Thursday, November 27, 2008

Oh Happy (turkey) Day

So much to be thankful for this year ... Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Britton Likes to Share

Here is Britton playing a round of "give & take" with his GiGi:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bathing Beauty, the 3rd installment

Bath time sure has changed. Remember these days? And these?

Post-bath hairbrush-chewing ritual:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Out of the mouths ...

UPDATED: How could I forget this one?!

"I love his haircut!" We started hearing this a couple of months ago and usually hear it at least once a week.
Apparently, Britton's hair is growing in as if he were salon-groomed. He has never had a haircut, but his hair is growing in remarkably even-lengthed (like how I made that a word?). And to think, when his hair all fell out in the early days, I thought it would never grow back.

Here are a few things we hear on quite a regular basis from Britton's adoring public:

She is so adorable." We used to hear this all the time, and still do every now and then. Britton could be dressed in blue, with his hair combed straight and parted on the side and we would pass a lady in the grocery store, who would say, "Look at her! How cute?! She is so adorable." Personally, I think Britton is very boy-ish looking, but with these curls on his head, I can kinda start to see it:

"Look at those dark brown eyes." They're definitely dark, but they're not brown. They are dark grey ... just like mine were as a baby. Danny has hazel-blue eyes, and I have hazel-green eyes, so my guess is that his eyes will one day look like one of ours. For now, I just love his dark grey peepers:

"How's Griffin?" This one cracks me up b/c it happens all the time. Even close friends get 'Britton' mixed up with 'Giffen' and it comes out "Griffin." When discussing names (and potential nicknames) before he was born, this combination never crossed our minds. But it's a common occurrence, and one I imagine he'll be hearing for the rest of his life.

"That's the smiley-est baby I've ever seen!"

On that, we do concur!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged by Danica. The task? To go to my 4th folder, pull the 4th picture, and write 4 things about it.

So here it is...

1. Here is Britton, soundly snoozing, being held by Danny's dad, also soundly snoozing.
2. This picture was taken in March when Britton was two months old, but he had only been home from the hospital for about three weeks.
3. Britton looks to be a healthy chunk here, and looking back at his medical records, he was at 9 lbs., 11 oz. ... up from 7 lbs., 13 oz. just three weeks before. That's a nearly 25% increase in body weight in three weeks. Astounding. I'm glad adults aren't capable of that.
4. As much as this picture cracks me up now, I remember not wanting to stray far from them, just in case Doug's arm relaxed, and my little baby went tumbling onto the floor! ;o)

Anyway, today happens to be Doug's birthday! Happy Birthday, Grandpa Doug/GDaddy/Daddy Doug/Papa! Hope your day has been good.

My first time to be tagged. That was fun.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Orange Chair

Britton's GiGi has a little orange chair ...

... at her house to make her two little boys feel special.

And Britton loved playing in it last weekend.

He also loved the big screen tv that his grandfather put up.

Double ear infection ... who would've guessed?

If you can't tell, it's a walk in the park compared to all he has/we have been through. This is his 3rd ear infection in the span of two months, though, so our doctor predicted that we will start talking tubes before too much longer. :o(

A Wonderful Occasion

We spent last weekend in Dallas celebrating at the wedding of our dear friends, Meredith & Afshin. It was a beautiful affair, and ended up being quite the reunion for Danny. He got to see a lot of fellow Texas grads he had not seen for a long time. It was fun to meet a number of his fraternity brothers whom I have only heard about, and of course, we got to spend time with some of Danny's close friends, wives and children. We also got some grandparent time in, ate some great Mexican food, and caught up with the infamous Don Admire. It was a great trip!

Danny (in the bowtie ... he was representing Alabama) and his Texas buddies.

So, this is the only picture that we got of the happy couple together!

Danny & me

Danny, Joe, Afshin & John

The groom with snoozing Jan Clan kiddos, Bear & Fleet. What is funny is that the band was playing just about 20 feet away!

Clay and little Bella.

We heard from many of the wedding guests that they had prayed for Britton and followed this blog while he was in the hospital. So, it was a proud moment for us to be able to introduce ...

...THIS healthy, happy guy to them.

Kissing on GiGi. Amazingly enough, Britton weathered all the events of the weekend with a double ear infection. We didn't know for sure he had one until we got home, but despite the ear issues, he was a champ at the wedding.

Relaxing after all the festivities.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Last of the Pumpkin Pics (sniff, sniff)

The next time Britton will be around pumpkins, he'll be 21 months old!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Little Spaz

Britton went totally spastic the other afternoon while my mom & sister were visiting. These pictures don't do the moment justice, but there are some cute pics. I think he was just loving being a big boy on the little ride-on toy his Cousin Will passed down to him. Either that, or he loves an audience. Or both. ;o)

How bout a kiss, Aunt Kix?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My favorite thing about this Fall ...

... is BabyLegs! Oh the height of baby fashion...

Yes, Britton wears his leg warmers proudly.

With his Aunt Liz. (Interestingly, if you type out "Liz" on your cell phone using the automated text, it comes up as "Kix.")

Kissing on some Aunt Kix.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Britton's Trick

Here is one of Britton's perform-on-command (really, perform-when-he-feels-like-it) tricks:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

10 Months Old!

Britton turned 10 months old yesterday! Boy does time fly ... the days go by faster ... and he gets bigger and more grown up seemingly overnight. Britton is now tipping the scales at 18 pounds which means he has now tripled his birth weight. Babies typically triple their weight at 1 year, so our little guy, though still small on the growth charts, is growing at a little bit of a faster clip than his peers. I'm not sure if I posted his stats from his 9-month appointment but he was 25th% for height and 5th% for weight then. He is always charted by his doctor from his birth age and not his corrected age of one month less, so I think he would be a lot more average if not for this.

Developmentally, Britton is plugging along. His fine motor skills are excellent, and his gross motor skills are adequate. He is a bit slow to crawl, but he sure is trying hard to do so! He usually either crawls backwards, spins in circles on the floor, or swims in the air, but no forward progress yet. We have switched our primary therapist to a physical therapist (instead of an occupational therapist) and she has been so great at showing us what we can do to get him crawling. Because he is such a good pivoter (turning in circles on the floor), she said he has the skills to start crawling any day, but that it could also be a month from now depending on how motivated he is, and when he puts it all together. We learned something very interesting from her ... that premature babies usually have overdeveloped extensor (back) muscles, but weaker flexion (front torso) muscles, so it is easier for them to overdevelop their straight plane movements (like Britton has) and it is harder to get them to turn and twist and get comfortable with shifting their body weight over their arms/hands, which is important in the crawling movement. At least that was my understanding of it all. The therapists always point out that it is important for us to keep in mind that developmentally, Britton is just now a 9 month-old. We feel very comfortable with where Britton is and are not concerned that he is not crawling yet. I was talking with a mom of a micropreemie recently and admired her easygoing approach and point of view that babies just do things in their own time. It is so true that the range of normal is wide on the developmental charts, and while some babies crawl at 6 months, others crawl much, much later, with a growing percentage of babies never crawling at all. We feel sure that Britton will not be in the latter category, because he is working hard at it, but, then again, who knows?! Britton's therapist, Melissa, came 3 weeks ago and then this past week and said his improvement over those few weeks was dramatic. We are encouraged by that and so thankful for these great therapists who have invested in Britton's life.

Socially, Britton has mad skills. He loves to look people in the eye, raise his eyebrows (or just one brow), tilt his head down a bit, and give a big, slow smile. Yes, he is a huge flirt! He is making all kinds of noises, but his favorite sounds are ga-ga-ga or ah-ga-ah-ga, or ah-ya. Danny and I laugh because his "go to" consonant noises are Bs, Ds & Gs, which happen to be his initials. The G is by far his favorite sound, which I'm sure makes his Giffen grandparents proud. He is also clapping his hands a lot when he is excited, and this weekend we started teaching him to "high five" and have had some success. He is excellent at taking out shapes from his shape sorter, and has on a number of occasions, picked his shapes up and put then back in.

He is still a fabulous sleeper ... clocking in at around 11-12 hours each night. He takes a morning nap and an afternoon nap (about 3 1/2 hours total) each day. He loves to go to bed, and it is the easiest thing in the world to put him down. We lay him down in his crib, give him his lovey, his pacifier, cover him with his blanket, turn on his heartbeat lamb, and his CD player. Sounds like a lot of steps, I know! Then, we watch him on the video monitor, and without fail, he turns over on his belly, and talks himself to sleep. Lately, he has been sleeping with his face straight down into the mattress, and I don't like that so much. But we are so thankful for our champion sleeper! In the mornings, he will talk and play contentedly in his crib for awhile before we go get him. It is the sweetest thing in the world to wake up each day to the babbles of our little boy.

Over this last month, Britton has made the switch from pureed baby food to finger foods. I don't think I'm ready for this!!! And I'm struggling a little bit with the lack of variety of finger foods to give him. With the purees, I could whip up all kinds of interesting and varied foods, but I feel like now he is eating yogurt, turkey, cheese, sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas, pears and cheerios every day, and the menu doesn't veer far from this. I need to work on getting a bit more creative.

As you can tell in the pictures, Britton's hair has grown a lot in the last several months. He is actually even getting a few rogue long strands by his ears! It is so funny because I probably hear at least a couple of times a week how cute his "haircut" is. We have definitely never cut his hair. I think that the way I part his hair and brush it (his 'little man' do) makes his hair fall in a perfect little line. I do love brushing his hair ... I think mostly because for the first two weeks in the NICU when I couldn't hold him, I would just pick up the little brush at his isolette and brush his hair. Those were sweet bonding moments. Most of that black downy newborn hair fell out, though, and has grown back in a lighter brown. There is evidence that Britton will have some curly hair, as when it is rainy outside, or when he gets out of the bath, the hair on the back of his head either frizzes or curls up. There is curly hair on both sides of the family (including me), so it is not a surprise. We hope that one day he has a full head of long (perhaps, curly?) hair. It will be a long time before his first hair cut!

We have had Britton's first two sick visits to the doctor recently. Both were due to ear infections. And I'm a little worried about what the winter months hold for us if he has already had two ear infections prior to the illness-riddled colder months. Unfortunately, if he gets his ears from me, I had "about a million" (as my mom says) ear infections as a baby so it could be that he will have my bad ears, but I hope not. We'll see ... As I write this, he is pulling on his ears. Not a good sign.

Speaking of the winter months, we are very excited about celebrating our first Thanksgiving and Christmas as a family of three! I love the holidays and I love that, from this year forward, our holidays are forever changed. We look forward to establishing traditions for our young, little family. Britton will be a great age for his first Christmas and ... well, we just can't wait! I'm glad we are geared up for it because the holiday season is approaching full speed ahead. And then, before we know it, we'll be celebrating our precious son's first birthday. What a day that will be?!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sweet Cousin Photos

Here is Britton with his first (& only) cousin, Will. We spent Saturday at Will's new digs in Nashville.

Beautiful Fall color along the Natchez Trace in Nashville.

My boys...

Little boys at play.

Sweet picture of Will and his mama.

Will dancing and entertaining us with his music table.

Will's "tellin' it like it is" face.

Love this sweet face of Britton's.

We look forward to spending more time in Nashville, especially since my sister is moving there next summer! It will be fun to see the boys grow up together.