Monday, October 31, 2005

Doctor's Visit

If you are counting this is my second post today and, yes, I have cleaned part of the house already. Thank goodness for those long naps babies can take....

We are home from the doctor's appointment. I took Isaac in because we were concerned about lack of control of his head and neck and that he always tilts his head to one side. The doctor confirmed what we were thinking. Isaac has been diagnosed as having congenital torticollis and developmental dysplasia of the hip. Sounds a little scary, huh? What this means is that Isaac most likely tore a muscle either in utero or in delivery---not too surprising considering he was transverse until about week 34 and labor was 26 1/2 hours long, with two hours of pushing and he didn't come down the birthing canal until the very end. Also he had a hard time getting around the pubic bone and most people thought it would be an emergency section (hey, I didn't do squats and lunges all nine months of pregnancy to have a c-section!). Anyway, such torn muscles are usually not detected until baby develops a little more movement and stability in the head and neck. The torn muscle repairs itself, but is shorter than it should be causing the child's head to tilt to one side. There can also be a knot in the muscle on the neck, which we discovered on Isaac late last week. Head and neck control is also delayed. The developmental dysplasia of the hip goes hand-in-hand with the the torticollis. This means that little Isaac's hip joints are a little loose, especially the left one.

So what does this all mean? Baby Isaac Michael is off to physical therapy at Cook Childrens. In fact I keep calling the rehabilitation clinic over and over to schedule an appointment. Apparently they are off eating Halloween candy and too busy to take my call (yes, I am lashing out at them). After a little PT, Isaac should be right on track developmentally and be able to hold that sweet head up with no problem.

The best part of the appointment was watching Isaac as he laid on the examination table. He was happy and kicking his legs and smiling. He then realized every time he kicked his legs, the paper on the table made a noise. So he would kick real fast and hard, then stop and laugh. He did this for about five minutes. It was the funniest thing to him and to me. So if you have already done your Christmas shopping for Isaac, you better hit the return lines. Apparently all he wants is a roll of white tissue paper.

I have included this picture because I love how Isaac is holding on to his precious elephant, attempting to swallow it. It makes me smile, in the midst of being concerned about his sweet little neck and hips.

Happy Halloween!!!

Isaac wanted to show off his Halloween costume and wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween!

This weekend was quite busy for us. Friday night we sat down and watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown with Isaac. We bought the Peanuts holiday DVD collection years ago in anticipation of watching them with our future children. Isaac watched some of it, but didn't quite get the humor when Charlie Brown put on his ghost outfit and it is filled with holes. Next year he will though! Saturday night Tobe and I dropped Isaac off at his Nana C. and Papa's house and we were off to the U2 concert. It was hard to leave Isaac for the first time to spend the night somewhere, but we knew he was in good hands. Tobe and I went to eat down in West End, then met up with the Fletchers (and sort-of the Pirtles) for U2. The show was amazing!!! Hearing Bono sing live is almost indescribable. Also, I think that Bono is promoting such a simple idea of world peace (coexistence) that impacts a lot of thinking. Side note: if you haven't signed your name to the ONE document, please do so. It is helping raise money and awareness for AIDS in Africa. Having witnessed first-hand the vast devastation of AIDS in Africa, (100,000+ AIDS orphans in Nairobi alone, living on the streets) I know what this disease is doing to a continent. I believe it is irresponsible for us to turn a blind eye to the poverty and sickness of these beautiful people. I think the website for ONE is

Enough political talk. Sunday we met Tobe's parents for brunch (where I had a delicious crab and avocado omelet) and picked up Isaac. I felt like I hadn't seen him in years. He smiled really big when he saw both of us. That afternoon was football, sloppy Joes, and Tobe's friend hanging out with us. Last night we went to the church Halloween carnival. We didn't know how Isaac would do considering the time change, lack of a good nap schedule yesterday, and the overall excitement of the carnival. He just hung out in his stroller, taking it all in. He was the cutest giraffe by far, surrounded by equally adorable elephants, bumblebees, race car drivers, divas, Charlie Browns, princesses, etc.. Tonight is Halloween on Main Street, which should be a lot of fun as well.

This morning I am taking Isaac to the doctor. Many of you don't know about this yet, because there is not much TO know yet. We have some concerns about the development of the neck muscles and want to get it checked out. I will post more once we are sure what is going on there. So say a little prayer for Baby Isaac today and for his pediatrician.

Have a great Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Visiting Daddy at work

Yesterday, Isaac and I went to eat lunch with Tobe at his office in Dallas. Tobe really enjoyed showing off Isaac to his co-workers!

Three piece suits for babies....

Wanting to dress your beautiful baby boy for the Christmas holidays so he can shine brighter than the star on top of your tree? Well, my friend, apparently you are going to have to put him in a three piece suit. I began my quest to find Isaac a dressy Christmas outfit (he already has his Christmas PJ's and his Christmas casual clothes--all bought on clearance last year) a few weeks ago. I want something that is sweet and looks like a baby and has Christmas joy written all over it (not literally). All I can find are these one piece outfits that look like three piece suits. Yes, they even have neckties! Neckties for babies??? Has anyone told the SIDS organization about this? That can't be safe.

Isaac will be four months at Christmas, which I feel is a little too young for a suit and tie. I have seen a few cute sweater, shirt, and pants outfits, but even that seems a little much for a four month old. Besides we live in Texas and it might possibly be 90 degrees on Christmas. He would die in a sweater. All the stores have racks and racks of velveteen dresses and outfits for little girls and then one sad rack of holiday three piece suits for boys. Is this gender discrimination? Boys like to look cute too! Here is what I am looking for: a cute pair of either velvet or corduroy overalls, perhaps with a Christmas thing on the bib or with pants legs that roll up to reveal Christmas plaid. Hannah Anderson has a pair in their catalog, but they are $60. We are cheap people here at the Phillips' household and if we spent that much money on an outfit, poor Isaac would have to wear it everyday until he outgrew it just to feel like we got our money's worth :)

So if you know of somewhere to get cute dressy holiday outfits for boys at a reasonable price, please let me know. Otherwise, we might have to wear a three piece suit.

For those of you keeping a record, once again Isaac slept through the night!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Picture People

Yesterday I took Isaac to the Picture People in the Northeast Mall to get his three month portraits done. We choose such location because we had a coupon (who doesn't love a good coupon?) for a free sitting and a free 8x10. I would recommend such mall photography studios--the photographer was really nice and good with Isaac, there are huge glass windows in the studio so mall walkers can watch your photo session and "ooh" over your child, and you get your pictures THAT day! The quality isn't as good as a "regular" studio, but they still came out really well.

If you happen to be shopping at the Northeast Mall, take a minute to stop by the Picture People. Isaac's picture is now displayed in the studio! The lady liked one of the shots so much she asked if they could put it on display. I had to sign a release and everything! She also asked if I wanted to sign a release for them to give the pictures over to a modeling agency. I just couldn't do that to my child, so I declined that offer (which I think they extend to everyone). So now the Phillips' Family is officially on display in two locations. A wedding picture of Tobe and me is on display at a bridal shop in Searcy, AR (actually you can't really see Tobe in the picture--it is a shot of us running out from the reception under a wave of rose petals) and Isaac is on display at the Picture People. Before we know it Tyra Banks will be calling asking us to be on America's Next Top Model....HA!

If YOU would like to order your own picture of Isaac at three months, please let me know. The Picture People does blow up shots to wall mural size and I think Isaac would look lovely as an accent wall in anyone's living room!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Another restful night

Yeah! Isaac slept through the night last night. This is the third time in the last two weeks. Although he slept peacefully during the night without waking, I still get up two or three times to make sure he is breathing and his Amazing Miracle Blanket is still snug around him. Sleeping through the night also means that I missed the 3:30am episode of The Cosby Show (to which I have become addicted to since Isaac's arrival). I genuinely felt a twinge of disappointment when I woke up this morning, realizing that there was no nighttime feeding and that I had missed the Cosby Show. Right now Nick at Night is showing the final season and we are very close to the last episode where Theo graduates from NYU, everyone is living in the house again, the doorbell is still broken, and general hilarity ensues. But I guess I can miss that for a baby who sleeps from 8pm until 7:30am.

Today I thought I would make a list of Isaac's favorite things at almost 3 months old:

Favorite Blanket: His blue Miracle Blanket, without the feet tucked in (his green one shrunk in the wash and is now for emergencies only)
Favorite Toys: Farm book, Leo the Lion, and Leap Frog Activity Seat (this is a new favorite as he used to HATE it when we would put him in it. Now he bats at the activity bar and listens to "The Lion roars hello." over and over). Oh, and he also really likes Tad (also Leap Frog), but only the nighttime light show
Favorite CD: Infant Calm by Prerecords, specifically track 4 which is the vacuum Cleaner Waltz and sometimes track 2 which is the Hair Dryer Hum. If you have an infant or about to have one---you need this CD. Once we turn it on, any fussing or crying immediately stops.
Favorite Song: Five Little Pumpkins
Favorite Juice: Gerber's Apple Prune (we were having to take juice last week for intestinal issues. After offering several flavors, this is the only one he would take!)
Favorite time of day: A tie between getting up in the morning and bathtime at night
Favorite people: Momma and Daddy
Favorite TV program: Laguna Beach and The Cosby Show (ok, so these are my favorites right now)
Things on his Christmas list: Fisher Price See and View blocks, exersauser, and Peanut Shell

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Dinner in a bag...

I have to report that I have discovered the most delicious frozen dinner in a bag. Those of you that know me know that I love to cook (except during that whole unfortunate nine months of morning sickness time). I have been known to accuse either the neighbors or our friendly postman of stealing my latest edition of Southern Living magazine when it does not arrive exactly when I think it should (which I know is impossible considering we have a postal center in our neighborhood, not mailboxes, and I am sure that our lovely neighbors have more important things to do than pick the lock on our mailslot and steal my magazine). I check-out cookbooks from the library and read them. I can name every chef on Food Network--I love to cook. Anyway, a few weeks ago I had coupon for Berontolli Frozen Pasta Dinner in a bag. This happened to coincide with triple coupon weekend at Albertsons and they happened to already have this item on sale, so the frozen dinner in a bag was almost free. I bought it and threw it in the freezer for one of those hectic days when cooking would not be an option. Such day came after I had consumed a large amount of ice tea, not realizing that it would make my son cranky and wired on caffeine. So out came the frozen dinner for supper that night and it was WONDERFUL!!! Normally dinner in a bag/box taste gross to me and I wonder what they have had to do to the meat to allow it to be edible 7 years after production. But the Berontolli Pasta (Chicken Alfredo) is like your own personal Olive Garden right in your kitchen. Go out and buy some today (Be warned: there is a coupon inside the bag. If you are not paying attention you will end of letting it cook with your pasta until you notice it and frantically try to scrape it off your pan. Not that anything like that happened to me. I am just saying....)

The Isaac update for today is that we think he is getting ready to roll over. Tobe was rolling Isaac onto his side/almost stomach last night, and then Isaac would flip himself onto his back again. The first time he did this, Tobe and I cheered so loudly that we scared him. After doing that "half roll" several times, Tobe then rolled Isaac completely onto his stomach. Isaac kept trying and trying to roll over onto his back. He would work that little hip and try to swing his leg backwards. He never rolled over completely, but we are sure it is just days away. Oh I hear the little darling now calling me over the monitor.....

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

One step closer to adulthood...

On Thursday night Isaac decided he no longer wanted to breastfeed. Since birth Isaac has been having both breast milk and formula due to an inadequate milk supply. Things have been going well with that--not perfect and problem-free---but well. Then Thursday night he decided that he no longer wanted to breastfeed, he just wanted the bottle. At the time I thought it was a fluke thing. Then the same thing happened on Friday and on Saturday. Sunday we were a little successful, but then by that night he was back to flat out refusing to breastfeed. He clamped that mouth shut and arched that back and simply refused. Once given a bottle he ate like there wasn't a care in the world.

Today I called the pediatrician's office and talked to the nurse. She confirmed what I had thought was going on: my 12 week old had weaned himself. He had figured out that the bottle was easier and gave him food a lot faster. This shouldn't surprise me, as his father demanded food at a fast pace as well. His mother also ate quickly and then wanted down to play as soon as she was done. Impatience with eating is apparently in Isaac's genes.

The nurse said I could either stop breastfeeding or consult the lactation consultant. I called the L.C. to see what her take on the situation was. She said that Isaac has likely weaned himself, but there was still hope for breastfeeding. That hope was based on coming to see her for a few sessions (at quite a high price, I must say), taking herbs and prescription medication, pumping excessively throughout the day, putting back on some of my pregnancy weight with protein shakes (hate to tell her I haven't lost it all), making Isaac get so hungry that he will take the breast and offer no formula, etc.... This left me in a dilemma--do I stop or do I endure what seems to be a very unfun process? Being a new mother brings a lot of questions from friends and strangers, but the most common one is "Are you nursing?" I have been asked this in Target, in the library, and at the mall. Why are people so obsessed over knowing such details? I know that breastfeeding is important, but is it everyone's business? Since I have been able to answer "yes" to this question, the person alas smiles and says something encouraging. I always wonder what their response would be if I said "No, however I am feeding my child McDonalds pureed in a blender."

All of this to say, I have decided to quit breastfeeding. I made a list of pros and cons this afternoon and decided that the benefits of quitting outweigh the benefits of keeping it up. I know that the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends breastfeeding until the age of two, but I seriously doubt we would have done it that long anyway. Two year olds are heavy, plus I am not sure if I am personally comfortable with someone who can access such food by themselves, regardless of where you might be at the time. They also recommend nursing mothers and babies sleep in the same room (not the same bed). We moved Isaac from the co-sleeper to his crib shortly after he was born when we realized what a loud sleeper he is. They also recommend demand feeding and not putting a child on a schedule--I never demand fed him after those initial days and he is on a quite lovely schedule that provides structure and routine to his day (which any child with mine and Tobe's genes wants and needs).

So according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, Isaac should be listless and have failure to thrive. As you look at these pictures, you can see how sad and upset he is. Who knows, perhaps next week he will decide he no longer wants to lay around and will get up and start crawling....
(Please note, that such opinions expressed are based on what I think is best for us. I support breastfeeding and those that partake in such activities :)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Isaac recently celebrated his Granny's 85th birthday and his Granddaddy's 84th birthday the weekend before Halloween. Posted by Picasa

What? Fall weather in Texas???

Well, it is official. I just checked the weather and the current temperature at 7am is 39 degrees!!! Does that mean that fall has FINALLY arrived here in the heart of Texas? Are we done with 90 degree temperatures? Will my child not sweat to death on Halloween when we put him in his fleece giraffe costume?

I love fall. I think it is my favorite time of year. It means Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all approaching. I can pull out the boxes and boxes of decorations and set them around the house. I love how festive things look during this time.

Fall also means sweatshirt weather. I love sweatshirt weather! However, when such weather does approach this provides ample opportunity for my wonderful husband to lovingly tease me. The thing is that 99% of my sweatshirt collection comes from my college career. This was fine a few years ago, but now such sweatshirts are looking a bit dated (okay some really dated, because they have the year on them and it does not have 2000 anywhere in it). My favorite sweatshirt is from a club social that occurred before I was even in the social club. My college roomies and I found a leftover box of these sweatshirts in a friend's attic and thought it would be cool to have them (we had a lot of spare time in college). Did I mention that this sweatshirt also has a Christmas theme and I wear it whenever it is cold, even if December 25th is not even close? In fact I have it on right now!

So, yeah for fall being here! Go outside today and enjoy such great weather. Soon I will post pictures of Isaac in his jack-o-lantern outfit and his fall overalls!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Baby Isaac Michael

Tobe and I started this blog right after Isaac was born. Seemed like a great idea late at night....We quickly figured out that newborn babies don't leave you much time to do things like typing on the computer, eating supper, talking to your spouse, etc.. However, we have settled into life with a third member of our family quite nicely and are ready to resume this blog. Things have calmed down and feel normal now (SIDEBAR: All new mothers --and not so new moms---need to watch "Bringing Home Baby" on TLC. It makes you feel SOOOOOOOOOO much better about those first 36 hours at home with baby!). Isaac continues to amaze us everyday. I don't know how many times we stare at him and say, "He is just the most perfect baby." We are amazed by his little smiles and giggles--he lifts his fist to his mouth and we just KNOW that means he will one day get a PhD in some destinguished field (aka psychology) or he turns the pages on his farm book and we are sure that he can already read. Isaac does lift up his little bottom when changing his diaper if you say "Bottoms Up" and then will straighten out his legs when you put a new diaper on when we say "Legs Straight." This might be a normal baby reflex, but we like to think he is just smart.

My new favorite thing about Isaac is going into his room once he wakes up in the morning. He just smiles all over himself, giddy that we have returned. I undo his Amazing Miracle Blanket (it is truly amazing) and pick him up. He keeps his little arms behind his head and his legs tucked up the entire time I pick him up. It is just too cute.