Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Our Life Lately

Welp, just as I said it wouldn't... this blog has become neglected as I've moved away from Mason's monthly updates.

I'm not even sure where to begin as far as with what's happened over the last FOUR MONTHS.

I suppose a little update is in order.

Mason is now almost 17 months old. At what point to we stop using "months old"...? I think I'm giving myself until 18 months, then I'll switch to "a year and a half". Keep my baby a baby for a tad longer. :)

At his most recent appointment, at 15 months, he was just shy of 26 pounds and a hair short of 30 inches. Imagine that... our little peanut is now in the 87th percentile for weight! He's come a loooong ways from the single digit percentiles when he was younger. I'm telling ya, once he could eat "real food", he meant business! Dude still loves to eat!

He's still just sitting at the 10th percentile for height. Neither Adam or I are very tall people, so that's not surprising.

I guess the biggest thing to note that we've been dealing with is Mason's delayed Gross Motor Skills.

At his 15 month appointment, Dr. Pflaster confirmed our concerns with Mason's lack of ability to sit up from laying down. He had JUST started army crawling the month prior to his appointment (at 14 months old) and was getting around pretty well... but the fact that our 1 year old couldn't sit himself up was concerning to me. So many people continued to tell me that "babies develop differently and on their own timeline". And while I agree with that, I could just tell something wasn't right.

I FOR SURE thought that his pediatrician would refer us to physical therapy and we'd go from there.

Well, we did get a referral... to see a neurologist. I was taken aback by that. It wasn't what I expected to hear. But in my heart, I felt it to be unnecessary. I knew nothing major was "wrong" with my perfect boy. He was excelling at his fine motor skills, his vocabulary was advanced, his social skills were on point. I KNEW neurology was unnecessary, but I followed our peds lead and called to schedule him an appointment.

Now, keep in mind, we had Mason's 15 month appointment on Valentine's Day, February 14th. After a ton of back and forth and miscommunication with Children's Neurology, we finally got an appointment scheduled for April 14th.

I was slightly frustrated with that. I knew there had to be something we should be working on with him in the meantime. So, I pushed for a physical therapy (PT) evaluation. Luckily, our pediatrician was very receptive to that idea and agreed that it could only do good to work on some stuff with him in the meantime. He also let us know that if Mason starts sitting up and pulling up by the time the neuro appointment rolls around, we can cancel it.

Fast forward to March 13th, we had Mason's PT evaluation scheduled with Children's Rehab in Minnetonka.

It was an AMAZING appointment! Not only was the PT student who did the evaluation amazing and so patient with Mason (as was the PT who came in to help wrap up the eval) - Mason was able to do some things we had NEVER seen him do before!

For instance, during his eval, he pulled himself up to kneeling on a few stacked mats. We were shocked, he had never done that before. Adam and I got to talking about it... and it's probably because at home, he didn't really have the opportunity to! We don't have anything that was low enough to the floor for him to easily pull himself up onto. We were very impressed with our little dude!

He did a great job at his evaluation, though there were a few points where he was frustrated to tears. I imagine it was a hard appointment for him - a new place, a new person, and being pushed to do things that he just can't do... or didn't think he could do!

It was heartbreaking for me at points when he would turn to me, crying, reaching his arms up for me to pick him up and console him. Of course, I didn't want to get in the way of the eval, so I took the PTs lead on when I could swoop in to "save" my boy.

It was kind of funny and sad at one point, Adam was holding him and Mason was pointing at something and Adam asked him "what do you want, buddy?" (or something to that effect) and Mason just said "bu-bye!" Ohhh.. I'm sorry honey, we can't leave yet. Damn, those kiddos sure can tug at your heart strings!

At the end of his PT eval, even before she "scored him", she could confidently confirm that Mason's gross motor skills were indeed, delayed. She said he would likely benefit from weekly, 1 hour PT sessions. So that's where our PT journey began.

It took a few weeks to get reoccurring PT sessions on the calendar (those places book up FAST). Especially since we opted to attend PT in Maple Grove, which is just way more convenient for us, location wise, than the Minnetonka location.

Mason officially started his weekly PT sessions last week, on March 27th, at Children's Rehab and we have been SO incredibly please with his therapist and his progress!

At his first session, he was so good! We only saw tears once during the appointment and it was because at one point, he kind of fell down... and I think more than anything, it scared him. So he needed minute to regroup with mama before getting back to business. We were very impressed at how well he did, especially since his therapist said she was just getting to know him and was pushing him harder than she normally would, just to get a grasp on what he was capable of.

His therapist told us as his first appointment that she could see the delays, but that she felt super confident that with a little guidance, Mason would be excelling in no time!

Having a little taste of milkshake after a tough PT session :)
Our "homework" after his first session was to really focus on getting him sitting up by himself. He would often position himself in a way that sitting up would be the next logical step, but he just needed a little reminder and push to actually sit up.

We worked on it SO much between his first and his second PT session. We also worked a lot on getting him to pull himself up to his knees and then from his knees to standing.

He did GREAT at pulling himself up. It's like he just needed the confidence to know he could do it and then he was doing it all the time! I was SO impressed with him! Every time I'd turn around, he was up and standing next to something!

One day, he wandered down to his bedroom and after a minute or two, I went down to peek on him to make sure he wasn't getting into any trouble and this is what I saw...

Big boy! Just standing up! Obviously unassisted! It blew my mind... just two weeks prior to that, he couldn't pull himself up to his knees, let alone to a standing position. This completely reaffirmed that getting him into PT was the right decision.

He still needs plenty of reminders to sit up. When he's positioned in a way that he can easily sit, we'll ask him, "can you sit up?" 9 times out of 10, he'll shake his head no. Haha! But most times, he does it. So that is going really well too. In fact, on the morning of his 2nd PT session, when we'd have to report back on how our "homework" went throughout the week, I went into his room that morning and there he was, sitting up in his crib. That was the FIRST time I ever walked into his room to see him sitting up in his crib. I was so happy, I could have cried! It was fun to tell his therapist that news.

We had his 2nd PT session on Monday and it was another really good appointment. This time, he was a little grumpier though. You could tell he was getting frustrated and he would smack at toys or the exercise ball to show his frustration. We try to tell him "we don't hit", but I guess that's how he gets his frustration out, because he did that quite a bit. Luckily, he never hit his therapist. Haha! And his therapist is great and recognizes when he's getting frustrated and allows him to take a break. She strongly encouraged us to "let it be" when he starts getting frustrated and to just let him be so that therapy and working on these new skills continues to be fun and not a chore. We don't want him to get to the point of not wanting to practice or not go to therapy because it's more work than fun. Of course there are going to be moments when he struggles and gets frustrated as he's learning new things, but we want to keep this fun and light for him so he's encouraged to continue.

Grandma came with us to this last appointment, which was nice since she's the one that spends most of his days with him. It was good for her to see him in action and hear first hand what we need to work on this week.

A couple pieces of homework this week include encouraging him to sit up from his right side (he always sits up from the left), encourage him to be weigh bearing with his hands (using his hands to push himself up and support himself), encourage him to stand from sitting on our laps. I know there were a few other things, but I'm drawing a blank.

I'm confident that with enough practice this week, we'll have another good report for his therapist on Monday. :)

Overall, physical therapy has been incredibly helpful for our little guy. It's fun to see him learning how to do new things and grow more confident in the skills he is learning.

What else is going on with us...?

Not a lot, really. Just the beautiful mundane of everyday life with a 1 year old. :)

He can really challenge us at times, but life is SO much better with him in it. He's so funny and sweet, I just cannot fathom my life without him in it.

I'll work really hard to keep updating the blog in a more timely fashion. It really is a tool that I'd love to look back on one day to see what we were up to at certain points in our life.

I know I never even came back and did a recap of Mason's 1st birthday party.. and now, 5 months after the fact, I'll probably just skip it and look forward to future updates. :)

Here's a peek in pictures at some of our shenanigans from the last several months...

Seeing Santa... he wasn't a fan. HA!

First time seeing Santa vs Second time seeing Santa

Alllll relaxed.

Mason LOVE LOVE LOVES books!

Playing at the MG play place

Me and my Valentine

Daddy and Mason at Han's bakery after getting shots at his 15 month appointment. Donuts made him happier. :)

"Put the toy RIGHT HERE and no one gets hurt..." Haha

Mason loves Dexter. Dexter isn't sure about Mason. Hahaha!

First Haircut - it was traumatic.

Trying to use Siri to distract him (he loves Siri) - it didn't work too well.

Handsome boy after his first haircut!

Baby boys locks.

Cousins! Grant and Mason

He looks SO big here!!! I love this picture of him.
These next few photos are photos from Mason's 1 year photo shoot. All photos were taken by Created By Me Photography. Aleah did a wonderful job! We love them!

Until next time.... :)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Mason: Twelve Months Old

Our baby toddler is ONE!!!!! How in the world did that happen so quickly!? Our little boogie turned the big O-N-E on November 13th and we had a great time celebrating him at his birthday party on November 12th.

I'll be writing up a separate post about his birthday party - but here's a look back at Mason's 12th month!

Weight/Length/Head Size
At Mason's 12 month doctor's appointment in mid-November, he was 22 pounds! His doctor was pretty impressed by his 5 pound gain since his 9 month appointment! He landed in the 68th percentile for his weight, which is pretty good, considering he was only in the 18th percentile at 9 months! I tell ya, this boy like to EAT! :)

Length-wise, he measured 29 inches putting him in the 17th percentile for length - another nice improvement from the 2nd percentile at his 9 month appointment! He's grooooowing! :)

He's still got a big 'ol noggin, like his daddy. :) 18.7" - 88th percentile. Which is on par for what he's been at for head size (he was 87th percentile at 9 months). Smart boy, lots of brains, big head... it's all  good. :)

Mason is wearing 9 and 12 month clothing. Lots of 9 month shirts and onesies still fit, but his 9 month pants are becoming high-waters. Haha

He's still in size 3 diapers.

And Mason has EIGHT teeth now! The latest one just popped up this week! He's looking so cute with all of his adorable pearly whites! :) He also loves brushing them! :)

Mason's 12 month appointment was a tough one. He got a BUNCH of shots - 4, to be exact as well as a finger prick.

It was shocked at how well he handled the finger prick - he didn't make a peep or even flinch!

The shots, on the other hand... the tears flowed. It's SO sad! The second the needle touches his skin, it's an instant scream and tears. There is no build up... it's instantaneous.

Luckily, he's over it very quickly and is back to his normal, happy self within minutes, as you can see the the picture below. :)

The doctor is still pleased with his progress and says he's "right on track". We did bring up the fact that he's not mobile, nor does he sit himself up from a laying position. Dr. Pflaster asked some questions, checked out how he stands up (with support) and told us he "wasn't concerned... yet."

That "yet" makes me kind of nervous, but I'm trying to just chill out about it (easier said than done). The doctor said his muscle tone is good and since he's hitting all of his other milestones, we'll just reasses at 15 months.

Ok, Doc! Whatever you say!

We officially made it to a year (and counting!) of breastfeeding! I can't even express how proud that makes me.

Learning to breastfeed and the pain that came along with it in those early weeks was overwhelming.

I kid you not, for me, breastfeeding was more painful than being in labor. It was excruciating. I remember crying when he would latch on, or even just anticipating the latch, because it hurt THAT bad. I remember sitting there crying, not wanting to nurse him because the pain was awful.

I'm so grateful for the lactation consultants at Maple Grove Hospital (Kathi, especially) for helping Mason and I get through it together. Without them and their guidance and encouragement, I would have stopped breastfeeding VERY early.

And now look at us! 12 months and going strong! While our nursing sessions have definitely become fewer and shorter, I still cherish that time and the bond I have with Mason because of it. We're pretty much just nursing first thing in the morning and right before bed. On the weekends, when we're together, we sprinkle in a few more short sessions.. but more so for comfort, rather than filling him up.

Mason LOVES to eat! He LOVES food. I think Thanksgiving was the highlight of his LIFE. Haha!

His current favorites are stuffing, avocados, pears, noodles, bananas, and breakfast sausage. Oh.. and birthday cake. ;)

The ONLY thing we've found so far that he doesn't like is broccoli. He will literally put it in his mouth, then drop his jaw so it falls out... all while sporting the cutest disgusted face, like, "HOW could you feed me that garbage!?" Haha!

Clearly, NOT eating broccoli here. :)
Pretty much the same as last month - sleeping through the night allllmost always!

We have days here and there where he'll randomly wake up and need to be soothed back to sleep, but for the most part, he's consistently sleeping for 10 hours or so.

He's generally in bed between 7 and 7:30pm and will usually sleep until like 4:30-5:00am. I'll nurse him quick and he'll go back to bed until 6:30am during the week or 8am-9am (!!!!!) on the weekends.

I'm pretty sure we're also cutting down to 1 nap during the day. At Grandma's house during the week, he has been taking one long nap (3+ hours).

We've still gotten 2 shorter naps out of him on the weekends on occasion... but it's becoming more and more consistent that he's just taking 1 longer nap in the afternoon.

"He's up! Can we go in and get him!?" Dexie loves going in to get Mason when he wakes up. :)
-Bath time
-Sesame Street. Especially Elmo!
-Throwing things
-"Flying" with Daddy
-Singing "la, la, la!"

-Books. He LOVES flipping the pages in his books!


Turning ONE is a pretty big deal! :) We had a great time celebrating him at his party! I think he had fun too! :)

Other Happenings
We had SO much going on in the month of November. From his birthday (and my birthday), to Thanksgiving, and Addison's birthday party! It was a busy month!

As I mentioned above, Mason LOVED Thanksgiving. Largely due to the fact that there was food involved! He loves a good meal! :)

We started off with a quiet morning at home before we went over to Adam's mom's house to stop by and say hi. Mason and Daddy read some books before we got moving for the day

We were only over at Lisa's for a bit to say hi before we all headed over to Grandma and Grandpas to FEAST.

This year, we had a smaller crew since my great aunt had recently had surgery, so she and her kids (and grand kids) celebrated separately from us.

For our Thanksgiving, we normally have like 20 people. This year, we just had 11: Grandma, Grandpa, GG, Butch & Robin, Jessica, Katie and Ana, Adam, me, and Mason.

It was still very nice though.... and a delicious meal, as usual! :)

Mason's highlight of Thanksgiving was getting to try BLUEBERRY PIE!! Which, as you can see below, he absolutely loved!

He loved it so much that we had to have an impromptu bath time at grandma and grandpa's house. Which he also loved. Haha!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we helped Addison celebrate her 6th birthday! It was fun to get together with the Thiebault's and family for a few hours to celebrate this cute 6 year old!

The kids did a cute little craft at the birthday party, which was super adorable. They all got to paint and decorate their initial. Auntie JJ helped Mason so he wouldn't be a complete mess! :)

Mason LOVED Addison. Sometimes, he's not so sure about people he doesn't see often, but that didn't apply to Addison. She loved holding him and he loved cuddling up to her. It was the sweetest thing!

QUITE the difference from Addison's birthday last year, when Mason was only 9 days old! :)

Needless to say, we had an AMAZING November! Lots to celebrate and be thankful for!

Per usual, here are some cute pictures from our little cutie pie's 12th month... :)

Looking like a BIG boy! Love that little sweatshirt!

Bored with Mommy and her selfies... Ha!

Those BLUE eyes. So thankful he got Daddy's baby blues... 

Birthday Boy!

"Woah Kayla! That was a BIG burp!!!" Hahahahaha! :)
Painting - thanks to Auntie JJ

And... trying to eat the paint. :)

I'm kind of cheating since I'm stealing this "letter to Mason" from a post I made on Facebook on his actual birthday... but it perfectly conveys what he means to me...

November 13, 2016

Exactly 1 year ago today, at 6:18 in the morning, we were blessed with the sweetest, snuggliest, happiest, most beautiful 8 pound, 1 ounce little boy I had ever laid eyes on! Your arrival was fast and furious and pretty scary at the time. It didn't go at all as we imagined it would. And I would do it again, a million times, for you. 

You are sweet, smart, silly, and adorable! You light up my life and have shown me what unconditional love really is. There's not a day that passes that I don't feel blessed beyond measure because I'm your mommy. 

This last year has been amazing. And challenging. And incredible. And incredibly hard, at times. And WORTH IT. So completely worth it. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you, my sweet boy!

I can't wait to continue to watch you grow and learn new things. You amaze me daily. But for now, I'll snuggle you longer and hug you tighter and sneak in a million more little kisses, because just as this last year has proven, you're growing so fast and soon you'll be a big boy. 

But no matter how big you get and no matter where your life takes you, you'll always be my baby. And I'll forever be grateful that you made my dreams come true the day you made me a mama. 

I know it's your birthday, but you're the real gift. I love you so much, Mason John. Happy birthday, my sweet boy.