Let the record reflect that Laura’s first word is…

…’up.’ Of course she’s been communicating with us for months, but this is the first intentional verbalization that she’s consistently using correctly, including when she wants it to happen and when she recognizes it’s about to happen to her. Susan is a bit disappointed that it’s not ‘Mom,’ a word Laura does understand and sometimes use, to counterbalance the fact that Brady’s first word was ‘Dad,’ but it is what it is, the kid wants up 🙂

Scare with Laura

We went to my Sister-in-law’s wedding two weekends ago. On the way home from Maine Susan noticed that Laura was hot. By Monday morning she was at 103 and home from daycare. By Tuesday she was off to the doctor’s and home with a diagnosis of an ear/sinus infection and a prescription for antibiotics. By Thursday she was back to the doctor with a 103 fever that wasn’t reacting to the antibiotics, a stomach ravaged (probably) by said antibiotic, and no appetite. From there she was headed straight to the emergency room when the doctor discovered a skin rash which Susan and I hadn’t even noticed* which can be a signifier for blood infection/sepsis.


So that’s the scariest parts. The truth is the whole thing was unreal. The whole time, Laura just seemed like a kid with a bad cold to us, and every doctor who examined her said some version of the same thing: this rash makes us nervous as do some of these other issues, but bottom line is, she seems ok based on appearance and how she’s behaving, and everything we’re doing is by way of being cautious.

Being cautious still meant 5 hours in the ER, people doing awful things to my daughter which made her howl piteously, and no small amount of anxiety, but compared to a few episodes we had with Brady this was easier to live through. She left the hospital after an injection of a different antibiotic and a prescription for a third one.

She’s still not entirely done with this episode. She has to go back for more bloodwork Wednesday, and one of the tests they did (a blood culture) won’t have results until the end of the week. If you saw her today you would think nothing was wrong with her though, the fever is gone, and her appetite is mostly back to normal. Her stomach is still tetchy is her only remaining ailment.

The doctors aren’t really sure what this was. It could all be the ear infection and a reaction to the initial meds, or it could be more than one bacterial infection at once (sinus and digestive being the best bets) or bacterial plus viral. If all the bloodwork comes back clean by the end of the week, we’re more or less done – we’ll never know exactly what happened, but she’ll be clear of whatever it was. This is the outcome I’m hoping for.

By coincidence I’m reading Mantel’s “Bring Up the Bodies,” which follows the reign of Henry VIII, wherein infants die of ailments many and sundry, most not understood by anyone. Thank god my daughter wasn’t born a few hundred years ago – she might have been one of them 😦

* in defense of Susan and me, this “rash” consisted of 5-6 tiny dull pencil point sized skin blemishes. I had actually noticed one and thought it a bug bite. I certainly wouldn’t have called it a rash. Now I know.


Brady’s first black eye, from yesterday, when he fell out of a ride-on plastic boat at daycare. It’s actually a bit worse than it looks – you can’t see how swollen his eye is from this angle, and he fell onto carpeting that left him with rugburn on the side of his face that’s more painful than the bruise is. That said, he had bigger problems yesterday. Everyone in the family is fighting a throat/chest cold and he’s got it worst, with a raspy cough that’s driving him nuts. Plus he got a terrible diaper rash yesterday. When he first got home he had a full on meltdown which took a good bit of mom-time to sort out. At one point Susan had Laura screaming for dinner on one side and naked Brady screaming for comfort on the other side. Family drama ftw!

Brady’s 8th and 9th month

My son Brady was 8 months old on the 22nd of August and 9 months on the 22nd of September. As in past months, I’m recording the big events each month, though late august/early September are so busy for me at work that I’ve had to combine two months into one.

Developmentally, he’s increasingly alert. He knows his name and will turn to you if you say it. More generally, if he hears things, he will try to turn to see them. He continues to play around with vocalizations, though nothing like words yet. His only ability to really communicate verbally is ‘sad groans’,’ happy giggles,’ and ‘I love you man’ cooing and eye contact.  In terms of understanding me, he usually recognizes if I say ‘UP!” which I’ve been doing whenever I pick him up, and that’s it so far beyond his name.

[addendum for the 9th month: he recognizes more now. He knows what his hands are, or at least will respond when I ask him to give me his hands, which we do a lot as we help him learn to walk by holding his hands while he prances around. He also generally knows who ‘Mom’ is, and sometimes gets really excited playing the ‘where’s mom!’ game, which we often do after his breakfast. More generally, he seems to be picking up on intent a lot, recognizing what’s about to happen and what it will mean for him. For example, when I get him out of his crib, I used to have to take his pacifier out of his mouth, and as I did that I would say, ‘can I have that?’ Now, as often as not he knows he’s going to lose it, and spits it out as I reach for it.]

Physically, he can now sit up reliably and stably, though he still topples over a fair amount. He can’t yet get into a sitting position on his own. His hand dexterity increases almost daily. He’s still a klutz, but he can pick things up, pass them from hand to hand, rotate them, and most importantly draw them towards his mouth. Everything goes in his mouth. His legs are strong and he loves when I hold his hands so he can stand and bounce up and down on his legs. He often gets very excited when we do this. He also can ‘walk’ when I do this, though he prefers the bouncing. He can’t yet crawl. He pushes his butt in the air and every now and then he gets up on all fours, but he hasn’t worked out how to move himself forward.

[addendum for the 9th month. He can crawl now. He’s still clumsy and slow and gets frustrated, but he literally went from ‘butt in air, but at best backwards progress’ to ‘I totally know how to crawl, I just am not very good yet,’ in the course of about 5 days in late September. We helped in this process, by plopping him in his play area and building towers of wooden blocks – he likes toppling them over, so we started building towers in different parts of the play area, which seem more than anything to have served as his motivation to learn to crawl.

He’s also become totally squirmy, almost never willing to sit quietly cradled in our arms. Instead he’s a wriggling bouncy mass of ‘I’m mobile, let me explore!’ energy.

Food wise, the last two months have seen him eat meat (fish and chicken so far – he loves the fish but at best only tolerates the chicken), a ton of new fruits and veggies, including citrus (kiwi, which he liked), many different kinds of squashes and beans, potatoes, carrots, some grains and cereals, and probably a bunch of other things I’ve forgotten already. He’s also started drinking a lot of water, though somehow we failed to teach him to use his spillproof sippy cup so far, so drinking is either supervised or really messy.

He had his first significant illnesses since his difficult first couple of weeks. First he got a lesion about the size of a pencil eraser from a diaper rash, which had us putting antibiotic ointment on him for about 2 weeks. Then, he got a fever of 103 that lead to a bad cough, gallons of mucus, and no sleep for anyone. This was at first diagnosed as RSV, a common virus that most people get before the age of 2. It’s usually not dangerous, but in any case it turns out that’s not what he had – what it was we’ll never know, but it took 2 weeks for him to recover, during which he was pretty miserable – exhausted from lack of sleep, temperamental as a result, and prone to occasional shrieking fits of unhappiness. We had not seen anything like this from him before. The good news is things seem to be returning to normal – yesterday he was in most all respects back to his even-keeled, eager to smile, curious little self, hanging out with Dad watching the Giants beat the hated Eagles.

He had a number of firsts across these two months, including going to his first baseball game (Seadogs in Portland Maine – I love going to games in that park), taking his first shower (with Dad, as we tried to help him get the mucus out of his system – he totally loves the shower),’ swimming’ with the family at a local lake, which truth be told he didn’t like too much, we think he didn’t like being strapped into the life preserver, and hiking with him Mom and Soolin in the woods, which he liked.

As usual Susan’s been good about getting photos posted, though she’s been busy too so we are a little behind, but here’s a sample from this month. Click the image to head over to the gallery:

Brady checking out his first baseball game