January 30, 2011

The Great Crib Transition!

We have been transitioning Kate into her crib (in her nursery) for the past week and a half.  It has been quite the adventure...

Alex and I got in a REALLY bad habit of putting Kate to sleep on the couch in the living room.  We would move her to her pack n play or our bed when we were ready to go to sleep.  This worked great when she was a sleepy, little baby.

It doesn't work so much with a 5 month old who wants to see what's on the TV, play, and do anything except sleep. 

It was just too overstimulating.  So, we started the great transition.

I am 100% against letting a baby cry it out.  It just won't happen in my house.  So, getting Kate comfortable in her crib has been tiring. 

The first night I was in her room every 3-5 minutes for a solid three hours putting the paci back in, turning on her seahorse, etc.  But, she did finally go fall into a deep sleep!

Up until last night she was sleeping from about 7:30 - 1 or 2am in her crib.  She would wake up and we would bring her down to our room to either sleep in her pack n play or in our bed for the rest of the night as she would wake up every hour until the morning.

However, last night she slept in her crib from 7 - 6:45 this morning!!!  I didn't sleep all night as I woke up at 2 and again at 5 freaking out that she was still asleep.  And yes, I went up to her room (her nursery is on our second floor) to make sure she was still breathing!!  This is the first time Kate has slept through the night in probably 3 months.

While I don't think she will sleep all night long every night, I am glad that she is starting to feel comfortable and secure in her own room.

I have a new list of mommy must haves now that Kate is sleeping in her own room!

Video Monitor

We have a Summer Infant Monitor and I love it.  I love that I can see if Kate is waking up, moving in her sleep, or starting to get upset.   I don't know if I would have ever moved her out of our room with out this.  I don't think this would be necessary if your master and nursery were close.  But, we are downstairs and Kate is upstairs so it is necessary for us.
Sound Machine

We have the Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine and use it on the white noise setting right now.  I have no clue if Kate would sleep without having background noise but, we've been using it since putting her in the nursery and it works - so I'm not going to stop!  The Graco machine has several different sounds as well as a port to plug in an MP3 player to play your own music.  It's pretty affordable too!
Swaddle Me Blankets

I was not a fan of these when Kate was smaller.  I preferred square flannel blankets (that my mom made) for swaddling.  However, now that Kate moves all over the place when she sleeps, it is necessary to have a swaddle velcro'd into place!  We swaddle from the arms down (Kate loves having her hands free but still likes the security of being swaddled) and these blankets still work great. 
I love that no matter how much Kate rolls (she is seriously all over the place at night - on her side, on her tummy, on her back, on her side again) her swaddle doesn't come undone.
Soothe and Glow Seahorse

I've talked about Kate's seahorse before as we have been using it since she came home from the hospital.  We still love it and her seahorse has made the transition to the crib with her!  My only complaint is that I wish it would stay on longer! 
I'm hoping that we have a consistent crib sleeper by the time I go back to work (March 1)!!

January 28, 2011

Beautiful Day!!

The weather has been absolutely beautiful today!  The high was in the mid 70s and it was so sunny!

We were all set to head to the Zoo with a few friends but, the girls' nap schedules got a bit messed up so, we decided to just head to a local park as soon as everyone was awake and happy. 

Kate's schedule was off because she decided that she would rather study for a Cisco certification with her Daddy than sleep last night.  She was up until about 10 last night. 

We went to a park in The Heights - a historic neighborhood in Houston.  The park is only about a 5 minute drive from our house and I know we will be back! 

We met up with Lori and Noor and also met some new friends - Trish and her daughter Lila! All three of the girls loved the swings!  Kate was very chill and relaxed while swinging.

We weren't at the park for long because it was very sunny and we were all worried about the girls getting burned.  Yeah, we didn't realize how hot/ sunny it was and forgot hats, sunscreen, etc.  I'm new to this whole summer baby thing - I've got to rethink what I pack in the diaper bag for these warmer days.

Kate was super happy when we got home and cheesed it up for the camera!  She makes 13 pounds look super chunky here!

I love the outfit she has on but, it has made me realize that Janie and Jack clothing runs HUGE.  I know Kate is small for her age but this outfit is size 0-3 months and the pants were still baggy. 

We are headed to the Houston Auto show this evening with our friends Andrew and Julia.  I think this will be the 3rd or 4th year that we have gone together! 

January 24, 2011

Learning Patience

I have never been a patient person.  Ever.

I think part of it is because I am a big time "go getter" and I've always just done things for myself.  Why wait on someone else if I can just do it?

Waiting on that horrible group member to finish their part of the project in college?  Not me.  I would just do their work and turn the entire thing in before ever hearing from them.

I just don't wait well.

Ask Alex - I waited 4 years for him to propose.  I'm pretty certain he proposed because he was sick of hearing me complain about not being engaged yet.  And, maybe because he thinks I'm awesome.  But, shutting me up probably played a big part in it. 

However, having a child with health issues, and not having any patience, don't really mix.  The past 3 months have come with a huge lesson in patience.

We've done a lot of waiting - waiting on test results, waiting on next steps, waiting on more test results, waiting on calls and conferences with Kate's doctors, waiting, waiting, waiting...

We are still waiting. 

We still have no answers. 

And quite frankly I am sick of it.  The thought of waiting 4-5 more weeks on genetic test results makes me sick to my stomach. 

But, there is nothing I can do about this waiting.  Being frustrating, angry, or emotional doesn't speed up time. 

I've read this verse over and over during these trying times our family is facing:

Trust in the LORD with all of your heart
and lean not on your own understand;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your path straight.
Provers 3:5-6

I need to remind myself that having patience, and trusting in my God, will get me so much farther in life.  I trusted that we would have a baby - and, while it was a long, hard process, I did get pregnant.  I trusted that my baby would make it to term and come home with us - and while it was a scary, high risk pregnancy, Kate is here with us today, being loved in our home.

I need to trust that she will be OK - that we will get answers and guidance - and that my sweet daughter will live a long, healthy life despite her medical issues.  Like everything else we have faced, it may not be easy, and it may not happen tomorrow, but learning to trust in the Lord is a huge step in the right direction.

And, while we wait, we've decided to live life to the fullest. 

Go to the zoo, hang out with friends, celebrate milestones, have frequent play dates, live in the moment, and enjoy the time we have right now, at home, with our daughter all while praying that she is healed.

January 22, 2011

Sitting Up Like a Big Girl!!!

We officially have a sitter!  Kate sat up (totally unassisted) on her blanket in the living room and played for about 5 minutes today!  She needs to stop growing! 

I feel like she has hit a million milestones in this past week (sitting, rolling all over the place, getting up on all fours, eating solids).  I need a pause button so I can enjoy each new milestone before we start celebrating the next one!

Look Mom, I'm such a big girl!

Readjusting herself so she doesn't fall over!

She started wobbling and managed to get on her belly and not totally fall down!

This sitting up business is hard work.  I think I'll take a nap!

On a completely different note, this has been such an exciting week for our friends!  Our sweet friends from college, Lara and Matt gave birth to little Miss Taylor on Wednesday!!  I am so glad that our girls are so close in age (exactly 5 months apart)!!  I see cute little girls in smocked dresses and big bows running around our tailgate in the future!

Also, our friends Cory and Whitney gave birth to sweet Tatum on Thursday!  Cory and Alex grew up together and are great friends.  He and Whitney are currently living in Germany thanks to the Army.  But, we will most likely be able to meet Tatum in March when they head to Houston for a wedding and then to Mississippi so Tatum can meet her family!

I just love all of these babies!  We have another round of babies coming in the next 4-7 weeks - two sweet baby boys that live here in Houston!  I know Amy and Susannah are both ready for their little guys to be here!

January 19, 2011

5 Months!!

I cannot believe Kate is 5 months today.  Seriously, where has the time gone?

The little stinker didn't want to look at the camera while taking her 5 month pictures - I got a few close up pictures of her face but, these were the best I could do in terms of full body/ see how big she is getting pictures.
My feet are clearly better that your camera, mom!

Turning 5 months is boring...

Finally got a little smile!!

Here's what Kate is up to at 5 months:
*Weights a little under 13 pounds
*Is about 25.5 inches long
*Wearing a size 2 diaper (they are big on her but she needs the absorbency of size twos)
*Is wearing 0-3 and 3 month clothing.  Some 3-6 fit in length but the pants are big on her.  She is in 3-6 month sleepers for length.
*Is a rolling machine - both ways!  I put her down on her play mat (on her back) one day last week and went into the kitchen to get something to drink.  I came back into the living room and Kate was no longer on her play mat.  She was off the rug and on our hardwoods across the room.  This mobility thing is happening too fast.
*She also is SO ready to scoot around.  Whenever she is on her belly, she tries to get on all fours and go.  I'm thinking we may have a crawler by month 6!
*We are full on teething here.  I can see Kate's bottom two teeth right below the gums and am pretty sure they will cut through within the week.  This means she chews on everything - especially her fingers.
*I think she is starting to understand peek-a-boo.  We play at gymboree and I play it with her at home.  But, she never really got it.  Well, during her 5 month pictures today, she kept shoving her face in the corner of the chair and then looking at me with a big smile.  She did this multiple times.

Where's Kate?
There she is!
*She is also very in to touching and feeling things.  She scratches blankets, runs her fingers through your hair, rubs satin to her face, etc.
*I think her favorite time of the day is when her Daddy gets home!

I am loving how interactive she is these days!  It is so fun!

January 18, 2011

Kate's New Ride & New Tricks!

I totally forgot to blog about Kate's new ride!

My wonderful in-laws got us a BOB jogging stroller for Christmas.  It came in a few weeks ago and I have to say that I love it!  I still love my UppaBaby Vista but the BOB is super nice too!

We took it on a walk this evening and Kate loved it!

In fact, she loved it so much that she fell asleep!

I haven't jogged with her yet as she is still a bit wobbly and small for the seat but, I think we will be hitting the pavement in the next few weeks!

EDIT: Since people think I don't want my child to be safe, we have consulted our Pediatrician regarding when we can start jogging with Kate.  I don't need strangers telling me how to keep my child safe.

And Kate's new trick - I woke up at 5am (yes my child was finally sleeping - and it was in her pack n play - this is HUGE for us) to baby coos.  I put on my glasses, because if you weren't aware, I am blind as a bat, and saw Kate, unswaddled, and on her back playing with her feet.

She goes down swaddled from the arms down and sleeps on her belly (and FYI I don't care what your opinion on that matter is).  So, at some point, she removed the swaddled, flip to her back, and grabbed the most fun built in toy ever!

I'm thinking our swaddling days are numbered...

January 17, 2011

Pear Tree Winner!!

I used random.org to select the winner! 

Comment #10 was Erin!

Erin - I'll email you the code to redeem your prize in the next few days.  And, I think I might have a rule that says you have to send me a cute valentine card of Mason!

Wonderful Weekend!!!

Our weekend got off to a rocky start on Friday when Kate had a last minute lab appointment.  She now recognizes the room where they take her blood and she started screaming bloody murder as soon as we walked in the room. 

It was horrible. 

It breaks my heart to know that she is now capable of recognizing a situation as scary or painful. 

Thankfully, we had a fun play date scheduled after the appointment.  Kate was a bit fussy but we had a good time with Lori, Noor, Elizabeth, and Annabel!

One of my dear friends from high school was in Houston this weekend visiting a family member and another friend.  She was able to stop by Saturday and spend the entire day with us! 

Alex (friend Alex) was a bridesmaid in our wedding and was one of the first people I met when my family moved to Mandeville.  She is such a sweet, caring person!

Kate had a great time meeting Alex and was in such a good mood. 

We had people over for dinner on Saturday - I was so glad to have an extra set of hands to help with Kate while I got things ready in the kitchen.  Kate loved playing with Alex!

We had a great time with friends Saturday night!  Kate was an angel!  I love having people over!  Kate didn't sleep too well Saturday night though.  I am exhausted from waking up 4-5 times a night with her these days!

Sunday morning we met some of our good friends for brunch.  Again, Kate did wonderful!  She played quietly in her car seat then wanted to be held for a bit.  Finally, she fell asleep - and stayed asleep for almost 2 hours (she even stayed asleep when I brought her car seat into the house - this has never happened before)!!  A 2 hour nap is unheard of in this house!!

It was nasty and rainy all day Sunday. This picture proves that rain + no sleep = one tired, curly haired momma!  Not the best picture of me but I love it because I have so few pictures of just me and Kate!

We had coffee with Alex this morning before she headed back to Shreveport.  Kate fell asleep in the car on the way home and stayed asleep in her car seat for another hour!  She also took another 1 hour nap this afternoon.  She's been super clingy and fussy when awake so I am really hoping this napping is not the start of her getting sick.

We have a busy week of doctor's appointments, lab work, lunch dates, and play dates! 

January 14, 2011

Random Musings...

Just some randomness....

*My hair is falling out in ridiculous quantities.  I realize some of this is postpartum related but I'm thinking a lot of it is stress related.

*We have officially started the nanny search and it is just an extra stress in my life.  I will be returning to work 20-25 hours a week in early March (so that means I will actually be in the office for probably 30 hours a week since my company likes to over work employees).  Most nannies don't want part time work.  I'm thinking we will probably hire someone for 30-35 hours a week so that I have time to get things done while someone tends to Kate.  We aren't totally sure about that though.

*Kate hates to sleep unless she is being held.  And she has some medical issues that might be impacting her sleep.  So, there is no chance I am letting my sick child cry it out.  This makes for a tired momma. 

*No sleep, nanny stress, and sick baby stress have me losing a ton of weight.  At least something positive is coming out of all of this.

*Alex and I are trying to figure out a weekend to go visit some of my besties (one of which married Alex's fraternity brother - I am to thank for that little match!) for a few days away from Houston.  I'm excited just thinking about it.

*We had an awesome playdate with one of our Gymboree friends today and I am looking forward to many more to come. 

*I am in the middle of planning a baby shower for one of my dear friends here in Houston.  I'm having fun planning it and cannot wait to shower Susannah and baby boy!

*Kate is teething big time.  Her two bottom teeth are right under the skin - I can see them and we are just waiting for them to pop through.

*It's been super cold in Houston this week so we have been enjoying  jammie days.  Kate loves when she gets to play in her jammies all day.  Proof:

January 11, 2011

Be Mine: Pear Tree Greetings Giveaway!

Well, it's that time of year again!  Time for expensive roses, nice dinners out, yummy chocolates, and time with your sweetie.  It's also time for fun cards, candy, treat bags, class parties, and hyper children! 

As always, Pear Tree Greetings has come through with an awesome Valentine's collection this year!

I received a package from Pear Tree with several samples of the collection and everything is simply amazing!  I am havign a photo shoot with Kate this week so we can order her cards!

One lucky reader is going to win 24 Valentine's cards of your choice!!

Will you go with one of the wonderful photo cards?

Or maybe get some of the cute cards for your child to pass out to their friends?

Here's what y'all need to do:
*Head on over to Pear Tree's website and look at all of the fun Valentine's cards
*Leave me a comment about your favorite item - this will enter you to win!  Be sure to leave your email address!
* If you have ever entered one of my Pear Tree giveaways, leave an additional comment letting me know which giveaway you've entered in the past and you will get an extra entry upping your chance to win!

This giveaway will close on January 17, 2011 at 7pm.  I will select a winner using a random number generator that night and will post the winner on January 18, 2011!

January 10, 2011

Hanging out with the Fishies!

We took Kate to visit the fish at the Downtown Houston Aquarium yesterday!  She loves the fish tank at her doctor's office so we figured she would love the Aquarium.

We were right!  Kate loved all of the tanks but the salt water tank of tropical fish was her absolute favorite!

She loved standing on the ground while watching the sting rays in this tank - she kept grabbing at them!

More snakes!  Not nearly as classic as her snake picture at the zoo!

My camera died half way through out visit.  I was so mad at myself.  The rest of these pictures are from my iPhone.  Crappy but at least we have them.

Looking at all of the big Gulf fish with Daddy.

Scuba Kate!

The white tigers were super lazy - he just wanted a belly rub!

Being our crazy selves!  I couldn't bring myself to pay $10 for a copy of this picture - but I thought it was super funny.  So, I took a picture of the screen!  Kate wants to know why she got stuck with super embarrassing parents!

The Aquarium was the perfect size for a baby - it's probably smaller than most - but Kate was wake awake the entire time. 

I'm so glad we live in a city that has so many things we can do with Kate!!

January 9, 2011

Bone Marrow Biopsy

Kate had a bone marrow biopsy on Friday (Jan 7) to hopefully give us some more answers about what is going on with her blood levels.  We've been testing for numerous things for almost 2.5 months now and her hematologist thought this was the best next step in hopes of getting answers.

We arrived at the Texas Children's surgery center around 8am for check in.  We made a pit stop at the Starbucks to grab a coffee only to  be told that food & drinks were not allowed in the waiting area.  I should have known that since all of the kids waiting have to be NPO for surgery. 

I was worried how Kate was going to do without eating (she was allowed a 3am bottle and then nothing else) but she was a champ!  She played with Alex while waiting.

And then took a nice little nap!

She woke up just in time to be taken back for vitals and to change into her hospital attire. 

After they took her vitals, we had to wait in another waiting area.  Texas Children's has fish tanks (real and fake) all over the place and Kate loves them!  She spent almost 30 minutes staring at this bubble tank that had plastic, swimming fish inside.

We met with the anesthesiologist and the hematologist doing the biopsy (Kate's doctor wasn't available but her mentor was).  They had to use general anesthesia given Kate's age and size.  After going over the details of the procedure, I had to hand Kate over.

That was one of the hardest moments of my life thus far.  Thankfully she was sleeping when I put her in the anesthesiologist arms but man, it sucked.  And I cried.  And Alex told me to keep it together.  I failed at that though.

Kate's IV was started once she was under.  I am so glad about this because it took them a while it get it started.  They tried her neck, both hands, and two different veins in her right foot before finally getting it started in her left foot.  Poor girl was blessed with momma's crappy veins and is so bruised from all of the attempts.

We were told the procedure would take no longer than an hour.  Well, after 1 hour 15 min, I was totally freaking out.  Why was she still back there?  Did something go wrong?  I lost it again in the parent waiting area as we sat there, without any information, waiting.  Thankfully, about 15 minutes post my freak out, they called us back.

When we got to the recovery area, a wonderful woman was holding Kate and rocking her.  I had been so worried that she was going to wake up in one of those horrible hospital cribs scared and alone. So to see someone comforting my sweet girl was such a relief. 

I hugged that women so tight before scooping up my baby girl.  And, of course, I cried again when she was back in my arms. 

Kate had a really hard time coming out of the anesthesia.  She was very agitated and mad - at one point her heart rate got up to 225.  But, she calmed down, drank a bit of pedialyte, and was finally ready to come home. 

The doctor got a great biopsy for all of the tests they need to run which is wonderful!  Often times biopsy have to be conducted multiple times on little babies to get a good sample - I'm so glad we got everything they needed at once!

Kate slept most of the afternoon/ evening on Friday.  I enjoyed all of the cuddles.

We took her compression dressing off Saturday - she did not enjoy that too much.  Her incision (if I can even call it that - it is very, very small) looks great but her bruising is getting worse.  This picture doesn't do the bruising justice - it is now purple and blue and covers a much larger area.

She is back to her normal self today (Sunday) and is not phased by the procedure at all!  We should have answers this coming week - and I am hoping we can  establish a treatment plan to get our sweet girl better!

Cereal Attempt

Alex and I went out to dinner last night (we went super early - 5:30 - so that it was less crowded if Kate was fussy).  Kate did great but wanted to be held the entire time.  I am getting really good at holding a baby while eating!  And finding things to keep her entertained - like chop sticks!

Kate followed every bite I took and tried to grab my food multiple times.  We decided that her interest in food was definitely picking up and that we would try cereal when we got home.  Her GI didn't want us to start until 5 months due to her allergies but we went ahead a tried 10 days early!

She was totally uninterested in the cereal.  Like, completely unimpressed by what we were giving her.  I got several looks like this one:

And our attempt ended with a messy, mad baby.

I think we are going to give solids a rest for a few more days and then try again.  I don't want to force it on her and she just didn't seem ready.  We'll see how she does later on!

January 6, 2011

Freaking out...

Tomorrow morning I will hand my baby girl over to a team of doctors and nurses who will take her into a big, scary, sterile OR and give her anestesia.  They will then shove a needle into her little bone to biopsy her bone marrow.

I've asked myself why.  I've cried.  I've been angry.

But tonight, I'm terrified.

I'm not scared for myself.  I'm scared for Kate. 

What if she is scared in the OR?  What if she feels abandoned?  What if she has to go through horrible treatment to get well?

Why is my perfect, sweet, amazing baby girl facing this?

If I could have this sickness, and go through all of this for her, I would.  I would do anything so she does not feel pain. 

The only thing comforting me (other than my sweet husband) is knowing that I worship a God of miracles.  The ultimate Healer.  He will be with us tomorrow - and through whatever journey we have to face to get Kate well.

January 4, 2011

This Sweet Face

Keeps me going - and makes me smile! 

She looks very red headed to me tonight!

January 3, 2011

Hard Day

We're having a really hard day today.  Kate had a follow hematology appointment and I feel like we have taken a million steps backwards (after finally taking a tiny baby step forward 2 weeks ago).

I don't have it in me to get in to details - maybe I will soon - but for now, I'm asking for thoughts and prayers you can spare for my family.

I know we will get through this but, I am just really struggling with everything after the news we got this morning.

January 2, 2011

The Many Faces of Kate...

All of these pictures were taken within the last 3 weeks.  We have quite the expressive girl on our hands!!

"Mom, leave me alone.  I am playing and don't have time for your camera nonsense."

Pissed Off
"Get that camera out of my face before I cut you."

"Are we done with this photo shoot yet?"

"OMG Mom this exersaucer ROCKS!"

I have so many more pictures I could share - this girl makes the funniest faces all day long!  Love them so much!!!
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