loves hanging out in his little baby cave and “organizing” the tupperware for us. Did you know that the best way to store your tupperware is to scatter it all over the kitchen floor?
Alexander doesn’t go back to the doctor for a well-baby visit until he’s a year old, but he happened to come down with a virus right around his 10-month birthday so we got to take a bonus trip to the doctor. Turns out he just had a nasty head cold, but while we were at the pediatrician’s office, we found out that he was over 21 pounds and 29 inches long. Growin’ like crazy, as usual.
The Eleventh Month:
In the past month, it seems like Alexander has grown by leaps and bounds, both physically and developmentally. He’s ridiculously smart in so many ways. He doesn’t say any actual words yet, but he’s good at mimicking noises we make, and he’ll blow motorboats back and forth with you all day long. (It’s a messy game, what with the ongoing river of drool, but a fun one nonetheless.)
He started waving when you tell him to say “Hi” or “Bye Bye,” and one of his all-time favorite activities is waving at the dogs every time he sees them. This little boy sure loves his dogs. (And they love him, especially when he’s sitting in the high chair dropping food for them.)
And, perhaps most important of all, he dances. Every time he hears music, he stops whatever he’s doing and starts bouncing along to the beat. Sometimes he even hums and dances along to his own song, and then I die from the cuteness. The kid has good rhythm, too — he’s always right on the beat of the music. I guess going to tap class with me for nine months before he was born taught him a thing or two about rhythm. I couldn’t be more proud.
He’s not walking yet (although I can tell he’s thinking about it), but he’s a crawling maniac. He loves to crawl away from you and let you chase him. He’ll even stop and look back at you with a mischievous grin as if to say, “Bet you can’t catch me!” And when you inevitably do catch him, he laughs and laughs.
He also does this amazing thing we call the Happy Crawl. Remember that Friends episode where Phoebe goes running with Rachel, and Pheobe’s running style is a less controlled and more flail-y than most people’s? Well imagine if Phoebe’s running style was embraced by a crawling baby — all flailing arms and big goofy grins as the baby speed-crawls toward you as fast as his chubby little thighs will carry him. It’s the most adorable thing ever.
On August 26, we had Alexander baptized. It was a beautiful outdoor service at our church in the forest, and we celebrated the event with a big family brunch. I was stressing out in a big way in the week leading up to the baptism about cleaning the house and getting all the cooking done, but it all worked out wonderfully. What I foolishly forgot (but was happily reminded about that Sunday morning), is how generous and helpful everyone in our family is. As soon as we got back from church, everyone who could fit in the kitchen was in there cooking hash browns, scrambling eggs, and mixing mimosas. Thanks to all their help, the entire day was a great success, and we got to enjoy a wonderful day with our families. My family drove down from Ft. Collins and Denver, Tim’s parents flew in from Virginia, his sister flew in from Texas, and our friend John, who is Alexander’s godfather, made it back to Colorado only a week after moving to Florida with his family just to attend Alexander’s baptism. We have the best friends and family in the world.
Alexander celebrated his 11-month birthday with his very first camping trip. We packed up the Jeep and headed to the mountains unsure of how well he’d do, and, honestly, we were half expecting to pack up camp and drive home in the middle of the night if it was a disaster. But Alexander did really well! He loved crawling around in the tent and snuggling by the campfire. He was a little frustrated that we wouldn’t let him crawl around outside and scrape up his knees on the rocks, but we assured him he’d have more fun on camping trips next summer when he can run around with shoes on his feet. We were most nervous about how he would sleep and whether he’d stay warm enough in the tent on a cold mountain night. We bundled him up and put him in his carseat with the bunting so he’d be nice and cozy, and he slept there for a couple of hours. But then he woke up and started fussing, so we let him snuggle up between us in the sleeping bags. He slept comfortably there for the rest of the night. Honestly, I think he slept better than the rest of us. Camping season’s pretty much over now for those of us who are wimpy about being cold at night, but we’re looking forward to more camping trips with the kiddo next summer.
And now, my baby boy is 11 months old, just weeks away from his first birthday. He continues to be the Best Thing Ever, in case that wasn’t obvious by the way I can’t stop gushing about him.
(Getting a picture of him with the Boppy pillow, however, continues to become more difficult the more mobile he gets. We do what we can, though.)
About this time last summer, I sat sweating on the side of the highway, cursing the mechanic who, mere days earlier, had given my Corolla a once-over because the “check engine” light had come on. He’d rattled off a list of minor repairs that could be made, but he couldn’t be certain any of them would correct the random misfire that had triggered the check engine light in the first place. The list of repairs was long and expensive, and gave the impression that he really couldn’t identify the problem but was hoping I’d empty my savings account in his shop in an effort to solve the mystery. Still, I trusted him when he told me none of the repairs needed to happen immediately. After all, my car wasn’t in perfect condition, but its few problems were “nothing that’ll leave you stranded on the side of the road.”
He used those exact words. I remember because they replayed themselves over and over again in my mind a few days later when my car up and died and left my pregnant self stranded on the side of the road.
My sister-in-law came to pick me up in her beautifully air-conditioned car, and later that day Tim stood sweating under the hood of my car replacing O-rings in the fuel injector. (Do you like how I just rattled that off as if I have any idea what it means?) It was a long, hot day, but eventually my car started again, and Tim was able to take it to a (different) mechanic who examined Tim’s handiwork and proclaimed my car was once again in good working condition. Hooray for my handyman husband!
However, the damage was done. Every day after that, I spent every driving minute wondering when my car was going to stop working again. I over analyzed every slightly unusual noise, every atypical sputter from the engine, every brief hesitation between the time my foot hit the gas pedal and when the car actually moved forward. I no longer trusted my car. It’s not a good feeling any time, but it’s especially not a good feeling when you’re mere months away from driving a baby all around town in said car.
But, we’d just bought a house, and we had a new baby on the way. It wasn’t exactly the best time to add a car payment to our budget. Besides, the car was still running fine, despite my paranoia, so we kept our fingers crossed that the car would hang on for awhile longer and tried to stop worrying about it.
As the months went on, however, the car’s minor issues became harder and harder to ignore.
The driver’s side window stopped working. (No problem; Tim swapped the motor with the one in the back door. None of our backseat passengers [baby and dogs] needed to roll down a window, and they probably didn’t mind that much that it was permanently stuck in a just-barely-open position.)
The engine started burning oil. (No problem; when the usually quiet engine starts to sound like a motorcycle, remind Tim to pour another quart of oil in to quiet it back down for a couple of weeks.)
The car trembled at any speed above 60mph. (No problem; just think of the vibrating steering wheel as a relaxing hand massage for the duration of your 2-hour road trip to Ft. Collins.)
The “check engine” light came on again. (No problem; just take it to the auto parts store, use their device to determine that it’s just another random misfire, turn the light off, and carry on.)
The light came on again. And again. And again. It got to the point where it was constantly on for months on end.
You guys, we tried like hell to get that car to hang on. We took it to a good friend who is a trustworthy mechanic to make sure nothing Major and Scary was going on under the hood. We kept pouring more oil in it whenever it dried up. But in the end, it became clear that the time had come to retire the old Corolla and get a new, more reliable car.
Enter, The Mommy Mobile:
Isn’t it pretty?
It’s a 2009 Prius, and it’s wonderful.
I could take you through the whole boring process of how we decided to get a Prius, but what it boils down to is this: I wanted a hatchback with more cargo room and more roomy/comfortable seating than my old car. I wanted people to be able to sit comfortably in the backseat with the carseat in place. I was extremely spoiled by my Corolla’s gas mileage (27-30mpg in town, 35mpg highway) and was not interested in anything that did not have good fuel efficienty. I wanted it to be reliable and safe. I wanted it to be cute.
The Prius fits all of these criteria. It’s roomy — oh, so roomy! – on the inside, with loads of room for people, dogs, babies, etc. Being a hybrid, it gets killer gas mileage (48mpg in town, you guys). It’s super safe, super reliable, and super cute. I love it.
Can I also just take a minute to tell you how much I loved buying a car from Carmax? I promise I’m not being compensated in any way for writing this (Ha! As if I would have enough readers to warrant a sponsored post! Right.), but it was such a good car-buying experience. When we first started car shopping, we went to the Toyota dealership to test drive a few cars and evaluate our options, and the whole process was ridiculous. We sat in the sales room for hours with a fussy baby while they held my Corolla key hostage so they could “evaluate” it and determine the trade-in value. They were purportedly having a Huge! Sales! Event! which, somehow, didn’t seem to apply at all to the car we were considering. Both the trade-in value they offered for my Corolla was a complete joke, and and the interest rate they offered for the financing on the new car was ridiculously high, especially for two people with excellent credit. When we finally wrestled the Corolla key out of the salesman’s hands, we walked out of there feeling frustrated and defeated.
Our experience at Carmax, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. The salesman wasn’t pushy at all. (Okay, he did push us ever so slightly to purchase the extended warranty, which we declined, but then later he apologized. For being too pushy! When he was hardly pushy at all! And he told us he respected our decision! It was surreal, in the most refreshing way.) They gave us a reasonable trade-in value on the Corolla — four times the amount Toyota offered us. And the interest rate on the amount we had to finance? SUPER low. Tim was over there having the Corolla appraised and checking out the Prius while I was at work, and as soon as he saw the interest rate he called me and told me to get my ass over there and bring the checkbook. It was too good a deal to pass up. There was no haggling. No sitting around trapped in the sales room while mysterious things happened behind closed doors. It was a very pleasant, straightforward transaction, and we drove away in the new Prius feeling confident in our decision. When Tim’s car needs to be replaced (hopefully several years down the road), Carmax will be the first place we go.
But enough about that. Have I mentioned how much I love my new car? Because I really love it. It’s so nice not to constantly worry about ending up stranded on the side of the road. And also, it’s super cute. Win-win!