Friday, August 22, 2014

Shake it Off

In a lot of ways, it pains me to write this post in the same way it'd pain me if one of the boys picked "Cats" as their favorite musical.

In other ways, it thrills me to see Jones react so strongly, energetically, and passionately to music - all kinds of music (remember his dance to "In the Mood"?) - so in the spirit of accentuating the positive, that's what I'm focusing on when I post Jones's dance to Taylor Swift's - okay, I'll admit it - maniacally catchy "Shake it Off."

He first heard it earlier this week when I clicked the video link posted by a friend on Facebook. While he was playing with his Wiggles drumset (are your boys jealous, Lori?) this morning, I played it again to see what he'd do.

As expected, he went bananas, shaking his plastic maracas and saying, for the first time, "shake!" In fact, you can hear him saying it on the video.

You should know, though, that from here on out, I'll only be playing George Strait, George Jones, or just about anybody other than Taylor Swift as he plays around the house.

My reputation is at stake!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Granuloma, Be Gone!

If you've ever gotten up close and personal with Freddie Bear's belly button, you may have assumed that he swallowed Rudolph. Since his umbilical cord fell off, he's had what looks like a red-nose glowing from the hole of his belly. 

But it's not Rudolph. 

Instead, it's an "umbilical granuloma," which sounds so much more scary than it actually is. What it is is a little pocket that didn't seal completely when the umbilical cord was clamped off. It's totally benign; he can't even feel it. I, however, feel great frustration every time he gets little blots of blood on each outfit he wears, thanks to the persistent ooze of this little thing. 

It doesn't hurt Freddie at all. If we hadn't done anything about it, skin would've eventually grown over it, but Dr. O'Donnell, our beloved pediatrician who reminds me VERY much of Andrew McCarthy, recommended we do something, because, as he got bigger, Freddie would pick at it and make it even messier.

Dr. O. tried three times - at Freddie's two, four, and six month check-ups - to get rid of it with a silver nitrate stick; it's never worked. At the six month appointment, Dr. O. said it has a super thick stump, which is why the silver nitrate wouldn't work. We left his office with directions to call in for a referral to a surgeon if it hadn't fallen off in two weeks.

It hadn't.

So, on Tuesday, we were sent to a surgeon. 

That, like the name of the granuloma, also sounds so much more scary that it actually was. We went to a beautiful facility - Mission Children's Hospital Outpatient Center in Asheville - and saw a doctor who's name I don't remember, which is fine, because I don't think he told it to us in the sixty-seven seconds he spent with us. As a nurse and I held Freddie down, the surgeon tied a knot around the granuloma. He was hoping it'd starve its blood supply and cause it to dry up and fall off. 

That's exactly what happened. Today, when I changed Freddie's diaper after his morning nap, there it was, a tiny little raisin, laying on his fleshy belly. 

Speaking of which, Freddie's belly keeps getting less and less "fleshy." He's gone from being 66th percentile for weight at his six month check up in July to being 50th percentile (and 55th for height) at the appointment earlier this week. At least, HE'S slimming down, which is more than I can say for myself. 

Anyway, I am so glad to have this - finally! - taken care of, and I'm so grateful that God heard my prayer that it'd be resolved without surgery (which was the next step, had the surgical knot not worked).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Instant Classic

I could do nothing but sit around and watch this

In fact, that's pretty much what I did yesterday.

a Few Things About Freddie Bear

First things first: Freddie Bear has started standing. Provided he has something to lean on - an ottomon, his crib railing, the sofa - he can stand for as long as I'll let him. He's also getting his knees under him and rocking back and forth on them, so I'm betting he's crawling in the next few weeks.

Second of all, Freddie has started eating (some, very small bites of ...) table food. When Jones was an infant, I read that babies are ready for table food when they start showing interest in it. Jones never really did. He'd eat anything I'd give him, but he didn't whine if I just fed him formula instead.

Since he was just a few months old, Freddie has been very aware of when people are eating. Initially, he'd just stare down a plate, but lately, he's gotten more aggressive about it. For instance, Dolly kept the boys last nite and said Freddie literally dug in to the meatloaf she was serving her boys for dinner.

Well done, Son.

Taking things like this to be Freddie's "interest" in food, I've been giving him the teeniest little bits of things, like peas or Saltines or, today, the free cookie Ingles gives out to kid shoppers (I swear he ate more of the cookie they split than Jones did; he'd literally screech if I didn't shovel it in quickly enough).

Apparently, Freddie's sees these few forays into "people food" as a license to chow down.

Today, I put Jones down for his nap and left Freddie playing in the den. A minute and a half later, I came back in and found Freddie, laying on his back, happy as a pig in slop, gnawing on a bite of bagel that Jones had left out on his breakfast plate. How in the world the child got to it, I will never know.

I guess where there's a will, there's a way.

Ride, Ride, Ride

Anyone who reads this blog knows about Jones' love for Tec the Tractor.

Since he was about seven months old, Jones has been obsessed with this Welsh-import on the BabyFirst TV network. The problem with Tec is that we don't get it here in Canton. Mom and Daddy do in Greenville - that's where Jones was introduced to it - but for non-DirectTV subscribers in Canton, NC, BabyFirst TV is a no-go.

That means buying a $25 DVD with only three episodes on it and, while you wait for said DVD to arrive, letting your son stream episodes of "Tec the Tractor" via YouTube on your iPhone.

That's what Jones was doing this morning when Jeremy was about to leave for work.  He's been working out of a makeshift office in his parents' basement this week and suggested taking Jones with him for an hour or so, so Jones could visit his Nan and ride his Pop's tractor. I jumped at the suggestion and promised to come pick Jones up as soon as Freddie was up from his nap.

Just before we left the Pressleys when I picked Jones up, Jeremy took a few minutes to pull something ELSE that Jones could ride out of Pop's garage. It was his old "chopper," and though it took him about 16 minutes to maneuver his way into a seat better suited to his seven year-old self, Jeremy proved that the thrill-seeker gene still runs in his blood.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pawleys Island Photo Book - FINALLY!

Jeremy is so sensible. Knowing that the boys would be up around 7 this morning, he'd have gone to bed last nite in time to get plenty of sleep. In fact, that's what he told ME to do, and it's most definitely what I should have done.

I shoulda ...
and I woulda ...
if only I coulda extended that Shutterfly coupon code a few extra days, but since I couldn't, I spent the wee small hours of this early morning (finally) finishing the photo book for what was, without a doubt, the best Stultz Family Vacation I can remember.

You can have your Maui and, dare I say it, your Disney World.

As the song goes, "I'd rather be in Carolina."

Don't look too closely at the captions in this book just yet, because I've got a tiny bit of editing left to do, but for all practical purposes, it's finally done.

Two and a half months after we got home.

Shut up.

Photo books are the perfect gift for any occasion.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Music Man

The most important thing in the world to me is that my children love God with all of their hearts, souls, and minds. Close to the top of that same wish list, though, is that they also love music.

Jones has already shown lots of indications that he does - his first smile came at his Kindermusik class at 6 weeks old. He stops and listens anytime he hears a tune, and tonite? Tonite, he responded to big band music the same way I did the first time I heard it.

After Freddie went to bed, Jeremy and I left him with my mom and took Jones to the last of this summer's lakeside concerts at the same Furman Amphitheatre where we got married. We almost didn't go. It was late; Jones seemed to be on the borderline of a bedtime-meltdown, and it just seemed too rushed to be worthwhile.

We decided to do it, anyway, and boy, am I ever glad that we did.

If a picture speaks a thousand words, these videos sing a million. As we left, Jones boogied out, laughing, dancing, and looking back all the way at the orchestra that was still playing.