Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kinsley Anne @ 5 months & a medical update...

Kinsley Anne,
Your mom has been slacking on keeping up with your milestones. I'm sorry about that! You went to a couple of doctor's appointments last Thursday and I think we are now on the right track with some of the "issues" we've been having lately.

At the pediatrician last week, you weighed: 13lbs, 7oz. You are a peanut. I think that's ~20th percentile. I am not sure how long you are, but we have another doctor's appt this week (more on why later in the post), so maybe we'll find out. I think you're ~25 inches, which would make you ~70th percentile. A tall, skinny little girl! :)

You are SO funny right now. At 5 months, you are (or you have):
  • Wearing 3-6 month onesies & if you weren't so long, you'd still fit in 0-3 month as well. You wear 6 month Carter's outfits, 6 months pants, & some 6 months shirts.
  • Wearing a size 2 pamper's diaper
  • Loving your bumbo
  • Loving your play mat/exercise mat
  • Sleeping so-so. You
  • Hating your face being wiped (more on that later)
  • Mustering up a lot of sympathy anytime you're about to cry. You stick that lower lip out so far that a bird could perch on it & get realllllly red before you let out a major cry.
  • Seriously working on using your hands. You like to play with teether rings. You also grab your paci grip a lot & yank the paci out of your mouth. But then you go cross-eyed looking at the paci figuring out how to get it back in your mouth.
  • Eating formula. Mama had to start on a new medicine because of mild tummy issues & it gave you diarrhea. We tried to just 1/2 & 1/2 breastmilk with formula, but you still had a bunch of trouble. You are doing very well with Similac Sensitive for Fussiness & Gas (the orange label). It wasn't in my plans, but then again, if you want to hear God laugh, just tell him your plans.
  • Eating 6 bottles per day. I would really like for you to eat fewer bottles of larger quantity, but with your reflux, that just doesn't seem feasible right now.
  • Eating rice cereal on a spoon. It's not going great right now but I'm convinced you do swallow some of it.
  • Sleeping swaddled. Daddy & I tried you with an arm out 1 night & you cried and cried and cried some more. I tried to tell myself that you'd eventually stop, but it didn't stop in 15 minutes. And that's all I could take. So, you're swaddled. And I found some swaddles that fit up to 18lbs. So, we're good to go. I'm assuming you'll "let me know"
  • Learned to blow raspberries last week & for a good 4 days, instead of "talking," you just blew your lips together. It was pretty entertaining.
  • "Talking" a lot...especially at night before you fall asleep. You tell us all about your day & make the most precious faces while you're making the noises.
  • Sleeping pretty well. You had a pretty rough patch for a couple of weeks where you wanted to wake up a lot, but I think we're back on track now. You usually go to sleep around 10pm & wake up around 6 or so. I think you'll stretch that out for longer periods pretty soon.
  • Not a great napper. You are too interested in the happenings around you to nap for more than ~30 minutes at a time. We call you a power napper. Typically once per day you take a better nap for at least 1 hour. And if mommy or daddy is cuddling you in our arms, you would nap for as long as we would let you.
  • Starting to like peek-a-boo. You squeal when I pop out behind walls.
  • Liking the exersaucer at school & the Johnny Jump-Up at home. We are working on finding you a good exersaucer for at home, but those things are expensive!
  • Enjoying mommy's bedtime prayers with you. You talk through them, but I just think you're praying too, in your own sweet way.

We love you so much sweet girl. Mommy went through a really rough patch for a couple of weeks where I didn't want to put you down at night because I had read several stories about babies going to heaven. I cried on more than one occasion, but after praying for you & your safety, I am doing better now. I know that God is protecting you but I just don't like that I can't protect you from the world anymore like when I was pregnant with you. I want you to know that no matter what, mommy & daddy love you so very much and always want the best for you. One day, when you think that we're overprotective & maybe a little nuts, hopefully you'll understand that it's because of pure love. To the moon & back Kinsley Anne, that's how much we love you.

Love, Mama & Daddy



And now, for an update on her doctor's appointments....So, at her 4 month visit, I talked extensively with her new pediatrician about the trouble we've had. Between reflux, constant congestion, hoarseness, etc, it has been a little bit frustrating & I don't feel like I'm doing enough to make her feel better. Our pediatrician actually stood & watched Kinsley Anne eat a bottle & suck on a pacifier & she said that she would feel better if we went to see an occupational therapist. So, we did that..last Thursday. Erin, our OT, was great. She watched Kinsley Anne use her paci, and right away she said, "she's not sucking on that thing!" I asked what she meant, sort of confused. She said that she first wanted to see her eat, so we did. She asked me to attempt pulling the bottle out of her mouth while she was eating. I tried & succeeded without any resistance. Erin went on to tell me that Kinsley Anne was pushing the nipple of the bottle up between her tongue & the roof of her mouth in order to squeeze milk out. She was not sucking. This is why Kinsley Anne gets so tired during feedings & it can take her up to 40 minutes to want to eat a whole bottle. We tried out some new bottles/nipples & have settled on Doctor Brown's level 2. She also noticed that Kinsley Anne didn't like her face being touched. I explained that I just thought that that was a normal thing for kids not to like their mouth touched, nose wiped, etc. Erin thought that she was a little excessive with her dislike for this & said that she had some sensory defensiveness, with definite oral defensiveness. She gave us some exercises to do with Kinsley to decrease this. The exercises are things like rubbing our fingertip along the roof of her mouth, pushing our finger onto the bottom of her mouth, rubbing her arms/legs/back with an OR nail scrub brush to get her used to textures, and we have a joint exercise to do with her as well. We go back to see Miss Erin next week again & I am anxious to ask some questions. We have already noticed significant improvement with the feedings, but she still "chews" her pacifier quite a bit & she still hates her face being messed with.

We also were referred to the ENT, who we see tomorrow. The pediatrician wants to check to see if her nasal passages are smaller than normal since she is always congested. The congestion may just be a result of nasopharyngeal reflux, but we need to be sure. Kinsley Anne currently takes Prevacid for the gastroesophageal reflux (GER), and we have seen improvement with this. However, she is still congested. I'll let you know what happens with that appointment. If anyone reading has a child with oral defensiveness, what age did it start? What did you do that helped most?

Thanks for your support! More pictures from my real camera to come soon.

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Top 2 Tuesday: Celebrity Hairstyles

Mornin' Yall!
I am in the "I'm-growing-my-hair-out" stage again, which means it doesn't always look perfect. But, I can dream of days when it looks uber-cute & that's what I'm doing today with Top 2 Tuesday. Feel free to join in with us on this weekly blog hop, hosted by Taylor.

Today's topic is: Top 2 Celebrity Hairstyles

{1} Jessica Simpson

{2} Carrie Underwood

Obviously, I love the long loose curls. Anyone have suggestions on how to get your hair to do that without using an entire bottle of hair spray to keep it in place? I sported loose long locks on my wedding day & those are probably my very favorite pictures of my hair...ever.

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Monday, March 28, 2011

Must Have Monday With a Side of Weekend Recap

Hey Yall,
I will try to start this week better since I have been absent from blogosphere for a little while. Since I have been a jet-setting mama as of late, I will use this monday to say, you MUST HAVE a gate check stroller bag if you are going to fly.
I purchased one of these from here, along with our lightweight stroller, to make traveling easier. This thing makes it super-dee-dooper easy for the tarmac folks to know that your stroller is a gate check item & not a regular checked piece of luggage. Yes, I know, the little yellow doo-dad tag is supposed to tell them that, but let's face it. Things happen. But this bold red bag says it quite clearly for all to see. I haven't had any issues with using it & the best thing about it is that this $15 bag takes the abuse rather than your $100+ stroller.

Now, why would I know about flying like a champ? Because we did it again this past weekend!! Kinsley Anne has flown in the last 2 weeks than some people in their whole life. We are old pros now. And she is an angel, if I do say so myself.

We left on Friday (with my future sis-in-law..more on that later) & flew up to the Philly airport. My dad picked us up & we went straight to surprise my mom. She knew we were coming up, just didn't know we would surprise her at the school play. She helped with stage crew for her middle school's musical & her face was priceless when she saw Kinsley Anne & me. She, of course, went into proud-grandmom-mode & showed her off to all of the teachers, students, etc. We went home afterwards, ate pizza, and crashed. Saturday, we cleaned the house up some, I ran to Target quickly, mom had another showing of the play at 2pm, and we had an Open House at 4 to "show off" Kinsley Anne to my family. This was the first time that many of my friends/family had seen her & it was great for them all to see her in person & kiss those sweet cheeks. Kinsley Anne was so happy the whole time & only took 1 little power nap while people were there. She absolutely crashed that night. I am hoping that someone posts pictures as I didn't pack my camera for the trip {stupid} and I didn't capture these special moments.

On Sunday, we had Ashley's wedding shower (my future sis in law). The short version of the story regarding Ashley is that she was one of my bridesmaids. We went to high school together & were best friends. Kyle's brother, Ryan was one of the groomsmen. Ryan meet Ashley. Ryan like Ashley. Ryan propose to Ashley. Ashley becomes sister! Voila! So, anyway, Ashley had her 1st wedding shower & it went very well. It was a "surprise," but of course, we flew up together, so it wasn't too big of a surprise. She got loaded down with tons of gifts & she has a busy spring break week planned up north with lots of wedding appointments! I can't wait to see her dress!!! My mom & Kinsley Anne also went to the shower and Kinsley Anne was pretty grumpy. She took 2 short naps & fussed most of the other time. We took her home & I think she had a little bit of a bug or maybe she was just tired of being overstimulated. She slept on and off the rest of the day, spit up LOTS, and had a few nasty diapers.

It was so nice to spend 2 FULL days with my parents. I love love love seeing my parents in their grandparent role.

This morning, we found ourselves back at the airport & once again, Kinsley Anne was a perfect angel on the plane. A gentleman came up to me while we were waiting on our gate checked stroller & said, "does she ever make any noise?" I reassured him that yes, she does, but she must just know that she is supposed to be quiet on planes! He laughed & we went on our way.

I must also applaud the TSA and airport staff at both the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport AND the Philly airport (which I know, may be a surprise for some..it was for me!). They were both SO helpful in unfolding the stroller for me or calling the elevator or whatever. It was such a pleasant experience.

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Absence

Sorry for my blogging absence. I missed both Must Have Monday & Top 2 Tuesday. I had the barf bug yesterday & was out of commission all.day.long! I was still dizzy this morning, but forced myself up and out of bed so that I could start feeling better. I just ate lunch, the first meal since Monday night and I don't feel nauseated....yet, at least!

I will have Kinsley Anne's 5 month update post up shortly. She was 5 months on Friday...gah, time flies when you're having fun! There have been lots of changes over the last 2 weeks & I will tell you all about them. It all seems to be working out well but it had me stressed for a little while.

Thanks for being patient with me!!!

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I follow, Another Day Stronger, who suddenly lost their precious 4 month old Maddie 1 month ago today. Maddie's mama asked that in Maddie's honor, you hug/kiss/love on your babies a little extra today & take their picture. So.....

Happy St. Patrick's Day from our little blonde haired, blue eyed lucky charm!!!

just look at that dimple on her right cheek!!!

sorry for the image quality..these were taken with my iphone...

Until Next Time...
Love, Jen

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bad Mom?

Does it make me a bad mom if I am so utterly exhausted by the end of the day that sometimes I pull into the driveway, keep my car running with Kinsley Anne asleep in her car seat, recline my driver's seat wayyyy back, and take a nap until she wakes up? I mean....it may have happened twice in the last week. Just saying that this time change thing is terrible.

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top 2 Tuesday: Random Facts About Me

Good morning yall!! EMILY WON!! Now, do we think they will stay together? I know that there are far more pressing issues going on in the world, but I cried when Brad proposed. I know, sad life.


Anyway, today is Tuesday, with a great Top 2 Tuesday from Taylor @ The Undomestic Momma. Join in with us here!

Today's Topic is: Top 2 Random Facts About You!

{1} I despise citrus. I don't know what it is about the smell, but I hate it. I can smell an orange from a mile away (no really, I can be in the front part of our doctor's office & a physician could be snacking on an orange in the back part..separated by walls...and I will smell it.) It's almost superhuman. And it gives me a migraine if I'm exposed to it for long. I wouldn't know if I like the taste because I can't get over that horrendous smell. Pineapples, peaches, oranges, you name it.

Gross.

{2} I am a bad housekeeper. I want so badly to be an organized neat freak. But I just can't make it happen. I sometimes look to Fly Lady to help me out, but I just can't seem to get it together. I seem to get one part of the house spotless, decluttered, and organized & before I get the next done, the first part already looks like a disaster. I am really hoping to get this down pat. soon.

any suggestions?

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Monday, March 14, 2011

Must Have Monday: Pack N Play


Today is Monday. That means Must Have Monday. But you know what it means even more?? THE BACHELOR FINALE!!! I am watching it as I type. I think both girls are great but I am rooting for Emily.

So, today's must have item is:
Chicco Lullaby LX Playard - Discovery

We purchased ours here.



The pros of this pack 'n' play are:
  • gender neutral
  • easy to wipe clean
  • standard/generic pack n play sheets fit
  • has a removable activity mat attachment & diaper changing station
  • has a mesh diaper caddy attached to the side for easy access
  • has a vibration feature that vibrates the mattress & soothes miss Kinsley to sleep.
  • has a remote control so that you can restart the vibration, turn on/off the night light, turn music on/off, etc from the comfort of your bed if you are sleeping in the same room as baby. The remote control clips nicely to the bed in a little pocket on the exterior of the pack n play.
  • has a really nice carrying case with wheels for easy transport. We have taken ours to Atlanta twice & it was great to have.
  • has 2 levels that the baby can sleep on. Of course you have the lower, standard level. But, there is also a higher level for infants that can't sit up & fall out yet. That's nice on the back!!


The cons of it are:
  • a little difficult to assemble & take down. My husband had to really study the instruction booklet the first go-round.
  • the vibration only stays on for ~7 minutes.
  • the baby cry feature (where it turns on music and vibration to the sound of your baby's cry) is not very sensitive. Kinsley Anne has to make a very specific pitched noise for it to work...so we usually leave that feature turned off.

We love our pack n play. It is probably not necessary to buy a pack n play that is brand new if you are strapped for cash. Of course, you can clean the sheets & wipe everything down with Clorox wipes. But, if you have the choice, this is a great new item!

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Thursday, March 10, 2011

weekend recap, part 2

So, after we left the hospital from surprising Nanny, we headed onto the independent living facility where my Aunt Fanny lives. She is very head strong & wants to stay "independent" for as long as possible & the family is working hard to respect that wish as long as we feel that she is capable. So, Aunt Fanny was unaware that my sister, Kinsley Anne, and I had flown up, and she was SHOCKED. She almost cried & it was one of the most beautiful things. She was beyond excited to see Katy & I, but words couldn't express how incredibly overwhelm she was that she was meeting Kinsley Anne!!! She just wanted to stare at her. She smiled & laughed at Kinsley's antics. She watched intently as Kinsley Anne "talked." It was really heartwarming.




For much of the day, we lounged around Aunt Fanny's apartment, just enjoying each other's company. My mom played Scrabble with her & made her some lunch. We brought her some groceries and talked some more. Eventually we said our goodbyes, gave hugs, and went on to my parent's house. It was very difficult giving Aunt Fanny that hug & kiss knowing that it may be our last together.


On Sunday, we really just enjoyed our time together as a family (mom, dad, sister, baby, me) and Dad even cooked us our "traditional Sunday breakfast." Bagels, eggs, etc. Dad gave Kinsley Anne a shoulder ride & poor Kinsley's upset tummy got the best of her....and him. But it made for a classic picture.

Off to the airport we went around 1pm & again, we had very nice TSA people to help us through security. Kinsley Anne became hungry a little early (probably because she lost so much on my dad!) around 2pm, ate a bottle & fell asleep. Our flight was delayed just slightly, and I kept thinking great, she is going to wake up just as we take off. But my babygirl did better than that! I had to wake her up to get off the plane in SC!!! She woke up one happy camper & I snapped these pictures before heading home.



What a whirlwind trip, but we had a great time seeing family! We will actually be making the trip back north again at the end of the month & it is nice to know that I will be confidently navigating the airport..this time, not as a first-timer! Hopefully things will go just as smoothly that time.

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March of Dimes

This year, I am happy to be participating in the local March of Dimes walk in honor of Kinsley Anne. Check out my page!

Also, check out the below post about this past weekend!!

weekend recap, part 1

warning: this is kind of a longer post. but there are several good pictures, so read on!

I got a phone call on Thursday afternoon asking what I was doing this weekend. I said I had no plans. The person calling was my mom & the reason she was asking was because my great aunt (my mom's aunt) was placed on hospice about 1 week ago. She has COPD & has been battling pneumonia. She has been on nebulizers for quite some time & was also asked to be on oxygen but was refusing it for a while. Her latest tune-up hospital stay turned into a several week affair & she had had enough. So, it was decided for her to come on home (to her independent living apartment) & stay on oxygen, stay on a few meds, but to avoid any further invasive procedures/testing. My mom wanted to know if my sister & I would like to fly up to see my Aunt Fanny, just in case. Of course, I said that Kinsley Anne & I would be happy to! So, we booked our tickets that night & we flew up early Saturday morning & flew back Sunday afternoon.

It was a very fast trip, but flying with a 4.5 month old went SO much better than I could have even imagined. It helps that my sweet girl is an incredibly easygoing baby.

The first step in making sure that my trip went smoothly was to go buy a lightweight stroller on Friday after work. I will use this as a must-have item in the future, so I will just say, that I think I picked a great one & it worked out fabulously for us. Next, I went home to pack. To make life easy, I packed a caddy of wipes & diapers in my carry-on backpack. The other necessities that went into my backpack were 3 receiving blankets (to use as burp cloths for my projectile vomiting-prone child), a change of clothes for Kinsley Anne, and a small cooler with an ice pack & 2 bottles. My suitcase was used to pack for both KA & myself. I included 1 change of clothes for me, pajamas, my pump, extra empty bottles (to be filled after I pumped on arrival), the sound machine, KA's favorite plush elephant, pajamas for KA, swaddle for KA, extra clothes for KA, my phone charger, and our toiletries. Light packing was definitely the way to go! I planned my outfits so that I did not have to bring extra shoes, etc. I did decide to just check my suitcase (despite it's small size) to make my life easier.

We had a 630am flight Saturday. We left the house at 5am & got to the airport around 520am. We checked in, checked our bag, and went onto security. The TSA people were SO friendly. I explained that 1 plastic bag was for our medicines, 1 for the standard liquids, and the little black cooler was for breastmilk & an ice pack. They informed me that they would have to test the milk & I said that would be fine. So, we made it to the other side of security where they asked me to unscrew the bottle lids & he waved a little strip of paper (looked sort of like pH paper) over the top of the bottle. I assume it would turn colors or something if it was dangerous..but it obviously didn't. They helped me get the stroller back out & onto our gate we went. Kinsley Anne was so happy, smiling at everyone. Then, about 6am, she crashed after eating. I somehow managed to fold the stroller up, carry her, my backpack, and the stroller down onto the tarmac where the man in charge of gate checked luggage was standing. He offered to put my stroller into the gate check bag that I had bought, & off to the plane we went. We settled into our aisle seat & I ended up having the ENTIRE ROW (both sides of the aisle) to myself. How awesome. Kinsley Anne slept until we started our final descent.

I quickly shoved a pacifier into her mouth to get her to suck on it in case her ears were hurting. She wanted nothing to do with it (that's a first!). Instead, she "stood up" and looked at the passengers around her. She even got a few glimpses out of the airplane window & smiled and squealed.

Upon arrival, we quickly got our gate checked stroller, made our way through security, & were greeted by my mom & Aunt Fran with open arms! It was the first time that Aunt Fran had met Kinsley Anne & my sweet girl had changed so much since my mom last saw her. I darted to the potty with Kinsley & we both felt much better after being clean & dry! :) Our luggage was claimed & into the car we went with my Dad & sister. We headed up to Panera to grab a bite to eat, then headed to the hospital to surprise my Nanny. She volunteers there several days per week & we wanted her to get to see Kinsley Anne as soon as possible!! We got the loudest "oh my word" ever & lots of hugs and kisses.

and yes, KA does have pants. She kept wiggling out of them & kicking them off though. So we decided to let her play footloose & fancy free for a little while!!!

We also posed for some pictures with the painting of Pop Pop. His portrait is on the wall in the hospital because he was chief of residents & also helped start up the family medicine program there. I was very happy that Kinsley Anne got to "see" him!!

The rest of the weekend recap will be in tomorrow's post!

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Top 2 Tuesday: Things You've Learned about Relationships


My sincerest apologies for missing my Must Have Monday post. I have a great one for next Monday, though. Kinsley Anne had a pulmonology follow-up yesterday & it threw my day off! She got a great report though. We are continuing to give her Advair 45/21 - 2puffs twice daily & will continue to do so for the next 2 months. We follow-up again in May & if she has not needed the Xopenex treatments from now 'til then, we may start weaning the Advair. Yay!!

However, today is Tuesday, which means Top 2 Tuesday! Taylor, at The Undomestic Momma, kindly hosts this fun blog hop every Tuesday. Hop over there & join in with us!

This weeks' topic is: Top 2 Things You've Learned About Relationships

{1} The silent treatment doesn't work. Talk it out when something is bothering you. If you just ignore your spouse/bf/gf/etc the problems will just build. One on top of the other, the things you're upset about will stack up & eventually you will explode. This is how I used to deal with problems & it never works.

{2} The little things frequently mean the most. I'm gonna be really serious right now. A big bouquet of flowers is honestly not as appreciated by me as a little help unloading the dishwasher or helping with a couple of loads of laundry. I really & truly value these things because it takes a load off of my hands. Now as wife and mommy, my responsibilities have exponentially skyrocketed. I am not complaining, I am honored that I can care for Kinsley Anne's every need while making sure the house is in decent shape & Kyle is fed each night, but it is also very stressful. It has been a big adjustment. I just need to step it up now and thank Kyle more often when he does something extra. I love you, Kyle! And thank you for holding down the fort this weekend!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Top 2 Tuesday: Things You've Learned About Money


As you all know, I link up with Top 2 Tuesday at Taylor's blog, The Undomestic Momma. It's really fun to look at everyone's answers each week...learning new tips or getting to know each other better. You should join us. You can do that here.

This week, the topic is: Top 2 Things You've Learned About Money.


{1} It is much harder to save then to spend. It takes long, hard working hours to put a paycheck in the bank. It only takes a few hours on a shopping spree for it to disappear. Think about your purchases. Research deals. Find coupons if you can. Look for coupon codes online for free shipping. Ask yourself, do I just want this or do I need this. I struggle with this & Kyle and I are bad about buying things quickly but we are learning our lesson just like everybody does at some point. There has to be an end. Work with your spouse on a budget...they really, really work.

{2} It is important to have money saved for emergencies. My husband and I definitely have learned this the hard way. 2 years ago, I was out of work for 5 weeks due to being in the hospital for 3 weeks & recovering the other 2 weeks. Then, last year, Kinsley Anne was born & was premature. We really wanted her to stay out of daycare longer then the original 6-7 weeks we had planned on. That meant someone (Me, Kyle, or his mom) was out of work for 11 weeks total to take care of her. Accidents, medical conditions, etc never happen at a convenient time. I mean, really, is there ever a convenient time to be sick? Those bills rack up realllly quickly & it is nice to have some money put away just.in.case. We are working on that so diligently but it is tough. Each time you feel like you're getting ahead, something happens and sets you back. But be persistent & eventually it will come.

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen