Month 8

Dear Benjamin,
I cannot believe that it’s time for me to write this letter again! I can’t keep up with how quickly time is going by! It feels like a lot has happened in the last month, hopefully I can remember it all to share with you.

You had your first hospitalization. On Sunday February 12, after your morning nap you passed out. Your mouth and nose turned blue, and your eyes rolled back in your head, and you lost consciousness. So, after a quick phone call to an RN, we were told to take you to the ER to get checked out. You had two EKGs, and a Chest X-Ray, and after a few hours in the ER, we were told that you were fine, and we could take you home. You have what’s called “Breath Holding Spells.” It basically means that when you get mad or upset, that you can involuntarily hold your breathe until you pass out. This is super scary for us and you, but we’re told that you’ll outgrow it, and it shouldn’t cause any lasting harm.

Your Dad and I also sleep trained you. After a week of getting less than 4 hours a sleep a night, we finally screamed “uncle” and set up a plan to help you learn to sleep though the night. You took to it really well, and we only had to listen to you cry for about 30 minutes before you went to sleep for the night. We would check on you periodically, to let you know we were near by. Each time you woke up, you cried for less and less time. After two nights, you pretty much figured it out on your own, and now unless you’re hurt or there’s something wrong, you sleep really well. And, pretty much now you sleep from 8:30 at night until 8:30 in the morning. I wake you up at 6:15ish to nurse before I head out to work, and then lay you back down.

I’ve reached out to the NC Infant Toddler Program about you. Just like your brother, I’ve noticed that you’re not reaching some of your milestones. You are not rolling over from back to tummy. If someone is holding you, and another person comes up and holds their hands out to you, you will not reach for people. It seems like your arms a little bit stiff, and you have a hard time lifting them up. You also aren’t making any strides toward crawling, or even trying to get on your knees. We have an appointment for them to come and assess you on March 15.

You’re doing really well with food! You LOVE mandarin oranges! Your Gram feeds them to you all the time, and you just slurp them down. You’re also a fan of avocado, peaches, spinach, rice, beans, just to name a few.  So far, the only thing you’re not a fan of are bananas. You love to feed yourself, and you are trying to be more and more independent. All that eating that you’re doing is made easier now that you have FOUR teeth.  Babyled weaning has been going really well with you.  I think that you really like eating the same thing as everyone else.

You have a temper! Oh my goodness. You are very quick to get mad, and you will show your displeasure in a few ways. One is to buck your hips and grunt. If you’re sitting on the sofa, this will cause you to slump backwards and you will eventually be lying all the way down on the sofa because of that. Another, is to shriek, scream or cry. If we’re holding you and have to set you down for a millisecond to do something else, you will give an ear piercing screech to announce that you’re upset. And, if we don’t get to you soon enough that screech will become a full blown temper cry. However, while you’re quick to get mad, you’re also quick to cool off – so at least there’s that.

You’ve learned a sign from baby sign language! We’ve been working on the sign for “milk.” And you sign this one frequently. However, we think that you really just use the sign to signal for food. You use it at the dinner table to tell us “more.” You sign it to me while I’m getting your pjs on at night before I start nursing you before bed. But, at least you’re communicating!  

You love to laugh! Henry can make you laugh like no one else, which is super cute to watch! You are also incredibly ticklish, which is just adorable, and I can’t resist tickling you to hear your squeal with laughter.  It seems like there isn’t a single place on your body that isn’t ticklish.

Benjamin, you are so much fun to be around. I love how much you have changed my life, and all of it for the better. You bring so much brightness to our family. The atmosphere in the room changes when you’re in it. Your smile and laugh spread to everyone around you. I love you so much. Thank you for being my son. Thank you for everything that you’ve given me. You mean the world to me, and you always will!

Keep growing!





Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that Henry had some trouble learning to become mobile. When he was around 11 months old he still hadn’t learned to roll over from back to tummy, and had not learned to crawl, scoot, pull up, cruise or walk. I could plop him in one spot and he would stay exactly there.
So, we started the process to get him some Physical Therapy so he could become mobile. We were put in touch with the NC Infant Toddler Program. They came out to evaluate Henry, and then got the ball rolling from a Physical Therapist to meet with him once a week. Everything went really well, and by the time he was 17 months, Henry graduated from the program.

Now that Ben is just about 8 months old, I’m seeing some of the same “warning signs” that we saw with Henry. Ben still hasn’t learned to roll over from back to tummy. He only kind of reaches for people if we hold our arms out. He’s been screaming if we even try to put him on his tummy for Tummy Time. Seriously, if you start to lower him on the floor he’ll do an ear piercing scream before he’s even on the ground. So, just to allay my fears, I’ve contacted the Infant Toddler Program again to see if we can get Ben assessed.  

I’ve called and sent out emails, and hopefully I’ll hear back from them soon so that we can get the ball rolling.

Pity Party

I feel so unmotivated. Mostly because even when I do stick to my workout goals and calorie restriction, it doesn’t do any good.
I didn’t post a Weekly Weigh-In Thursday last week because I gained weight. And, I was so upset and felt defeated that I couldn’t even bring myself to record it. I still feel defeated. I need to come up with a fitness plan, and meal plan that fits my life, and I’m STRUGGLING with that.

I hate the weight I am right now. I feel ugly, fat and uncomfortable in my own skin. I hate looking at pictures of myself because I think I look like a blob, a blob with 3 chins. I don’t want to take pictures with my kids/husband because they always show (incredibly accurately) how fat I am.

As a working mother of two, I do not have time to exercise more than 3-4 times a week. But, all of the fitness programs that I like are 6 day a week programs(T25, Insanity, Piyo). So, when I fall behind because I literally got less than 3 hours of sleep, or had to take my baby to the emergency room, or have a 4 year old who’s crying because he wants me to spend time with him and not go upstairs to uselessly jump around, I feel guilty for missing those stupid workouts. I feel like a failure, because I should be able to devote 30 minutes a day to me, but it doesn’t ever happen. In my household, I always come last.

And on top of that breastfeeding makes me HUNGRY! I want to continually stuff my face because I feel like I’m starving. I’m not, but I feel like I am. So, when we have leftover cupcakes from baking for Henry’s class, I eat them, and then want to cry because I stuffed my face once again. Showing once again just how much of a failure I am.  

I feel defeated. I feel ugly. I feel fat. And, I don’t know how to fix it.

Breath Holding Spells

Sunday was a scary day for my family. J and I had to take Benjamin to the ER because he passed out. Long story short, he’s fine, but I think he shaved 20+ years off of my life.
Here’s what happened.

We put Ben down for a nap around 11:00. He woke up sometime around 12:00, and J went upstair to get him up and dressed. I’m downstairs in the kitchen helping Henry with his valentines for school, and helping my mom ice a bunch of cupcakes for Henry’s class.

A few minutes later I hear J call for me, and he yells that Ben is doing something weird, so I walk upstairs.

J then proceeds to tell me that while he was getting Ben dressed, he saw that his nose was crusty and had a few boogers in it, and he was trying to get the boogers out. Of course, Ben didn’t like that very much and and started to cry. His cry quickly escalated to the “silent cry.” You know the cry. When your kid is so upset that they’re about to scream, but they’re holding their breath and just ramping up to scream….and you’re just waiting and waiting for them to take a breath to let the scream out….that’s what Ben was doing, except that he never did let the scream out. Instead, his nose and mouth turned blue, his eyes rolled back in his head and he went limp. J (rightfully so) freaked out. Once he told me what happened, I also freaked out.  

Within a few moments, Ben regained consciousness, and although he seemed tired, he was acting normal. He even started nursing, and within 10 minutes was laughing and smiling again.

We quickly made the decision to call the insurance RN to see if this was something to really and truly worry about, as Ben was acting completely normal. After going ’round and ’round with the same questions, the RN told us to pack Ben up and head to the ER. When I heard that my panic set in even more. Tears welled in my eyes, but I quickly quashed those because I had to throw clothes on myself, pack a diaper bag, get Henry situated and then pack up Ben, so I didn’t have time to go into a true panic.

In the ER waiting room. Ben’s already working on taking his bracelet off

We signed in at the ER, and were taken back to a room really quickly. They did an EKG on my little guy. I’ve had several EKGs, and I know that the worse part is pulling the stickies off. But, we had to keep Ben still and calm so they could get a good and even reading of his heart – which is tricky with an almost 8 month old, especially since Ben was trying to pull all the wires off of himself.

Ben having an EKG

After they did the EKG reading in the triage room, they wanted to take us back to a bed in the ER, but all the rooms were full, so we had to be on a gurney in the hallway (a hallways bed is better than no bed).

Not long after getting set up on the gurney with Ben, a Dr. popped by. She told us that this was probably nothing, but to be sure, they wanted to do a chest X-Ray, and then another EKG – she didn’t like the reading they got the first time.  

So, a few minutes later a woman from radiology came by, and Ben and I walked with her to take the X-Ray. They put Ben in a contraption that held his chest the way they wanted, and put a lead vest over me, and I had to hold his arms above his head while they took the pictures. Ben hated it, and screamed with tears rolling down his cheeks. Thankfully it was done quickly, and I had him in my arms again in a few minutes.

This isn’t Ben, but he was put into something exactly like this

After the X-Ray we were waiting again, and a little while later a nurse came by to do another EKG. My heart sank when they told us they wanted to do another one. I was so worried they wanted to repeat it because they saw something strange on it…I was once again panicking as they put all the sticky pads all over Ben again, and hooked him up with all the wires. Despite my fear J and I had to try to keep him calm, while semi-restraining him so he wouldn’t pull at all the cords. 

Second EKG

After that was done, we were just waiting again. J and I were trying to distract Ben and keep him calm and happy, which is difficult to do when you only have about 2 toys with you, and he’s no longer interested in either. And, it’s even harder to do when your mind is freaking out and going 100 mph with worry.  

A little while later, the doctor came by to tell us that everything looked fine, and we were going to be discharged. Huge sigh of relief from us! Chest X-Ray was normal, and EKG was normal. 

 The Doctor went on the explain that she thinks Ben has Breath Holding Spells (BHS). Basically when Ben gets upset, angry, etc., he will involuntarily hold his breath until he passes out. This is super scary for the parents (I can attest to that), but passing out restarts his breathing, and causes everything to go back to normal.  

The good news is that this is something that he will outgrow. The bad news is that we can expect more of these episodes from time to time…

Sleep Training

This past week was really rough on J and I. Ben would scream his little head off, we’d run in, pick him up, either nurse or rock him to sleep, and then try to put him back in his crib. The key word there being “try.” As soon as he touched the mattress, his eyes would pop open and he’d scream bloody murder again and we’d then have to repeat the process. Inevitably, he would end up in our bed because we both just got so tired that even crappy sleep with a squirmy baby between us was better than no sleep.
Friday night, we decided to change that.

One of my friends sent me a link on how she sleep trained her son, and told me that she had really good success with it.

Here’s the gist:

Instead of rushing in when your baby wakes up crying in the middle of the night, wait outside the door and go in when the baby isn’t crying. In the beginning that might be the breath between screams, but that’s ok. The point is for the kiddo to learn that when they’re quiet is when they get what they want. You also want to go in frequently at the start of this, so they really start to make that association between being quiet, and mom/dad coming back. As they start to catch on, you can lengthen the amount of time between visits.

Also, even though your precious angel is screaming like they’re dying, you’re supposed to have a smile on your face and act like nothing is wrong. So, when you go into the their room, enter relaxed and smiling, and lean over the crib, pat the kid and say “Good baby! Your’e going to sleep! I’ll be back soon!” and then turn around and leave the room.  

At this point Ben started to scream louder, and J was looking at me like I was nuts to even suggest this approach. But, after sticking with it for 30 minutes, Ben was asleep again. We only had to do this once more around 4 in the morning, before it was time to get up for the day.

The next night went very similar, but the crying didn’t last nearly as long. We also had to repeat the process again at 5:00 in the morning.

Last night, Ben woke up at 12:30, but was asleep again at 12:35, and slept the rest of the way through the night.

As a side note, during the first night when we went in while Ben was quiet, I came over to his crib and saw that he was sucking on the edge of his blanket. It was the cutest sight ever, probably even more cute because I made that blanket for him – so it really melted my heart.

And, on another note, we found that using Scout while sleep training both of our kids really helped. We would turn on the “Nighttime Music” each time we went in,and in two nights, Ben now associates that with sleep, not even kidding. You turn that music on while he’s in his crib, and his eyes close. Henry learned to turn the music on himself at around 10 months, and I’m hoping Ben will too.
I really hope that Ben keeps this going, and that J and I really start to feel rested again. It’s amazing what a solid night of sleep can do, and I can only imagine what a string of solid nights feel like.

Weekly Weigh-In Thursday (on Friday)

I did awful this week. I seem to only track during the week, and throw it all away on the weekend. During this week I have learned that it’s impossible for me to workout on less than 4 hours of sleep. I just can’t do it, by body refuses. I also learned that when I’m heavily sleep deprived and around food that I continually stuff my face, despite my inner voice screaming at me to stop. Oy, I need to do better….
Starting Weight: 173.8

Last Weeks Weight: 173

Current Weight: 172.2

Total Lost: 1.6

Goal Weight: 130
This week I really want to do every T25 workout when I’m supposed to do it, and stop playing catch up! 

I’m going to record everything that I eat, and monitor my drinking, and try to stay in my 1500-1800 calorie a day goal.

I want to drink at least 100 oz of water a day.

I also am going to sleep train the baby this weekend so that I can start to get some good quality sleep! A rested me, is a much happier person…