Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Life right now.

Well, school's back in full swing again! This is my first year teaching my regular math class while simultaneously being a mama, and I fully expect this year to be ridiculous. Gone are the days of coming home exhausted and just falling into bed for a late afternoon nap. Now the days are go, go, go from 6am until Lincoln goes to bed around 7pm... and then it's finally time for me to get to do all the fun stuff I couldn't do while he was awake, like the dishes, or prep for the next day.

Despite all this craziness, life is feeling pretty good right now. My students are pretty awesome. They're the same kids I had last year when I was teaching 7th grade study hall classes and tutoring, so it's fun for me to start the year already knowing them all. And it's definitely helpful already knowing who I need to keep an extra eye on during class. I know which kids I need to frequently visit to make sure they're keeping on task, and I know who can probably answer my questions before I even ask them. It's going to be a fun year for sure.

Lincoln's been having a ball the last couple weeks. Along with attending "Daddy Daycare," he visits our friend Kristin a lot, who takes him to the Y with her kids, so he still gets to see his friends at the infant child watch there. Two days a week he goes to his daycare house, run by a parent of twins in my class. He goes along with our P.E. teacher's daughter and occasionally other staff kids, and getting to hang out with other kiddos in the 2-4 range is so much fun for him. Our little guy is super social and just loves being around anybody.

To add to the craziness this year, Chris and I are considering buying our next house! Because, you know, that sounds like a great idea in what will probably be my most challenging teaching year yet. (Except for the first year. Oh man, that first year....) No idea if we're actually going to go through with it, but we've been dreaming and scheming up ways to try to get into a 4 bedroom. I suppose that's one way to really make this year memorable!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Lincoln at 8 Months

Slowly but surely... ;)

At 8 months, Lincoln...
- weighs 14 pounds, 10 ounces
- pulls himself up on things easily
- has started searching all the drawers and shelves in the house for interesting things
- plays independently for long periods of time
- lights up when he spots mama
- got sick for the first time (Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease is no joke!)
- ate dirt for the first time
- loves pulling his books off the shelf
- hates to be on his back for diaper changes

He is a ridiculously happy baby. We are so blessed to have such an easy going guy. Hoping that part of his personality sticks for the long run! :D

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Baby PSA: Plagiocephaly

Cranial helmet (doc band) decoration R2D2

Our little monkey's rocking some new head gear these days. Something they don't mention at the hospital when they let you take your lovely newborn home? Watching out for signs of a flat head, aka plagiocephaly. In Lincoln's case, if we had just been watching for the signs, we probably would've been able to mitigate the problem from the get-go and L wouldn't have to wear the helmet. But we didn't know, and so he does, and here we are, making lemonade out of lemons... or protocol droids out of cranial helmets. And I've made it my mission to make sure people know to be looking out for plagiocephaly (and in L's case, the torticollis which caused it).

Cranial helmet (doc band) decoration R2D2

At Lincoln's two month appointment, his pediatrician noticed he was having a hard time looking to the left (the torticollis, or tight neck), and that he was developing a flat spot on the right side of his head. This was due to him always sleeping with his head tilted to the right, something we realized after that appointment. The doc set us up with an appointment for baby physical therapy.

Lincoln loved his PT appointments. He got to play on a giant mat and flirt with this therapist while she helped him see that he could turn his head to the left if he wanted. She told us that his neck was apparently tight since birth, possibly due to being pulled out at a weird angle, so he had just learned to always look right rather than deal with pushing past the tightness on the left. But the good thing was that his neck could twist that way easily. We just had to get him doing it more often to make that tightness go away for good.

Cranial helmet (doc band) decoration R2D2

For a few months we had him sleep with "rice socks" we were instructed to make: tube socks full (and I mean full) of rice. When Lincoln slept, we swaddled him tight, laid him between the socks, and tilted his body to the left so he didn't have the chance to keep sleeping on his flat spot. The hope was that since he was still so young it would work itself out. But Lincoln became too much of a mover at night, and soon he was busting out of the swaddle and out from between the socks, so the PT began talking helmet with us around four and a half months. At least the tightness in his neck was gone from his physical therapy!

Lincoln didn't get to start his helmet until he was about six and a half months old. (We had to do a little runaround with our insurance for quite awhile unfortunately.) Because of that, he has to wear his helmet a bit longer than was originally forecast. We were told at his last appointment that he probably has about six weeks left, so that's exciting! That helmet may look cute, especially once it's decorated, but it has a bunch of drawbacks. For one, that thing HURTS! Lincoln is a big mover and squirmer, and both Chris and I have been smacked in the face with the front of that helmet. It also makes cuddling really hard since we can't feel his sweet little head against us. And second, it makes his head stink! Poor guy has had it all summer, and he wakes up in the morning with a sweaty, stinky head. He also has begun to think he's indestructible, because that helmet absorbs the impact from any fall–he's in for a rude awakening when that thing's not on 23/7.

Cranial helmet (doc band) decoration R2D2

So here's the PSA: take note of how your baby sleeps and if they can turn their head both ways! Chris and I had no idea to be looking for something like that, but we feel pretty confident that if we had noticed the neck tightness, and made sure that we placed him to sleep making sure he was alternating facing left and right, that Lincoln would not have developed that flat spot. When Baby T. #2 comes along, you can bet we'll be super vigilant watching for the first sign.