Dear Lucas Boy,
Today you are 10 months old. This past month of your life was filled with sickness and your ever enduring energy and smiles despite that illness. Even when you clearly felt awful, you still wanted to sit and play with your toys and with Daddy and me. Also this month, we went to another friend’s birthday party, the Indianapolis Home Show, up to Michigan to Crystal Mountain resort to go skiing with Daddy’s side of the family, and then after skiing went up to Suttons Bay to visit your Great Grandpa D. The crazy snowy weather continued this month until the end of the month when we got a few random very warm days, which we took full advantage of by going for walks outside in the fresh air- a wonderful change from the stagnancy of the sickly indoors that we’ve been stuck in most of the month.
You had goopy, puffy eyes the day after you had a blast at your friend Ellis’ birthday party at Gymboree, and from that day forward, you, then Dad and I, were extremely sick with sinus problems, congestion, coughing, fevers, plugged ears, and lack of appetite for almost three weeks. I was constantly chasing you to wipe your nose. I’ve never felt more like a mother than those weeks with snotty, crumpled up tissues sticking out of my pockets at all times.
I’m pretty sure that before you got sick, you were well towards 23-24 pounds and pleasantly filling out the 18 month size clothes we just moved you up to. Once you were done being sick, you only weighed 21 pounds-mainly due to lack of appetite. You only threw up a few times, it was always from there being so much drainage in your stomach that when you’d cough while laying on your back while sleeping, you’d upset your stomach. Now that you roll around so much in your sleep, we knew we could no longer solve the problem by laying you propped up on a pillow in your bed for fear of you suffocating, so we rolled towels and propped up one end of your pack’n’play bed from underneath the mattress so that you were inclined while you slept, and that helped tremendously.
We were all sick when we went up north for skiing, so I stayed in the house with you most of the time, only going out a few times in the afternoon and once at night on the last day there. On one of the afternoons I went out skiing with Daddy, I returned to a very unhappy little boy. You had a high fever and were beside yourself with feeling awful. Daddy and I gave you medicine for your fever and your congestion, I nursed you to sleep, and then we took turns laying next to you while you napped in our big bed to keep an eye on you and track your fever to make sure you cooled down. You slept for three and a half hours. When you woke up, you were like a different kid. You were still sick, but your energy had returned, and you didn’t get a fever like that again.
Mimi suggested ice pops to help you get some fluids since you weren’t keen on nursing as much except before naps and bed, and you loved them. You also liked drinking water out of a real cup, even though you make a huge mess when doing that because you get your mouth full of water and then blow raspberries and let it dribble out everywhere. You do the same thing when drinking from a sippy cup too, although you were doing that less and less as the month went on.
Thankfully, Aunt Crystal and Uncle Mark brought up your cousins’ nebulizer machine (I didn’t have the foresight to think you’d need yours and had left it at home) and we had your pediatrician call in a prescription for the albuterol to use with the machine and an antibiotic in case your ears became infected. You had some really scary sounding breathing going on, like your chest was rattling, and you were wheezing too, which the nebulizer helped to cure. I was so worried that you had pneumonia, but you didn’t. We took you to a walk-in clinic when we got to Traverse City and had you checked out just in case. The doctor there was very nice and told us that you just had an upper respiratory infection that was probably viral and would go away but to keep taking the antibiotic just in case it was bacterial since that couldn’t hurt.
One of your favorite events during the ski trip, since you didn’t get to go swimming in the pool or sledding as we had originally planned, was taking a bath in the huge whirlpool tub. Daddy added soap, and the air jets made so many bubbles that I had to join you in the tub and hold you on my lap so that you weren’t up to your eyes in suds! You loved it!We were still sick when visiting my Grandpa D, your Great Grandpa D, but were feeling a lot better than we had been by the time we got there. We were still having sinus issues and coughing, but the fevers were gone and the general fatigue and yucky feelings had subsided. We spent a lot of time hanging out in the house playing on my quilt in the living room and watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, since I can’t stand watching Fox News (Great Grandpa’s favorite) or discussing politics with Great Grandpa. We’re both very stubborn and on the opposite ends of political ideals. We argue a lot, but I love him regardless of his grumpy old man perspective. He said when I was nursing you, “You’ll stop that nonsense when he gets a few more sharp teeth in there!” He said it jokingly, and I know he didn’t mean any harm by it, but I’m just glad I’m confident enough in our nursing relationship and what I feel is best for you to have not been upset by it. I know that breastfeeding you has been far from “nonsense”. We also got to spend an evening with my Aunt Dawn and Uncle Steve, eating pizza and watching more of the Olympic games. It was a restful few days, and we stopped and stayed the night with Mimi and Grandpa on the way home since it’s such a long trip. Before the ski trip and before getting sick, we went with our friends Matt and Emily to the Indianapolis Home Show at the fairgrounds. Daddy and I took turns wearing you in the Lillebaby carrier on our backs as we walked around and saw all the displays and toured the centerpiece home. When it was time to nurse you, I found a comfy seat on a bench in one of the Amish furniture displays and discreetly nursed you in a cradle hold position while Daddy and our friends sat across the aisleway in an outdoor furniture display. While I was nursing you, one of the Amish business owners came over to the bed directly next to where I was sitting and began selling it to an elderly couple, answering their questions and pointing things out about the furniture. I don’t know if they noticed what I was doing (if they did, they didn’t react very noticeably) but they were so close to us that across the aisle, Daddy and our friends were cracking up at the whole scene. I sat there calmly and let you finish nursing, and then Daddy came over and held you while I carefully put myself back together. It was quite a memorable nursing in public experience!
Also before the ski trip, the weather was turning nasty again, and tons of snow had been forecasted to be dumped on us the day before we were supposed to leave for Wabash on our way up to skiing. So, Daddy worked in the car, and we drove up the day before just as the storms were starting. While we were at Mimi and Grandpa’s, you began crawling forward for the first time after a water bottle Daddy had left on the floor. You were awkward at first, kind of sticking your one leg out straight as you moved it forward, but you quickly got the hang of it. A week later when we got back from up north, you were masterfully cruising the house, pushing on every door, crawling under or behind each piece of furniture, getting into the dog’s food and water, and checking out every room, especially the office where Daddy keeps all his cords (your favorite). You love to get into things you’re not supposed to, like tearing the fake grass out of the basket of the fake plant or trying to pull plugs from sockets. You love anything with a cord. You quickly learned that if you got up on your knees and put your hands on the office door, it would click open. I had to move a heavy box of stuff against the door inside the office so that you can’t get in there! You are the cutest little thing to watch crawling around. You do so slowly but with such precision. You’re quick when you want to be, though. If I go to the kitchen for something, before I get what I came in there for, I can turn around and see you crawling after me. It warms my heart to see you follow me like that. You also will crawl over to me and tug on my pant leg or reach up onto the couch to try to pull yourself up to me when you need a diaper change or want to nurse or snuggle. However, much as I anticipated last month, you chase after Feeny the most. You are obsessed with the dog. You crawl after him, underneath him, over him, and to sit beside him or lay on top of him. You prop yourself up on your knees and hang on to his back or side with both hands grabbing great fistfuls of fur and laugh and giggle and bounce up and down. You tug on his ears, jam your hands in his mouth, poke him in the eyes and nose, grab at his feet, play with his tail, and all the while, Feeny just lays there and lets you. He clearly loves you too. He is the best, most tolerant dog I have ever seen. You’ve fallen in love with Feeny and won’t leave him alone. He still just stands or lays or sits there and lets you pull on him, only gently correcting you when you really hurt him. I’ll lift you up and set you on his back, and you lean forward like a little jockey and grab on with both hands to the fur on the side of his neck, and he just lets you bounce around on him, having the time of your life, laughing and giggling and shrieking with excitement to be riding your Feeny. You call him “Bah” which I think is because we say “good boy, Feeny” all the time. It’s pretty darn cute.
The only downside to this obsession is that you’ve begun to act like Feeny too- putting dog toys and bones in your mouth. I had to pull pieces of rawhide out of your mouth that you had found in the carpet. (I swear; I watch you like a hawk, but you’re so quick when you find something you want. I know when you’re quiet that I had better come running to see what you’ve found.) You even grabbed the other end of Feeny’s sock ball in your mouth to play tug of war when he had the tennis ball end in his mouth! You love to grab Feeny’s rabbit and wave it around in front of him and shriek so that he notices that you have it. He’ll come over and playfully and gently grab one end of the rabbit and gently tug it from you. Then he’ll go across the room and lay down with his rabbit. You’ll crawl after him and take it away again. It’s pretty funny. You’ll also sneak up to the couch when he’s laying there and pull yourself up to grab at his feet or face. I’ve also caught you two playing with your pink straw together. You waved it around and whacked him in the face with it while cracking up, and he pretended like he was going to eat the straw. You’re best friends. I love it. You’re already pretty adorable, but this month you started to squint your eyes and wrinkle your nose when smiling, like you’re trying to wink with both eyes. I don’t care how grumpy someone is, if you were to give them that look, they’d definitely smile. In fact, we had to go to the BMV a lot this month to get the title fixed on my Alero so that we could sell it. While we were at the BMV, you kept make strangers smile and laugh at you with your silly looks and giggles. You weren’t “that kid” at the BMV; you behaved so well, were fairly quiet, and made even the grumpiest of old men smile at you. You’ve also taken to sticking your tongue out of your mouth all the time, especially when blowing raspberries, which you do when you’ve decided you’ve had enough to eat- spraying me and everything around you with veggie puree. Yum. My favorite trick of yours this month was that you learned how to clap. You smile and clap when we say “Yay!” You’ve figured out that if you keep clapping, we will continue to say “Yay!” and clap along with you. You’ve also become very entertained by a pair of 3D movie glasses that look like sunglasses, which Grandpa D sent home with you along with your very own remote (sans batteries). You love to chew on the glasses and think it’s hilarious when we put them on you or better yet when Daddy puts them on. It’s stinkin’ adorable. We got to hang out with our Trinity group this month. You and Kinsley played with Maddie’s Duplo blocks and kept taking toys from one another. Kinsley was hilarious because she was so adamant about keeping a toy from you that she stuck both arms straight backwards to keep things out of your reach. You knocked her over (by accident) and she pulled you over by the back of your overalls. Nobody cried, so it was pretty entertaining. You’ve tried a lot of new foods this month. So far, you’ve tried the majority of fruits and veggies available in purees, eaten several flavors of puffs and yogurt drops, eat yogurt every morning with me, and recently have begun to eat off of my plate a little at meal times. We watched the Olympics and the Today morning show in Sochi a lot this month while sharing our morning yogurt, and we’ve begun eating breakfast downstairs on the couch instead of in bed upstairs. I’ve given up trying to get you to sleep past 7. It’s helped get you back on a better napping schedule at 8:30/9 and again at 1:30/2.
We met our old realtor for lunch and met Daddy for lunch one day, both at Panera Bread. There you tried my mango smoothie (you couldn’t get enough and would go “EH! EH! EH!” when you wanted more) chicken noodle soup, asiago cheese focaccia, and lunchmeat turkey. You’ve tried roast beef from Arby’s, mac’n’cheese, chicken pot pie, mozzarella cheese, Aunt Rachel’s potato soup, and Mimi’s chili soup. Daddy even gave you a piece of nutty buddy bar, and I almost had a panic attack. I hadn’t been planning on giving you any peanut butter related food until after you were a year old for fear of you having a reaction! You didn’t have a reaction, but you also barely had any of the food.
You love Gerber puffs. You crack me up when you eat them because you put several in your mouth at once and then squint your eyes while you mush them up. You like the sweet potato puffs, banana puffs, and strawberry and apple puffs, but my favorite are the blueberry puffs because they taste like blueberry muffins.
Yesterday, the weather was a balmy 50 degrees, so we went to a nearby park and walked with our friend from birthing class, Tonya, and her son Xander. Later on, Daddy and I took you and Feeny to the car wash to wash the van, and we took you to Mimi’s favorite place- Dairy Queen. You’ve not had any issue with the dairy you’ve tried so far, and DQ’s soft serve is only 5% butterfat, so I figured you’d be okay with trying it, and you were. You tried tiny bites of Daddy’s strawberry sundae and ate the ice crystals at the top of my slushie. I think you were as excited about it as Feeny was; he gets his own soft serve when we go.
We had chances at the beginning and end of the month to play with friends. Before you were sick, we watched Ellis for a few nights while her mommy worked since her daddy was out of town. You two would pass toys back and forth to one another and splash in the tub together too. She wears a pacifier attached to a clipped on ribbon, and you kept trying to yank it off of her to get the pacifier in your mouth. I don’t know how moms of twins do it. It was exhausting having both of you to care for at the same time! I often wonder what it’s going to be like when you have a brother or sister some day. I don’t know how we’ll be able to give such undivided attention to you both during bedtime routines. I also don’t want to imagine what our living room will look like with two kids worth of toys in it. You already make the living room look like a disaster area all on your own. You love to pull toys out of containers, so I’ve saved several big containers to store your toys in for you to be able to do just that. It’s your favorite activity- emptying all the containers and then emptying all the cloth bins of toys on the shelf.
We had a huge play-date at our house on one of the super ultra cold days at the beginning of the month. Let me tell you, play-dates are to mommas as snow days are to teachers. I love impromptu get-togethers, and having all those babies and mommas around to socialize with when we’ve all been quarantined to our houses due to the weather was such a nice change of pace. At the end of the month, we were desperate to get out of the house again once we were both feeling better. We went to a play date at Miss Ella’s house, where you pulled yourself up to standing at the Mega Block table and chased after Rachel’s little dogs. They had long hair and were (thankfully) extremely tolerant of you grabbing handfuls of their tails and dragging them backwards to you. I had to chase after you most of the time to keep you away from them, poor things. You also rocked on a blue rocking horse toy that Uncle Justin used to have when he was little, and you really enjoyed that, just like you love to ride on the Winnie the Pooh tractor at Mimi’s house. I’m excited to get out more as the weather improves and take you to the zoo and the Children’s Museum this spring with our friends and with Daddy. Grammy came to visit for a few days and brought all my old boxes of stuff. We went through it together; you ate my old drawings and crumpled up my old pictures. Grammy watched you while Daddy and I went out for a belated Valentine’s Day dinner at Ruth’s Chris and a tour of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, which was really really cool and a very thoughtful idea on Daddy’s part. I tried lobster in an appetizer at dinner and got violently ill in the middle of the night that night. Daddy was fine, so maybe it was the sriracha sauce in the lobster voodoo. Beware: maybe you can’t have that either. On your first Valentine’s Day, Daddy and I gave you a card that had a list on the back of all the things I love about you (everything). Grammy gave you a card too and two new pop-up books. Unfortunately, you love the pop-up books so much that you have already torn the head off the dinosaur on one of the pages. You frequently drag the books out and look through them. Daddy and I are trying to teach you to follow the instructions of “lift the flap…” (“Wow! A bunny!”) “Now, turn the page,” to keep you on task so that you don’t linger too long and try to destroy the pop up animals. It’s not working very well. I’ve mastered getting you in the carrier on my back by myself. I sit on the couch and scootch you forward against my back while I wrestle with the straps and tuck you in to make sure you’re secure before checking out our success in the mirror and making adjustments. This has made housework much easier. You’re not even afraid of the vacuum when I wear you like this. I got the majority of the house clean this week thanks to babywearing!
This next week we begin our Mommy and Me swim classes, and next weekend, you and Daddy are going to have the first weekend together without me. I leave Friday night for MommyCon in Chicago and come home late Saturday night. I’m not sure how well you’ll sleep for Daddy, but knowing how you’ve been in the past when Dad’s been on night duty, you’ll probably sleep all night for just that night and then wake up as soon as I get home on the night I return.
My former student, Amber, babysat for you while I went to the endodontist this past week. I was nervous leaving you because I had put you down for your afternoon nap before leaving. Just as I’d feared, when you woke up and Amber was there instead of me, you were not happy. Once she got you downstairs to where Feeny was, though, you calmed down and happily attacked him and cheered right up.
I’m already planning your first birthday party. I’m thinking we’ll do a Dr. Seuss theme. We’re having it at Gymboree and then having only our family members back to our house for dinner. How has it already almost been a year? You’ve grown so fast. Time seems to just slip away when I’m sleep deprived, I guess! I wouldn’t trade our past 10 months together for the world, though. I love you more than I could ever say. Daddy does too.
All our love, our little tornado,