Saturday, February 7, 2015

Vincent's 11 Month Update!

Height/Weight: According to our home scale and measuring tape, Vincent now weighs 21 lbs (34%), is 29 inches long (42%). Once he goes in for his 1 year check up (one year?! *soooob*), we will get some more accurate measurements! :)

Daily: Vincent's schedule has been altered a little bit, but is along the same lines. We wake up at 8 AM every morning and he still goes down for the night between 7 and 8. We usually shoot for about 7:30. He takes two naps, but they are shorter now. My goal is to have him up for three hours straight in between naps and that's usually when he starts showing signs of getting tired anyway.
During the day, Vincent loves playing with his toys in his play pen! His absolute favorite toy is his Playskool Rocktivity table. He knows exactly how many times to hit the drum to turn the song on and when he does, he dances! That toy has been a hit since day one and I'm glad we got it for him! He also still enjoys both of his walkers and is able to walk and push them across his play mat. His favorite thing is tipping them over though! He really likes to sit with me and play with his shape sorting box. I dump them all out onto the floor and he has learned to put them all back inside and close the lid! When he wants me to open it (it's not easy to open), he will start shouting and smacking the lid. He can also take shapes back out! He has recently discovered the result of dropping things, so he turns throwing his toys outside of his play pen area a game. He likes the sound of objects crashing onto the floor!
We play patty cake together, roll a ball or his little Tonka truck back and forth to one another and we practice walking. He also likes to put toys in my lap and climb on me. :)
Usually in the mornings before his first nap, I let Vincent crawl around and play in his room, because it's the only other place besides his play mat where he can crawl around freely without being disturbed by pets or getting into things (some things you just can't baby proof!). This will have to end soon though, since my brother is having to move back in with us! So Vincent will be back in our bedroom again.
We still have the same bedtime routine as we have for most of his life! :)

Sleep: Sleep has been SO great this past month! I really have no complaints. He will only wake one time, between 4 and 6 for a bottle, if he does at all. I am a little bummed to announce that we are going to have to put Vincent back in our room though, because my brother will be moving back in with us. I LOVE my brother and I love having him close, do not get me wrong, but I am just hoping that Vince will continue to sleep okay. Mike and I are going to do everything in our power to avoid waking him up now that we will be sharing a room again. We have all become completely different people since we've been getting better sleep! Haha!
As I mentioned above, we still wake at 8 AM, Vince goes to bed for the night between 7 and 8 PM and he has two naps in between, with (generally) 3 hours of awake time in between sleeping. I haven't had to set alarms anymore to keep us in the routine, because we've gotten so used to it that it isn't necessary. However I always wake him up from his last nap before 5 if he hasn't woken already, so it doesn't mess with his bedtime.
He has gotten very good at self-soothing and going to sleep without much help. I sing to him while he gets his bottle before bedtime and we always read stories afterward. I put him down in his crib and give him a kiss, then give him two little lovies that my Stepmom knitted for him, turn on his mobile music and leave the room. Rarely do I hear a peep after I leave! *knocks on wood*! And as speaking of the lovies, I am convinced that they've been helping him sleep better. I often find him with one or both of them tucked under his arms when he is asleep. <3

Eating: Vincent has been drinking between 24 and 32 oz of formula per day, so between 3 and 4 8oz bottles. Usually one first thing in the morning, one after each of his naps and one before bed. Soon, I am going to begin mixing cow's milk with his formula, to try and get him on that around his 1st birthday. If I were still breastfeeding, I wouldn't be in any rush what so ever to wean him off, but with as expensive formula is, even off-brand, I would like to try and get him used to cow's milk as soon as possible. He has solid lunch and dinner and sometimes breakfast, although he doesn't seem to want breakfast when I offer it in the mornings, so we often skip it. I am going to start offering it every day though, in attempt to get him used to it. He gets a good mixture of table food and baby food. He still prefers table food and feeding himself. And if I do spoon feed him, I have to give him the baby spoon and feed him with a small "big people" spoon or a fork, depending on the food. I don't know if he thinks the baby spoon is a toy or if it's the color, but he MUST have it. And the food goes everywhere BUT in his mouth! lol
He really loves bananas, likes mashed potatoes, little pieces of chicken, pasta, beans and rice. I've had to stop giving him apples unless cooked or baked, because he bit off a piece too big and choked a bit recently! So no more frozen apples. He hasn't had any popsicles all month either - he has completely lost interest.

Sizes: There are still a few pieces of 9 month clothing that fit him, but he is pretty much exclusively in 12 month clothing. There are even some 18 month clothes that fit him, but it just depends on the brand! I also got several sets of new socks for his 1st birthday, because nearly all of his are way too small now! I held up his newborn shoes to his feet the other day and I nearly cried! He is still in size 4 diapers and will be for quite a while, I imagine.

Milestones and Changes:
  • He claps now whenever I do "Patty Cake" with him! 
  • Vincent has mastered pulling himself into a standing position, often just using one hand. He can also ease himself back down into a sitting position with no trouble anymore, whereas he used to have to plop back down on his butt!

  • He is also getting better and better at standing with no support! The longest was 20 seconds before he sat back down. I don't have a photo of him doing it yet, but I'm certain I will by the next update! :)
  • Vince can say "Da-da", "Daddy", "Mum-mum", "Auntie" (although it sounds more like Addy), "Aye", "Ya" and "Hi". He has started making a few new sounds, like "gaga" and he has sounded like he said "Unkie" (which we say instead of Uncle), "duck", "lion" and "doggie", but he never said it again! lol He also did something interesting today when I had Sesame Street on; they were repeating the number 17 over and over and all of a sudden, he started saying "Ten-ten"! Even just hearing him vocally respond to words is very cool!
  • He has gotten really good at imitating - whether it's sounds, faces and bits and pieces of words. This one is his favorite: when I scrunch up my face and snort like a bull, he will do it too! xD I need to get it on video. It really is priceless!

  • He has got a new way of letting me know when he is ready for a bottle - he will make the "indian sound" (I'm sorry - that is so politically incorrect, but I do not know how else to describe it!) with his mouth! He also does it when he wants another bite. 
  • He can walk forward, while holding onto a walker with one hand or holding onto my hand or shirt! I am working on gently letting go while he is walking, but he usually sits straight back down or falls forward onto his hands. We practice every day and I have a feeling it won't be too much longer before he is walking on his own!
  • Vincent has learned how to climb, when something is low enough. He can climb the stairs at his auntie's house with no assistance (though I climb up behind him with my hands ready haha!), he climbs onto the futon in his room and he has recently started to pull himself onto the top of his activity table as well!

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Why Vaccinations are NOT a Personal Choice.

Okay folks, I'm going to go against my general social networking and blogging rule and address a pretty controversial topic, that I've become rather passionate about. You've seen it all over the news: vaccines. Particularly the MMR vaccine. I know this blog post is bound to ruffle some feathers, but I will take my chances, if it could potentially change someone's mind.
Between January 1st and January 30th 2015, there were 102 reported measles cases. That's more cases than there were in each of the single years from 2002-2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012 alone. Last year, there were around 650 reported cases. The reason? Not vaccinating.
Nowadays, not vaccinating has become a trend. Whether it's because parents aren't comfortable with the ingredients and chemicals in the vaccines, because of the claimed link between the MMR vaccine and autism or for religions reasons. 

Let me throw a few facts out there for you:

Throughout the past few decades, awareness, recognition and diagnostic practice regarding autism have drastically improved. So naturally, the number of those diagnosed with autism has increased with time. Autism can't be definitely diagnosed until around 18-24 months of age, which is around the same time that vaccines such as the MMR vaccine are first administered. This could explain the reason that a connection between autism and the MMR vaccine was suspected. Early signs and symptoms are often present when children are as young as 8 months old. There is scientific proof that autism can be a result of genetic nongenetic events occurring before conception or during pregnancy, long before a vaccine would even be administered. However, Andrew Wakefield's 1998 claim that there is a link between autism and the MMR vaccine, was discredited. There is no scientific proof that autism is a result of the MMR vaccine after numerous studies. (Here's a great NPR article about a woman with an autistic child, who changed her mind about vaccines:

Even if you hunt and grow your own food and produce your own hygienic products and clothing from scratch, I can pretty much guarantee you that you are coming into contact with more potentially harmful chemicals every day than you would receive in a single vaccine. If you drink water from any source, you are consuming chlorine and aluminum in small quantities. And even something as benign and essential as water can be toxic, if consumed in large quantities. Furthermore, your body actually already contains some of what are considered harmful ingredients, such as formaldehyde. 

The claim that vaccines contain aborted human fetus cells or animal cells is completely false. Multiple purification steps ensure that no cells are present in the final product. There is no antifreeze in vaccines either, but rather a single component of antifreeze called polyethylene glycol, which is also widely and safely used in personal care creams like skin creams and toothpaste. 

Prior to FDA approval, Vaccines go through significant clinical trials, involving tens of thousands of adults and children. Meaning that unless your child is immunocompromised, has allergies or is in any other way physically incapable of receiving vaccines, the chances of your child experiencing any side affects from the vaccine are slim to none. And even if you were to get sick after receiving your vaccines, having one of the diseases that the vaccine prevents would be MUCH worse and possibly fatal.

Your child may be perfectly healthy now. And I am certain that you as a parent want to do everything to keep them that way, hence the reason you question vaccines in the first place. But if your child has not received his vaccinations, he has a 90% chance of coming down with a disease, if around someone who is sick. Especially an airborne disease such as measles, is SO incredibly contagious. And people who have come down with measles can be contagious 4 days before and after the time that a rash is visible. A single sneeze could infect many people at once and the disease has contaminated a surface, like a door handle, it will remain contaminated for two hours.

I am pro-vaccines, so why would it matter to me if you don't vaccinate, you ask? Because my 11 month old son is still too young to receive his first MMR vaccine. Meaning he is highly susceptible. And he won't be able to get his second and final shot of the series until he is 4. You must also consider, that no vaccine is 100% effective. Some people are non-responsive to vaccines. There is still a chance of getting measles in a milder form if you're vaccinated. On top of this, there are many people, who are medically incapable of receiving vaccines, such as those with cancer or autoimmune diseases. These people rely on herd immunity to stay healthy. 

I am sorry to have to put this bluntly. But if your child were to come down with a disease and pass it on to my child and my child died from the disease, YOU would be responsible for my child's death. I know that sounds extreme, but it is a cold, hard fact. A fact that proves that it is not a personal choice. I am all for making parenting choices that suit your family, whether it's to breastfeed or formula feed, use cloth or disposable diapers, circumcise, not circumcise et cetera. But when your parenting choices also affect the health and lives of others, the line must be drawn. 

I am fully aware that people are going to make their own decisions, regardless of what anyone else says. But I am BEGGING you for the sake of your child's health, mine and others, that you educate yourself, using credible sources and talking to your doctor. I am also fully aware that I am no expert. I am not posting this because I am trying to be a know-it-all, or prove how wrong you are, but because I am concerned about the health and safety of not only my child, but yours. And if you still decide against vaccines, even if you are physically capable of receiving them, I don't want to argue with you, because I have wasted my time and breath so often during the past weeks since the Disneyland measles outbreak. Instead, I will kindly ask you to homeschool your children and keep them out of the general public, to ensure their safety and the safety of others. Thanks for taking the time to read my post.


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