Future Gator!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dear Drew...

It was one year ago today that we brought you home from the hospital. We both remember that day like it was just yesterday. For me, it was a day of mixed emotions. I was so happy to be leaving the small room we lived in for 2 short days. But, leaving meant that I would not be returning to Northside again as a new mom. And that's a hard thing to feel...even as I type this. It was a beautiful sunny day, still cold and still white from the snow that had fallen the day you were born. For daddy, coming home meant things were on track. The day you arrived in the world was slightly overshadowed for him by nurses rushing in the room and stopping my contractions because your heart rate kept dropping and they needed to stabilize you quickly. It lasted just a few minutes, but for Daddy, it felt like an eternity...a time where he was helpless to you and me. But, going home was a step in the right direction for him...and it was the "be all" sign that you were a happy, healthy baby boy.
There are so many things we think about when we see you. We think about all of the things we have seen and been a part of this first year. The sleepless nights were over in just a few short weeks. Your bout with RSV scared us, but ended without a hospital stay. Your milestones came and went...smiling, laughing, rolling over, first foods, sitting up, a first tooth, first words, and the list goes on and on. But, more than memories, we think about everything that the future holds for you and how excited we are to be a part of it. From simple day-to-day things like learning to walk and talk...to exciting new adventures like your first day of school and the day you graduate from college, as a Gator, of course. There are so many adventures coming your way. And as excited as we are to be a part of those adventures, there are anxieties that go with them. Worries about whether or not we did enough to help you make the RIGHT decision when it comes to tough choices. Hoping we raised you to be a gentleman...polite and understanding but strong and courageous. As a parent, there is a balance you try to achieve in helping a child become a well-rounded person and we will do all we can to help you become the man you will one day be.
As I close this letter, it is the end of an era. The end of your first year. The end of this blog. But, it is the beginning of so much more. It is the beginning of your life in our family. You have wedged yourself in to out hearts and our souls. And we are so thankful for the happy little person you are. You bring joy and laughter to each day. You make us smile with all your silly faces. And we will always remember you as the precious baby boy who came in to our lives and filled our hearts with love we didn't know was missing. We love you!!!

1 Year Well Check

We had our 1 year well check appointment and aside from the 4 shots Drew had to endure, the appointment went very well.
As always the most fun part of visiting the doctor is finding out how much this guy has grown since the last appointment. For his 1 year visit, Drew weighed in at 24 lbs. 3 oz. and was 29 1/2 inches long. He is the perfect Thanksgiving Butterball!! He had only gained 2 pounds since the last appointment, but there was no reason for concern. Now that he is completely on table food and moving all over the place to keep up with the girls, he's bound to stop gaining so much weight at some point. The doctor said his eating should nose dive in the next few months because he won't require as much food as he used to. But, we hope that he continues to want to eat all the healthy fruits and veggies he can't get enough of right now.
Other than the 4 slow motion teeth he has coming in right now, Drew is completely on track. He is developmentally perfect and we continue to enjoy watching all the new things he does every day. For now, he is learning how to pull up and get up on those chunky legs. He doesn't like to be there long because it's way too much work to stand up. So...we'll be waiting for a few months on those first steps. I am sure by the time summer rolls around and he has a choice to sit in the hot sun or walk to the pool...he'll choose the option of running!! He's a big fan of playing ball. Seems he'll be a righty when it's all said and done. He loves to throw the ball, crawl for it, and then throw it again. The girls continue to be his favorite entertainment. There is always something they do or say that make him smile and laugh. The 2 of them fight over him all the time. But, they love him tons and that's what important. Enjoy the pictures from the past month!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Drew!!!

Happy Birthday to our little baby boy!!!
We love you Drew!!

We had our own little family celebration on February 28th. After all...it was the official day we went in to the hospital, and Monday birthdays aren't the easiest to coordinate with everyone. So, we opted to celebrate a day early with the family here in town. Drew spent some time opening presents and got lots of fun new things. He got a bunch of cute little clothes, which he needed desperately, from Aunt Jenny and the Messicks. The girls made him a Build-A Bear Frog to go with his room and included a sound clip of them singing happy birthday to him. It was very cute and I am glad we will always have that reminder from his first birthday. Grandma and Grandpa Jackson got him a cute birthday bear for us to put in his keepsake box and a birthday shirt for him to wear on Monday. The Blums got him a beautiful frame with his name embossed on it and a small window for a picture from each month of his first year. Jackie had one of these done for Ian at his birthday party and I LOVED to frame. So glad we have one for Drew. And, mom and dad got Drew the Cozy Coupe to ride around the cul-de-sac in and a fun beach ball sprinkler to play with this summer. Of course, we had to get the boy some clothes as well. He's just growing way too fast!! After we opened presents, we headed outside to ride in the Cozy Coupe for a minute and then it was back inside to eat cake. Drew was not shy and loved eating every bite of his cake.
Enjoy the pictures and visit the Shutterfly site to see all of them.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Song for Me

Stealing Cinderella...Chuck Wicks
Cinderella...Steven Curtis Chapman
There Goes My Life...Kenny Chesney
My Little Girl...Tim McGraw
In My Daughter's Eyes...Martina McBride
I Saw God Today...George Strait
It Won't Be Like This For Long...Darius Rucker
Watching You...Rodney Atkins
I Loved Her First...Heartland

And the list goes on and on. I can come up with song after song, in every combination for daddies and daughters, mommies and daughters, and daddies and sons. But, I have yet to find one song that fits the bill for mommies and sons until now. You would think that daddy/daughter songs would be popular...and they are. But, mommy/son songs are no where near as easy to come by. In my little world, there are songs for everything. Bo and I have songs for each of the girls. And in our minds, it's the songs we hear playing in the background at their graduation, their wedding day, the big events in their lives. Thanks to my good friend Darby, I have finally found this song for Drew...the one I hear playing for the Mother-Groom dance at his wedding. And though it probably wasn't written for a mother and a son, I think it will do just fine. Because my little buddy is Never Alone...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Just a Little Snip

Today was Drew's dermatology appointment to have his little hemangioma removed. Everything went as planned and it was a very quick procedure.
When I was there for the consult visit the doctor gave me some numbing cream to put on his spot about 30 minutes prior to surgery to numb the area for the Laiticaine shot. So, we numbed his spot at 8:30 and were ready to go at 9:00. She stuck him with a small needle to numb the area completely. She cleaned the area and snipped the hemangioma right off. She gave Drew a grape lollipop (his first ever!!) to keep him occupied while she worked. It helped for the first few minutes, but by the time we got to the cauterizing, he was more irritated with us holding him still than eating the lollipop. So, he fussed and wiggled for a few minutes while she finished up and then we were good to go. We were finished and out of there in less than 30 minutes. He has a pressurized band-aid right now to keep the area from bleeding. But, I can take that off tomorrow, wash the area with soap and water and use a regular band-aid for the next week or so until it heals. Looking forward to the day we can see his face without a band-aid.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

5 More Days...

We have only 5 more days to wait before the dermatologist will take off Drew's hemangioma. And that is music to our ears. We met with Dr. Koo yesterday afternoon and she confirmed it was, in fact, a hemangioma. I never realized how worried I was that it might be something more concerning until I heard her say those words and a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. She examined it thoroughly, asked a few questions and agreed that because of the trauma that this hemangioma was going through, it seemed logical to have it removed. She says it looks very superficial and the procedure will be very quick. She would have done it yesterday, but there wasn't enough nursing staff there to help. So, we rescheduled for Monday morning at 9:00. The sets of extra hands will help to keep Drew very still and, in turn, keep the small scar to a minimum. They simply will numb it, clip it, and cauterize it to stop the bleeding. There is always the potential for it to return, but we can deal with that if it happens. For now, we are excited and anxious to have this little booger removed so we can stop worrying about all the explosions of blood during nap time and bed time. I probably should take a picture or 2 before he goes in so we can always remember this little phase of Drew's first year...and the little red spot on his face.

Monday, February 1, 2010

11 Months and Counting!!

Drew is 11 months old today!! It feels like it's been so long since I have written in his blog. Not much is new, not much has changed with this growing baby boy. But, there are always stories to tell.

First, there's still no weight or height update to write about. We go to the doctor's on March 4th for his 1 year well check, so we'll have to wait until then to hear about how big this guy is.

We are, however, going to the doctor's tomorrow for a different reason. I haven't been very good about blogging about the growing hemangioma on Drew's face. It was something that popped up back in November, just before his 9 month well check. At his appointment, the doctor explained that it is in fact a hemangioma and that it seemed odd that it appeared so late after birth. Typically they tend to show up within weeks of birth and can last from 2 years to 10 years, but eventually they will go away on their own. The only time the doctors get involved with hemangiomas is if the start to effect important development...such as eye sight, feeding, breathing, etc. Because Drew's was on the side of his face, close to his temple, my job was to watch it and if it start to get larger at a rapid pace to call the doctor. By the end of December it was larger. It had gone from about the size of a pencil point to the size of a pencil eraser. And by mid-January it had gotten even larger still and had become raised, almost detached, except at small place at the top of the hemangioma. So....after thinking about it long enough, I called and talked to the doctor about the growth over the past month and she seemed to think it was very normal. All hemangiomas go through a rapid growth phase and then stop for a couple months then they tend to involute. She seemed to think we were in that growth phase and it would be ending soon. So, we decided the best idea would be to follow up with it at the 1 year well check. The very next morning, I walked in to Drew's room and there was spots of blood all over his sheets and clothes. At some point throughout the night he had rubbed his hemangioma against the mattress and because it was so raised and only attached slightly, it caused it to "tear" and bleed. I was good and didn't freak out. By the time I had walked in there, it had stopped bleeding and seemed to have scabbed over. So, I put a band-aid on it and left it alone. That weekend, I removed the band-aid to let the hemangioma air dry for a little bit and then it was time for Drew to nap. So, I put him down like always and about 45 minutes later he was upstairs fussing for his pacifier. Bo went in to give it to him and called me in immediately. I walked in to his room and he was covered from head to toe in blood. The sheets were soaked through. His clothes were covered and you couldn't see the color of his skin because it was all red. Bo put him in the tub and we got him cleaned off. We put a new band-aid on his face and called it an afternoon...there was no way he was napping without his little bunny and there was no point in fighting it. (Not to mention, 30 minutes after all this happened, Ally came barrelling out of her room throwing up all over the place. But, that's a different story, entirely.) So, the next morning I called the doctor again and explained that I was sorry for sounding overly concerned about this hemangioma but that things had changed over the past couple of days since we had last talked. I explained the new happenings and she agreed that we needed to go and see a dermatologist about it now. Ulcerated hemangiomas can be painful and give way to infection. And now that we fall in to that category, it's time to do something about it. This all took place the first week of January and we are now in the first week of February. The hemangioma has been covered since the day it really ulcerated and we are anxious to see what the dermatologist will say. It seems obvious to us that it needs to come off...certainly we can't keep a band-aid on his face for the next several years until it decides to go away on it's own. Plus, the bleeding and infection are even bigger issues. The hemangioma has outgrown band-aids at this point. It has gotten so big that the pad on the band-aid is too small and it gets stuck on the sticky stuff. Every time I change the band-aid now, I put a piece of gauze between the band-aid and the hemangioma to keep it from sticking and ripping when the band-aid comes off. For now, this is working. The hemangioma seems pretty stable right now. It is still barely attached. I can lift it up completely and see plain skin underneath it. Hopefully by Wednesday at this time, I'll have new news to report about it being gone or at least a plan to get rid of it.

Otherwise, it has been a pretty uneventful month. Drew has become quite the crawler. And he has started pulling up to his knees and now his feet. It probably won't be long before he starts taking those first few steps. He's continued to eat us out of house and home. He eats anything and everything put in front him. He has become quite picky with the baby food though...we're pretty much done with that. He's not a huge fan of applesauce right now because he thinks it's baby food. But, he eats everything we eat...which is a far cry from the girls when they were this age. He loves pizza and tacos, meatballs and noodles, chicken and rice, all the veggies and all the fruits. In fact, I can't think of one thing he hasn't tried and liked. We will go poor trying to keep this kid fed.

Here are a few pictures from the past month...enjoy!!

Sweet, sleepy baby boy.
This is how you sleep when you crash and burn after playing in the crib WAY TOO LONG!!
Mmmmmm...I love meatballs.
Nooooo....don't take my picture again. I'm a mess!!!
Ally and Kelsey love to share their popsicles with Drew.
Blowing kisses to you...