Saturday, December 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
...and it arrived with a vengeance in Iowa this week! With a foot of snow, and ridiculous windchills, what's a mama to do with a little boy, but stay cozy at home! And all this home time recalled to mind my serious lack of commitment to this blog! Here's a quick recap of what's been going on with the Pitmans over the last month, as we get ready to head into the bustle of the holidays.
Neil and I celebrated our fourth anniversary on November 12th, and the day was almost as balmy as our actual wedding day! We stayed overnight at the newly renovated Hotel Julien (highly recommended!) and it was a great chance to relax, reminisce and think about the future.
Hurrah for four great years!
In a slightly unconventional move, we took Iain along on our romantic anniversary trip! We figured that this was the only year this would ever be possible, it seemed easier than arranging an overnight babysitter, he is a faithful sleeper and early-to-bed kind of guy, so we knew we'd still have plenty of alone time....and, as Neil so succinctly put it..."He's Iain!" He's such a fantastic little boy...we just love having him with us! Even on our anniversary!
Family shot...getting ready to enjoy the pool and hot tub! Not sure if anyone else has a baby that LOVES hot water...but this guy sure does!
In other news, we've been traveling a lot, as usual, and when I counted up the nights spent away from home in the last two months, I was somewhat chagrined to see that there were more than the ones spent at home. Iain is a great traveler, but we're ready to he home for a while, I'd say! We've been in Canada (twice), Omaha, Chicago, Minneapolis and Iowa City in the last couple of months, and had a ton of fun spending time with family and friends, but at the same time, it's kind of strange to think that our six month old has been in eight states, and one province, and spent almost half his little life away from home! There are way too many pictures from all of our trips to post right now, but maybe if this cold keeps up, I'll do a "back post" of our Pitman vacations!
Iain has started eating solid food, and has taken to it with great gusto! He loves oatmeal, sweet potatoes, bananas, applesauce, avocado, and green beans. We are getting ready to try mangoes and peas next, and he loves the wonder of sitting up at the table with us during meals. He has six (yes, SIX!!) teeth already, and it's hilarious to see him gnawing on his rice rusks, just like a "big person". He hasn't been too fussy with his teething, even though the four top ones all popped through within a few days of each other over Thanksgiving, but every time he gets new ones, it just changes his entire face, and it makes me conscious of how fast they "grow up".
His doctor checkups still are going well-he's growing great, and although he's only 75th percentile for weight, he is in the 95th percentile for his height, which means that although he has a ways to go before he's too heavy, he has reached the height limit for his infant carseat, so we are researching the next step. Any recommendations?
We don't need to go back to Iowa City for checkups until next spring/summer, so we are thankful for that! We continue praise the Lord every day for his care and provision in Iain's life, and while we know that hurdles may arise in the future, we are so thankful for the great progress we've seen. Iain is just like any other six month old-he sits up well, rolls over, scoots backwards (across the entire room!!) and tries to crawl, babbles plenty of words (like mama!), and is the friendliest, happiest, most curious boy you'd ever meet! Sometimes we wonder "what if" they'd never seen an anomaly on that first scan? "What if" those ventricles had been 1/2 a millimetre smaller? "What if" we had declined that follow up ultrasound? But we know that there is no happenstance in God's plan, and while the uncertainty and fear was difficult, it has certainly been a faith-grower, and a good reminder at how fragile, miraculous, and wonderful these precious ones are! It has made us love and appreciate Iain even more, and made us far more conscious of celebrating each little milestone he meets. It has made us far more thankful to the Lord for his love, healing, provision and comfort, and far more grateful for our community of friends and the prayers lifted up on our behalf!
On behalf of the Pitman clan...stay warm!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Little burrito baby...
Our second trip to the motherland was in August, and it was even better, because Neil came too. This time we went for ten glorious days, complete with a LONG drive through the UP of Michigan, time at the cottage with Grandma and Grampy Patterson, Uncle Brett and Auntie Breha, Great-Aunt Catharine and Earl, and buddies Deborah and April. We relaxed a lot, fished a litle, swam hardly at all, because it was TOO COLD, and generally had a wonderful time. It was a great vacation, with a TON of driving, and including a little side-trip to Kingston for Neil's cousin's wedding. It was great to get to see all the Pitman crew, and Iain got to meet Nana and Papa Pitman for the first time, which was really special. We ended our week with a sleepover at Shane and Jenny and Gavin's house before heading back to Iowa. Here are a few pictures that give the scope of the week.
Long car rides require the company of Mr. Lion!
Iain was NOT so impressed with his first swimming experience...
Family shot at the wedding-one of FIVE weddings Iain has attended in his short life!
Meeting Great-Nana and Great-Papa Pitman
Little boy on a BIG boat!
The brave paddlers who saved our lives on our boating adventure!
A typical shot of Iain and BFF Gavin...
Other than those two trips to Canada, there have been a few hotel stays for mini-vacations, including a "Labour Day" trip to Minneapolis. We stayed at a Staybridge and had tons of fun cooking on our hotel stovetop!
Bathtime in the Staybridge "kitchen" sink, moments before he plunged UNDER the water, and came up laughing and said "Oooh!" as we were freaking out. Daredevil.
One of our favorite "get-aways" was in September, when we went to Chicago for a U2 show. Iain had his first "babysitter" other than Grandma and Grandpa, although I'm not sure Deborah counts as a babysitter either because she's his "Faunty" ("FakeAunty"). He quickly learned that her other name is "Sucker", and all he needed to do was look at her with his sad face, and she'd pick him up and play...so needless to say they had a GREAT time! We were so excited to have Deborah stay with us for a week, and had a ton of fun together. Here are a couple of pictures of our adventures.
Fun at the Doubletree with "Faunty" Deborah and new friends Sophie and Sven
At the Bean in Millenium Park, Chicago
Excuse me? Do I have a baby or a goat on my shoulders?
Enjoying the Navy Pier ferris wheel and a great sunset
We have also had LOTS of visits back to Iowa City for follow-ups, (THANKFULLY all with excellent results!) which usually include a sleepover at Aunt Becky, Uncle Su and COUSIN COURTNEY's house! Iain's little cousin Courtney was born July 3rd, and we know they're going to be best buddies some day! (They still don't take much notice of eachother, but it's already so fun to take "cousin" pictures!) This is one of the neatest things about Iain's "babyhood", as every week Becky or I will drive to the other person's house, and we spend the day together.
First (of many) cousin pictures on Courtney's second day of life
What is summer without a camping trip?? We took Iain on his first camping trip with the GAC, back in July, and he LOVED it! The Pack'N'Play fit nicely in our tent, so I think the thought we were still at home, and didn't realize he was in the great outdoors, although it was a frigid 50 degrees...yes...in July!
Little Bear goes camping...
Watching his mobile in the tent!
At our awesome digs, Earthrider Hotel, Broadhead, Wisconsin
Neil has been coaching volleyball at Emmaus, for their inaugural inter-collegiate season, which he has really enjoyed. Iain and I enjoy going to watch the games, and Iain has an Emmaus onesie, so he's the cutest little fan! We just spent a weekend in Chicago with the team, and although it was tons of fun, lets just say that we understand why Chicago didn't win the Olympic bid. Can we say TRAFFIC ISSUES?? We've also gone to watch several Tri-State games and tournaments, which is bittersweet as we coached there for so long. Iain has some awesome "made with love" onesies from those girls that he sports at their games!
"Future Volleyball Player"
Otherwise, we've just been loving life with the best baby in the world! Iain has had no issues with his health so far, and this is a HUGE answer to prayer. He has had two MRIs, and his condition is stable, which is excellent news. He will not need a shunt, and we have been released from being "neurosurgery" patients and are being followed up with by neurology. He had a developmental follow-up done as well, and is right on the mark. He is doing all the things any other baby his age should, (rolling over, trying to sit, trying to crawl, "talking", laughing, playing, eating well, sleeping all night, noticing himself in the mirror, etc.) and each "stage" is even more fun than the last. We know we're not "in the clear" yet, because seizures, other medical issues or delays could appear at any time, even as late as his teen years, but for now, we're thanking the Lord for our little miracle, and leaving the future in His hands with confidence. We still appreciate your prayers! He is a super happy and sociable baby, and everyone who meets him loves him and his happy demeanor. He got his first two teeth over the last month, and even then we really didn't have too much trouble with fussiness, so we know that we have an easy one here, and may be in for a shocker with his subsequent brothers and sisters! Of course, he's not ALWAYS nice...he can shriek like nobody's business when he's upset, and we've already noticed that he knows how to get his way when he wants to...little sinner! Here are just a few more photos of "everyday life" with the Pitmans.
Happy Little Naked Boy!
First night in his own room!
Bathtime with Ducky!
Love that smile!
Fun at the Madison Zoo
Sad little dragon...
Friday, May 29, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
- Beth was discharged from the hospital today, but Iain has to stay. We weren't sure where we were going to go or what we were going to do. Iain's nurse came in at 7am and said they were moving him to a different bay in the NICU for babies who are getting ready to go home. It is a huge room with a private bathroom with shower, a pullout couch and 2 recliners - and mom and dad can room in with him for free!!!
- Iain's head measurements have remained constant so far; this is very important. Please pray that this continues and there is no sign of fluid increase.
- Iain did not have to have surgery during his first days in the world!
- Beth is recovering and healing from her surgery.
- Iain is showing no sign of the infection that Beth may have passed on to him during labor.
- Iain passed his hearing test, showing another part of his brain that is working great.
- Iain's bilirubin count is going down so he is unlikely to get jaundice.
- Iain is so hungry and is breastfeeding like a champ. His NG tube for supplemental feeding and his IV for fluids are both gone now. This is one of the things he needs to accomplish before he can go home. The nurses are amazed at his progress with this (and also amazed by how much he can eat...).
- He continues to be active and alert, crying his lungs out when he is hungry or upset; by all external signs he is a healthy baby.
- Mom and Dad have felt very well taken care of by the doctors and nurses and have been very blessed by the hospital staff.
- All 3 of us have felt so supported and prayed for by our family and friends. We have had visitors come down from Dubuque and have had many people let us know they are praying for Iain - people that we know and don't neccesarily know personally. This has been huge. For all of you that have sent us congratulations and have prayed for us - thank you!!!
Here are a few pictures from the last few days! We will keep you posted as things progress.
Iain and Daddy having some snuggle time. Notice the family resemblance!
A happy, swaddled little man.
Iain's late night visitors!
Iain spending more time with his Auntie and Uncle.