Comma Momma

Writings of a Wife and Mother

Houston, We Have a Walker
Jonathan took his first steps last Thursday at Chick-Fil-A. I think I squealed so loudly it frightened him. (Yes, the squeal was with delight -- even though I'll soon be terrified of all the new things he's getting into.)

So far, Jonathan has attained a maximum of six steps per walking instance, but he's unstoppable when holding hands with me or Joe. He smiles so proudly when he's walking like a big boy!

Hello, toddlerhood.

The Most Depressing Day of the Year Came Early
I read a news story a few years back about "Blue Monday" -- officially calculated as the most depressing day of the year according to time since Christmas, winter weather, holiday credit card bills coming due, and failing at new year's resolutions. It falls on Monday of the last full week of January -- the 25th this year.

Well, it's just the January 6th, and I'm already feeling depressed.

It's probably just the cold weather and lack of ideas to entertain a 13-month old at home all day. Joe is working long hours and Saturdays this month, so I'm even kinda...well, lonely. I've tried going out more to combat this mood, but it's hard when all you really want to do is stay in warm, toasty pajamas until noon.

Plus, where are all the after-Christmas deals? I love bargain shopping, but there's no bargains to be had!

I'll be better once our Mothers of Preschoolers meetings start back next week. And I'm seriously considering a family membership to the Children's Museum. Taking Jonathan to the Tot Spot weekly would be a nice change since outdoor playgrounds are still a little too chilly.

And, the sun... C'mon sun, shine!

Twenty-Ten and Back Again
Happy 2010! Weren't we supposed to drive flying cars and vacation on the moon by now? (And wasn't I supposed to update my LJ more often?)

My parents got us a new laptop for Christmas, so no more excuses that the computer is running too slow for me to be productive. Joe and I also ordered a desk from Target, so we'll soon have a dedicated area for an office instead of a rolling cart Jonathan uses as a push toy and tunnel. I'm so excited!

Jonathan is doing amazing things everyday. In September he qualified for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) as he tested two months behind on speech development and self-help skills. It took until December for a therapist to get him on her schedule, but by then he'd started most of the skills on his own. Here's a list of all the cool things he's doing now:

  • Cruising
  • Clapping hands
  • Pointing with index finger
  • Imitating actions (especially bouncing, head-bobs, and laughs)
  • Drinking from a sippy cup unassisted
  • Stacking objects
  • Placing objects in containers
  • Handing objects to others
  • Jargoning

I'm so glad ECI isn't coming out anymore. I was always nervous the therapist would call Child Protective Services if there was so much as a crumb on the floor. Yeah, unreasonable, but that's just me.

December brought Jonathan's first birthday, first haircut, and first Christmas he didn't sleep through! But the best way to summarize ours past few months is in photos...Collapse )

Mobility Happens

I used to blog when Jonathan was playing independently -- you know, that time when he'd stay on the play mat and occupy himself with heaps of toys.

Then crawling and his obsession with all things computer began.  Jonathan loves to crawl all over and cruise around the laptop cart, pull power cords, and chew on the mouse.  He'll even bang his fists on the keyboard if I sit him in my lap.

So, needless to say, I only have computer time when Jonathan is asleep.  And my priorities during naptime are always my own nap, making some effort at cleaning, and wasting time on Facebook.

But maybe things will change.  We finally setup the Joovy Room^2, so I'm now able to pee in peace and begin dinner at a reasonable hour.  Jonathan can poke his head over the side, and I don't feel like it's a prison so much anymore.  Maybe I can get over my guilt at putting him in there long enough to make a post every...well, monthly would be an improvement, huh?

Two Vacations and No Funerals
Planned vacations are great; unplanned ones aren't.

The radiant barrier installation went horribly wrong.  Although the radiant barrier is okay, the technician disconnected the air conditioner's float pan switch while stumbling around in the attic.  Of course, Joe and I know absolutely nothing about A/C repair, so we had to call out a professional.  Who couldn't come out until the next afternoon.  Even though we had no cooling.  During a heat advisory.  AAGGHH!

So Joe, Jonathan, and I spent the night at a hotel.  It was interesting to watch Jonathan trying to figure out what was happening -- and then see him scoot around to investigate each inch of the room.  Fortunately, our air conditioning was an easy fix, and we only had to be away from home one night.

We spent last weekend -- planned -- visiting my parents back in Louisiana.  Joe made a presentation to their church about his mission trip, and we attended my 10-year high school reunion.

I'm not sure what to think about the reunion.  I attended three schools between my eighth grade and senior years, so I never really felt connected to my alma mater.  I spent most of those years bitter about the situation and only really adapting to each school just before I was forced to leave.  Maybe I would have had more friends and nostalgic experiences had I spent all four years in once place. 

But I went to the reunion anyway, reprising my role as audio-visual geek by replaying the senior memories slideshow I made ten years ago.  (I had to convert it from VHS -- how backward we were in 1999!)   And I felt I should go even if the only benefit was letting people see I turned out fairly normal after all.  The shy, mousy, dateless, brainiac Jessica actually got married and had a kid!

Goodbye, STARband!

Jonathan is now a STARband graduate!

We saw Jonathan's orthotist today, and Jonathan's cranial asymmetry was measured at 6mm, which is considerably improved from his original 16mm difference.  Therefore, the orthotist said Jonathan was ready to graduate -- Joe and I are so thrilled! 

We know Jonathan could improve further, but we're just so tired of dealing with the helmet.  The orthotist said he usually graduates kids between 6 - 8mm, but the plagiocephaly message boards I follow has some parents who aren't happy unless they reach perfection.  Seriously -- there was a lady complaining about her baby's 0.5mm asymmetry!

Because I was somewhat on the fence, the orthotist recommended Jonathan wear the helmet while sleeping to capture any additional growth.  Apparently, studies show babies grow more at night than during the day.  We'll continue with this recommendation for the next 2 - 3 weeks.  The orthotist estimates Jonathan will outgrow the helmet within this time period.

It's so wonderful caressing Jonathan's round head.  I've missed being able to give him kisses on the forehead.  And now I'm eager and excited to do the things we've had to avoid for the past 13 weeks.  We're getting a kiddie pool to finally let him splash around in the sun, and we're going to hang his bucket swing on the backyard swing set.  It will be great to not worry about sweating -- and to actually play outside.

Extreme Attic Makeover
Since we moved into the house in March 2007, Joe and I have always had a running mental list of improvements we'd like to make.

The first was replacing the fence, which Hurricane Ike facilitated last year.  Improvements in energy efficiency were a close second.  So today we make a big improvement -- we're getting a radiant barrier!

Radiant barrier is a metallic coating sprayed inside an attic that reflects the sun's radiant heat and prevents much of it from entering the home.  It's often combined with extra attic insulation.  We're getting both done this morning by Efficient Attic Systems.

It's touted to save homeowners 30 percent on energy bills.  It would be great to see that sort of savings -- especially since our most recent electricity bill was over $300.  In the heat of the day, our A/C blows continuously and can never cool below 78 degrees until the sun goes down.

Next on the list?  Either double-paned windows or a kitchen remodel.  (Yep, it'll be awhile.)

My Blog's Been Out for Summer

Summer has been three letters:  H-O-T.  Perhaps it hasn't been any worse than a usual summer in Houston, but I'm sure feeling it more this year.  I've always been confined to an office during the heat of the day, but now I find myself running errands while sweat runs all over me.

The heat hasn't been easy for Jonathan either.  He's been in the STARband cranial remolding orthosis for twelve weeks and has had wonderful results.  He progressed from 16mm to 11mm of asymmetry in the first six weeks and then dropped to 5mm in the following four weeks.  His head will be rescanned on August 5, and if remaining under 5mm, he can graduate and begin the "weaning off" process.  I'm thrilled!  We've promised Jonathan a kiddie pool to celebrate since he hasn't gotten to enjoy a swim with the 23-hour wearing schedule.

We've seen my in-laws once this summer; it was the first time since Easter.  Awkward -- but Jonathan seemed to make them happy.  We also had a really nice visit with Joe's sister and brother-in-law in San Antonio over July 4th weekend.

And more travel is in the works -- Joe, Jonathan, and I are headed to Louisiana in August for my ten-year high school reunion.  When did I get so old?  Joe is also making a presentation to my parents' church about his mission trip to Costa Rica with Happy Feet International.  I'm doing multimedia for both the reunion and Joe's mission photos.

Otherwise, I'm chasing an increasingly active 7.5 month old who's figured out how to sit up on his own and propel himself across the floor on his tummy.  (It's uber cute.)

Um, wow.  Where did June go?

Pain in the Plantar
So it's plantar fasciitis -- a painful inflamation of the muscle that supports the arch of the foot.

I'm actually impressed.  I was joking about leaving the podiatrist's office with a new set of feet -- but I really do feel better.  How often can you say that about a doctors appointment?  Usually you have to take two of whatever they've scratched on the RX pad and wait 2 - 3 days.

First, the doctor felt my heels and found the sore spots.  He then whipped out an ultrasound machine and lubed up my heel.  He showed me the inflamation on the screen, but I'm honestly not sure what I was seeing.  I am confident it wasn't a baby, though.

My treatment?  A cortizone shot.  I'm okay with needles as long as I don't see their approach -- surely nothing is as bad as an epidural, right?  Almost.  The podiatrist used the ultrasound to know where to aim the need, and he got the right area.  Oh boy, did he get the right area.  It was almost -- ALMOST -- as painful as the six epidural attempts I suffered during labor.

But as soon as he taped me up and I put on my socks and shoes, I felt better than I have in months.

I go back next week for another cortizone shot.  And maybe another in two weeks.  Then we look at getting me arch supports -- something better than foam inserts.


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