Tuesday, January 19, 2010

9 Months

Well here it goes again. Another month went flying by just as fast as the last one. Brogen surprises us everyday with his new tricks and cute things that he does. He is definitely all boy and wants to be down exploring and crawling around 24/7 just like his dad did at this age. He is such a busy body! Fun things about Brogen this month.

Loves to watch Baby Einstein in his jumper. As you can tell he is really into it.

He Loves to be outside. If you take him outside for a minute and then go back in the house before he is ready he will yell and kick and throw a little fit. He loves to go for strolls and reaches out to touch everything he can along the way. This kid really likes to touch and feel everything.

He LOVES his bath. We say "Brogen you want to have your bath" and he gets a huge grin and gets so excited. He likes to stand up and lean over and watch the bathtub fill up with water and he has the cutest little naked bum you have every seen!!

He still loves to be read to and turn the pages. He gets so anxious to turn the pages that sometimes we don't read the book he just turns pages. He thinks he is "so big" when he does it.

He loves to be sang to and a couple of his favorites are "popcorn popping", "itsy bitsy spider" and "rock a bye". No matter what is going on he will always calm down or hold still if I sing to him.

He has one lonely bottom tooth. We have yet to see the other one even trying to come through.

He babbles a lot still just saying mama dada and baba and some other things we don't understand and when he gets frustrated or tired he starts yelling at us. When he is tired and he starts crawling he will just yell the whole time he is crawling somewhere.

He will finally eat most baby foods except the really gross vegetables and we have started giving him table food which is what he prefers. So far he has tried: pancakes, waffles, potatoes and gravy, cheese, bread, cheesy potatoes, lasagna, spaghetti, tiny taste of mommy's oreo shake, and peas.

He only takes his bottle really good when he is sleepy and otherwise we have to fight him to take it.

He pulls himself up to everything and walks along the couch. He got his first bruise on his forehead by pulling himself up to his jumper and falling and hitting the metal bar.

He can climb our entire flight of stairs by himself but getting back down them is another question.

He has been sleeping from between 8:00 -9:00 to around that time the next morning. It is awesome to get him down for the night that early. He only wakes up once or twice when he can't find his binky and we have to go put it back in for him.

He loves to be chased when he is crawling down the hall. He squeals and laughs and crawls as fast as he can.

When we say "no no" or "uh uh" he turns around and grins and laughs and makes sure we are watching while he does it again. Little stinker!

For some reason his favorite thing to do is be in the bathroom sitting in the sink looking in the mirror and playing with my comb. He smiles and laughs at himself in the mirror and I still don't know if he thinks it is himself or another baby but either way he loves it.

We have been trying for days to get a good picture of him smiling but he always closes his eyes but these just show how big he is getting.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas and many other updates, keep scrolling!

I updated about 3 months of blogging including Brogen's surgery which I have been dreading doing. It took me hours to do all this at once so I am vowing never to do that again!

Brogen's first Christmas! Yah! I have been so excited for Christmas break this year. I got to have 2 weeks off of work and just be with Brogen. I feel like I miss out on a lot while I am at work and I can't believe how fast the time flies. He is growing up so fast! So we started off the vacation by going to my mom's house for my family's Christmas party on the 23rd. We had yummy food especially Grandma Nells famous potato salad. Then we played a couple of Christmas games and then Santa and Mrs. Clause came by our party. I thought Brogen would cry when I made him sit on Santa's lap but he just sat there and looked at him. I told Santa that Brogen wanted a rocking horse for Christmas

After that we played Quelf and laughed our heads off. Thanks mom for a fun party! The next morning we got up and headed for the cabin to have Christmas with Jared's family. We were so excited to be up in the pretty mountains with lots of snow and mostly we were excited to spend time with family, especially Ryan and Bri, who we hadn't seen in awhile. Bri was flying in that night so we waited to have our Christmas program until later and poor Brogen was so tired so he missed out on that. We had a yummy dinner and t
hen we unwrapped our Christmas pajamas and everyone said their favorite scripture and talked a little bit about it. It was very good! It was so beautiful at the cabin and we even had a Christmas tree. Before we put Brogen to bed we had him open his Christmas pajamas. I was so excited to start this tradition with him. He wasn't too interested in opening them so I had to help him a little

A few pictures of all the family on Christmas Eve

We got up around 7:30 on Christmas morning and Brogen must have been a very good boy because there was the cutest little rocking horse for him. He smiles every time we push the button and it makes it sounds and its tail and head move.
Some pics of Christmas morning

Grandpa Paul even picked out his own present to give to Brogen which is a set of keys that make noise. Brogen loves them! It was an awesome first Christmas for Brogen and I know it will just get funner every year. Later that day we went sledding and had so much fun being pulled behind the mule. Jared and Ryan were being daredevils and took turn pulling each other behind the 4 wheeler on the snowboard. It was fun to watch and laugh at them. We had a yummy turkey dinner and then just played some Cover your Assets, Mormon Bridge, and Quelf, which was so entertaining and fun. We stayed at the cabin until Sunday afternoon and we were sad to leave but excited to have a few days at home. It was so fun to spend time with family and we will especially miss Ryan and Bri! Thanks for a fun Christmas!

8 Months

He got his first tooth, on the bottom. He was a little cranky but nothing terrible. Its so cute!

He can turn the page in his book. We hold up the page and little and say "turn the page" and he grabs it and flips it over. He is so smart and thinks he is "big stuff" when he does it.

He gets really excited when we praise him or clap for him and does whatever he is doing more

He does "so big" and puts his arms in the air. It is adorable

He can open cupboards now and found the one that has all my bowls and stuff in it and his favorite thing is to pull everything out and then find another mess to make

He gets daring sometimes and heads for the stairs but hasn't really tried to go up them yet

He did however take a tumble down my mom's stairs but only two of them. He only cried for a second and there were no bumps or bruises but it scared him bad

He is getting a lot of personality and is really spunky

Still loves his bath and playing with his toys in there

HATES getting dressed and his diaper changed. It is a fight every time!

Does not like to be rocked anymore and now i have to put him in his crib to fall asleep. So sad but it was fun while it lasted

He eats really good now, and finally eats a good variety of foods instead of just pears and potatoes

He has been very lucky and has yet to get sick (I am knocking on wood right now)

His hair got rally long, so we had Shanette cut it and now he sports a spiky Mohawk

7 Months

As you can see from the center picture he is not happy about being in his highchair or eating. he went on a major food strike after he got his casts off. The only things he would eat were Pears and Sweet Potatoes. I think it is because I lost my milk after his surgery and he was protesting because he wasn't ready to be weened yet. He hated formula at first and it took us a couple days of mixing breast milk and formula before we could get him switched over. So no more nursing. It is bittersweet.

He started crawling Thanksgiving weekend and he was pretty slow at first but not he is speedy!

He just got his casts off so he had to re-learn how to use his hands and fingers but it didn't take him long

Started to hate getting his face washed and acts like we are torturing him when we try. He even sees a washcloth or paper towel coming and he freaks out

He learned how to hold a sippy cup and loves his juice! He would probably drink as much as we would let him and when there is water in there he doesn't like it

He finally started to babble and surprised me one day when he just randomly said ba ba da da and now he says it all the time

He started making the cutest noises when he would eat like it tasted so good to him

All of the sudden he decided to be snuggled and rocked to sleep. Thats all I ever wanted was a snuggly baby I could rock and sing to sleep so I have been in heaven

He started to eat some solid foods like mum mums, biscuits, and he had some mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving

He still loves to be read to

He is so happy and smiley but getting a little clingy to mom and dad especially around strangers


This is going to be the hardest thing for me to post about. I debated on whether to post about something so personal but since I use this as my scrapbook/journal I decided to do it. Beware this is really long. So I will start at the beginning for those who don't know anything about it. When Brogen was born I noticed that his fingers were stuck together. At first I just thought they were sticky from all that yuck that is on them when they are born but turns out they were really stuck! It has a name, it is called syndactely which is the webbing of fingers and his middle and ring finger on each hand were fused together. I was completely devastated but the doctors were very unconcerned and said that it was an easy fix they just cut the skin and they are fine. So for some reason I am thinking that they just take him and do it now and he is good as new before I even take him home. Come to find out it was a little more complex than that and we would have to wait until he was 6 months before the doctors would allow him to go under anesthesia for something not life threatening. Thus began the very long emotional journey for me. I think that I cried everyday multiple times a day for the first 6 months of his life until he got his surgery and even then after. This has been by far the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. Every time I would think about what he would have to go through the tears started and I couldn't stop them. First of all, I was angry with God. How could he let this happen to MY baby. When I was pregnant I worried so much that everything was going to be ok and that he would be healthy with no problems and so I prayed everyday that he would be and really felt like everything was going to be ok. When it wasn't, I felt so betrayed. I also felt like this situation got in the way of the happiness I should feel that I had this new little life in my arms. Don't get me wrong, I was so happy to have Brogen, but I just felt like the surgery and all the unknowns was a little gray cloud looming overhead. It was hard for me and yet so many people would say to me "just be glad its not his heart or his brain he is having surgery on". Do you know how bad I wanted to punch them in the face especially considering they had never had anything wrong with any of their children. Of course I was glad that it wasn't more serious but to me this was huge and it didn't take away the hurt that I felt to have my child go through this. I had so many anxieties about everything wondering if he would be able to use them, how they would look, how much pain he would be in, and i was so upset to think of him laying on the operating table under anesthesia. When we got the X-rays it showed that one hand was also connected by bone and that was very concerning to us. We met with the Plastic Surgeon who comes down every few months from Primary Children's a couple of times before the surgery and some of my fears were minimized but others replaced them as we learned more about the procedure and what we would be faced with. He would have to have a skin graft taken from his groin area to fill in the raw skin left after cutting his fingers apart. We decided to do both hands at the same time so he would only have to go under once and so he would have both hands in casts up to his armpits for a month. We were supposed to be careful and keep him from bumping them because the grafts are delicate and could fall off and he recommended the surgery be done between 6-9 months. Since we have a very active boy who was showing signs of crawling we decided to do the surgery right at 6 months. He was very up front about everything and said to just plan on having a really rough month with an unhappy child. Even with all that we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Oct. 20th was the date we chose for the surgery. We went up the night before since the surgery would be early in the morning and I asked my mom to come with us for support. That night I tried so hard to just enjoy every moment I had with my happy little Brogen because I didn't know what to expect after the surgery. He was so happy that night and when we gave him his bath that night I realized this would be the last bath he would have for a month. It made me so sad because he loves his baths but could not get his incision or his casts wet. Everything was starting to sink in. It was a pretty sleepless night and I had to get up in the middle of the night to nurse him the last possible time that I could before he had to not have anything to eat or drink. We had to be at the hospital at 6:00 a:m so we got up early to make sure we could get there on time. He slept on the drive to the hospital and I fought back the tears trying to be strong for my little man. We checked in and then waited. They gave us a little buzzer like the ones they have at Red Lobster to let us know it was our turn and we thought that was kind of funny. While we were waiting Brogen woke up and so I started reading him a book. I looked over and Jared was crying. It was the first time I had seen him cry over the surgery because he was trying to be strong for both of us. Here is a picture of us in the waiting room with our bravest face on.

This picture makes me sad. He looks so innocent and
happy and has no idea what he is about to go through

They finally called us back and they had to do the routine things like check his weight, and all his measurements and take his temperature. He wasn't too sure about all of it, especially the thing the nurse put on his foot. He kept looking at it and trying to kick if off.

Then we had to change him into his little gown which he was not happy about and I had a moment that I thought, are we really doing this to him. Am I really going to let them do this to my baby? I was starting to get emotional but tried to think of how cute he looked in his little gown

After we got him dressed they sent us to another waiting room where we waited for a little over an hour before his surgery. In that time a nurse came and talked to us as well as the anesthesiologist and then the surgeon came and talked to us and make little marks on Brogen's hands with a marker and of course he immediately put his hands in his mouth and got marker all over him. We did our best to entertain him but he was starting to get hungry and restless. There was a T.V. in there with Shrek playing so Jared took him over to watch T.V. for a bit.

Then the anesthesiologist came to get us. It was time. He took us out in the hallway and explained what he would be doing and told us to say our goodbyes that this was the end of the road for us. I can't even explain to you how I felt when I kissed Brogen goodbye and told him I loved him and watched him looking back at us as the anesthesiologist carried him away. I think my heart broke into a million pieces. He never cried, just watched us and we stood there until he was out of sight and then we just cried and hugged each other. After a few minutes we went to the waiting room where my mom was with all of our stuff and that is where we spent the remainder of the day. They told us the surgery could be anywhere from 2-3 hours. It seemed like I had been in that waiting room for days. They were really good to call and give us an update from surgery and every time they would say "update for Brogen Blad's family" my heart would just drop and I would rush to the phone. It was always good news though, they had one hand done and he was stable with no complications. 4 hours later they called to say they were done but they would let us know when we could see him in recovery. Aside from a few tears I had kept pretty good control of my emotions throughout the whole thing. It was hard but I knew I had to do it, so when they called for only one parent to go be with Brogen I wanted to go first. I thought I could be strong, but nothing prepared me for what I saw. His eyes were swollen and he was thrashing back and forth whimpering, wearing only a diaper and he had two HUGE bulky green casts on. He didn't even look like my baby. There were machines beeping all around him and the nurse was on the phone telling someone she had just given him some morphine because she thought he didn't have enough and was in pain. I completely lost it. I think everything that I had been holding in just came out and I was a mess. I kept saying "Is he ok, is he ok?" It took a little bit for me to calm down. They told me I could hold him and comfort him and I wondered how the heck I was going to do that with those huge casts on. It was so awkward at first but I got to hold him and kiss him and talk to him and when he heard my voice he stopped thrashing.

He was in recovery for a while because of the morphine and he kept forgetting to breath so that scared me and we couldn't get him to wake up. He kind of drank a little bit of a bottle in his sleep and so they said he was good to go and rushed us out the door. I was freaking out, but luckily we were staying at the hotel again that night so we were close in case anything happened. It took a long time for him to wake up from the anesthesia and he didn't come out of it until about 3:00 a:m. I had been feeding him and giving him his medicine when he was out of it but he would swallow and nurse in his sleep. We had to give him medicine every 4 hours and feed him because he was not supposed to take it on an empty belly so we didn't get a lot of sleep that night. They told us to prop up his casts so we used his pillow and puppy. We were all starting to get a little worried but he started to fuss a little and we turned on the lights and he was smiling. I was so relieved. It was sad to watch him reach for things, unable to pick them up and he seemed a little confused and groggy but thats all. He wanted to jump and he was smiling and we couldn't help but laugh. Thats my little Brogen, always smiling and I couldn't believe how happy he was for what he just went through

The next morning we got up and started packing to go home. Brogen decided he wanted to jump on daddy's lap and I heard Jared say "Oh my gosh" I immediately ran over there to see what was going on and said a few choice things as I stared at his green cast laying on the bed and not on his arm! Thats right, he had already wiggled out of one of his casts. There was his little hand that just had surgery the day before, completely exposed and I just tried not to look at it because I knew it would make me sick. Everything after that was a blur. Jared was trying to hold his arm still and keep him from putting it in his mouth and Brogen was getting so mad because he does not like to be restrained. I went over and sang to him to take his mind off it and he calmed down. I had made numerous phone calls trying to get a hold of the the surgeon and they finally had the hospital nurse, me and the surgeon on the phone at the same time. They told us to wrap his hand in a blanket and most importantly do not let him put it in his mouth and to come to his office and he would recast it. What a disaster! Here are a couple of pics form that. The surgeon was laughing saying that this had never happened before and he knew it wasn't good that the hospital was paging him this morning.

So now he had one green cast and a white cast. When we finally made it back on the road to come home we were kind of joking about the whole thing and how funny it was that he already wiggled out of his cast. If we had only known what we were in for! We stopped in Kanosh at Jared's parents house so they could see Brogen and we could stretch our legs and Paul and Carolyn immediatley went to work on something to put over his casts so he wouldn't knock himself out with them. He loved to just fling his cast around and he even popped my mom in the chin. Grandma Carolyn got out her sewing machine and came up with these beauties we named the "oven mitts" which I am sure saved us all from being black and blue!

To shorten up a very long story, Brogen went ahead and lost a cast everyday after that for a week straight. We took a trip to the emergency room once to have it recasted but it only lasted a few hours and fell off. They can't do the casts very tight and he is really active so with the weight of the cast they just kept slipping right off. We had a really tough week and finally the surgeon just said to have us put him in soft casts. So thats what we did and we were so glad! I was about to lose my mind. One of us had to be with him 24/7 in case a cast fell off. We had to sleep with him and pretty much hold him all the time. It was really wearing on us and I finally called my mom in tears and told her I needed a break. Of course she rescued us and then Jared's mom came after my mom left. It was physically and emotionally draining on all of us. Brogen did really well through everything. The only time he ever cried was when he had to get bandage changed and it was stuck to his stitches and it hurt him a little. Thank heavens for Aunt Sara and Uncle Terron who were there to rescue Brogen and us when his casts fell off. They got more than one phone call late at night to come over and bandage him up. We are so proud of him for how well he did considering he couldn't use his hands at all. He really was amazing. We had to entertain him a lot since he couldn't pick anything up or use his hands, we would have to hold the toys for him to suck on and when we would read him books, he would either touch it with his foot or lean down and put his mouth on it. It made me sad but also proud that he was adapting and working around not having his hands.
A picture of all the casts he lost in all their glory. Jared had fun putting them together for a picture

It was a long 4 weeks with those casts on. They were too bulky to fit clothes over them, so my mom had a lady make some clothes that snapped at the shoulders like the hospital gown and he looked like a little orphan. We took him out a couple of times and people would stare at his oven mitts. I wanted to get him a Halloween costume so bad but I knew it was pointless so Grandma Carolyn found some Halloween material and she sewed something to go over his mitts so he could be a little dressed up. Broc and Brayden even let him borrow their hats from their Mario and Luigi costumes! His orange shirt says "mommy's little pumpkin", and his casts covers say things like "spooky", and "boo"

These are just a few pictures of him with his casts on. His little "mitts" make them look huge!

And finally the long awaited day came to have his casts taken off. Our surgeon was coming down to St. George right around the time his casts would come off so we were lucky we didn't have to go up to Salt Lake to have them taken off. We were both nervous about seeing them for the first time, but excited too. I cried when I saw them. They were still REALLY swollen and bloody and we had to just wait for all the dried blood to fall off. The stitches were just supposed to fall off when they had dissolved inside and those grossed me out bad. I was wondering what I had done to my child. It was a couple of weeks before everything looked normal and they stayed swollen for quite awhile. His little arm was bleeding and roughed up from the cast but the surgeon promised us in a week things would look completely different and he was right.

I need to post a picture of how they look now, they look amazing. We are so grateful to have this done and behind us and so glad that everything has turned out as good as it did. He has full function of all his fingers and never missed a beat. After his casts came off it took him a few days to re learn to use his hands because they were so swollen but he did amazing. It has been a long hard road, especially for me, and I am just glad it is over. He might have to have a surgery in the future depending on how well his grafts grow with his hands, but for now we are hoping its over. We had a lot of help and moral support from our families and friends and we never could have done it without you all! We are so happy to have our little man back with no casts and no stuck together fingers. Brogen is my little hero!

6 Months

He is so much fun right now and we just can't seem to get enough of him! He changes so much everyday that its so hard to keep up with everything he is doing.

He has been sitting up all by himself for a while now and will sit and play with toys pretty good

He still loves his cereal and his pears and sweet potatoes

He still loves to nurse and is finally starting to sleep through the night. Thank heavens!

He is up on his hands and knees rocking back and forth ready to crawl

He loves to be read to and he especially loves the books with pictures of little babies

He loves to go wild and crazy in his jumper. Sometimes I am afraid he is going to give himself Shaking Baby Syndrome!

He loves to take his binky out of his mouth, put it back in, take it out, and of course he loves to play this game when he is supposed to be going to sleep

He is getting more and more attached to his "little blankie" and can't sleep without it

He laughs out loud when he watches parts of Baby Noah

He is a flirt and loves to come to mommy's work and flirt with the ladies. He loves to be the center of attention and likes to show off!

He loves to stand up and jump jump jump on my lap! I should have some toned arms by now and he never seems to run out of steam!

He loves to give kisses now. I just say "kiss" and he opens his mouth and plants it wherever he can on my face. They are oh so slobbery too but I love them!