January Update

img_9323Hi Everyone… another exciting update from the Mazza household, where Samuel and Jacob are growing like two weeds!

We just passed the one-year mark of when we brought Jacob home.  It was fun to revisit that post I did a year ago to see how small he was, and to compare to how big he is now.  We’ve officially declared him a “walker” now, since he can take 2-3 steps reliably, and we’ve seen him go as far as 6 steps before losing his balance.  I think it’s less of a balance issue and more of a confidence issue.  He’ll get there.

Jacob is about a week away from being off all formula.  We’re weaning him off the formula and moving him to whole milk.  Now he gets four bottles per day, with 6oz. of milk and 2oz. of formula.  By next week we should be at 100% milk.  It will be nice to swap this out for milk, since formula is more expensive.

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Jacob paid a visit to Target with mom, and made himself comfortable in the cart.

He eats pretty much what we eat now.  He especially loves bananas and peas.  He does get baby food (stage 4), but we’re trying to change our eating habits to have things that he can eat with us.

Jacob is still taking two naps per day, and he’s doing pretty good with them now.  Lately both he and Sammy have been sleeping a bit later – until 6:30am or even 7am.  We’re thrilled to have the extra sleep ourselves!

Samuel is doing well too.  He’s getting a lot of attention from his physical therapists, occupational therapists and other specialty doctors.  We’re looking forward to working closer with his speech therapist on his feeding.

He got clearance today to go from 5 feedings to 4 feedings per day, using his feeding pump into his G-Tube, of course.  He will get the same amount, but we’ll just give it as a larger feeding.  And we should be able to speed things up a bit over time so the feedings will go faster.  The goal is not to spend 5 hours per day getting food pumped in, so he can do more playing, therapy, learning, etc.

Sammy also gets some baby food on a regular basis now.  He likes it a lot, though the first bite is always a bit of an adventure.  And now the OT folks want us to work with him on starting to take some liquids through a cup.  We’re going to bypass the bottle completely, I think, since he’s forgotten what to do and isn’t reacting well to it.

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Sammy smiles while wearing his “Mom” sweater.  He’s practicing for Valentine’s Day.

His strength is really improving.  His physical therapist, Laurel, is always impressed when he comes to see her.  She told me earlier this week that his abs are a bit weak, but the rest of him is getting really strong.  It’s OK that his abs are weak, considering he has a G-Tube right through the middle of them.

We can put Samuel down on the floor on his back now and he’s very likely to roll over.  He’s kind of funny since he grunts and groans the whole way.  Now we need to work on turning those grunts and groans into babbling.

In other news, we learned today that Stevie, our nanny, will no longer be with us.  We wish her well and now we start our search for somebody else to help.  It really is great when we can get reliable help who can handle the boys.  Last Friday Kristen and I went on a lunch date, and then went bowling in Danville.  I learned that I’m not a very good bowler, and Kristen isn’t much better than me.  But she beat me in both games and I did not let her win!

Many of you know I left my company back in November.  I have nothing to share on the job front, other than I’m interviewing at a few locations.  But its’ been really great to spend more time with the boys.  Still, I’m ready to get back to a day job, and hope to land something great soon.

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The Eyes Have It!

The Eyes Have It!
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Sammy says “Happy New Year”.  This may be his best smile ever.

Happy New Year everyone.  Time for another installment of what’s going on in the Mazza household.  We’re just shy of 13 months old now – almost 11 months gestationally – and the boys are doing well overall.

Today they had an eye appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist.  Samuel previously saw an eye doctor, who promptly declared him cortically blind.  This was back in October, and understandably Kristen came home in tears.  It made me mad because I knew he wasn’t blind, and shame on a doctor for declaring that.  We’ve since fired Dr. Chou, and won’t be going back to her.  (She also did a test called a refraction, which wasn’t necessary.  Most medical plans won’t cover that, but I learned today my vision plan may cover it.)

And then for Jacob, when he saw Dr. Nash in December for his one-year check-up, they ran a test via some iPhone app and said he may have some eye issues, and he referred us to get Jacob checked out.

So today, we took both boys to see Dr. Victoria Hsu from the UCSF Benioff Children’s hospital today.  Luckily they have a San Ramon office, which is super convenient for us.  Both boys had an examination and then had some drops in their eyes to widen the pupil.  Both boys are far-sighted, but neither boy is a concern at all.  As their brain matures, they should grow out of most of it.  Regular eye tests will tell us for sure.

Samuel does have his right pupil 20% larger than his left pupil, and the doctor says his right eye isn’t maturing as it should.  So Samuel gets to be a pirate now, wearing an eye patch over his left eye for two hours per day for the next few months.  The goal is to eliminate the left eye, forcing the right eye to work harder and mature.

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Sammy sports his eye patch.

As a more general update, the boys are doing well.  Samuel’s absolutely doing great with his physical therapy.  The therapists are ecstatic about his progress.  His tummy time is going well and he’s able to roll over on his own now.  He still has to learn to get his arm out of the way, but he’s able to do it.  And when he’s on his tummy, he’s doing a great job of lifting his head off the ground.  That means his neck muscles are really getting stronger.  We’re so proud of his work ethic!

He’s interacting with his toys pretty well, and he’s generally having a good time most of the time.  He still has a long way to go, but Samuel’s well on his way to “catching up”.

Jacob is almost to the point where he can walk on his own. He likes to walk around the living room, holding on to everything, and in the past few days he’s been taking a step here or a couple steps there on his own, from the ottoman to the sofa, for example.  He’s going to start the transition from formula to milk over the next several weeks, and then by sometime in February we’re pretty sure he’ll be off formula.  He’s learning how to use his sippy cup, and he eats nearly everything we put in front of him.  Last night he had peas – one of his favorite foods – a slice of turkey and some baby food.

Stevie has been out the past three weeks, but we’ve been lucky and fortunate enough to have a great fill-in: Bianca, who’s a college student from San Ramon.  She goes to school out of town and needed a job for the exact dates that Stevie was gone.  She’s done a fabulous job, and we hope to keep in contact with her.

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Jacob in his bear outfit, following a ride in the wagon with Bianca

That’s about it for now.  Happy January!