Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Schwiesow Family Photos

In October we had family photos with my family. My family had their photos taken at William Land Park in Sacramento.
Take a look.

Crawling...or not

For those of you moms out there whose kids did things early or right on time please try to understand how it feels when you're kid does some things late.
Ethan sat up on time, rolled over on time, and started babbling early. He sat up at 6 1/2 months and sat up really well at 8 months. He's been scooting backwards for the last 3 weeks (when he was 9 months). He just doesn't seem to care to crawl. He's 10 months old and I have begun to worry. The books say that it's not uncommon for kids to just get up and walk and skip crawling all together or for them to crawl later than 10 months old. I feel like I'm placing so much expectation on Ethan to keep up with my friends kids. I keep forgetting that he's an individual and the books are just averages. You always want your kid to be more than average. I have friends whose kids crawled at 6 1/2 months or walked at 10 months and my kid just doesn't care to do it.
I wonder how I can let it go when in the back of my mind I'm worried that he'll never do it. But, then I remember that there was a time that I didn't think he's ever roll over, or sit up, etc. He did all of them and he did them in his own timing. I've got to just let go and let him be Ethan.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nana & Papa

Ethan loves his Nana & Papa. We're lucky to live only 3 blocks away from my parents. The park is right across the street from their house. Lately, we've been walking over to the park and putting Ethan in the swings. Don't even get me started on how disgusting and germy those must be. After disinfecting the swings, my parents usually come over to play.

Here's Nana with Ethan & Nana with Ethan & Ella playing on Thanksgiving.

Ethan loves them both! I can tell that because we live so close and my parents are so involved in Ethan life that they will always be very special to him.

We're sick!!!

About a week ago Ethan woke up around 10pm, which he rarely does, crying. He was fussy for about an hour and finally calmed down around 11pm. The next morning I noticed he was congested. Ugh, a cold! For the last week he has been sick. We've used a ton of Boogie Wipes, which I thought I'd never buy, but they work. Now we have been told by the Pulmonologist office to begin nebulizers and to add a vest treatment to the middle of the day. He is not weezing or having a hard time breathing. He is his normal cheery self and is eating like usual (a lot!). He's just sick!
On Thanksgiving day he started to have a wet cough so that's what made me think to call the nurse on Monday to see about starting nebs. We now are doing nebulizers 2x a day for a total of 45 minutes at a time and his vest treatments 3x a day for 15 minutes at a time. I realize that in the CF world spending 2 hours and 15 minutes a day doing treatments is nothing so I should be grateful. However, it still sucks! Ethan hates the nebs. He won't stay still for long enough and the only thing that really works is turning on Baby Mozart. He has to watch it over and over again because that's the only baby video we have. I'm looking into finding another show on Netflix streaming so I don't lose my mind watching Baby Einstein.
Luckily the nebulizer treatments will be over when his cold is gone. He's had it for 1 week now and the nurse says that most colds last 10-14 days. If it's not gone by then we'll most likely have to go in and be seen by one of the pulmonologists. I don't foresee that happening, but it could. For now, we're doing as the doctor orders.

Tree Lighting & Decorations

On Sunday my parents, sister & her kids and us all went to the Christmas tree lighting near our house. There were train rides, hay rides, a ferris wheel, Santa, singing, a magician & free hot chocolate. We were there for a little over an hour. It was 48 degrees outside when we walked over at 430pm and by 5pm it was in the low 40's. We are lucky that we bundled Ethan in a snow suit that a friend had given me. I thought I'd never use it. Leave it to a Californian to use a snow suit when it's only 40 degrees outside ;)

It even "snowed" foamy bubbles.

Ethan & Santa

We also did some decorating this weekend too. We put up our Christmas tree and all of the ornaments we could find. The tree looks great! This year was the first year we bought stockings. It was our one buy for Christmas this year. We're gradually getting the things we need, but trying not to break the bank in the process.

I'll have to add the photos of our stockings and more of the tree once I get more off the camera. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

9 months old!

Today Ethan is 9 months old! I can't believe he's already 9 months. The older he gets the more we enjoy him. He's a social baby and loves everyone. He hasn't had any problems with stranger anxiety or wanting to just be with me or Ken. He does love his daddy. He has to know where Ken is at all times. I can just see what it will be like as Ethan starts walking. I'm sure he'll follow Ken and Ken's dad everywhere.
In the day Ethan has started to crawl backwards and today got up on all 4's for about 10 seconds. I'm glad to see that he's almost crawling although I know as soon as he's mobile he will be everywhere.
Here are some pictures from the last month.

Getting ready for the niner game to start.

Sitting up really well.

Trying on Papa's glasses

Mommy & Ethan at the zoo with friends.

Over the past month Ethan has begun to talk even more. He's always been a talker, but now he's talking more. He loves to say "Dadadadadadada" over and over again. It's his favorite word. He doesn't understand that Ken is Dada, but I think Ken still loves to hear it.
Ethan learned how to sit up at about 7 1/2 months, but now is an expert. He hardly ever falls over and even does is vest treatment sitting up without falling over. When he leans over to grab a toy he sometimes falls onto his stomach and is happy to be there. He can reach farther than I think his arms to be able to go.
He loves to eat cheerios and bites of apples. We're about to start giving him more table foods like tofu, slices of pears, cheese, and carrots. He wasn't a fan of the egg yolk last time I tried it. He's a great eater! He also loves music which is no surprise.
A few weeks ago I went back to work part time and his Grammy, Ken's mom, has been watching him. He seems to be adjusting really well. I did notice at first that he was grumpy when I got home and thought that was pay back for being gone, but now I think he was just grumpy. I wonder if I never noticed the grumpiness at the end of the day because I had all day with him. Hmmm...
Anyways, he's growing and learning new things everyday. He's 21 lbs and about to be put into the convertible carseat still rear facing (just have to figure out how to fit it in my tiny car).

Checking out his new carseat.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Losing the baby weight

I have begun to finally start to lose the baby weight. It took me 9 months to pack it on and it's taken me 9 months to lose only the initial 28 lbs. I have gained 5 lbs back and I know that if I don't do something about it I will continue to gain. I'm sick of living in this fat body. Although, I know many people would say that I'm not fat. I just don't feel good about myself at all. I need to lose 20 lbs to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight and hopefully size ;)
To start my journey I decided to join a gym so I could use the elliptical. The elliptical usually is the one thing that kick starts losing weight. Ken joined with me which made me feel a lot better. Having someone to lose weight with especially a spouse makes it so much easier. Well, we both joined and then Ken decided to use my parents treadmill so he canceled his membership. I had the best of intentions last week to start going to the gym, but I made every excuse in the book.
My plan was to go Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays after work. It's hard to even think that I would be able to work out after almost 10 hours of work when all I want to do is go home to my baby. Anyways, I have now cancelled my membership in hopes of using my parents treadmill.
So, now I'm left with working out on my parents treadmill on my days off when my dad can watch Ethan. I only need 30 minutes. I'm on my way to eating better as well. It sounds stupid but yesterday I ate really well, except for the brownies at work. I had to try just one :0
Here I go. In a few weeks I hope to lose 5 lbs and actually fit into my current jeans. By Christmas I hope to lose 10 lbs total. Here I go...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Events in October

In October we went to the Jelly Belly factory and the pumpkin patch as a family.
Here are the photos from Goblin Gardens:

Then we finally made it to the Jelly Belly factory. We've both lived within an hour of the Jelly Belly factory our whole lives and never made it there. It was a wonderful day!

First Halloween

With Nana the fortune teller

Ethan had a great first Halloween. He was chicken, not a duck! My mom kept saying he was a duck, but the costume said chicken on the tag. I don't know any ducks with a sharp beak, do you?

The Giants also won that night and went on to win the World Series the next night. Ethan was almost as excited as Ken!!! Go Giants!

Here we go again...

Today Ethan and I headed to Kaiser for his first Synagis shot of the season, well he had two shots of it because he's such a big boy. He weighed in at 21 lbs 1 oz!!! The nurse said he is not your typical CF baby. He's huge! She said that compared to when he was supposed to come in March for a shot, she expected him to be small, but was pleasantly surprised that he is doing so well. She mentioned something about how he might have mild CF. According to our doctors CF is a luck of the draw thing. The more bacterial infections you have the worse your lung function is. It's not about having a mild form of it. I tend to lean towards what our doctors say and not the nurses giving the shots.
Anyways, Ethan got his shot(s) and we got another lecture on where to allow Ethan to go. Here is my list and instructions:

KEEP YOUR BABY HOME (until the end of May)
*Avoid airline travel
*Avoid large holiday gatherings
*No daycare, no church nurseries, etc.
*No ear piercing or studio photos
*Avoid malls, shopping centers, movie theaters, etc
*Keep sick people away from your baby
*Keep your baby covered, in the stroller or car seat, with a blanket when you need to bring them to Kaiser or other public areas.

The nurse also told us we basically can't go to Thanksgiving unless we don't bring Ethan. Right, like we're going to do that. She makes a good point that children between the ages of 2 and 5 are germ magnets. My niece is two. How am I supposed to keep Ethan away from her until May? She loves him and he loves her. Ken and I are upset again by the drastic measures we are supposed to go to keep him healthy. It seems like an impossible thing to do or at least that's what the list leaves me feeling like. As I said in my prior post, we'll keep him out as much as we can but we can't live in a bubble.
Every four weeks we'll be doing this all over again through April...we'll see how that goes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Living in a bubble

Yesterday I received a call from the nurse who gives the Synagis injections for RSV. We have to go every 28 days until April to help lower his chances of getting RSV this winter. She went on to tell us that we were to keep him out of grocery stores, restaurants, malls, and basically all public places for the winter. She also asked what I did for a living. When I told her I was going to be starting a new nanny position she told me "if you work with kids your son will get RSV". Nice, thanks for making me feel guilty for trying to put food on the table for my family. How the heck am I supposed to do that?
Our doctors told us back in March that we can't live in a bubble and who can stay inside all day long. We are "allowed" to go for walks.
I'm so frustrated. As if the pressure to keep him well wasn't enough now I have been made to feel guilty if I choose to take my kid in public. I want to protect him but when does living a normal life become important too? I want him to have a normal childhood not be shut up inside all the time. I wonder what I'll be expected to do when he wants to go to AWANA at church at 3 years old or preschool or being in Sunday School every Sunday. I want him to know God and be around people who will be his extended family. I want him to have friends. It's bad enough he can't interact with other kids who have CF. Now, he's expected to be alone too.
I just can't do it. We'll try our best to keep him out of those public places this winter, but I will not be forced to stay inside all day and not live our lives. I try to stay away from sick people, especially sick kids and I'll have to be very careful at work, change my clothes immediately before touching him and continually wash my hands at work to help keep from taking germs home to him. I would have to take these precautions even if I was working in an office. I will not be made to feel guilty.
I am his mother. I can make good decisions for him.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The job hunt continues...

Well, the job that I thought I had fell through. One day we were getting everything set up for me to start today and the next she chickened out. I was really angry on Friday when she emailed me to tell me she was hiring another nanny. The other nanny was cheaper than me and could give her the flexibility that she needed. We had talked on Thursday and I had assured her that I could give her flexibility, but I guess she didn't believe me. I think it came down to the money.
Oh well, no job, so the search continues. I don't care if it's a nanny position or an office job I just need a job by November 1st. I am on Paid Family Leave until the end of the month so for now we have enough money. We are anxious about using our savings to float us. We are lucky that we have savings to use, but we worry that it will take a long time to find a job and we'll eat through our savings in the process.
The good thing about this extra time is that I'm home with Ethan a little longer. I was having a very hard time thinking of leaving him and now that I'm home a bit longer I can enjoy being home for awhile longer. I guess I'm lucky that I've had 7 1/2 months at home with him and am still getting paid.
Ethan is almost 8 months old and weighs around 19 lbs. We go in to see the pulmonologist tomorrow for a weight check and for him to check to see how Ethan's doing overall. I think it will be a fairly routine appointment. Oh, and Ethan has gotten his 2nd tooth!

Apple Hill

A couple weekends ago, Ken and I took Ethan to Apple Hill for the first time. We ended up only making it to High Hill and were only there for 90 minutes but we had fun. Ethan watched the ducks in the pond and people watched as we walked through all the vendors booths. We bought a few things including 2 apple pies and some cider for Ken. Overall, it was a great day. I'm looking forward to next year when we can stay longer and take a train ride with Ethan. We drove all around Apple Hill checking out what farms we want to take Ethan to next year to pick pumpkins. I'm sure it will be a lot more fun next year.

Another case of Mom Guilt

I've come down with another case of mom guilt. All of you moms know what I'm talking about. We want to do everything right and beat ourselves up when we feel like we fall short.
Lately, it's been over food. Before Ethan was born I had every intention of making organic baby food. I started out making it, but after a few times I got lazy. It's not even that it's difficult because it's not. I am just plain lazy. I still buy mostly organic baby food, but it's expensive and I can't help but feel like I should have done more. I think mostly I feel like other moms might be judging me even if they aren't. When I was a kid my mom gave me baby food that wasn't organic and I turned out okay.
Lately, I've realized that every mom has something that they feel guilt over and we tend to compare ourselves to other moms. Whether it's comparing because we know our kids are doing something faster than others, or it's comparing because we want to make sure that our kids are not behind. Logically I know that every kid grows and hits milestones at different times and the books aren't always right. I need to let my kid be and he'll do it when he's ready. I wish I could just do that.
I also feel mom guilt about going back to work. I have to do it and I know it will all be fine, but I still feel guilty and sad. I'm also jealous of those moms who get the chance to stay home full time. I should be grateful that we can afford for me to go back to work part time. Some moms have no choice.
Basically, I guess, I'm just a big complainer today. I'll get over my mom guilt or find something else to feel guilty over, but I'm glad that I recognize it. I think I'd be in denial if I didn't.
For all those moms who have to work I feel your pain and your guilt. Please don't beat yourself up about it. We all can only do our best for our kids and we should be okay with that. No one is the perfect parent, so why should we expect ourselves to be?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Going back to work

This is a really hard post for me to write. I'm going back to work next week. I've found a job that is 10 minutes from home in the same city we live in. I've been lucky to find a new family to work for and they will let me bring Ethan with me when I need to. My mother-in-law will be watching Ethan during the week so I can work. I'll probably bring him one or two days out of the four I'll work. I'm lucky that the longest day I'll work will be 7 hours and the shortest 6 hours. Since it's a short drive, compared to my 30 minutes commute in the past, I'll be home more with Ethan.
The hard part is leaving him when I don't bring him to work. I know it's good for me to have time away from Ethan and I really need to go back to work. I love that I'll have the opportunity to bring him with me everyday if need be. I won't mostly because I'm hoping to keep him somewhat away from kids in the winter so he doesn't get sick. I also want him to have interaction with other kids. Right now he's startled by other kids because he hardly ever is with other kids, or at least loud kids.
Last night after finding out that I had the job (I'm 99% sure that it's a for sure thing. She's still calling my references)I lost it. I had an anxiety attack. Even this morning I felt very anxious. I hate leaving him. It's especially difficult to think that I might miss something. Since I've been with him everyday all day for the last 7 1/2 months I feel guilty and like I'm going to be missing out. I completely trust my mother-in-law and I know he'll be well taken care. I guess I'm just grieving the freedom I had while at home. I made my own schedule, left the house if I wanted to and did things like I wanted. Now, I have to answer to someone else's parenting style and schedule.
I think it's also hard to go back to work after 8 1/2 months off. Most people don't get that much paid time off. I've been one of the lucky ones.
I didn't think I'd be going back to a nanny position, but I can't find work at an office and my paid family leave would have been over at the end of October. I'm committing to this family for a year and I hope it works out.
I'll be really missing my baby, especially in the first few weeks. I feel lucky though to have found a family that will let me bring him when I want to. Fortunately, they are a Christian family as well. I think it was meant to happen like this. I'm very thankful to be starting a new job and to have the opportunity to work. We worried that I wouldn't be able to find something in time. This has truly been an answer to pray.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cold & Flu Season

Not that anyone ever looks forward to Cold & Flu season, but we especially don't. We made it through the last one just barely with Ethan in the hospital twice, once with Brochialitis and once for a bad cold. We spent a total of 13 days in the hospital between March and May ending our stay on Mother's Day.
This year Ethan will have to get monthly Synagis shots between October and April to reduce his chances of getting RSV. I hate giving him shots so much mostly because I think it's so much for such a little body. In fact, that's why I space out his vaccination shots over a few weeks each time we go in. That's another story.
Anyways, the Synagis shots only reduces his chances by 55% so we still need to be careful. This summer we were less worried about germs because it seemed like more people were well. But, now that we're headed into the fall all the sickness is coming back.
We worry a lot about being back into the hospital and our biggest worry is the damage that can be done to Ethan's lungs if he gets a bacterial infection. Luckily, he has not had any bacterial infections. His lungs are perfect!
We went to have a weigh in on Friday and he weighed in at 18 lbs 11.5 oz. He's a big boy! He has more than doubled his birth weight which was 8 lbs 9 oz. We are still giving him enzymes to help him digest his food. He will always need the enzymes because he is pancreas insufficient meaning he can't digest his food on his own because his pancreas lacks digestive enzymes that should help him properly digest his food. Ethan's pulmonology team says that we're doing everything the right way and that we are a great example of how successful families can be if they stick to the program. We are very lucky that we found out about his Cystic Fibrosis so early so that we can help prevent damage on his lungs. Of course, we still worry about the future, but I think what gets us through the day is living day by day and moment by moment. I think this has forced me to live in the moment and enjoy Ethan for where he is and who he is.
We are doing very well. Ethan is healthy and a very happy baby. He smiles almost all the time and is very low key, just like his daddy. He loves to squeal and yell like a girl. It's funny sometimes and not so funny other times, like when we're in a restaurant.
Despite being worried about Cold and Flu season, all we can do is hope and pray that he will stay as healthy as he can, try to help prevent him from getting sick and continue doing his treatments.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wright's Lake & Popeye

Two weeks ago we went with Ken's parents to Wright's Lake. This was the first camping trip we've taken with them in their 5th wheel for more than one night. It was a lot of fun. We played cards and walked to the lake to feed the ducks every day.

"I'm Popeye the Sailor Man..."

Recently, Ethan learned how to sit up on his own. He's getting pretty good at it. We still need to spot him somewhat, but he doesn't really need it anymore. He loves that he can reach things and see the world from a different angle.
Two days ago Ethan got his first tooth too! The second one is on it's way out too. He's been a real trooper through it all. He's not been himself lately, but it doesn't last for long. It's funny how every thing that he learns to do or every milestone he hits I keep wondering if he'll hit the next one. I couldn't imagine him rolling over 4 months ago and he did it. Ethan will be 7 months old on Saturday and I can't believe how fast it is all going. Before I know it he'll be turning 1...I have mixed feelings about that one.