Saturday, October 17, 2015

Asher Masher, we love you

...even if we have completely neglected to update the blog with your pictures, stories and updates.  Thankfully, you are an easy going, happy little dude, and my hope is that you won't take it personally :)

When Asher turned 4 months and Colin turned 3, we moved into a new rental house in the burbs and dealt with all sorts of transitions for both boys (sleep transitions and regressions, figuring out medication timing, going from 4 naps to 3 to 2 for Asher; new house, room, camp, friends, etc. for Colin). I stopped working, started working again (still very part-time) and started a business, all while making some new local friends in our new hood, trying to find new babysitters, assembling new furniture and sleeping...not so much.  

In the meantime, the weeks have slowly but surely chugged by.  The days are long, the weeks seem to drag, and yet, here we are, halfway through October, with a happily adjusted 3 year old in preschool three mornings a week, a cheerful baby who has found his two nap groove, and a dad who works close enough to home to pop in at lunchtime every so often and make it home for bedtime most nights (C's at least - Asher is an early to bed kid just like when Colin was a baby).  

Since I'm over four months behind on Asher's weekly updates, I thought I would share four fun things about our little Masher Magoo, along with a very large collection of weekly chair photos.

1)  Asher is completely obsessed with his older brother.  If Colin is in the room, Asher has an eye on what he's up to. If Colin is eating food, Asher wants to eat the same.  If Colin is playing, Asher will happily munch on his toys while observing intently.  Colin giggles, Asher giggles.  It's a-freakin-dorable.  I really hope that this bond grows as they are actually old enough to really play.  The current game that Colin is willing to "play" with Asher involves a hug tackle move, and requires a lot of adult assistance and supervision.  

2) This kid is crushing the charts - at 8.5 months, he is over 28 inches and 22 pounds (triple his birth weight) and has all sorts of rolls.  Strangely enough, it took him until 7.5 months to have any real interest in food (beyond his bottles), but now, he absolutely crushes it.  He likes purees, he likes crunchy foods, he likes just about any finger food I've offered, from pizza to chicken to veggies. It's so fun watching him explore the contents of his high chair tray, chewing vigorously and working so hard to pick things up with his tiny, clumsy fingers.

3) Asher is motivated but unable to move so far.  This kid wants to chase his brother so badly, but doesn't like tummy time enough to persist long enough to master crawling (though in the crib, he is rocking on all fours and rolling and inching around a bit).  He can scoot backwards and spin which doesn't help him much, since he doesn't have the logic to aim his toes for where he wants to go. What he loves most of standing and "walking", though he doesn't really have the balance yet to walk on his own.

4) Asher Masher is a mamas boy, through and through.  I would be lying if I told you this didn't make me super happy, since Colin was already firmly in the dad-obsessed camp by this age.  If I'm around, he wants me.  (Sadly, if Colin's around and sees this, he gets jealous and then he wants me. Strange after being the #2 parent for all these years. The struggle is real.)  Thankfully, while Asher has the typical separation anxiety that is develepmentally appropriate for his age, it isn't nearly as intense as Colin's was, so we are still able to use a babysitter or gym kid care without never-ending hysterics.

And a bonus #5) His health since the PHACE diagnosis has been totally great - only good news at all his specialist follow up appointments.  This kid rocks! Now if only he'd stop catching all his brother's preschool germs...

Monday, July 6, 2015

C is Three!

He's faster than a speeding bullet.  He's growing faster than his mom can wrap her head around. He talks and talk and talks and talks.  It's a bird. It's a plane.  No, it's our Colin bug, who is THREE!

We are as shocked as he is, apparently.  Most days, I still feel like a total newbie on the parenting front, and yet, here we are, celebrating Colin's third birthday.  Amazing.

We celebrated Mr. C's number three with some of our closest friends with kids (we have stopped subjecting most of our kid-free friends to children's birthday parties) and my mom came to join the festivities at the Little Beans Cafe Ice Cream Parlor. So not only did lucky C get a party (a week before the big day), he also got presents and pie on his real birthday and a preschool cookie celebration as well.  In true threenager fashion, much of the party was spent freaking out over lost balloons that floated into the sky, but once that settled, he had a blast.

Colin's birthday fell during the same weekend as our big move to the burbs, so the whole week filled with celebrations and packing was thoroughly chaotic. Such has been the Friedman life in 2015, it seems.  Lots of love and lots of craziness.  Happy happy birthday, my darling Colin monster.  I can't wait to see what is in store for the year to come!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Month Four for Asher Masher

Finally back here on the Friedbaby blog with a long overdue update, so without further ado, here is our cute little Asher Masher's fourth month, week by week.

Asher's fourth month was one fraught with nerves as we navigated the medical system and got his PHACE diagnosis. On week 13, all I wanted to write was "I have cysts in my brain" but it didn't seem frame-appropriate.  And it was a bit dramatic, given that we had virtually no information.  We spent the week dealing with little man's first cold on top of all the scary medical stuff, so no one got much sleep at all.  We started his propranolol that week, after a long day at Lurie, and we truly felt like the next day, you could already tell that it was working. It is a drug that is literally that amazing.  

Despite our best efforts, the transition to the crib has been a slow and bumpy one.  After two weeks of attempts, he was still napping mostly in the rock n play and sleeping the first stretch of the night in the crib but then we would give in and put him in the rocker so we could all get some much needed sleep.

It has been incredible to watch this guy grow grow grow.  At 15 weeks, he was already 15 pounds and completely transitioned to 6 month clothes.  It's hard not to compare him to Colin in so many ways, but size wise especially!  This little guy is a beast!

I feel like 16 weeks was a real transition point with Asher masher.  Up until this point, he would smile and coo at us a bit, but beginning around the 15-16 week mark, he really perked up, as though he realized the world was really interesting and he wanted to tell us all about all the exciting things he was absorbing from his surroundings.  His chatter got a ton louder, more complex and more explosive (aka - the pterodactyl effect).  He has started giggling when amused, which we have love love loved.

Watch out world - Asher decided it's time to get a movin' least a little.  He figured out how to roll from his front to his back and totally freaked himself out (and put a temporary stop to "tummy time" since he figured out how to escape from being stuck on his tummy - it has since become less novel and he doesn't flip as often).  He also started scooting and spinning while asleep in his crib, which has been mighty cute and irritating at the same time, since it has sabotaged our attempts to keep him swaddled at night (since he was at this point still completely unable to coexist with his arms in a sleeping state.

Finally, Asher is finally learning to ham it up in front of the camera - loving this "4 months" gem :)

We wrapped up the month with two more doctors visits - a follow up with ophthalmology and dermatology.  Thankfully, they both gave Asher glowing reports.  The hemangioma already is appearing less swollen, the drugs are doing their job and we are moving in the right direction, which is great!  We are so thankful that in the grand scheme of what could have come out of this diagnosis, Asher's case is as mild as they come.  And even though it was a week past the four month mark, I am happy to share that the following week we had our appointment with the neurologist, who essentially told us that while we will need to monitor his development more closely than your average baby, he does not expect that Asher will see any impact from the brain cysts or arterial malformations.  While we might need to be more cautious with regard to which sports he plays, long term we shouldn't expect much beyond the increased risk of migraines and any other potential red flag issues will be easily detected once he is old enough for regular MRIs without sedation.  Because of the sedation required, we aren't going to do imaging again for 2-3 years unless there are issues that warrant a scan, and in the meantime, we'll be checking in for follow up visits every 6 months or so.

Thank you so much to everyone who has checked in with us about all that has transpired with Asher's health.  Your support means the world to us.

And sorry I haven't updated the blog to fill you in for so that both boys are actually sleeping semi-predictably at night, I can actually resume some semblance of regular writing again over here (I can tell by the number of page visits that some of you may have been checking over here for an update, since there is no way 900 people actually read this little family blog). XOXO 
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