Thursday, July 28, 2011

Six Months?!? Get Ready For The Pictures!

(I can't make those large spaces with nothing go away....)

Can you believe my little man is 6 months old?! Crazy! So in his honor, here are 6 things you probably don't know about Jaden:

  1. He NEVER spits up. I can count on one hand the number of times he has spit up. He also doesn't drool, but that will come with the teething I'm sure.

  2. He has to have about 9 medications given to him throughout the day and he never complains. Even when it's time for those gross multi-vitamin drops he doesn't even pull a face. He just takes them like a champ.

  3. He loves to hold your hand. Whether it's during his feeding, during playtime, when he's in his swing, or being rocked to sleep, he wants to grasp your finger.

  4. He is a picky eater. He likes his bottle warmed up to just the right temperature and he will only drink fresh milk. I think it is partly because my milk doesn't freeze well and tastes sour after thawing it out. Don't know what I'll do with the thousands of ounces we have stored away.... Also, sometimes he wants to breastfeed, but if you force him, then he refuses to breastfeed for several days. And he goes back and forth on which bottle nipples he wants - the slow flow or slightly faster ones. Oh well.

  5. He sleeps all the time!! I am talking probably 18-20 hours a day! And he sleeps 8-10 hours straight at night! During the day his room gets really bright and he won't sleep in his crib - only in my arms. So we get a lot of cuddle time. And all of this sleeping leads too:

  6. He is 10 pounds!!! On Monday we went for a check up and he was 10 pounds 3 ounces! Not only that, but he had gained 1 pound in 1 week! I'm pretty sure it's from all the sleeping.

So now we are on to the pictures, and there are a lot, so get ready!!!

And, of course, the famous hands pictures:

It's really hard to get the hand picture these days. He really doesn't want to hold still. So this was the end of the photo shoot for him - he was pictured out. I'm so glad you're here little one! We love you SO much!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Unexpected Blessings

You know how they say that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade? After toiling and striving to make that lemonade, you are never so grateful for instant lemonade!
I have been given many lemons during the past three years, and I have tried my absolute best to turn those lemons into the best darndest lemonade I've ever had. I feel like I've done fairly well with the cards I have been dealt. And I must tell you that when I am in Costco and I pass by those huge boxes of Crystal Light, I tear up a bit. ;)
An example of a new "Crystal Light" in my life: oxygen
Jaden had an unconventional introduction to life, to say the least. But regardless of the stress and fear that accompanied his birth, I was willing to take him however I could. Ultimately, that meant I had to deal with oxygen tanks, nasal cannulas, apnea sensors, leads, and monitors, and a baby that would rather not have those tubes in his nose. Recently we went to the doctor and they decided he no longer needed any of that during the day - only at night. I was so excited! But what I didn't realize would be the unexpected blessings that went along with that.
The first day off of oxygen, we were upstairs and Jaden was screaming and starving. So I picked him up and we both went downstairs to make a bottle for him. Did you catch that?!? I took him with me! Now, for normal babies and normal moms, they will think, "So what? I do that all the time." but for me it literally caused me to start crying! Before, I had to leave him crying so I could go and get everything for him because to take him with me meant I had to gather up his massive oxygen tank, sling it over my shoulder, untangle his apnea monitor, sling it over my other shoulder, gather up all of the excess wires and sling those through one of my arms, and then pick up the baby all while making sure not to pull out his leads which would set the monitor off with a very loud and annoying alarm. And that is only if he was hooked in to his portable oxygen tank.
Then I decided to go for a walk, and all I had to do was snap him into the Baby Bjorn, and off we went! It was as simple as that! I can't even tell you how free I feel!
And don't even get me started on the ease of getting him in the car! Taking him anywhere used to be the biggest pain. We needed two of those massive Costco carts because Jaden and all of his equipment took up one and the other was for the groceries.
I am so grateful for a baby who's lungs are healthy enough to utilize the oxygen he breaths in. Who knew that something as simple as oxygen could make me so happy? It also makes someone else I know pretty happy too:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Give Them An Inch...

The doctor told me yesterday that Jaden is old enough to let him dictate his feeding/sleeping schedule. This was a huge relief, because when we left the NICU I had to wake him up every 4 hours to feed him. Not too bad during the day, but a pain at night. So slowly I let him go 5 hours, and then finally what I decided to do is to set my alarm for 6 hours from his last feeding and if he hadn't woken me up I would wake him up. 90% of the time, he wakes himself up and lets me know just how hungry he is.

So last night we fed him at 8pm and had him in bed by about 8:45. I came back down, finished watching Master Chef while Jake did some dishes. Then I got all of his meds for today drawn up and ready to go, filled some bottles, we read our scriptures, said our prayers, and went to bed. I slept so well and didn't wake up until Jake got up to get ready to go to school. I looked at the clock and realized it was 4:30am - 8 1/2 hours after he last ate. I panicked and immediately sent Jake in to make sure he was still breathing while I went downstairs to prepare a massive bottle. After eating, he went back to sleep again. I guess he's super tired. I did have a talk with Jaden before he went to bed last night to let him know that he was allowed to sleep as long as he wanted but to remember to make sure to eat. You know what they say - give them an inch and they'll walk all over you. Or in our case, sleep like a teenager.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Can You Spot The Difference?

The Cuthbert family has gone wireless!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Our little family has survived many things during our first few weeks in Chicago:

Jake has survived:

  • Having his wife push him awake during the night during the weekends for feedings (I don't let him do any night feedings during the week because he needs his sleep to be on the top of his game for school)

  • Sharing the car

  • His wife ordering him around and telling him what boxes go where, what needs to be assembled, and other such things

  • Not being with his family every 4th day - he has Duty Day every fourth day which means he has to be in his barracks and can't leave for 24 hours, so he can't come home and sleep with us

Mari has survived:

  • Taking care of Jaden all on my own (except on the weekends where it's all Jake)

  • My first tornado warning! I was seriously freaking out, but luckily we only got the tail end of the storm and not the worst of it.

  • Sharing the car

  • Managing all of Jaden's medications and doctor's appointments

  • Being alone (if you don't count Jaden, which he isn't much for conversation...) 95% of the time

  • Living without my camera until The Best Husband Ever found the battery charger

  • Waiting an entire year for the best month ever: It's Tour Time!!! (for those not in the know, it's the Tour de France and I am an addict!)

Jaden has survived:

  • His first plane ride

  • Still having to put up with Oxygen. We are going up to the Wisconsin's Children's Hospital next week to see a Pediatric Pulmonologist (lung doctor) for them to analyze his apnea monitor readings, his chest x-rays, and do a room air test. Hopefully when we drive home from that we will drive home not on oxygen!

  • Humidity. He hates it. He doesn't like being outside. It is very hot and very humid here and he prefers to be in our air conditioned house.

  • Going from a home where every single person adored him and wanted to hold him, to a home where there are only two people to love and adore and hold him

  • Starting to smile on his own and on purpose

  • Growing to a chunky monkey 9 pounds 2 ounces!!!!

And now for your viewing pleasure, some pictures of Jake holding his son for the first time, and Jaden when he was in a silly mood:

Thanks for surviving my long post drought!