Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Dreaded Helmet

So Maddox had another follow-up appointment, his final one, to determine if he in fact needs the helmet (or band -- whatever, no matter what word you use, it still makes you baby look stupid). The basic result of this appointment was that Maddox's head did not change shape with the repositional therapy techniques. It barely even grew in a month. When I asked Ellie, the very nice baby-plagio-head doctor lady (I don't think she's a real doctor MD type person), if as he grew his head would just grow out of the flatness and odd-shaped roundness by the time he was like 18 (done growing) and she said that his head was severe enough that she was sure it wouldn't.

So Tyler and I (mostly me) have been torn about what to do. Do we helmet or not helmet? Ultimately we decided that we would put him in a helmet. Insurance is paying for it, his head will pretty much be perfect at the end of treatment, and, my reason all along, by putting him in a helmet I will have helped him be the best most whole person he can be. Even though many people claim that this is purely a cosmetic thing, I would be so sad if I knew that at 16 he was made fun of by his friends in the locker room for having a flat head or he couldn't get a date because he was known as the weird-head kid. Stuff like that does things to an adolescent's mind and if I can prevent one more thing from causing him grief during that fragile growing period, I think I have an obligation as a parent.

Anyway, it's being ordered, in the darkest blue they have (so Tyler can turn it into a CAL football helmet) and he will be fitted on Wednesday. Treatment will last 3-4 months at the most. Maybe as little as 2, depending on how much he grows. So I think I will force-feed him the entire time he wears it so that he will grow really big and fat and fast.

I'm sad that he will have to wear it. I'm nervous he will hate it and cry and cry (although Toby, Tyla and Demi seem pretty stoked about theirs). I'm sad because his beautiful hair will be covered up (we may even have to shave his head). And I'm worried that he won't be his happy smiley little self anymore. But it has to be done. So I will suck in my lower lip and buck-up and get through this with a little bit of mommy-dignity (because I swear people will look at me and my baby and think "oh my gosh what a horrible mother!!").

So be kind to my special-needs looking baby. He's normal. He's cute. He's just funny-shaped.

And I am SOO glad they don't do THIS anymore!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

6 Month Check-up

Max had his 6 month check-up on Tuesday. Basically, he's good, he's thriving and he's pretty fat. The doctor was like "well, he looks really healthy, and by healthy I mean hefty". So, aptly named Fatburger is right on par (except that he makes no consonant sounds yet, unless you call screeching and screaming consonant sounds). Here are the stats:

16lbs 2oz (30th%)
25" long (5th%)
16 3/4" head

So basically he is a tiny little guy (is it any surprise?) who is kinda fat for his length. I could have told you that he was fat because I carry him around all day and he pretty much breaks my back. He's small and cute and fun and we LOVE LOVE LOVE him!!

His head is on the small side, but it's probably because it's pretty flat on the back. (He will be getting a helmet next Wednesday -- don't worry, a post is on its way about that). He's only in the 10% for head size. Hopefully that will change with treatment.

He also got some shots. I don't know if you've ever seen a baby get shots but it's pretty much hysterically heart wrenching. To me, the part where their faces change from being happy and smiley to sheer surprise then terror then pain then hatred is a little funny to me. Of course, at the same time, all of those things are so terribly sad a mom can barely handle it. It's another irony of motherhood I suppose. As expected he was extra fussy today -- yay for me.

I just can't believe how fast he has grown. Half of his first year is over. Sometimes I am relieved that I have those six months behind me because he is getting more and more fun every day. But other times I am so incredibly sad that my baby is slowly becoming my toddler and even more quickly my toddler will become my grown up guy going off to college getting married having children... AH!! Am I getting ahead of myself?? Maybe just a bit.

So Happy Half Birthday Maxi Baby!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bunny Chronicles

So I thought that Maddox and his bunny obsession deserved it's own entry in the blog. Maddox has a serious obsession, almost bordering on unhealthy, with his Beanie Baby Bunny named Ears (see picture at left). It really is the cutest thing, actually. Whenever he sees this bunny his eyes light up and he gets this HUGE smile on his face and gets SO excited and jumps up and down (in his Exersaucer of course).

If I forget the bunny at home when we go out, sometimes he will cry and cry until we get home and he can have his bunny again. He will yell at the bunny, chew on the bunny, shake the bunny -- and I swear, sometimes I catch that poor bunny looking at me with this look in his black plastic eyes like "PLEASE SAVE ME". Too bad for him that I love Max more.

The funniest part about this whole bunny thing is that Maddox was the one who decided he wanted the bunny for himself. Tyler's aunt sent us a package for Christmas and one of the things inside was this brown bunny. I didn't think much of it (he wasn't really into toys yet, being only 4 1/2 months old, so I was going to save it for when he was ready to play) thought I'd put it in his toy box for him to play with later (he wasn't all that in to stuffed animals yet). I set it on the kitchen table until I had time to put it away later. The next morning, before we drove up to Sonora for Christmas, I was feeding him (his high chair sits on the table or the counter) and he looked over to the side, saw the bunny and started grunting and reaching for it. He almost got to the point of tantrum when I finally gave him the bunny. Since that day, him and the bunny have been inseparable.

Last night I bought another bunny on eBay for him because the current one is getting pretty nasty looking. He has chewed the ears so much that they are stiff with dried baby spit. And it's starting to get holes. The problem with this particular Beanie Baby is that it has been retired. So you can't find them in stores or get them from the Ty website. Nope, you have to resort to eBay. As soon as we get next month's pay check I'm going to buy all the ones that are being sold on eBay. I do NOT want to be up a creek without a bunny when the current one gets chewed to death. (Some of the bunnies on eBay are ridiculously priced -- $23?? I don't think so -- so I will not be buying those. Feel free to scoop those ones up for yourselves. But please leave the $1.50 ones for us).

So that is the bunny story. Maddox has so much personality, it's just adorable. He is the funniest little kid I've ever seen. His facial expressions, his mannerisms. It's just too much!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How We Did It (no not that)

I'm writing about this on our blog mostly as a record to myself of the milestone and to remind myself that one of the most important things about parenting is choosing a path and sticking to it, staying consistent and committed with your husband.

Maddox sleeps through the night now. It's wonderful, not just for me but for him as well. I could never have imagined such a change just from sleeping through the night. He is so much happier, so much more content during the day and so much more consistent with his naps. I could not have believed it if I didn't witness it day after day. And although the sleep road is paved with gold at the moment (I fully understand that his sleep patterns could change in the blink of an eye) the path to get there was full of rocks and bumps and crags.

The following is how we did it. And I should add a disclaimer -- the following may shock some parents. We did exactly what worked for us. If at any moment the methods we used stopped working we would have stopped implementing them immediately. But it did work. And I should add that Maddox is an exceptionally good baby (in the opinion of his mother) and has always been a good sleeper when he slept. He picked up a few bad habits along the way when he was sick a few times, but he has usually been pretty consistent. I don't necessarily advocate the method we used because it doesn't work for all parents or babies. It was SO SO SO hard. Nothing we did was easy. It would have been much easier for us to get up, give him a bottle and put him back down. But Tyler and I were committed to teaching him good sleep patterns and habits because we fully believe that it is much much healthier, both mentally and physically, for him and for us, to get a full night's sleep. We were acting in Maddox's best interests always. Through fervent prayer, hand holding, crying and determination we successfully taught Max to sleep 11 hours straight in three nights.

Tyler and I had used the Cry-It-Out sleep method to train Maddox to fall asleep on his own after he woke up in the middle of the night. We had tried this method when he was about 12 weeks old and it worked very well for teaching him to fall asleep on his own at the start of the night. He's been fully consistent with that since them (and was always pretty good about it). Then he was sick a few times and his sleeping habits became very irregular. We didn't have the heart to let him cry in the night when he was sick and gave him bottles and pacifiers to get him to fall back to sleep. It became so exhausting for Tyler and I and Maddox that we decided that as soon as he was better we would get him back on a regular schedule. (Let me stress again, our decision was not at all a selfish one. There were many factors that went into this, most importantly that Maddox himself needed to get healthy sleep at night. Also, our pediatrician has been stressing the importance of this to us since he was about 12 weeks).

So, we tried one night and he cried for over an hour and I couldn't take it anymore so I got up and gave him a bottle. It is so hard to lay in bed and listen to your little honey-baby cry for so long. I had caved. I did that for a few nights when again, Tyler and I decided that Maddox truly needed to learn to sleep because he was so tired and fussy all day long without it. I talked with my friend Kevin who said they had tried this same method with their son and the first night he cried for almost three hours before falling asleep but the second night cried for about ten minutes and by the third night was sleeping through the night.

I felt so much better after talking to him! So the first night (after making sure I fed him a few extra bottles that day so he was fully fed), Tyler and I prayed for strength to do this and felt it was the right thing to do. We put him down after his bedtime routine of bath and bottle and he went down easily, hardly any fussing. A few hours later he woke up crying and that's when Tyler and I both put in our ear plugs and went to sleep. I'm telling you, from the bottom of a mother's heart, I felt so scared and nervous and sick for my little baby crying his eyes out, but I also knew from the bottom of my heart that I was doing what he needed.

I am of the parenting school-of-thought that children should [and need to] be taught to be healthy, independent individuals, and one way to achieve that is by allowing them to learn certain skills on their own, including sleeping. I don't believe this is the only way to parent. This is what works for me and our family so far (future children may prove me a fool). I applaud parents who practice attachment parenting. I think this is another way to raise healthy, independent adults. The method I chose suits my personality more I think, and the personality of my baby.

Tyler and I guessed the first night he probably cried close to three hours. Three heart-wrenching, soul-crushing, finger-biting, hair-ripping hours. And I'm talking about for Tyler and I, not just the baby. The next day Max's little voice was all hoarse because he cried so hard (he has a very throaty cry). Of course we felt horrible for him, but still knew that we were doing the right thing.

The second night he cried for about 20 minutes when he woke up in the middle of the night. By the third night he was sleeping through the night and only letting out one or two little cries (that were about a second long). He is such an amazingly good baby. And I am still amazed it worked that quickly.

It's been a couple of weeks now and I know that his sleep habits could change at any time but I am so grateful that Tyler and I stuck together on this decision. My baby wakes up so happy and smiley every day. He does not wake up crying or frantic. He takes long consistent naps during the day and I believe he is healthier and happier because of it.

Way to go to those moms who do not do what I do, but rush to your baby whenever he cries. I understand that motherly longing and need and bond completely. Like I said above, this is the method we chose, and to some of you it may be shocking. You may even think we are terrible parents. But I assure you, we are being the best parents we know how to be, and happy, smiley, peaceful, sweet little Maddox is all the support we need.

We love him TONS!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tricks and Such

I thought, since I hadn't written in a while, that I'd give you an update on Maddox's new tricks. I will give you a better update next week because he has his 6 month check-up on Monday. I know, 6 months already!! Yikes!!

Here we go:
  1. Maddox loves sweet potatoes. He loves them so much that sometimes (almost every day) when I go to feed him fruit or squash or any other kind of food, he will sit in his high chair and scream (not cry, just scream and grunt) until I give him sweet potatoes. Then he looks like a little bird with his mouth open waiting for that spoonful of orange. The first time it was cute. Now, well, I'll just leave it at that.
  2. Max can roll all over the apartment. If I leave him on the floor on his play blanket and walk away, when I come back in the room he will be across floor playing with some toy that caught his eye on the other side of the room. He now scrunches up his little legs when he's on his tummy and tries to propel himself to get to different toys he wants. I think he'll be crawling soon.
  3. His stuffed bunny is his most prized possession. It is a brown Beanie Baby bunny named Ears (so original). This kid LOVES this silly bunny. He could be the fussiest, saddest little boy ever and as soon as I hand him that bunny, he squeals so loud and throws his arms out and jumps up and down and pumps his little legs. He just gets so excited.
  4. Speaking of squealing -- this is another super fun thing he does (please sense the sarcasm). Maddox has taught himself how to squeal to the point of screaming. Whenever he rolls from his tummy to his back, he makes his arms and legs super stiff, lifts his legs off the ground and squeals like a -- the only way to describe it is like a pterodactyl. He squeal-screams in the grocery store, at the park, at the doctor's office, in the bath, everywhere!!
  5. I think Max waits all day for bath time because I never see him as excited as when it is time to take a bath.
  6. He loves music.
  7. He has been in his second accident before he is a full six months old and is in his third car seat, too.
  8. He's had his first haircut and his hair is already growing back quickly. Sometimes I wish it would stay down flat to his head like normal babies, but then I remember that Max is not even close to being a normal baby. He has a personality so big I marvel at the fact that it fits into his tiny, stocky, chubby little body.
  9. He now sleeps through the night. He goes down at about 6:45 and sleeps until about 5:30am when at that point we go in and give him a pacifier and he is quite until almost exactly 6:00am when we have to get up anyway. It's fabulous.
  10. He LOVES to look at pictures of himself and his family. He gets so excited when he recognizes people in the pictures. It's stinkin' cute!!

Monday, January 15, 2007

We Belong in a Zoo

So for Christmas my dad got us all passes to the San Diego Zoo. It's SO much fun. You might be wondering how it would be fun with a six month old, but let me tell you, nothing could be funnier than a couple of monkeys hangin' from ropes and running around with their tails wagging. Maddox thinks the monkeys are hilarious. He loves the other animals, too. He loves to look around at them and their habitats. He just loves to be outside. So Tyler and I walk around pushing Max in his stroller and we get to look at lots of funny animals and learn lots of new things. It's a total win-win situation.

The one thing Max did NOT like was the petting zoo. I tried to snap a picture of him next to a goat and he freaked out. This one mother looked at me with this horrified expression on her face and I was like "I wasn't feeding him to the goat -- just wanted a picture." Actually, I didn't say that outloud, I only thought it.

Anway, the Zoo is a big hit and the next place we'll go is the Wild Animal Park (our passes are good there, too) because I hear they have elephants and everyone knows that when you put your butt next to an elephant's butt your butt will ALWAYS look smaller. (You can call that one of my many fashion secrets).

(Oh, and P.S. That first picture is of Maddox staring at the dik diks -- I kid you not, that is their real name. They are like a freaky cross between a midget deer and a giant rat).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Finally a Celebration

After all the crummy sicknesses and flus and viruses and after the even crummier weather we finally had a celebration -- MATTIE ROSE'S 1ST Birthday!!!!!

I can't believe it's already been a year. She has gotten so big and cute and fun. It's a shame that some people weren't around or didn't get to see her while she was a little baby because she is quickly becoming a young lady. She walks and talks and sings and dances. She loves clothes and shoes and pretty sparkly things. She loves all kinds of food and TV and the telephone. Ha, if you didn't know her, you'd think she was about 15. But she's still our cute little baby girl.

We love her tons -- Happy Birthday Mattie Rose!!

She had a pink party dress that was adorable and a cute little pink birthday-girl hat. She even got her own pink birthday wand. She got lots of cute presents and by the end of the day was very ready to take a nap.

Oh, and she tried her first bite of chocolate cake. It was so cute.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

First Hair Cut


We finally cut Maddox's hair. I know, it was long overdue. His hair was so long in the back that it hung over his shirt past his collar. It was so long on top that it would just hang in his eyes (the part that did hang down). Plus, so many people would call him a
girl, and I know Tyler was getting sick of that. So, alas, to the chagrin of his mother who misses his cute little feathery locks, we cut it.

Our neighbor Mariah (thank you thank you thank you!) did an excellent job while Max sat in his little Bebe Pod and watched Baby Einstein. He looks totally different with his hair short. And, might I add, blonde! He's still a little doll and we love him to pieces. His face actually looks fatter (if that is even possible) with his hair shorter. It's about what it was when he was about 6 weeks old only much lighter. Anyway, I'm sure it will be back to the unruly wild mane it was before in no time.


Still cute, right?? The funny thing is that he looks like a kid now, not a baby, but a kid, because his hair is freshly cut. It's like people look at him and think, is he a very tiny 6 year old? Or a very hairy 5 month old.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

So Stubborn

When Maddox was sick he refused to let me hold his bottle to feed him. He would only eat if he got to hold it. What a stubborn little bugger!

(And yes, I realize he is wearing a Halloween bib, but when a baby is sick with the stomach flu for so long and throws up or poops on everything, you really don't have much to choose from).

Four Generations of Seibert

When we were in Sonora we took a picture of Tyler, Max, Tyler's dad Kevin and Tyler's grandmother Lois. It's the four generations of Seibert. How lucky Max is to be able to know his great grandparents and all five of his grandparents.

(Notice the cheeks on all of them... exactly the same... so cute!!)

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Update on the bug

So Maddox is finally getting better. And I swear if I get any more poop on me I am going to scream so it's a good thing that that is tapering off, too. Anyway, our little stinker is finally getting back to his smiley little self after being sick for almost two weeks. I was never a germ-a-phobe before, although I did (and still do) hate it when strangers at Target would touch my baby's hair or hands. But now, after this horrible Rotavirus, I am constantly wiping his hands with antibacterial wipes and squirting him down with Purell.

Anyway, on a happier note, Max is just beginning to sit-up! More to come later...

Oh and we found new foods he loves -- Butternut squash and corn!

Monday, January 1, 2007

UPDATE: The Flu is still totally LAME

If you are all eagerly awaiting posts about Max's first Christmas I'm afraid you will have to continue to sit on the edges of your seats as I am awaiting the arrival of the USB cable so I can download (upload? -- I never said I knew anything about computer stuff) all those cute candids of our little Fatburger opening his presents. I'm sorry to disappoint so many of you. Grab a tissue and blow your nose.

Instead, here is an update on poor little sick Maddox. Yes folks, he is still sick. We thought he was getting better, the diarrhea was still there in full force (included were major blow-outs every third diaper change or so. We've done about 24,000 loads of laundry, costing us nearly $3.5 million -- in quarters of course). But last night he was very very fussy and I was rocking him to sleep and he barfed all over me. I've also been pooped on and barfed on two more times since. A sick infant is probably one of the saddest most pathetic things you will ever see. All he does is whimper and whine and cry and he would not even smile today, not even for his brown bunny (his new favorite luvey) and if anyone knows Max they'd know he is the smiliest happiest little guy (when he's been fed and changed of course).

We took him to the doctor finally because we were afraid he was getting very dehydrated since he couldn't keep down formula and refused the Pedialyte. He had hardly any tears or wet diapers and his mouth was looking very dry with cracked lips. The doctor pretty much said the same things we have been hearing -- it's going around, keep trying to give him fluids little sips at a time, no formula until vomiting has stopped, blah blah blah. They did take a stool sample to test for Rotavirus but we won't know about that for a couple days.

Well Maddox would have none of that tonight. He was THIRSTY and extremely HUNGRY. He wailed for almost an hour as we tried to give him little sips of Pedialyte which he tried to gulp eagerly as we had to pull (with force) the nipple out of his mouth. It was so sad. Finally we gave in and gave him a bottle of formula and as soon as he had downed three ounces he was out cold. Poor little guy was just so hungry. Now we have to wait and see if he throws it up.

Tyler goes back to school on Wednesday and I'm dreading being home alone with this poor sick little baby of mine. Please pray hard that he gets better!