Thursday, August 29, 2013

Five Months

Weight- 15 lbs

First of all, let me just say that Haddie Grace definitely looks like Chris; he now has a child he can claim as his own :)

Eat-  I just started giving Haddie Grace cereal a few days ago.  (So about a week after she turned 5 months.)  So far we ain't doing too hot with it.  She uses her tongue to push the spoon and cereal out of her mouth, so I'm pretty sure more of the cereal gets on her bib, in her hair, and on her hands than actually in her belly.  I'm sure this is normal and it happened with Phoebe too, I just don't remember.  I don't like messes and food and babies is a mess.   Anyhow, she's started to eat cereal.  I have some sweet potatoes and apples in the freezer that I made a couple weeks ago (we ended up with more than we could eat so I figured instead of throwing them away I could go ahead and make some baby food) so I'll probably try to give her some sweet potatoes soon.

Since we never had much success with Phoebe eating (she didn't eat baby food very well and then once she finally started eating purees, she would not eat regular food well...) and I grew to hate making pureed baby food, I am very interested in the baby-led-weaning approach to introducing solid foods.  We might give it a whirl.  We'll see.  Thanks Mums make lists for the idea!

For the first couple days I was feeding her in the Bumbo.  (I fed Phoebe in the bumbo for months before transitioning her to a travel booster seat tied down to a chair which she still uses!)  But Haddie Grace will not sit still in that thing.  I know bumbos are not supposed to be able to tip over, but she looks like she could do it.  It makes me nervous to leave her sitting in it on the table while I'm getting her food ready and cleaning her up.  So I found a high chair at a consignment sale the other and we are loving it!

Sleep-  Still not sleeping through the night.  Boo.

Play-  This child will be full-fledged crawling in a couple weeks I am sure.  She is up on her hands and knees, belly off the ground, and scooting forward and backwards (with a few face plants thrown in the mix).  As soon as she figures out how to coordinate her arm and leg movement she'll be across the room in no time.

She can't fully sit up without support yet, but almost.  She can sit up by herself for a few seconds, but not quite well enough for me to leave her sitting up yet.

She is loving this excersaucer that Courtney is letting us borrow!  Thank you!

Haddie Grace just got her first tooth on Monday!  She had been fussy and chewing on her hands excessively and cold chewies for the last 10 days, so I was wondering if she was starting to get a tooth and sure enough her front bottom right tooth just broke through the gum!

We are still using cloth diapers, and let me tell you two in cloth diapers is a handful.

Phoebe loves "holding" (sometimes dropping...) her little sister.

We had our first sick visit to the pediatrician (for either child) last Monday too.  I had actually called (again) about her diaper rash and they said to go ahead and bring her in since the prescription they had given me over the phone two weeks earlier was not helping.  When she woke up from her nap Monday afternoon she felt a little warm, but I didn't take her temp because I was trying to get everyone out the door to get to the doctor's appointment on-time.  Over the weekend she had had a low-grade temp, but I thought she was teething, so I didn't think anything of it.  (Since she just got a tooth I don't think my assessment was far off.)  I was planning on getting HG a couple more vaccinations while we were there, so I asked the nurse to take her temp.  She had 102.4 temp.  The doctor didn't care about her diaper rash.  After several days of high fevers, vomiting and diarrhea, multiple visits to the doctor, 4 blood draws, a catheter, and 2 shots of antibiotics, she was diagnosed with a kidney infection.  (Thankfully because of a diaper rash we caught it early...)

We are still on antibiotics now, but she is feeling much better.  We have to go up to the Children's Hospital in Charlotte next week to have a couple more tests done in regards to this kidney infection.  No Fun.  And oh, those antibiotics...not helping the diaper rash.

how cute are these shoes that a friend made for Haddie Grace?


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Washer/Dryer

Just some quick love to our new appliances.  Back in Georgia there was a washer and dryer in the townhouse we were renting so Chris sold his washer/dryer before we got married and moved it.

This washer and dryer we had been using for the past 4 years was AWFUL.  Really.  It would take 3 90 minute cycles to dry a load of towels.  And I'm really not sure if it was because the dryer was so bad or if it was because the washer wasn't spinning out enough water.  Probably a combination of both, but either way getting laundry done in a timely manner was near impossible.

So moving into our new house a new washer and dryer were a MUST have.  I wanted an HE washing machine, but was a little hesitant to purchase one because I was not sure how well it would wash and clean our cloth diapers.  A HE machine is great for energy efficiency and research shows it actually gets your clothes cleaner.  However, it uses a very small amount of water, which can be problematic when washing extra absorbent cloth diapers.

We decided to take the plunge anyhow, and I LOVE them!  (I've figured out a good washing routine for the diapers too, but I'll post on that another time)  We got LG front loaders (because there is an option to add some extra water into the wash cycle for the diapers).  Laundry is so much easier now, less time consuming, and less expensive!

I love all the cycle options that they offer, but my favorite feature is probably the steam sanitary cycle on the dryer.  Have I ever mentioned my dislike of stuffed animals?  I think they are germ-infested, dust-mite covered grossness.  But Phoebe loves them, so they get dragged around the house, rolled around in the dirt outside, chewed on by Haddie Grace, peed on by Phoebe (yep, that's right.  I didn't really believe her when she told me she had to go potty the other night but I took off her diaper and sent her to the bathroom anyway.  She didn't quite make it to the potty.  Minnie was an unlucky bystander) get the idea.  Now I can just pop in the dryer rack so they're not bouncing around the dryer, (super excited to use this with low heat for sweaters this winter) take out my Woolzie balls, toss those bad boys in the dryer on the rack and it will steam clean and sanitize them.   LOVE IT.

These are probably my favorite appliances right now. 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Protect Your Kids

Mommy Mondays

Yikes, did you hear about the man a couple weeks ago who hacked into a Houston family's baby monitor and started talking to their 2 year old daughter in an obscene and perverse manner??  If you missed this story, check it out below.  Honestly, it makes me shutter and as a mother I had nightmares after hearing this story.

Baby Monitor Hacking Alarms Houston Parents

As scary as it is, it is a good reminder for us all to be prudent in protecting our children in this technology-crazed wireless world we live in.

If you stay tuned on that video link above and watch through 2 sets of commercials there are another couple news casts that discuss some of the potential dangers of video monitors.  If you have an analog video monitor, is very easy for someone (even if they are not trying to) to have access into your home.  This is a scary thought.  Before my first daughter was born I had heard some "crazy-talk" about the "dangers" of video monitors, but I just thought those people were paranoid.  But really it is easy for someone to pick up your wireless signal and see the real-time images from your video monitor.  That potentially means that other people can not only see your children, but also see you in your private moments in their room with them, and could even tell whether you are home or not.

The third video on the link above has some tips for protecting yourself, your children, and your home.  It suggests only using digital video monitors because they scramble the signal so it is much harder for someone to have access to your camera.  It also suggests turning off your camera monitor when not in use.  I know video monitors are great (we have loved ours!) but please use caution and discretion to protect your family.  

We have one video analog monitor and one video digital monitor.  After watching the videos above I have turned our analog monitor towards the wall and try to remember to turn it off when not in use.  I would like to get a second digital video monitor for that room, but we might just end up with an audio monitor depending on how finances look next month and how many nightmares I continue to have... 
It looks like the man who hacked into the Houston's family's baby monitor did indeed hack into a digital monitor.  He even gained control in order to direct the camera angle and talk through it into the child's room.  I know this is a rare type of psycho, but it is scary enough to make me lean more towards that audio monitor.

And while I'm talking about protecting your children I really hope that you have the GPS locater turned off for your camera on your phone.  I feel like this is old news, but just a good reminder that people CAN locate GPS coordinates off the pictures you post online and to social media.  This means they can find your home from that picture of your baby you posted on instagram, twitter, Facebook etc.  If you like to leave the GPS feature on for your smart phone to organize your pictures, please make sure you use an app like PixelGarde to strip the location data from your photo before you put in out there on the world-wide-web.

To turn off the location tracking on your iPhone, go to Setting>>Privacy Location Services. You can turn it off for everything or just for the camera. On an Android, go to Settings>>Location Services and turn GPS off when you don't need it. On Windows Phone, go to Settings>>Location to turn off Location Services. 

Do y'all use video baby monitors or just audio monitors?  Do you worry about other people seeing into your home through your video monitor?

Do you use measures to protect yourselves when posting pictures to social media (and your blog)?


Thursday, August 22, 2013

friday fives

It has been a rough week...  I'm glad it is Friday

{one}  Haddie Grace has had the worst diaper rash for over a month now!  Phoebe never had problems with diaper rash so this is new for me.  When I first noticed the redness I took her out of the cloth diapers and put her in disposables with diaper cream, but it just kept getting worse.  I of course was making sure her bottom was completely dry before putting on cream and a new diaper.  I was changing her diaper VERY frequently.  (Which kills me by the way...I use cloth diapers for many reasons but one of them is the financial benefit.)  And trying to let her go diaper free for 20 minutes or so each day.  (This one only actually happened a few times because she doesn't stay still and pees ALL the time so it was more mess than I could handle)  After this had been going on for about 2 1/2 weeks and was now at the point where her poor bottom was blistering and bleeding, I called the doctor and they gave me a prescription for Greer's Goo.

Well lo and behold my insurance doesn't cover it because it is a "compound drug" (i.e it has more than one ingredient mixed together)  I was not about to pay $63 for diaper rash cream, so after some negotiations with the pharmacy and doctor's office I discovered that Greer's Goo is a compound mixture of Desitin (over-the-counter), Hydrocortizone Cream (over-the counter) and Nystatin (prescription).  I convinced the doctor to just give me a prescription for the Nystatin and I could mix my own and save myself $45.  Done.  So this is what I've been up to recently.  Also, if you're dealing with persistent diaper rash and you're interested this is a recipe for homemade Greer's Goo using all over-the -counter ingredients. 

{two} So on Monday when said diaper rash was still not improving with the Greer's Goo I called the doctor back and they had me come in for an appointment.  I was planning on going ahead and getting her a couple more vaccines (remember I like to space them out) while we were there.  I got her up from her nap Monday afternoon and thought she felt a little warm, but was rushing around trying to get the girls in the car to get to the doctor's appointment (for her diaper rash) and didn't take her temperature.  When we got to the doctor she had a 102.4 temp- so much for getting those vaccines.  Instead over the next several days we dealt with high fevers, vomiting, poor appetite, dehydration and of course the normal fussiness, sleeplessness, and lethargy that goes along with being sick.  After 3 trips to the doctor, 4 blood draws, one catheter, and two shots she was diagnosed with a kidney infection.  Glad she had a blistered and bleeding bottom so we caught it early.  Otherwise we probably would have been panicking Monday night with a baby with a high fever and vomiting.

{three} Oh and did I mention that this is the first week back at school at Winthrop.  These next couple weeks are always Chris' busiest times when he is working a lot.  We hosted 30+ students over for lunch last Sunday afternoon.  This weekend we're having an outdoor moving screening for students in our backyard and hosting a freshmen dinner.

{four} After all this with a sick baby and a busy husband here is the White Russian I made myself to relax.

{five} Phoebe started at PMO (Parent's Morning Out) this week at our church.  She (and Haddie Grace when she feels better) will be going on Tuesday and Thursday mornings this fall.  Yay for kid-free time to clean and go grocery shopping.  (Or take Haddie Grace to the doctor to get probed and prodded...)  I have a couple furniture painting projects I would like to do this fall too!

They sent her home with this sweet craft on Tuesday.  It reads:

Here's my little hand to hold when I am not with you
I'm off to school to learn a bunch
each day is fun and new
My hand will grow a bit each day but
I will always be
Your loving child who is so glad you let my 
hand go free

I'm so glad this week is over

Linking up with 5 on Friday and H54F


Some Two Year Memories

Two years ago (and a couple weeks now...) we were anxiously awaiting the birth of our baby girl.  That time was filled with much anticipation, joy, and fear.  As much as I loved the newborn stage (and I really did) I couldn't wait until she would sleep through the night- I thought things would get so much easier at that point with a full night's sleep.  And they did- for a short while until the next struggle came.

In just two years I can honestly say that parenting is the most challenging thing (well maybe second to marriage some days...) I have ever done.  It certainly is sanctifying.  But when this little toddler comes up and give you a hug or unsolicited kiss it melts my heart and makes the challenges seem to fade away.

Phoebe speaks very well now often stringing 4 or 5 words together.  She is not speaking in full sentences yet,  but she is getting there.  She enunciates very well.  We are often told how well she enunciates and how easy it is for other people to understand what she is saying.

She can easily count to ten, but she always leaves out "2".  We are working on her ABCs 
(letters) and colors.  (We have more work to do on colors than ABCs.  Colors seem to be a difficult concept for some reason.)

She still doesn't really eat.  She has been a little bit better about trying new things (some days and ONLY if it is her idea.  She certainly won't try it if I offer it to her or ask her to) but most of her experimental foods get spit out.  At least she tries (sometimes)...  We used to be able to bribe or "incentive-ise" her to eat with a cookie or chocolate chip.  That doesn't work anymore.  If she has decided she is not going to eat something (which happens quite often) nothing (cookie, playing outside, watching a movie) can convince her otherwise.  I've tried Pediasure to try to get her some extra nutrition, but she refuses to drink it- go figure.

We have her 2 yr doctor's appointment mid-September.  I am anxious to know how much she weighs now.  We had to have hit 20 lbs by now...  I hope.  Besides her eating habits I also want to ask the pediatrician about her feet.  We think she has flat feet and Chris wants her to wear corrective shoes.

This child knows how to work a room and work a crowd.  She easily commands the attention of everyone around her.  We have visited several different churches recently in our new presbytery and she made friends with all the old men.  (The congregations were mainly older people.)  She just walks right up to people and says "hi" and asks "up please".  We took her with us to a nursing home/rehab/assisted living center to visit a friend and she ran up and down the halls yelling hi.  Then when we were leaving she waved at everyone and said "bye; I'll see you later"  She made everyone's day. 

Really, it is amazing.  She has no fear of strangers and loves people.  She is cute and she knows it.  She is sassy and she knows it.  She has charisma, that's for sure, and she knows how to use it.

Phoebe still has never had a haircut and I probably won't cut it for another long while.

She is a great big sister to Haddie Grace.  I love seeing Phoebe play and talk to her.  She tries hard to be a "little mommy" to both her babies dolls and to Haddie Grace.

She has a weird obsession with tails right now and loves to point them out on all animals and stuffed animals.  (Maybe it is from all the tail talk about Eeyore's tail on Winnie the Pooh??)
Phoebe is a daddy's girl through and through.  She screams when daddy leaves and always asks for daddy when he is gone.  When she wakes up from a nap she asks for daddy EVERY day and goes into our bedroom to look for him. If we get in the car to run an errand in the middle of the day she always asks if we are "going to find daddy".  

We are not potty trained or really anywhere close to being potty trained.  I can't muster the energy to try again yet.  (We tried briefly before Haddie Grace was born, but it was too early.)

She loves talking on the phone (real or pretend).  She is always asking to "call Cece" or "call Papo" or "call Caylee"


Book- Go Dog Go (although a few months ago it was Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb)
Food- yogurt or milk.  Does milk count?
Toy- Water Table or baby stroller
Movie- Wreck it Ralph
Stuffed Animal- Bear and Minnie Mouse
Saying- "I don't like it"
Loves- watching TV or movies, playing with trains, playing outside

Thanks for bearing with some of my two year memories!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Vaccines + Guilt

Mommy Mondays

I want to preface my rant by saying that there are many different ideas regarding vaccines and how/when/if to vaccinate your child.  I am making no stance on what is right and what is wrong and it is totally alright if you disagree with me.  I know every parent wants the best for their child and makes educated decisions regarding their health care and vaccines.

I am not anti-vaccinations.  I think they have played a big role in eradicating certain diseases from our western-American society.  I also think that they are important from a public health standpoint.  There are people in third world countries that would give a lot to have access to many of the vaccines we have at our fingertips.

I do want to vaccinate my children.  I choose to put my children in the church nursery, gym nursery and other mom's morning out programs at an early age; therefore I do not think it would be wise for our family to avoid vaccinations all together with such a high exposure to other children in public places.  I also have trouble nursing my children and have not been able to breastfeed as long as I would have liked for immunology purposes.  I choose to vaccinate my children.

I am however a little leery of all the vaccines the CDC recommends giving at such an early age.  I would feel more comfortable spreading them out a little bit.  It makes me a little uncomfortable to flood their immature immune systems with so many vaccines at once.  Some of the vaccine ingredients, mainly aluminium, also concern me.  I would prefer to spread out the vaccinations a little bit more to limit the amount of aluminum (as well as the viruses and bacteria) their bodies are bombarded with at one time.  


My issue comes with the guilt the pediatricians pour on you to follow their vaccination protocol.  It really rubs me the wrong way.  I have no problem with a doctor educating me and explaining to me why they think I should have these 5 vaccines at today's appointment, but respect my choice when I say no.  Where I start to get angry is when they start trying to guilt-trip me into seeing things their way. 
And when I stop to think about it, it makes me even angrier because I am going to get that stupid vaccine you are guilt-tripping me about.  It just might be a month (or sometimes several months) after you want me to get it.  It is not like I am not going to come back and get the vaccines.  (Look back at my children's shot records...I have come in for extra appointments for shots.)  So cut me some slack!

I get angry when they start telling me (again) how deadly hepatitis B can be for a baby and how I am putting my baby at risk for such by choosing to delay this vaccine.  (For the record hepB is very deadly for a baby that is not untrue, but the tone and way it is presented to me is what bothers me.)  Ok, really doc?  Isn't hepatitis B a blood-born disease spread through sexual contact or contact with an infected person's blood?  Oh it is?  Ok, thank you for confirming that. I do not think my baby is a high risk of hepB exposure at this point so I am going to choose to delay that vaccine along with several others, but I do assure you that we will get them at some point down the road.  Can you please respect my decision and authority as a mother?  

And yes I understand that Polio is eradicated in this country because of the polio vaccine.  So no my child is not immediately at risk for polio, but I WILL have my child vaccinated for polio.  Like I said, this is one that I think is important from a public health stand point.  But I do not want to vaccinate for polio at 2 months old when my baby is also getting shot up with a lot of other vaccines that protect against more immediate threats.

Anyhow, that is my rant for the day.  Thanks for listening.  I choose to vaccinate my children.  I choose to delay some of the vaccinations.  I do not feel guilty.

Vaccines can cause a lot of questions and anxieties for a new mother.  If you are uncertain regarding some vaccinations or have questions about vaccinations, (even if you choose to follow the CDC recommended guideline- which is what the majority of people choose to do)  The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child is a great resource that I would highly recommend.  It goes through each vaccine-preventable disease and explains what it is, what the prevalence is, and what ingredients are used in each pharmaceutical preparation of the vaccination.   It explains vaccine safety research as well as some of the controversy regarding vaccines in an understandable manner.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

phoebe is two!

Sorry it has taken me forever to get these pictures up!  Phoebe turned two on Aug. 3rd.  Hard to believe how much she has changed in the past couple years and especially the past  3 or 4 months!  We decided when she was born we would only do a big party every other year and then just do a smaller (cheaper) family celebration on on the off years.  We had a fun party last year for her first birthday and this year my family came into town and we just played and grilled out.

Phoebe got to wear the birthday hat on her special day.  (I have a mild obsession with fun hats...)

After lunch we had cupcakes and opened presents.  Since Phoebe isn't a big fan of food in general (and I didn't want a big cake around the house that I would be tempted to eat) I didn't bother making a cake or cupcakes.  (Remember this is the low-key birthday year)  I bought a couple mini-cupcakes at the bakery and surprise, surprise she didn't eat them.

She kept trying to give them away...  She did finally try it and take a couple bites, but she didn't eat anymore than that.

Then we opened presents.  Phoebe has been loving Minnie Mouse lately so I was excited for her to open her Minnie Mouse stuffed animal from my mom.  No surprise, she loved it!  Minnie has been her constant companion from that moment on.

She also got a fun music set from my brother that she has enjoyed playing with.

That evening we did have another family over to eat burgers.  The kids played outside in the baby pool and water table.  It was a fun day celebrating Phoebe!