Friday, February 27, 2009

Camp Nana (part 2)

This is the second installment by Hunter's Nana for the benefit of Ashlie and Jordan who are on a cruise.

We have enjoyed beautiful weather in the 80's. Hunter loves to swing in the backyard. He did not want to look at the camera, as the sun was in his eyes. This picture was achieved after several of the back of his head.

Nights are getting better.
Night 1: Woke up at 1:30, not happy, so I slept with him the rest of the night. Night 2: he slept all night. Whoo! Hoo!
Night 3: Just woke up for a quick diaper change and back to sleep.

I am so impressed by whatever you did to train him to go to bed so easily for nighttime and naps. You need to write a book on it, girly.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Camp Nana

Since Ashlie and Jordan are on a cruise this week, both sets of grandparents have shared Hunter in their absence. Needless to say, we are all thrilled to have extended time with him. Papa and Vivi (Jordan's parents) got Hunter the first half of the week. Last night, they brought Hunter to us and we get to love on him until Ashlie and Jordan return Saturday night.

When we became grandparents three years ago,I announced to my kids that every year I want a time when I can keep all of my grandchildren while their parents go on vacation, envisioning a week filled with places to go and things to see. Unfortunately, that will have to be postponed until the grandkids are older (they are currently 3, 1, and 9 months). Meals, diapers, and naps chop up the day, so we are mostly finding fun things to do at home. We are also learning to share with each other.

Hunter and his cousin having their morning milk and watching cartoons.

Hunter and his cousin sharing pancakes. Apparently, Nana, the photographer was blocking the television.

Hunter was so appreciative of his pancakes that he decided to cook for me.

Hunter and I went outside to blow bubbles after his afternoon nap. He thought the bubbles were hilarious. Each time I blew, he threw his head back in a deep belly laugh. It was great. Unfortunately, no one was there to take a picture of him. I'll try to get you one tomorrow, Ash.

I did learn that Hunter is not fond of colored water in the bath. His cousin has these tablets that turn the bathwater whatever color he wants. He chose red. It scared Hunter. It scared him real bad. He screamed and screamed. The night before, he and his cousin took a nice bubble bath together. I think tomorrow night we will revisit the bubble option.

We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Hunter!

1 year ago today Hunter Mason Black was born this morning February 19th at 1:20a.m. He came almost 5 weeks early (35w2d), but still weighed in at 6 pounds 8.2 ounces and was 19 inches long!!

After 4 long months of bedrest for pre-term labor complete with medicines and monitors to keep him in my belly as long as possible my water finally broke around 1:30am on Monday the 18th after having labor pains all weekend for (about 4 days). I had gone into the hospital on the 14th with very strong contractions 3 minutes apart, they kept me overnight and did their best to stop the labor...they stopped it from progressing and sent me home saying that it was still too early not to try to stop it, but in 2 more days they would let my labor progress.

Well I went home crossed the 35 week mark...with my contractions still not letting up at 5 minutes apart for those 4 days my water final just broke...and there was no turning back! I labored at home until around noon. We headed to L&D...where they looked me up and down and said they didn't believe that I was "in labor"...I guess I was too poised for them...but considering I had dealt with constant contractions for 4 months...this day felt no different, so why would I look different?! They finally checked me and realized I was in labor.

I was in labor all day the 18th (for 24 hours) and into the wee hours of the 19th. After only 20 minutes of pushing we got the best present in the world! He wasn't breathing well when he was born so he was rushed off to the NICU. So, even though he was born at 1:20am today, the first time I laid eyes on him was at this very moment that I am writing 7:00am.

I remember laying there in my room all night, after he was born, just praying to God that he was ok and healthy. I didn't hear any updates on him for the first 6 hours after he was born, so I finally called my nurse at 6:30am and begged her for an update on his status. She couldn't believe that they had not told me an update yet. I guess they thought I would be yeah right!!

Apparently the neonatologist sat by his bed in the NICU all night and watched him breathe, he was grunting pretty badly when he was born so she was waiting beside ready with breathing assistance but he never needed it because he figured it out on his own. After a few hours the grunting stopped and they brought him to me. He was born with slightly underdeveloped lungs because he was early, but he worked it out on his own through the night, she was so impressed with him, our little fighter!! They finally brought him to us and explained how great he was doing for being born 5 weeks early. He was our little miracle baby our single umbilical artery baby, which if you know nothing about what that is you can click on the link and read about it in my of my initial posts asking for prayers. Despite all of his increased risks he was born perfectly healthy!

And now a year later we just could not adore him more. He has changed so much over the past year and has so many cute quirks and habits now. His little personality is coming through and we can see a glimpse of the "toddler" version of him. He has been the absolute biggest blessing and answer to prayers in our lives. When we started the journey to parenthood we had NO IDEA what it would entail or what God had in store for us. I couldn't truly understand the sacrifice that God gave, giving up his Son, until I had a child, the thought of doing that makes me want to fall on my knees and thank God for such an unbelievable sacrifice. We thank God everyday for such a wonderful blessing.

At one year hunter is roughly 22.5 pounds and 31 inches long. (these are our best guesses since his checkup isn't for another week). He wears 18 month clothes and size 5 diapers. He has 8 teeth and we think he is starting to cut his first molar.

Highlights of month 11:

Took his first steps
He can get to standing on his own from the floor
He learned how to go down stairs properly and get off furniture safely
Learned how to throw and catch a ball
He dances and actually has pretty good rhythm
He says:
poo poo "bu bu" or "pu pu"
banana "ba nu"
adam (my brother) "ad u"
juice "uice" or oose"
papa and pop which sounds like poo poo HA!

He eats all table foods and some favs this month are fried rice, chicken pot pie, peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese, mandarin oranges, blueberries, uncrustables, gogurt, crackers, french fries, chicken strips with ranch, jr. lunchables, pound cake, cheesecake and icecream.

He loves: unrolling toilet paper, pulling things out of drawers, eating paper, a ball of any kind, milk in his sippy....he drinks A LOT, praise baby, talking elmo, KC, being outside, looking at animals especially fish and birds, climbing on and off things, going up and down stairs, other babies/kids, pushing furniture, eating small particles off the floor, throwing his food and sippy cup on the floor during meals 1,000 times per day, cuddling after naps while drinking milk and getting scratched, he loves being tickled and rough housing on the bed...he likes to be shoved over.

He is starting to become more sensitive and empathetic. He will cry if I say "ouch" or if he thinks he is in trouble or told no. He hates it when we shut doors, drawers or cabinets....he will go nuts! He cries when we leave the room, he cries if we "surprise" him and he isn't ready for it. He cries if another baby takes a toy away from him. He is more whiney now and throws mini tantrums as he is more becoming aware of what he wants but lacks the communication skills to express himself.

We celebrated his birthday on Saturday (Valentines Day) with 19 guests. We invited immediate family only, so as to not overwhelm him, and then his two girlfriends (and their parents...our best friends from Kansas city). There were 5 kids at the party, including Hunter....his two cousins (3yo and 9mo), Emory (10mo) and Kaitlyn (3mo). Jordan grilled hamburgers, which were delicious, and then we watched Hunter open presents. Then we watched all of the kids play with the presents and then ate cake and icecream. It was so much fun!
My sister photographed the party for me, which was soooooo nice! I didn't have to worry about taking pictures all day!
We are so excited to see what the coming year has in store for us.

Highlights and photos of his party...
Cute little cousin, she was tired most of the party as it interferred with her nap big time. But as always she was in a great mood and such a great sport.

Sweet Kaitlyn, she had no idea what was going on...I am sure she could sense the excitement and loudness of the party!! But for the most part she just got lots of snuggle time with everyone at the party...being the only little baby (3 months) at the party...she was being pulled in lots of directions! It is going to be so much fun watching her grow up with Hunter and Emory...everytime we get together it will get more and more fun!

Hunter getting some attention from the grandparents (and aunt Beeka)...he just can't get enough!

We had a signature plate for everyone to sign as well as Hunter's birthday cake and his own little smash cake.

For party favors each kid received a personalized toddler backpack with "goodies" inside. The adults just got valentine's cookies as party favors.

Little miss Emory Ann, isn't she adorable?! She is REALLY enjoying her piece of cake. She turns one in April....I can just see her cake smash now!

Hunter "opened" his presents in his new personalized chair he got from us (since a lot of people have asked it is from pottery barn's a junior chair). He really seemed to enjoy all of the presents he did the other kids at the party :)

Jordan and I also got him this radio flyer wagon. It was interesting trying to get all of the kids (minus little Kaitlyn) into the wagon without them trying to stand up and fall out on their faces! Hence all the toys in there with keep them occupied.

Hanging with dad

And finally the cake smash. He didn't dive into it at first, he was very cautious. After a while, when everyone stopped staring at him, he went for it and seemed to really like it!