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.