Friday, October 30, 2009

Four Month Dr. Visit

Today Nate made a trip to the doctor. Today he is exactly four months and it just happened to correspond to his four month checkup and vaccinations. Nate cried more today when actually receiving the shots and immediately afterward than he did at two months. We are hoping that his fussiness and discomfort later will be less than the two month shots. That is to be seen. We did pick up some baby acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help if he is in obvious discomfort or develops any fever.

As far as other updates from the doctors visit. Nate now weights 16lb 7oz and is up to 25 inches. So in four months he has grown 6 inches and over 10 pounds. We also got the suggestion that we should start thinking about slowing trying some solids in Nate's diet. So far Nate is 100% breastmilk fed. Over the next month we'll start adding things like rice, oats, and maybe some fruit to Nate's diet. Part of me is excited about this next phase. However, part of me is not excited about the change that not breastmilk only will bring to Nate's diapers. It has been a really nice run, which I guess has to come to an end at some point. I'll have to start getting my nose ready.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sleeping 9-to-5

While Nate still has his sleep issues he is certainly increasing the length of time he is sleeping. Until last night he has slept stretches of up to 7 hours at a time. Last night he actually slept almost 8 hours. By the time we actually got him to bed last night it was just after 9pm. Then Nate slept until just before 5am this morning. So he has almost eclipsed the 8 hour mark.

From previous experience we know that Nate will have his issues that will wake us up more at night. However, we also know that he will continue to improve his sleep over time. So very soon we should get the illusive sleep through the night in terms of our schedule. Nate has gotten much better over the last month and has started to settle into a little bit of a routine. This is good for Sherri and I as we look forward to more regular sleep. We know there will be those sleepless nights, but we hope those will be kept to a minimum.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

drooling, drooling, drooling

We have a drooler! Over the last couple days Nate has started producing ever increasing amounts of drool. Doing some reading, drooling is often associated with teething. Oh no, not teething already. We were just starting to get Nate into some better sleep patterns (except for two nights this week that he had his own plan) and we don't need teething to get in the way.

Well it could be teething, but most likely the effects of teething (actually cutting of tooth) are probably several weeks or even months away. It seems that the teeth starting to move upward are a catalyst for the body to produce more saliva (drool). With Nate it is certainly working.

I'm now finding out there are a lot of benefits to this saliva, even though it seems to be going everywhere.
  • The saliva helps heal esophageal lining that is most likely been damaging by stomach acid that is present in spit up. And Nate does spit up regularly so that is certainly a benefit.
  • The saliva will help the process of digestion once Nate starts eating some solid foods, which could be soon.
  • Saliva also help control bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria is a cause of gum problems and bad breath. So Nate should have less morning breath, even though he normally just has milk breath.

Babies don't produce any more saliva than adults, but babies don't know how to swallow it and it ends up running everywhere. The last couple days Nate has been wet. Sherri and I have ended up wet as well as lots of things that are near Nate. Just Nate growing up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nate rolls over

So this week Nate has made a significant advance in what he can do. He has a couple of times this week been able to flip from his front to his back. The first time he flipped Sherri thought it was an accident, but now that he has done it a couple times we've figured it was no accident. Flipping over is one of those early skills that babies learn. Some figure out out very early others it takes time. Next skill for Nate is probably being able to roll back over to his stomach. We have seen him try and roll from back to front, but this is a skill that he has not mastered yet.

Nate still has quite a few of these milestones to crash through over the next couple of months. Besides rolling over back to front, there is sitting up and crawling. We know that before too long we'll have a mobile child. Of course, we think Nate wants to skip right to walking. One of his favorite things is to have you hold him up while he puts weight on his legs. He is quite some time from being able to stand on his own, but he certainly is determined.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Which will be better the book or the movie. The book is certainly a classic that many a child is familiar with. While Where the Wild Things Are is not in Nate's library of books (at least not yet), I'm sure it is a book we'll share with him at some point. Nate is certainly not old enough to go see the movie. I'm guessing the movie could be traumatic to a young child. Also, movie's are not something the Sherri and I have taken the time to see since Nate came into our life.

I have a friend who is a movie critic in his spare time. Danny has always been my resource on what movies to see and not to see. When we used to see movies I would always consult his review. I don't always agree with his opinions, but we often see eye to eye and if nothing else he always provides a solid opinion. I encourage you to check out his site Crunch on This. His review of Where the Wild Things Are is here. Danny gives the move an A- and praises the all the visual aspects of the movie.

Little prop's to Danny since I'm talking him up. He will soon have a little one of his own. For some reason I think his little one will see movies than Nate. Danny - get your sleep now...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nate out and about

Today Nate and his mom got out and did a lot of stuff outside the house today. It was a very nice fall day in Austin, perfect for being outside. My understanding was Nate was in a very good mood today. I met Nate and Sherri for lunch today and Nate was happy, doing a lot of looking around, smiling, etc. While we had to attend somewhat to Nate we were able to actually eat a quick sandwich and talk without Nate going crazy at lunch. A very pleasant experience.

Tomorrow I get to spend some quality time with Nate as Sherri will get out of the house to do a couple things. Not that Nate will really care, but I'll be introducing him to a little college football. OU plays Texas tomorrow. While someday I'd like to take Nate as it is quite the experience to see that game in the Cotton Bowl with the stadium split down the middle, one half of the stadium red and the orange. Every year this is one of the biggest college football games of the year for us. We are somewhat a split household. Tomorrow one of us will be in burnt orange and the other of us will be in crimson. At this point, I won't be pushing one side or the other on Nate as I look what happened to Sherri. She rebelled against the family. All I can say is Boomer Sooner!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nate as the Seven Dwarfs

My wife were joking the other day that Nate makes a lot of faces. Soon after that comment Nate sneezed and we thought that maybe Nate is trying to play all the seven dwarfs. We may never know, but here is the photo evidence as we see it.



Yes, he sneezed.




Just add glasses

Seven Dwarfs Pictures, Images and Photos
The Seven Dwarfs
Source: Photobucket, blushesbabie

Maybe at some point we'll have him sing a little Heigh-Ho. OK, maybe I'm pushing it a little bit, but we figured this would be fun.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How long does breastmilk last

It seems there are a lot of differences in how long people recommend storing breastmilk. Sure, it is going to differ depending on how you store the milk. I've pulled some recommendations from multiple sources to show the variety of opinions. It is interesting as most of these recommendations are based upon different studies. I haven't had the time to dig in and understand the methods and details behind each of the recommendations.

From Kelly Mom -

 TemperatureStorage Time
Freshly expressed milk
Warm room 79°F / 25°C 4-6 hours
Room temperature 66-72°F / 19-22°C 10 hours
Insulated cooler /icepacks 60°F / 15°C 24 hours

Refrigerated Milk (Store at back, away from door)
Refrigerator (fresh milk) 32-39°F / 0-4°C 8 days
Refrigerator (thawed milk) 32-39°F / 0-4°C 24 hours
Frozen Milk
(Do not refreeze! Store at back, away from door/sides)
Freezer compartment inside refrigerator (older-style) Varies2 weeks
Self-contained freezer unit of a refrigerator/freezer Varies3-6 months
Separate deep freeze 0°F / 19°C 6-12 months
Source: Kelly Mom -

From CDC -

Countertop, table Room temperature (up to 77°F or 25°C) 6–8 hours Containers should be covered and kept as cool as possible; covering the container with a cool towel may keep milk cooler.
Insulated cooler bag 5-39°F or -15-4°C24 hours Keep ice packs in contact with milk containers at all times, limit opening cooler bag.
Refrigerator 39°F or 4°C5 days Store milk in the back of the main body of the refrigerator.
FreezerStore milk toward the back of the freezer, where temperature is most constant.  Milk stored for longer durations in the ranges listed is safe, but some of the lipids in the milk undergo degradation resulting in lower quality.
Freezer compartment of a refrigerator 5°F or -15°C2 weeks
Freezer compartment of refrigerator with separate doors0°F or -18°C 3–6 months
Chest or upright deep freezer -4°F or -20°C 6–12 months

Reference: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. (2004)
Clinical Protocol Number #8: Human Milk Storage Information for Home Use for Healthy Full Term Infants.


From La Leche League -

Preferably, human milk should be refrigerated or chilled right after it is expressed. Acceptable guidelines for storing human milk are as follows. Store milk:
Room temperature (66-78°F, 19-26°C)
4 hours (ideal), up to 6 hours (acceptable) (Some sources use 8 hours)
Refrigerator (<39°F, <4°C)72 hours (ideal); up to 8 days (acceptable)
Freezer (-0.4 to -4°F, -18 to -20°C)
6 months (ideal) up to 12 months (acceptable)


From Abbott Nutrition (makers of Similac) -

Refrigerator Use within 24 hours if possible. Discard after 72 hours.
Freezer Up to one month in freezer compartment of refrigerator. Do not store in door of freezer.
Deep Freezer 3 - 6 months (0 F or less); store at back of freezer. Best if used within 3 months.


So from these and other sources it seems that there is a range of acceptable storage times. It is interesting that a major manufacturer of formula bases their numbers on a study with some of the shortest storage times. One other good thing I've picked up is milk is probably not bad unless it smells bad or tastes sour.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Road Trip

Not quite the same as the college road trip with the guys. This weekend we took Nate on his first overnight trip outside of Austin. We made a trip to see a number of relatives. We managed to see two of Nate's great-grandmothers, two great aunts, one set of grandparents, and an uncle. We found that we had lots of baby sitters during the days. Everyone was wanting to hold Nate.

The amount of baby stuff we had to stuff in the car was significant. Of course, there was the car seat. He slept well in the car which made the trip pretty easy. Then there was the portable crib, stroller, lots of clothes and diapers, breastpump and milk supplies, boppy, blankets, and rags. Plus probably a few other items I can't recall at the moment.

Nate traveled very well. We spent a total of about 14 hours in the car over the weekend. Most of the time he just slept in the car, at least as long as we were moving. We've found that unless Nate is really hungry he is out whenever the car is moving. At a young age he already doesn't like stop signs and red lights. On the way home we ran into some serious traffic south of Dallas (probably a wreck or a couple of wrecks). As we slowed and saw the massive backup ahead Nate woke up and started getting really fussy. My wife managed to jump into the backseat to try and comfort him. However, I could see that this was not going to be a good solution as we weren't going anywhere fast.

At this point, I grabbed the blackberry and looked at how bad it was on google maps. The traffic on google maps is a great thing. The only thing better with google maps and the blackberry may be the GPS built-into the phone. So the traffic backup was worse than I originally thought. The traffic was backed up for miles. I decided that we needed to keep moving. So I decided to take the back roads. We were close to an exit so I used the shoulder to make it to the exit sooner. Then using google maps and the GPS so I could track our progress as we made it through the back roads. Unfortunately, some of the small roads I picked were gravel (actually they were mud with a couple rocks). So travel was a little slow (but faster than the interstate) and my car is covered in mud.

In the end, we kept moving and Nate stayed asleep. I'm pretty sure we saved some time taking the back roads, but more importantly the drive was nice and quiet.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More flu & bacteria

Little addition to my recent flu thoughts. There was a report that came out during the week that noted that many of the people had the 2009 H1N1 flu and died also had bacterial infections. Many of these infections were missed. Doing testing of tissue samples from the deceased, approximately a third tested positive for Streptococcus pneumonia. This information makes me believe that H1N1 may somehow allow the body to be more susceptible to bacterial infections. These secondary infections may be more dangerous than the flu itself. Here is link to summary of report from CDC.

On the positive side. During the normal schedule of immunizations infants are given a vaccine to prevent pneumococcal infections. The streptococcus pneumonia is one of many bacteria that this shot is designed to protect babies against. Nate received the first of these vaccinations at two months. So while he won't be getting the H1N1 vaccine he will have some protection against one of the dangerous potential co-infections that have affected many that have come down with the 2009 H1N1 flu.