Wednesday, May 8, 2013

She did it!

I know it's been forever but since this seems to be my way of keeping track of my babies' milestones, I squeezed in time for a quick post.

She did it---she sttn for the first time!! We had some long random stretches when she was little and her sleep had no pattern but all night ladies and gents. All Night! I think it was the combination of starting to add two meals of baby food at daycare, some for dinner (along with all of her regular daily bottles) and an extra ounce in the bedtime bottle.  BAM.

If only it was the weekend and I could sleep until she wakes up and see how long she would actually go!

Other things to note:
  • PS can "almost" sit up on her own...she'll stay up if you get her there for a bit, but tips easily. But, it's changed a lot in the last week or so, so I think we're close.
  • No teeth yet.
  • She's a talker...cooing, vocalizing, screaming etc. 
  • She adores her brother--grabbing at him whenever he's near. Trying to play with him. I can tell they'll have a lot of fun once she can chase after him.
  • In one week, we managed to sell our house and buy another--they both close a month from yesterday. Yikes.
  • 20 days left of school!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013


Please keep an eye out everyone....someone took my little baby and replaced him with a two year old. GASP!

I have no idea how this happened. I was rereading posts from last year at this time (you know, back when I had time to post) and reading all about his milestones and "firsts". I can't believe how much he has blows my mind.

Our lives have changed drastically this last year and it's been full of challenges. But, I wouldn't change it for the world.

LM is upstairs sleeping right now, curled up in the corner of his crib with his animals strewn about him. We've come so far from this time last year when he was still waking at least once a night--asking for his paci--and wouldn't go to sleep unless I held his hand while he drifted off. Tonight, we read some books, snuggled and after a couple rounds of rock-a-bye baby and moon, moon, moon, he looked at me and said "baba tired" and leaned for his crib.  After 20 min or so of talking to himself, he was out. He'll stay that way until we wake the poor thing up at 615 tomorrow morning. He still loves his paci (at night and naps only) and we're not even close to taking it away....he makes the saddest lip quiver when we talk about it. But, it is what it is.

I wish there was a way to describe how much he talks....and how complexly he does. He amazes me daily---the grammar choices he makes, the words he uses and the connections he makes. He knows 100's of words---many of those animals. He loves to sing and say nursery rhymes. He loves loves loves the PBS show Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood---asking for it daily and ugga-mugga'ing the tv screen.

He loves his sister. His new thing is trying to pick her up off the floor...asking "hold it, hold it! Max want to hold the baby".  He's much more gentle with her these days...though he did try to scratch her yesterday!

He still loves to read books and is growing very fond of his legos.  He is becoming better at pretend play--cooking for us in his pretend kitchen (somehow I always get a carrot on a red plate), bringing us tea and refilling it from his faucet when it's empty.  He serves us Melissa and Doug cookies and sandwiches and warns us "Be careful. Hot hot" when bringing "fresh" cookies.  He loves his animals--both farm and zoo.  His elephant collection often joins his while watching Daniel Tiger--sitting in various spots of the room. Just the other day, he told me he couldn't sit in his red chair because "Ella watchin Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood". 

It still seems like I should be pregnant with him and awaiting his arrival.  There's no way he's about to be two.  I'm excited for tomorrow but also sick to my stomach at this change/milestone.  My darling baby isn't a baby anymore. He's not even the "baby" of the household. It's one of those nights where I want to steal him away from his bed and bring him to ours, so I can hold him all night. But, I won't. Though, I will watch him on the monitor while I'm up feeding PS tonight.

And I'll marvel---at who he is today, who he was yesterday, what it took to get him and what he'll become tomorrow. And then, I'll probably cry a bit---because someone took my baby.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Slogging along

I could start off by apologizing that I'm not posting more...but, let's be real--I haven't been able to post regularly for a long time and based off my stats/comments, this has mostly just become a place for me to write to me and a record for LM and PS's milestones.

Things are carrying along here. PS was four months old yesterday---I have no idea where the time went. She is a cooing, talking, singing baby now--amazing what not having a hurting tummy will do for a disposition.  She "sings" along with LM in the car in the mornings when he's singing to his music---it's SO cute. She smiles when she sees one of us--this big gummy, open-mouthed smile like LM used to do. She has a temper still and wants what she wants RIGHT NOW.  She is better at tummy time and will stay on her belly for 10 minutes or so if she wants to and is amused sufficiently (i.e. can see past the educationally appropriate toys I have surrounded her with and see the tv).  She loves loves loves her hands and sucks on them all day long. She still takes a paci to get calm quickly but I think she's learning slowly to self-soothe with her hands. She's close to rolling back to belly--she easily rolls to her side. She has decided that's how she likes to sleep at night too---makes me nervous! She drinks about 30oz of Nutramigen a day---it's adding up quickly! We're appealing Anthem's decision to not cover it---they said it wasn't medically necessary for her to have...despite their own guidelines stating that milk protein allergies should be.  Hmm...frustrating to say the least. We pay SO much for them to be willing to do so little. But, we're appealing with the help of the pedi's office. She takes her last bottle around 730/8 and usually sleeps until 12-130, then up again around 4-5.  Some nights she only wakes up once but I've yet to figure out what makes the difference. But, it is what it is.  I haven't slept well since late 2010 (the uncomfortable part of LM's pregnancy) since just as he started sleeping well, I was pregnant with PS.

It's time to wake them up and get the day going more so I should probably update about LM later.
Off we go.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Trying to be happier

I know I was negative last night...and I'm trying to look at the bright side of things.

Both of my babies are amazing.

LM amazes me daily with what he says and thinks.  He has figured out how to attach meaning to his words.  He associates things with himself..."Little Monkey's coat/shoes/monkey" etc and other people "Mama boots/chair/book" etc.  Just tonight he handed me one of his puzzle pieces (a cow) and held out the puzzle piece he held (another cow) and said "Mama cow. LM cow too".  Too?? When did he learn to use the word too appropriately??  He tells me all about his day at bedtime. He sings nursery rhymes, the alphabet and counts to 10 (mostly). He recognizes and finds eight different shapes all around him.  He loves his books and will sit and "read" them to me while I'm changing PS's diaper.  Every day is a new and special experience with him...even if he is still aggressive at daycare! He'll be two (2!!!!!) in just over a month.  Where did the time go?

PS is growing and changing like crazy.  She smiles and coos like a fiend.  In the car on the way to daycare in the morning, she coos/talks along with LM as he sings to his music.  It's adorable.  She's got great head control and tries to roll to her side when she's on her back. She's happy to grab at her toys and bat at things. She loves her fingers and sucks on them all the time. At daycare, apparently she's using them to self-soothe to fall asleep but not at home yet.  She turns her eyes/head towards our voices and cracks a great big grin when we come into visual range.  She smiles at her brother and is a tough little cookie that doesn't cry as much when he bonks her.  You can almost see it in her eyes that she can't wait to be able to bonk him back. She loves to snuggle with me and only wants TH or I in the evening after daycare (my poor SIL just wanted to snuggle her one evening and she wasn't having it!).  We've had better luck at getting her to sleep longer stretches when I get her bedtime bottle in her before eight and get her down shortly after.  Tonight she was down for the evening at 730....which makes me sad. I just want to hold her while she sleeps..but I know it's better for her.  She's been waking up 1-2x a night--usually between 12-1 and 3-5.  I know we'll get to one time a night soon...she's already a better sleep than LM was at this age.  She's got this amazing personality that I'm loving watching emerge.

I'm happy with my hard as it seems some days.  I just need to keep it in focus.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Negative Nelly

I'm feeling very negative today....about lots of things.

The biggest thing is the sudden diagnosis of a colleague with stage 4 cancer....two weeks ago she had an operable, highly survivable lump....and then they found more.  I'm heartbroken for her and her family.  And have no idea how to really help her...or process the idea that she might die.  I'm used to dealing with elderly one close to me and my age has died.  It's scary to think about leaving my family....and I am furious with how a modern society still cannot solve such a prevalent medical issue.  It's not fair that so many wonderful people are suffering while rapists, murderers and sociopaths run around healthy.

Negative, I warned you.

I also feel negative about the hoops that I have to jump through to help PS.  I've spent countless hours on the phone dealing with insurance about it...and now we're waiting to see if the paperwork our pediatrician is filling out will receive authorization from our insurance.  Our policy states that it does not cover infant formula....but then states that it covers medical food when it is nutritional necessary to thrive....which the Nutramigen is for us.  She can't have regular formula because of the milk protein....we tried soy and she this is what she has to have.  The insurance rep I talked to said she thought it was a strong possibility that it would be approved.  But--since I'm feeling negative...I worry that since they couldn't diagnose her with a true "allergy" and just an intolerance, that they'll use that as a loophole.  It just is such a sad commentary on our society that we pay an arm and a leg for healthcare every month and when our baby really needs support, they're likely to do what they can to not pay.  And I don't know what we'll do if they deny it...we'll appeal it of course.  But, it's hard. And I feel so negative...I'm not sure why I can't attempt to see the positive side. I just can't.


Sunday, January 20, 2013


The last few weeks have been full of transitions....back to work, back to daycare, new routines, new struggles.

Work has been hard--my kiddos learned a lot of bad habits while I was gone and I've got some pretty severe behavior problems to fix.  On top of being behind curriculum and's been hard to play catch-up.  I also found out that one of my co-workers has breast cancer. has been a lot of work.  I'm exhausted by the time I get home....from working all day long after a night of interrupted sleep (she's up at least once a night).

LM is struggling in daycare.  It's been hard for him to get back into the routine of daycare...especially with having to share her with his baby.  He's been aggressive again..hitting, scratching, kicking.  And, not listening...a lot.  He was struggling with napping (she was trying to get him to lay on a mat for naptime so PS could use the pnp--not that she naps in it anyway!) and we had one horrible blow-up day last week where she spanked him (apparently it was a swat more than anything) but it got pretty ugly between us.  We have arrived at an ok place right now but this is my final incident with her. If anything else comes up, I'm done.  I know she's really frustrated with his behavior...but he's not even two yet and just doesn't get it yet.  He will learn and he will get it..but it will take time. Sometimes I think his verbal skills make people (us included) assume that he understands/processes more than he can.  I'm hoping that he'll get into the routine again and be ok.  But, I'm looking into new places just in case.  Beyond that, he's doing great--singing, dancing, talking up a storm! I can't believe he's almost two!!!

PS added to the stress of the week by having a new breakout of hives that got progressively worse as the week went on.  So, to throw a big transition in---I'm stopped breastfeeding entirely.  Obviously, there is more that she's allergic to and I can't eliminate everything from my diet. I also couldn't continue to deal emotionally with the idea that I'm hurting her with what I eat...without knowing.  So, I ended that chapter of my life.  It's been highly emotional for me (not to mention painful as the not feeding engorgement set in) but I'm trying to make the best out of it.  I know that it'll be better for her to have a controlled diet that we can help her feel better with.  Today I'm having a glass of wine without having to time it around feeds and see the positive in it. We ended up at the pediatrician's office on Friday to have her looked at.  She confirmed that it's not a contact rash but a classic "food" related rash. She wants us to go back to the hypoallergenic formula (as you remember--she hated it the first time and REFUSED to drink anything out of a bottle for awhile so we went for soy to see if she'd take it).  She wasn't sure if it was a reaction to the soy that had been building in her system or something else (corn maybe?).  We're weaning her off the soy by mixing the two formulas until she'll take the hypo one.  She's been doing okay with it so far.  Of course, I'm sure I just jinxed us! We go back to the pedi allergist in June unless she continues with hives after being on the hypo formula full time for awhile.  We also have steroid cream for her body and a liquid for her head (yup--it's there too) to get the hives/rash to go away before it harms her skin---it's seriously bad looking folks.  I'm hoping that once we get it cleared and on the new formula, it'll make a difference in how she feels.  What I'm not looking forward to though, is the cost of it.  Retail, we're looking at 35$ every 5 days...and she only takes 4oz bottles right now.  When I'm done with this, I'm going to be doing some research on buying through Ebay, CL etc.

It's been a lot lately. I feel like I'm unraveling emotionally...but just don't have time to actually do it.  I'm sub-par at a lot of things...and great at nothing.  I just want to be good at something...I don't need great yet.  Oh, and I'd like someone to come wash my bottles every night :-)

Monday, January 7, 2013


As I sit here hopping myself up on coffee (415 feeding with a 515 alarm clock after tossing and turns from nerves until midnight requires extra reserves) and watching PS and LM sleep as the monitor scans between their two rooms, I am amazed that they are mine. Somehow, my less than perfect self managed to grow two little people who despite looking crazy alike, are little individuals with personalities (even at PS's young age) that are astounding.

I've done a lot of "ehh" things in life to be rewarded with such wonderful beings. I'm heartsick at what I'm going to miss while I'm at work. I have no idea why it is so much harder this time--theories abound from going back to work mid-year vs the start and knowing exactly how fast they change/how much I'll miss this time. And I suppose this is true--I push myself to be great at work and I know that I need to just accept good for the rest of this year. With LM, I was in denial about what I'd miss--and while he was super helpful at not doing any big milestones at daycare--I didn't realize how fleeting time was.  Everyday now, he says something new and amazing....he's making connections about the world around him and wiggling his little tush at commercial music in a way that makes my heart pitter patter. PS grows (physically and personality-wise) every day...her sweet smile melts my heart. I just know that I'll miss her first giggles...we're so close.  I wish I could stay home with them...but at the same time I know that I'd be an awful SAHM. Those who do it wonderfully rock...I'd be so bad at it!!

It's so hard to strike a balance in life. But, for now, I'll just enjoy my coffee and babies.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


That's what I'm back to tomorrow. I cannot believe it's been three months since I went on maternity leave. I'm not sure that there wasn't some bizarre sleeping beauty spell that happened because there is no way it's almost January 7th and I have a 22mo old and a 3mo old by weeks end.

Not F'in possible.

I'm sad to leave them. Scared too. We don't have PS's feeding issues all worked out yet. I'm walking into a storm of undisciplined students who apparently from what I saw of my room, have learned little while I was gone. I have so many personal inadequacy fears (mom and teacher, don't forget wife too!) that I feel like a failure already because I won't be able to be great at anything...just ok at many things.

My heart is sad. I just want to snuggle with them both all night.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Ahead of the curve

While I spend a long time finding time to compose the last post (and actually publishing), positive things have been going on around here!

Saturday, PS rolled over belly to back!!!! She adores being on her side--often using her legs to squish herself up into a fetal position from her back while sleeping--so I have been trying to get her as much tummy time as possible because I want her to have strong (un-crooked!) neck muscles in case she gets over onto her stomach before she really can control it and end up on her face.  And--using her awesome head control to lean herself over, she rolled right over onto her back!! I, of course, flipped her back after celebrating and had her do it again :-)

I immediately wanted to find out when LM did it--so I went to check his baby book.  Turns out, that while I have lots of other things in there....this is where I eventually found the answer--in his virtual baby book of sorts! He rolled belly to back at 14weeks and she did it at 11 weeks.

So--PS is ahead of the curve in the gross motor least in our household :-)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Truly the second child...

PS is truly the second child...because if she weren't..she'd probably be our only.

She has reflux--and even medicated twice a day--it still bothers her. Her fussiness is better--she smiles and coos (at us sometimes, at her flower decals above her changing table...always!). She still is hard to console in the evening...she still has some witching hour tendencies. This usually indicates to me that she is ready for her evening dose but even so, she's happiest when being held by mama. TH is great with her and helps out a ton with LM...but most times, she just won't calm down for anyone but rocking/swaying/bouncing etc. It's hard--sometimes I just want to put her down or for her to just STOP. But, I know that she'll calm soon, so we power through. I'm going to have killer back/ab muscles soon!

This last week, after giving her the first bottle of formula in preparation for the return to work (as you might remember from LM, pumping at work is a stressful, not productive endeavor for me so we're sticking with formula during the day and hopefully bf'ing at night/breakfast), PS was a bit fussier than normal until about 5 hours post bottle (3oz) when she became covered in hives! Cue major freak-out on my part---all topped off with a heaping helping of guilt. Later that night, she had two poopy diapers with some blood in them, as well as an increased mucous amount (lately, post starting Zantac her diapers have become more green/mucousy). Again---Fah-reak out! I researched, consulted the mamas in LM's FB group who are experts in allergies etc and pretty discovered that we were most likely dealing with a milk protein/soy intolerance. I've been reducing my dairy intake over the last month or so to see if it would help. Luckily, the next day we had her 2month well-baby check up anyway so we were able to get into talk with the pedi about it. Nonetheless, I spent all of the night worried and listening to her breathe.

Her pedi took a look at the pictures of her hives (gone by this point), looked at the diapers and talked with us about my diet, the formula etc. She immediately suggested MPSI as a strong possibility and got a referral to a pediatric allergist going. She told me to cut out all dairy until we talked with the allergist and he gave his rec's.  She gave us a sample of some hypoallergenic formula--no milk protein, soy etc. We tried a bottle of it with her the next day--she HATED the taste, which I heard was to be expected but she took a couple of ounces so we figured we would keep trying (I'm only replacing 1-2 feeds a day until next week).  We were able to get an appointment (at the crack of dawn) with the allergist the next day (48 hours after this all started). He listened to what happened and said that he wanted to do the skin prick test for a milk allergy.  However, he explained that the blood in her diaper tells him that her body can't handle milk so even if she tests negative for the milk allergy, she still has an intolerance and shouldn't have any milk until close to 12months. So, we did the test and she did not test + for a milk allergy.  So, we're dealing with a milk protein intolerance.

This is a great link that explains the difference between an allergy/intolerance etc---it helped me figure out how to explain it all to TH and family.

Anyway--we kept trying the hypoallergenic formula....and she kept hating it worse and worse. It got to the point where she wouldn't even drink pumped breast milk from a bottle because she was associating it. TH and I talked and decided that we needed to try a soy formula. Why? 1) She wasn't tested for a soy allergy so we weren't sure if she actually had that 2) If she would drink it and thrive on it, it's not $30 a canister (retail) like the hypoallergenic ones. We tried it and she's had several days of 2 bottles a day with no hives. She still has some eczema patches (but had them before) and some days I still feel like she's having tummy troubles. But, soy can add to constipation so it's possible that she's just having some gas issues. I've been giving her gas drops with each bottle.  She still is having some mucousy poops but she's still getting about 1/2 her feeds from me and I haven't been dairy free yet for 2 weeks (and may have had a few tiny cheats with some holiday goodies) so it's possible that is from me. 

My issue at the moment is that I don't know anything for sure---not even that she doesn't have a milk protein allergy as the allergist explained that it often won't show up on a test until after repeated exposures (which I'm not planning on doing). It's not often that he sees children with such controlled circumstances (only breastfeeding except for the one bottle) when they have a reaction...and after only one instance.  I also don't know that she doesn't have a soy intolerance...if I could go back, I'd have him at least test for that too on the allergy test.  But--I don't. So, until she's 100% on the formula, I won't know if it's the dairy in me or a soy intolerance. And, if it is a soy intolerance, than our only option at that point is the hypo formula she hates (because by then, my supply won't be salvageable.). I'm planning on upping the number of bottles she has this week to 3-4 (depending on when she gets up) to mimic a day at daycare so that may shed some light too. I may also put a call into her pedi this week to discuss her thoughts on soy and maybe about getting a sample of the other hypo formula---I can't stomach spending $30 dollars on something she may not touch. If we end up with a total MPSI (milk protein soy intolerance) than it is what it is...and we'll chance our lifestyle to accommodate the additional cost.

I'm having a LOT of guilt about leaving her soon, not being strong enough to go 100% dairy free for her and a whole host of other issues (Did I eat/drink/do something while pregnant to cause this etc? Yes, I know I didn't. But still, it's in my head). I'm going to try to do better and post more in the next week....because I realize how crazy it will be when I get back to work.  I thought for sure that I'd be able to post more frequently while home on leave with her (like I did with LM) but she is truly a different child than him and has required much more of me.

Thanks for reading helps to even type it out.