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(Videos will link directly to YouTube) April 5, 2007
Asa is doing great!  His face is still marked from where the tape was to hold the tubes in place, but it is getting better.   His digestive system is also still all messed up, though getting better. Worst of all for us, his sleep is still off from the hospital.  At the beginning, he was up at least 3-4 times a night, and crying 2-3 hours straight.  That's finally settling down the past two nights, to just 1-2 wakings and only 2 hours of crying at a time.  We're all really tired.

He's continuing with his major milestones as though hospitalization never happened.  In the past week or so, he has officially learned to pull up in his crib.  When we come to get him from naps now, he is almost always sitting up, and sometimes standing.  He's also practicing standing without holding on, which is really a very dangerous idea as he isn't very good at it.  I am his favorite jungle gym.

Other new accomplishments include waving, which I think he is now doing with meaning.  I'm actually not sure how long he's been doing it with meaning, but probably it predates the hospital stay,  I'm pretty sure he waved bye-bye to me today when I left him with a babysitter.  He definitely waved though!

He's also discovering his funny bone.  Suddenly, all kinds of things are funny.  Especially me.  And also causing trouble.  He knows what he isn't supposed to do (i.e. grabbing my glasses), so he looks at me, grins, and then does it.

He has got a better pincer grasp, too.  He gets frustrated with finger foods though, because he can't grasp them very well.  It works best to end the meal with them, when he isn't so hungry.  He is still eating a ton of food.  Five times a day and a cup of food, easily at most of those times.

Lots of babbling.  He is also enjoying watching and playing with other children.  He met a little girl at playgroup a week or two ago who was exactly the same age as him (birthday the day after), and they practiced eating each other's heads.

March 30, 2007
As many of you will have already heard, Asa was in the hospital this week.  He's out now, and appears to be okay.  Here's a brief review of what happened:

On Monday the 26th, Asa and I went to story hour at the library.  When we came home, I fed him some lunch in preparation for a nap.  He hadn't taken his morning nap and was very tired.   At lunch, I noticed that his fingers and lips seemed to be a little bit blue.  His toes were normal.  I took his temp, and it was 100.4ºF axillary.   I called the doctor's office and made him an appointment.  At that time, it was a little before 11:30.  They offered me a 2:15 appointment, which I took. 

While I was on the phone with the doctor's office, Asa fell asleep in my arms (which is unusual for him).  I took him upstairs and put him down for a nap. 

At about 1:00, I woke Asa up to leave for the doctor's.  He seemed better after having taken a nap, and I wasn't even sure if he was sick.  He was smiley and babbling.  I thought it was likely that the doctors would laugh at me for bringing him in.  As I put him in his car seat, I noticed that he had a very slight runny nose.  We left the house at about 1:20.  He was very quiet on the way down to the doctor's, and I thought he had probably fallen asleep. 

When I arrived at the doctor's a little after 2:00, Asa did appear to be asleep.  Also, it was raining.  I took the stroller and diaper bag out of the car and then unbuckled Asa.  When I picked him up, his head rolled backward and he was very floppy.  Usually this would wake him right up, and it didn't.  His eyes were open, but he didn't focus, respond to his name, or have any head control. 

I ran with him (and the stroller) into the doctor's office.  I got to the desk and told them that I was a 2:15 appointment, but that Asa was unresponsive and needed a doctor immediately.  Jess and an attending doctor were behind the front desk looking up their next appointments (this was coincidentally Jess's outpatient pediatrics month).  They both came out to assess Asa, and we moved into a room.  He began gasping for breath at about this point, and they started him on an albuterol nebulizer.  It was about 2:15 at this point.  His breathing got worse and he started having facial twitches.  At this point I sort of lose track of all that was happening as it all was happening simultaneously and there were a lot of people in the room.  The docs decided to bag Asa (give him a mask and help him breath), and took his temp which was 102ºF.  He then started really seizing with his arms.   He may have gotten some meds to stop the seizures, but I'm a little unclear. 

They called an ambulance, sending one of the attendings with us to the ER.  We were in the ER by about 3:00, where he was sedated and intubated and they began running all kinds of tests to try to figure out what was going on.  They gave him an IV and Ativan to stop the seizures. 

By about 3:30, he was fully stabilized (although still intubated) and sent to the Pediatric ICU.   They continued to run tests on him:  blood, lumbar puncture, chest xray, CAT scan, urinalysis, etc.  He was dehydrated and IV fluids were given. 

He had one more episode that may have been a seizure at about 6:00 that evening when he was noted to be shaking a little.  It's unclear whether it was a seizure, shivering, or something else.  They also started him on antibiotics, in case it was an infection.

An EEG was run on him overnight on Monday night/Tuesday morning and it didn't show any more seizure activity.   He continued to run a fever overnight, and his heart rate was elevated into the 220s.  Late on Monday night/Tuesday morning, he really started fighting the tube, and required a lot more sedation, and needed to be restrained.  He was extubated on Tuesday morning about 10:00. 

After he was extubated on Tuesday, he had some respiratory distress, and received several breathing treatments and had nasal suction.  He had a nasal canula (the tubes that stick in your nose to help you breath) overnight on Tuesday.  When they took them off on Wednesday, a bunch of skin went with them and it bled, so his right cheek has an ugly-looking scab on it.  They also did a bunch of unsuccessful needle sticks on him (at least 8, possibly more).  He is a really hard stick.

All day Tuesday, he was really cranky and clearly didn't feel well.  He writhed as he was coming out of the sedation.  He was also really tired all day. He was, however, really hungry!  I was able to nurse him and give him some baby food.

We had consultations with infectious disease and neurology while in the PICU.  ID didn't think it was a bacterial infection.  Asa's white count was three times normal, but it appeared that the spinal tap was going to come out clean.  (There were different readings at various points, and one of them did have bacteria, but it appeared to be contaminant.  Until this one came back clean, though, he did have to get the antibiotics.) 

Neurology diagnosed him with febrile seizures, and noted that his had been particularly severe, lasting longer than usual and being more complicated.  Because of this and also because he is on the younger end of the age spectrum for febrile seizures, it may be more likely that he'll have a repeat episode.  However, there really isn't a prevention technique.  Before we left the hospital, they trained me in CPR (mostly for the mouth-to-mouth).  Also, they gave us a medicine that we can use if he has a seizure, which should stop it if given quickly (within the first five minutes).

We spent one more night in the PICU, then were moved up to the pediatric ward as of Wednesday.  He pulled his IV (from his head) overnight on Tuesday (while still in the PICU), and while they wanted to start another one on Wednesday for his final dose of antibiotics, we were able to do it via two shots instead.

On the pediatric ward, he did pretty well, not needing much other than monitoring.  By Thursday, he was more alert and over the effects of the sedation, and much more interested in playing, though he still didn't feel well.  He developed a rash on Wednesday evening, for which he received some Benadryl.  However, his fever was gone by then.  He was sneezing and having a runny nose and coughing.  He also started holding his head in a funny position, which was evaluated as possibly a pulled muscle. It only lasted for a few hours and then he had more mobility. 

We were discharged late yesterday (Thursday) and came home. Asa is doing much better, and doesn't seem to have any residual effects from his hospital stay, although he looks a little the worse for wear.  He still has bruising from unsuccessful needle sticks, his cheek is still scabbed from the tape, and he still has cold symptoms.  Developmentally, however, he seems to be okay.  He is pulling up, has a developing pincer grasp, is babbling, playing, eating, and smiling.  I'm hoping that this means we escaped the incident relatively unharmed.

As far as the future, it's really hard to say.  About 30% of kids who have one febrile seizure will have another.  They tend to outgrow them by age 6.  Because Asa's was longer than usual, didn't respond to meds as quickly, and because of his age, he is probably more prone to having a repeat episode.  His risk may be closer to 50-70%. He is also slightly more prone to developing epilepsy.  

The seizure is a result of a rapid rise in temperature, and from looking at his vitals in the hospital, we know that he is prone to those rapid rises in temps.  So he is most likely to look fine, then develop a fever and seizure pretty quickly.  Like this time, he may have a seizure before I even realize that he is sick; most febrile seizures occur on the first day of illness.  The docs recommended using scheduled Tylenol and Motrin for him when he has a fever, even though there isn't compelling evidence to support this reducing the incidence of seizures.  Without prevention, we have to rely on quick response: especially with the dosing of meds to stop the seizing, possible mouth to mouth, and emergency response.  The good news is that febrile seizures don't seem to be harmful to most kids.

Anyway, that's the update from this week.  Terrifying, but we seem to be okay now.  Hopefully we won't ever have to do this again. 

February 23, 2007
Asa plays peek-a-boo under his own steam!  He can uncover my face or pull away a blanket to find me.  The video shows this new talent, which he thinks is hysterical.  It filled one night after a VERY long day without naps.  Asa is also beginning to develop some stranger anxiety, now that he knows I don't really disapparate (highbrow literary reference).  He definitely wants to know where I am at all times when talking with others (except Ahmee, of course).  He's still our smiley, social baby, but just a little cautious with others.

We've also learned how to be bears in a cave (made by folding out our chair into a bed and covering the back with a blanket).  It is a nice quiet time activity.  Unfortunately, it didn't result in hibernation which I was hoping on the day we tried it, but it did lead to a lot of quietly observing the ceiling (the blanket) and looking at the light coming in through the holes.  I got to read a little, which was nice, and we had a quiet conversation, too.  It meant that both of us made it to bedtime without breaking down, so it was worth it.

That said, Asa has also learned to roll over off his back (yay!).  This appears to be the developmental milestone that has been interrupting his naps, and he is back to two naps a day.  Sadly, he learned it because he was so mad at me for putting him down for a nap that he was howling.  I came back and he was on his tummy, pushing up.  However, now that he has done it, he has generalized and can do it all the time (including during diaper changes).  The first two naps after he learned, he spent a good deal of time practicing and less time sleeping, but now life is better.  Next time we have a baby, though, I am not going to schedule flu shots, teething, and a major developmental milestone in one week.  It is just too exhausting for us all.

Last piece of news is that Asa has moved from "da, da, da" to "ba, ba, ba".  Yes, he is a sheep.  I'm okay with that. 

I am going out of town (Asa gets to come too!), so probably no news for a little while. 

Valentine's Day, 2007
Ahmee contributes this newly written song for infants learning about evolution everywhere:

Lamarck & Darwin had a debate about the neck of the giraffe
Lamarck said that his neck would grow by reaching for the grass
But Darwin said, "Oh no, good sir, it is just his long genes;
His neck won't grow, not one spare inch, by reaching for some greens."

It is snowing (expecting 2-3 feet today) and so she is home!  Yay!  No real news about Asa. He is still brilliant and growing. 

February 17, 2007
The day after I wrote the last posting, I got Asa up and fed him breakfast (mixed cereal, yum!).  As I was feeding him, I noticed a new "scrape, scrape" on the bottom of the spoon.  Lo and behold, we have a tooth!  He'd been cranky for several days, but had also just gotten the flu shot, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  It is the lower left tooth, just a narrow white line on the gum so far.  The lower right has also cut now.  They are very, very sharp. 

Asa is now frustrated that he isn't mobile.  He will see a toy a ways off and get really mad when he can't reach it.  He has been working very hard at getting himself into a crawling position from sitting, and is getting better at that, although he still isn't going anywhere.  He can push his chest up off the floor, but when he tries to move his legs, he invariably ends up rolling over.  I think part of it is balance issues and the rest is that he isn't entirely sure what he is supposed to do. 

He can push himself up to a kneeling position, particularly over his toy bin.  He will also pull up to a stand if he is somewhere near easily graspable and sturdy ledges of the appropriate height (i.e. in the laundry basket or on your hands).  Obviously, this doesn't happen a lot, as those are pretty specific criteria to be fulfilled. 

His fine motor skills are still improving.  He's working on the pincer grasp (very early yet) and I am trying to encourage him at mealtimes.  He gets frustrated very quickly when he can't pick up and eat the pieces of banana or sweet potato that I've given him.  To be fair, they are hard to pick up as they instantly smush when you touch them.  Up until a couple of days ago though, he didn't realize that the pieces on the tray were meant to be picked up and eaten.  He'd pick them up, but then, unlike EVERYTHING else, he didn't put them in his mouth.  I had to show him by picking them up off the tray and putting them in his mouth for him.  He can chew them (as previously mentioned, they instantly smush), but he's not ready for anything harder.  Also frustrating at mealtimes is that he REALLY wants to feed himself and gets mad when you take away the spoon.

This is actually another new thing -- getting mad when you take something away.  The spoon, the phone, the lint off the floor that he was just about to eat, it is all very important.  Object permanence has definitely developed.  He'll now look for toys he has dropped, things that have been taken away, me in the other room, and toys he's seen hidden under a cloth.   He likes playing peek-a-boo with me behind doors, behind blankets, and behind my hands.  This was very handy the other day when I went to the doctor, as he entertained himself with my hat for a long time.

Naps have become a battle again.  Definitely part of that was that he was teething (and possibly the flu shot), but he also seems to have general separation anxiety now (which goes along with object permanence, above).  He'll be bawling, and as soon as he sees you/you pick him up, he is fine again.  The afternoon nap is typically harder than the morning nap.  He does seem to have basically moved to the two nap/day schedule though, and away from three naps.  His afternoon nap is pretty early though, and so he totally disintegrates by bedtime.

Our big project for the last day Jess had off was to install the baby gate.  Oy!  After we had all the parts, it still took me two hours to install.  We had to screw a two-by-four into the newel post to give us a solid surface on that side, we had to screw a shim into the wall to balance out the baseboard effect on the other side, AND we had to move the whole bannister so the gate could swing open.  And all that is before you screw in the hinges and latches on the other side.  I didn't cry, but I came close a couple of times.  And yes, I know that it will be a while before we need the gate to be installed, but trust me that I am SO glad we did this before Asa was mobile.  The combination of very small screws, extension cords, stairs, drills, swearing, and baby gate parts was definitely something I was glad that he was completely unable to access.

February 3, 2007
Now that Asa is reliably sitting up, his development is proceeding at a rapid clip.  I told you that before, but I continue to be astounded that we have a little boy in our house and not a newborn any more.  As you can see in the videos, he is balanced enough now to lean and reach for things with both hands.  His newest game is to bend himself in half over his legs and stetch his arms out.  He particularly likes to rake at the lint in the carpet while doing this.  Then, of course, he eats it.  Unfortunately (as if the eating of lint out of the carpet wasn't unfortunate enough), he thinks he can crawl from this position.  While he isn't far off, he doesn't yet have the concept of KNEES on the floor, so he tries to stand up, ending up in Downward Facing Dog (with face on the ground) and then in some kind of heap on the floor.  The other unfortunate thing about this position is that he also likes to try it in the bath (reaching for his floating toys) which invariably results in a wet face and would result in a lot more than that if we weren't there to catch him.

Eating is still fun.  We're doing three meals a day, and he's eating about half a cup to a cup at each of them.  Asa has now had rice cereal, peas, carrots, apples, green beans, peaches, bananas, pumpkin, oatmeal, prunes, pears, powdered ginger, apricots, sweet taters, chicken, barley, yogurt, and cumin.  I think we will start  white potatoes tomorrow.  He's still getting everything pureed to a thick paste, although it is getting to be lumpier (mmm... doesn't that sound good!).  He doesn't have the fine motor skills yet to bring small things to his mouth, so I can't really do finger foods, although yesterday he did have fun smashing sweet potatoes onto his tray (and bib and face and clothes and hair, etc).  My goal is to introduce him to as much as I can so that he can start on table food as soon as he is ready.  This is of course thwarted by the fact that he isn't supposed to get nuts, seeds, wheat, eggs, berries, beans, beets, spinach, corn, chocolate, and a whole host of other foods until he reaches the age of eighteen or goes off to college.

My funny story from a week or two ago.  I was asleep in my room when I heard music: "da, da, da; da, da, da...".  The clock said it was just after 6am, and my first thought was "Oh, that's nice, Jess is playing with the baby."  My second thought was, "No, she was on call last night."  Upon investigation, I discovered that Asa had scooted across his crib (on his back, mind you, since he doesn't roll) and had pulled the cord that activates his musical dog.  He did it several times in succession, but fortunately this hasn't become a regular occurence.  I was a little worried we were going to be serenaded in the middle of the night.   Okay, perhaps it isn't a funny story when you read it.  But it was quite funny at the time.

Speaking of "da, da, da", Asa is very intent on this right now.  I think he is simply working on saying "dog".  He loves Jack.  And I am amazed by how good Jack is with him.  Not only will he tolerate thwacking and hair pulling, he volunteers himself up for it and gives Asa kisses.  He's even begun dropping his ball and toys for Asa to play with him (okay, so he doesn't QUITE get it).  I do try to keep Asa from the thwacking, etc, by the way, but Jack really does come over and sit down next to him, regardless of whether I am sitting right there as well. 

January 20, 2007
Asa is sitting up!  He is still a little unreliable about toppling over backwards, but he can be left alone with a pillow behind him for a long time.  It's really opening up new worlds for him, as he can now pick out toys from the basket by himself.  It was overwhelming initially to have so many choices, but now he just dives in and pulls them all out.

And he is now wearing the clothes that I looked at when he was born and said he would fit in one leg of them.  He's quadrupled in size since his birth.  Jess points out that this is a very advanced skill, since he only needed to triple in size by his first birthday.  But we already knew he was advanced.  :)  He looks enough like a small boy that I am actually dressing him in the morning most days instead of leaving him in his pjs.  It helps that he has a lot of really cute overalls in 6-9 months and that we are getting out of the house a lot.  Unfortunately, he has also gotten really good at removing his socks.

He has turned into a real thumbsucker.  It happened in December, and so most of the pix I have of him since then have his thumb firmly implanted in his mouth.  He sucks on his left hand consistently, so we're having a running pool to guess which is his dominant hand.

Christmas was good to Asa.  He now has a ton of toys.  He still loves the Gymini and wind chimes that we borrowed from friends, but has also started playing with a soft stacking toy with animal rings.  He's not as fond of the foam blocks, which are a little scary when the tower (even a short one) topples.  (Of course now that I have typed that sentence, Jess is sitting there building towers that he is knocking over with much excitement....)

He still has no teeth, although you can feel them coming in and he's drooling enough to fill a swimming pool.  Also no progress on the rolling over from his back.  He started consistently rolling off his tummy right around 6 months.  He would scream because he didn't want to be on his tummy, then decide to roll over.  It was definite progress.  It means he isn't having any tummy time any more though, so I don't expect crawling/scooting any time soon. 

Solid foods are going well.  He's eating two meals a day (breakfast & dinner) with two snacks at midday.   He sleeps through lunchtime most days, so he eats before and after that nap.  Speaking of naps, they are still going pretty well, although I think he is getting ready to go to just two naps a day instead of three.

His hands are still his favorite toy.  He is more dextrous with them every day.  Also still very social and a great, big grin that totally wins people over.  Just barely beginning to play peek-a-boo.  His favorite game right now seems to be diving at me with wide open mouth, then giggling and giggling while slurping at me (see mention of drool above).

December 12, 2006
We started Asa on "solids". It's going well so far. He took about a week and a half to really get the swallowing thing down, but is now eating about 3-4 tablespoons at dinnertime. Constipation hasn't been bad (yet?). He's doing rice cereal and now some peas and carrots too. He thinks the peas and rice cereal are not that good, but likes the carrots a lot. He does best when he gets his own spoon. Otherwise he just gets mad.

He's also sitting up in his Boppy for up to a minute or two on his own! He rarely falls forward now, although he still falls backward occasionally and also side to side. With the Boppy though, he can play with a toy in front of him. He only sort of tripods -- his arms are still really short -- but he has gotten MUCH stronger core muscles. That said, he still isn't rolling over regularly. This week, he started doing stomach to back again. He is incredibly cautious about it though -- doesn't want to use ANY momentum. Lays his head down to the side and then gets a little stuck for a while. He can finally manage it sort of in slow motion. Very funny!

Sleep was good for about a week. He was napping regularly, sleeping from 8pm to about 6:30 with only 1 wakening to eat... and then it all fell apart and he went on a nap strike (no napping longer than 20 minutes, if at all) and started waking up every 2 hours at night. It was awful for all of us. I guess he's just developing so rapidly now that it interrupted his sleep. It has gradually gotten better again. Last night, I think he slept all the way through the night from 8 to 6:30. Sadly, I'm not sure; perhaps I sleptwalked (past tense of sleepwalk?) through it. There is still lots of crying at naptime, but he does eventually put himself to sleep. He doesn't always STAY asleep though. He has adopted the burp clothes as loveys (yay, replaceable/washable!), and likes to suck his thumb and nuzzle the clothes. He particularly likes to have the burp clothes over his face. Imagine my excitement. I move it some after he's asleep so that he can still breathe. What's sad is that it doesn't matter whether I am holding him or not... he cries piteously at naptime. He actually is doing better now that I sing his song and place him WIDE awake in his crib. Not so much for the "drowsy but awake" that the books recommend, or even the "half asleep, but eyes open" that he prefers at night. :)

He's also discovered his volume control and discovered that he can get my attention and bring me over to him by screaming. Yet again, a development I am thrilled by. :) He seems to be developing enough object permanence that he knows I am nearby and cries if I walk away. Screaming is what he does now... with the occasional raspberry too. Much less babbling than there was even a couple of weeks ago.

Still liking music, and enjoying dancing. We've been doing carols and Handel's Messiah. Also liking finger plays now, especially Itsy Bitsy Spider and Pat-a-Cake. He can hold toys well and switch hands. I washed all the soft toys (finally!) and he's also playing with the finger puppets which are a nice size for him to hold and chew on. He loves to go places and see people. He's very social and smiley. He also likes books and is starting to help turn the pages.

Asa and I are going down to my parent's house for Xmas on Sunday. I'll be back up here just before the New Year. The Rouses are coming here and we're going to do Xmas together on New Year's Eve. I'm looking forward to doing Xmas here as a family (and also to spending Xmas with my bro and sis and parents). My mom is flying up and then driving down with us again. She doesn't think I should be driving by myself with the dog and baby. It definitely makes life easier. I don't have to take him into all the rest areas, take him when walking the dog, or do all the driving. I can't fly with the dog because he'd howl, and can't board him because he's allergic to his bordatella and lepto vaccines. Besides, flying means I have no car while I am there and it sounds hard to bring presents and suitcase and car seat and port-a-crib, etc.

Asa is 5 months and about 15 lbs now (14.95 at his dr's appt two weeks ago). He's still mostly in 3-6 month sizes, but is rapidly outgrowing them both in length and width.

We've had very little snow so far, but Asa's reaction to it was mostly not pleased. Can you really blame him though? It's cold and wet and he can't even sit up to play in it yet!

October 10, 2006
Good news for Asa was summarized in today's Slate.com:

"A child's head growth by age 1 significantly determines adult IQ. At all ages, bigger heads correlate with better cognitive test scores. Head growth in the womb correlates with IQ at age 4, but by age 8, the only factor that still correlates with IQ is head growth between birth and age 1 . To rule out parental factors that might cause both head growth and later IQ (instead of head growth causing later IQ), the study included " adjustment for parental characteristics." Upbeat spin: You can influence your baby's intelligence. Depressing spin: After a year, you're screwed. (For Human Nature's previous update on why taller people are smarter, click here.)"

Asa's head has already grown approximately 9 centimeters in diameter since birth... and while his head size is at the 50th percentile, he doesn't even make it on the charts length-wise (at least if you believe the length measurements for babies are accurate!).  Weight is at about the 25th percentile as of his last dr's appointment (a month ago), but he's a pretty chubby little guy now!

Of course, we already knew he was brilliant!  He was 3 months old as of the 7th of October.  Newest accomplishments: 
  • blowing spit bubbles (and if that's not a sign of intelligence, I don't know what is!)
  • figuring out that his arms are somewhat useful when he is on his tummy (i.e. for trying to lift his head and chest)
  • mastering most of the vowel sounds except long e (and long a...), plus 'g' and 'y' and learning turn-taking in conversations
  • making it into a 3-6 month sleeper and onesie and outgrowing several newborn outfits entirely
  • realizing that the world continues to go on even when you are sleeping and so you should stay awake as long as possible with no napping (current record is approximately 8 hours)
  • finding out that he has feet (but still not sure what they are for)
  • standing (I kid you not... the child can hold his own weight)
  • becoming bored with the mobile, but interested in mirrors
  • smiling at strangers (sometimes) and laughing
  • blowing his nose in the carpet while he is on his tummy (okay, so this might be a side effect of not really lifting his head terribly well)
  • starting a bedtime routine, complete with bath and song
  • holding some toys briefly, and grabbing occasionally
  • sleeping and passing gas simultaneously (another clear sign of intelligence)
  • being interested in older children (which is good as we have 4 of them visiting us)
  • more frequently using his hands and eyes together in a task
  • recognizing me and Jess
It is no doubt related to his head size that he is still bonking his nose into the carpet for tummy time and not rolling over. ;)  Nonetheless, I'm sure you'll agree about his brilliance!

September 19, 2006
At Wednesday's 2 month well-child check, Asa was 10 pounds, 3.5 ounces and 21 inches long.  He's officially caught up with his age peers (to the 25 percentile) on weight, although he's got his own little short curve on height.  But then again, have you ever tried to measure a baby's length accurately?

His newest thing is the mobile... all the time.  We rigged a cord to it so he can move it on his own and that's all he wants to do now.  Well, that and push up while standing on your lap.  We've tried telling him that rolling over comes before standing, but he's not buying it.  He tries to stand in his bouncy chair, too, and all night he pushes his legs against the side of the pack-n-play.

Lots of goos now, and smiles.  He's mostly a happy little guy.  He got his immunizations (five of them in three shots) on Wednesday and though he cried, he calmed down and has done pretty well.  Mild fever (not even high enough to warrant a phone call to the doc) but we gave him a little Tylenol and he was fine.  He slept a little better than usual and fed a little less, for which he made up last night and today!

September 15, 2006
Things are going very well other than the sleeping.  And hormones seem to help with that part.  I was always a person who needed lots of sleep, but now I can take a half-hour nap and feel refreshed.  He's almost six weeks now.  I'm holding on to the fact that 90% of 3-month-olds sleep for at least a 6-hour stretch.  :) 

Even with the crying and lack of sleep though, being a mom is wonderful.  I can gush for hours, but will spare you.  Suffice it to say that I think he's just amazing and I love the whole experience.

I've attached a couple of recent pix.  He's grown quite a lot.  Chubby cheeks now.  At his dr's appointment last week he was 6.5 lbs and 19.25 inches.  So he's gained an inch and 2 pounds so far.  Not bad.  He still has male-pattern baldness, but assuming he's inherited from my father, he's just screwed and maybe shouldn't even bother growing it now. 

He still doesn't do much of interest to anyone other than his parents.  No rolling over or anything.  He's just getting smiling at people and he now laughs in his sleep.

August 15, 2006
On Wednesday the 9th, he weighed 6 lbs, 8.5 oz and was 19.25 inches.  Growing fast!  He's officially in Newborn diapers and is almost out of all his preemie outfits.  He still has no hair on the top of his head though.  I'm a little worried he's going to have male pattern baldness his entire life (Dad, you get the blame!).  Also, for the past two nights, he's done very well with the sleeping.  Not all the way through, but still eating and then going right back to sleep.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

July 31, 2006
I'm including updates on the baby!  Remember though, he's just three weeks, so he still mostly eats, sleeps, and cries.  Still, I've found enough to say that this is LONG.

Asa has gotten bigger.  I'm guessing he is somewhere around five or six pounds now, and is rounder.  Newborn clothes are still enormous on him, and he really can't wear any of them, but some of the smaller preemie outfits are starting to be too small.  He has a couple of small preemie Gerber onesies that are tight across his belly, and he is getting too long for some of the gowns.  I think his head and belly are growing the most, so he's still a little spindly in his arms and legs.  Even those have filled out though.

He is awake a lot more and his movements are a little more controlled.  He has started being able to get his hand to his mouth more frequently, and seems to be more interested in the world around him.   He really likes the red Mylar balloon they gave us at the hospital and is able to track it, even occasionally turning his head to follow it!  He also is getting better at lifting his head.  He's also making a wide range of noises... grunts, ahs, and of course crying.  He's also smiling both awake and asleep, which we think is still probably mostly reflexive, although I'm not entirely sure.  When he consistently smiles when I pick him up, I'll be sure it's not reflexive.  He does smile at me some now, but is not consistent about it.  I've been trying to capture a picture of his smile, but haven't really gotten one yet.  The best I have is attached... taken just after his fleeting grin.  He makes a huge variety of other faces too.  This makes watching him for hours very easy. 

He still cries whenever he is put down, but today I tried the baby swing for the first time.  He was too little for it before, but is a little bigger now and has better head control.  Also, I finally located batteries for it.  :)  I am pretty convinced that the baby swing is the best invention ever.  He is completely happy in it, which may allow me to put him down long enough to eat!  Previously, this has been a challenge.  Not so much the one-handed eating as the one-handed preparation of lunch and dinner.  Even with the sling, I have a limited timeframe of happiness in the afternoons.  I think it may be expanded with the swing, which is fabulous!  Jack, on the other hand, doesn't like the swing at all.  He isn't sure where to sit and guard the baby without being hit by it, and he seems to think that Asa isn't safe in it and there is great risk of him crying. 

Jack (the dog) is doing better with the whole baby thing, although we are still tethering him at night so that he can't reach the bassinet or me when I am nursing.  It probably isn't necessary any more since he is so worn out from his hypervigilance during the day that he sleeps like a rock at night.  During the day, Jack always needs to know where Asa is, and usually sits by the chair or the bassinet or swing to make sure everything is okay.  He'll run back and forth between you and Asa if Asa starts to cry.  Sometimes he loses the baby and runs all over the house until he finds him again.  The other day I did laundry and took Asa down with me, wrapped in a blanket, and Jack panicked when I started putting laundry in the washing machine.  I'm pretty sure he thought I was washing the baby in it!  On the other hand, he seems to have mellowed a little bit with visitors and such and is overall better behaved.  But back to Asa!

Asa seems to be getting the hang of the nursing thing and has better coordination.  He's eating less frequently (usually more like every three hours than every two hours), but is nursing longer each time.  He's also waking up more on his own to eat.  He has a fussy period from about 1:00 to 4:00 am, which is wreaking havoc on our sleep schedule.  He seems to have a lot of gas at night, plus of course I've put him down in the bassinet (all of about 6 inches from me), which is a horrendous practice.  Up until recently, he was also soaking through everything on and around him several times a night and waking up because of that.  I think maybe he just needed to grow into the (preemie-sized) diapers, since that has slowed down some in the past week or so. 

I'm hoping that as Asa continues to figure out the whole nursing thing and as he gets into more of a routine in the next few weeks that this middle of the night fussing will cease and we'll just have a simple feeding and diaper change.  Two nights ago, we had a great night... if only I could figure out how to replicate it!

July 24, 2006
Asa was readmitted to the hospital last weekend, but is back home again and doing fine.  They think he might have had a very mild virus or something else that caused him to sleep through several feedings.  He's so little and with so few fat stores that he just couldn't do that, so we got admitted for IV fluids and observation. 

Back home again though and he seems to be doing well. He's made up his birth weight, and is developmentally on track as best we can tell.  He can track with his eyes and tries to lift his head, which are basically the two things they are looking for in terms of his development.

I'm also doing well.  Loving motherhood.  I think I spent the whole first week just watching him.  :)  I'm really glad now that I took the time off.  Asa is waking me two or three times a night to feed, but I'm making up some of the sleep during the day, and I don't have a lot of time commitments right now.

July 9, 2006
On July 7 at 1:09 PM, Asa arrived in the world almost 5 weeks early! He was 4 pounds, 7 ounces and 18 inches long.  

Both Meg and the baby are recovering well.  We expect them to come home from the hospital on Monday.

Copyright 2007 by Meg Baker
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since January 2007