Saturday, December 13, 2008


Just a playin'

Visit to Santa

On the way...

Chuck E. Cheese!

We took Ian for his birthday and he loved it, so we figured we could go every now and then. I mean, it's okay to spoil him. How could you not with that cute face?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Deer Festival 2008

We visited my parents' home town of Monticello, Georgia for the Deer Festival the weekend before Thanksgiving. They have a parade, which Ian enjoyed, as well as lots of crafts and goodies for sale from the locals.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Look who's walking

Ian has started walking! Okay, it's really more of a work in progress, but he made some major progress in the last few days. Last night at Best Buy he let go of our hands and walked over to something on the shelf. His daddy, the avid gamer, was proud Ian was walking to pick out things in the video game section of the store. He's also gotten where he can stop and start going again. It's going to be a real adventure the day he let's loose for good!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

"I have some bad news..."

"...He's not a baby anymore, he's a toddler." Sad, huh? Ian had his 12 month check-up Friday. The good news is that Ian has gained some weight and is moving up on the chart. He is now at the 10th percentile for weight(19.8 lbs) and 25th for height(29.5 in). Last visit he was in the 3rd for his weight. It's comforting to know that he's plumping up a bit. It's become noticeable by looking at his little chunk legs. They're so cute! Everything else looked good as well. The doctor guessed Ian would be walking in 2-3 weeks. He will take a few good steps every now and then, but then he goes back to crawling. Soon our little tot will be running around the place.

Birthday bash

Ian had his first birthday party last weekend. We had most of our close family and good friends there to celebrate the special day. Ian had a great time laughing with everyone and ate up all the attention from his party guests.
He wasn't a big fan of the cake...

...but he loved Uncle Tim's ice cream. Yummy!

Checking out a new book with Mama.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Speech progress

Just a quick update: Ian has started saying bye-bye while waving! He also said da-da yesterday! He's getting to where he needs to be, slowly but surely.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One year ago...

...we were at the hospital unpatiently awaiting the arrival of little Ian. I remember the nurses telling me to get some rest, but how was I supposed to sleep when I was so nervous with anticipation. I had no idea what to expect in the next few hours...Would he have dark eyes? Would he have any hair? How will his cleft lip look? Will the palate be affected? Will everything else be okay? After 12 hours of labor, Ian showed up at 6:32 am on October 30 weighing 7 pounds and 2 ounces and 20 inches long. He was the most beautiful thing ever and despite all the pain of labor, I couldn't have been happier. Today, at one year later we have overcome many obstacles as a family. Although it has not always been easy for us, I would not change anything about him. I can only hope that having his small defect with make him an even stronger individual than he already is. I am so blessed to have been chosen to be his mother because he, in his 12 months here, has already made me a better person.

I love you, Ian! Happy birthday!

Our little bulldog!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Give me a B!

Ian has started using the "ba" sound more frequently. This is very exciting! Before now he had used it only a couple of times. Last night he was just a "ba-ba-ba"ing away. Now if we can just get the "da" sound, DJ will be very happy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Ian had his first speech appointment yesterday. I was a bit worried, considering how shy our little guy is. The doctor pretty much asked us questions to determine where he is on two levels: comprehension and production of language. Ian understands at the 12-14 month level. Yay! The doctor was very pleased with his understanding. She made me feel like a good mom, saying it was so good that I read to Ian every night. I've never felt like a bad mother, but it felt nice to hear such positive words from someone who works with cleft children professionally. On the other hand, Ian can speak at the 8-9 month level. He has not yet spoken his official "first word", although he's been saying ma-ma for months. He hasn't completely associated ma-ma with the person. The doctor did not seem concerned with this, considering Ian has only had a "full" palate for 2 months. Overall, it was a good visit. We go back in April to have a more thorough assessment. We will be able to determine what else needs to happen since he will have more verbal language by then. Until then we will be stressing words with "p", "b", and "d". Wish us luck!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Little music man

Ian loves listening to Daddy's band every Friday night. He dances and waves his hands around like a little conductor. How cute! Here are just a few pictures of him cheering on the football team and standing on his own, I should add.

11 months

Our baby is 11 months old! Where has all the time gone?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First haircut

At a restaurant before they chopped his hair off. We were playing with it, saying how long it was.

Sitting with Dad. "Okay, this isn't bad."

"Nevermind, this is horrible!"

Watching the bubbles.

It was an experience to say the least.

9 month check-up at 10 months

Ian went to his 9 month check-up Friday. Ian weighed 17.8 pounds and was 28.5 inches long. He's in the 3-5 percentile for weight and 20th for length. Looks like we really will have a little guy. I was a bit worried about his weight, but the doc said we shouldn't worry as long as he's eating and gaining. No troubles with the eating. Our little guy likes to eat. It seems the palate surgery had more impact than we thought. But, all-in-all, he's a healthy little boy.

At 10 months he can: cruise around the room by holding onto furniture, say ma-ma, ba-ba, and da-da when he wants, wave bye-bye, sign milk, make a huge mess, give slobbery kisses, terrorize the dogs, play patty-cake, make the touchdown sign, and turn pages in a book.

Smiling faces

My favorite smiles from the past month.

What we've been up to

Visiting the park. Ian got to see the geese for the first time. He was very intrigued.

Reading. He loves books! Sometimes he'll go straight to a pile of books and flip through instead of playing with toys. I must say that it's quite adorable to watch him turn the pages.

Rockin' out. Playing with his piano in his room. If he get into it, he'll shake his little bootie.

Football games. Watching Daddy's band at the first home game with Grandpa. It was Ian's first marching band experience. He loved the music! I was worried he would be fidgety, but nope, he was content watching the game and listening to the stand music.

Standing. He pushes this thing around. He's gotten much more sure of himself, so we're thinking he'll be standing solo pretty soon.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

All is well

Things have been rather hectic around the McConnell household. Both DJ and I have started back to work and Ian has been going to a sitter 3 days a week. I haven't worked since the May before Ian was born, so it's a very big adjustment. Ian has never been to a real sitter. He's always had his mama or a grandmother to watch him, so it's a very new thing for him as well. He seems to be doing just fine. The only issue is that he gets upset when DJ drops him off in the morning. He's in that very clingy stage where he wants only familiar faces. We're hoping it will get better once he gets more accustomed to the sitter. I have to say, I was very nervous about how he would do, especially at nap time. Instead of being read to and rocked to sleep, he would be put in a play pen without either. The sitter has 5 other kids, so rocking him is not an option. It seems to be working though, as Ian is now finally sleeping in his crib again. Ever since the clingy stage started, he would not sleep in his crib and slept with us. As soon as we would try to put him in the crib, he would scream. We tried leaving him and checking every few minutes, but he would not calm down. Plus, I had a hard time leaving him screaming. So, the fact that he's now going to sleep in his own bed is a very big deal. He still gets his stories and rocked a bit, but now we don't have the screaming or if we do, it's only for a minute. Last night he went down without any tears! What a blessing!

Ian is a crawling machine. He is everywhere. He has started trying to conquer the stairs as well, so we're going to have to baby proof them. No walking yet, but it's not too far away. I think he's content with crawling all over the place for now.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

On the mend

I have gotten reports today that Ian is doing much better. He woke up only three times last night and went back to sleep much easier than before. He had been waking up screaming and it has taken a lot to get him to calm down. I believe he is officially off of the Tylenol with codeine, but is still taking regular Tylenol as needed. He ate a 7 ounce bottle this morning. Now, this is a big deal! He had been taking maybe 2-4 ounces every 4-5 hours. We have been so worried about how little he has been eating.

I feel like there may be an end in sight! Thank you so much for your prayers, as I feel they are being answered. Please continue to keep the little guy in thought. He still has a way to go to get back his buddha belly :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Emergency room scare

Wednesday night I get a call from DJ saying that Ian is bleeding and he is taking him to the ER at Scottish Rite. He said I didn't have to come and that he can handle it. Of course I know he is very capable, but I also know I would have not gotten any school work done sitting around waiting to hear. First off, the bleeding is bad because he just had palate surgery. Secondly, he has hemophilia which makes clotting and healing difficult enough without any issues. Luckily, DJ was smart enough to think to give him Amicar, which is the medicine Ian gets after surgeries to help him heal like he should. The Amicar helped stop the bleeding by the time they got to the hospital. Once I finally get there(the drive seemed to take forever), I see my mom, DJ, and Ian all covered in blood. Talk about scary! They have already seen a nurse, who has taken his temperature (101.2) and given him some Tylenol. We wait around for a while for a plastic surgeon to get there. She attempts to look at his palate, but has little success with a hungry baby who's in pain. The ER doc looks at Ian's ears, which look "perfect". However, at this point we have little explanation for the bleeding. Dr. Williams, Ian's regular plastic surgeon, is out of town and would like us to come in for office hours tomorrow. So, we part ways. Ian's grandmothers take him to the plastic surgeon's office the next day. Dr. Williams is in Colorado, but was able to talk to them on the phone. He seemed to think that the packing had caused the spontaneous bleeding. The packing, made of corn starch, dissolves after a few days. When it dissolves, it leaves exposed gum and such and can cause bleeding. As far as the temperature goes, he wrote a prescription for an antibiotic to get only if Ian still had a temperature the next day. No need in giving medicines Ian didn't need if the only cause for the fever was dehydration.

Fast forward to today, Friday. Ian has eaten about 14-15 ounces since 8 am and 2 containers of baby food. Although this is not much at all, it is a big improvement from the previous days. I know the poor little guy is hungry. And "little" is to be taken literally. Ian was never a big baby to begin with, so not eating much for a week makes him look scary-little. Luckily, we're improving day by day. I cannot wait until he is eating like he was before surgery. I don't mind the restless night so much, but I do mind that he is having such a hard time eating.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Prayers for the Rowells

This is little Ramsey and his daddy. Cope is the son of my parents' good friends. He recently came back from Iraq for a short break and to meet his son. Unfortunately, he had to leave again for another 4 months. Their story, like many in the military is very touching. I have the utmost respect for the men and women fighting, as well as for the families they leave here. I know it takes a lot from everyone. All I ask is that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Recovery update

I got a report that Ian is doing better today. Unfortunately, I am unable to be with him because I am taking classes in another city. My mom has been kind enough to take care of him during the day. Today he ate 2 containers of bananas and drank 8 ounces of formula while my mom was there (7am-6pm). I know this doesn't sound like much, but it is an improvement. I was stayed home yesterday and he was barely drinking anything. He preferred to drink from a big boy cup, which required less sucking. By last night he was drinking some from his bottle. He woke up a few times to eat maybe an ounce or two and take some pain meds. We are still using the Haberman. However, he does better with the older nipples that have been worn in. We got some new ones when we were at the hospital, but they require him to suck more than he's willing right now. All in all, he's doing better, but not where he needs to be to make us all feel better. He's a pretty small little guy as it is and I hate to see him lose any weight.

Thank you for your support thus far. Please keep Ian and his caregivers in your prayers. He's still in a lot of pain, and is trying to adjust to his new palate. He's also had to give up his passie in the process, which makes it even more difficult to soothe him.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The worst part is over...

...hopefully. Ian had his palate surgery Friday. Surgery was scheduled for 10:40am, but we had to be there by 7am for lab work. We hurried to the hospital to wait around for a while. Once we were called back, Ian had labs drawn to determine his factor level. With hemophilia, he had to get Factor 8 through an IV before this and any type of surgery. After receiving the factor, more labs were drawn to make sure his level was where it needed to be. Luckily, he had only 2 pokes this time instead of 7 like before the last surgery. He was a total champ about it. The second time he was poked, he only whimpered for a minute. Surgery and recovery took somewhere around 2 hours; at least that's what I think. Time seems to stand still in the hospital. After surgery he cried for a while and we tried everything to soothe him. He finally went to sleep. He was on morphine for a while for pain, then we switched over to Tylenol that night. He was in a drugged state until around 2am. He woke up wanting something to eat and gobbled down about 3oz. of formula and 2 containers of baby food. Poor guy was hungry. He went back to sleep for a while and woke up around 6am for more food. He ate very well, enough where we decided he would be fine at home. So, we packed up and came home. Today has been pretty rough. He has eaten maybe 1 container of baby food all day and a few ounces of formula. The most he's eaten at one sitting is 2 oz. of apple juice. He was in so much pain that he cried and whined almost constantly, wanting only to be held and snuggle with us. After calling Dr. Williams' office, the nurse said we could up his pain dosage (he's on Tylenol with codeine now). Things have been a little better since then, but he's still not eating much. Please keep him in your prayers. I cannot imagine the pain he is in. I know eating something would make him feel a little more like himself. As any parent, I hate to see him this way. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.