Sunday, November 29, 2009

Relaxing on Hershey's Bed

Not only does Brandon like to relax on Hershey, he also likes to relax on Hershey's bed. He has been walking over to Hershey's bed all weekend and then he lies down on it and smiles. He also has been continuing to lie on Hershey all weekend and give Hershey hugs all weekend. His favorite part of Hershey to lie on is Hershey's tail.

We had a busy weekend. We went out to breakfast on Friday with Debbie, Rich, Ben, Zack, and Stu's parents. We then went to Stu's parents' house to hang out and eat dinner. Yestersay they all came to our house for breakfast and then we went out to dinner last night at Pete and Elda's which has the best pizza. This morning Stu, Brandon, and I went to Home Depot and Wegman's and then relaxed this afternoon. Stu's parents came over for dinner to help us finish some of our Thanksgiving leftovers.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving. My parents, inlaws, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephews, and sister-in-laws parents came to our house for Thanksgiving. It was nice seeing everyone. Brandon had a lot of fun playing with his cousins.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. At the top of my list is Brandon. I am so thankful for how well he is doing. He continues to amaze me all of the time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Best Friends

Brandon LOVES Hershey. His new favorite thing is to lie on Hershey and relax and most of the time Hershey lets him. The other cute thing Brandon was doing tonight was when I was reading him a touch and feel book about kittens. On the first page there is a kitten that is fuzzy to touch. Everytime I read the book and Brandon saw that page he put his face on the kitten sideways. It was so cute.

Brandon is starting to finally sleep better again so I am assuming his ear is starting to feel better. Last night I did have to go into his room one time. He woke up hysterical but then found his pacifier and tried to go back to sleep on his own. He cried on and off every so often and then about a half hour later was hysterical again and just couldn't calm himself. The two nights before that I didn't need to go into his room. He did wake up once both nights crying but found a pacifier and went back to sleep on his own.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another Ear Infection and Nebulizer Treatments

Brandon has his second ear infection and is also on the nebulizer again for a cough. 1 1/2 weeks ago he started waking up at night hysterical. This is not at all like him. He has been sleeping through the night since August. I thought he was having night terrors because he would wake up suddenly and start crying a cry that I had never heard and jumping up and down in his crib holding onto the rail. A week after that started, this past Sunday, Brandon got a runny nose. Monday it continued to be runny. Monday night Brandon kept waking up crying hysterically. I only had 3 1/2 hours of sleep all night because all he wanted was to be held. I had to go to work on Tuesday morning since I didn't set up my classroom. I took a half sick day in the afternoon so that I could bring Brandon to the pediatrician. It turns out he has an ear infection again in his left ear which is the same ear that was infected a few weeks ago. He is on augmentin this time which is a stronger medicine. He also needs nebulizer treatments again with xopenex since he started coughing and is wheezing some. Despite all of this Brandon continues to be happy for the most part and playful.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prematurity Awareness Day

November 17th is designated by the March of Dimes as Prematurity Awareness Day. Preemie moms are asked to blog about their experiences with prematurity and how it has affected our lives.

Brandon was born 14 weeks early on July 5, 2008 at 26 weeks, 1 day gestation. He weighed 1 pound, 14 ounces and was 13 inches long. Prior to my sac rupturing at 19 1/2 weeks with Brandon's twin sister and delivering her a week later at 20 1/2 weeks I had never known anyone who had a preemie. I also never knew that a baby wasn't considered viable until 24 weeks (although many babies born at 23 weeks are living now).

Having a premature baby has changed my life in many ways. I have learned about so many things that I never thought I would know about. I am not the same person that I was before I had Brandon. I don't take the small things for granted anymore. I have met many other preemie moms and have formed some amazing friendships from it.

Brandon has been a fighter since day 1. He came out crying and fighting for his life. He spent 12 weeks in the NICU and the day he came home was the happiest day in my life. I have not once taken Brandon's life for granted. Brandon truly is my hero. He has been through so much in the 16 months that he has been alive. More than anyone should have to go through in a lifetime. Even though he has been through so much he is a very happy, smiley baby. I went out to dinner a few nights ago with some other preemie moms and one mom who I was with summed it up well with what she said about her preemie son. He is always smiling because he is happy to be alive. I believe the same thing about Brandon. I think the reason he is so smiley is because he is happy to just be alive.

One group that I have learned a lot about since Brandon was born is the March of Dimes. If it were not for the March of Dimes Brandon would not be where he is today. Visit the March of Dimes website and see how you can help.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Professional Pictures

Holiday Pictures

Stu and I brought Brandon to Sears yesterday to get his holiday pictures taken. I usually take him to Kiddie Kandids at Babies R' Us but I wanted to try someplace different this time since I didn't like the holiday backgrounds at Kiddie Kandids as much as I usually do. The photographer at Sears did a good job. The only problem was we couldn't get Brandon to stand in any pictures. He kept wanting to walk when we tried to get a standing picture. He did cooperate for sitting pictures at least. Here are some of the pictures. I will post more later.

In other news, Brandon has only been drinking from a sippy cup since Friday. I never thought the day would come when he stopped drinking from a bottle and instead drank from a sippy cup. In the past he has always chewed on the spout but he suddenly started drinking so I took away the bottles.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Brandon had his second haircut yesterday after work. He looks so grown up without all of his curls. He fell asleep in the car on the way to get his haircut so he slept for the first half of it. Once he was awake he liked looking at himself in the mirror while getting his haircut.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Brandon Loves Hershey

Brandon loves Hershey. He is always walking to him and giving him hugs and kisses. I have a video and pictures showing Brandon with Hershey.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I think Brandon has had two nightmares this week. The first was on Sunday night and the second one was last night. Both nights he was sleeping soundly and then woke up all of a sudden hysterically crying. He couldn't calm himself either night and was so worked up that he was coughing. Each of the nights I have had to go into his room after 5 minutes when he is still crying hysterically and screaming. And he is also crawling from one end of his crib during the hysterical crying with lightning speed. Each time I have gone in and picked him up he has melted into my arms. He falls back asleep but when I try to put him back down he starts all over again. Both times it has taken about an hour before I can put him down without him being hysterical.

Brandon continues to walk. He hardly crawls anymore. He will on occasion but most of the time he is walking and getting really good at it. His balance is getting so much better. He can walk across a whole room now and catches himself a lot of the time before he falls. He is all over the house now and into everything even more now that he is standing.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Playing in the Leaves

Brandon played in the leaves for the first time today. He seemed to enjoy it although there were a few times when he looked at the leaves with a strange look.

Brandon has been walking all over the place for the past three days. He lets go and walks from one thing to the next or from one thing to me or Stu. It is so cute.

Pulmonolgist Appointment and Early Intervention Evaluation

Brandon had a busy day yesterday. It started with an appointment with his pulmonologist, Dr. Sembrano. He hadn't been since the end of March but he will be going monthly again until April because he qualified for RSV shots again this season. We are so excited that he qualified because even though the shots don't protect against Brandon getting RSV they do make it so that it is a less severe case of RSV if he does get it. Brandon had to have two shots yesterday because it is based on weight. He was not happy about it. He cried for about 10 minutes after his shots. The RSV shots hurt more than other shots for some reason. I asked Dr. Sembrano about bringing Brandon out during RSV season this year. Our pediatrician said it was okay but I wanted to ask him too since he is the more conservative of the two. He said to treat Brandon like a normal baby. He said it is fine to bring him out anywhere and if we are at a restaurant to try to sit 3 feet from other tables. He said you can't replicate trips to the mall or restaurants and that Brandon needs that kind of stimulation now.

After his appointment with Dr. Sembrano, Brandon had an early intervention evaluation. Brandon's pediatrician had suggested having one done at his 15 month appointment since Brandon is not really saying real words, except for mama, Mom, and the occasional yum. He babbles a lot but with sounds. The early intervention team evaluated him in all areas. He scored at his actual age in social/ emotional development and in between his corrected age and actual age in cognitive development, self- help/ adaptive development, gross motor, and fine motor. I am happy about that because he is already starting to close the gap in some areas. He did score under his corrected age in speech. He is 3 months behind in receptive and 4 months behind in expressive. He was right on the border of qualifying since you need a 25% delay in two areas or a 33% delay in one area so they tweaked it so that he would qualify since he was so close. So Brandon will be receiving speech therapy at least for the next 6 months. We still have to meet with someone about it but most likely he will have it one time a week. I think it is really good that he will receive speech therapy before he falls further behind.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Walking All Day

16 Months Old and GI Specialist Appointment

Brandon is 16 months old today. I can't believe it has already been 4 months since he turned 1. I don't know where the time has gone. Brandon had an appointment with his GI specialist today and was discharged. We are going to start weaning him from his prevacid. He wants me to give him half of his prevacid at night for the next two weeks and none in the morning. He thinks he will be okay without it so doesn't need to see Brandon again. However, if Brandon starts having problems again he said I can call whenever I need to. Brandon weighed 20 pounds, 5 ounces and is 29 1/2 inches tall. He had dropped to 19 pounds, 14 ounces when he was sick so he has gained back what he lost.

Brandon has been walking all day. He pulls himself up and then starts walking to where he wants to go. Walking really happened overnight. He looks so cute doing it. Kind of like Frankenstein with the slow, stiff movements.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Walking in a sleepsack

Brandon has continued to take steps unassisted. The most he has taken so far is 17. He can definitely walk but it is all on his terms. If he doesn't want to he won't. He seems to walk the most when he wants to see Hershey. Tonight he was in his sleepsack ready for bed and started walking. It was pretty funny. He is standing not holding on for quite awhile now too. You will have to ignore me in my pajama pants in the background of the video.

Opthamologist Appointment

Stu brought Brandon to the opthamologist yesterday for his eye appointment. He was originally supposed to go in August but the office called me twice to reschedule since his eye doctor was going to be away and then Brandon was sick a few weeks ago when he was supposed to go so it was rescheduled for yesterday when Stu was off for election day. Dr. Turtel said Brandon's eyes look great. He said one eye is slightly different from the other but overall they look great. Brandon slept through the second half of the appointment but Dr. Turtel was still able to look at his eyes while he was sleeping. Brandon doesn't need to go back for 6 months.