Thursday, March 31, 2011

5 Months

Micah is 5 months old today. I truly think this was probably my favorite month. However, it was also probably the most difficult. Micah's been sleeping through the night for quite some time now. He's also never really given us much trouble falling asleep, though he often wakes after 45 minutes. However, this month Micah started waking up during the night again. I had read about "the 4 month wakeful," but we didn't think that's what was going on. Micah often wouldn't fully wake up, but would be crying in pain. It was obvious that his stomach was hurting him because his feet were in the air and you could hear the bubbles. We tried everything: gas drops, bicycling his feet, tummy rubs, feeding him, etc. Finally after a week, I brought him in to the doctor. That's when he was diagnosed with silent reflux. Silent reflux is similar to acid reflux, except the baby swallows it back down rather than spitting up. He was put on Zantac and all was well. For about a week. Then, he started getting really fussy at night and started waking up in pain again. Per the doctor's orders, we increased his dose. He seems to be doing quite well on the medicine. We have a lot less back-arching and screaming at night.

At the same time all this was going on, Micah started getting really fussy at bedtime. He would get himself so worked up that he could not fall asleep, even though it was evident that he was very tired. After a couple LONG nights of walking around, rocking, feeding, and even driving we thought we should try pushing his bedtime up from 8:00 to 7:00. It has been hugely successful! We start getting him ready for bed around 6:00 now (pajamas, book/Bible story, songs, prayers, eat, rock) and he's often asleep even before 7:00. And he stays asleep for almost 12 hours. It has been wonderful. We're no longer dealing with an overtired baby. Plus, he's actually taking better naps during the day.

As you can tell, it's been a really rough month sleep-wise for Micah (and us!), but it's also been a really fun month. Here's what's happened this month for Micah:

*He was 16lbs. 7oz. at list last doctor visit

*He attended his first parade: Irish Fest here in Manhattan. It was really cold so we only stayed for about 10 minutes. Luckily, it was just a block from our house and they lined up across the street from us so Micah had lots of fun watching them get ready!

*Micah learned how to roll over. He knows how, he just doesn't like to do it very often. We think he just doesn't see the need to (why roll when Mommy and Daddy will give me everything I need?).

*Micah found his toes this month! He loves grabbing his feet and putting htem in his mouth, especially when we're changing his diaper.

*Micah had his first solid food. So far he's had pears, peaches, and plums. He likes all three, but I think his favorite are plums.

*Micah had his first trip to the ER for a stomach virus. He looked so cute in the little hospital gown! He handled the whole thing like a trooper!

*He had his first trip to the park and got to go on the swings. He loves being outside. I can't wait for him to be a little bit older because I know he is going to really enjoy trips to the park.

*He went on a picnic with his friends, the Lows. More time at the park and a nice walk.

*He spent a day with Aunt Brittany while Mommy and Daddy went on a date. He was very good for her. :)

*Micah has learned how to give kisses. Well, we call them kisses. He opens his mouth real wide and latches onto your face. He loves doing it and thinks it's so funny when we tell him, "No! Stop!" He just laughs and laughs.

*He has learned how to sit up unassisted. He can do it for probably 30+ seconds at a time. He loves sitting like a big boy!

*His cousins slept over last night for his first sleepover! He loves playing with his cousins and looks forward to many more sleepovers!

See? wasn't it a busy month? But so much fun!

It was very cold and windy, but we made it out for the Irish Fest parade!

Micah with his cousins, Kylie and Abbie.

Sitting in his high chair like a big boy. He loves sitting in his chair--and he loves eating his food!

At a picnic with the Lows. It was beautiful outside!

Micah's first St. Patrick's Day!

In the Emergency Room. They just checked him out, said it was a stomach virus and sent us home.

Micah and his cousin, Lilie.

Getting ready to go for a walk--it was a little bit chilly!

Daddy and Micah out for a walk.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Day at the Park

Two weeks ago we had beautiful weather. Micah and I went outside for a walk every day, I think. Brad had one day off during the week and we decided to take Micah to the park for the first time. He loved it. I predict many long days spent outside with this little boy!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Micah has been struggling with tummy problems pretty much since he was born. We starting giving him prune juice when he was two months old. It worked for about a week, then he was having problems again. At his four month point, the pediatrician recommended we start him on solids. She told us to skip cereal because the iron in it can cause constipation, and go right to fruits, specifically pears, peaches, and prunes.

This was somewhat upsetting to me because I wanted to exclusively breastfeed until Micah was 6 months old. We were planning on doing "baby led weaning (BLW)." BLW is skipping purees and going right to solids, when the child is showing signs of readiness. You know the child is ready when he shows interest in your food, can sit up on his own, has lost the tongue-thrust reflex, and has a good pincer grip. We really liked the idea of BLW because it's easy and natural. Micah sits at the table with us and we offer him some of what we have. The key is to not cut it up too small so that the child chokes on it, but to cut it in strips that he can hold and gnaw on (think banana). Here are some sites that I've looked at as resources:

Anyway, Micah is too young to start this so we are forced to start on purees. I know it's not a big deal, but it's just not how I wanted to do it. I wasn't ready. I wanted to wait for Micah to show us he was ready. But none of that mattered. We were looking at this as more of a medicine so I resigned myself to doing what is best for Micah.

Once I got past my initial disappointment, I was excited for this next milestone. Brad and I decided we are going to make Micah's food. So, I went to the grocery store and bough pears, peaches, plums, and prunes to make food for Micah (the p's are supposedly good for constipation!). Brad pureed the pears and peaches and we gave Micah his first taste of real food. He did really well. It took a while, but most of the food actually made it into his mouth. By the second day we gave them to him, he knew to open his mouth and was pushing the food to the back of his mouth with no problem--he picked up on it real quick! So far he's had pears and peaches and loves them both! We usually give him the spoon with the last bite on it so that he can hold it. He's getting really good at bringing it to his mouth. He also takes a sippy cup with water. He knows how to drink out of the cup, but he hates water! Usually, he spits it all back out.

Even though it's not the way we wanted it, we are really enjoying this next stage of Micah's life. He is such a good eater and it is really working with his stomach problems!

Brad making pears:

Friday, March 4, 2011


It's come up a lot recently that Brad and I do not have television. It's obvious that we are in minority and people are curious about it. So, I thought I would write a blog post about why we don't have television.

A lot of people think it's because of the money. Initially that was true. When Brad and I first got married we sat down right away to work out our monthly budget. Cable television just did not fit in the budget. Neither did Internet. We decided that that was a sacrifice we were willing to make--afterall we were newlyweds we could find better things to spend our time doing (play games, go for walks, stare into each other's eyes, etc.). As a teacher, it was a bit difficult being without Internet because I used it a lot for ideas for lesson plans and activities, but I figured I would just have to be very productive with my plan time and stay after school to get things done. When my parents found out that we didn't have Internet they offered to pay for it for us because they felt like it was a necessity with my job and Brad still being a student. So, we found Internet for less than $20 a month, but cable was still insanely expensive and just not worth it to us.

Brad and I quickly settled into our new life as a married couple and we enjoyed not having TV. I have to clarify here, though, we have always had a physical TV set. We have always had the ability to watch DVDs. We also received a subscription to NetFlix from some friends as part of our wedding gift so we did have access to movies and TV shows. I can remember those first few months after we got married, sitting on the couch Tuesday afternoons watching The Bachelor online the day after it aired. It was the one show I just couldn't give up (it was Jason's season). We kind of liked not having TV. It forced us to do other things with our time: homework, lesson plans, read a book, play games together, go for walks, etc. Even when we could fit it into our budget we decided that we liked life better without TV.

When we moved into our house in September 2009 we didn't even question whether we should get cable for the house or not. By this time, the digital converter boxes had been out and we never got one so we couldn't even get the basic channels if we tried. We love not having TV. So much time is wasted by watching TV. It's so easy to sit down for 15 minutes and get sucked into show after show after show, and nothing gets done. Also, we're not tied to certain shows every night so we're free to go out or do things. I can remember being at my parents house, talking to someone and being told to "Shhh" once a commercial was over and the show was back on (even now that TV can be paused this often happens). We could only talk during commercials. I'm guilty of this too, but I hate the message that it sends: this show is more important than you right now. We don't want to even be tempted to send that kind of message.

Not to mention, TV is so full of garbage. You'll be hard-pressed to find a show that doesn't involve sex outside of marriage, scantily-dressed women, filthy language, or inappropriate sarcasm. Even the so called "family" shows are shocking! I truly believe that everything we do sends a message to our kids. I might be able to say to Micah "We don't use the language that they use on Grounded for Life," but my actions are telling him that it's excusable. I can excuse it on the TV because they don't know better or there's nothing I can do to change their language. So, I think it's better to just not have it on. It's not that I want to shelter Micah and any other future children that we might have, but I want to send the right message. I want to fill his time with more uplifting things. I want to be encouraging good things rather than doing damage control. It's hard, trust me, I know. Brad and I fell in love with the show "How I Met Your Mother" when I was pregnant (someone lent us their season on DVD). That show is hilarious! But it is also crude. It glorifies one night stands and makes them funny, among other things. It is probably not a show that we should be watching, but it's funny! And I'm an adult so I know better. At least that's what I tell myself, but the truth is the more I watch that show the more I become desensitized to such issues. Whether I like it or not, even as an adult what I watch influences me. Is that really what I want to be filling my life with?

I will admit, TV has a relaxing quality to it, as well. There's nothing like sitting down on the couch at the end of the night and turning on a sitcom that you don't have to think about. It's great to just turn your brain off and be entertained. Brad and I have found other ways to entertain ourselves, though. We love to play board games and through the years, have found several games that we can play just the two of us. We also enjoy playing the Wii together. Brad and I both love to read as well. It's nice to have time in the evening to sit down and just read my book. We have time to go for walks at night or a little drive. But most importantly, we just talk to each other. Ask how each other's day was. It's a great time together, just catching up and re-connecting. I hope that as Micah gets older we continue to not watch a lot of television because I want to share these experiences with him, too. I would much rather spend my evening playing with my son or going on a family walk than sitting in front of the television worrying about what show he is watching.

Of course, this is a personal decision for Brad and me. It works for us. We have enjoyed our time without TV and look forward to raising our children without TV. But we know it's not for everyone, and that's okay. Who knows? We may change our mind when Micah is older, but I hope and pray that TV never becomes a constant thing in our lives, something that starts taking priority over relationships. I hope that our children will always choose to spend time with their siblings or reading or going outside over watching TV. But how can they do that if we never set the example for them?