Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday

Is it already Tuesday again?! Time is flying by around here. I guess that means I'm having lots of fun, which is true! Tuesday means that Taylor at The Undomestic Momma is hosting Top 2 Tuesday.

This week's topic is: Top 2 Cleaning & Organizing Tips or Tricks

{1} As my family knows, I am anything but an organizational or neat freak. However, in my closet, I have gotten a little type-A about organization. My hanging tops are all hung by several categories. First are tank tops, then short sleeve, then 3/4 sleeve, then long sleeve/sweater. Then, within those categories, they are hung by rainbow colors. ROYGBIV - Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purples, whites, greys, blacks. This makes it easier for me to pick out clothes. If I know I am looking for a red top, then voila, my choices are narrowed down. My husband thinks I'm crazy & I'm honestly not sure where this little quirk came from, but it works well for me.

{2} The 2nd thing is really something I can't take credit for...it's my husband's smarts! For organization of bills & what needs to be paid/mailed when, we have a neat little desktop organizer that has slots that are numbered 1-31. Then, you can write a check, slip it into a slot, along with its coordinating bill & envelope, and know when it needs to be paid. You can either decide to put the bill in the date when it's due or the date when it needs to be mailed. Just as long as you understand your own system, it works great! :) We have the below organizer, which can be found at Target.

What are your cleaning/organizational tips? I look forward to reading them!!

Until Next Time...
Love, Jen

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tommee Tippee Giveaway

Danielle, at Happenings of the Harper Household, is hosting a giveaway of Tommee Tippee Soft Shield pacifiers. Tommee Tippee is the brand of bottles that we are currently using & Kinsley Anne loves them. I do not have any of these soft shield paci's yet, but the bottles are great! Kinsley Anne was given pumped breast milk in the NICU somewhat frequently if I couldn't be there in person to breastfeed and they used the screw on nipples that went onto the storage bottles. These were nothing like a breast nipple & Kinsley Anne would throw a royal hissy fit when I tried to get her to breastfeed after she had had a bottle. She was confused & didn't want to have to work for her food. When we got home, we switched her to Tommee Tippee bottles/nipples for when she got breast milk bottles (at night or if a family member wanted to feed her). She has had no difficulty going between bottle & breast ever since we switched. I would recommend these to anyone. Needless to say, I would love to win another Tommee Tippee product & I think you should try to win too! Head over to Danielle's blog to check it out!!

Here is the Tommee Tippee website: http://www.tommeetippee.co.uk

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Friday, November 26, 2010

Newborn Photo Session

Alli Maxwell, of Allison Maxwell Photography, took some pictures of Kinsley Anne when she was 3 weeks old. Below are a few....

the below pictures include one of KA's flowers from Tammy's Funky Flowers

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We most certainly had LOTS to be thankful for. We decided to take it easy and not go shopping until ~8am. I wasn't super impressed with the deals at the mall other than at Baby Gap. Everything was 50% off until 10am! Kinsley Anne made out the best out of all of us. She slept through the entire shopping ordeal except for when it was time to eat (which was planned well since we were already sitting down to a snack in the food court!). What good deals did you find?

Until Next Time...
Love, Jen

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kinsley Anne Update

Kinsley Anne went to the pediatrician Monday, 11/15 and got a great report. She had gained 1lb 3oz since her last visit there 2 weeks prior!! She weighed in at 8lb 3 oz!!!!! The PMD said that she should be gaining 1/2-1 ounce per day & that would mean that she had gained 19 ounces in 14 days!! She must like what's in my milk! haha Otherwise, the doctor said she looked great and that from her standpoint, we could transition to a "normal baby" doctor's visit schedule. This means that her next visit will be at 2 months of age for shots :(

Yesterday, 11/22, we went to see the pediatric pulmonologist. He was impressed that her O2 sat was 100% and had still not shown any signs of respiratory distress or issues. He wanted to repeat her chest xray, so we went downstairs, registered, and had that done. We came back upstairs to his office & and they pulled him out of a room so that we could pull it up. He wanted me to see it & we compared it to the ones from her NICU stay. On a CXR, air looks black & in the NICU, her left lung was showing up almost all white in the films. On this CXR, there was possibly more black on the left, meaning more air entry into that lung! yay! The right lung looked no different, which is fine. He didn't want to go getting my hopes up, but he felt like there was almost definitely improvement. What does this mean, however? We're not sure. CXRs are good, but they have their limitations. So, our plan is to repeat a CT scan of her left lung. We are planning to do this in 2 months, but I am going to call him & see if there is a disadvantage to doing it on 12/31 because we already have maxed out her insurance deductible this year and obviously if we could take advantage of that, it would be great! So anyway, thanks for the prayers. It definitely doesn't seem that anything has gotten worse & now we anxiously await the CT scan! The respiratory therapist & MD were both pleased with her and were happy to see that she was gaining weight well.

Otherwise, she is doing great! Thank you again for your continued prayers. We have so much to be thankful for & it is so timely that this week is Thanksgiving! Sometime this week, I will post some pictures from Kinsley Anne's newborn photo session. We have picked out our announcements & I am so excited about them!

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday

The weeks are flying by!! It's Tuesday again, which means it's time for Top 2 Tuesday. This is hosted by Taylor, over at The Undomestic Momma. If you haven't joined in before, today is the perfect day to do so!

So, without further ado, this week's topic is Top 2 Things on Your Christmas Wish List

{1} This is way out there & I know that I will not be getting it, but I must say that my top want is a new fancy-dancy camera. I took several photography classes in high school & had a fancy non-digital camera, but who develops film anymore, right? I obviously have my smaller digital camera that I use all of the time, but I eventually want to step it up a notch. My sweet husband was really wanting to get that for me this year, but that can't really happen now that Miss Kinsley made an early arrival & racked up lots of medical bills so far.

{2} A personal trainer that would come to my house. I know better than to think I will make regular trips to the gym with a little one. I like to think I could pull out P90X or Wii Fit & get my butt in gear on my own, but that hasn't happened in the last 5 weeks and we'll see if it happens in the next couple.

...As far as a MAJOR wish on my list that is not material is for Kinsley Anne's lung to be growing bigger & for those mysterious air pockets or cysts to be GONE when we get her next CT done. (more on her pulmonology appt yesterday in my next post)

Runner-Up Wishes:
-Brown work shoes (Dansko's, maybe?)
-I'm considering a Filson jacket but debating if I really need one
-Keratin complex soothing therapy to get my hair straighter!
-Beige handbag..haven't seen one that I have to have....yet
-North Face rain coat

What's on your wish list??

Monday, November 22, 2010

About Us

I found this cute questionnaire on another blog & thought it would be something fun to do! I hope you enjoy!

{1} What are your middle names?
Me: Megan ,by birth. But now, legally, it's my maiden name, Gilbert.
Kyle: Kyle...yep, he goes by his middle name!
{2} How long have you been together?
Since November 2004
{3} How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We pretty much started dating immediately.
{4} Who asked who out?
Well, I put my phone number in his phone the night I met him & he texted me the next day {& he swears up and down that that was his first text. That's just hard for me to believe since I'm a texting queen. haha}
{5} How old are each of you?

We're both 25....19 days apart.
{6} Did you go to the same school?
Nope, never have.
{7} Are you from the same home town?
Nope. I was born in Texas, raised in Delaware.
He was born in Spartanburg & grew up in Green Creek, NC & Inman, SC.
{8} Who is the smartest?
Depends what topic we're discussing. I must say, we're both pretty darn smart haha
{9} Who majored in what?
Me: BS in Nursing, MS in Nursing - Peds Primary Care NP
Kyle: BS in Engineering
{10} Who is the most sensitive?
I am, hands down. Kyle is very stoic. He has always been that way & I love him for that. I think having a baby has changed him a lot, but still he is not openly sensitive about things. Me, on the other hand? I show my emotions pretty openly. If I am sad, I cry. If I'm happy, I smile big & laugh. I cry when I read blogs of people I don't know. I cried when Kinsley Anne had to go to NICU. I cried when I had to leave Kinsley Anne at the hospital by herself. I cried 2 nights ago, "just because." I think all nurses have to be in touch with their emotions.
{11} Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Aruba, on our honeymoon.
{12} Who has the worst temper?
Hmm..that's a tough question. I wouldn't honestly say either of us have a bad temper, but I would say if he's mad, you're likely to know it faster than with me. Anger is the one thing I am not super quick to show. I usually simmer slowly.
{13} How many children do you want?
We are between 2 & 3. Although I'm not sure I can handle the emotions of another baby going to NICU. I hope & pray that with the next pregnancy, things will not be so "exciting." That would make my decision a little harder. Otherwise, definitely 2.
{14} Who does the cooking?
Usually me since I get home earlier (and am home with the baby right now) but he cooks sometimes, too.
{15} Who is more social?
Probably him, actually. I mean, I'm social, don't get me wrong. But he could talk to a complete stranger for hours. He's on lots of committees in the community & is great at this. He is totally one of those people could be a public figure or run for mayor & do great. Not me.
{16} Who is the neat freak?
Neither one of us. That presents a problem at times.
{17} Who is the most stubborn?
We both are equally as stubborn, just typically about different things. If I had to pick someone, I would say him but I think that comes from being the oldest sibling. :)
{18} Who wakes up earlier?
He does. He has to be at work 30+ minutes before me. And currently, with me being at home with Kinsley Anne, he definitely gets up earlier.
{19} Where was your first date?
HA! Waffle House. How romantic, right?
{20} Who has the bigger family?
He has a bigger immediate family. But, I would say we are pretty similar when it comes to extended families. Mine would probably just seem bigger if you got us all in a room because you can't keep us quiet when we get together!!!
{21} Do you get flowers often?
Not really. Neither one of us are really a lover of flowers as a gift. I mean, I love flowers, don't get me wrong. But they die so quickly!!!
{22} How do you spend the holidays?
When we got married, we decided to split the holidays each year, rotating where we spent them since our families don't live in the same place. The 1st year, we did Thanksgiving in DE, Christmas in SC. Last year, Kyle was in China for Thanksgiving so I went to DE to be with my family & then we also spent Christmas in DE. This year, we will spend both in SC because of Kinsley Anne being so young.
{23} Who is more jealous?
probably me..of his time more than anything. He is really busy, which is a good thing, but we have to schedule time to just stay home.
{24} How long did it take to get serious?
We were serious right away. We began getting to know each other by talking on the phone hours at a time & also asking each other questions....no question was out off-limits. We said "I love you" in February after we met.
{25} Who eats more?
He does. But, that's to be expected, right? Except candy. I can eat my weight in candy, haha
{26} What do you do for a living?
Me: mama, wife, & pediatric neurology nurse practitioner
Kyle: daddy, husband, & structural engineer at a very large, international corporation
{27} Who does the laundry?

Before baby, we shared the duty. Now, I do most of it since I'm home. But that will probably change back to more of a shared duty once I'm back at work.
{28} Who's better with the computer?
We are both really good with computers, although he uses more programs than I do since he does engineering stuff on it. I was sooo grateful when our charting at work went electronic. I can type far faster than I can write.
{29} Who drives when you are together?
Typically him. I hate driving.
{30} What is your song?
Our wedding song was "God Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts

If you decide that you want to do this, leave me a comment so I can come check out your answers!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kinsley Anne @ 1 month

Kinsley Anne was 4 weeks old this Monday.

Kinsley, Here is what you have been doing this month:

-You are wearing newborn and some 0-3 month clothing (that are generally a little too big)

-You are wearing newborn diapers but yesterday, we did put you in a size 1 diaper for the first time just to see how it fits. You are sort of needing an in-between size!

-You got weighed today and weigh 8#30z!!

-You are getting exclusively breastmilk but since the 2nd week of your life, we have given you breastmilk bottles at night. You tend to sleep longer after bottles because you'll take up to 5 ounces!!! You nurse every 1.5-3 hours during the day.

-You sleep in the pack 'n' play at the foot of our bed at night. We tried to get you to sleep in the cradle that Pop Pop made for me, but you hated it. We are hoping to get you into your crib as soon as you can sleep through the night. This past week, you started waking up only once at night. It's wonderful for mommy & daddy. We feed you between 9:30-10am & you sleep until 1-2am. I feed you again & you sleep until 5-6am. Usually, you'll wake every 2-3 hours after that.

-We swaddle you up at nighttime & this helps you sleep more soundly. We also have a sound machine that plays "womb" sounds while you sleep at night, in addition to having the ability to play lots of other calming noises. We also turn on the vibrate feature of your pack 'n' play for ~5 minutes while you fall asleep.

-You are becoming more alert between naps. You typically eat, stay awake for ~30min-1hr, then sleep until the next feeding.

-You are a really good baby. You typically don't cry unless you are hungry or hurting. You have had some bouts of painful gas & have taken some gas drops to help you.

-The dogs LOVE you! Bowen is your protector already & barks if anyone comes to the house. The day you came home from the hospital he smelled you in your car seat and then when we laid you down in the crib, he laid down in front of it. Avery is still too young to really understand you, but she loves to give you kisses. She, hopefully, will learn soon that she is too big to stand on you (haha).

-You have lots of hair in the back of your head and your hair is growing in slowly but surely everywhere else. It seems like it will be thick and blonde. It already even has a little curl to it.

-You like your bouncy seat & sometimes this helps if your belly is hurting you. You like your swing for short periods.

-You stare at lights, you love fans, and you stare at us, but you don't track our movements yet.

-You are gripping anything in your path. You don't have control over your mouth, arm, or leg movements but if there's a hand in your way, you'll grab it. Also, while you're nursing or just cuddling on mama's chest, you grab at my clothes or skin.

-You love riding in the car. I think you've stayed awake once out of all the times we've ridden places. Even if we just ride from our house over to your nonie & poppy's, you fall asleep.

-You have gotten several baths & you seem to love it! Your nana gave us a little bathtub lounger for you to lay on inside the big tub. So, we've been using that & sometimes I get in the bathtub with you to hold you. You actually cried when I took you out of the water last time. I think you might be a swimmer in the future!! :)

-Your due date is tomorrow.

-You are truly a joy to have in our lives. You have already changed so much in just 4 short weeks. It is already hard to remember what life was like without you. It sounds cliche, but one day I hope & pray that you will know the overwhelming love of becoming a mother. There is nothing like it.

Today is Prematurity Awareness Day. Please take the time today to remember those preemies too small to survive, honor those preemies who conquered despite the odds, and think of those (like Kinsley Anne) who are big enough that nobody even knows they're preemies other than their NICU stay. Also pray for those NICU babies & families that are still undergoing the roller coaster of emotions & those women who don't yet know that they will soon give birth to a preemie.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday

Once again, it's time for Top 2 Tuesday! Taylor @ The Undomestic Momma hosts this each week. If you haven't joined in before, you should try it out!

This weeks topic: Top 2 Favorite Jobs You've Had

1) Mommy & Wife. I will combine these so that I don't completely cheese up this whole post. I absolutely love having this little girl completely depend on me (and Kyle). I mean, even her meals are mine to serve up! I could cuddle her & kiss her all day long. I also enjoy being wife to Kyle. I love having someone who I can fully trust & depend on...as before Kyle, I was quite the independent girl.

2) Pediatric neurology nurse practitioner. This is my current job & I really do love it! I knew coming out of grad school that my preference was to work in a pediatric specialty but I had no idea which one. This job fell into place & I haven't turned back. I work both outpatient & inpatient. Our office is part of a large hospital system. There are 4 pediatric neurologists, myself, 2 nurses, 2 nursing assistants, 2 EEG technicians, multiple schedulers, but we are one big happy family. All of these people that I work with are awesome. The hours are great, I don't have to take call, and I love working with kids. I am one very happy employee.

In other news, Kinsley Anne is doing great! Thank you for all of your many prayers. She went to the pediatrician yesterday for another weight check and weighed 8lbs, 3 ounces!!!! The doctor asked what she was eating & was a little surprised to hear that she is getting exclusively breastmilk. That means she gained 1lb, 3 oz in 2 weeks!!!!!! What wonderful news. The reason we are getting so excited about her weight gain is that if she were having to work too hard breathing, she would be burning extra calories, therefore not allowing her to gain. This obviously doesn't seem to be the case. We have not had any breathing concerns, thank God!

Any moms out there have suggestions for a baby that seems to get painful gas frequently, not necessarily associated with any particular foods I am eating? She'll just wake up randomly, cry horribly for a few seconds up to about a minute, pass gas, then go back to sleep. Occasionally, I'll have to reposition her & rub her back to help her out. As mentioned above, she is exclusively getting breastmilk - nursing during the day, pumped milk in Tommee Tippee bottles at night. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!!

Until Next Time...
Love, Jen

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Handbag Giveaway

Head over to Taylor's blog, The Undomestic Momma, where she is sponsoring a $50 gift card giveaway to Handbag Heaven.  Entering the giveaway is simple and well worth trying to win! I had never heard of Handbag Heaven, but it's an online store with handbags from $10-$85 and they look great!! My pick for favorite handbag is this beauty:
The Broad Ripple Satchel, shown here in Navy Blue

Good luck everyone!!
Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday

Taylor, at The Undomestic Momma, hosts Top 2 Tuesday each week.
This week's topic? Top 2 Things You're Thankful For
Don't forget to hop over to her blog & link up!

1. My family. This includes my husband, parents, siblings (both bio sister & my 3 brothers via marriage aka in-laws), my SC mom & dad (kyle's parents), grandparents, aunts/uncles/cousins, extended family, and of course, our newest addition - Kinsley Anne. My family is unique, as I'm sure all people feel about their families. Both my parents & Kyle's parents have been married for over 25 years & set such a good example for the love that you should have for each other after taking that vow on your wedding day. Both Kyle & I have such a strong bond with our sibling(s) and now we love each other's siblings like they are our own. I am so blessed with a family that loves one another unconditionally & I am incredibly happy to bring Kinsley Anne into the mix. She will have so many happy memories with this family!!!

My mom, sister, and dad being goofy at my cousin Jordan's Bar Mitzvah

My Grandmom & Grandpop (dad's parents) making camo look good :)
My sissy & I
Some of the females in Kyle's family at my shower
Kyle's mom with me at my shower (and my sister in the background)

My family at the beach with my Nanny (mom's mom) several years ago
Kyle & I on our wedding day!

2. My health. After such a trying year last year (which feels like an eternity ago) with my Ulcerative Colitis & spending 3 weeks in the hospital, I never thought I would feel this good so soon. I also didn't think it would be possible to give birth to such a precious gift so soon. However, God knows the bigger picture & I am thankful for the plan He had for my life! It is much better than I ever could have anticipated!!!!

Until Next Time...
Love, Jen

Monday, November 8, 2010

Prematurity Awareness Month & pictures!

November is Prematurity Awareness Month. November 17th (the day before my due date) is Prematurity Awareness Day. I must say, I never thought I would be among the women who find themselves celebrating the life of her very own preemie. My sweet Kinsley Anne may not look like a typical preemie, weighing at 7lbs 3oz at birth. But nonetheless, I will now find myself involved on the behalf of all premature babies. I look forward to participating in my first March of Dimes walk next year once the weather gets nicer. You can find an event in your area here.

While cruising around the March of Dimes website, I was amazed by the statistics. More than half a million babies are born prematurely each year. I also find it crazy that more than 10% of women go into labor prematurely. These stats are much more real now. Much more alarming.

I am incredibly blessed to have my sweet girl at home, thriving. I don't take that for granted, not even for a minute. That's what gets me up every couple of hours through the night when I really just want to roll over & pretend that I don't hear her hungry cries. My entire family kept saying to each other, "we are so blessed" each & every day that we had to walk into the NICU and weave our way through 1 and 2 pound babies, many on ventilators and other methods of life support..& many whom were too fragile to be held by their mommy or daddy.

I met a woman in the NICU family room while Kinsley Anne was still there & she was due in November, like me. But, she had preeclampsia (high blood pressure) and was forced to deliver in August. Her little girl was only about 2 pounds. She had been told that her sweet baby would have to stay until at least her due date. I still can't fathom those strong parents who have to leave their babies behind, day in & day out. I could hardly handle that for 2 nights but I guess you do what you have to do.

I would encourage everyone to tune into Discovery Health for the 6hr marathon show NICU on November 17th & spend some time thinking about & praying for all NICU families.

Now...onto a few pictures! (with more to come soon..and she had newborn pictures taken on Friday, so we will post those as soon as they become available)

Kinsley with her favorite ducky blanket and her very favorite paci..

Her little hands!!!
Sweet baby.
My wide eyed girl..
So glad that I was able to capture one of her very random smiles on camera!
Until Next Time...
Love, Jen