Monday, November 22, 2010

Collin James is 19 Months

Yes, I am starting to deal with the fact that my child is getting closer and closer to being a two-year-old.  Still no signs of anything “terrible” but he has been known to throw a temper tantrum here and there.  Here are his most recent stats:

Height – 30.5 inches & Weight – 24 pounds

He is talking more and more every day, and now frequently puts together phrases.  I wouldn’t call them sentences yet, but they probably will be soon.  Some of my favorites:

“shoes car store” = Put on my shoes, let’s get in the car and go to the store.

“cookie beau-beau” = Can I give Beau a dog treat?

“Dada car” = When is Dada going to drive home in his car?

He is also realizing that if he adds “please” to the end of a request then mommy is much more likely to go along with it…such as “up please” or “cookie please” or “outside please”.  Too cute & too hard for mommy to say no to!!

He is still a sleeping champ, although it is really hard for me to get everything done during the day now that he is only taking 1 nap.  We do bath time around 7 or 7:15pm then he is asleep in the crib by 7:45 or 8:00pm.  He is up some time between 7 and 7:30am then usually naps around 1:30pm but rarely sleeps for more than an hour.

He is becoming more and more picky with his eating…I have done more and more research on toddler eating, and Son and I have had numerous discussions on what is right for our family.  We are trying to find a happy medium between one extreme “You eat what we eat or you don’t eat” and another “You can just eat your favorites all the time”.

It’s tough and it’s been really hard trying to decide what to do and balance my tendency to be more strict, with Son’s tendency to be more lenient.  So for now we have compromised with serving Collin a plate at dinner time with us that has a portion of what we are eating, plus one other healthy item (usually a veggie) that we know he will eat.  It’s not perfect but are just learning about this as we go and trying to do the right thing :)

Collin’s favorite activities involve anything outside.  One of his favorite things is trying to throw his bouncy balls up on the roof, or catching them as they roll off after Son has thrown them up for him.  He also LOVES going to the park…if we even drive by a playground of any kind without stopping he points out the window and starts whining “play play play please” in a really sad voice.  He is starting to learn to jump and he thinks it is hilarious!

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“I love drawing with Da-da!  Especially early on Saturday mornings when we both have crazy hair :)”

Some of his favorite toys are cars, crayons, books, and balls.  If we are in the store I swear he can see a car or a ball 3 aisles away, and starts saying “car car please” or “ball ball please”.  This is one of those times that, unfortunately for Collin, “please” usually does not work.

He also LOVES watching “Elmo’s World”, “Yo Gabba Gabba”, “Singing Babies” from cousin Lilo, and a “Bible Songs” DVD that is slowly growing on him.  He asks for “Elmo” “Gabba Gabba” and “Babies” constantly but we limit it to one video in the morning after breakfast while mommy is cleaning up & drinking her coffee, and then he can have them on in the background while we are playing after dinner/before bedtime.

I think we have pretty much decided to move him up to a “big boy bed” in January…or at least give it a try.  Even though we have a sleeper sofa, I just hate the thought of giving up our guest bedroom, so what I would like to try is let Collin keep the full-size bed when we move him into that room…if we push it into the corner where he has less space to fall out, then add a bed rail, I think he can do it.  A few months ago I was convinced that we just needed two cribs for a while, but Son has now convinced me that Collin is ready, and I think he is right :)

We also found out for sure that Collin will have to have surgery in January.  It is a very very minor outpatient procedure, but he will still have to be put under general anesthesia, and it will be about a 2-week recovery.  I am not looking forward to seeing him in pain for those 2-weeks, and I think the most difficult thing will be just to see him hurting and not be able to explain to him why or that he will be better soon.  It’s not a super-urgent thing, but the surgeon told us that around 3 years old is when they may start remembering things like surgery, so we are just going to take care of it now while there is no way he will have a memory of it.  And also before baby #2 comes so that I will be able to devote 100% to him during that time.

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“But Mommy, I want to be in the bump pictures too!”

So that’s the latest on my little man :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Next Project – Design My FREE Cards!!

So, let’s just start this by saying that I LOVE getting photo Christmas Cards in the mail!  Yes, a traditional Christmas Card is nice and they all go on display for the holidays, but by New Years most of the non-photo cards are out with the trash…sorry!!  However, our fridge is full of photo cards for many months to come…and after that they go in our photo album to remember the changes from year to year. 

I am already planning our family Christmas Cards this year, and will be ordering mine from Shutterfly’s Photo Card Collection.  And – to make it even better, they are offering 50 FREE cards to bloggers who write about their products!!!  They have such cute cards like the ones below & they always have deals on free shipping to take advantage of.

Here are some of the ones that I liked…

Hehe…it looks so funny to have random people’s pictures on my blog but I didn’t know how to edit them out :)

Last year was Collin’s first Christmas & also my first year to do our own family photo card & it was so much fun browsing through all of the great cards & looking through our pictures. 

Other great gift ideas from Shutterfly include their Personalized Photo Mugs – both my dad & Son’s dad are proud owners of “Collin Mugs” :)  They also have the cutest Photo Birthday Cards that I will have to remember this April for a certain little man who will be turning 2 years old!!! 

Ahhhhh – I am going to have a 2-year-old!  Now that Collin is 19 months old, he is officially closer to being 2 that he is to being 1.  Okay, that is a whole separate blog post for another day!

Friday, November 12, 2010

What a Trip!

My dad’s side of the family planned a mini-reunion this past weekend in Austin, TX for everyone to get together and spend some quality time with my grandmother.  I was so excited about an opportunity to see family who I have not seen in over a year or more.  Unfortunately Son had to work that weekend and wasn’t able to make the trip with us, but my sister’s husband, Warren, wasn’t able to go either so we met up in Dallas and rode to Austin together.

The flight to Dallas was really full, and I was a little nervous when this huge guy sat down next to us (Collin has a little issue with understanding the difference between “stranger” and “best friend”).  I really think all the guy wanted to do when he sat down was listen to his iPod & sleep…little did he know that he picked the WRONG seat for that!  Probably about 5 minutes after take-off Collin starts touching the guys arm, then he notices that the guy is wearing a t-shirt with a baseball on it and starts saying, “ball ball ball” while trying to poke this poor guy in the chest.  Next, Collin notices the guy’s watch and starts touching it saying “watch, watch, watch”.

At this point I was so embarrassed and tired of trying to convince Collin to leave this guy alone.  Fortunately I guess the guy realized that there would be a lot less crying if he just played along, so he started talking to Collin.  Normally I don’t encourage Collin to have conversations with strange men that we just met, but in this case my choice was either screaming baby on a plane or just go with it.

I won’t give you a play-by-play of the entire 3 hour flight, but let’s just say that the guy ended up being really nice and the flight ended with Collin in the guy’s lap laughing and playing during landing.  He even fussed when the guy had to give him back to me…seriously??

The drive to Austin Saturday morning was great, except for a pit stop to change a diaper at a McDonalds that had no changing table!!  How can you not have a changing table in the entire restaurant?

We made it to my Aunt’s house in time for lunch – Greenburg Turkey!!  My favorite!  We pretty much spent all day over at her house & Collin had a blast playing with his cousin Shay.  That night I even got some Taco Cabana for dinner – yummy!

For some reason I totally forgot to pull out my camera until later that night at the hotel during bath time.  My parents got us a really nice suite with 2 bedrooms & a kitchen so that we could stay together and have everything I needed for Collin.

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My mom & I giving Collin his bath – and yes, even though it was a really nice place my mom bleached and cleaned out the tub before we put him in.

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He thought it was hilarious that we let him play with the plastic serving spoons from the kitchen & had a great time splashing us!

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Playing peek-a-boo with “De-De” from the crib – and yes, my mom brought this pack-n-play from home…no nasty hotel germs for our baby!

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Giving “Jimbo” aka “Mo-Mo” big hugs & kisses before we had to leave.

I was supposed to be able to meet up with my friend Emily to visit before we headed back to Dallas, but Collin had been up all night with a cough and just wasn’t feeling like himself.  I was so upset but I ended up cancelling because I just knew that he wasn’t feeling well & I wanted to get back to Dallas asap in case he got worse.

Well, he did get worse.  When we got back to my sister’s house he was breathing really heavy, using his chest muscles a lot, and wheezing.  I still wasn’t too worried because he had bronchilitis (sp?) a few months ago and the Dr. had prescribed him an oral Albuterol (sp?) to help with the wheezing – which we actually never used because he got better so quickly. 

Anyways, I decided to call my pediatrician and they recommended we take him to an urgent care clinic just to get looked at.  I still wasn’t really too concerned until we met with the Dr. who advised us to take him to the nearest Children’s Medical Center ER in Frisco.  Then I panicked…

We get to the ER, and the triage nurse checks him out and basically tells us that he is fine and that we should have just taken him to a children’s acute care clinic (who even knew those existed??).  I was feeling much better until we get back to a room in the ER and they start hooking him up to all the monitors, taking a chest x-ray, nose suction, 2 breathing treatments that were over an hour each, and IV fluids…panicking again here!

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When we first arrived in the ER – trying to distract him with all the toys they had.

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After several hours, when his fever spiked they took off most of his clothes to try to cool him off.  I am so thankful that my AMAZING sister was there with me the entire time – there is no way that I could have ever done this without her.

Basically after all of that the doctor told us that he had a virus (broncholitis) that triggered the inflammation in his lungs so that his lung capacity was diminished, his oxygen levels were too low, and his pulse rate & his respiratory rate were too high.  The breathing treatments had helped during the treatment itself, but the effects were not lasting very long after the treatments ended.

They decided to admit us to the hospital to give him more time on the fluids, and because they were concerned that it may get worse during the night.  We got checked into our room, Warren brought me & Becca some dinner, and I think Collin watched the Disney movie Cars about 3 times before he crashed.  I know he wasn’t feeling well just because of the fact that he laid in my arms and watched the movie over and over again – this is the same boy who can’t even sit still for 5 minutes of his favorite Elmo video :)

Collin ended up doing great overnight, although it was difficult for him to sleep with the nurses coming in to check on him every hour.

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Mommy & baby the next morning – no sleep & no shower does not make for a very pretty picture!  That morning before Becca & my Mom got there Collin woke up saying, “Becca Car!” “Becca Car!”  I think he was trying to tell me to call Becca and have her get in her car to come and pick us up. 

My mom got up super early & drove from Tyler to the hospital.  Fortunately she was there soon after Collin woke up and was able to help…I was finally able to go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, and she picked up some great stuff in the gift shop for him to play with.

By about lunch time Collin was feeling much better & was ready to GO!  But he wasn’t a big fan of the hospital food and the Dr. said he had to be eating and drinking well before we could go home…so Aunt Becca came to the rescue with a Chick-fil-a meal that he quickly ate all of!!

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After he ate, drank, and they were able to take him off the IV fluids  it was really difficult to keep him entertained in the hospital room.  He kept running over to the door saying “Walk, walk, walk”…I think another hint that he was ready to leave :)

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Once they finally released us we got out of there as fast as we could!!  By that point we had missed our Monday morning flight back home, and the Dr. told us he couldn’t fly until Wednesday.  I was really missing Son, and was dying to get home, but I just tried to make the most of the situation and really enjoyed the extra time with my mom, Becca & Warren.

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Collin LOVES Becca & Warren’s dog, Addie.  One of his favorite things to say is “Addie, stay!”  It is so cute & he says it so clearly too.

So we finally made it back home on Wednesday afternoon, and that’s the end of our story!!

Oh yeah, in other Vuong Family news, something happened between the time that I left for Texas and came back because the clothes that I packed fit me at the beginning of the trip, but by the end I was having a hard time trying to find something to wear home…I guess it could have been the Greenburg Turkey, Taco Cabana, or Pei Wei, but I prefer to think that I have “popped”…hehe!  Collin & I are still on play-date restriction just to make sure we don’t get anyone else sick, but I am anxious to see if any of my friends can tell!  Right now if you didn’t know me then I just look fat, but if you do know what I used to look like then I think you can probably tell :)  I promise pictures soon!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Family Fall Festivities

We have been busy participating in all of the Holiday activities going on lately – and having a great time too!!

Collin really loved the Pumpkin Patch!!  I took him once with some other mommy friends and babies, then Son, Collin & I made another family trip a few days later.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera to the outing with friends, but here are some pics from our family visit.

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He loved being able to just run free since it was all fenced in!

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Pushing the wagon with our pumpkins we picked :)

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“But Da-Da, I want to take the wagon home too!”

Here is Collin’s back-up costume after this fiasco :)  I think it was pretty cute for basically being just a pair of orange pajamas.

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My little pumpkin!

Then we let Collin “decorate” one of the pumpkins he picked out.

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“Am I really supposed to have this permanent marker?”

After that we “made” pumpkin cookies & Collin really enjoyed helping Mommy & Daddy eat them :)

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“Yummy!!  My mommy is so talented to make a perfectly shaped orange and green pumpkin inside each cookie!  It’s almost too perfect to be true.”

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The guys hanging out eating cookies together – Collin is up waaaaaay past his bedtime here.

A few days later we carved the big mommy & daddy pumpkins and put them outside on display as our family of four :)  This makes me very happy!

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Since Halloween was on a Sunday we were going to church then our church’s block party afterwards…but they didn’t want the kids to wear costumes, so we got Collin dressed up again on Saturday and took him to trick-or-treat at Publix – it was sooo cute & kept him entertained while mommy & daddy did some grocery shopping :)

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The cutest pumpkin at Publix :)

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This is Son’s “Embarrassed” face – for some reason he thought it was a little embarrassing that we took Collin trick-or-treating at Publix, even though it was an official store event & there were tons of little kids there :)  Plus, I am sure the fact that I was taking a million pictures didn’t help either…hehe.

And last but not least was actual Halloween where our church service was titled “Hallelujah, Not Halloween” and was about how what we should be celebrating on October 31st each year was the beginning of the reformation with the 95 Protestations being nailed to the door of the Catholic church by Martin Luther – very good history refresher. 

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I was so amazed at all the activities they had afterwards at the Block Party for kids – even little ones like Collin.

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He enjoyed a few different arts & crafts, of course the snacks, playing in the sandbox filled with rice, corn & dry beans, hay rides in the wagons, and running all over the place with his friends.  Of course he loved the ball pit :)

And that about wraps up our October!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Collin voted…twice :) What did you do yesterday?