Sunday, May 23, 2010

happy 11 months devin!

ok, this is CRAZY! i cant believe this is the last month before my sweet little one turns a whole year old. im feeling quite numb about it all and im afraid im going to have some sort of a breakdown as the realization of next month's huge milestone sets in a little more. i've started planning an extravagent ocean themed first birthday party and its actually helping me cope. im pretty excited about all the little details that will go into it and will definitely go into that in future posts. i havent been posting much because it has been a rough week. well it started last weekend, but devin is cutting one of his two front teeth right now and nightime has been especially difficult. hes just very hard to relax and fussy pretty much always. hes still happy and adorable for the most part but its been tough. i cant wait to see that tooth when its a little bigger! what a big boy! 11/8 months old... wow.

we had a yard sale this weekend, it was kind of annoying, we did ok, but not great and still have lots of crap to donate or try to sell on craigslist. devin hung out in the pack and play. we had to cover it with a sheet because it was mosquitopalooza out there. we would turn our backs for a minute and people would be over there inspecting the goods like the whole thing was for sale!

here are some good ones from the last few days...

devin, feeding himself grilled eggplant. he LOVED this and ate quite a bit. he feeds himself very well now, its just challenging to figure out good stuff to offer him.

with grandma :) 

i love my handsome little sweetheart more than anything! hes just perfect. happy 11 months baby devin!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

just because...

i got devin on my back in the mei tai!

i look like poo, but devin is just adorable! he really liked being on my back and stayed there for an hour or so.

here are some great pictures i got tonight! he still loves his jumperoo. we hate it because its huge and ridiculous looking but i cant get rid of it because hes so happy in it ;)

these next ones are borderline sad but so funny and a little strange! he really likes playing in his pack and play but has been doing this when he gets bored for the last few days. he can get himself out of this position, i promise! i know it looks bad but i think he likes it!

Monday, May 10, 2010


my friend jeff's friend nikki was watching her friend's daughter savannah today so we went over to introduce the babes and let them play together. wow, devin has a friend of a friend of a friend and hes only 10 months old! anyway, her name is savannah and shes almost 6 months old. they sat and played together and it was oh so cute. they mostly took each others toys. savannah was more interested in devin they he was in her. he started completley ignoring her to pose for pictures at one point! it was a fun day ;)

here's where she realized the camera was just a tiny bit more important than her at the moment.

holding hands... awww!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

happy mother's day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

10 month well visit

we missed devin's 9 month visit and originally just scheduled his one year for a few days after his birthday at the end of june, but i decided to move it up and scheduled it for yesterday just because he hasn't been to the dr. in months! i never imagined we could get away with going so long in between visits but he just hasn't had to go. even with his cold we ended up not bringing him in and he got over it all by himself. i was very curious to see how much he weighed so we went in yesterday for a 10 month well visit. he loved the paper on the table he was on. we went through four new sheets because he kept shredding it!

he weighs 20 lbs. even and is 27.5 inches long! what a chunker! that puts him in the 10th percentile for height and the 25th percentile for weight for his ACTUAL age! his weight is in the 67th percentile for his adjusted age and his length is in the 56th percentile for his adjusted age.

the dr. is very impressed with these numbers as well as his development and told me that he rarely sees preemies catch up to their actual age as fast as devin has. he said it usually takes 26 weekers or the like 2-3 years to even get on the charts for their actual age, sometimes even for their adjusted ages. he said sometimes they don't catch up developmentally until they are school aged. he told me hes officially considering devin caught up as of yesterday! now, i beg to differ, not because im negative or i don't think hes doing well enough, but because i don't think its fair for me or others to consider him to be just like a "normal" 10 month old. being born 3 months early didn't score him extra points or anything, we're very lucky it didn't set him back, but i look at him as a 7 month old and i will continue to do so until further notice. like i've said before, i think only other preemie mamas can really understand the reasoning behind that.

the dr. said everything looks great, his ears look perfect, lungs sound great. he does have a small patch of eczema on his chest that he prescribed a cream for. he said apply it twice daily for 2 weeks. it will clear it up, but its going to come back in a month or two. eczema just sticks around, sometimes until the child is much older. its a very small, dime sized area that he will sometimes scratch at if he doesn't have a shirt on or if he gets hot and sticky. it really doesn't bother him too much which is why i feel absolutely fine NOT using this cream we picked up at the pharmacy. i read the info. and immediately said, "NOPE, this is not going on my kid!" its called triamcinolone 0.1% cream and its really not worth the possible side effects. the link i provided isn't even the scariest part. it doesn't have the same info as the pamphlet i got with it. here's a small portion of info given under the "pediatric use" category:

Pediatric Use: Pediatric patients may demonstrate greater susceptibility to topical corticosteroids-induced HPA axis suppression and Cushing’s syndrome than in mature patients because of a larger skin surface area to body weight ratio. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, Cushing’s syndrome, and intracranial hypertension have been reported in children receiving topical corticosteroids. Manifestations of adrenal suppression in children include linear growth retardation, delayed weight gain,low plasma cortisol levels, and absence of response to ACTH stimulation. Manifestations of intracranial hypertension include bulging fontanelles, headaches, and bilateral papilledema. Administration of topical corticosteroids to children should be limited to the least amount compatible with an effective therapeutic regimen. Chronic corticosteroid therapy may interfere with the growth and development of children.

ummmm, yeah, no thanks doc! i think devin can deal with a little itch here and there. WTF?!

so thats that. devin is big, strong and healthy. im so proud of him and never could have imagined being where we are today just 10 months ago, sitting next to his little plastic house looking in at my tiny baby for the first time. hes so amazing!

Friday, May 7, 2010

hello, im gretchen and im a baby wearaholic

i've been wearing devin since the day he came home from the nicu, which was 2 weeks before he was actually due to be born. i don't know how i came to find out about proper baby wearing, i just knew i wanted a baby k'tan while i was still pregnant. it looked fun and stylish. much better than a baby bjorn type carrier in my uneducated opinion. when devin was born almost 14 weeks early, i knew i would wear him as much as i could when he came home. i started kangaroo care when he was 3 days old and saw how powerful skin to skin contact was for him (and me). his oxygen saturation would instantly improve and his vitals would stabilize as soon as i held him in his first days and weeks. after his 11 week nicu stay i wanted nothing more than to hold him as much as i could, not only because i had gone without him at home for so long but also because the poor guy was bedridden for so long! so baby wearing was just what i did. i wore him in the baby k-tan for at least 3 hours a day for the first several weeks he was home and was able to relax and get a few things done while he was safe and comfy. it was great. i loved the k-tan carrier design, very easy to use and super comfortable. its a stretchy cotton material which is ideal for newborns to 12-15lb. babies. it really started sagging and became very uncomfortable when devin got to be about 12 lbs. i started doing some research on where to go from there because there was no way i was giving up baby wearing!

i joined the baby wearing group on babycenter. com and started checking out i found out about the four main forms of baby wearing that are safe and comfortable.ring slings, mei tais, soft structured carriers and woven wraps. im very interested in woven wraps but they are some of the most expensive so im holding off for now :) i plan on getting one in the fall when its a little cooler. i did make a wrap out of cotton gauze that i used for a few weeks while i made up my mind about what carrier i would get first. cotton gauze is the best fabric to wrap with if you decide to go cheap and not buy an actual woven cotton wrap. i bought 5 yards and cut it to be 30 inches wide. i watched youtube videos to learn how to wrap and it worked out well. i look forward to using a real one in the future.

i decided to get a mei tai. there is a great introduction post on the baby wearing board with a list of reputable brands of each style carrier as well as lots of information and a description of each type of carrier available on the market. i really liked the looks of the mei tai baby brand. i also loved the fact that it could be ordered as a "zippy". this is a mei tai with 3 different panels that you can change whenever you want a different look. it doesn't actually have zippers, its velcro and its very cool! i emailed the creator of mei tai baby mei tais and asked if i could send my own fabric for the panels because i didn't love anything on the website and she said that would be fine. i just got it the other day and am in LOVE!!! it is so comfortable, well made and just beautiful. devin loves it!

the mei tai was custom made so it took about 3 weeks to arrive. in that time i was just longing for a real carrier and ended up talking fabian into letting me get a soft structured carrier as well. i had found an awesome woman named amber who lives very close who has a great website called she mainly sells soft structured carriers but also a few mei tais. i contacted her and she offered for me to come by and try on whatever i wanted! this was so exciting because for some reason baby wearing really isn't all that popular and i couldn't find anywhere to try stuff on. i knew i wanted something, but i didn't want to just order something without trying it on. so i went to her house with devin and tried many different carriers on. there was another mom there that day too looking at different carriers and she had a baby boy who was the same age as devin at the time and amber has a 9 month old daughter. amber is such a nice person. she knew i wasn't going to buy anything the first time and still offered to let me borrow any carrier i wanted until my mei tai came! shes just so great and wonderful to work with! that was his first playtime with other babies, i didnt have my camera but amber took some pictures and will email them to me soon. anyway... i LOVED  a carrier called the action baby, but this was before i ordered the mei tai and i really wanted that so i left without getting the action baby that day. shes just so great and wonderful to work with! i didn't take her up on her offer but while i was waiting on the mei tai i went back and got the action baby. its different than the mei tai and i use both of them everyday for different things. the action baby is good for quick trips in and out of a store, the mei tai is nice for a long walk or grocery shopping. it may seem like i wouldn't need 2, but until you become a baby wearing fiend, you wont understand ;)

this is entirely too long and shows just how obsessed i am. baby wearing is lots of fun and much easier than using a stroller all the time. i hope someone that reads this gets into wearing their baby because its just an awesome thing to do and a very fun hobby! i also hope this post was helpful. its hard to find out about all this when baby bjorns and infantino type carriers are really the only things available at most popular baby stores. ahhhh! now i have to go into that for a second... sorry! so the baby bjorn, infantino, chicco, basically all the popular baby carriers are no good at all. i know many people have these and their babies are happy while they are in them but they are called "crotch danglers" by us baby wearing snobs and they're called that for a reason, thats what they do, they dangle the baby by his or her crotch! not so comfy. they also are made to have the baby face out. this is not an ideal position for an infants hips or spine. its just not a natural position for them. babies should always be worn facing in towards the wearer of looking over a shoulder in a back carry. their legs should be in a "froggy" position instead of dangling straight down. mei tais, good soft structured carriers and wraps are the best way to achieve that. its annoying that the proper carriers are so obsolete and i hope that changes in years to come. the carriers im raving about are so much more comfortable than any of the "crotch danglers", i promise! okay, like i said, this was waaaay too long, and i kind of rambled a lot... sorry! :)
here are some great examples of crotch dangling:
this baby is being worn facing out, dangling from his crotch and is sitting very low on the mother. i guarantee that is not comfortable for either of them.
this guy looks like a creepy ken doll, he just doesn't know any better, we all know ken and barbie and their "little sisters" (a.k.a. illegitimate children) don't have real "parts" anyway.

here's devin with his "froggy legs", sitting comfortably and ergonomically correct: