This is the amazing story of our micro preemie, John Craig. He was born on November 30, 2005 at 24 weeks and 5 days gestation. He weighed 1 pound 8 ounces and was 12 inches long. John is a true miracle and an inspiration to all that meet him!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29.11

Friday, August 31, 2007

So Much To Say...

...So little time...because I need to go to bed:)

Things are still going FABULOUS in the Birtch home!
  • Today I was able to give John 6 ounces (180ml) of food in less than 20 minutes....AND, he kept it down! It used to take us a good half hour to give him 2 ounces (60ml) of formula...and then it would come right back up:(

  • He is a pooping machine! He has been pooping everyday (without meds) and some days even 2 or 3 times.....unheard of!!!

  • He is babbling A LOT more and he's even making new sounds!

  • He slept for 12 hours and 40 minutes last night! He has always been a good nighttime sleeper........poor guy could sleep through vomiting. He would just vomit and go back to sleep...but, now we are ALL sleeping 100% better. And, we don't have to worry about him getting tangled in his feeding tube (around his neck.....which has happened numerous times.)

  • In the last few days he has eaten (and swallowed) a few things.......

1. 1 pretty big bite of a shortbread cookie

2. 2 big bites of a piece of paper

3. 1 small bite of a pretzel

4. And today..........LOTS of bites of Daddy's ice-cream!





Notice the couch? This is exactly why we aren't buying new furniture in the play room!

So, as you can see we are still loving the Blenderized diet and we're extremely glad we went with our gut feeling and made this decision..........even though GI isn't supportive.

Anyhow, I'll leave you with this...

BD (blenderized diet) gone bad!


I had to laugh because as Daddy was cleaning off the ceiling, I glanced over and saw some of my protein shake splattered on the adjacent wall (ceiling.) FYI, don't stick a knife in the blender while the blender is on!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Who Likes Popsicles?




"I LIKE POPSICLES!"

These mini popsicles are the best......perfect for my little man! And as you can see........he LOVES his popsicles!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Popeye....(Updated)


....John's strong to the finish cause he eats his spinach, he's Popeye the sailor man!

I cannot say enough good things about the Blenderized diet. It has worked wonders for our little guy and we've just begun. Today is our very first day of 100% blended food.....AND, it may be the first time in John's ENTIRE life that he'll go to bed without being hooked up to any tubes, wires, or monitors..........that is, if we can get all of his food in before bedtime.
So, here is a look at his food he'll be eating today.
Not pictured is flax seed oil, yogurt, milk, and almonds.........we still need to introduce those foods to him but, before long that 1 tiny little can of Peptamin Jr. will be long gone!!!


Now, you'll need to sit down before you look at the next 2 photos because you'll be witnessing yet another miracle. John is doing something we were told HE WOULD NEVER DO!

SITTING.....all by himself and who cares that it's a "W" sit!


All by the grace of God......and a little help from the spinach:)

Update:

It is now 10:00pm, John is fast asleep......and, he's NOT hooked up to the feeding pump!

On top of having a fabulous day with the diet, John held his cherry popsicle in his little hand and all by himself took 5 licks from it. What a GREAT day!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Off We Go...

...to the ballpark!






post signature

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Day 4...

...and loving it!!! We are still going strong with the blenderized diet and can't believe what a difference it has made. Unless you've been in our shoes, I truly don't think you can understand how painful it is to see your child vomit and retch numerous times a day every day of their life. It's unfair and unfortunate but I think we have finally turned a corner and I couldn't be more excited about it!

Today I blended.....quinoa, black beans, a banana, an apple, flax meal, and 1 cup of chicken broth.......AND, (drum roll please) he kept it down! Folks, this is HUGE!

John is definitely the best fed in the house. I told Jamie that I wanted a G-tube so I could eat that healthy:)

Below are a few pictures from today.....just your average (lazy) Saturday.


Just chillin!
Look at how long his legs are.

Practicing sitting and making huge progress with it.


John taking his first man bath!

Having fun with Mommy!

post signature


Thursday, August 23, 2007

This is Crazy!

All I have to say is.......the Blenderized Diet ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!! We are only on day 2 of the diet but I am seeing HUGE improvements. He is vomiting less and sleeping more. I am guessing that within a week or 2 we will be giving John 100% blenderized food.........and, NO MORE CANNED FORMULA!!!! My only regret is that I didn't start this sooner.

post signature

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sleeping Baby

This is how John sleeps every night......one arm wedged between the crib and the mattress. I seriously think this could be the cutest little hand in the entire world!


On another note.....Jamie took John to the pediatrician today just to be safe. Dr. G said his ears and chest look and sound great but she did write us a prescription for a chest X-ray in case he got worse. He was able to take a 2 hour nap (go figure...Daddy was at home and Mommy was at work) so I think that in itself made him feel better.

And, we will officially be starting the blenderized diet tomorrow. We are taking it VERY slow and will introduce one new food every 3 days.........our first food is going to be either flax seeds, legumes, or gluten-free whole grains (brown rice, quinoa) because his fiber intake is low. Now I just have to decide which one to start with. We also have decided...per his nutritionist, that we will be giving him a gluten free diet. Wish us luck on this new journey!


post signature

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Story Time...

...Daddy style!

Let me recite a story I overheard Jamie reading to John tonight. He was reading "his version" of, Happy Baby Colors.....obviously a book about colors!

So, Daddy gets to the blue page...

Daddy: Blue is for ugly sweater that your Grandma will get you someday. Blue is for blueberries that you'll stick in your nose and ears.

And, the red page...

Daddy: Red is for rainboots that you will never wear in Arizona.

And, the yellow page...

Daddy: Yellow is for chick....you are a chick magnet and are going to get all the girls!

Too funny!!!! Gotta love him!

post signature

Summer Cold

How in the world do you catch a cold in the summer, in (blazing hot) Arizona?

Well, somehow John was able to and boy is it a fierce one. He has been coughing up a storm (oh yes, I am constantly checking for labored breathing, wheezing, etc.) which leads to more vomiting.........as if we didn't have enough already! So, per the pediatrician, we have been loading him up with Tylenol and cough syrup.....and hope to get rid of this nasty crud soon.

Cold or no cold.......this kid can still give the GREATEST smiles!



We like to share.....so, guess who's getting the cold next?


post signature

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Typical Day

Chocolate for breakfast!

Nap time.....or should I say lack of nap time?



And, an afternoon at the ballpark!



What a life!!!

We've been having some fun around here.........minus the lack of naps! The little booger did not sleep a wink (during the day) on Saturday or Sunday! As of Monday, we have been back on track though....cross your fingers that I didn't just jinx myself:)

Let's see....what's new in John's world:
  • We should be starting the blenderized diet next week. His nutritionist is reviewing his PILES of medical records and will have his diet ready soon. We are debating about doing a gluten free diet since celiac runs on Daddy's side of the family......we'll see what she decides is best for him.

  • The other day someone asked me if John was 8 months old.....I simply smiled and said, "No, he's 20 months!" I am sure she felt a little uncomfortable. However, I did go on and tell her his story.

  • Our nightly routine consists of......dinner, bath, story/prayer, bed. After dinner we strip him down to just his diaper (we used to strip him down to the nudie....but that cold tile floor always made someone pee.) Anyhow, now as soon as his bath is ready I yell out to the hallway (where he's playing) and say, "I need a nudie bootie" and he'll take off laughing and crawling as fast as he can..........it's too darn cute!

  • I cannot even remember the last time he had a tremor (head and hands.) That cerebellum is definitely kicking in and doing it's job.....FYI, the cerebellum is the last part of the brain to grow.

  • He loves drinking water from a cup. He also LOVES to stick his hands in the cup of water and make a mess but all we have to do is say....no hands, and he'll put his hands down and open his mouth.....he's so smart!

  • The school that I teach at has a special needs preschool......and as of last year, I was not going to enroll John in it BUT, we got 3 new AMAZING teachers (one is from La Casa de Cristo preschool) this year..........they are awesome and so good with the kids! Now, I can't wait to enroll him.....not for 2 more years though:)

I am starting to see my father in me more and more....as noted above, I am beginning to plan ahead......WAY AHEAD!!!!!!

post signature


Friday, August 10, 2007

Birthday Bash!

Today John went to his first birthday party........and, it just so happened to be his first trip to Peter Piper Pizza as well.

He loved all of the excitement (kids, games, balloons, noise, etc.) and we were glad we got to help Kaiden (Aaron and Michelle's son) celebrate his 3rd birthday (and visit with our friends!)

This is GREAT......I think I want to come here more often!

Wow Mommy, look at all the balloons!

Soooooooo refreshing!

Continue your conversation....don't mind me.

Hey, what's going on over there?

post signature


Thursday, August 09, 2007

1st Family Photo!

I should be doing school work right now but I am procrastinating (imagine that) and looking through old pictures!

This pictures was taken on December 24, 2005. John was a very sick boy at the time (he had miraculously survived NEC but was now battling a liver infection)......but my amazing husband went out (on Christmas Eve) and had birth announcements made for our little man.

If you are wondering why you never received one it's because I couldn't bring myself to mail them out..........in fear that he may not survive.



OK..........now I am going to go kiss my baby and get back to my work!


post signature

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Teething Bites...

...literally! I really hope that this is John's last tooth to come in for awhile.........I really don't know where another one would go! He has 8 on the bottom and 7 (with number 8 cutting through as we speak) on the top. Enough already!!!!

Anyhow, the other day I went to give him a kiss and he bit my top lip.........Hard! I can't be mad though, considering I sort of taught him it. Let me explain before you think I am a crazy woman teaching her son to bite people (hmmmmm, maybe the next Mike Tyson?) You see, we always go, "Grrrrrr" and pretend like we are going to eat him up and sure enough......Mr. Smarty Pants caught on. What can I say, my son is brilliant!!!


Let me out of here!

Hey ladies (or should I say toddlers?).....meet your Knight in Shinning Armor! TALL, dark (well, he would be dark if Mommy didn't drench him in 30SPF constantly) and most importantly, HANDSOME!

Monday, August 06, 2007

I am A Big Boy Now!

I forgot to mention earlier today that my little man pulled to stand all by himself this evening..........with his AFO's and his shoes on!

We are sooooooooo proud of him!

And, he is such a big boy now that Grandpa decided next summer (oh yes, my father plans ahead.......come October, he'll already be packed) when we go to WA with them........he's going to pitch a tent in the family room and that's where the two of them will sleep:)

Grandpa, John's going to hold you to it!


post signature

Pimp My Blog

I thought it was about time for a makeover and boy do I LOVE the new look!!!

I'll update more later......it's time to begin our nightly routine and I haven't decided if we are having chocolate pudding or Cool Whip for dinner..........decisions, decisions!

Update:
I am back! We actually took a completely different route and went with leftover cake (from Sarah's baby shower) instead of pudding or cool whip! AND, it was a hit! I figured I should start teaching him now how to dig into a yummy piece of cake.........because after all, there is a birthday coming up.........in just 4 short months!!! To really get him in the mood I even sang Happy Birthday. He LOVED it.......and yes, I am a complete dork!



Anyhow, back to my new look! I have wanted to spice up my blog for awhile now but I just couldn't justify paying $75-$100 on it.......OK, I could justify it but I knew there was NO WAY I could justify it to the hubby! So, when I came across this wonderful woman named Jennisa who was only charging $15.00 I was ecstatic! She was great to work with and I love what she did with my blog!

So, if you are in need of a bloggie makeover go visit her site and get the ball rolling!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

It's Back To Work I Go!

At midnight tonight my summer break is officially over:( We have had a great summer and ended it with a fabulous weekend!!!
Let's see......we had Cool Whip for dinner Friday night.....which John loved playing in!
*If you enlarge the picture, you can see his white canine tooth....his bottom left.

We discovered that it's a lot of fun to chew on the velcro of our shoes..........he's attempted to chew on his AFO's.....but at the price of those babies we are definitely keeping them out of reach! Jamie actually caught him chewing on the tip of his shoe (while wearing them) today! Looks like those hip are loosening up..........yippee!

And, here's my little double fister.........I think he's practicing for those wild and crazy college party's!

And, my little pumpkin all tuckered out from a long day of playing!

On top of all that fun, we took our first skinny dip (John, not me) this weekend!!!!! We like to take a dip in the pool before dinner and I was just too lazy to go get his little swimmers so, I took him in, in his birthday suit.........and what a cute suit that is:) He loved it! He was just kicking and splashing......and choking on all the water he continuously swallowed:(