Thursday, October 30, 2008

4 Months

Ok, so does anyone know what is going on with my pictures here??? I can't figure out how to fix them and get rid of that annoying white border thing.
So, anyway to the business at hand. Today my baby Piper is 4 months old. Can you believe it??? I know I can't. We have been blessed beyond belief with this little girl. She so happy and content, but so very fun and lively and we can hardly imagine what our life was like without her. Jes dotes on her like none other and Caleb asks about her before anyone else. Needless to say, the boys in our house are in love with the youngest girl and it makes this mommy pretty happy!

Piper weighs 15 pounds, 7.5 ounces and is about 25 inches long. I'm writing this from memory, so I may be a little off in my numbers. She is sitting up, not on her own, but much better with assistance and still loves her Bumbo seat. Piper rolled over a month ago, the day after her 3 month "birthday", so we can't report that as a recent occurance, but she has really perfected the back to tummy roll lately. She has, also, finally found her feet. The day she discovered that they were there was one of the funniest days for us. She would just stare at them and bend herself in half to get to them to look at them up close, sometimes crossing her eyes just to try to focus on them. When she finally grabbed one while laying on her back, she could not figure out how to let go and got a little frustrated trying to work that one out. I hate to admit it, but I let her work at it and let her get pretty frustrated before I did anything about it, giggling the whole time at her antics.

Piper has discovered her voice this past month too. On any given day you will hear her exercising her voice, making some pretty funny sounds. At times it almost sounds like she's unhappy, but to mama and daddy's trained ears, we know she's just warming up for all the conversation coming our way. This month has also given way to giggles from her for the first time. Piper does not laugh really loud and even when she really get going, it sounds more like a low, belly laugh than anything else. It is really one of the best sounds to hear, if you can.

As you can see, Piper's hair is really starting to come in well. She still doesn't have quite enough for even the smallest bow to be clipped into it, but I predict by Christmas she might have enough. Her hair has started to lighted as well and it looks like it's going to be about the color of her brother's and my (natural) color, a dark, dirty blonde. Her baby acne cleared up really well, but we still have the cradle cap hanging on.

This month, Piper abandoned her pacifier for good. Even at her most upset, she absolutely will not take it. She instead prefers this index finger. Most times when she is happy or busy looking at something, it will be in her mouth. With the way things are going with her, I shouldn't get too attached to her doing this as she is maturing so fast that she'll probably give this up too.

Sometimes that finger just doesn't move quite as far as her head and she ends up looking like this at times. Cute!

Piper is still such an expressive little girl. She loves to smile at the people she knows, but do not be surprised if you approach her and she cries. Our pediatrician seems to think that she may have already developed a touch of stranger anxiety at this young age. He told us he's seen it in babies even younger than her, so we're thinking that's probably what is going on. She's very attached to myself, Jes and Caleb and has been known to be upset when one of us walks out of her field of vision. She follows our every move as we travel about the house, just to make sure she knows where we are.

A few days ago I decided to try to give Piper her first bit of solid food. We were at my parent's house and we were thinking her reflux was making her tummy hurt (turns out she was just hungry), so we made up some cereal and I fed it to her. She still has a little trouble keeping it all in her mouth but she's learning and doing really well so far. I have discovered that she loves oatmeal too. I made some for her, fed her most of it and turned around to get a wet cloth to clean her face with. When I turned back around, she was licking it off her bib! I would say that's a hit! I have also decided to try my hand at making our own baby food too. This weekend, if you need me, I'll be busy roasting vegetables and pureeing fruits in preparation for freezing.
Happy Halloween to all of you! Expect more pictures of the kiddos soon all dressed up!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Post In Which You are Tired of Looking At Pictures of Our Family.

So. That was a fun post to leave up for nearly a week, huh?
Since the past few have been so serious and I've been so behind on posting pictures, this post is almost entirely dedicated to pictures of what we've been doing for fun around these parts lately.
Earlier this month, my mom, dad, Jes, Caleb, Piper and I packed up and went to the Dallas Arboretum. We had so much fun wandering around and checking out the pretty scenery. We got a few cute pictures to.

Caleb sitting on a pumpkin. After this picture, taken as we had just walked in the door, he felt like he needed to sit on EVERY pumpkin and have his picture taken. Silly boy.

There was also a little hut on the grounds where they had lots of dried chilis hanging from the ceiling. It was a place to go in, so Caleb loved it and had yet another picture taken.

This is just the best picture of Caleb, I wish Piper was looking up too. It's cute, nonetheless.


Our boy in the pumpkins.

"Mama, come get me!!!" This is the face and posture I see from Piper on a regular basis when she is trying to get to me from someone else.

Jes and his mini-me.

There is this pretty fountain on the grounds and they turn it into a pumpkin throwing area. If you can reach a pumpkin and pull it out you can throw it. All the boys got into the action and took a turn. My dad was nice enough to fish a couple out so Caleb could do it too.

Jes throwing a pumpkin and Caleb "helping".

All of us in front of a pumpkin made of impatients/pansies/who knows...

I still can't remember what this contraption was called, my dad knew, but I do remember that it was use to plant seeds.

My dad teaching Caleb and little something about hard work.

Yet another of Piper's priceless expressions. She looks like I interrupted a conversation between her and her daddy.
Last Friday, I packed up the kids and we made our annual trek to the pumpkin farm just north of us in Celina. It was really cold that day, so we were able to get pictures that looked a little more "fallish" than the ones at the Arboretum

Caleb and Piper waiting for my to get all our stuff together so we could go. Can you tell Caleb was excited? He had been talking about this all week, and really still is.

We finally made it and after convincing Caleb that he was indeed too big for his old stroller, I bundled Piper up and plopped her in. I was unsure how she would do in it, but there was no way I was going to try to maneuver the sit and stand stroller over the hill and rocks that exist at our favorite pumpkin patch. Turns out, she loved her new ride and actually fell asleep at one point.

The cats at the pumpkin patch see so many people that they are super friendly. Our cat, Gus, is just like a normal cat and only lets you pet him on his terms. Caleb was thrilled that this cat just sat there and let him pet him.

On the hay bales.

Driving the tractor. Last year, this was the source of the pumpkin patch time out. This year, he hopped right off when I told him his time was up and the next person wanted their turn. Good boy!

Feeding the goats.

The sheep that stole his food. This guy made my guy cry. Stupid sheep.

Feeding the longhorn! You guys knew that I had to get this shot!

Caleb and Piper. My babies.

Caleb and his friends on the atv.

All of us before the melt down.

We went on the hay ride and I just could not figure out why Caleb was posing so much with this little guy next to him. Turns out, it is one of the 2 Jackson's in his class at school.

Us on the hayride. Minutes before it all broke loose and Piper started screaming and Caleb couldn't handle it anymore.

Caleb picking out his pumpkin to take home.

Last shot of the 2 of them.

Caleb with the turkey.

Sunday, we decided to get the pumpkin seeds and roast them. Jes had to take the top off because I couldn't get it off without nearly taking my hand off in the process.

Digging out the insides.

Getting all the seeds.

The pumpkin carvers.

This has nothing to do with our fall outings, it's just Caleb's first cake that he made. I wanted to preserve a picture for posterity so that someday he could look back and say that he indeed knows how to bake. Well, at least from a box!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The State of The Preschooler

So I have heard from a bunch of you, but I know that a lot of you are wondering what in the world is going on in our home. Here's the story.
Thursday, I got that infamous call from the director of Caleb's Mother's Day Out program. She told me some things over the phone that ended up being not totally true, as she was getting second hand information and tends to assume things. Caleb's teacher, Miss S, told me that he has been having meltdowns and that on Thursday, he got so angry that he was literally on the floor kicking/screaming/hitting/everything you can imagine to his beloved teacher, Miss J.
S told me that he does not want to lie down during nap time, but that he has to (it's state mandated here in Texas for them to have a rest period). I understood this and knew that they had been having trouble keeping him lying down on his nap mat during this time, but thought he was just sitting up and maybe wandering around a little. Come to find out he will be running laps around the room while they chase after him. Here's where it gets to be an issue, this has been going on since the first day of school! NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT THIS FIT THROWING! As you can tell, I'm furious over this because they have essentially decided that they are going to try to raise my child and have no intention of including me in the process of discipline. As I told some of you, I feel as if my parental responsibilities and duties have been stripped by someone who doesn't have the right to do that. I am his mother, I make the ultimate decisions. Not them. Ok, enough on that.
S actually looked at me at one point and said, "there is a part of Caleb that we are not reaching". She started saying words to me like autism, sensory integration disorder, testing, special education, etc. All things that no one wants to hear about their child. Caleb is VERY bright, the brightest in his class (so says his teachers) and they expressed concern about him losing that if this was not resolved. We certainly don't want him to lose anything he has learned either, but we got to thinking about his behavior at school and his behavior elsewhere. We decided to talk to his other teachers.
On Mondays, Caleb goes with me to MOPS and is in a class with other kids his age. No problems there. His teacher told me that he was pushing a little at the beginning of the year, but they have been able to resolve that problem and he does not do that anymore. They have been very proactive and can tell when he starts to get a little upset and will just redirect him. That has worked.
On Wednesdays, Caleb goes to the church with me while I watch the babies during Bible study. Same song and dance as in MOPS.
Sundays, he is in Sunday School. Same thing. See a pattern here? Evidently, this behavior is only occurring at school. Everything else that he has done has been what has been called normal 3 year old behavior. We are at a loss as to what to do now. We have scheduled a evaluation with our school district, but the soonest they could get us in is the 20th of November. We saw his pediatrician today who says he in no way has autism and that sensory integration disorder usually follows along with other things, so it's unlikely. We're still going to have him go to the evaluation, but we're more and more conviced that it will show nothing.
As you all can imagine we have run through all the stages of emotion on this thing. It has been a very difficult weekend for our family and my first inclination. Most of it, I spent in tears. My first inclination has been to take my baby and hide away with him so no one else can say things like this about him.
Sunday was a day of renewal for me as our pastor talked about forgiveness and forgiving people. I realized then and there that this, if there even is something, is not something that we did to Caleb and that he is His child and I needed to let go of it. I still have my moments of disbelief, but as our pediatrician told us today, "life has to go on and he has to continue living it". So, we are living life.
Where we are now is that we wait for our appointment with the school district. Caleb goes back to school tomorrow. I am also going to research a little into play therapy as that was recommended by the pedi. I'm calling the insurance company tomorrow to see what they will approve and what they won't. Please pray that they have someone on their books in the general area that they will pay for this.
Thank you to all of you who have sent me emails, called, checked on me and gave me much needed information, affirmation and love these past few days. I will update on things as we go along.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

There Are No Words

So if you're tuning in for the update on my doctor's appointment, here it is:
I have poor posture and I have big boobs (sorry guys). That's what it boils down to. I go to PT for a couple of weeks and then get myself to Victoria's Secret after breastfeeding is done. End of story.
The day started out pretty ok with Caleb going to school this morning and Piper and I doing some shopping for the family. I was dropping off the groceries P and I had just purchased and was on my way out the door to go to the bread store (don't you love those places???) and the phone rang. I knew when I picked it up it wasn't good. It seems we, especially us moms, have a sixth sense about these things. On the other line was the director of Caleb's school. It seems there was some major issues going on and I had to go up for a conference. Some very upsetting things were said and some words were uttered that no mother wants to ever hear about their child. The meeting ended with an ugly cry session and a pamphlet for "testing". I honestly cannot go into the particulars because it's just too painful to think about. I just can't go there right now. Just pray for us and our family. When I'm up to it, I'll provide more specific details.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh, My Aching Back!

For as long as I can remember I have dealt with pain in my lower back. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was in elementary school and made the rounds with all the doctors every so often, only to be told that it wasn't severe enough to do anything about, but I would still have symptoms. From the outside, my lower back looks like it's been in a fist fight with someone with permanent bruising ruling the day. Fun, huh?
When I was pregnant with both of my kiddos, the pain would be excrutiating from time to time and especially toward the end of the pregnancy.
This time around was no different.
After Caleb it resolved to the state that it was at before I was big and pregnant, however after Piper things have not been getting any better, but have been getting worse.
(It couldn't at all have to do with that rookie anaesthesiologist digging around in my spinal column for over half and hour and after 4 sticks with that HUGE needle blaming me for being a hard stick, now could it? Oh, but that's a story for another time!)
I have been having considerable trouble sitting, bending over, sleeping, holding my baby, etc because of the pain. So, today I bit the bullet, as they say, and scheduled an appointment with a guy who specializes in spines. We'll see what he has to say on Thursday when I go in, but I'm taking Jes with me so that he can describe what he has seen back there, as I don't have a birds eye view of it all. Please pray that it is an easy fix, which means no surgery. I'll let you know waht I find out!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'll Give You 3 Guesses Who He Is Copying and 2 Don't Count

Overheard from Caleb when he is talking to Piper:
"How are you?"
"Whatcha' doin'? Uh huh, yeah, is that so."

Overheard from Caleb when he is not happy:
"I'm mad now."
"I'm sad at your behavior!"
"That's enough!"
"I've about had enough of this from you!"

And my absolute favorite:
"Ok, that's it, I've had it. You're in trouble now! 1-2-3! Come here! (All said while spanking himself.)

Think we've had a time with him lately? He is certainly the copycat these days! I guess we really need to watch what we say...

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Promise I'm Not Avoiding You.

Ok, so my blog has been calling my name to be updated, but my computer is freaking out on me and won't let me log into blogger. That means I can't update, read comments or post a comment on anyone else's blog who has blogger. Anyone else having this issue? It's probably just me... Sigh.


Anyway, I wanted to update on a few things. First, thank you all for praying for our sweet friends and their little girl Ruth. She has taken some miraculous steps toward healing and is almost back to what she was before this fungal and bacterial infection invaded. She is peeing lots (yeah!), will be eating again soon (double yeah!!) and is looking better and better each day. Keep her in your prayers and I'll keep updating on Ruth.


I wanted to brag on my little girl for just a minute too. Piper is such an advanced little one, at least compared to her brother. Just 2 days after her 3 month "birthday" she rolled over! She is officially on the move. We're not sure whether to be excited or a little bit scared at the proposition of having a little one moving around so early, but we'll take it for now. She just loves watching her brother run around and dance and I guess is trying to join in. In fact, in our house, you will often see Caleb dancing in front of her just to entertain her while I'm trying to do something else.
Piper was also diagnosed with eczema lately. More on that later, but it's not too bad, thanks to some baby products that I've been using on her religiously.

We had a super busy weekend this past weekend. This is the time of year that Jes is called away to do all the annual inspections on planes that he has done the year before. That means less time together, but more money. Good thing since the holidays are coming up! I had an Arbonne class this past Saturday and we had a great time learning about and trying out all the natural products that they have. I'm a huge fan of Arbonne and use it on the kiddos and myself. It has cleared up most of Piper's eczema and doesn't contain all those yucky chemicals and residues that the products that come from the store do. We are big believers in the stuff!!!

I think that's all I wanted to update today. We went to the Dallas Arboretum on Saturday as well, so I'll post those pictures soon! Maybe I can actually do it at home, if my computer cooperates!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Ruth **Updated**

There are many moments and things that I will forever remember about my first born’s birth. The first words from the doctor, “Oh, that’s not supposed to happen”; Jes noticing that he was having trouble breathing and the nurse whisking him away to the nursery for the first of dozens of times that first 12 hours of his life; trying to nurse him and watching him slowly turn blue, the nurse grabbing him from me and running out of my room with him; Jes sobbing in the corner after seeing him for the first time in the NICU, covered in tubes and wires, forbidding me from going to see him; the discussion we had with the Neonatologist and ENT telling us there was a major flaw in his skeletal make up of his skull and they were going to have to reconstruct his whole face; begging the doctors to do just “one more” CT scan after a night of tearfully begging God to please heal my son. All of these things, and many others, are seared into my memory, coloring that otherwise happy time for Jes and I. I will forever remember the short time we spent with Caleb in the NICU, sitting next to his isolette, just willing him to take the next breath without trouble and cheering each time he did, all the while watching the monitors like crazed maniacs. However, the thing that I remember clearer than any other is the little boy who was just across the room from Caleb. He was born the same day as Caleb, but was much too early to be in this world. Everyday I watched his mom and dad absorb more and more bad news about their son as he was poked, prodded and switched from ventilator to ventilator. I can clearly, even this day nearly 4 years from then, remember her face as we were being wheeled out of the NICU with our healthy, and HEALED!, baby while she stood in the corner after getting yet more bad news. She told me congratulations and I think I thanked her but I couldn’t and still can’t imagine the feelings she was experiencing, even though they were written all over her face. Shortly after we were discharged that little boy went on to heaven to his forever home. I supposed that is why I was SO emotional today when I received news about a friend of mine who had her baby, Ruth, just over a month ago at 24 weeks. It seems that little Ruth has a fungal infection and is not doing well at all. Please pray for little Ruth and her mom, dad and big sister as they have to endure this excruciating time in their lives.

** As of 5:30 this afternoon, little Ruth is on complete life support. They are waiting for her to pee to show that her kidneys have returned to full capacity. We are all obviously praying for healing here.**

**As of this morning, Tuesday, around 9, little Ruth is doing so much better. She has been weaned off all medication to keep her blood pressure stable, is showing signs of responding to the antibiotic and antifungal and is peeing like a champ! She is actually putting out more urine than the NICU staff have seen a baby of this size do in a long time! She is no means out of the woods yet, but she is improving significantly. Thank you for all your prayers and concern for this family. Please continue to pray for little Ruth and her family through this difficult season. I will try to update as I can. **

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Month Three

This has been another big developmental month for our little Piper. One of the most obvious changes in month three was her growth. Many people comment on P's size when they see her, either she's big for her age or, more commonly, that she's tiny, but everyone always says how long she is. Piper is not very chunky at this age, just opposite from her brother, she is very long and has even progressed out of 3 month clothes and can wear 6-9 month if they aren't too big in the waist.
Piper is also very interested in sitting upright these days. She has always preferred to be held upright, looking over my left shoulder (if you ever see me holding her and she's not eating, that's the position she'll be in 99% of the time). She has been able to hold her head up since birth, but has just gained phenomenal control over it this month. P also loves to look around at everything and has been called "very attentive for her age" many times over. Back to the sitting, Piper is trying so hard to pull herself to an upright position when she's lounging in her Boppy. She is getting very close, but we have to watch her closely because she's liable to topple over if she succeeds. I keep telling her that she's going to have washboard abs if she keeps this up!
Piper recently discovered that her hands belong to her and is very interested in watching their movements. She loves to wave them around and bring them closer and further from her face just to see what they can do. We laugh because she often ends up with them between her eyes and she's cross-eyed!
This months brought a little more sleep (Praise the Lord!!!) for us in the Mathis household. We FINALLY figured out that our little princess loves her own space, so we have started putting her right into her bed when she wants to go to sleep at night and she sleeps beautifully there. Not all night, mind you, but soundly until she needs to eat.
Just a few days ago, I happened to look up and see her trying to roll over from her back to her front. I was totally surprised as the only other baby I have to compare her to didn't do this until he was 5 or 6 months old. He isn't the gold standard for motor skills though, bless his little heart. I'm afraid that this little girl of ours is going to be mobile way sooner than we would like, but if that's her schedule, then so be it. I'm enjoying this baby period while I can.
I guess one of the more exciting developments for us is that P is finally showing signs of recognizing all of us. She has always smiled at us, especially Caleb, but now she is very aware of who is around and responds to our voices. Every night when I come home from work I head straight to her to say hello and she gets SO excited, kicking and swinging her arms and smiling super big. It makes a mommy's heart happy to see that her kiddo is excited to see her!

I had to include this picture because it again showcases how Piper adores her brother. She will smile for Caleb when she will smile for no other. If Caleb is in the room, she is watching him and sometimes fusses until he comes over to talk to her. He loves her equally as much and asks where she is if she is out of his sight. It is very sweet and exactly what I hoped for for the two of them. Caleb is the BEST big brother in the world!