Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is just magical with two boys!

Christmas is also more magical with a giant bottle of wine!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Family Pics

I have a very talented friend who recently made the leap from hidden talent to paid photographer. You must check her out at

She did Keaton's amazing newborn shots and then met up with again in late November to take our family pics. It was freezing cold day but beautiful.

Just over 3 months old
3 years 4 months

Christmas Card pic

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Barfing Continues & A Close Encounter

Poor Buddy. His barfing problem was not solved by the hypo-allergenic formula. I suppose the good news is that he is NOT lactose-intolerant. We are back to his regular formula now and back to experimenting with other solutions.

Dr. M did say that acid reflux babies need some extra calories since they lose a lot of them on the floor. So Keaton got to try his first rice cereal today. He already has to "gum" his Prevacid tablets as they dissolve in his mouth so the rice cereal actually went pretty well.

Until Mommy put too big of a spoonful in his mouth. Gag reflex kicked in. And happy again!

This kid NEVER stops smiling!
Still working on the Duck luck for the Rose Bowl!
Picture is blurry because he's laughing so hard!More laughing!

Carson has been absolutely hilarious this week! And only one time-out! This morning (Christmas Eve Day) he and I had the most amazing experience at the grocery store!

It was just Carson and I. We were gettingg in line at the cashier and a gentleman glided in front of us with one last item to add to his pile on the conveyor belt.

As he turned around to say "Excuse me", both of our jaws hit the ground. He was unmistakably recognizable.

Fluffy white beard. Perfectly coiffed, white mustache with the tips gelled into swirled whirls. Jolly ol' tummy. Red suspenders and a red baseball bat that said "Ho ho ho" with little blinking lights.

Carson and I stared unblinkingly at our most favorite character of all time, standing before us with a merry twinkle in his eye.

This wonderus fella reached into his pocket, pulled out a candy cane for Carson and in the most distinguished voice, "Merry Christmas to you! Have a wonderful day! Ho! Ho! Ho!"

And with a deep belly laugh he was gone! As I type this, I don't remember the cashier processing this gentleman's order or if he paid with cash or credit. I couldn't see through the tears in my eyes.

The logical explanation . . . it came so easily that I even believed it. Carson was the only child in the store at that moment. We were in the right place at the right time and just happened to run into Santa buying some last minute snacks for his long sleigh ride tonight.

We ran outside as fast as we could to see Santa's reindeer on the roof of Fred Meyer. And the moment became even more magical as we looked up and it started snowing on us!

This will be a Christmas experience that we will never forget!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Stats

Keaton's 4 month check up was made a little more exciting by the fact that his impatient 3 1/2 year old brother was stuck tagging along. I am always running late and today was no exception. So late that I couldn't drop Carson off at school before the 9:30 appointment. I really have no idea how any moms with 8-5 jobs do it.

Anyhow, Keaton is a petite 13 pounds 9 ounces. His whopper of a brother was 16 pounds 14 ounces at 4 months. But he's still tracking along the 22th percentile so that's good.

He did divert all his calories (the ones he retained anyway) to stretching out long and lean!Just like his daddy! He is now 25 inches and 52nd percentile.

We have been greatly impressed by his giant, somewhat alienesque noggin'. But apparently it's not so giant after all! A mere 41.5 cm, 29th percentile.

Our kind pediatrician gave us three more sample cans of the liquid gold, hypo-allergenic formula. Since it hasn't made a huge difference we will go back to regular formula after those cans run out.

The current theory for babies that spit-up A LOT like Keaton, is to feed them solids earlier than normal. Because he's losing a lot of calories on the floor, our shirts, and his bibs, a bit of rice cereal that is thicker will hopefully stay down and stick to his ribs.

Honestly, I don't mean to be selfish but feeding solids right now in our currently chaotic lives might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back. So I'm going to hold off a few more weeks and hope that things get a little better in the spit-up department. In the meantime we will start working on his high chair skills.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

When You Can't Fire the Babysitter, Give Her a Bonus!

We are so lucky to have several babysitters nearby who are all fantastic!

One brings a bag of books and games to entertain Carson.

One can drive herself, hallelujah!

One is almost always available and does overnighters! We hire her the most. Plus her rates are extremely reasonable. She is our favorite and the boys love her!

Two weeks ago, she watched the boys while we attended, wait for it . . . an adults ONLY party! Wooohooo! But I digress.

I am a sleep nazi and part of the reason my boys sleep so well (this is my theory anyway) is our generous use of swaddling!

Carson was swaddled until he was SIX months old. At that point we were buying yards of fabric from Jo-Anns to custom-sew XXXL swaddle blankets to fit our 20 pound child. When you can't move your arms and legs, it's hard to do anything but sleep.

Our pediatrician looked at me with awe and, I think, a little bit of "she's crazy" when I asked him if we could continue swaddling Carson until he was 18 (years, not months). NO MORE SWADDLING. We left his 6 month check up that day and burned the swaddle blankets so they could tempt us no longer.

Much to our shock and surprise, Carson slept JUST FINE with his crazy arms and legs strewn wildly about.

But again, I digress.

So I explained to our favorite babysitter that we employ the use of the Miracle Blanket. I demonstrated how the "wings" go over and under Keaton's arms to render them useless. I stuffed his legs in the "pocket" so they were tightly contained. And then I wrapped yards of fabric around his body until he was cocooned like a moth before metamorphosis. Only this butterfly wasn't allowed out until 7 am the next morning.

Our babysitter nodded her head understandingly. We left for the night, partied our patooties off, and crashed into bed.

Fast forward 8 hours. Keaton crying. I groggily make his bottle, lean over in the dark to pick him up, but alas, my poor tired eyes just don't understand what I'm looking at. It takes a full minute for me to comprehend the situation.

My 14 week old son, laying in his crib. 2 arms and 2 legs wildly making a crib snow angel. Huh? What is his body doing unswaddled? And where on earth is his head??

The swaddle blanket is wrapped several times around ... his head?? Oh yes, instant panic as I dive into the crib to make sure he's breathing. Of course he can breathe dummy, he just cried to let you know he's hungry!

This babysitter is SO fired!

But who else does overnighters for so cheap?? So we hire her again.

Friday night was my company party. I go over the Miracle Blanket instructions again and politely ask her to demonstrate her ability. I firmly remind her that this is a CRITICAL STEP in my 17 week old son sleeping through the night. Don't mess with my routine lady!

We skip off to drink merrily, eat lavishly, and cackle loudly at a fantastic White Elephant party.

Upon our return, the babysitter can't look us in the eyes. "It was a rough night" she says quietly

Apparently Keaton did NOT want to sleep and screamed his head off. Then proceeded to wake up Carson who was not thrilled either. They tag-teamed her until she couldn't take it anymore.

"I'm sorry but Keaton is ... unswaddled."

WHAT?!? How is this possible? And there goes my full night of sleep.

We decided not to fire her on the spot but instead just NEVER call her again. She is SO off our list. It's going to be a little awkward because we bump into her a lot. Darn neighbors.

I couldn't sleep that night. Because Keaton was unswaddled, I was so worried about him being cold that I put a blanket on him. This is a no-no these days so then I woke up about every other hour to check on him and make sure the blanket wasn't wrapped around his head.

I continued to do this until 7:30 am!!!

What?! ? How is this possible? My unswaddled son slept the entire night?? Must be a fluke.

We cautiously (not very optimistically) tried it again the next night. As I sit here typing this, it is 7 am and he is still asleep. (He normally wakes around 5:15 for a bottle).

So our babysitter accidentally discovered that we no longer have to swaddle Keaton! TWO whole months ahead of schedule!

This solved a KEY problem that swaddled babies go through (Keaton was just entering this phase) when they're strong enough to bust out of the swaddle but then can't sleep until re-swaddled!

We no longer need to go through the frustration of finding XXX-L swaddle blankets.


With egg on my face I will bump that cheap babysitter back to the top of the list. I might even give her a bottle of wine to thank her for her accidental discovery.

Did I mention my babysitter's name?

Nana Kuntz.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I love my boys!

It's so quiet in the house right now. Both boys are asleep. Not a single dog is barking. I just sent off a new offer for a buyer client and finished up by reading People magazine. This is the most relaxed I've been in months!

Our lives are chaos right now and I look forward to the day when things are more settled. Hopefully this isn't just a pipe dream!

Keaton barfing problem continues. On Wednesday his pediatrician put him on a hypo-allergenic, ridiculously expensive formula to see if he's lactose intolerant.

I am so thankful that we can afford this liquid gold and wonder what happens to babies whose parents are not able to purchase it. That being said, I really, really hope it's just a temporary fix! We're not clear yet if it's working or not.

Soccer practice on Friday mornings is not nearly as fun as swimming. For whatever reason, Carson won't go on the field without me. So I am the third tallest player, after the two coaches, running around with 20 three year olds.

With each activity I skootch a little bit closer to the wall until around the time of "Red Light, Green Light Trapping" I am safely behind the plexiglass.

But then he comes out at least three or four more times for water, pee-break, water, and poo-break. And each time I have bribe him to get back on the field! It's only our 4th or 5th lesson but if things don't perk up, I'm definitely not signing up for this torture again! And it's a shame because the coaches are fantastic!

Christmas is so much more fun this year with Carson! We got an Elf on a Shelf and each morning Carson runs around trying to find where his elf has landed for the day! The trick is remembering to move the darn elf! There have been MANY of morning of panicked adults running around trying to find a new place for the elf to perch!

Thanks to a friend we discovered Portable North Pole! It is the coolest FREE website! You enter your child's information, submit his/her picture and Santa sends back a personalized video. Santa says your child's name several times, mentions his age, hair color, and state. Plus you can tell Santa what the child wants and more. Super cool!

Carson has watched his video about 13 times now! And he fully believes Santa is talking to him!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh the Cuteness!

The remodel is FANTASTIC! This was the pivotal week in the construction schedule. We needed one dry week since the roof had to get ripped off our old house. In spite of temperatures in the single digits, our wonderful crew showed up at first light every day this week and got our new addition walls up and roofed! We LOVE them.

Keaton is just getting cuter and cuter as he puts on more weight. Chubby cheeks and a GIANT noggin' are precious. We got out the exersaucer this weekend and he is loving it! You can almost tell he feels like a "big boy" as he watches all of us upright instead of in his bouncy chair or swing. Of course he is stuffed in there with blankets but getting steadier by the day.

Update on his acid reflux:

One week on Zantac did nothing

We are nearing his first week on Prilosec: Good news, bad news! Of the three kinds of spit-up, the two that included stomach bile are gone. Yay! Our lives are a lot less stinky and vomitess!

However, the first kind of spit-up (pure formula) is getting worse. If you remember from my prior post, that is the one with the most volume! So we are all still getting splashed by ounces of formula on an hourly basis. Still changing his bib or clothes three times a day. But it isn't painful for him so we're making progress!

Carson has been a NIGHTMARE this week. He's REALLY testing the ropes and trying to push our buttons. It's awesome. I seriously hope the pain and suffering we're going through right now will be it worth it when he's an angelic teenager and all our friends are dealing with hormonal girls.
On the other hand, the kid just gets funnier and funnier!! Especially as he's learning the art of manipulation. I am dreading the day when he realizes what sarcasm is (that gene came from his father!).

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I Love Starbucks

Carson can point out each Starbucks in the Beaverton area.

Conversation overheard in our car today as we sat at a red light, kitty corner from a Starbucks.

Carson: Mommy, I would like an apple cider from Starbucks.

Me: Sorry honey, I'm not in the turn lane so let's wave at Starbucks as we go by.

We both wave and I shout to my shrine: I love you Starbucks!!

Carson: MOMmy, it's JUST a building!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Merry Christmas!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving the Kuntz's and Rader's headed out on a chilly but beautifully sunny day for our annual Christmas Tree Hunt.

The irony. On the driest, least-muddy day we've ever experienced, we ended up getting talked into a new tree species, The Nordland. This amazing tree doesn't shed its needles. However, it is so new at the Helvetia Tree Farm that they are only a few years old and a few feet tall.

In order to buy an 8-9 foot tree, we had to purchase a pre-cut, imported tree. The whole process took all of 15 minutes. Hilarious. We didn't even ride the tractor out to the field to double-check for any neat nobles.

So for posterity's sake, we pretended to cut down the tree! Notice the gravel and tire.

And of course GO DUCKS!! Santa approved of the boy's not being in their Christmas sweaters this year in honor of our Rose Bowl bound team!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

All is Well, Almost

I apologize for posting such a traumatic post and then not following up right away.

I called the advice nurse after Carson went ANOTHER day without pooping and an expired suppository stuck up his keister.

Advice nurse said try a second and even a third suppository, preferably not expired.

Carson didn't even say no this time when I offered him some more bum candy. Sorry, but they do look like little sugar sticks. He merely bent over while watching Sesame Street, winced once, and fixated right back on the tv.

About 15 minutes later we went running for the bathroom. Didn't quite make it in time but the "cork" as we call it, painfully made it's way out.

Carson told me in bed that night, "Mommy, I like little poops. I don't like big poops."

But now we've spent the last 48 hours watching, and cleaning, MILES of poop out of this kid. Only about 1/2 has actually made it in the potty because the rest came shooting out too fast to control. GROSS for all involved. Thank goodness for pull-ups!

I am hopeful that the poop pendulum has found a comfy place resting in the middle. Not too hard and not too soft.


Little Buddy- poor guy is a barfaholic. He has three very distinct spit-ups.

The immediately following bottle, Pure Formula spit-up. Quantity, massive and requires a clothes change. Stink, not so bad.

The 1-2 hour post bottle, Chunky Vomit spit up. Quantity, much less but still requires a clothes change. Stink, getting worse.

The worst one, the just after waking up, PURE STOMACH BILE spit up. Quantity, more than a mouthful and absolutely requires a clothes change. Stink, AWFUL. It looks like clear water shooting out of his mouth but it's NOT.

I took him in to the doc Monday and we're trying Acid Reflux meds. The irony, he barfs up the meds. It's fun, so fun.

Doc said it would take a week or so to see if it works. If not, we move on to Nutramagin Formula. Cha-ching!! Super expensive, hypo-allergenic formula to see if he has a milk allergy.

In spite of all this, the little dude is gaining weight like a champ and still happy as a clam!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Poor Carson. I missed a dose or two of Mirilax over the holiday weekend. Stopped up for three days now.

It's painful to watch him struggle to push out a cement block with no success. For two days now.

Last night, I snuck a suppository up the shute. Only there's no sneaking with a glycerin stick and I felt so terrible as he cried and cried. "GET IT OUT! GET IT OUT!"

No retrieving possible, sorry kid.

The package said it would work in 15-30 minutes. We waited.

And waited.

And waited. 60 minutes later, I read the package again. EXPIRED.

PANIC. What does this mean?

It's now 9:30, two hours past Carson's bedtime. He's pooped (not literally). We give up.

We walk up the stairs and I tell him how sorry I am for sticking his medicine "up there" and he says, "It's okay Mommy. I love it."

5:24 am rolls around and I am woken with "Mommy, I have to poop".

Lightening fast I jump out of bed thinking this is the moment!

Unfortunately just anothe false alarm. And it's still only 5:30 am. He's not supposed to be up for another 70 minutes and there's no going back to sleep now!!

I overloaded a straight shot of apple juice with Mirilax, put a pull-up on him "in case his bottom didn't listen to him very well" and sent him off to school.

I am oh so curious as to how this evening will go. And when do I call the doctor?


How Old is Carson?

How Old is Keaton?