Monday, December 26, 2011


Believe it or not, Christmas has already come and gone! We stayed here for the first time ever and celebrated with just the four of us. Simon was excited and ready for Santa to come and bring presents, and once he learned that the presents would go under the tree, he was a big help in getting the ornaments up and the needles cleaned up. Nate chose to doze with me while the boys led the decorating efforts.

And here's the finished tree! I'm proud to say that it's toddler proof--not a single breakable ornament to be found. Of course that means that many of our favorites stayed in storage this year, but it was worth it for the peace of mind.

On Christmas Eve we opened a few early gifts, including a couple of favorites: a new Frosty "Talk" book from Aunt Karyn and Neville and an Elmo Christmas DVD from Aunt Donna and Uncle Paul that was a huge hit! Simon donned his reindeer antlers and we watched Elmo...several times throughout the weekend :)

Here's our tree after Santa visited...and this was maybe half of everything that these boys received from all of our generous family!

Simon was up at 5:20 on Christmas morning, and while he was very excited to see all that Santa had brought, he definitely took it in stride and just went directly for the new guitar he saw first under the tree...

He helped open everyone's gifts, not just his own, and was a pretty happy little guy when he saw all of the wonderful gifts that Santa and the family had sent. We spent the rest of the day checking out all of his new toys, and wound up "cleaning up" after us with the help of his new vacuum from Grandma and Papa, which was definitely one of the big hits for the year.

Simon is such a fan of the vacuum that he woke us all up at 4:15 this morning so he could vacuum his we had a pretty long morning. He and Nate spent some time together and Nate got a workout with some tummy time.

So that was our Christmas! We are lucky enough that in addition to our early Christmas with the Winstanleys and this big Christmas weekend, we will have one last hurrah when Grandpa Renehan comes out next weekend.

Thanks to all of the boys' cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and other friends and family for all of the generous clothes, toys and special ornaments--you helped make our holiday very special!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nate Update

Since it's the main thing on our minds these days, here's an update on Nate's situation. Nate has been diagnosed by our pediatrician with what seems to be a severe case of acid reflux. Since I posted on the 14th, we have seen the signs become a lot clearer and, unfortunately, a lot more pronounced. Nate isn't able to eat without pain, and just after starting to nurse or starting a bottle, he will arch away and just scream out in pain. But since he's still really hungry, he will try to eat again, which only makes the pain worse. We will go through this for maybe 20-30 minutes, with him barely nursing and only eating maybe 1/2 ounce and he will often doze off from all the exertion. But then he wakes up and is still hungry, still in pain and it all starts all over again. Feeding takes up to 2 hours and he sleeps in between, so all day and night he is either passed out asleep (restlessly) or awake and in pain. It's been terrible for all of us.

So we have been pretty aggressive with our doctor, making sure that we are doing everything we can for him. I began a dairy-free diet a couple of weeks ago and we switched his formula supplements to a hypoallergenic formula, in case this is a milk protein allergy. I took Nate to a children's occupational therapist and learned about positioning and feeding techniques that might help, and they also made us a couple of wedges that Nate needs to sleep and be changed on. Essentially, he shouldn't be horizontal...ever.

We started prescription Zantac a few weeks ago, with no improvement and we are in the process of weaning from that onto prescription Prevacid. I asked for a referral to a pediatric gastroenterologist--our pediatrician was still thinking this might just be "colic", but poor Nate proved that incorrect yesterday when he had a full force eating/crying/refluxing session in the doctor's office. While I hate to see him go through this over and over, that's all it took to get our doctor to call the Seattle Children's Hospital last night and send an urgent referral to their GI doctors for us.

So tomorow morning we are taking him in for blood tests to make sure there isn't something we are missing as well as an upper GI, where he will drink a few ounces of a barium drink and then have his upper GI system x-rayed. There won't be a magic reflux fix from doing this, but it will help make sure that there isn't something else going on, since this is a really severe case of reflux. At that point we will mke an appointment to see the GI doctors, go through those results and make sure we are treating this correctly.

I'm hopeful that the Prevacid will help--we had a relatively good day today, he actually had a couple of feedings without screaming, which wasn't happening even yesterday. And I am looking forward to working with a doctor who is more familiar with the condition and potential ways to alleviate the pain, as there isn't much we can do to fix this--rather, we are looking for ways to make it easier on Nate as he just grows out of it over the course of the next 6, 12, 18 months or so.

So everyday is a roller coaster, and you never know what will happen when he wakes up. I will keep the blog updated as we start with this testing and see where it takes us.

On the upside, Nate is still growing well despite the feeding issues and weighed in at 11 lb 4 oz yesterday! Today was the first day in the last month that he had enough awake, non-crying time to let him "play" a little and he got interested in the bouncy seat and actually hooked a ring with his pinky! He admired his handsomeness in the mirror in his baby gym for a while too. Here are a couple of recent pictures of the little guy...please keep your fingers crossed we can take some of this pain away for him soon.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Simon is super excited for Christmas, and for Santa in particular. So when we told him we were going to meet Santa a couple of weekends ago...he was a pretty happy kid. And Nate took a nap through the whole experience, so we are happy to say we managed to get a good shot of both of them with Santa.

Thanks to Nana and Papa for the photo, here it is!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jingle Bell Jamboree

Simon's daycare did their annual holiday "pageant" and potluck last night and we managed to get there with Nate in tow. They sang three songs and the younger kids helped by adding the jingle bells. Simon, as he did last year, decided to make a run for it at one is a short bit from the beginning of this year's performance. (He did make it back for the rest of the songs)

And now time for a little nostalgia--here's last year's performance. He was just still learning to walk!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nathaniel at 1 month

Can't believe we have two kids to post about now...and speaking of, I will actually be doing just one monthly wrap-up rather than a Simon post on the 26th and a Nate post on the 14th. But I will be posting an "official" picture of Nate for each of his first 12 months, like we did with Simon. And since this is month 1 and it's been so crazy, here's a bit of what's been going on.

So it's already been a month since Nate was born. As with Simon, it feels like it's been both an instant and forever since he arrived. It's been a challenging month--aside from the obvious learning curve of having a newborn and a toddler in the house, Nate is going through something that we are still figuring out. He is crying, as if in pain, for up to a couple of hours a day, a couple of times a day. It's intermittent--he will calm and get relaxed, and then it will start up again a couple of minutes later.

The doctor is thinking either reflux or colic, but either way it's heartbreaking and really hard to go through for all four of us. We are trialing some medications for reflux to see if that's what it is and have seen some improvement over the last 2 days, so we are hopeful that we can diagnose and treat reflux. If it's colic, we just need to figure out some ways to manage through what will likely be a difficult few months.

But we have had some really nice times too, and he is eating and growing wonderfully! He has gained about 3 pounds since birth, and we have already moved past newborn clothes and diapers. Simon is still doing really well with him and continues to check up on, kiss and hug baby brother.

So without further ado, here's Nate at 1 month!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Visit from Nana and Papa Winstanley

Nana and Papa from Atlanta came in this past weekend to meet Nate and share an early Christmas. They gamely stepped into a chaotic weekend with Matt and Simon somewhat sick and Nate going through some pretty bad colic/reflux issues and helped us get some sleep and some good meals. We also did our Santa pictures (thanks Nana and Papa!) which I will post when we get them from the photographer next week. But I am happy to say that both boys were good and there were no tears or freakouts!

We got to open gifts together, and Simon in particular was pretty thrilled with his presents. Nate took a nap with Papa, so Simon helpfully opened his gifts too. And mine. And Nana's. You get the picture.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend...thanks for the great visit and help!

Simon and Dad waiting to meet Santa

Simon opening his first Christmas gift of the year

A firetruck!

Nana and Papa getting some good baby snuggles in

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


In addition to being able to climb out of his crib, Simon can now climb up and down from his changing table. check him out...