Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Granny and Grandad come to Boston!

Had a great week with Granny and Grandad, who hadn't seen Preston since he was 8 weeks old! What amazing changes. He loved spending time with them and having Grandad read him stories and Granny give him bottles, and of course, they both gave him lots of hugs, kisses and cuddles. They were here over the 4th of July weekend, so we were happy to show them how Boston celebrates!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

11 Months Old

Preston is crawling around like a champ now, and starting to pull himself up to a standing position while holding onto the couch, a chair, whatever he can get his hands on, really.

He is chattering away, saying "dada", "mama", "gaga", "baba" and "nana". He likes to give air kisses and wave at people. He also likes to crawl halfway across the room, turn around and wave at Mommy, and then continue on his way.

He loves music and bouncing to the rhythm of songs, tv commercials, even the jackhammering we hear outside our windows. He can find rhythm in lots of unexpected sounds, which is really cool. Books are a favorite now. He loves sitting on the floor and flipping through his big board books, especially the one with all the photos of the dogs.

Summer's here!

After months of cold and dreary weather, I am celebrating the return of summer! There is so much to do in the city- parks, pools, outdoor concerts, long walks....I can't wait to share it all with Preston.

His friend Julian lives in an apartment complex with a really nice pool, so we tried it out on Monday and Preston loved being in the water! We are going to take "swimming" lessons there once a week, hopefully he'll be a water baby like I was.

Check out the cool bathing suit we bought for in when we were in London. Covers up that fair, English skin nicely!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thanks, little guy...

...for making us smile during a difficult time. You were so happy and resilient throughout your latest hospital stay, and it really helped keep our spirits up. Due to an infection in your incision area, we had to stay at MGH for four days while your wound was cleaned out, re-stitched and you were given antibiotics to help get rid of those pesky germs. There were some roadblocks along the way: you were allergic to the first antibiotic and your IV came out on day three, resulting in three unsuccessful attempts to re-insert it. That was really hard for all of us, but you were so brave.

I have to say that you were the hit of the pediatric floor at MGH. You were such a little flirt with Nurses Amanda, Melissa and Caroline, smiling and giggling every time they came in to check on you. You also made friends with the lady who brought in our meals and the man who cleaned out the trash cans. You gave him a beautiful smile, and he said that you made his day! The nurses said they didn't want to see you leave, but I'm very happy that we are back home and on the mend. Hopefully we won't be back to MGH for a long time. (Although, I'm not sure what you are going to do without all of the constant attention!)
Love you.

Here you are with Daddy at 6am. You loved to sit in the hall and wave to everyone going by.

And he's off!

Looks like I spoke too soon in my previous post! Our little man started crawling a few days after he turned 9 months. At first, he stayed confined to the rug we have in our living area, but as he gets more confident, he's exploring all kinds of fun new things, such as opening the doors to the TV cabinet and checking out all of the CDs and DVDs. Not long before he figures out how to take them out and toss them around. Babyproofing, here we come!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring is here!

While I'm looking forward to Preston being able to crawl, I am taking advantage of him still being content with just sitting on a blanket in the park, chewing on some toys and watching the world go by. 

9 months old

Preston had his 9-month dr's appointment last week and believe it or not, he still weighs 20 pounds (same as at 6 months)!  I think he may have lost some weight due to his surgery.  That moves him down from the 95th% to 50th% for weight.  He is 28 inches long (50th%).  He is recovering well from surgery, despite a slight hiccup that found us in the emergency room on Monday, due to a high fever.  He was developing a skin infection at the wound area, but he's on antbiotics now and is feeling alot better. 

He continues to be a happy, outgoing little guy. He is trying his darndest to crawl, he will rock back and forth on all fours, but he seems a bit cautious about making the first move forward.  He gets himself around by pushing himself backwards.  He loves his new high chair and is good at eating finger foods. He loves puffs, rice cakes and chopped up bananas.  He just started clapping this week, which he loves to do at his music class. He's got seven teeth now, three on the bottom and four on top.  Teething did not seem to bother him at all, thankfully.  He's at a fun age and his little personality is really starting to come through. I truly look forward to getting him out of his crib every morning to see what adventures the new day has in store for us!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Preston's surgery

On Monday, April 5, Preston had surgery to fix a problem with his spinal cord. In the photo above, you can see the "dimple" and the red birthmark on his back that Preston has had since birth. Those skin abnormalities pointed to a possible problem with his spinal cord, so his doctors requested an MRI that was done last December. The MRI results showed that there was a tube of skin that went from the dimple in his back and connected to the outer casing of the spinal cord (called the spinal dura). The MRI results did not clearly indicate whether this thread was connected to the actual spinal cord, but if so, this would lead to problems as Preston grew. The problem is called a "tethered cord."

Dr. Bulter, our pediatric neurosurgeon, recommended surgery 1) to remove the tube of skin that lead from his back to his spinal dura to decrease the risk of bacteria entering from the outside and traveling into the spinal fluid, causing spinal meningitis and 2) to check to see if the skin connection extended to the spinal cord, and if so, to remove the skin (un-tether the cord).

Here we are at 6am at Mass General Hospital, getting Preston prepped for surgery. He was weighed and measured and his temp and blood pressure were taken. Then, he got to change into his really cool surgery scrubs.

We were allowed to stay with Preston when they took him into the Operating room, and were by his side when they gave him gas that put him to sleep. Because the surgical ward is sterile, we had to make sure we were completely covered. I felt like I was on the TV show ER!

We left Preston at 8am, and we were told the surgery could take up to 6 hours.  Mom, Dad, Lesley, Dug and Mazzy were there to spend the day with us, which was wonderful.  The sun was shining and the trees were blooming; it was a perfect day for a long walk along the Charles River.

Around 1pm, Preston was out of surgery and transferred to the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit).  We met with the surgeon who told us that the procedure went very smoothly and that he did find that the cord of skin was attached to the spinal cord, and he was able to remove it without any complications.  Preston was very groggy when we first saw him, and his face and eyes were swollen from being on his back for so many hours during the surgery.  He also had contracted croup (which is basically just a cough that sounds like a barking seal) due to his throat constricting upon removal of the breathing tube.  A few treatments of an epinenphrin gas made him sound much better!

The nurses in the PICU were wonderful and very attentive.  They made sure Preston was comfortable at all times. The first night in the hospital was very easy- he slept through most of it and we had our own room so I was able to sleep on a cot that was brought in. Alex was able to sleep in one of the "parent rooms" that contained a bed, chair and tv.  MGH is a really great hospital and the nurses and doctors went out of their way to make sure the parents are as well taken care of as the patients.

Preston had to remain on his back for twenty-four hours after the surgery, so at 1pm the following day, he was able to sit up.  He seemed less groggy, but still puffy and a bit uncomfortable.  We were moved from the PICU to the regular pediatric floor, where we had to share a room. That wasn't so nice, but at least we had the window-side of the room! Check out our view!

Here are some photos of day two:

On the second night, Mom, Dad, Bobby and Jen came to visit and Preston was just starting to seem like his normal self. Alex and I were able to both sleep in the room with him overnight and by Wednesday morning, Preston was well enough to be able to return home!

Preston has been recovering really well.  The first few days back home, he was very sleepy and a bit fussy.   It's been a week now, and today was the first day thay he needed absolutely no pain medication. He is back to his happy and silly self and his appetite has returned (although we were not really concerned about that one!).  On Saturday, six days after the surgery, we were able to remove his bandage. His wound consists of dissolve-able stitches covered by a glue that will keep the wound together while it heals, at the same time keeping out bacteria. This photo was taken immediately after we removed the bandage.

Thank you for all of your prayers, support and messages while we were going through this.  We are so grateful that everything went well and we can finally put this behind us! xoxo
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

6 months old already?!?

Preston is having so much fun, and so are we.  At his 6-month doctor's appointment, he weighed in at 20 pounds (90th percentile!) and 26 inches (50th percentile).  He loves reading (chewing on) books, especially "Moo Baa LaLaLa".  He cracks up when he looks at the first page, without us even starting to read yet. He loves to hear us make animal sounds, especially "meow."  

He loves playing and interacting with other babies. Last week, we were visiting with my friend Meredith and her 16-month old son, Julian. I have never heard Preston chuckle so hard as he did while watching Jules toddle up and down the room and throw his toys around. Ahh, there is nothing better than witnessing a belly laugh from your baby.

He is eating like a champ- rice cereal, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, pears and bananas. Surprisingly, it's the bananas that he seems to like the least. He'll learn...

Sleeping is going well. He's sleeping through the night with usually one wake up around 5am and then back to sleep till around 7am. 

Friday, January 15, 2010


Our little man slept through the night!!

After almost six long months, I thought this day would never come. The night before last, Preston and I were doing battle from 2-3:30am. At this age, I am trying not to feed him during the night (per doctor's orders) and do not want to pick him up out of the crib when he cries. It also would totally break my heart to let him "cry it out", so when I read about this "controlled crying" method, I thought I'd try it out. When I first heard him crying, I waited five minutes, then went in and gave him the pacifier and rubbed his back for about ten minutes. He was still fussing, so I went out of the room for 10 minutes, soothed him, then 15 minutes out of the room, and finally, when I was at the 20-minutes-out-of the-room mark, and he was crying pretty heavily, I was about to give up and rescue him from the crib. I had about 5 minutes left of my 20-minute window when the crying began to soften and then melted into silence. The little guy was able to calm himself down and fall asleep. And last night, he slept from 7pm-6:30am.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

5 months old!

Here is an update of what is going on during Preston's fifth month:

(Almost) sleeping through the night-We put Preston down for bed between 7-8pm and he is now able to go without a feeding until the next morning. He still wakes up 1 or 2 times per night, and we have to go into his room and rub his back until he falls asleep, but we do not pick him up and he is able to get himself back to sleep with our help.

Sitting up on his own- Auntie Lesley discovered he could do this while we were all eating dinner together the day after Christmas.  She sat him on the table and then took her hands away and voila- we had a baby who was able to hold himself up on his own!

Eating solid food- Preston has really taken to trying out solid foods and is being a good sport about eating most of what we have been giving to him. For now, that has only been rice cereal, pureed peas and pureed prunes (that one was for "medicinal" purposes). 

Next challenge... working on getting this child to take a nap for longer than 30 minutes! Stay tuned...

Preston's First Christmas

On Christmas Eve, Preston experienced his first Vairo family Christmas party, complete with copious amounts of delicious Italian food, the infamous Yankee Swap that included a framed photo of cousin Matthew in the sixth grade and a Tiger Woods action figure, and of course, the family carol singing. Every year, we end with "The 12 Days of Christmas", each person or group taking a different day to sing. This year, appropriately, I got to sing "Eight maids-a-milking."  That evening, we all slept at my parents' house- Alex, Preston and I, Bobby and Jen, Lesley, Dug and Mazzy. There are only a few times a year when the family is all together under one roof, and I think those moments are very special.

Christmas day was very relaxed, with most of the morning spent opening gifts and then a family dinner. Preston loved being with everyone and loved his gift from Mimi and Grampy- an exersaucer! We bought him the same one, so now he can use it at home and at the grandparents'! Here are a few photos from the weekend.