Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Connor's 1st Christmas

A little too much fa-la-la

Ross and I decided to have a little pre-Christmas get together at our house. The night was filled with good food, great friends and a few Christmas inspired games.

For those of you who haven't yet attempted Christmas Carole charades, it’s a must for next years line up. Just try acting out “Chestnuts roasting over an open fire” and see what you come up with. It makes me laugh just thinking about it. For the record the guys team was victorious and has the privilege of being charade champions until December ’09 – at which time there might need to be a rematch.

Even though we forgot to break the camera out until the end of the night, here are a few pictures from the debauchery.

Connor Update

For those of you following Connor's food drama, here's the latest. Unfortunately, the new food that we had Connor on didn't work out. We had him on it for three full weeks and during that time, he didn't gain an ounce. His consumption was at an all time high with a daily increase of 140-160 extra calories, but still no change on the scale.

I guess that just confirms that he does have a cows milk protein allergy and that his body is fighting off the food instead of absorbing it. The good news is that during the last three weeks he didn't lose weight, so we're right where we were at the beginning of the month. For the time being we're switching him back to the nasty Neocate and waiting for the doctors next orders.

Connor's 9 month check up in on Tuesday and we're still holding out of a good weigh in. Fingers crossed.

Friday, December 19, 2008

All I want for Christmas…

Is my two front teeth...

Connor will definitely not be singing that song for Christmas this year (regardless of the fact that he hasn’t learned to talk yet, much less sing). The point I’m trying to make is that not only does Connor already have his two front teeth; he also has four on the bottom and two more coming in on the top. That makes 8 teeth already!!

As everyone knows, I’m extremely competitive so this next comment shouldn’t surprise any of you. Out of all the kids in Connor’s daycare class – he has the most teeth (and the most hair). :) So regardless of the fact that he’s still a little peanut in the size and weight category, he’s excelling in the art of teething and hair growing – and those are the things that really matter. HAHA!

Like everyone that gets a new “toy”, Connor can’t wait to try out his new chompers. Since he still hasn’t gotten excited about solid food, he chooses to sharpen his pearly whites on my arm. Yup, my son’s a biter. He typically sucks me in by acting like he wants to snuggle his face in my arm and then before you know it - YEEEOWWW!

Which brings me to my next topic – discipline. Disciplining a 8.5 month old is difficult – if not impossible. Regardless, we’re finding subtle ways to help him understand that biting is bad. Part of the problem is that he’s still teething and his mouth is uncomfortable – still I have visions of sitting in a parent teacher conference years from now trying to explain why my son bit another kid in class. Ugh! Hopefully it won’t come down to that.

In a related story, Ross also used to be a biter. As one of his groomsmen so kindly shared during his speech at our wedding (in front of the minister –mind you), Ross got in trouble once for biting a black girl. When his mom asked him why he did it, Ross’s response was, “I wanted to see if she tasted like chocolate”. OMG!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas has come early!

Christmas has come early at the McKinnon household this year. For whatever reason, Connor's finally found his appetite!! After all we've been through over the last year, this is the best present any of us could have asked for.

Out of sheer desperation and against our doctor’s advice, Ross and I changed Connor's food last weekend. It's amazing how many types of formula we've tried with him. We started with breast milk, then our doctor advised us to switch to Similac Advanced, then Nutrimigen, then Allimentum, then Soy, then the crem-de-la-crem...Neocate. The doctor "prescribed" the Neocate when we left the hospital after being on the feeding tube. At the time, it was the only thing that was helping Connor gain weight. This formula is so 'elemental' that his body had to do little to no work to break it down and absorb it. We would have done anything at that point, as long as he was gaining weight - we were happy.

As a very shocking side note, the Neocate costs $150 per can! For those of you without kids, one can of formula usually lasts 2-3 days depending on how much your baby is eating. Since this was doctor 'prescribed' our insurance paid for the majority of it - thank God! Ok, back to the story...

Our problem was solved...right? Well not quite, Connor was severely constipated on this new formula. I won't go into details, but it was heartbreaking. We dealt with it as long as we could, but this weekend Ross and I had enough. So we decided to switch his food - back to the normal run-of-the-mill Similac.

The jury's still out on whether Connor will be able to gain weight on this new food, but so far his consumption has gone through the roof! Connor's only been on this formula for four days now, but he's had 31 ounces 3 out of the 4 days! That may not sound very impressive, but it's by far the most Connor's ever eaten in one day - ever. Not only that he's become easier to feed (the daycare ladies love this - we do too) and he seems to like the taste.

I'm hopefully optimitic.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thanksgiving in Alabama

Ross, Connor and I headed to Birmingham for Thankgiving this year. It was Connor's first airplane ride and he did fantastic! He slept all the way there and only cried once on the flight home. He's such a little trooper.

Thanksgiving was a blast! It was so nice to see all of Ross's family. As always, it was a little bit of a mad-house. :) Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the craziness.

1. Brett carving the turkey
2. Bonnie and Emily pulling Connor's pants up to his armpits
3. Reese making a funny face
4. Emily and Connor playing with the kitty.
5. Emily, Nana and Connor hanging out on the couch

92 is the new 65

Ross, Connor and I drove up to Kerrville today to celebrate my grandma's 92nd birthday! We took her to eat at her favorite restaurant and then went back to her place for cake. I just adore my grandma and love her for all her crazy quirks.

Here are just a few of my favorites...When we take her out to eat, she's notorious for gasping when her food arrives and always claims that it's way too much. She usually takes a few bites, boxes it up, and then orders a huge dessert. Two years ago, she bought a new car. She called me to tell me about her new purchase and when I asked what kind of car she bought she tells me that it’s a Tyota Cameron (no typo here). I think she still calls it that.

At 92 she's still going strong. She lives by herself in an adorable garden home overlooking Kerrville and still drives all over town - although she occasionally forgets which car is hers :) I can only hope that I’m doing as well at 92.

Love you grandma!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

You can't fix stupid

I was really excited about this weekend. My friend Kim was flying in from Denver to attend a baby shower thrown in her honor at her mother’s house in Austin. Kim and I used to be roommates in Dallas. She's a fellow Baylor grad and started at Accenture (then Andersen Consulting) the same day I did (September 2000). Now she's 7 months pregnant with her first child and I’m super excited for her and her husband Scott.

So I've been looking forward to this shower for a while. Ok, ok, I have to confess. Anyone who knows me knows that I really dislike showers. I've always said that I'll buy you the biggest, most expensive gift as long as I don't have to attend the shower. But this was different. I wanted to see my friend and wish her all the best for this life changing event. It didn't matter that her mom lives in north Austin, which is about an hour and a half drive...I was going to attend, regardless.

As is fairly standard for me, I got lost on my way to Mrs. McCarty's house. I'm terrible when it comes to directions, which is really no surprise. My entire family has a poor sense of direction. Strangely, I've always prided myself on being far less directionally challenged than both my mom and grandma. Regardless, I still suck at it.

When I arrived (15 min. late), I thought it was strange to see that the street wasn’t lined with cars. I also thought it was out of the ordinary to see Kim's mom in the front yard and the lawn crew finishing up. So, as I walked up and greeted Mrs. McCarty she looked at me with surprise and said "Oh my! You're a day early". What!?!?!? I pulled out the invitation and sure enough...I was early - a full day early to be exact.

Luckily, I got to visit with Kim regardless. It actually worked out better because I wouldn't have gotten to catch up with her otherwise. She looked great and is expecting a boy on February 3rd. I'm so happy that we've stayed in touch throughout the years. I really enjoy seeing Kim and her husband Scott. My only wish is that they lived closer so we could see them more often.

As for me, I've learned that I need to pay more attention to details. I've also confirmed my theory that extreme sleep deprivation and babies make people stupid. I'm the prime example. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Here come the babies....

I can't believe I didn't post this sooner. I'm actually completely embarrassed that I haven't formally acknowledged it until now. Sadly, I've been so consumed with my own struggles that I haven't been a good friend or sister-in-law. Please forgive me.

So, I want to give a very warm and special congratulations to Brett and Ivy (Ross's sister and her husband) on the newest edition to their family (due date 6/2009). Ross and I are thrilled to welcome a new niece or nephew into the family. We also look forward to the day that Connor, Lauren Ann and baby Holmes are playing together out in the yard, or tearing through presents under the Christmas tree. How fun!!

Special congratulations also go out to Kim and Mark (Ross's cousin and her husband). We're super excited to welcome a baby Holland in April! Kim - Hopefully, our little babies won't cause as much trouble as you and Ross did when you were growing up. :)

Being that I'm a second generation only child, I've always dreamed of a having a big family. So bring on the babies...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

4th Picture in my 4th Folder

I've been tagged again...

This time I was asked to post the 4th picture in my 4th photo folder. So, here it is...
Several years ago, Ross and I took a trip to Europe. I was returning from Kuwait and arranged for a week long layover in Amsterdam. Ross met me there and our plan was to take the train down to the south of France to watch Lance Armstrong ride in his last Tour de France. However, after a few too many drinks in Amsterdam, I wrote the date in wrong on our train tickets which essentially voided them out (mm/dd/yy instead of dd/mm.yy).
The conductor, who had seen this mistake made by many stupid Americans, told us we could get our tickets re-issued in Paris, however, there was a catch. We were arriving on Friday night and had to wait until the ticket office opened on Monday morning. So basically we were "stuck" in Paris for the weekend.
With no hotel reservations, no map and no idea of where to go, we began walking the streets in hopes of finding a hotel for the night. As midnight quickly approached, our situation was looking slim. I was entirely convinced that we had no other option than to sleep on the streets. However, at the last second we stumbled upon an internet cafe (thank goodness) and were able to locate a room.
The next morning we got up and began to explore the city. The first thing we did was to buy a guide book and since Ross and I aren't the museum going type, we headed for the catacombs. CREEPY....
Now I need to "tag" four people...
Jenifer F.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I've been tagged

I've been tagged and have to write 6 quirky things about myself then tag 6 others.

1. I'm ADHD to the fullest extent. I can't do anything from start to finish. That's not to say that I don't start things OR I don't finish them...I do. But the order of events occurs something like this. Turn on the stove, feed the dogs, play with Connor, check the mail, realize I left the stove on, chop some veggies, put Connor down for a nap, sweep the floor, and finally finish dinner. It drives Ross insane - I love it!

2. I wear too much black and put my hair back in a pony tail all the time. I really need some friend or family to nominate me for a makeover. Ahem?

3. I really wanted to name Connor - Jack or Jackson. Ross wouldn't let me and now I'm glad. Not that those aren't nice names, but they're too popular right now. Connor has two Jackson's in his daycare.

4. You'll never find me in a pedestal tub (you know, the old cast iron ones with the feet). I'm scared of them and always think that they're going to fall through the floor. I also won't eat meat with bones in it and am terrified of ghosts. Once Ross told me that he saw a ghost in our house and I didn't sleep for a week.

5. I went to Baylor to be a marine biologist. But after realizing Waco was 300 miles from the coast, I changed my major to marketing, then entrepreneurship and finally MIS/International Business. I also minored in German after having lived in Vienna, Austria for a year after high school.

6. A few years ago, I had to go to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba several times for work. While I was there I stayed in a single wide trailer in a secure area located 200 feet from the back wall of the main prison. One night, my clients had a cookout and as we sat at a picnic table eating burgers from the grill, I felt something scratching my leg. I looked down to see a rat the size of a small house cat (the locals called them banana rats) begging for a bite of my burger. As everyone began laughing wildly, I remember screaming like a little girl and jumping on top of the table. It was so embarrassing and completely unforgettable.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My little monster

We spent Halloween over at my sister Alycia's house for her annual Halloween bash. The men take the kids trick-or-treating and the ladies usually sit on the porch drinking wine and handing out candy.

Connor may be too small for tick-or-treating but he's not too small for dressing up! Whoooo, scary!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Congratulations Eric and Jessica

Ross and I flew to Vail for Eric and Jessica's wedding this weekend. It was only our second trip away from Connor and after all that we've been through we were in desperate need for a get away.

The wedding was beautiful and the bride looked simply gorgeous. It was so nice to see Eric so happy. He seems to have met the most perfect woman for him and I’m thrilled. I wish them all the best for a long and happy life together.

Ross and I had a blast catching up with everyone. It was so nice to see many of our old friends and even to make a few new ones along the way.

Neither of us had been to Colorado in the fall. We usually save our trips for mountain biking trips in the summer or ski trips in the winter. So, I have to thank Eric and Jessica for giving me a reason to visit this time of year. Also special thanks to Jen for being our hike leader . Ross and I didn't realize that we had joined the advanced hiking group until we were at the trailhead...too late to turn back now. That's ok, I've always wanted to hike 2 miles straight up the side of a mountain - in altitude. Gasp...

Also, thanks to the Red Lion for allowing Ross to clean out their stock of Blue Moon and Maker’s Mark (also the countless number of shots that arrived at our table). Nice – Real nice.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

We're back baby!!!

Surprise, surprise…

Our little peanut had his 6 month check up on Thursday. As you can imagine, Ross and I are now experts on the routine at the doctor's office.

It usually goes something like this...we arrive at the a little early, cough up our $25 co-pay and wait until the nurse to call us to the back. Once we're past the waiting room, we're instructed to strip Connor down so they can get naked weigh in. For all that we've been through - this is usually the moment of truth. It’s This is usually the point where I’m crossing my fingers, holding my breath and praying that he’s gained just a little bit of weight.

But this week was different. Connor surprised everyone and weighed in far better than any of us had expected! As a matter of fact, he actually gained enough to get him back on the growth chart!! The doctor was thrilled and so were we. I can't tell you how nice it feels to finally be moving in the right direction. Now we have to keep up the good work and keep hoping for the best.

Another big milestone is that Connor finally got his first tooth. He’s been working on it for quite some time, but this week it finally popped through the skin. And let me tell you, that little sucker is sharp! One down, 19 more to go…

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ross for President 2008

We left Connor with Brian and Teresa on Saturday so that we could sneak away and watch the Auburn - Tennessee game with the San Antonio AU alumni club. Little did we know when we arrived that the club was looking for some fresh meat...oh, excuse me, I mean "new officers" to get involved.

It happened so quickly that I don't even think Ross knew what hit him. At half time the "elections" began and with a unanimous vote Ross became the club's new President. HA!

So now Ross has been tasked with bringing some life back into this old club (one member actually graduated in the class of '44). If I had to guess, I’d say the median age of the group is 60+. To be honest, I think this is a great challenge for Ross. It's the perfect way for him to get involved and give back to his alma mater. I also think he’ll do an awesome job of attracting the younger crowd and connecting with the almost 300 Auburn grads living in SA.

Oh – I almost forgot to mention, I’m the new web administrator. Ugh – who’s the sucka now?

Special thanks to Brian and Teresa for watching Connor. You guys did an great job and returned him with all 10 fingers and toes. Way to go!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ears to feeling better

Two weeks ago we took Connor to the Pedi ENT. At 6 months old, he's already had three ear infections so we wanted to get things checked out. Dr. Bonilla examined our little man and told us that he has fluid in his ears. He also said Connor would be a good candidate for tubes. Not only that, but he thought that Connor's poor consumption was possibly linked to the fluid/infections. If it's painful for him to suck on the bottle, then he'll quickly learn that a bottle = pain and avoid it at all costs.

The doctor asked us to come back in a month (sooner if Connor had another infection) and we would schedule the surgery. Within a few days of the appointment, Connor quickly began tugging on his ears, eating less and becoming fussy. All signs of an ear infection. So on Tuesday we took him back to Dr. Bonilla and scheduled the procedure.

Thursday morning (bright and early) we were back at the hospital praying that this would be the thing that would take away Connor's pain. The procedure was quick - he was in and out in 10 min. and we were back at home within the hour. Almost immediately, we saw a huge difference in Connor's mood. Not only that, but he was able to suck on a bottle without crying from the pain (incredible!). Since the surgery, he's been sleeping better, eating better, and will now respond to noises on both his left and right side.

Ross and I are very encouraged. We have Connor's 6 month doctor appointment on Wednesday and the follow up visit with our GI next week. My hope is that Connor will have improved so much that our pediatrician is satisfied and the GI will release us from his care.

Here are some interesting facts about ear infections/fluid - New studies show that children who are treated for re-occurring ear infections become more susceptible to antibiotic resistant strains of infection. Also, temporary hearing loss is a common symptom of fluid in the ears. Children who experience this will hear everything as if they were under water. If not addressed early, many children with fluid in their ears will need speech therapy to correct impairments.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's time to celebrate!!

We just got home from Connor's follow up appointment at the GI specialist. The great news is that he's gaining weight!! The doctor was so impressed with his improvement that he's extended our follow up visits to every three weeks instead of every week.

Way to go Connor - keep up the good work!

Friday, September 12, 2008

He has a weak what???

My son apparently has a weak sucking reflex and an uncoordinated tongue. Say what?

We had our first follow up visit with the GI this week since leaving the hospital. The great news is that ALL of Connor’s test results have come back normal. This poor child has had to endure an upper GI, endoscopy and colonoscopy, swallow study, biopsies, blood work, urine and fecal studies. There is almost no portion of this kid that hasn’t been poked, prodded and analyzed. Like a champ he’s endured it all with a smile on his face and a squeal for the doctors. He’s my little hero!

The GI (completely perplexed) actually told us that he has no idea how Connor has as much energy as he does based on the amount of calories he takes in. This kid just doesn’t eat! For all practical purposes he should be limp and lethargic, but instead he’s a playing, wiggling and cooing machine. So now instead of admitting defeat the doctor’s newest theory is that Connor has a weak “sucker” and will only eat enough to satisfy his hunger, but not enough to gain weight.

The second theory (and this comes more from my mother-in-law the nurse/baby extraordinaire) is that Connor suffers from a constant state of ear infections that make it painful for him to suck on a bottle. It’s entirely possible since at only 5 months of age, he’s already been diagnosed with two ear infections and is currently finishing his second dose of amoxicillin. We have an appointment at the ENT today to explore this possibility further.

In the mean time, Ross’s mom is staying with us and is fully focused on getting her grandson to eat…and let me tell you, she’s not taking NO for an answer! After working with him all day yesterday she was able to get 28 ounces of formula in him. That’s his highest intake ever!! Way to go Beth and Connor!!

Against our doctor’s request, we’ve also started introducing foods. Here are a few pictures of Connor as he tries to master the art of fine cuisine.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My little angel

I don't have much time to write tonight, but I wanted to let everyone know that Connor came home from the hospital today. He spent 5 days on a feeding tube a Methodist Children's. We still haven't figured out why he's not gaining weight, but I feel that the doctors might be getting closer to a diagnosis. While he was at the hospital they performed an endoscopy and colonoscopy and ran a million different tests. They were able to determine through a biopsy that he has an absorption issue, but we're still not sure what's causing it.

I can't even begin to describe what we've all been through, but to give you some idea - once the doctor determined that Connor is suffering from malabsorption, we asked his professional option on the cause. He looked at us straight in the eyes and said that the most common cause of malabsorption was Cystic Fibrosis. Our hearts sank. Since we were there over a holiday weekend, there was no-one onsite who could perform the CF test until Tuesday and our genetics test results hadn't come back. So we sat - and waited. Fearing the worst.

Ironically Tuesday was both Ross's and my mom's birthday. The lab technican arrived at our room at 9:00am this morning and performed a sweat/chloride test on Connor. I was praying all day that he'd fail this test. Finally, around 3:00 in the afternoon, the nurse gave us the good news. Not only did Connor's Cystic Fibrosis test came back negative, we were also being released!!!

Connor had to come home with the feeding tube, but he's only on night feeds. Hopefully, the doctor will get to the bottom of why his body's not absorbing the food he's being given and the tube will become a thing of the past. Either way, we remain hopeful and have realized through this whole experience how special our little man is. He touched every person that he came into contact with at the hospital. From the nurses, to the speech therapist to the lab technican - I don't think they'll ever forget Connor and we'll never forget how helpful and kind everyone was to us during one of the toughest experiences of our life.

My special thanks to everyone who kept us in their thoughts and prayers. Without the support of our friends and families we would not have had the strenght to make it through. THANK YOU!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Per our doctor's orders we are admitting Connor to the hospital tomorrow for a feeding tube. Please keep us in your prayers.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My worst enemy

For those of you who have kept in touch with Ross and I over the last few weeks - THANK YOU. We've really leaned on the support of our friends and family during these tough times. I really can't put into words what we've been going through, but I can say that I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

We've been taking Connor to the pediatric GI specialist for two weeks now. The first thing the doctor did was switch Connor's food - thinking his problems are caused by a milk protein allergy. The second thing he did was put Connor on a reflux medicine. Last Friday we had an upper GI test performed on Connor and have confirmed that he has "silent reflux" - which basically means that he suffers, but silently. He doesn't spit up like most reflux babies, but he has an aversion to food because it's painful for him to eat.

To make things worse, Connor's officially been diagnosed with "failure to thrive". This diagnosis could be caused by several things, some scary - some not. As is common practice for FTT patients we had Connor tested for Cystic Fibrosis. The first test that was performed (a sodium/chloride test) came back inconclusive, so on Friday we headed to the lab for genetics testing on on three of us. In order for Connor to have CF, Ross and I would both need to be carriers.

Fact: 1:31 people are carriers of CF - a baby born to two CF carriers has a 25% chance of contracting the disease.

So now Ross and I are forced to wait. It takes 7-10 days for the results of the genetics testing. Without a doubt this is the longest, most painful wait of my entire life.

If Connor does have CF, then it is not the end of the world. CF treatment has come so far in recent years and with some significant lifestyle variations can mean a long and happy life. When Ross and I were kids, a CF patient had a life expectancy of 5 years old - now the life expectancy is 35 or beyond.

Either way, we're all extremely scared right now. I will never be able to describe the feelings or emotions that we're going through. This has already been the most horrific and excruciating experience in my life and it has changed me forever. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another year older

As my friend Jenifer so kindly reminded me, I haven't yet written about my birthday celebration. So here it goes...

It's funny, but each year my birthday is a little less spectacular than the year before. Now, don't get me wrong - I mean to say that each year is more special, especially considering that I get to celebrate it with my sweet husband, son and other dear family members. But to those of you who have helped me celebrate my birthday in the past you can probably agree that each year is less of a spectacle than the year before.

There was a time when I was notorious for coming home barefoot after a long night of bar hopping. I was usually barefoot b/c the amount of coordination needed to walk in high heels was not condusive to the amount of adult beverages needed to celebrate the passing of another year.

But as I grew up and started accepting more responsibility, it's safe to say that I learned to celebrate in different ways. This year, Ross and I dropped Connor off at his MiMi and Opa's house and we headed to Fredericksburg. We rented a bed and breakfast for the night (strangely breakfast never I guess it was just a bed) and then hit the town. We found several places with live music and finally ended the night at Luckenbach. The next day we went to my parents house for a birthday lunch and then packed Connor up and headed back to San Antonio.

All in all it was a great birthday. Oh - I almost forgot - when we were in Fredericksburg, we met with our photographer Kathy Weigand ( and ordered some prints from the photo shoot we had with Connor when he was only a week and a half old. I'm so excited about these photos and can't wait for them to arrive.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Test Results

We got some great news today. Connor's test results came back - and everything is normal. They tested his liver and thyroid functions and it looks like everything is working as it should. Whew! We'll visit the gastroenterologist next week and hopefully have some more answers then.

In the mean time, check out Connor's new sunglasses.

Connor spent the weekend with his MiMi and Opa in Fredericksburg. The dogs went too. Here are a few pictures we shot at the ranch.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

4 Month Doctor Visit

Connor had his four month doctor visit on Friday. He was such a little trooper with all his shots. As a matter of fact, I think he was less affected by them than I was. Thank goodness Ross came with us and held Connor while he endured all those needle pricks. Sadly, the shots were the last of our problems that day. Our doctor is really worried about his weight gain - or lack thereof. At four months old, he weighed in at only 11lbs (3 1/2 pounds more than his birth weight). To put that into perspective, four month old babies should be close to double their birth weight. Since Connor was 7lbs, 8 ounces at birth, he should be around 14-15 pounds by now. What's worse is that he no longer registers on the growth curves. As of Friday, he's dropped off the chart completely.

The doctor sent us to the lab to get some blood work done. Poor sweetie had shots in each leg and then had blood drawn out of both arms. He was covered with little band aids by the end of the day. The labs are checking Connor's liver and thyroid function to ensure they are working properly. In addition, the doctor referred us to a gastroenterologist and nutritionist to run some additional tests. In the mean time, we're supposed to keep feeding him formula and squeeze in as many feedings per day as possible.

The silver lining here is that he's doing really well with his length and head circumference. Which according to the doc. means that he's getting enough nutrition to grow, but he doesn't have enough left over to pack on the extra baby fat that he needs. Needless to say, Ross and I are really worried about our little angel. Hopefully, we'll get some good news this week after our visit with the specialist.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My little guy

We took an unexpected trip to the doctor last week. Connor's come down with a little ear infection which doesn't seem to bother him much and is easily treated with some antibiotics. However, the doctor's visit uncovered a more serious problem that we weren't completely aware of. At 3 1/2 months Connor only weighs 10lbs 12oz - which means he's dropped into the 3rd percentile. On average babies his age should be gaining a 1/2 pound per week or two pounds per month. But Connor's only gained 3lbs 3oz in three and a half months - which is a concern.

For one reason of another, he's struggled with eating since day one. As a matter of fact, we've been bottle feeding him for a while now just so we could keep close tabs on his intake. For one reason or another, he doesn't seem to be motivated by food and he get's very upset if you try to offer him more food than he wants. However, Ross and I thought we were gaining ground in this department, so we were a little surprised by his weigh in.

The doctor is a little worried and asked us to start supplementing him with formula. While I wasn't entirely prepared to give up breastfeeding, I need to do what's best for Connor. For whatever reason, he's not getting everything he needs at this point. So far, he seems to like the formula and is even eating an ounce more at each feeding. We're taking him back to the doctor on Friday for an official weigh in, so we'll see if he's started packing on the ounces like he should.

Other than the weight issue, Connor's very healthy. He's been developing well and can do all the things a 3 1/2 month old should be able to do. Don't get me wrong, I don't want one of those monster babies that seem to be the norm these days. I just want to know that he's growing well and that we're giving him every opportunity. I know when he's 16 years old and 6ft tall we'll look back and laugh at this one day, but in the mean time we've got a lot of work to do.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Blanca - the baby whisperer

Blanca is not just our housekeeper, she's also a friend, baby expert and hands down the sweetest lady I've ever met. She visits our house every Thursday and I for one have come to really look forward to her company each week. Even though Blanca speaks broken English and I speak NO Spanish - we're still able to communicate fairly well. Put simply, I don't know what I would ever do without her.

She's amazing with Connor. Even during one of his most frantic crying spells, she'll sweep him up in her arms and sooth him in seconds. Along the way, she never ceases to teach me a thing or two. When Connor was only four days old, I was attempting to change his diaper. I was fumbling around with my squirmy little newborn when I noticed Blanca watching intently over my shoulder. After a few min. she shoo-ed me away - slapped a new diaper on him - swaddled him tightly and handed him back to me - happy and snug.

Connor has always been a little Houdini and can break through even the tightest swaddle. However, Blanca has the ability to bundle him so tightly that he has nothing left to do but look up at me with his sweet blue eyes and admit defeat.

Several weeks ago, Blanca noticed me trying to burp Connor after a meal. He's always been a difficult baby to burp, so I had been at it for a while without any success. She asked me if she could give it a try. After three taps on the back, Connor let out a huge burp and then melted in her arms. She just has that magic touch.

My favorite Blanca story involves the time she noticed that Connor had the hiccups. Without a word, she grabbed one of Ross' red t-shirts and tore off a thread from the seam. She then balled it up in her fingers, licked it, stuck it in the middle of Connor's forehead and walked away. Bewildered, I was examining the red dot on his forehead when less that 60 seconds later, I noticed that his hiccups had stopped completely. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it. I found out later that this is an old hispanic wives tale. The key here is that the thread must be RED.

Blanca seems to genuinely care about our family. Last week she noticed that Connor had a white tongue. Fearing that he might have thrush, she asked her daughter Judy to call us later that night to voice her concern. Judy explained the symptoms and urged us to contact our doctor ASAP. Luckily, Connor was fine but the fact that Blanca was that concerned for our sweet little bug speaks volumes.

I feel so blessed to have someone like Blanca in our lives.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Skunk you!!

Well the McKinnon family is three for four with skunk encounters. In recent weeks, Morgan and Tanner were sprayed twice at my parent’s ranch. The first was a direct hit which occurred as they ran into the horse barn with my mom's dog Haley. All three dogs learned a valuable lesson that night. Several hours later after four home remedies and a trip to the grooming salon, they finally smelled decent enough to let back into the house. Not long after that (back at the ranch) they took another hit - this time they were only "misted" but still stunk to high heaven.

Then last night our cat Gracie took a direct hit in the face. Gracie's got a bad habit of trying to be the toughest cat on the block and is intent on defending her territory. There's no doubt that she provoked this black "cat" with a white stripe down it's back.

Either way, Ross found her in the back yard foaming at the mouth with her eyes swollen shut. My sweet husband is such a trooper, b/c at midnight last night he rushed Gracie to the emergency animal vet. The vet flushed her eyes and checked her cornea's for damage caused by a potential chemical burn. Several hours and $150 later they returned home and the de-skunking began. For the record - tomato juice does not de-skunk an animal. The best combination (and even this doesn't work 100%) is hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and Dawn liquid detergent.

Now poor Ross, working on only three hours of sleep has to make it through a full day of work. To make things worse, most of his co-workers are out on vacation or on family leave. So my sweet sleep deprived husband is left to cover for his team. If there was anything I could do to help him - I would. At least he can rest assured that dinner and a cold beer will be ready and waiting when he get's home.

BTW - Elvis is the only one of our four animals who hasn't yet had the pleasure of meeting a skunk face-to-face. Let's hope he'll learn from his fellow animal friends and stay far, far away.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Bandaid

For weeks we've been referring to this weekend as the big Band-Aid. Ross and I were in Houston for Adam and Jana's wedding - so it was my first weekend away from Connor. To make matters worse, Monday was Connor's first day of daycare. So just like ripping a Band-Aid off as quickly as possible to minimize the pain - I have to quickly learn how to let my baby go. Sigh!

Adam and Jana's wedding was beautiful. They did such a wonderful job with every detail and it really made for a magical night - not just for the bride and groom but for their guests as well. I think my favorite part was watching all of the older folks breaking it down on the dance floor. I also really enjoyed the special little touches that fit the bride and grooms personality - solo dances on the stage; the Cubs groom cake, etc.

It's ironic, but Ross and I felt like two little country bumpkins driving around in the big-ole city of Houston. We couldn't believe how enormous the buildings looked to us OR how massive the expressways were (10 lanes across). It's hilarious that we lived in Houston for years and yet everything seemed so foreign to us after only one year of being away.

Connor spent the weekend in Kerrville with his MiMi and Opa. They were so excited to spend some QT with they're grandson and they did a great job caring for him. My mom even told me that she has a new found respect for all that Ross and I do (work, household chores, baby duty, etc.). Babies are a full time job and she had forgotten how much work it was. Regardless, I think everyone had a good time.

Connor's at an age now where he's really fun. He spends the majority of the day smiling, cooing and playing. I'm still shocked at how quickly my little man is growing up before my eyes.

For the most part Connor seems to have adjusted well to day care. His teachers are very sweet and are incredibly knowledgeable. I feel confident that they'll take good care of him. There are 8 babies in his room and only one is younger than he is. Most of the babies are 7 months or older and will be graduating soon to the next level. Don't get me wrong - it's still incredibly hard to drop him off each day but as daycares go, I think we found one of the best.