Seamus is now six months old. The past couple of months have brought three new teeth (the two bottom, one canine and one incisor on the way), and lots of new tricks. Seamus has finally learned how to roll over front to back and back to front and he does so all the time even when being held. He’s also finally gotten both feet in his mouth (let’s hope this is not a lifelong habit). He says mama all the time now and it appears to be directed at me. Still no papa, but he's started saying gaggy to Thomas. We think this is his word for papa. He’s eating vegetables now: green beans, sweet peas and just today we started orange foods with sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes are his favorite, but green beans are a close second. He still gags when he eats the peas. Although he hasn’t learned that he can spit out the food he doesn’t like. And he’s very nearly sitting independently. Still no signs of creeping or crawling. In fact, he doesn’t seem remotely interested in being mobile except by having his parents carry him everywhere. It seems his social and verbal skills are developing faster than his physical skills. Here’s what this monring’s very first bite of sweet potatoes looked like:
We also received some rather scary news this last month. You may remember when Seamus was born his left kidney was slightly dilated and his pediatrician worried he may have a reflux problem with the urine from his bladder refluxing into his kidney. We were told he had a very mild form of hydronephrosis (less than grade 1). He was put on prophylactic antibiotics for two months to prevent any future infections. At four months old (after being off the antibiotics for a couple of months) he developed a urinary tract infection. At this point his pediatrician scheduled an ultrasound of his kidneys and a VCUG (an awful test that involves a catheter). The results showed that the hydronephrosis had progressed to grade 2 and that there appeared to be no reflux. We thought no reflux was a good thing, but now his doctor is concerned that something worse than reflux is causing the hydronephrosis such as a malformation in a posterior ureteral valve or some other malformation that may require surgery. We’re meeting with his doctor on Tuesday, who should have consulted with a pediatric urologist by then, and should know more at that time. It may be that we can simply keep him on antibiotics and monitor his kidney with ultrasounds every six months or so. Sometimes these little malformations resolve over time. Please keep us in your thoughts, and if anyone else has gone through this we’d love to hear from you. Apparently, hydronephrosis isn’t all that uncommon.
The past couple of months also brought my 30th birthday which sprawled out into a lovely two weeks of shopping for new clothes thanks to Thomas and my parents. I bought lots of new sweaters and three pairs of high-waist jeans. I was so happy to see these coming back. I’m sick of low rise everything. It’s not been too difficult being a vegan while I breastfeed, but being a vegan on my birthday kind of sucked. I craved cake. My parent’s had given us several boxes of chocolate and yellow cake mixes awhile back, and I remembered some of them being vegan. Thomas and I decided we’d make a pineapple upside-down cake with one of the yellow mixes. We went to the grocery store and bought pineapples, cherries, brown sugar and more Smart Balance, and when we got home Thomas prepared the cake while I relaxed. Just as the smell of warm pineapple filled the air Thomas walked into the bedroom with the cake box in his hand and said, what made you think this was vegan? Turns out the cake mix had eggs and milk-fat in it. It was the chocolate cake mix that had been vegan all along. Go figure. So Thomas had pineapple upside-down cake while I had vegan lemon-ginger cookies, which aren’t too shabby. The cake turned out kind of crumbly anyway:
I realized the other day that I don’t write much about what Thomas is up to. This is not because I don’t care, it’s just that he’s involved in so many projects it’s hard to keep track. This semester he’s building a iron-melting cupola for his sculpture independent study class. He’s almost done. We’ve been trawling junk yards together looking for blowers and large iron discs. It’s kind of fun driving around the county junk yard in a Lincoln Town Car. By the beginning of December he should be able to pour iron. Any need any extra bolts or spare auto parts?
Thomas just got back from an iron pour in North Carolina where he met with other artists who build cupolas, and consulted with them about his project. Here's what pouring iron at night looks like:
It's a very intense and exciting process, not to mention highly dangerous. The iron melts at 2700 degrees.