Monday, January 26, 2009

7 Months

Big Boy Blue-Eyed Charlie

Charlie is officially getting to be a big boy...a 7 month old big boy. Each month I say, how is it possible and I'll say it again this month. But as much as I miss the baby in him, I love the funny, sweet, cuddly boy that is our Charlie. We love to see him learn and figure things out. He continues to amaze us.

He's had some exciting (and not so exciting) accomplishments this month...

**He rolls and rolls and rolls and rolls.

**All the rolling lead to an ambulance ride and ER visit recently as he rolled down our stairs...when we didn't know he could roll that far (he had only rolled about 2-4 times at that point)...and we hadn't installed the gate yet. Luckily, he's a big strong boy and didn't end up doing any damage to himself. He did give his parents some moments of heart failure though! By the time he got in the ambulance, he had charmed the paramedics and was laughing and smiling with them.

**We are practicing sitting up unassisted and bearing weight on his legs...something he's a little behind on, but we are hoping, as with everything else, he will catch up quickly.

**He does alot of talking. Bababbababab, dadadada, mamamama (that's only when he's tired). Babababab happens alot when he sees his bottle. We really think he's associating bottle with bababa.

**Speaking of bottles...he can completely hold his unassisted. He gets lazy sometimes, but really he prefers to be in control of it. He still drinks ALOT of formula given his increase this month to 3 meals a day, but we are seeing signs of his formula intake slowing down.

**He also prefers to be in control of his spoon. He likes to "help" us bring the spoon to his mouth, which results in a messier eating experience for all involved. We try to limit his "helping" when it involves food other than his formula. But we do appreciate his effort!

**He got two bottom teeth within three days. He continues to chew on everything and be a little cranky at times which we call teething....we know those top two would like to come out soon!

**He must wear a minimum of 9 month size pants because he needs the length. He hangs off my lap when I try to hold him like a baby. Good thing his Daddy is so tall so he doesn't look so funny being held by him.

**He is truly enjoying his musical, lighting up sorts of toys he got for Christmas. Thank you to all for those! He got a toy gum ball machine and learned to operate the lever after a short 10 minute lesson from Mommy. He amazes us!

**He still enjoys his bedtime stories each night...and any stories someone will read him during the day. He likes to turn the pages...and try to eat them.

**He also is starting to form more of a schedule of naps, but continues to be flexible with us as we have plans to be out doing fun activities.

Too Many to Pick From

When you take 30 pictures in a day to get ONE good smiling, looking at the camera, showing off your two new teeth photos of your 7 month old on his can't just post one. So here's some of the other cute ones.

Cheesy smile...but you can clearly see the great teeth he has.

Mommy, you don't mind if I EAT the soft blanket Cousin Lauren gave me do you?

This is a face we get a lot. But the real important part of the photo is look at him sit on his own so well!!

Good smile...not looking at me.

Eating a toy...again. This is all he does.

Charlie Brown

We call him Charlie Brown so much he smiles and laughs when we say it. So, Kenny found this great shirt for him...and it fits perfectly!

Our own Charlie Brown.

Playing In Charlie's Room

I realized that we never let Charlie play in his room. So, Saturday, I let him play in there while I cleaned, organized clothes and working on his laundry. He had a great time exploring. I found these cute sunglasses in a bag of stuff from his cousin Jack and they looked so cute on him!

He really wasn't phased by having them on.

I guess they are still a little big.

Trying to figure out what to do with the toy.

Practicing sitting up in his crib.

The Children's Museum

About a week ago, Charlie and I joined Aunt Joan, Uncle Joe, Anna and Kate at the Children's Museum. We had a great time. It's a nice middle place for us to meet and the kids can just play. Charlie enjoyed this trip more than last time and really liked watching everything!

Anna and Charlie with the brick wall Anna built.

Kate and Charlie found a reading corner and we learned Kate loves to "read" as much as Charlie does!

Charlie lovin' the action!

Kate loved these green buckets. occupied her for a good hour.

Charlie checking out a froggie.

Katie and Charlie's Wedding

No...not our Charlie. Katie's Charlie. :) Our friends Katie and Charlie got married a few weeks ago...and these photos loaded out of order...but here they are.

Gwen ready to cuddle up and go to sleep...but Big Sister Ava was still dancing!

Book Group... (l to r): Michelle, Kori, Pia, Meredith, Kadee, Katie, Adina, Mandy, Marci and Gretchen.

The happy couple. It was a beautiful wedding and a FUN reception!

Look...we got to go out without Charlie...Thanks Grandma!

Monday, January 19, 2009

One in Five

One in Five people in the world have a pituitary tumor --- that's 20% of the world. Did you know that? Kenny is one in five. That's pretty common. It's not a rare thing that he has and people with these tumors that are treated properly, live long, normal lives as he is.

One of the themes this year in our house is education...specifically about pituitary tumors/ that we can battle this properly and know as much as we can about what life will be like.

Two years ago when we found out that Kenny had a pituitary tumor, I began reading, researching, studying all I could on the Internet. One of the best sites I found was It's for the Pituitary Network Association (PNA) and has fantastic material. It's a group we could have joined then, but didn't.

The neurosurgeon at Northwestern that we selected two years ago as a second opinion was apart of this group...and ultimately did Kenny's surgery in August. Back in August, we also learned from Kenny's cousin that this was "the" organization for pituitary issues.

This organization strives to help people with pituitary tumors and problems related to them. It's interesting to learn some facts:

** One in Five people in the world (that's 20%) have a pituitary tumor. Kenny is one in five people that have a tumor like his! That's a lot of people in this world.

** Many people go on for years living with signs and symptoms before they are ever told they have a tumor. They are treated for other problems that the tumor is causing, but never the tumor itself. Kenny is lucky...our general doctor immediately sent him for a CT of his head when he complained of headaches 2 years ago.

**Pituitary tumors are typically benign (something like 99%) but these tumors still do damage to your body and have long standing effects that require one to take medications, typically. It's a fairly recent law that says doctors must register all benign brain tumors in a registry --- this is major in learning more about these tumors.

** The pituitary gland is the master gland in your body...and it does so much that you never realize. We are lucky that it's functions can be replaced by taking medications daily. Looking at Kenny, you would never know he walks around with a dysfunction such as his. He continues to function normally, in quite the same way a diabetic would function, for instance. He takes medication, in a timely manner, to help his body function normally. Diabetics do the same thing, they take medication, in a timely manner, to help their bodies function normally.

These are just some of the major facts. We just joined this organization...we felt it was important to be apart of support their amazing efforts in battling pituitary dysfunction. This organization and their members could some day find a cure or better treatment or better medications. It's "our" organization now. I now wear a bracelet that says one in five on it.

With our membership, came a book all about pituitary tumors, treatment, hormone imbalances. I can't wait for both of us to read through all of it. I KNOW that book will help us tons. There is no class you take with your doctors when you get a diagnosis like this...they tell you alot, but they can't teach everything. It's up to you to be proactive. So we are. Kenny took a look at the book the night we got it and just from flipping around for 10 minutes, he said "This has SO much information it in." We both look forward to reading it and learning....about him being one in five.

Monday, January 12, 2009

All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth

All Charlie really wanted for Christmas was some teeth...he's been working so hard at getting them...poor little guy. So, last Friday, January 9...he got his wish...a tooth (specifically his bottom right tooth)!! And today, the other one on the bottom start to poke through.

If you click on the picture it will blow up and on the left side (his right) you can see a white line...our baby is growing up!

Charlie and his first tooth

Friends Christmas

Each year our NIU friends always get together to celebrate Christmas. It's become quite an event as the many kids have been added to the group. Last year there were 4 kiddos...and 4 pregnant this year (had everyone been there), there would have been 8 kiddos.

I'm learning it's hard to remember to take photos and socialize and make sure your baby is happy or that one of the other kids doesn't need this is the only decent photo I got!

Charlie and Camryn...they are less than 24 hours apart. Last Christmas, Kristine (Cam's mom) and I announced our pregnancies at this party...and here are the children that resulted from them. Kristine was due 1 day after me...and here they are...Charlie 1 day older than Camryn.

Is it Wrong?

Is it wrong that I'm just getting around to posting some Christmas photos?? This isn't even really all of them because all of our Christmas celebrations really came after Christmas, into New Years...and I don't even have all the photos yet. But here are some...

Jack and Charlie...or Charwee as Jack says it some times...they really do like each other!

Pops and Charlie having a talk. Charlie seems to be taking good notes.

Charlie playing on Aunt Kathi and Uncle Lloyds floor.

Smiling...probably at Uncle Ted...he's a silly guy.
More to come from the Friedrich side later!