Monday, November 7, 2011

Worst & Best Day of My Life

We've all heard the saying that, once you have a child, your heart walks around outside of your body. Three weeks ago the enormity of this saying hit me in a way that I was wholly unprepared for. To understand the ending, a sweet loving toddler who is safely sound asleep, we must start at the beginning of the journey - which began when my wee one was not quite six weeks old.

Hayden at 6 weeks - first ear infection

Fast forward to July 13th, 2010 and we are in the waiting room having his first set of tubes put in at the tender age of 6.5 months old. The surgery was uneventful and recovery a breeze.

Fast forward to June of 2011 and Hayden (WITH tubes) has had seven ear infections in an eleven month time frame. We're at the ENT and are NOT seeing our regular doctor, as he takes approximately (no lie) 3-4 months to get an appointment with and Hayden doesn't have one with him until the end of June. The resident that we see is super nice and I explain my concerns: the multiple ear infections, chronic congestion and runny nose, the snoring, the "flip top" head while he sleeps, the NOT sleeping through the night. Yes, we answer to his questions. We have tried: saline drops, cool mist humidifier, deep carpet cleaning, cleaning the air ducts, allergy testing, a fan, elevated mattress, Vicks Baby Rub, Vicks Plug Ins, air purifier. I tell him that I REALLY think it's his adenoid blocking his airway while he sleeps. He agrees. THEN, enter Dr. A*Hole, the attending. He dismisses the thought that it could be his adenoid and insists it's silent reflux and prescribes Zantac. We let him drink too much milk and coddle him too much he states as gives us a list of foods for Hayden's new reflux-friendly diet.

A month later, we go in to see Dr. D, our regular ENT. I explain that I think Dr. A*Hole is wrong. The medicine is not making a difference in the pattern of behavior we are seeing. What should we do? He suggests a wait and see approach and recommends we come back at the beginning of October and re-evaluate. Hayden passed all of his hearing tests, so, in that respect, he seems fine and is hitting all of his developmental milestones right on schedule, so our doctor isn't overly concerned.

October 2011: It's a Tuesday and we're back for our follow up appointment. The Zantac and adjusted diet is STILL not making any difference in how Hayden sleeps. He still DOESN'T sleep through the night and has all the same issues. I tell the nurse that I REALLY think it's his adenoid and I'm frustrated that no one will listen to me. I ask her what our options are to see if I'm right. It's either a sleep study or xray. We decide on the xray, as we'll have an immediate answer and, seriously, the kid DOES NOT sleep through the night so I'm not sure what good a SLEEP study would do since I doubt he would actually, you know, sleep. A half hour later...the xray is complete. Dr. D comes in and pulls up Hayden's xray.'s definitely his adenoid. It's blocking 98% of his nasal passage and the Doctor is surprised at the enormity of the blockage given how Hayden continues to grow and thrive. He has an opening for surgery on Friday at the Children's satellite surgery center. We can remove the adenoid and put in new tubes, since his left one has been blocked for the past six months.

Two Days Later: Chip picks Hayden up from school and the lil' guy proceeds to get sick on him at home. When I get home from work, I get the same treatment four times. I call the surgery center and they direct us to still bring him in. We take him in and he has a 101 fever. Of course, surgery is a no go. Dr. D looks in his ears and SURPRISE - a nasty ear infection. We leave with a mega dose of antibiotics and a miserably sick little guy. Hayden's surgery is rescheduled for 10 days later to make sure he has enough time to recuperate and get better.

A week later: I wake up in the middle of the night as I hear what sounds like Hayden gasping for air over the monitor. I lay down with him in the guest bed and his breathing seems to even out, so I chalk it up to me hearing something weird or dreaming something strange. Still, the next day, I mention it to his teacher when I drop him off at school. When I call to check on him at nap time, she mentions she noticed it too. I call the ENT and they direct us to the ER at the Children's Hospital. We end up staying overnight for observation and the monitors don't pick up anything too bad. His heart rate and pulse ox drop, but the alarm goes off and he recovers. I have a Momma Bear moment with the on-call ENT about my concerns with Hayden's breathing and frustration when they try to discharge us. I want my baby better and I only trust Dr. D. I refuse to leave until the on-call ENT talks to Dr. D and tells us the plan and what's going on to make Hayden breath so strangely. Dr. D decides to postpone surgery until the next Wednesday so it can be done AT the hospital and to give Hayden more time to recover from whatever virus made him so sick and possibly caused the breathing issues he's having. He directs us that Hayden is to stay out of school until surgery and he wants him to get as much fresh air as possible to help make his lungs stronger. Dr. D explains that Hayden will have new tubes put in, his adenoid removed, but also will have a scope done to see what's going on with his breathing, as well as biopsy of his esophagus, washing of his lungs and a possible removal of his tonsils (depending on what he sees during surgery). Note to self: beware when you Google this as really... it's intimidating and scary stuff. However, we have to do what's best for Hayden and I have to be prepared and know what the doctor will be doing.

The next Wednesday: I am a wreck. I'm scared. I pray. Our sweet baby is having several scary sounding procedures. I'm swamped at work and nervous I look like a slacker since I've been out a week and have only been intermittently checking email. I curse myself for giving a crap about work right now and let it go. Hayden needs me to be strong right now. We play with Hayden and the anesthesiologist comes in and reviews the dangers of sedation and intubation. He reviews what will happen during each step of the procedure. We pray. They give Hayden some happy juice and we walk him to the OR doors. We kiss him, hug him and tell him the doctors will take great care of him and we'll see him in a minute.

We expect the procedure to take about 30 minutes to an hour. I watch his ID number on the board - PreOp it says and then it updates 10 minutes later to Surgery. We drink coffee - I try to read a magazine, to Facebook, to count tiles in the ceiling. FINALLY - Dr. D comes in and says that the surgery was perfect. He's amazed at how well Hayden had been compensating all this time. His tonsils were literally touching when he breathed in. He had to remove them, as well as his adenoid. Hayden had one of the worst cases he had ever seen for someone so young. After the two week recovery process, we should have a new kid! Dr. D said that we were right. He apologized for not listening to my mother's intuition sooner and praised us for not giving up and speaking up when we knew in our hearts something was wrong. Hayden most definitely had a severe case of sleep apnea (hence the gasping) and did NOT have reflux. Dr. D said that we would be able to see our baby in about 10 minutes.

30 minutes later...we're starting to get concerned. Did they forget about us? The board still says Post Op. I'm pacing and praying and praying and pacing. I go outside in the hall and see the anesthesiologist walk by and look at me. I follow him into the waiting room. He motions me over and tells me to get Chip and get our stuff and come to the conference room. We won't be coming back to the waiting room, he tells us. I'm confused and anxious. My heart is literally in my throat and I'm about to puke. "He's okay," he starts, "but...." My ears start ringing. Chip literally has to hold me down in my seat as I start crying and saying, "I want to see my baby, NOW!" Somehow, I pull it together to hear what he has to say. The doctor tells us that the surgery went perfect. Recovery was going perfect. Then...20 minutes after the surgery, Hayden stopped breathing. They have to intubate and bag him and it took a few minutes for him to recover enough to breath on his own. He had only not had oxygen for a few seconds, as there was a nurse right beside his bed every second. He reassured us that this happened occasionally and they knew how to handle it. Hayden was crying now and he would take us to go see him. The walk to the recovery room was the longest of my life.

In the recovery room... it was wonderful to see Hayden awake and okay. It was awful to see him looking so NOT like himself. Nothing can prepare you for the sight of your child hooked to monitors. He has wires and cast-looking things around both arms to keep him from pulling anything out. There is also this terrible, green thing (nasal trumpet) sticking out of his nose. He's so tiny! I am holding it together, but barely. It's like I'm watching myself through a window. Hayden sees me and the nurses give him to me. I practically rip him from their arms. I sit and rock him and start singing as tears roll silently down my cheeks. I'm praising God that he's here, he's okay, he's breathing. Even as I hold him, Hayden's pulse ox keeps dropping...he'll relax and try to fall asleep, then he stops breathing. We have to tickle him and make him cry to get him to start again. Finally, after an hour, we are able to remove the "blow by" oxygen and I can just hold him and rock him and love him. He settles down and his vitals start to stabilize. We'll be staying the night in the PICU they tell us...Honestly, there's nowhere else I wanted to be at that moment. I'm still so scared. As I sit in recovery and continue to rock Hayden, I realize that God planned all of this. He knew this is where we needed to be for his surgery. If we had been at the surgery center, we would have had to been CareFlighted to the hospital. He knew what He was doing.

Even now, as I type this, I am overwhelmed. I still need to write thank you notes to the nurses and staff at the hospital. I don't know what to say, especially to the recovery nurse. How do you properly thank someone for literally saving your child's life? A superhero cape? A million dollars? My eternal gratitude? We know what this happened - the intubation tube from surgery was removed when he was under too deep of sedation. It caused his airway to freeze up (similar to the response a child has when they fall in the water). They had to give him a shot to "unfreeze" the muscles so that they could intubate him. I saw the little instrument they used to intubate my son. I saw the bag they used to breath life and air back into his lungs. The memories of those moments are forever burned in my mind.

Right now, yea, I am probably a helicopter parent and probably let Hayden get away with more than I should. There's so many lessons learned from October 19, 2011. I will go into them later, but, suffice it to say that Chip and I were forever changed on that day. We left the hospital stronger and closer than ever. We learned who our true friends are. We learned that family and friends will move Heaven and Earth to help you. We were reminded of what really matters...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Seventeen to Twenty Months In...

Oh Hayden,

Please don't take the fact that I have written NOTHING on this blog for the last FOUR months to mean that you haven't done anything noteworthy. Quite simply, it is because you are so. very. busy. There is certainly never a dull moment and "toddler wrangling" is truly a whole body workout.

Here is a timeline of five minutes in our typical day after we get home:
Put our bags up.
Ask for "up."
Bang on the window by the stairs.
Go upstairs.
You open the girl's kennels.
We go back down the stairs.
Go outside.
Go inside.
Feed the girls.
Play in the dog food.
Clean up the dog food.
Fill up the water bowl.
Empty the water bowl.
Clean up the water.
Play "hoop."
Play "gawf."
Play "frow football."
Put on "football hat."
Take off "football hat."
"Momma, hike football"
Play "baseball bat."
Play "barn."
Go outside.
Go down "side."

See - who needs a typical workout when I have you? I get hugs, kisses and a lot or running around! Seriously, I am loving every moment. Every day something new happens that just makes us laugh.

  • You weigh 29 pounds and are very tall. You are in size 6 1/2 shoes, 24 month or 2T shirts and 18 to 24 month shorts and pants.

  • You are also skinny with the cutest milk belly.

  • You have your Daddy's obsession with shoes. You are extremely picky about what shoes you wear, so much so that we had to buy the same pair in a couple of sizes.

  • You wear a size 5 diaper and are VERY good about telling us when you go "poo, poo." You will grab our hand, get a diaper from the diaper bucket, grab your wipes and diaper cream and then lay down on your farm rug for us to change you.

  • Like any boy, you find bodily functions HILARIOUS! The other night, Izzie had a sneaky, silent and smelly toot. I asked you if Izzie tooted and you started belly laughing and saying "Izzie toot!" You also grab your own behind and say, "I toot!" while laughing. It is pretty funny, I have to admit.

  • The messier the activity, the better! I am loving this. This past weekend, we painted a paper maiche witch hat, made chocolate chip cookies, made Christmas ornaments with your handprints in plaster (which I bought to do last Christmas, but oh well) and made Rice Krispy treats. You liked all of it. The stickiness of the marshmallows ws pretty funny - it was like a cat with tape on it's paws. You figured out how to get it off though - licking it!

  • You love to give "noses." It's what's typically called an Eskimo kiss.

  • You like to high five, say "Bye bye!," talk to everyone and watch CARS!

  • CARS is your favorite movie. We have it saved on every DVR, on Blu Ray, on DVD and on every other electronic device/format possible I think.

  • Don't wash a talking "A Peen" (Lighting McQueen) car - it will then have a high voice, will then quit working and "bake." Your Momma will then have to buy you a new one since she's the one who washed it to get the stickiness off of it.

  • You took swimming lessons over the summer and LOVED them! We signed you up for more lessons twice a week in the evenings. It's an indoor pool and we like the way you sleep afterwards. You are a water baby!

  • You don't like it if I hold another baby. You try to crawl in my lap or up me and will just cry. If it's a bigger kid, no jealousy. I guess this means you're not quite ready for a sibling? :)

  • You love your puppies and enjoy making all the animal sounds. It's our favorite game to play in the car.

  • Your favorite song is "Back That Thing Up" by Justin Moore. It's the rooster sound at the beginning of the song that you like the most. As soon as you get in the car, you ask for the "cock-a-doodle-doo" and point to the radio. You also like "Where the Boat Leaves From" by the Zach Moore Band and have liked it since you were a wee baby. We need a new CD of it though because it's "baken." (broken)

  • You are 100% boy. You love watching or playing ball, getting dirty, playing on the playground, riding your bike (tricycle), watching Elmo, playing outside, playing with tools and loving on us.

  • Speaking of Elmo, you had a boo boo awhile back and I gave you an Elmo bandaid. After that, you wanted ONLY an Elmo bandaid every day for your arm. There are only 6 Elmo bandaids in a package, so I ordered Elmo tattoos. You have to have an Elmo on one arm and Cookie on the other. Good thing I over-ordered by accident and we have about 432 tattoos.

  • Ilove you so much, buddy! You are a joy and make our hearts burst. I love the way you run across your classroom to give me hugs and kisses when I pick you up and how you say "bye, bye" and give me hugs & kisses when I drop you off.

  • At night, when I rock you, it makes my heart so happy that you say "Star" for me to sing you Twinkle, twinkle little star, then you say "pay" so we pray (with your hands folded together) and you say "Amen" at the end. Then you snuggle in and I sing "Bible" (Jesus Loves Hayden).

More to come...



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fifteen to Sixteen Months In...

Dear Hayden,

Dear Lord, son, you just keep growing! You are now a few days past being 16 months old. Every moment with you is just unbelievably amazing! You are so funny – such a perfect mix of your Daddy and me. Seeing things in you that are like me make me love myself more.

  • You smile just like me – in lights up your whole face. You smile with your whole body.

  • Your personality is JUST like your Daddy’s (and Grandpa Skip). You have never met a stranger. In fact, it took your Daddy an hour to get through Home Depot the other day because you were so busy saying and waving hi & bye to everyone. If someone doesn’t say Hi back to you, you will say it over (and louder)) until they do and then you smile at them.

  • However, you don’t like other people to HOLD you if we are around. It takes you a bit to warm up and then you are best buds.

  • The past two months have been full of strange weather. Warm one day, snow the next, then rain. The whole April showers thing is not a lie in PA!

  • We filled up your sandbox a few weeks ago. You adore it! Every day when we get home from school, you go straight to the backdoor to go outside. Rain, snow, sleet, sun – you love the outdoors! You get very sad when the weather is too yucky to go outside.

  • You LOVE – seriously LOVE – basketball. We broke down and got you a little indoor hoop and you literally shoot baskets in it every. single. day.

  • We went to the park by our house a couple of weeks ago and you played for a few minutes on the swing and went down the slide (by yourself, I might add). Then we walked over to the basketball court where two precious girls about 8 & 10 were playing. You dropped your bag of goldfish and walked over to them holding out your arms for the REAL basketball. They couldn’t resist your charms. You played basketball with them for almost an hour! You would pass the ball to them so they could shoot it through the hoop.

  • Fast forward to this past Saturday. I took you to the park and you went down the slide once, on the swing for about 30 seconds and then you saw the basketball court and made a beeline for it! I had brought your big, red ball with us. We got to the courts and you saw a gross, old Nerf basketball and would have NOTHING to do with the red, CLEAN ball we brought. I can’t fool you – you know what a basketball should look like. I lifted you up to the hoop and you actually threw the ball in and, by the grace of God and your Frohling athleticism, it went in! I never want to forget the look of pure JOY on your face at that moment!

  • Your Uncle Jake is LOVING your love of basketball! He coaches it and one day soon will be showing you all of the moves and stuff.

  • The Easter Bunny brought you a REAL basketball. You think it’s SO, SO awesome and that you are now a BIG kid.

  • We took you to the mall to walk around one day when it was gross outside. We walked by the trains and the Easter Bunny (who you quickly walked AWAY from). We carried you and walked to the escalators. We sat you down and you walked ALL the way back to the other side of the mall to the trains and said “Go, Go!” You wanted to ride it! I roder with you the first time and you tried to push me out. The next ride was all you. Your face absolutely lite up with happiness at riding the train ALL by yourself!

  • We joined the SeeSaw Center by our house for this season and next. You and Daddy really enjoyed going on Saturday mornings when Momma had to work some events.

  • We took you to Simmons Farm for an Easter Egg hunt. You liked walking in the apple orchard looking for eggs and painting, as well as planting a pepper plant in, a flower pot with Dada. Your VERY favorite part was the petting zoo. The QUACK, QUACKS! There was also a chocolate lab you loved. The baby goats and baby rabbits were okay, but again – there were quack, quacks who you kept chasing and pointing to. LOVED that moment!

  • You talk SO much (just like Momma).
    o Quack, quack = duck
    o Uck = truck and yuck
    o Cass Can = Trashcan
    o Momma
    o Dada
    o Ca Ca = car and rooster
    o Les Go = Let’s Go
    o Izzie
    o Addie
    o Dagee = doggy
    o Ga Ga = Grandma and Grandpa
    o Bye (very Texan sounding)
    o Hi (very Texan sounding)
    o Light
    o Peas = Please
    o Ba = Ball
    o Moo = Cow
    o Tea
    o Go Go
    o Ba Ba = Bottle
    o Ni Ni = Night, night

  • You are also very good at signing for more, all done, dog and please.

  • You understand so much! You will take our finger and lead us to what you want. You will bring us something if we ask you. You know where things are and like to point out our friends and family.

  • You really love putting things in the trash can. You are like me in that everything has a place. You’re like your Daddy in your love of shoes. You will bring me your shoes nineteen hundred times a day until I put them on you. Normally this means you want to go outside or go somewhere.

  • You will sometimes take my keys and go to the door and say “Les Go!” You also will hit the door and say Dada when you think it is time for your Dada to be home.

  • You are now (and I hope I don’t jinx this) sleeping through the night and only getting up once or twice. We are also all done with nursing. Weaning off the bottle will come next, but we’re not rushing. It’ll happen.

  • You are still napping SO good at school! YEA!

  • You now have TWELVE teeth. All of your molars came in and, let’s just say, that is NOT fun!!

  • One of your very favorite things to do right now is still to hug (and open mouth kiss) and I could just eat it up! If we ask you to hug someone or something, you will. It’s adorable! You really love to hug (and kiss!) Izzie. She is so sweet with you and just lays there as your crawl all over her.

  • You still love your puzzles. You will sit down at your picnic table or stand up at the coffee table to do them every night.

  • You are SUCH a great walker and are starting to run a little bit.

  • You are eating better although getting you to eat veggies in the natural form (as opposed to baby food form) is not the easiest. We don’t make it a battle though because you do love to feed yourself with a spoon.

  • At your 15 month appointment, they said that you are in the 33rd percentile for weight (a bit over 24 lbs.) and 66th percentile for height (31 ¾ inches). Your head is in the 50th percentile at 18 inches. You now weigh a little over 26 pounds.

  • You still wear a size 5.0M shoe, size 4 diapers and 12-18 month one piece outfits and shirts. You are now tall enough for 12-18 month pants.

  • You still love the color orange and balls!

  • We are going on a family cruise to the Eastern Caribbean with Grandma and Grandpa Texas, Aunt Elesha, Uncle Chad and Nathan & Oliver. It will be so fun!

  • You are very vocal about what you want or DON'T want. You love for us to read to you and are constantly bringing us books to read. It makes my heart VERY happy since I love to read.

  • Every day is so much fun and we love it! You are truly our gift from God!!


Fourteen Months In...

Dear Hayden,

FOURTEEN MONTHS! Actually, as I write this, you are one week away from being fifteen months. I blame it on the fact that I am just enjoying every single second with you. Your little personality is just so amazing! Every day is a new adventure and full of blessings. Seeing the world through your eyes is so wonderful!

  • This month, we had a lot of fun adventures as a family! Now that Spring is getting closer, we are trying to venture out more and explore.

  • We went to Cabela’s in West Virginia. You LOVED the fish and people watching!

  • We went to Kidapalooza at the convention center. You really liked the blow up slide and all of the characters. The Teddy Graham bear was your favorite – other than the yellow balloon your friend Owen gave you.

  • You also went to your first basketball game! You LOVED watching. There’s something about that orange ball…

  • We also went to visit the SeeSaw Center. It was a blast! You loved everything – there was so much to see, we will definitely have to go back. You loved the slides (one was even orange!) and the basketball hoop.

  • You went to your first party at a play center. We went to Giggles & Smiles and you rode this little train thing. It made you laugh, as did the tunnels you crawled through. And again…you went straight to the basketball hoop…

  • You are now in the toddler room! OH DEAR! You love it. You get to play outside with your friends, do LOTS of fun artwork and you even sit at a little table to eat with your friends.

  • We got you a really cute nap mat (camp with your name in orange, of course) and you now sleep for two hours on your cot at school. I’m not sure if it’s luck or the mat, but the first day you tried it, you started sleeping through at nap time (you were only sleeping 30 minutes before).

  • Speaking of sleeping, you now sleep through the night and only nurse first thing in the morning. YEA! We had a bit of regression due to you being sick and getting a molar, but we’re getting back on track. The key is Dada getting up to soothe you, not the milk bar Momma.

  • You just got your NINTH tooth. It’s a molar and it hurt you when it was breaking through. Thank goodness for teething gel and Motrin.

  • I have now been “baptized” by you. Last week, I was running a little late and, when I got to school, you had just gotten sick all over one of your teachers. I rushed you to urgent care and Dada met us. We were in the exam room and Dada got up to through away a tissue. At that moment, you got sick all over me and the chair that Dada had just vacated. You had a really high temperature that luckily broke by 3 a.m. that night. We cuddled the next day. I am very thankful it was a short-lived virus. I do NOT like seeing you sick!

  • Your very favorite thing to do right now is hug and I could just eat it up! If we ask you to hug someone or something, you will. It’s adorable! You really love to hug (and kiss!) Izzie. She is so sweet with you and just lays there as your crawl all over her.

  • You also are SO smart! If you find something on the floor or I give you something and ask you to take it to the trash, you take it right to the trash can and put it in! It’s very helpful!

  • You also like to wipe your face and nose and clean your tray.

  • Puzzles are a new love of yours. You know where each piece goes. You like the animal and vehicle ones best.

  • You are walking better and better each day. You LOVE the ball popper and the Toy Story push toy that your friend, Owen, let us borrow. You like to stand on the Toy Story push toy. It’s pretty cute!

  • You are entering the toddler phase of not eating as much and being pretty picky about what you will eat sometimes. Dada and I don’t make it a battle. You are good about trying new things, but if you don’t like it, you won’t eat it. We have our go-to foods, so we know you will NORMALLY eat those things. They are: chicken, bananas, applesauce, yogurt, cheese, goldfish, waffles, grilled cheese, French toast, sweet potatoes, squash and mac & cheese. I will sneak in veggies in what you are eating and you don’t mind.

  • You are talking and pointing so much more now! You know what you want and will definitely let us know. You know so much and are so incredible.

  • You now wear a size 5.0M shoe (as of today!), size 4 diapers and 12-18 month one piece outfits and shirts. You are starting to get tall enough for 12-18 month pants.

  • You still love the color orange and balls!

  • You are very vocal about what you want or DON'T want. You love for us to read to you and are constantly bringing us books to read. It makes my heart VERY happy since I love to read.

  • Every single day is an adventure and we could not be more blessed.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Thirteen Months In...

Dear Hayden,

For some people, thirteen is viewed as an unlucky number. Well, not in this family! Your Grandma Texas was born on September 13th and your cousin Nathan was born on April 13th. This month, you are thirteen months old and just so. much. fun! Each and every day is filled with wonder and your Dada and I feel so incredibly fortunate that God chose us to be your parents. We love you more than you can ever know. One day, when you become a Dada, you will understand the depth of our love for you.
  • This month, we have stayed home a lot and enjoyed TONS of quality family time.
  • Dada and I went on a date to the Pitt basketball game with our work. Our sweet friends, Nick & Emily, watched you. It's hard to say who had more fun - you or them! You fell asleep and cuddled at their house. You are such a sweet, loving little guy. It makes my heart happy to see other people love on you and adore you as much as we do.
  • You now have EIGHT teeth! Your eighth one came in on your 13 month birthday. You are less of a vampire baby now. HA! We are cutting back on your nursing to once during the night and after I pick you up from school. You are down to two bottle a day and are now on 100% whole milk.
  • You LOVE to play! Your laugh and smile just lights up your whole face. Your belly laugh is especially fun! The other day, when we were on Skype with Grandma & Grandpa Frohling, you were playing with your light up ball from Grandma & Grandpa Texas. Addison chased it when you threw it and you just belly laughed so loudly. It was about the cutest thing EVER!
  • You have added "hi," "bye," "nana" (banana) and "ni-ni" (night night = bedtime) to your vocabulary. You are always waving hi & bye. You love to clap (you especially love clapping for the TERRIBLE singers on American Idol - possibly because Momma is in that category in regards to being able to carry a tune) and are starting to blow kisses. You talk a lot in your own language. It makes me laugh and we have lots of important conversations!
  • You love to crawl over to me and pull up on my legs. When I pick you up, you give me a hug. Needless to say, I always pick you up! You also love to crawl all over your jungle gym (i.e., Dada) and cuddle with him.
  • Izzie is your new best friend. You love to pet her, kiss her and hug her. She is very gentle with you and enjoys giving you kisses. This is especially helpful after you eat. HA! You enjoy giving them their treats when we put them in their kennels in the morning. Also, as soon as we get home, you point up the stairs and start signing for "dog" and saying "Iz."
  • Your favorite show is Sesame Street. If you are feeling a bit fussy, we can put it on and you will start dancing to the music, pull up on the TV stand and talk to your "friends" on the TV.
  • We put the web cam above the TV and connected the laptop to it. Needless to say, the grandparents love this because now they can watch you play while we Skype.
  • You are a wonderful eater. You REALLY love bananas. When I (or your teachers at school) ask if you want one, you will crawl over to your highchair. You are getting better at using a (toddler) spoon and fork. I have to say, I am very proud of what a good eater you are and the fact that you have healthy eating habits.
  • Boy, oh boy, do you love the bath. I love giving you a bath and singing to you the songs that Grandma Texas and Grandma Water (my Grandma) sang to me. We sing "I'm Going to Wash that Girl (changed from Man) Right out of my Hair, "Singin' in the Rain," "Splish Splash I was Takin' a Bath," "The Rubber Ducky Song (from Sesame Street)," and "At the Carwash (when we dry you off)."
  • You like to pull up, scoot around and push anything with a button or that makes noise. You are getting so tall and strong that we are constantly having to move things to safe zones.
  • You are very curious about EVERYTHING! It amazes me how much you remember and know. Just this past weekend, we were at the mall and you started drinking from a straw like you had been doing it all along. YEA!
  • At school, you like to push the buzzer that lets us in the door. You love to give your teachers hugs and they really love you! You are starting to transition to the toddler room. I know you are ready, but it's a little hard on me. You sit and eat lunch with your friends at a TABLE with CHAIRS! You are growing up so fast!!
  • You still wear a size 4.5M shoe, size 4 diapers and 12-18 month one piece outfits and shirts. You are starting to get tall enough for 12-18 month pants.
  • You have another ear infection in your left ear. Luckily, your tubes are working and it's draining so you are not in pain. Another ten day does of amoxicillin (which you take so well) and ear drops.
  • You still love the color orange and have this little frog bath toy that you love.
  • You are very vocal about what you want or DON'T want. You love for us to read to you and are constantly bringing us books to read. It makes my heart VERY happy since I love to read.
  • Every single day is an adventure and we could not be more blessed.



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Twelve Months In...

Dear Hayden,

How is it ALREADY been a year since you were born? Daddy and I can't believe it - time really does fly when you are a parent! Every day is an adventure with you, we get the opportunity to look at the world in a whole new way through your eyes. You help us to appreciate the small things and to realize that family is really all that matters. We are incredibly blessed!
  • This past month has involved a LOT of traveling. You are an amazing little guy and normally either laugh and talk or fall asleep on the many flights you have been on.
  • We spend the second week of December in Texas so we could visit Grandma and Grandpa Texas, Uncle Chad, Aunt Elesha, Oliver, Nathan, Uncle Brian, Aunt Mary and their Baker bunch...the list goes on and on. We celebrated your birthday early and, man, did you go to town on your basketball cake! It was pretty awesome I must say!
  • We spent your birthday flying after Momma & Dada got off of work. We landed in Iowa just in time for your Grandma and Grandpa Frohling to wish you Happy Birthday. We had two delayed flights and you just slept right through it all! You got to enjoy another birthday celebration on Christmas Eve with more family. I have to say that our Iowa friends and family think you are amazing! Cousin James said the sweetest thing when your Great Aunt Janet was rocking you. He said, "Grandma, it looks just like you are rocking baby Jesus." He said you reminded him of baby Jesus because you smell good, have no hair and have soft skin.
  • Santa came to see you and BOY do you have a LOT of toys! Momma is working on organizing them so you're not too overwhelmed. We rotate them so you can play with everything that your friends, Aunts and Uncles have so generously given you.
  • You now have seven teeth. You are cutting a couple of more and this has turned you into a little vampire baby. Let's just say your nursing days are coming to an end!
  • Besides "Mama," "Dada," "dagee" (doggy) and "uh oh!" you have now added "light" (said with a slight Texas twang), "dat," (that) "dis" (this), "Iz" (Izzie) and "baa" (ball).
  • You can sign doggy, more, all done and you also point really well while says "dat?" or "dis?"
  • When football is on, you will point at the TV and say "Dada dat." I think it means you are saying that Dada and you watch football/ESPN together every morning.
  • You like to blow raspberries, kisses and click your tongue and imitate us constantly. It's VERY entertaining! I really love your open mouth kisses. I don't like it when you fake me out with a kiss and bite my nose instead (that has only happened once though).
  • You are still a great eater. You are now on pretty much all table food and are beginning to drink cow's milk. We do 1/2 formula and 1/2 whole milk right now and are working on adjusting to all cow's milk over the next couple of weeks. If you don't want something though or are full, you will turn your head and NOT eat it. I am glad that you do this since it shows you are developing healthy eating habits.
  • You are also drinking from a sippy cup most of the time. We are starting to wean you off of the bottle, but weaning you from nursing is coming first, then the bottle.
  • Baths are still tons of fun for you!! I hope you have Momma's love of water.
  • You are pulling up and starting to take steps while we hold your hands. We bought you your first pair of shoes at Stride Rite and you are doing great! You especially love to kick them against your high chair and stroller to make noise.
  • You wear a size 4.5 M shoe.
  • You are now in size 4 diapers.
  • You are still in 12-18 month one piece outfits and shirts. Pants are 6-12 or 9-12. The 12-18 pants are still a little long.
  • We went to your one year appointment and you are doing fabulous! You now weigh 22 lbs. 6 oz. (42nd percentile) with a height of 30 3/4 inches (77th percentile) and a head circumference of 18 inches (72nd percentile). This means you are tall and thin with a big brain! You weigh less than your last appointment because you are so mobile now.
  • The doctor is very impressed with how you are developing, especially given that you had to have tubes at such a young age (six months). She was especially charmed by your unique mode of scooting.
  • You are starting to get up less at night, so I am hoping for longer stretches soon! (Can that be your New Year's resolution? HA!)
  • Your favorite spot in our house is the windows. You love to pull up and bang on them. I like the little baby hand prints!
  • Your favorite color is still orange and you love to play with balls, anything that makes noise, trucks and your Little People farm.
  • Dada and Momma got you a ball pit for your birthday and you will play for a good half hour in it. You like to throw the balls out of it right now and play peek a boo in it. You have a really good arm! Right now, you throw with both arms so we're not sure if you're right or left handed. Maybe you're ambidextrous?
  • You really love Addison and Izzie. You are trying to say Izzie. It's hard to tell if you are saying "dis" or "Iz." You literally squeal with joy and laughter when we go upstairs to let them out of their kennels. They adore you too - especially when you eat and throw food at them. You lift your arm and they sit on their bums and then you feed them some of your food. You haven't yet realized that they don't go to restaurants with us so we have to tip more for the mess under your chair.
  • You like to play in the dog's water bowl. You only did it once and now you go STRAIGHT for it every time you are in the kitchen. They now reside on the counter when you are in the kitchen.
  • You are truly a very happy and smiley baby. I am not ready for you to be a toddler QUITE yet!
  • You are crawling up the steps (with help of course) and we are teaching you the safe way to get down them (thanks Aunt Shari and Uncle Josh for that tip). Baby gates and electric outlet plugs are a great thing! We did have to get another brand of outlet covers since you figured out how to get the first brand out very quickly.
  • Yesterday you grabbed a diaper out of your basket. I asked you to bring it to me and if you had a wet diaper. You scooted right over and handed it to me. Sure enough, you were wet! You are so smart!
  • We love you VERY much, Hayden! God has blessed us with you and we cherish every second together. We are so proud of you and promise to always support and love you! Happy First Birthday, Snugglebug Monkey!