Milestone!

May 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yesterday Stefano surprised me, and himself!, by rolling over from his tummy to his back! He was shocked, naturally, when he pushed up so high that he just toppled over and rolled onto his back. Aaaand then he did again after I turned him back over. So it’s not a perfect art, yet, but he is constantly trying to make the magic happen – haha.

Oh! And he has started eating solids! I skipped just giving him the baby cereal… instead I just decided one day, while he was ogling my food, to give him a taste of something I had on hand – a fruit and rice mixture – and he looved it! He knew exactly what to do and eats a couple ounces like that (picture me snapping my fingers)! It cracks us up to watch him grope for my hand as I bring the spoon to his face for another bite… heheeeee!

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What a Difference 8 Months Makes!

May 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

When Dante had his leg amputated, September of 2011 ( you can read about that here) we had a very rough night before surgery. And while his recovery was fast and his pain very manageable, our hospital stay was very difficult as well. AND we dealt with constipation issues that the surgery seemed to have triggered for months afterward. This second time around – from the stay at the hotel the night before, to our overnight at the hospital and continuing recovery at home – was and has been at least 83 times easier.

I’ll start with our night at the hotel which we were very nervous about since our last stay in a hotel was a nightmare. Dante actually drove me nuts during our waking hours that night – he was bouncing off the walls with excitement for being in a new place, I guess. I had hoped he would enjoy swimming in the pool with his dad, but Chris reported that he kept wanting to get in and out and, apparently, caused a little awkwardness when he continued to point and shout to a woman on a treadmill who was facing the window overlooking the pool area…. oops.

S000000 that distraction lasted about 20 minutes. We then reverted to the television and ordered a $17 movie – The Lorax (which I ended up not really liking as a Dante movie… in fact really no Disney or Pixar movie has met up to my highest standard since even the best ones have naughty words like “idiot” in them… but now I’m ranting) – which he lost interest in at which point I called it a night and put him to bed. He did amazing. He slept in the pack n’ play in our room and Stefano slept in bed with us and despite S’ noises while he nursed twice during the night, Dante kept on sleeping.

He woke right up at 4 when I turned the lights on the the next morning and pitifully asked me for milk, which he couldn’t have, but I was able to distract him enough to avoid a meltdown. Once we were at the hospital, after the difficult task of getting an accurate blood pressure read, we played quite contently from about 6am to 7:30am in the play room and he went right on into surgery around 8:30 or so.

Dante had the part of his femur that was growing incorrectly removed – the part that protruded –  and his pinky finger and ring finger on his right hand separated which involved a skin graft from his left hip. The series of procedures took 5..ish.. hours during which time we spent eating, reading, and napping in the parent lounge. When our little Nugget woke up, we were told, he called for mommy and daddy which all the nurses thought was the most adorable thing to hear. While I held him as he was still being monitored in the recovery room he was overall pretty calm and easy to comfort. I clearly remember the last time I held him in the recovery room. He was still a baby. He cried as he drifted in and out of sleep and he couldn’t tell us what was hurting or what he needed. But as I held him and Chris sat next to us just a couple weeks ago, we watched Winnie the Pooh and he told us what hurt so that we could give him appropriate kisses and snuggles. What a world of difference. He’s not a baby anymore. However, a baby DID cheer him up quite a bit…..

We stayed one night at the hospital. Stefano slept fine with me on a folding bed, poor Chris suffered on one of those hideously uncomfortable pull out chairs – like the ones they often have for dads in the maternity ward. Get ready – I’m doing another flashback – Last September we stayed two horribly long nights at the hospital. Dante wouldn’t sleep well in the “cage” and it seemed like whenever he did fall asleep the nurses would come in to wake him up to get his vitals which made me absolutely crazy. But this time he slept by himself in the crib – of course I spent some time soothing him and reassuring him that daddy and mommy would be close by – and only woke a couple times to take medicine and have get quickly checked by the nurses. We left the afternoon after he was operated on and haven’t looked back. Dante was sent home with a prescription for Tylenol with codeine which we filled and only administered a few doses. He’s been sleeping fine except for the occasional attempt at rolling over and getting stuck with having the splint/dressing on his arm. And so far no constipation which, I promise you, was waaaay worse than any pain he experienced last time with the actual amputation. This is how he gets around for the time-being…

Does this look like a kid who should pitied? I say no way!

Of course, I am itching to get him back up and walking. There is also talk of adding a knee joint to his prosthesis so I’m not sure if that will be now or later in the summer but I just want him to be able to walk again! I miss it! For him AND me!! Hehe. His leg cast comes off and he will be fitted for a new prosthesis tomorrow. Woot woot!

In the mean time I’ve been keeping the boys indoors for the most part – boooo – because Dante inevitably wants to get down and romp around and I can’t let him mangle his arm dressing in the dirt. Baahhhh!!! So I think he’s getting a little stir-crazy… I feel as though he’s been extra pushy with his brother and it’s driving me crazay!!! Not to much longer!

Mother’s Day and a Birthday Party!

May 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

The last 2 weeks since I last blogged have been pretty eventful and seem to have flown by… yet I feel as though more that just 2 weeks have passed. Seems much longer. Funny how that happens.

I’ll start with Mother’s Day. This breakfast-in-bed holiday was basically overlooked aside from the formality of exchanging “happy mother’s day” to one another since we held Dante’s family birthday party on the same Sunday. My husband did surprise me a couple days earlier with a Nook Tablet which I totally didn’t expect and am so thankful for! But as far as planning a special meal or family outing to celebrate motherhood… ya we let that fall by the way side. Dante would be going in for his leg and hand surgery in a few short days and that Sunday was the only day in May, before his surgery, that our two families could gather together for lunch and cake and presents.

Sooo since there’s not much else to say about Mother’s Day I’ll continue with our little family party details! … We didn’t focus so much on a theme or decorations as much as we did family time and just making sure there was enough food to go around. Dante had already had his Monster Party with his friends… for the record, in the end, I regretted splitting up the parties – next year I’ll just plan one party whether we have 10 guests or 50 guests. Neither party really seemed complete in a way. Anyways…

It was a nice day so we were able to grill out on my in-law’s patio. MMmmmmm I love me some cheeseburgers! And my parents brought a cake…

Dante, actually, spent most of his time playing in the dirt, if I remember correctly, with his Auntie Bri and Uncle Jonathan until we announced that we would start opening his presents..

And of course we sang Happy Birthday to the big boy, again, and he enjoyed bright blue and green, sugary, frosting before he totally melted down and went down for a much-needed nap.

So it was a nice day. Sunny. Semi-peaceful. Really any time we’re surrounded by family members or friends who want to take turns holding the boys and give my arms a break are good days. After Dante and Stefano were both sleeping I even drifted off in a patio chair in the sun.

Chris and I then spent the rest of the evening playing with Mr. Potato Head and new trucks and reading the Tickle Monster – complete with Tickle Monster mitts – excellent book! What better way to spend a night in with my small family?

Sleep cont’d…

May 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Stefano is nearly 4 months old and co-sleeps with us quite a bit now. I wasn’t into it when Dante was a baby – I wanted an independent sleeper from the beginning and wanted my space. Now, being so tired from the last almost 4 months of struggling against Dante’s wakeful nights (which he has been doing much better with, thank God!) and nursing a newborn, co-sleeping just fits. That being said, I think for the next couple months, at least, I’m going to continue what I’m doing and not focus on what kind of “monster” I could potentially create in the process.

I was very successful sleep training Dante early on and it paid off. He is good at self-soothing himself and has been since he was 4 months old. But somewhere along the way we hit a bump and despite our sacrifices as parents and being super strict with getting him to bed at a certain time every night  and all that, he still ended up having, like I mentioned, some trouble sleeping the last many months so I’ve decided to lighten up since, as a parent, you can only control so much!!

Maybe this time around I won’t really start tightening the reigns until 5 or 6 months, rather than begin now…. I don’t know. I don’t have a plan. All I know is that Dante is finally sleeping until 6/6:30 each morning rather than waking at the hideous hour of 5:00, and Stefano comes into bed with me for his second or third feeding (which went from 2 times per night to 4) is very easily settled and will sleep until 8 (but usually Dante wakes him earlier) if he is right next to me and able to nurse quickly and quietly.

While I do have reservations about older babies and children co-sleeping as a habit I regret not being able to let Dante sleep with us.. ever… like when he was sick and I was up all night tossing and turning wondering if he was breathing okay. But he just wouldn’t! He needed to be alone in his bed to go back to sleep. And sometimes I feel like I missed out a little bit on all the extra snuggles *pouty face*.

Ya. One day in the next few or maybe several months I’ll most likely pull the plug and ferberize S and buckle down on sleeping him in his crib all night.. just not yet. I kind of like it, anyways… he’s very snuggly and smells so babylicious…. I won’t be ready to give that up any time very soon.

Today is Wednesday…

May 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

….And it rained all day. My friend, Kathleen and her son Emmett, and my boys and I made a trip to meet a couple of friends at a local library for story time! The rain drove a good number of parents and kids inside but it was still good – the new setting left Dante feeling a bit unsure, I think, so he kind of hung back instead of being front and center and obstructing the other kids’ view of the books being read (as he does at our regular playgroup/story time).

While he can still throw a mean tantrum, I would like to, again, blogmind myself  (blogmind = blog about + remind) that Dante actually IS learning to obey when I give him a command like “come here” or “get down” or just plain “no” pretty well… today he was particularly good at listening and obeying me the first time I said to do or not do something – I think I was more appreciative and aware because of the new setting we were in and all the kids that were running around being noisy and creating distractions. But if you know me in person and see me leaving a store with a kicking, wailing toddler, don’t hold it against me – I’m not claiming perfection!

So yes, the library was fun. We then braved lunch at Friendly’s where – to my surprise –  Dante was a gem and played nicely, used an indoor voice when directed to, and ate his food like a good little boy. Restaurants are very hit or miss… more often a miss. It’s a work in progress. But today he was a good man and we were able to enjoy our friends and our food! Now for a nice outing with daddy where everything goes smoothly!

The rest of our afternoon consisted of a rather late nap, pancakes for dinner, tubs for Stefano and Dante (after Stefano had a diaper explosion!) and then daddy read half of one of our favs: Rattlebang, and I read about a quarter of The Sleep Book until Dante no longer seemed interested and we called it a night.

While I nursed Stefano by the light of a Mater night light Dante talked to me from behind his crib bars about a painting his uncle Jonathan painted that now is hanging in his room, about how I hung it up using a noisy hammer, and then threw in uncle Josh’s name as well… but what my brother had to do with hammering and pictures of dogs I will never know. As I left the room he called to me, “mommy?”, “yes Dante?”, “Daddy’s silly”, “yes he’s very silly”, “Mommy?”, “yes Dante?”, “Fano sleepin'”, “yes, he is now it’s time for you to sleep”, “mommy?” …. and those two remarks were rehashed about 3 more times until I finally told him it was “really time for bed, now” and closed the door behind me. *Sigh*. He’s so sweet.

So that was our day. Hope you enjoyed my play by play. Goodnight!

 

Happy Birthday to You! You Live in a Zoo…

May 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yes. Dante likes to sing the “Monkey” version of the birthday song. No. I didn’t teach him that. And no. Chris didn’t teach him that. It was Grammy! Yes, my own mom, and sister more so, are teaching Dante all manners of naughtiness *wink*.

Soooooooooooooooo I have a problem and I’m not afraid to admit it: I am a procrastinator. The only thing I did ahead of schedule for Dante’s birthday party was purchase a box of cake mix… I had decided to do a “monster” theme (cutesie age-appropriate monsters, of course) a while back but hadn’t looked into color schemes or decorations or tableware – nothing. Party planning is not my forte and I easily get frazzled so I kept putting off list-making and shopping until ….. the day before. Friday I scrambled to the store with half a list in my head and half written down (= the worst way to shop). But in the end I think everything turned out just fine… even if it had seemed sloppy and thrown together – he’s two – as long as he was able to eat a cupcake and play with balloons he was golden.

Anyways. It was Dante’s “friend” birthday party we celebrated on Saturday. We had a pretty big guest list so we decided to have one party for friends and one for family to cut down on the crazy but, alas, more than half of the families we invited to our friend party weren’t able to make it (which, in turn, made my last-minute-dash to the store a little easier on my wallet – though I still wish you all could have come!) but we enjoyed our small party nonetheless! The kids seemed to all get along and play well together, it’s no wonder – they’re all such sweet little monsters… hehe… As for our birthday party amenities…

I made green and purple monster cupcakes…

Made sure we had enough balloons strewn about for them to play with…..

Invited my sister, Auntie Bri, whom all the kids love to play with…

And made felt monster finger puppets as favors for Dante’s little friends!

 ~

For his first birthday he got a whole cake all to himself…. this year he had just the one cupcake. It was so sweet to watch D really participate and attempt to blow out his candle… after 2 or 3 tries I counted to three for one last go and stealthily blew it out for him – clapping and cheering followed – he was so proud and clapped for himself, too!

It was yummy. Buttercream frosting made with real butter (not shortening) is extra deliciouuusss.

Despite nap time coming and going we continued to hang on to the happy through the opening of presents, though I did have to distract him from the fact that I was not, in fact, opening the box of tools he received – or the playdough – or the play food. He had to wait until we got home. Wop wop.

 So that’s the short and sweet of it. Dante’s actual birthday is May 22nd but we chose to hold his two parties during the first two weekends of May since he’ll be having his second leg surgery right in the middle of the month (more on that later). I can’t believe my baby is 2! … almost..

And for the record – later that evening we gave Stefano the play-by-play since he slept during the whole party – screeching toddlers just outside his door n’ all.

Oh. My. Ears.

May 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

When Dante cries (the angry/tantrum-y crying, not the ouch-I-got-hurt crying) I experience a  crackling sound in my ears. Every time. Not a ringing – a crackling. And when the noise stops, so does the sound. I think I will go deaf one day.

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