Tuesday, September 29, 2009

10 1/2 months and looking good

Rylan's newest fun stuff


-Raising his hands in the air for "woo pig sooie" sometimes he even does the "woo" noise

-The Grasshopper-when he's excited about life in general he rubs his feet together like a grasshopper. Its so cute.


-"ooooyyyaaaa" (Lola the dog)

-Getting up on all fours, still no crawling, but making headway. Its a mental game, knowing that once they start the crawling its over for sitting still. At the same time, you are worried they are behind. A head game I tell you.

-Storytime at the library. We discovered a group that is strictly for kids 0-2 and it was so much fun. AND we checked books out just for Rylan. Including Curious George (Forrest Gump's favorite) and Is Your Mama a Lama (very very very good book).

-We also met other fun kids and we might have a playdate if they call us. Rylan and I are anxiously waiting to see if we are cool enough. Is this what happens after you get done with dating? After you think that biting your nails to see if they will really call is over, you have a kid, give your cell and email address to Cool Storytime Mom and then you are back to waiting for the call. Life is but a circle, isn't it????

Foods he's tried that he enjoys












-yogurt bites

-banana bread (earned an enthusiastic "guh!")

-wedding cake

-Chicken spaghetti


-homemade sweet and sour chicken

Foods he has tried that he doesn't enjoy

Here's a cute vid of Mr. Happy after a delicious dinner and yum yum dessert. Don't mind the dessert goatee he's sporting.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


A year ago today I was sitting at a conference with all the Gastroenterology nurses in Arkansas feeling my 7-month pregnant stomach tighten and untighten. Because Rob and I have difficulty calling anything by its real name, we had lovingly started calling my contractions Toni Braxton's instead of Braxton Hicks. I texted Rob to tell him that my Toni Braxton's seemed to be coming faster and faster. We continued our loving little Toni Braxton type texts "don't drink anymore caffeine, see what happens." "Let me sit completely still for 20 minutes, see if they go away." "Try drinking a gallon water." We were new at this pregnancy thing.

Eventually I confided in my coworkers that something might be wrong. As seems to always be the case with nurses, we just happened to be sitting at a table with a GI nurse that used to be a labor and delivery nurse. I told her I thought I was having Braxton Hicks and they seemed kind of fast. This was one of those really tall, really skinny nurses with the horn rimmed glasses with studs at the ends and the chain around their neck (I know you can totally envision her because we've all had one). She felt of my belly and all but picked me up and threw me in a car herself. "Those aren't Braxton Hicks honey, that is a real contraction!" OH GOODNESS. Um, Rob......... I need you to come get me at the Embassy Suites. And take me to labor and delivery.

We got to the hospital and they were able to give me shots of an awful med to stop the contractions that made me crazier than a meth addict. At one point I was laughing so hard my bed was shaking and hitting the wall. Rob got close to my stomach and told fetus Rylan that if he came out that day, he'd have to wear a Alabama jersey in his newborn pics (we had played the mean Alabama team the week before and Rob was mad at their unsportsmanlike behavior). The doctor came in and warned us that he was really, really worried about the contractions and that I needed to be on bedrest for the duration of my pregnancy. He gave us lots of big words that my meth-head mind couldn't remember the meaning of even though I'm a nurse. All about what could happen to a 31-week newborn. He said all of this with about 9 inches of BVD underwear hanging out his pants. Yep the doctor smart enough to keep Rylan from coming out that day (and for 7 more weeks) wasn't smart enough to know that his pants were drooping so low 9 inches of his underwear was showing. It was an interesting day.

For seven more weeks I stayed on bedrest. It was a hard time for me and my lovely Rob. The meds to stop the contractions made my heart race and my core body temperature about 900 degrees. Rob literally put coats ON when he came home, I kept the air so low. I stayed in the house all day, every day except for OB doctor days when Rob would take me to eat. Sometimes we'd break the rules and sneak a Saturday night trip to IHOP or Babies r Us (in a wheelchair). I'm always a glass half full girl, but during this time, I'm sad to say, I was soooo glass half empty. I was weary from no sleep, weepy from being lonely and in pain, and just plain whiny.

It was all worth every minute of it and I'd do it again in a second. I hope with a better attitude, because now I know the pay-off. Rylan was born at 38.5 weeks and weighed 8lbs. No preterm words were used, no NICU, no IVs, no feeding tubes. NOTHING. He came home with us after 2 days and we've been blessed blessed blessed ever since.

I found myself thinking of bedrest alot this week, because its the year "anniversary" plus I sorta broke my foot and it gave me flashbacks!!!!! I'm eternally grateful for all the love and good wishes I received while on bedrest. We Qualls's are truly blessed people. My mom came and cleaned my house, my dad helped Rob with the lawn and closing our pool, my sister, Tammy, came every Saturday to sit with me and make me laugh, my sister Angie called me every day and she is not a lover of the phone, my in-laws called and emailed me, my friends from my old job (Alicia, Jacki and Heather) came to sit with me most Fridays and threw me a shower where I could open presents in a slouched position, my coworkers brought a shower to my house and made me cakes, and countless, countless other people continuously checked on me via email and phone calls. And I won't even begin to pretend to be able to list all the things my beloved Rob did for me. He was amazing, working a full time job, rushing home, making dinner, keeping the house clean, and taking me to every doctors appointment. One time we went to labor and delivery from 3am to 7am, he took a shower and headed to work all day. He brought me "yummies" all the time and discovered all kinds of heat and serve options out there that we still use today. He put up with my foul mood even though I know he was thinking "I married a happy girl, where did she go?" He was crazy good at being a doting husband.

When I was preggors I never wanted to show pics of my self. I thought I looked like a house. In retrospect, I looked like a lady with a cute little (very tall) baby in my belly. I'm feeling nostalgic of my time roasting my little marshmallow named Rylan. I'll post some pics from a year ago. And yes, in most of them I was supposed to be laying in bed on bedrest and I snuck to the camera and took some standing pics.
Watching the dogs play (adhering to bedrest rules)
Not adhering to bedrest rules, same exact day, 35 weeks
The day my coworkers brought a shower to me, 36 weeks
Nearly done incubating. 37-ish weeks
Loving my babe's new digs. Still totally not complying with bedrest rules. What the heck was wrong with me????
Going to my lay-down shower, 37 weeks
I made a list of all the things that got me through LONG days of October and November 2008. Just in case any of you out there should come into a situation that calls for you to put your booty in a bed and stay there for a little while.

Sudoku puzzles
The TV show "Snapped" on Oxygen
Project Runway
Grey's Anatomy, Seinfield, and Weeds on DVD from Netflix
Razorback games and my sister's commentary on them
The Twilight book series
Radio Satellite Channels: Solid Gold, All Bruce Springsteen, and All 90's
Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, Tracey Chapman (calming)
Babycenter: Bedrest Club support group
Good Housekeeping and Women's Day (my mom had about 2 years worth saved up)
www.pogo.com (the game Stack Em is soooo addictive)
Scrabble online

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In the word of the Jackson 5 "I'll be there"

Many people have 5 year plans. Buying a new house. Getting a new job. Having a certain number of kids. Buying a stock portfolio (boring!). Rob and I have one. MOVE TO FAYETTEVILLE. Rob's sister, Staci, lives there with her 3 kids, and my sister Angie lives there with her 2 kids. Our favorite people in the world, Debbie and Justin live there. My good friend Becca and her new hubby Drew live there. Its the home of Wal-Mart, Tyson, and Monte Ne Chicken, and more importantly, the Razorbacks. So many reasons Fayetteville is cool. The thought came in our mind a year ago when we were jet setting to Fayetteville for the first 3 Razorback home games. It seemed we were always in the car headed to Fayetteville and the car seems to drive itself to Fayetteville on autopilot.

Then our hardest hit.....my beloved Tammy. Our one sibling and closest relative left the Little Rock area. Where did she go you ask? FAYETTEVILLE.

Its not that we hate Little Rock. We have super good jobs here. We've made good friends. We have a pretty house in a nice neighborhood outside of the big city. Frostop Hamburgers on JFK are very very delicious. But, last year, while on bed rest, we realized, we live in the boondocks! No where near a hospital, should we need to rush there in the middle of the night. Rob drives 40 miles to work each day. That was 40 miles he'd have to drive home if I called saying "my contractions are 3 minutes apart, we need to go to the hospital again." My closest friend that could come help was still 15 minutes away. Then we had the baby and life settled down. Then Rylan got sick. I realized again that we live far from town, far from a hospital, grocery store, or pharmacy, and Rob is 40 minutes away. We have no friends or family close. The need to find a home closer to our friends and family picked up again. Because we aren't IN LURVE with Little Rock, it seems silly to move closer to town. So, we have set in motion our 87 part plan to get ourselves to our lovely Northwest Arkansas. It will still be awhile, Rob has that good job going for him and everything, but we will get there. Sooner than later. I hope.

Until that day comes, we will stay in our little town of Hensley. With our ducks and pond, no leash laws for all 1000 dogs in the neighborhood, and our pretty white house with our nice porch swing and swimming pool. And, we'll continue to trek it to Fayetteville at least once a month for Razorback games, niece's dance recitals, crawfish boils, b-day parties, broadway musicals and all the other stuff Cool Fayetteville has to offer.

Here's some pics from our latest excursion to Fay-town (4 days ago, whatever).
His friend Debbie+Chick-fil-A cow = BLISS
Justin's Uncle Howard making DELISH shrimp and pork loin at tailgating.
Zoe entertaining Rylan. Apparently all it took was a white pillow. He laughed for days.

Zoe holding Rylan on her "yap." I need to get a compilation of all the pics of Zoe holding Ry on her yap, as he grows and eventually dwarfs her. Next trip to Fayetteville (which is in 3 weeks, let's not kid ourselves) he'll need to hold her.

The ultimate tailgater-he made it 10+ hours and just passed out in his pack'n'play.
Saluting the team. I skipped this ritual. Maybe when I'm a Fayetteviller I'll do it
I have my football, my Dada, my pom-pom. Life is good.
One Hog-Wild family! Maybe whoever bezazzled my shirt can bedazzle my boot for my broken foot?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stressing the small toes

Soooooooooo........ You know how I blogged about 3 weeks ago that I was going to walk/jog a Half Marathon. Um, probably not. I was in it to win it. I had the drive to be the best I could be. I wanted to beat my time from my previous two Half Marathons and know that I kicked booty. I dutifully walked my during the week 1.5-3 miles routes. I did my 4 mile long walk. I did my 6 mile long walk. I did my 8 mile long walk. Then Rylan got Fifth's disease (strange rashy virus) and a sinus infection. Then I caught his cold and it turned into bronchitis. I was sidelined for a couple of weeks. I was starting to feel those old flabby feelings returning. I was feeling like a slacker. The girls I planned to walk with were trucking along and I had gotten out of the daily exercise habit.

So, last Friday, feeling good, I started out on a long trek. I had a Dane Cook CD, my mp3 player, and a book on CD packed in the stroller to help any boredom. I had a bottle, Baby Mum Mums and lots of toys packed for my little sack of marathon trainer. I told myself I would go and go and if I started to feel bad or if Rylee-Roo started to hate-on my walking vigor, we'd go home. I walked for two hours and nearly 8 miles. Rylan was a trouper smiling at the neighbors, drinking a bottle and passing out like a champ. Dane Cook was super funny, my mp3 player played all my favorites and didn't overdo the "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz as it likes to do, and my new murder mystery was sounding interesting. It was a good day.

Then Saturday we ventured to Fayetteville for some more Razorback tailgating fun. I walked all over the place in WalMart flip flops. We tailgated for 10 hours. 10 hours on crappy flip flops. The next day I woke up thinking "I shouldn't have worn those flops." As the day rolled on I was really regretting my flop decision and thinking as soon as I got home, and the flops hit the trash can and my poor right foot hit some cushiony tennis shoes all would be right. Not so much. The pain got worse. I hobbled to work on Monday and made it six hours before I was nearly crying with each step. Time to go see Dr. Tucker and stop trying to use google to diagose the issue.
A stress fracture of the 5th metatarsal. I told this to Rob and he said "bless you." Basically I slightly broke a bone on the pinkie toe side of my foot. I've got a SUH-WEET gray space mission to Mars type boot on my foot for the next ten days. The great news is-its not that bad. In terms of breaks, its not that broken. You learn so much when you start to hobble. Like, that an "early" stress fracture is awesome. I can put this big ole' boot on and still go to work, take care of the baby, all kinds of stuff. If I'd walked longer on it, it would have completely broken and I'd be out for 4-6 weeks. So, I'll count my blessings and bedazzle my boot.

Good-bye Half Marathon. Hello Windsor Pilates. I suppose I'll have to get in shape, lose my jiggles, and turn into Awesome Fit Mama like all the normal people. With diet and regular exercise. I'll still walk lots, mostly because its an instant pleaser for my little bumpkin and, when Rob's able to join us, a scream of delight for our poor, neglected pooches. But maybe not do 8 miles after taking 2 weeks off. Whatever.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rain Rain go AWAY

We had Rob's sister and her family to town last weekend. I had many possible activites planned like the Zoo and Rivermarket. As is usually the case when people with children come to visit. It rained. And rained and rained. So we went to Jaunitas and had some good old fashioned time at home to talk and play games.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Things you don't learn in the baby books

1. A quiet baby is not necessarily a good thing. You know right where a screaming baby is. A screaming baby isn't silently pulling the toilet paper down the hall in his walker.
2. A bath shouldn't last longer than 5-10 minutes, even if they are having fun. Certain things get "relaxed" in the nice warm water and gross stuff happens. I actually gagged and Rob had to deal with the mess. Apparently when his wife took a job as a pediatric GI nurse, he thought he was in the clear when there was a pediatric GI issue. He was mistaken. Take me out of the scrubs and the hospital setting and you got yourself a plain old female. Sorry.

3. A rash can last forever.

4. Babies with 8 teeth bite.

5. The term "human garbage disposal" can start very, very early. I have yet to find something Rylan won't eat. The video a few weeks ago where he was gagging on watermelon? Still ate about a cup of it.

6. Growth curves are for the birds. Rylan's is right on track for a 15 month old. He's 10 months old. Whatever.

7. Just because something says 9-12 months on the label doesn't mean you should still try to queeze your baby in it.

8. When you breastfeed you give your child your immunity. When you apparently have no immunity to offer, you breastfeed, then you catch every illness your child comes near. Stay away Swine flu, H1N1, or as I like to call it the Hiny flu (H1N1 looks like Hini and its more fun to say than Swine)!!!! We don't want your pigtastic fevers and chills and cough in these parts. We've done our time.

9. Rylan Qualls is the coolest baby in the world.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Over 2 billion delivered, no late fees

Huge step in Rylan's growth. He got his first Netflix movie. I was surprised that this isn't an entry in the baby book, because I saw it as a big step for my little Puddin' Pop. I was very hesitant to get movies for my baby, afraid I would become yet another mama that used them as a babysitter. But, oh, that Baby Einstein person is sooooo smart, cause she sure tapped into something that babies love. I don't know what it is about those strange animal props dancing across the screen, but Rylan is in love! He looks at the screen, then at you as if to say "are you watching this??? Its amazing!" then back at the screen.
Netflix Milestones
Baby Einstein Baby Shakespeare
He loved it so much, he ate it

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Its a duel!

Lola finally found some competition.

Monday, September 7, 2009

His bumps, his bumps, his sad red Cheetah bumps

Rylan has a rash. The nurse in me thinks its a viral thing, maybe even Fifths Disease. Totally okay, nothing to worry about. But that psycho mom in me keeps wondering if its a flesh eating disease or if he's going to stop breathing in anaphalactic shock soon. I even turned the apnea monitor that we'd long abandoned back on the other night. Its really pitiful when it flares up. The lucky thing is that Benadryl works pretty well on it (even though it doesn't appear to be an allergy), the unlucky thing is that he can only have Benadryl every 8hrs. Their is an hour or so in between doses when he looks like this:
Notice the red welpy legs. Welpy is a word, to me anyway

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Best Baby Ever!!!

The Razorbacks kicked off their 2009 season and the Qualls fam embarked on a new adventure-tailgating with bambino. And, oh good golly, do we have a good baby. Rylan sat the rain out while we had Mexican food and margaritas at Senor Tequila, then hung out while we tailgated, THEN the true-blue fans went to the game and Rylan, my sister, Tammy, and I held the tailgating fort down and watched TV in the parking lot. Rylan sat on our laps and "woo pig sooied" and clapped like a true fan. Besides me locking my good friend Deb's keys in her car, it was a fantabulous day. Rylan kicked it from morning to night with only a splotchy nap while we ran errands, such a trouper! We have the greatest friends, Debbie and Justin. They really take tailgating up that extra notch, with a car full of flags and Hog stickers, all Razorback camping chairs, a table with a football field painted on it, and a satellite and TV to watch pregame on.

When they went to watch the actual game, Tammy and I totally chicked it out and watched Ruby, Bulging Brides, Househunters, and Biggest Loser on it. Just to give the TV a little estrogen.
Awesome TV set-up
One of the crowd
Lovin' Aunt Tam
Rylan' s BFFs Debbie and Justin

Every good day must end

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chariots of Fire

I'm putting this in writing. Well, in typing. I'm walking/jogging a half marathon the first weekend of December. There. Now I've said it to the masses (or the 4 that read this, whatever). Now, if I turn into a loser and drop out, I'll have all four of you out there going "Sara, how's the marathon training going?" and I'll have to explain that I'm a loser dropout and I'm not going to give my money and walk for childhood cancer (its a St. Jude's Marathon). I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.

I don't know if you've met my trainer. He is a stickler to our exercise regimen. He is there for every step I take. And he doesn't like a slow walker or a complete stop. He's awfully short to be so very bossy, but I guess bossiness is what everyone needs in a trainer. Here's a pic of him.

My favorite husband Rob is also helping out, he's the systems administrator for my mp3 player. He's keeping it stocked with books on cd for me. I've already listened to Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark. Very creepy. Nothing like a good murder mystery to get you moving. I swear I walked by someones house, muttering "no way!!!!" when something good happened. They probably feel sorry for Rylan, having to live with a mama with so many friends in her head!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Here, son, have some poisonous adult food

It was not only the cost benefit that had me making homemade babyfood. It was nice to know that I was giving Rylan preservative free yummies(most of the time). I'm not trying to get all Kate Organic Gosselin on us. Its just that after the bedrest and then Rylan's attack of RSV, then Rob and I have caught EVERY little daycare illness Ry has brought home, I had the idea that we could all use a bit of a healthier lifestyle and maybe I'd start with the infant. His system was the least congested with grossness. So for the first few months of Rylan's solid eating life, he was given homemade green beans, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, and bananas. I eventually perfected my art to try mixed veggies, chicken, beef, and fruit medley. I saved the hard-to-make (peaches, pears, squash, and all those gross meat concoctions) to the pros and bought those for him to have his 3 days/week at daycare.

He is now taking big boy bites of peices of whatever we have for dinner and having a little babyfood chaser. He's a fan. Last night I broke up a meatball and some spagetti noodles and he looked at me with a noodle hanging out of his mouth and down to his chest and gave me a cheesy "you are my favorite mama" smile. I'm a little excited about the end of the pureeing days. Making homemade babyfood is kinda like breastfeeding. In the beginning you are supercharged at providing your child with the very best that life can offer and making him the healthiest he can be. You are amazed at your capibilities and you don't notice the extra work because the reward is so great. Then, all the sudden, you say "I'M DONE!"

The problem with all the healthiness I gave my child in his early eating months is that, now that he has all his shark teeth and loves to chew, we find ourselves giving him bites of our preservative, fake sweetener, and chemically induced yum yums. And he is more than happy to accept Rob and my offerings.

So if he has all natural baby food and bites of Weight Watchers Ice cream bars does that even out at the end of the day?