Thursday, July 31, 2008

First vaccinations

Another trip to Dr. Whang today.  

The stats:

14 pounds - 95th percentile
24 1/2 inches long - 90th percentile
head circumference 16 1/2 inches - 50th percentile (Weird - it was "off the charts" when he was inside me!)

We have been spew free for a while.   The last big one was Sunday, but it wasn't impressive by our standards.  And slowed feedings are over.  You can't really slow Z down anymore.  He's just a nursing pro now.  So we are really feeling good about the pyloric valve.  It seems to be open for business.

BUT--another possible surgery looming.  Turns out Z very likely has a hernia, which the doc could feel in his left testicle.  (I apologize in advance to our future college age Z, who may be reading this with his new girlfriend and cringing.)  So we have to see a urologist, and if it's "indicated," there's a corrective surgery for that when Z is about six months old.  What's up with this kid and the threat of the knife?  Again, it's all routine, no big deal, blah blah blah.

I'm not upset about this one, really.  And after the way the whole pyloric valve thing went down, I trust our pediatricians.

But ANYway, I'm still a neurotic mom, and I read that Z should be "batting" at things now.  And he hasn't been.  So I was wondering if he was behind in his development or something.  But today he got very interested in this blood pressure thingie.

And here it is--this pic is blurry from all the non stop batting action!  Bat away, Z!  (Okay, it may have been inadvertent batting, but still, I'm very proud.)

Z's interest in medicine diminished after he was poked several times.  We saw quite a bit of the bindi dot.  Shots hurt.  But he took it like a man.  A man who napped immediately afterwards in his car seat.

He was soooooo good in the doctor's office.  He is so interested in everything now.  He loves to look around at people, and the doctor's office is decorated with all kinds of interesting stuff--bright colors and fish.  He also digs that baby he keeps seeing in the mirror and always gives him a big smile.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Scary but short

And I mean the earthquake, not Zack.  Zing!

We're fine.

The only damage:

LEGOs fell of the shelves.

I grew up here, so earthquakes are no big thing most of the time.  I heard the train noise and felt a little motion, but at first I thought it was a teeny one and just sat there.  Then the big shaking started, and I snatched up Z and ran him into a doorway.  It was all over by then, and he was just a little annoyed to have been woken up from a nap.  The bigger jolts only lasted a second or two.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Zack's first play date

My friend Marion had her baby!  Weston Andrew Pardo.  Here's his blog.  Marion and I were eating at a restaurant just over a year ago, kvetching about how badly we wanted babies.  And here we are today!

Zack had to borrow a swaddle blanket in order to continue his afternoon nap.

And this was Weston's reaction.  These two are getting along famously--it's clear they absolutely adore each other.

Daddy Jason.

Jeff and I were very excited to hold a teeeeeny newborn again.  Seven pounds, fifteen ounces.  Of course, Zack was actually never this small on the outside!  

So cute!

The compare contrast.  Oddly, they look roughly
the same size here.  But Zack is way huger for sure.

You would think that after eating before this little visit and during the visit, Zack would have let us drive through In n Out Burger in peace.  Nope.  Still starving!  He pitched such a fit that it wore Jeff out.  Never has Z been denied the boob for an entire ten minute drive.  Outrageous. He was traumatized.  Probably not as traumatized as we were!

Boy, do we love our kid.  It's painful if he's unhappy for mere seconds.  I suppose we must get over that.

So excited for our friends.  This is the last baby of the West Coast Baby Tsunami.  There were four babies among my friends, and Zack was the second one in this lineup.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Handsome little dude

I love Z in this color green.  It's the only thing we have in this color so far.  I think he just looks so great in it.  The booties are from our friend Jeannette.  She made them herself.  She was smart to make them big, supposedly for the fall.  But Z's feet are big enough for them now.

Look how handsome.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Long overdue post --Z's first bath! (Which actually happened a while ago)

I don't like it!  I don't like it!

Oh wait, it's pretty much just like a sponge bath, which I do like.

Hey, I kind of like it!

Yeah, I get it.  Water.  Cool!

I feel so like, calm.  Dude.

Can we do it again?

Cuddly towel--yay!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Adventures in baby sitting

Geneva and Jakes

For the first time in a long while, I had to go out alone yesterday.  My friend Tekla watched Z.  This was Z's first time solo without Jeff or me.  As you can see, Tekla has a daughter, and a new kitten.  So between these two and the baby, there was plenty of cuteness in the house.

I left my diaper bag and a bottle, but I also came early, fed Z, and got him to sleep before I left.  I thought I'd get back before he woke up, but this was the scene that greeted me when I returned.

Wow, another person who feeds me!
Who are you, beautiful lady?

Tekla said that just as I had predicted, Z raised his legs and let out a little trumpet announcement fart, warning her that he would be awake and hungry soon.  She and Geneva ran to get the bottle ready while staving Z off with the pacifier.  Just when he was making his first high pitched animal cry to tell them he was actually hungry, dammit, they got the bottle in his mouth.  Go Team Wright!

Z was pretty interested in Geneva.

Geneva took this picture.

And this one.  Z is having a great time.

Of course, later in the evening, after a great day together, Z treated me to two hours of inconsolable fussiness.  When Jeff got home, I was completely spent!  But I have to say, all in all, I think we got a pretty easy going baby.  Even inconsolable fussiness for Z isn't too horrible.  He never (knock on wood) cries straight through.  You try this and get a cry, then another thing and get a cry.  Then finally, finally he'll go to sleep.  But mostly, he's a good natured little guy.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Z looks like Jeff!

And look at that stellar head control!  Way to go, baby Jeff!  Thanks for this pic, Dana.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The sounds of Z

I wish I could capture all Z's crazy little noises.  I've been taking a lot of video, so maybe I'll bust out imovie and do a little bit of editing.  Yeah...cause I've got so much time lately.

But tell me if this is a normal baby thing.  In the morning, he kicks both his little legs up and trumpets his impending awakening with a series of impressive farts.  It's the leg kicking that really is funny--it's like he doesn't want anything to get in the way of his flow down there.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chillin' with Zack.

Just some pictures of our day so far.

Hang out time on Mommy's legs.  This is how I keep him upright after meals.  Usually I sing a lot to him, which he seems to dig.  Or he might be actually protesting that it's horrible.  Hard to tell.

Saying hello to Mr. Monkey, who often visits while we're doing upright time.

First time falling asleep in the swing!  This swing always seemed too vigorous, until today.  I guess he's a big boy now.

Lego store!

While we won't take Zack on a cross-country plane trip, we did risk the Glendale Galleria over the holiday weekend for a stop in the Apple and Lego stores, which are conveniently located right next door to each other.

At a Christmas party last year my friend Alex declared his intention to make Zack a fan of Lincoln Logs over Lego bricks. I say to him today what I said that night: Take your best shot.

Look at him. He's just mulling over what to get first... I keep imagining that little index finger popping up and a tiny Jiminy Cricket voice saying "I'll take them ALL!"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Update on Z's tummy troubles

We're less worried about Z these days, so I thought it would be nice to share that news with all of you who tune in. But first, here's an unrelated picture of Zack in the middle of some naked time. This is from last Saturday; I was holding him on the changing table with one hand while rummaging through drawers for things, and I suddenly needed a picture of how big my hand was on him. Like a hairy-knuckled blanket.

While we are less worried about the possibilities of any serious problems, we did decide to bag on our east coast vacation that would be taking place this week. It was a very tough decision. Here's part of what I wrote to my family on Wednesday:

"The good news is, it doesn't look like he's got pyloric stenosis. Of course we're not 100% sure and don't want to tempt fate by coming off all cocky, but the last few days plus a follow-up conversation I had with Dr. Whang made us feel a lot better (she's the doc who's on the blog, and her name is pronounced "Wong," which is much less awkward).

Here are some of the bullet points:

-- Since we found out the ultrasound results last Thursday, we've slowed down the feedings and Zack's yack factor dropped in a big way. Plus he's pooping good and, although we don't weigh him every day, he seems to be getting larger.

-- Further discussion of the ultrasound revealed that while the pyloris's diameter was on the small side, the muscle thickness was "within normal range." Also, Dr. W said the radiologist errs on the side of caution when diagnosing PS, often saying things like "cannot rule out" and such, and was not so swayed in Zack's case.

-- Dr. Whang did confirm that the small pyloric diameter could just be a feature of an immature digestive system, and sometimes as babies grow the problem can correct itself. We hadn't really heard much on that score, so that was reassuring.

The bad news is, he did still yack twice in the past two days. Yesterday's was pretty easily explained, since Julie didn't have the opportunity to let his meal settle before she had to put him in the car. Right as she clicked the buckle across his chest he decorated the back seat.

This morning, however, he let fly after all the usual precautions were taken. Considering how much jostling might happen during a flight, and considering the X-factor in when this is gonna happen, the chances that he might spew on the airplane are worth considering. And I have to say, one instance of that would repurpose the flight as "nightmare." This morning the front end of the geyser hit the floor a good four feet away, so we're not even just thinking about ourselves, but also people sitting near us. (In all fairness, I should point out that his distance was aided by the fact that Julie was standing up while holding him.)

The other part of the bad news is that all the doctors at the pediatrician's office have been pretty concerned about taking an infant on an airplane before he's had his vaccinations (which don't happen until the lad hits six weeks). And while he's not likely to get polio or meningitis on the airplane, the recirculated air is a well-known medium for all kinds of normal maladies."

Since I wrote that there's only been one more episode of geysering, and while it would be nicer to say there's been none, in a weird way it's satisfying to have our decision validated like that, even a little. Added to that is the fact that today, which would have been our flying day, Zack was all kindsa fussy. It just feels like he's too tiny for this yet. I really wanted to show him off to my family and get him together with his three cousins who were all just born, but they will still be cute little babies come Christmas.

So now I can't wait for Christmas... but that's me every year.

Thanks for all your good wishes everyone. Here's to smoother sailing ahead.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Zack meets his Great Great Aunt Rose

And we mean "great great" in more than one context. For one thing, Rose is Julie's great aunt, and Z's double-great aunt. But for an even more important thing, Rose is the generous family member who funded Julie's education at Columbia University, which is where she and I met. So in a way, Rose is directly responsible for that little guy in her lap, and we can't thank her enough.

Outside in Rose's back yard was this loopy squirrel, who would park on the wall and either stand so still you'd think he was a little statue (which is why Rose dubbed him Oscar), or he'd chirp like a bird. We were so surprised by the sounds coming out of this squirrel, we shot a little video.

Isn't that weird? I thought there was something wrong with the air conditioning.

Friday, July 11, 2008

One month old yesterday

Out for an evening stroll, 
dressed in one of the super fly onesies
sent by Auntie Jules.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Tummy Time

We've been enjoying a lot of happy, alert Zack today. We waved a plush monkey in his face a bunch and chatted with him while he blissed out. THEN we had a really successful tummy time, including a spot of major head-raising. I like doing tummy time on my tummy, for Double Tummy Time, or Double Daddy Tummy Time. Here's a video. You can't see his little legs pushing but that's what almost carries him off the couch:

And then a few seconds later he really hauled up that noggin and Julie caught it on camera, as you see here.

Pretty delightful.

We haven't had any further spewing since Thursday, so pacing out the feedings has been working and we're feeling kind of optimistic about making our East Coast trip. Today, anyway. It's all still very up in the air. All we're really doing is controlling the symptoms, it's up to Zack's innards to get their ducks in a row. Mostly we just had a great time today.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Worried about Little Z

This is a picture of us in the hospital right after Z was born.  There's a little spitup in there.  Ah for those little ones.  If only that's what we were dealing with!

Yesterday I visited Jeff at work on the way home from Z's ultrasound.  He had a few more episodes of projectile vomiting.  I was thinking I would pursue the breastfeeding support group route and also put a call in to the pediatrician.  As it happened, the pediatrician had an appointment cancellation, so we saw her yesterday, and she ordered an ultrasound for Zack.

It was an adventurous day, driving all the way into Beverly Hills for the ultrasound.  Zack handled the car ride like a champ.  Poor little guy was not quite as brave during the ultrasound, which really freaked him out.

We got the results today, and Z does have some pyloric thickening.  This was not the news we wanted to hear.  We have to monitor him over the next couple weeks and see how he does.  If the symptoms worsen, he may need surgery to correct pyloric stenosis.  However, he can't get the surgery yet, because fluid is still getting through the narrowed pylorus.  So he's not in bad enough shape to need surgery.  And the problem might resolve on its own.  I didn't know, from my extensive Google diagnosing, that this problem could resolve without surgery.  But as Jeff said, that's why we don't pay Dr. Internet to care for our baby.

Our pediatricians seem great.  They are are trio of women and I've met them all now--Lubin, Whang, and Blume.  I trust what they are telling us.

We are just worried sick.  But we have to be strong for Little Z.  The main thing now is that we have to really slow down his feedings so that whatever we put into his stomach can make its way out of the pyloric valve.  This is very, very tough for me to do while breastfeeding, so I am thinking it would be better to pump and bottle feed.  Jeff has a lot of success bottle feeding Z expressed milk.  It's just easier to monitor the amount.

Also, we have to keep up with Z's output in the coming days.

What's wrong with Z is totally fixable and very common.  It affects boys something like 4 or 5 times more than girls.  It's especially common in firstborn males.  The surgery to fix the problem is routine and the prognosis is great.

But we are just wrecks over it nonetheless.

There was such a nice woman working at the ultrasound lab.  I had my stroller and diaper bag and then they tossed a clipboard at me.  But she came and sat down next to me while I fed Z and filled out the forms for me.  She said her son had to have a surgery when he was an infant, and she could see it all on my face--exhausted and worried mom of a newborn with a problem.

I feel vindicated that there is a problem.  I knew what was happening was not right.  I may not be a baby expert, but a baby who vomits out a stream of liquid that goes a yard out from his face--um, that just didn't seem normal to me.  Overfeeding didn't quite explain it.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Zack visits Daddy at work!

So there I am dremeling away at some new-fangled toilet plunger to make it look like a giant popcorn popper, and I look up and there's my fine lady walking into the shop with our fine little guy! Jules had some stuff to do nearby and decided to swing by the shop to give Zack a little chill time -- and of course to show him off. I wandered around with him in my arms pointing stuff out: "here's the down-shooter room, here's a flocking station," etc.

Julie pointed out that he has no idea how cool it is that he got to see where I work, so we took this picture of us with the puppetized cast of Chowder so we can prove it later. Love that kid.