Sunday, November 23, 2014

Those times when you REALLY shouldn't laugh...but you do anyways

Sometime within the past year, my cousin's wife gave Samantha a giant rubbermaid container full of barbies.  It was Samantha's first introduction to barbies.  I was never super into barbies as a kid so I wasn't sure what Samantha would think of them.  Well...she LOVES them.  Seriously.  She plays with the things constantly, by herself, with Zach, with me, with Chris, with the neighbor, you name it.  One of the sweetest parts of my day is Samantha's bed time.  Now I know you might be thinking "YES!!!  That's my favorite part too.  It's been a long day with an energetic 3.5 year old and now I can finally relax!"  But no, that's not why I like bedtime.  I like it because every night Samantha drags Chris upstairs to bed and begs to play barbies with him.  I love listening to the dialog (well what I can hear of it anyways) over the baby monitor and hearing Samantha's excited giggles as she shares this special one on one time with her daddy.

Tonight though it was a different story.  I heard her laughing and playing and then all of a sudden I heard her little footsteps thundering down the stairs while she is crying and screaming.  "I'm scared, I'm so scared" was all I could hear through her tears.  She raced up to me sobbing uncontrollably, so loud that she woke up Eliza who I had just gotten to sleep in my arms.  All I could make out was something about a head.  I had NO idea what was going on until Chris comes down the stairs barely able to contain his laughter.  One of Samantha's favorite Barbies is a Rapunzel doll.  She is super into princesses right now so this Rapunzel doll is one of the ones she plays with the most.  Right behind Anna and Elsa, of course!  Apparently Samantha picked up the Rapunzel doll and started her dialog, "Hello, what's your name?" like she always does so they can do their introductions.  Chris looked at the doll and realized her head was missing.  So, he replied "Oh Samantha, where is Rapunzel's head?"  Samantha looked down, did a nervous giggle, tried to be brave...really she did, and then raced out of the room screaming.  She wouldn't even look at the doll!!  My poor Samantha.  Chris and I couldn't control our laughter, I had to also control my bladder (thanks kids!), all while Samantha is still completely hysterical.

Chris told Samantha that Rapunzel was going to the hospital for the night as he tried to super glue her head back on.  Unfortunately it seems that she is permanently decapitated.  Guess I'll need to go shopping for a new Rapunzel barbie.  The last thing we'd need is for her to be playing with post hospital Rapunzel and have her head fall off again!!  I would say I wish that she would wake up in the morning with no recollection of this traumatizing event, but who are we kidding?  This is Samantha and she remembers everything!

RIP Rapunzel!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Annual Leaf Day!

Every year I look forward to our annual leaf day because I get to take such adorable pictures!!  Our lot hardly has any trees on it so we really don't have a ton of leaves and only get one good leaf raking day each year.  Chris decided today was the day!  Sadly, I think I was the most excited out of everyone because Sam and Zach weren't too into jumping and playing in the leaves.  Rather disappointing!!

Samantha was a little bit into it and didn't mind walking around in the leaves.  Unfortunately Chris made the pile backwards with the big mound facing the sun so the pictures turned out pretty crummy.  It was a little chilly out so I didn't waste time moving around the leaves to get better pictures.  Oh well!


Yeah...Zach was barely into it.  He was screaming!  It probably didn't help that it was already past lunch AND nap time so he was pretty unhappy with everything.  I seem to remember him acting like this last year too!!


Finally at the end, the both got a little more into it.  Zach actually cried when he had to come inside, though he loves being outside so I'm not sure it was leaving the leaves that he was upset about.

Eliza however "loved" the leaves!  I mean, she didn't cry so that's practically loving them in my book since she cries for everything!  She looked so cute hanging out in the leaves and it makes me happy that I was able to get halfway decent pictures of at least one kid!!




Adios leaves!!  Until we meet again next year.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Eliza is TWO months old!!!

Eliza - Two Months Old


Little Miss Eliza turned two months old yesterday!!  I waited until today to make her post since she had her 2 month check up with the pediatrician this morning and I wanted to have her official stats on hand.  Her checkup went great although yesterday she was extremely cranky and had a few poopy diapers so I could tell her little tummy must be bothering her.  At the doctors she got very upset and was crying so hard she had a massive poop which resulted in a leaking diaper and her getting poop all over my pants...right before the doctor walked into the room!  Thanks Eliza!!

Weight: 11.4 lbs (47%)
Length:  23 1/4in (82%)

Eliza is growing right on track which is great!  She is still significantly bigger than Samantha and Zachary were at this age.  It is so weird to have a baby that has rolls.  One day I was holding her and she turned her head just right and I could smell all the sour milk in her neck.  So gross!!  We never experienced that with Sam and Zach since there were no crevices for it to get stuck in.

Clothes: 0-3 and 3 months
Diapers: size 1 disposables, small cloth

Here we are pretty much the same as last month, with the exception of adding in some 3 month clothes.  The three month onesies are perfect since they fit just right over her cloth diapers.  Three month pants however are pretty big and come about halfway up her chest.  Big sister Samantha was born in April so the seasons aren't quite matching up, but I am trying not to buy too many clothes so we don't go overboard as I have a tendency to do.  I am buying her SOME stuff as just hers because I'd hate for her to only have hand-me-downs.  I know she is young so it doesn't matter as much now, but it is important to me that she has some things that are just hers as well.


Eating: Eliza is still exclusively breast fed.  We took her to a pediatric ENT when she was 13 days old at Georgetown University Hospital where we found out she is tongue tied as well as upper lip tied.  We had her tongue tie clipped and she has been doing much better at eating.  She loves her mama milk!

Likes:
  • being wrapped
  • having her diaper changed
  • her big sister Samantha
Dislikes:
  • having a wet diaper
  • when her big brother Zach smacks her on the head
  • pacifiers
  • being put down
  • tummy time
Milestones:  Eliza still has a decent startle reflex.  Even if she sees me coming her hands jump out when I touch her.  I feel bad but I can't help but smile when she does it.  It's so cute!  She hates being put down and therefore hates tummy time.  She pretty much screams every time we set her down.  She does spend a lot of time being wrapped and gets practice holding her head up that way.  She is still a tiny bit floppy but overall, she does an amazing job of keeping it up.  She started smiling at 6 weeks and really hasn't stopped.  She is still colicky and cries a ton, but when she is happy, she lets you know it!!  I love all the smiles I get out of her.  I love taking pictures and she's learned what the camera looks like.  The second I put it up to my eye she bursts out in smiles!  She has also started tracking this month.  If I get up to do something her eyes follow me to where I am going.  She will also follow toys or other objects that are close by to her.  She is very focused and likes people watching and sometimes watching TV.  Once she finds something interesting going on, her gaze doesn't break.  She has learned so much this month!



Siblings:  Samantha is still in love with having a little sister.  She asks to hold her all the time and is very helpful with bringing me clothes and diapers.  She will randomly come over and give Eliza hugs and kisses and say how much she loves having a baby sister.  Zach is about the same as last month.  He still enjoys smacking her on the head which of course, Eliza doesn't care for very much.  He does enjoy helping out though and throws away diapers and brings me clean ones when I ask him to.  He's also loves to mimic what Samantha is doing.  For example, if Sam comes over and gives Eliza a hug and kiss, Zach will race over and do the same.  He also will pat her belly when she is crying.  I think she is starting to grow on him just a little bit.  ;-)

Even though Eliza only gained a pound since last month, her look has definitely changed.  I put up all her monthly pictures in comparison shots, which I plan to do each month.





We rounded out our check up by getting 3 shots plus an oral vaccine.  We also left with a prescription for Zantac since Eliza seems to be showing some symptoms of acid reflux.  Samantha and Zach also had reflux so it's nothing new for us, but still sad to know your baby is hurting.  She was doing good but the past few days she has been refluxing quite a bit.  Our doctor said we don't have to fill the prescription if we don't want to so we plan on waiting it out a few days to see if yesterday was just a fluke or if it is, indeed, getting worse.  Hopefully it was just a fluke and we won't need the medicine.  Overall a great checkup and we're thrilled to know our girl is thriving!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Busy Bag Sensory Bin

Last year our playgroup did a Sensory Bin rotation that was a HUGE hit.  We had 15 families participating and we enjoyed it SO much.  There was a huge variety in the bins and Samantha and Zach just loved playing with them.  They both cried every time we had to pass on a bin.  Apparently we weren't alone in our love for the train and the group decided to do it again this year.  We are already on our 3rd rotation and it has gone great so far.  Samantha and Zach are constantly asking to bring out the bins and they have been great at giving Sam and Zach an activity to play while I tend to Eliza.

This rotation we have a bin full of busy bags!!  These are awesome little bags that you can pull out and take anywhere...the car, doctors offices, church (wish I would have thought to bring some on Sunday!)  The maker of this bin did all sorts of things and I have to say, Sam and Zach have gone crazy for them.

The first bag we pulled out was full of matchbox cars.  Actually Zach saw this bag and of course went nuts!!  He asks to play with this one all the time.


Another bag included mini magnadoodles.  These have also been a huge hit!


 Mini etch-a-sketch!  Samantha has loved drawing "huge cities" on here.  Mostly Chicago!


Dry erase boards and markers.  Also a huge hit!

Spirograph!!!  A favorite from my childhood so I was super excited to see these!

Snack cups with pom poms.  I thought this would be perfect for Zach and a little too young for Samantha but they both love filling up the cups and then getting the pom poms out.

Wooden puzzles

Paper and crayons

Puzzles

Pipe cleaners and beads.  The beads have very tiny holes so this was difficult for Samantha at first, but she soon figured out how to do it!

Clothes pins and index cards.

Spectator Eliza!!

I have to say this bin is amazing!!!  I have an dentist appointment tomorrow that I will be bringing all 3 kids to and I will definitely pick a bag or two to bring so they have something to do in the waiting room and while I'm getting my teeth cleaned.  This bin has also inspired me to make busy bags of my own because, lets face it, I'm tired of being "that mom" with the noisy out of control kids in waiting rooms and church!!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Tiny Hand (and foot!) Prints are ours to Love!!

If you have been readers of my blog for a while, you might remember last year when I did hand print and foot print impressions for Samantha and Zachary.  The plates are beautiful and the ornaments were a huge hit with our family so I knew once Eliza was born we would have her prints made as well.  I decided this time to do them right away once she was born so my friend Dawn from Tiny Prints and Paws came right to my house to do our impressions when Eliza was 4 days old.  I am not sure if she typically offers house visits to do impressions but with a newborn and adjusting to having a new baby plus two older *still little* kids, it was a HUGE help.  We had so much fun getting Eliza's prints and she was a champ at keeping her little fingers and toes straight.  I was actually quite worried since they had to redo her footprints in the hospital since she kept curling her toes!  We got all of our impressions on the first try!  Samantha loved looking at all of the color samples and using the sponge to get them dirty with clay residue.  Sorry Dawn!!

We ended up selecting a sunny yellow color for Eliza's plate.  It's not too bright but not too bland either.  You know I won't do anything dull!!  The finished product, as expected, looks great!

Dawn was also nice enough to offer me a free Baby's First Christmas ornament.  I absolutely love the way this turned out.  I tweaked the words slightly so it says Eliza's First Christmas and rather than the typical two toned options they offer (which have a natural clay background and the print and text colored) I was able to have the background one color and the print another.  It is perfect and I can't wait to hang it up on our tree this year.  Almost makes me wish I didn't give away all of our Samantha and Zachary ornaments as gifts!

With Christmas just around the corner, Tiny Prints and Paws is offering two different deals to get you all set for the holidays.  The first option is buy two ornaments get one free.  This is an awesome option if you want a few gifts, or if you'd like some for yourself and some for gifts.  You can do a hand print and foot print to keep and make an extra to give away!  The second option is a free ornament with the purchase of a larger plate.  I love this option since you get a beautiful plate that can be displayed all year long plus an ornament to bring out seasonally or give as a gift.  You could even get a little hanger and display the ornament all year.  My dad has his hanging on his kitchen cabinets.

If you would like to order plates for yourself you can contact Dawn via e-mail or phone (703.574.0488),  They can also be found on Facebook.  Tiny Prints and Paws will be at the Little Sprouts Fun Fair at Linton Hall School in Bristow, VA this Saturday October 19th from 10am-3pm.  Not a Virginia resident?  Not a problem!!  Tiny Prints and Paws can ship all the materials needed to create the perfect clay impression of your own.  Ship it back and Dawn will paint, fire, and finish the perfect piece for you!  I'm telling you now, you won't regret it!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Eliza is ONE month!

Eliza - One Month Old

I can't believe Eliza is a month old already!  This month has just flown by though it also feels like she has been here forever!!  She has already grown so much, though it's hard for me to notice.


Eliza now weighs 10.2 pounds, 2 pounds bigger than at birth.  I looked through Samantha's baby book tonight and she was 9 pounds at 2 months and 11 pounds at 4 months!!  Eliza really is chunky.  She is pretty much completely out of newborn clothes and into 0-3 months.  She has a few Carters outfits that she can still fit newborn in since they run longer, but the Garanimals and other brands she is too big for.  She is also wearing size 1 diapers (and should have been out of newborn around 10 days old but I wanted to use up the box so she was in them a lot longer).  She is pretty much outgrown the majority of the newborn cloth stash, but OS is still huge on her.  The nb setting fits but they are so bulky!  So I've just been putting her in the newborns still and changing her more often.

She is still very much in the newborn phase - eating, sleeping, peeing, and pooping...oh and crying!  No cooing or smiling yet.  She is doing great at learning to hold her head up.  She is rather strong and has been lifting it up great from the start.  She is exclusively breastfed and doing decent at nursing (I'll touch more on that in a different post).  She loves to cuddle and hates being put down.  She also hates having a wet diaper.  She enjoys looking at her big sister and brother, but hates when her brother hits her.  She also loves being outside.

I guess at this point there isn't a whole lot to update on!  I'm sure by her 2 month update there will have been lots of changes though.  They grow so fast!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ellie's Heart

What a week we've had!  I must apologize for my lack of updates as I was all set to make many posts last week about Eliza and everything we've been doing, and then her two week check up happened.  My mother-in-law and I toted Samantha, Zachary, and Eliza to the pediatrician last Monday for Miss Eliza's two week check up and for Samantha and Zachary to get their flu shots.  The appointment went really well, Eliza was up to 9 pounds 2 ounces, an entire pound above her birth weight, Samantha and Zachary did sort of okay with their flu shots, and at the end the nurse asked if I had any other questions.  I mentioned that Eliza's legs and feet had been turning purple several times a day and asked if it was concerning.  She laid Eliza on the table and checked her legs and feet, as well as her stomach, and felt all her pulse points.  She noted that there was adequate blood flow going to her legs so she wasn't super concerned but decided to consult with a colleague just to be sure.  While she was gone Eliza got hungry and I started to nurse her.  I noticed during her nursing that her legs and feet were turning purple so as the nurse came in I said that it was happening.  She ran out to get the doctor (at least I think it was a doctor) and they both started checking out Eliza.  They asked me to stop feeding and as I sat her up they noticed that her face and lips were turning blue as well.  This really freaked them out and they raced to get a pulse ox monitor to check her.  It all happened so fast!  Thankfully the pulse ox test came back normal and her O2 levels were at 98.  However, they said they wanted us to see a cardiologist ASAP.  We waited a while while they got a referral from our insurance as well as got us a same day appointment with a local pediatric cardiologist.  Then we got to go home where I could dwell on everything until our appointment that afternoon!

I ended up having to go to the appointment solo since it was Chris's "one day off" and he expected to stay home all day.  Thank God I didn't get any bad news that day!  Eliza and I got to the doctor and they immediately did an EKG on her.


The EKG was normal and then we were sent for an echocardiogram to check for heart defects.  The echocardiogram took quite a while and was rather difficult.  Eliza was tired and upset and I don't think she liked all the goop very much so she was crying a ton.  I just kept trying to soothe her but it didn't really work too well.  Finally after what felt like forever the tech let me get up on the table with her and sort of cuddle her and she immediately fell asleep.  I don't know why we couldn't have done it that way from the start!  After the echocardiogram we were able to talk to the doctor.  He said they are watching for three things (they were also looking for more serious defects but nothing immediately serious was found): Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), and Peripheral Pulmonic Stenosis (PPS).  ASD and PFO have to do with a hole in the top chambers of the heart.  This is present at birth and should close over time.  However sometimes this doesn't happen and the hole remains.  The PPS has to do with the arteries leading to the lungs.  While in utero there is a 3rd artery that goes to the placenta and once the baby is born, the third artery shrinks since the blood now goes through the other two arteries to go to the lungs.  Sometimes when the artery shrinks away it causes the other two arteries to get kinked.  We will be returning in 3 months for another echocardiogram to make sure none of these conditions are present.  Unfortunately though (or fortunately too!) none of these 3 issues could cause her to be turning blue.  We were sent home with a 24 hour Holter monitor to monitor her heart for the next 24 hours.  I had to keep a log and write down every time she had an episode of turning blue or had any other concerning symptoms or behaviors.  They would then compare when I pressed the button (I pressed it every time she had an episode) to the heart's activity to see if her heart was experiencing any changes during the episodes.



Last Friday we made the trek back to the cardiologist to get results.  Again fortunately everything was okay.  Her heart had a few occasional early beats but the doctor said that that is completely normal and nothing to be worried about.  Unfortunately though, we still have no answers as to why she keeps turning colors.  The doctors best guess is that she is just a little behind with learning how to regulate her body temperature.  I am not sure about this because even though she appears blue/purple her skin feels warm.  The doctor is hoping it is something she will eventually outgrow but if she is still having the episodes in a few months, we will reevaluate with our pediatrician.  I am so thankful that it isn't anything serious and I am praying that she outgrows it!!  Although I didn't post about it here, I thank everyone that followed this on facebook for all of your thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Introducing Our Baby GIRL!!!

On September 13th at 1:52 am we welcomed the newest member of our family!!

Eliza Mary
September 13, 2014
1:52am
8lbs 2oz
19.29 inches
 
She has been such a wonderful addition to our family and we are thrilled that she is here at last.  It is hard to believe that she is 15 days old already.  So cliché but I feel like she's been here forever and it's hard to remember what life was like before she got here.
 
It has been quite a transition to 3 kids but I feel like overall we are doing great.  Samantha is absolutely in love with having a baby sister and I am so so happy that she got the sister she desperately wanted.  Zach is finally starting to do better with her.  The first day in the hospital he came in to meet her, sat on the couch, smiled and gave her a swift slap on the head.  So nice he is!!  He has given her many more slaps since then but they have drastically decreased in the last week and now he enjoys giving her hugs and kisses and pointing out his baby.


Hopefully I will be able to get her birth story written up in the next few days!  It is quite exciting in my opinion and I can't wait to have it written down so I can always remember it.  I will leave you all with a few pictures of her from the past two weeks!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Longest Pregnancy!

Today I am 39w2d pregnant and this is officially the most pregnant I have ever been!  When I was exactly 39 weeks with Samantha I went to the hospital for an ultrasound and ended up being immediately whisked away to L&D to be induced and Samantha was born at 12:47am at 39w1d.  I really have no gut feelings as to when I'll go into labor but I'm hoping it is soon!  I am so anxious and excited to meet our baby, find out if it's a boy or a girl, and not be so sore and uncomfortable all the time.  I am however getting a little bit nervous about all the pain and how I'm going to deal with it. 

With Samantha, I was favorable so they started with Pitocin right away.  Things went great until they broke my water and then the pain became unreal.  I ended up getting an epidural which was great, however, I was still numb two days later when I was getting ready to be released from the hospital.  With Zachary, I was unfavorable so they started with Cervidil.  The cervidil did its job so well that it sent me into full blown labor.  The nurse didn't believe I was in labor and by the time I convinced her to check me it was too late to get an epidural and Zach was born before the doctor even made it to the hospital!  It was great afterwards and I'd love to do it again, however I won't kick myself down if I do end up deciding to get an epi.

Now I'm getting off track!  Hard to believe that this is my longest pregnancy and I'm curious to see just how long it goes!

Monday, September 8, 2014

5 years...

No farewell words were spoken, no time to say goodbye.
You were gone before we knew it and only God knows why.

September 8, 2009.  A date that will forever be etched in my memory.  In December of 2008, Chris and I decided to start trying for our first baby.  Shocked as could be, I found myself pregnant the very first month.  December 27th my first ever big fat positive.  I couldn't believe it!  Shortly afterwards I developed a pain in my shoulder.  Since my mom had passed away quite suddenly only 5 months before my heath anxiety was sky high and I immediately consulted Dr. Google who told me that it was most certainly an ectopic pregnancy.  Cue me freaking out.  I called every OB/GYN in Northern Virginia but since it was a holiday (New Years Day) everyone was closed.  I finally got a hold of a nurse who told me to go to an urgent care center.  I called Chris home from work and off we went.  All they did that day was a confirmation pregnancy test, which was also positive, and gave me a referral to a radiologist to have an ultrasound performed.  I was pretty upset they didn't do one right then and there, but oh well.

A few days later I had the ultrasound which unfortunately didn't show much of anything.  Thankfully at that point I was still only a few weeks pregnant so it wasn't too surprising.  The sac, not in my tube, was measuring on track but there was no visible fetal pole or yolk sac.  I was sent on my way and I made my first prenatal appointment with an OB/GYN.  Another few weeks later I had my appointment where the nurse assured me that everything was going well.  I had mentioned the pain and how I had the ultrasound and she set me up with a follow up ultrasound just to see.  I went to that ultrasound and was SO nervous.  The entire walk back to the room the tech kept saying that there was nothing to be nervous about but I just had a gut feeling.  She turned on the ultrasound machine and all of a sudden I saw our baby up on the giant screen.  So cute, I wanted to breathe a sigh of relief.  However that quickly turned to fear when I saw a flat line going across the bottom of the screen.  I asked what it meant and the tech wouldn't say anything.  After that she quickly left the room and came back a few minutes later saying that my doctor was on the phone to talk to me.  The doctor basically said that the baby had no heartbeat and that the chances of the baby surviving were slim to none.  I was devastated.  I left the appointment in tears just knowing that our baby was gone.  I was scheduled for a second follow up ultrasound a week later but I knew I wouldn't need it.

The following weekend the bleeding started.  Alone at home on February 1, I passed our perfect little baby.  Quite traumatically I was instructed to bring the tissue to my OB's office so it could be inspected and then disposed of with the hospital waste.  How awful.  Unfortunately, I didn't know any better and didn't ask for it back so we could bury it or do something a little more humane.  I will always regret that.

September 8, 2009.  The due date of our first child.  Today our baby should be turning 5 years old.  Instead we are left with an unfillable void.  Thankfully since then we have been blessed with Samantha and Zachary and in a few short days or weeks we will be welcoming our third little blessing into our family.  But no matter how many children we have, we will never forget our first and what could have been.