Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The many faces of 8 weeks

Our baby is 8 weeks today! Lately she has been full of expression.

  • She is a very happy baby except between the hours of 5-8 pm
  • She sleeps anywhere from 6-12 hours per night, but typically around 8
  • She smiles a TON. We love it!
  • Was ok with the bottle at 4 weeks but we got lazy with practicing and now she won't take it
  • She is starting to move her arms toward a few things
  • Coos a little and almost makes a laughing noise
  • Loves to track our faces
  • Loves to watch her big sister!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ellie Says

Here are some random bits of the things we hear from our silly Ellie girl...

Mommy: Don't run out in to the street
Ellie: Yeah, I get smashed
Ellie to Mommy: Sing happy birthday to my poopy
Mommy: It is nap time
Ellie: Nope its cracker time

Ellie to Mommy: I want some more money
Ellie to Daddy when getting dressed: Daddy, I don't have boobies
Mommy: It is nap time so let's go potty first
Ellie: No, I go potty in my bed

Ellie: I want a cracker
Mommy: I want to go to Jamaica
Ellie: Jamaica all gone
Mommy: Good job going pee on the potty!
Ellie: Mommy, I'm so proud of you
First snow of the year
Ellie: "It's snowing! I slide down hill outside with daddy"
(we could not believe she remembered this from last year!)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kyla - 1 Month!

Kyla had her 1 month well baby check-up yesterday. She was 10 lbs 13 oz (87%) and 23" (94%). She is a big girl and even bigger than her sister at this age! The pediatrician said she is very advanced as she was smiling and cooing during her exam :) 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fall Ketchup

I wanted to write this post awhile ago. After all, I was planning on at least an extra two days before baby came... but now that I have a spare 10 minutes so it is time to play a little catch-up.

This fall was a very special time for us. We had some unseasonably warm weather and tried to get out of the house as much as possible in between the numerous projects we scheduled.  We wanted to spend some special alone time with just Ellie before adding to the mix. It was such a weird feeling to know the family dynamic was going to change just around the corner.

We took a lot of walks and visits to the park. Sometimes we picked up grandma after she got out of work and took her along with us. It was nice to have the extra set of hands when it was getting hard for me to wrestle the skinny 2-year old through her tantrums.

Me? Tantrum? Say What?

We went to Binder Park Zoo which was a very fun trip! Ellie loved feeding the giraffes and riding on the train. She also had a chat with the kangaroos and almost got attacked by a flying monkey.

A highlight was a fall visit to Klackles orchard. I've never seen such a crazy fall oriented place. We picked apples, ate amazing donuts, went to the petting zoo, pet a snake, rode on a fire truck, played on ginormous inflatables, played in a giant sandbox, sat in a school bus, spun around in a giant apple... you know, the usual...

Scott and I carved pumpkins while drinking cider and eating even more donuts. We haven't included Ellie in this tradition yet.

Final touches on Ellie's new big girl room!

Trick or treating was especially fun this year. Scott stayed home and passed out candy while I took the strawberry out. She was not digging  the experience at the first house, but as soon as she got her treat, she opened her eyes wide and screamed "I GOT CANDY!" and the rest of the trip was no problem. Everyone thought she was adorable and gave her handfuls of candy (I ate most of it). She said "thank you" all sweetly and they gave her more (which I also ate). After every few houses, I took handfuls of candy out of her basket and stuffed it in my coat pocket so she could carry her basket without dragging it. The beautiful weather combined with her stellar attitude had us treating for over an hour. One couple thought she was so cute they asked me if they could take her picture. Another fun loving family got out the hose in case I went into labor on their driveway. Awesome!

Well, I think that's it. I can't believe next year we'll be toting 2 little spookies around the neighborhood!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dad got peed on

"Dad got peed on" is a typical statement with a newborn in the house. Only this morning it was the 2 1/2 year old toddler doing the deed. She wasn't happy that we weren't letting her watch TV so she ran over to Dad, asked to be picked up, and went all over him. This outweighed the time she wasn't happy about Dad changing Kyla's diaper so she ran into the center of the room, spread her legs with her hands, put her on her hips, and let loose.  I was expecting potty regression, but not with such blatant defiance!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kyla - 1 week!

What you looking at?  Trying to count my chins???

Always a Tiger!
It's hard to believe it has been over 1 week since Kyla was born!  It has been flying by, especially since she has been such a good baby. Though whoever said that babies sleep those first two days has not met Miss Kyla. She ate constantly. Feed me, hold me, feed me, hold me... over and over again.  Our first day home was the same story, only she REALLY wanted to be held, all the time, making that first night home really rough.  I was up the majority of the night...feeding and holding!  Gradually, she's let us put her down more and more but the feedings are still constant.  Sometimes I need to close up shop for a half hour just because I said so.  She's not happy about it.  Anyway, we are totally in love with her and now I know that it is possible to love two children endlessly (I had my doubts before).  Here are some things about her:
  • Did I say she LOVES to eat? As of Monday, 5 days after she was born, she was only 4 oz under her birth weight. The pediatrician was impressed.
  • She has daddy's blue eyes for now, but they're dark and should turn brown soon. I continue to pollute the blue eyed population on Scott's side
  • She has a mono dimple, like her mom, only on her right cheek
  • When not eating, she likes to be sleeping. She sleeps way more than Ellie did at this age. She'll sleep a couple of good stretches at night too. What a good girl!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kyla's Birth Story and Homecoming


I was finishing my last few days of work and heading to my OB appt on Nov 1, 1 day before my due date.  I'd been a basket case the last few weeks trying to finish everything up.  I had 15 meals in the freezer, both kids' rooms almost ready, and was in the middle of deep cleaning the house.  I was finally feeling more in control, yet excited for a few days off from work for the final touches. 

At my appointment, my blood pressure was the highest it has been yet.  It spiked over the last two weeks, which is the same thing that happened with Ellie, only I was having higher readings earlier in the pregnancy with Ellie.  They weren't able to get it to come down very much, so that combined with a few other issues and my OB had me in the books to come in to the hospital the NEXT DAY at 5 am for an induction.  I was extremely disappointed.  I was mostly disappointed because I did not want to be induced.  I was technically induced for Ellie, but had been in labor about 8 hours prior to my induction time so it didn't take much extra effort from the induction.  Plus I had taken much better care of myself during this pregnancy with diet and exercise and I thought it was helping to avoid the complications I had last time.  So I got done with the appointment, tearfully called Scott to him the news, got my parents lined up to come at 4:30 AM the next day, picked up Ellie from daycare, and moved on with the day.  Scott didn't get home from work until after 7 pm, so by the time we went through the nightly routine, finished a little cleaning, writing Ellie instructions, and getting ready, it was past 11.  I was completely on edge and only slept 2 hours.  I got up really early and painted my toe nails and flat ironed my hair just to pass the time.

We arrived at the hospital and went to our delivery room. We had an AWESOME nurse named Kirsten who took amazing care of me the whole time.  I explained what I didn't like about my last birth and she really made me feel like she was going to do everything possible to make it a better experience.  I nervously changed into my gown and answered a bunch of questions while they got everything ready.  They hooked me up to the pitocin by 6:00 and I immediately started regular contractions.  A little before 7, my OB came in and broke my water.  I was really nervous everything would be super painful by this point, but I wasn't feeling much.  The water was just a trickle and they said her head was probably acting like a cork and more would come later.

At this point, they kept upping the pitocin every so often. The contractions were coming between 2 and 3 minutes apart. I had to switch laying from side to side and occasionally on my back.  It was pretty boring!  I didn't keep detailed account of my progress, but I was admitted around 2cm, and went to 3 shortly after my water broke.  I was managing the pain and was fine without the epidural at this point.  It was somewhere around 11 they told me that if I didn't get the epidural within the hour they'd have to re-run my labs which could add a lot of waiting time if I was suddenly in pain. That was all the encouragement I needed so I said let's do it.  I think I was approaching 4 cm.

I was amazed at how quickly after I asked for it, I got it.  Last time was well over an hour and this time was 5 minutes.  It was placed very quickly and felt a little funny going in but not bad at all.
Shortly after the epidural, my blood pressure dropped and I felt really warm in the chest.  I thought I was going to pass out or die.  Thankfully neither happened but it was a really weird sensation that lasted about an hour.  I felt the best laying on my right side but I still had to rotate a bit.  I did notice the epidural didn't make me quite as numb as before and i could still move my legs and hips a bit. 

A few hours later, I was extremely bored and felt guilty for feeling this way.  I wasn't progressing very much.  I was also very worried I would end up with a c-section.  My awesome nurse was getting ready to go home.  She was hoping I would go during her time, but I was only a 6 and had been stuck there awhile.  She was leaving at 3:30 and we only had a half hour left.  I met the next nurse who was also very nice.  We were joking that I would probably have the baby at 3:45.  The first nurse left and just a few minutes later, out of nowhere, I felt pain and pressure.  The nurse asked if I wanted to be checked and I said no because I had just been checked.  The same sensation came back two more times and the rest of my water broke and I said "ok, check me!"  When she did, she got a surprised look in her face and said she had to call the doctor immediately but to yell for her if I got pushy.  The baby was on its way!  Then I got all weird and started sobbing uncontrollably and shaking.  I'm not sure why but I'm sure I scared everyone there.  5 minutes later and the doctor and a few extra nurses were ready.  It took 3 pushes and Kyla was born.  3:42. I also want to shout out to my awesome husband who was a GREAT support person the entire time.

The first thing I said was "she looks just like like Ellie!"  They put her right on me, but then had to take her away for a few minutes to go under the lamps. The doctor showed us her umbilical cord.  It had a "true knot" in it which he said he had only seen a few times. It was loose, which was a very good thing. If it would have tightened up during the pregnancy or delivery, we could have had a completely different outcome. We are very thankful! 

I was so happy with how things went. I thought the staff was amazing.  I was very scared of the induction and heard many horror stories with how painful they are, but mine was fine and relatively pain free. Sign me up for that again!

The rest of the hospital stay was fine. We got up to the recovery room after 7 pm, so it was a little late to start calling visitors over. Kyla was already being fussy, so I had a rough first night as Scott went home to stay the night with Ellie.  Thankfully the nursery took her around 1 am so I got a little bit of sleep.  The next day was filled with more visitors, including Ellie who did not seem very impressed with her new sister.  Feeding was going much better and she was pretty content by the end of night 2.  I had yet another great nurse who made sure I got better sleep that night and Kyla spent quite a bit of time in the nursery, except for a few feeding breaks.  Overall I was really annoyed with how often people check on you.  For awhile it seemed like every half hour someone different would come in and ask the same questions (have you had gas???)  the previous person just asked.  Except for the fairly good room service and unlimited cranberry juice, I was ready to go home!  Thankfully they let us go nice and early the next day so we really only had one full day to suffer =)

When we got home, Scott and I rushed to see Ellie and showered her with all sorts of love and kisses (and a few gifts from her sister too!)  She seemed pretty unsure.  Then we went upstairs and Scott picked up Kyla.  She said "no, that's my daddy" all quietly.  Her lower lip quivered and she started to cry.  Not a whiny cry, but a truly sad cry.  It was a little heartbreaking.  Thankfully she is warming up to her little sister. There are still a few rough patches (especially when it is daddy that is giving Kyla attention) but things are getting better!

10 hours of medicated labor was nice and easy! I should show a comparison
photo of last time but I don't hate myself that much =) 

All dressed up and ready to go home!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Potty training is not for the weak

It has been 9 days since we threw the diapers away.  For a few months leading up to this date, we had been debating on if we wanted to attempt to potty train Ellie before the next baby arrives.  We heard great things about Lora Jensen's 3 Day Potty Training and thought it wouldn't hurt to try.  After all, it is only 3 days.  The initial problem was finding those 3 days.  We had an extremely busy Summer and didn't have a weekend where we didn't have something going on until 2 weekends ago-the golden 80 degree weather weekend.  I decided I was not staying in and potty training on an 80 degree weekend in October, so we pushed it one more week. 

Ellie was showing interest in the potty for the last month or two.  She loved sitting on her potty, but only after her diaper changes so she never really went much. She also loved taking off her diapers, throwing them away, and not wanting to put another one on.  We figured this was reason enough to try and we were tired of fighting with her over every diaper change.

I read Lora's book at least 3 times and was committed to following it exactly for the 3 days. No excuse for complaining it doesn't work if you change the instructions. There is more to it, but the main principals are to go cold turkey with the no diapers.  Give lots of liquids and stay VERY close to your kid for the next 3 days.  Like within a foot close so you can catch ALL accidents.  Keep things very positive and praise for every moment dry.  Every time an accident begins they need to be brought to the bathroom and reward every success, even if just a tiny bit makes it where it is supposed to go.  You're not supposed to ask them if they have to go and just pick up on all their potty signals or have them tell you when they need to go.

Day 1 - Not good.  Lots and lots of accidents.  Each time she started to have an accident I'd bring her to the bathroom where she would stop the flow.  I'd bring her back out (you aren't supposed to have them sit and try for very long) and then she would start going again.  It took about 5 times back and forth to empty the bladder for each accident.  Wanted to give up.

Day 2 - Not much better but thankfully Scott was home to help out.  Wanted to give up.

Day 3 - Much much better and Scott was still home to help.  I backed away from the liquids a little more so I think it made it a little easier for her to control.  Plus we were improving at reading her "have to go" signals.  She still wasn't telling us when she had to go though.  She was dry all day and only had one pee accident later in the evening.

Day 4 - The same as day 3, only with one poo accident. She rarely told me when she had to go and I started to ask her if she had to go and sometimes I put her on the potty even if she didn't said anything.

Day 5 - First day back to work for mommy. I was terrified of what daycare was going to do.  I talked to the director and she said I could bring Ellie in just her panties and they would be happy to try it out to see how it goes.  They sat her on the potty once an hour and sometimes she went and sometimes she didn't. This doesn't exactly fit with the method, but I was really really happy they were willing to do the panties right away. 

Day 6-9 - In 4 days of daycare, she only had one accident!  Other than that, she's had one accident per day at home.  Once in awhile she tells us when she has to go.  Surprisingly she tells us MOST of the time when she has to poo.  I hear that can be the hardest part so we're grateful for that.  I think we've only had 3 poo accidents the whole time and she goes at least twice a day.  She has stayed dry overnight since day 1 and had 2 nap time accidents. And she goes better for Scott than me, the little stinker! 

Overall, this was not the miracle I was hoping for, but it was great jump start.  We're running some errands tomorrow and I'm seriously considering putting a pull up on her!  I'm not sure it was the best idea to do this so close to having the baby (due in a week and a half) and it has been extremely exhausting for me well beyond the first three days!  I'm so proud of her though, she is doing really well when you think of the progress in the last week and a half. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

And all the animals say goodnight

This is a daily site at our house:

And it is only about half of the scene. The rest of the blankets, pillows, and animals wrap around the island. She carefully sets everything up, places each animal on the soft pillow, and wraps them in a blanket. She gives kisses to each one and reads stories to a few of her favorites. Hopefully this is good practice for when her sister comes in the next few weeks!

It seems like there has been a lot to update, but I can't think of what it is right now. I hope my memory eventually comes back. Ellie has been going on the potty about once a day. She's always saying new and crazy things.  She blames everything on someone named Grayson. She talks about scary monsters and shadows.  She likes to call people grouchy or happy.  She says "oooh, momma's belly is BIG" and growls while saying big.  Such a cutie! Speaking of cute, she points to herself and says "Ima cutie pie."

Hard to believe there is only 3.5 weeks left until my due date! The next few weeks are going to be a very challenging balance of trying to get stuff ready, resting, and soaking up the alone time with Ellie.  Oh, and lets not forget making time to watch the TIGERS!  I've lost lots of sleep over the last week watching them spank the Yankees!  Though I do miss you Granderson...

Well, gotta go clean!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pink Skies make the Ellie go wild!

Last night, the sky was beautiful
After Ellie's bath, we took her to the window to look at it. She kept saying "PINK SKY! PINK SKY!" She was so excited!

She laughed and laughed

She did a little dance

She blew some spit bubbles

She was all around happy to see it
Tonight she was asking "where's the pink sky?"  She was very upset we couldn't turn it on with the light switch!

Fun to get away

Earlier in the summer Scott and I went to Detroit for an overnight stay.  We watched the Tigers, ate deep dish pizza, and did some shopping while Ellie stayed AT HOME with aunt Joy and uncle Joy (she now knows his real name is uncle Ryan).

Later on, we took a mommy, daddy, Ellie trip to Great Wolf Lodge.  Also an excellent time.

A few weekends ago, we went a few hours up north with the whole family (Grandma, Grandpa, Ryan, Joy, Mommy, Daddy, Ellie).  It was tentatively on the calender for almost a year, but we weren't sure if we were going to be able to go.  Two weeks before, we got a call that a room opened up at the Pinestead Reef Resort. We had a great time eating, relaxing, and playing in the bay.  The weather was sunny and in the upper 70s!  We even squeezed in a brunch at one of my favorite restaurants - Apache Trout Grill.  The great thing about vacationing with family is that there are extra hands to keep the little one distracted!

Usually something funny or slightly bizarre (uh-hmm, sanitary napkins anyone?) happens while we are on vacation. This time we were relaxing on the patio and a seagull dropped a perfect bomb into my brothers coffee.  Thankfully we saw it land because it was perfectly centered and only made a small splash. Now that's what we call a Traverse City Latte.  OK, on to some pictures: