Sunday, August 29, 2010

Luke logic

When Will and Luke were little, they slept in a Pack n Play together in our bedroom. After they moved to cribs, we used the Pack n Play first as a play-yard, and then as our official time-out location for Luke. By the time we put the Pack n Play away, Luke didn't like it very much and was happy to see it go (he had spent a good deal of time in time-out when he finally figured out how to scale the walls and check out of time-out on his own terms).

Imagine his disdain when Matthew came along and the Pack n Play returned (for Matt to sleep in of course, but Luke didn't really get that immediately).

On a recent morning, I was getting ready for work with Matthew sleeping in the Pack n Play in the bathroom with me. Luke walked in, and in a true show of emergent deductive reasoning skills, the following conversation occurred.

Me: Hey buddy.

Luke: Hi Mommy. Where's Matthew?

Me: Right here sleeping (pointing at Matthew in the Pack n Play)

Luke: Matthew's sleeping.

Me: Yup.

Luke: Matthew's sleeping in time-out.

Me: I guess you're right, buddy. (Luke looks visibly excited at this point.)

Luke: Matthew's in time-out. He did something bad. Three minutes!

(Note: when Luke goes to time-out, we tell him how long he'll be there. Since he's now 3 years old, he goes to time-out for 3 minutes).

And with that, he walked out of the bathroom, pretty content with the fact that someone else was in time-out! How's that for deductive reasoning and sibling rivalry?!?!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Matt's 4 month appointment was today... he's still doing well! He's 16 lb 5 oz and 25 inches long. That isn't 90th percentile anymore, he dropped to 70th percentile (doctor isn't concerned). In true Baldauf "fat-head" fashion, his head still remains at 90th percentile (again, no concern).

We think that the weight slow down is linked to Matt's perpetual state of activity! The boy is constantly kicking, rolling, holding up his head, squealing with delight, finding toes, eating hands, laughing, yelling, watching his brothers and dog, grabbing glasses and noses, and blowing raspberries. He'll probably be crawling in the next month or so... he's already trying to scoot backwards. Slow down, boy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Out and about (with less sweating)

This summer has been seriously hot. I know, I live in North Carolina and the summers are notoriously hot and humid. Heck, I grew up in DC... not too much different. But seriously, this summer has been one of the hottest in years. Even the locals agree with me!

Because of that, we haven't spent too much time outside. The heat is dangerous for Will, and it isn't too good for someone as young as Matt either. But fortunately for us, the mornings have been tolerable recently, and we've been quite eager to use our new hiking backpack with Will.

Will's wheelchair, though kind of rugged, is not made for off-roading. Last year when we met Rena, Steve and Katelynn for a hiking weekend at James River State Park in Virginia, we tried to push it on some trails. It didn't do so well. We all decided to use the weekend for catching up on naps instead of hiking. I digress.

We packed up the van early on Saturday and headed to Umstead State Park in Raleigh. We parked near the big lake and got everyone situated: Will in the backpack with Nate, and Matt and Luke in the jogging stroller with me. We weren't sure if Will was going to like the backpack, but check this out!

Look at those smiles! Will loved every second of being in the backpack. We had his abdominal binder on to help his posture. And we had his DAFOs on his feet to prevent him from pointing his toes. He adored it. What a joy to see!

We hiked for about an hour. Everyone did well, except for me (still out of shape from my pregnancy!). At one point (ironically, just in time for us to pass like 5 other couples on the trail), Nate had Will in the backpack and was pushing Matt and Luke in the jogger. I was lamely bringing up the rear with nothing in tow but my wounded ego. Nate received many compliments suitable for someone of Superman status. What a stud...

So we're able to be a lot more active and mobile now that we aren't tied to pavement. Luke wants to walk most of the time anyway, and we've got the Baby Bjorn for Matt. With Will's new backpack, we feel like we've found a new freedom. Yay for activity! Yay for cooler weather! Yay for inventive parents who refuse to settle! Yay for adaptation! Bring on more outdoor weekends. We're making REI so proud.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Get off the bus

Luke and Will have tracked back into their Wake County pre-K programs. For the next 9 weeks, they'll be going to their respective special school programs. As it was before, Will's program is full-day and Luke's is part day. Their schools are in close proximity to one another (though they do go to separate schools) and the schools start within about 30 minutes of each other, so Luke and Will ride to school together.

Because the contracted company for special transportation changed, we don't have the same driver and SUV that we did last school year. This year, Luke and Will are so proud to be able to ride an actual bus to school. It isn't yellow and it isn't big, but it is a bus and it is very exciting.

When the bus pulls up each morning, Luke announces its arrival. We all rush to put on backpacks and head out to the end of the driveway. Luke leads the charge, and has made his way up the three large bus steps before the rest of us are halfway down the driveway (hence my inability to get a picture of him actually getting on the bus). He takes off his backpack, gets into his seat, and waits patiently while Will is lifted into the bus and the driver buckles them both in.

With the bus, transporting Will's equipment is a lot easier. We don't have to take apart his chair or stuff his stander into the back of the SUV. It is saving a lot of wear and tear on the equipment! Will is lifted onto the bus each morning in his chair, and once on the bus he is put into a car seat. The wheelchair is tied down for the ride. When Will gets to school, they put him in his wheelchair on the bus and use the lift to get him down to his teachers. We thought that he wouldn't like the lift, but he loves it!

After everyone is on the bus and ready to go, Nate and I give kisses to the boys. Apparently we aren't quick enough in doing this though, because each morning just as we're leaning in for a big wet one, Luke says very firmly, "Mommy and Daddy, GET OFF THE BUS." He is not rude. He is not yelling. He isn't angry. The boy just wants to go. Right now. If he were 12 years older, you'd think I was embarassing by giving him kisses in front of all his cool teenage friends.

We take the hint and give quick kisses before rushing down the steps. Luke and Will (with the aide's assistance) wave excitedly at us as they pull away. And off they go on their big boy day at school...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I challenge you to a roll off!

The video below was supposed to be of Matt showing off his rolling techniques. Every time we put him on his back these days, his reaction is to roll almost to his belly. Apparently, though, when the camera comes out, Matt doesn't want to roll over anymore. He just started to kick his legs and stare at me. Mocking me.

So I started shooting some video of him on belly, just so we could remember these moments later on. Otis must have felt that Matt wasn't the only one that could show off some moves. In his own caring, Lab doggie way, he challenged Matt to a roll off (in the same vein as a dance off). I think you'll see in the video below that Otis wins the first roll off competition. Matt looks interested yet unimpressed, but it could just be an act. You'll have to tune in sometime in the future to see if Matt ever accepts the challenge.

If you get the blog update via email and the video doesn't work, I strongly recommend visiting our actual web blog at to view this video!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beach boys

Last summer, we made it to the beach three times. We had mixed results - Will hated the crashing waves but loved the breeze. Luke loved the water but hated the sand. This summer, we've stayed pretty close to home on the weekends... a new baby can do that to you! But we have great friends who moved to North Myrtle Beach a couple of years ago and we were finally able to make the trip to see them. They thrive on a combination of boredom and chaos just like we do.

We hit the beach early on Saturday to avoid the heat and the crowds. It was perfect out! And apparently in the past year, Will has gotten over his dislike for the ocean and retained his love for wind. Luke still loves the water, and managed to tolerate the sand (I won't go so far to say that he liked it...). And Matt? Well, Matt retained "perfect baby" status and slept in the shade the entire time.

After the beach, we had lunch and a nap. We were all exhausted, not just the kids! We attempted the Ripley's Aquarium in the afternoon. Luke and Matt did well... Will had a really tough time. I am not sure if it was the noise or the crowd or the dim light. But whatever it was, it made Will cry the whole time. Despite our best efforts, we couldn't console him, so our trip was shortened a bit.

But all in all, we had a blast! It was great to catch up with old friends, watch the kids make new friends with each other, blow bubbles, play games, watch movies, tell stories, eat good food, drink good beer and catch a few suncreened rays.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The difference that 0.8mL makes!

William takes several medications on daily basis, two of which help him with his digestion since he got his g-tube. He takes Axid to help prevent acid reflux, and Reglan right before bed time to help his stomach empty appropriately. He's been on these medications for almost a year now, and the dosage hasn't changed. We figured that they were working fine.

It really isn't a natural thing to eat while you're sleeping (not to point out the obvious or anything). Imagine how you feel when you eat a big meal too close to bedtime: you wake up with heartburn and still feeling full. For Will, the Axid prevents the stomach acid production that causes heartburn. The Reglan encourages the stomach to digest and move things along.

In the past two weeks, Will picked up a head cold and was having a tough time getting over it. As per his usual, the extra mucus made him gaggy, which leads to Will vomit all over the place! Will was waking up many times a night, sometimes with gagging and puke. We were waking up each morning to the sound of coughs and gags, running into Luke and Will's bed room, trying to get Will out of bed before he'd puke. It is a very stressful way to wake up every day. Especially with very little sleep the night before.

After a couple of days of this drama and many loads of stinky laundry, we realized that Will must be dealing with more than just a head cold. We called the pediatrician because Will wasn't getting any better. He suggested that we increase Will's dosage of Reglan by 0.8mL... not a lot of medicine, but within the recommended dosage level for a kid Will's size.

The increased dose of Reglan caused Will's stomach to empty a little quicker, which apparently his stomach needed! Because the day that we increased his dosage, the morning vomit run stopped. And it hasn't come back. Yay! It is very nice to sleep again.

It appears likely that Will either outgrew his original Reglan dose, or his body just decided that it needed more help pushing his night time feed through his stomach and gut. He was probably puking because his stomach was full to the tipping point. What ever it was, we're happy it is over... and we know now that for long term medications and a growing boy, sometimes you have to increase the dosage. Mental note.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A very big bath

Little Matthew had a very big day this past Saturday! It was his day to shine, and show off his tush at his baptism. Our church offers the option of baptism by immersion or pouring, and we opted for the immersion because that is what we did for Will and Luke.

When we got to the church, we learned that Father recently had shoulder surgery, so he was unable to dunk the children being baptized. Rather, the fathers of each of the children would immerse them, and Father would pour water on their heads. So it was kind of a combination immersion/pouring operation. It required a lot of coordination. Thankfully for us, we were the third family to be baptized, so we saw how the whole thing went. We all gasped in horror as the first baby to be baptized got absolutely walloped with Father's pouring effort. The second child was a little bit better. Thankfully for Matthew, Nate held him in such a way that when Father poured water on his head, it went mostly down the back of his head and onto Nate's suit jacket.

Matt made it through like a champ. He didn't cry. He didn't whine. He didn't pee on anyone. In fact, he kept a look on his face the whole time like "what the heck is going on here?" Though I think he enjoyed being naked in front of a large crowd of people, we enjoyed dressing him in his special Oma baptismal garment. A super special thank you to Rena and Brian for serving as Matthew's godparents!! Matt is a very luck little boy to have you in his lives!

Thanks to everyone who made the trip from near and far to attend this special day for Matthew. We all had a wonderful time and feel so fortunate to have you in our lives! It would take longer than I have right now to post all the pictures of that fun, hot afternoon... just know that you all mean the world to us, and we had such a great time with all of you!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bouncy Chair v2.0

When you've got new children, it is inevitable that you'll pull out your older children's toys and gear for them to play with and use. For those of you who have been following our blog for a while, you may remember an infamous video of Will showing us how to be a Kickie Monster back in 2009. He loved his bouncy chair so much, we were all very sad when he outgrew it!

Despite the intense workout that the chair got during its life with Will, we felt that it was still in good enough shape to be used by little bro Matt. Sure, it squeaks from time to time, but its still a pretty good baby chair. The funny thing is, the chair was given to us second hand by cousins Patch and Katie during a visit to their house in 2007. Their two children had used the chair too. So this thing was clearly the baby shower gift that kept on giving! The title of this blog might be incorrect... it is actually Bouncy Chair v4.0 (but that just didn't have the same ring to it).

The first couple of months, Matt usually just slept in the chair. He has recently decided to stay awake when he's lounging in the chair, and reminds us of a little baby pinball machine when he kicks his legs. It certainly appears as though big brother Will has been showing him the ropes when it comes to getting a workout and having some fun!

If you get the blog update via email, I'd recommend that you visit the blog online to check out the video -