Monday, January 30, 2012

Henry according to Evie

First picture at home of Evie and Henry!

Just for fun, I decided to ask Evie a few questions about Henry. She was so cute chatting away and I know this will make me smile one day when my sweet little girl is not so little anymore.

Evie, tell me a little about your brother.

His name Henry. Him a baby. He a sweet boy. I kiss him. I hug him.

Where did brother come from?

He came from the mall. He grew in your belly. Evie grew there last year.

Who is going to grow in my belly this year?

I not know. (Mommy and Daddy say hopefully nobody will grow there this year.)

What does Henry like to do?

He like to play. He like to taste things in his mouth. He spits too. He play with Evie. He like Evie. He like to hammer too in his mouth. Hammers not food though - they tools.

What is brother's favorite color?

Blue! His color is blue. Evie's color is pink. That not his favorite.

Who is brother's best friend?

Evie (using a very exasperated voice)

What does brother like to eat?

He like prunes. That's his dinner. Prunes are black. Evie likes them too.

Does brother like to read?

No, Evie read to him. He too little. Him like baby books.

How old is brother?

I can't know. He three. No, he two.

Where does brother like to go?

He like to go to park. Henry play with dinosaurs. ROAR!

When is brother going to crawl?

I can't know, okay.

Anything else, Evie?

No, thank you.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up!

We had a nice low-key weekend! That's just what I needed after last week. On Saturday, we went to the circus. Evie wanted to take her glue stick with her just in case she found a project. I am not sure where this obsession with glue sticks comes from because there is not a crafty bone in my entire body.

Evie was so excited to see her boys in the parking garage when we arrived at the circus. It was a surprise for them so I sure am glad Evie did not spoil it for her boys. We walked in together before going our separate ways to view the circus. Carl and I were prepared to drop a chunk of change on snacks and souvenirs but not prepared for the ton of change that we spent! Oh my goodness, the circus has changed. Cotton candy was $12 and lemonade was $10. Peanuts felt like a relative bargain at just a little over $4. Programs were expensive, I remember when they were about $5. The lady next to me remembered when they were free! Carl had promised Evie a light since that's one of the best parts about those events. Get ready to be shocked, a pink light was $22! Yes, you read that correctly and clearly we are crazy for indulging her but we keep our promises. Evie LOVES her light! It might just have been her favorite part about the circus except for the snow. They dropped tons of "snow" at the end of the circus. Evie HAD to catch a few pieces and carried them proudly back to the car.

We expected a few more animals at the circus. It was mostly dancing, singing and some acrobats. We loved the elephants but they sure were stinky! It's amazing to think of all the work that goes into putting a circus together. All of that coordination and training with so many different people and animals. I could not stop thinking about Water for Elephants and hope those sweet elephants yesterday were treated much nicer than on the movie. Those boots and hook looked awfully familiar!

I was a bit concerned about Evie sitting still for so long but she did it. She seemed to really enjoy it and only put her hands over her ears a few times. Carl and I both enjoyed some extra snuggles with our girl during the scary parts. Evie spent approximately 15 minutes working on her bag of peanuts. Those peanuts provided a lot of entertainment for her so I will take some peanuts along on our next road trip. She also enjoyed her pink lemonade and pink cotton candy.

Henry enjoyed the circus too. He looked around a bit and then slept for awhile since he did not sleep much the night before. Apparently, the loudness of the circus does not impact his sleep the same way as his sister shrieking in the room next door.

It was a LONG circus! Over two hours of circus fun was a bit much for me but it was fun to see Evie enjoying herself so much. Children have such a different concept of time and events. I really had no clue on how to prepare her for our circus visit. All the videos on YouTube seemed pretty outdated and we did not have any circus books. Evie thought we were going to the fair and asked about the Ferris wheel. Now, she knows all about the circus and came home to find her tiger. She thought it was so funny that the elephants stood on stools so her elephant has been standing on our stool too.

The rest of our afternoon was spent hanging around the house. Carl worked in the yard and I tried to get organized in my office space. There is so much paperwork to keep up with between school, our MOMS group, church and the various financial documents. I need to figure out a better way to keep up with it all.

Henry did not sleep at all this weekend! He grew another tooth and has been really cranky. That's so unusual for our sweet boy. I hope it's just his tooth and not a sudden personality change. Evie comes by her dramatics honestly! Hope your week gets off to a great start. It's bedtime for me - sleep when the baby sleeps is a lot harder the second time around.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Week in Review

We have had something to do every day which is a bit much for us. It has been really fun to see our friends. However, I am looking forward to a more laid-back week with very few plans this coming week. We just have school on the calendar for next week and that feels so refreshing.

Henry eating his puffs. Way more end up on the floor than in his mouth. I had forgotten about how hard it is for babies to get tiny things into their mouth.

Henry likes sitting in his big boy chair for dinner.
Monday: We enjoyed a nice morning at home! Henry took a short nap and Evie helped me put away the laundry. Valerie, our photographer, came to take 6 month pictures of Henry and 3 year old pictures of Evie. That was an experience, trying to get two kids ready for pictures along with myself. Then, keeping everyone happy while she took the pictures. We figured out that it worked better for Valerie to take each child separately to take some shots. Kids always do better without their parents even in photography. Valerie used to be an assistant to another photographer that we have used in the past and commented that now she knows why Stephanie needed an assistant. Stephanie is on maternity leave right now. It's always helpful to have an extra pair of hands so Valerie plans to bring an assistant next time. I cannot wait to see the digital files. After naps, we all headed to the doctor for three year and six month check-ups. Henry is in the 75% for his weight and not sure about the height. Evie is in the 75% for her weight and 97% for her height. Carl was there too as I mentioned earlier which helped a lot because we were there a really LONG time to get both kids visits completed.

Tuesday: Evie went to school. Henry and I headed to Nashville to get my cornea checked. I am not exactly sure what the test is supposed to show the doctor but it took less than five minutes to finish up there. Henry slept there and back so he was up for the day when we got home. He has not been sleeping good day or night this week which has been really tough on me. I know that his stomach is bothering him which makes it even harder because sometimes I am not sure what to do. We picked Evie up from school and played outside a bit. It was a beautiful day! Evie asked me if she could take a little rest so she went down for a late nap. Both kids actually slept at the same time! I love it when that happens although it is very rare.

Wednesday: We had a really busy day! That morning, we had our playgroup at Courtney's house. Evie's first question to Campbell -"Campbell, do you like my dress?" Playgroup was really fun. I LOVE that we are doing smaller playgroups because it's not so wild and it's easier to get to know the moms on a more personal level. Have you had the rosemary bagel from Bruegger's? It's so good! We came home for a quick lunch and then nap time. Another little girl in the neighborhood, wanted to come over to help with Evie and Henry. It did not go as well as the Mother's Helper did last week. This little girl is too young and not ready for this quite yet. Maybe in another year or so but for now it just felt like I was babysitting her instead of her helping me with my kids. Then, Courtney and the boys came over for dinner because both of our husbands were working. Evie and the boys had a ball and were wild as usual. All three of them took a spin in the exersaucer which was pretty funny since they are all way too big. Courtney and I could barely finish a conversation and even Henry made a mess. He's loving sitting in his high chair and trying new foods. It makes Carl nervous because Henry chokes a lot more than Evie ever did. It's just part of learning to eat but it can be pretty scary. Evie said, "mommy, why you put your finger in Henry's mouth."

Thursday: Evie was so busy singing her ABC song that she did not fall asleep until late. I had to wake Evie up for school and then she woke up Henry for me. Henry and I dropped Evie off at school then we came home. It was so nice to be at home on a rainy day. Henry napped and I did a few things around the house. Then, I had a doctors appointment. It's been really busy with the doctor appointments this month because I try to do all my annual visits in January. I will have so much more time now that is all taken care of for the year. Evie was so excited to see me after school. We came home and played a bit. She got some mail from Ipop and wanted to go "treasuring" and then we played sleep. That's my favorite game with Evie. She wanted to get out all of Carl's camping supplies so that made it even better. I went to babysit the boys while their parents went out to dinner. Courtney and I decided to try this instead of always using babysitters. It worked out really well! I felt like a 22 year-old college student walking over there to babysit. That's a feeling that I have not had in quite some time. HA! Campbell and Christian were so much fun. We played trains, read books and ate apples. They taught me all about boy stuff like Lightening McQueen and how to build train tracks so that the bridges stay intact. Little boy snuggles are the best and it gives me lots to look forward to with Henry. Courtney is coming over next week for our turn. Why did it take us so long to figure this out?

Evie likes to "punzel" from Henry's crib.

Henry decided to use his arm to punzel.

Treasuring is so much fun!

Evie's hair is a mess because brother likes to pull out her tails which makes her giggle.
Friday: Henry and Evie both slept late again. It was nice at the time but then Henry did not take his morning nap.  Maybe one day, he will eat, sleep and poop more consistently. His medicine has helped some but not like we had hoped. His dosage has been increased which will hopefully do the trick. We went to The Porter's house for lunch and playtime. Kristin made delicious baked ziti which was such a treat! Henry is tolerating dairy again and I have been slowly adding dairy back into my diet for about two weeks. So far everything seems to be okay which makes eating much easier. Evie and Jacob had a blast together. They were being really quiet upstairs so Kristin went to check on them. Evie and Jacob were on the bed playing but they had a Bible with them. That made us laugh! Evie did not want to leave but it was time to attempt feeding Henry and putting him down for a nap. He slept for awhile but not long enough for me. Carl came home to work because he was in the area and it made more sense than going back to the office. He worked at home while Evie napped and I took Henry to run a few errands with me. I got back and tried to feed Henry again and put him down for his nap but he was not interested. Are you seeing a pattern here? He is perfectly content to play but has no interest in eating or sleeping. Our pediatrician explained that he is just literally so full of poop that he does not have room for any food and is so uncomfortable that he is unable to relax enough to sleep. I feel so badly for the little guy. Carl went to pick up a pizza for dinner! My first pizza in nearly 5 months and it was amazing. Pizza is definitely what I missed the most. Evie and Henry both gave us a run for our money at bedtime. I explained to Henry that Mommy is off duty beginning at 7:00. He must not agree because I have been in his room at least a dozen times while typing this post. The good news is that he is finally asleep so I am headed to bed too.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pictures with 2

Clearly, Evie was not amused that I wanted to take her picture before school.

Henry is more interested in the book than the camera!

That book was WAY more interesting than me. Firetrucks are fun!

"Sister, let's just get this over with so we can get back to the book."

Evie is not thrilled that Henry now grabs everything from her. She's really going to get mad once he starts moving.
Before Henry was born, I used to wonder why there were so few pictures of siblings together . . . as in the same picture. Well, I get it now that I have two kids of my own. It's nearly impossible!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Henry goes to the Gastroenterologist

Henry went to the gastroenterologist last week. That is a specialist that I never imagined taking my six month old baby boy to see. However, it seems to be the best place to get some answers on our little guy. It was extremely sad to walk into Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and see so many sick children. Yet, comforting to know that Vanderbilt Children's can help really sick children so a little constipation is not too much to worry about. Nothing like seeing so many sick children to revitalize my prayer life making me even more thankful for my two healthy children. It was truly heartbreaking to see the anguish in the parents eyes while watching their precious children suffer.

I was apprehensive about taking Henry because it seemed like such a big step. Carl was out of town so I was on my own for this visit. It's never fun to take your child to the doctor but this was a good experience. Everyone from the receptionist to the nurse were super nice and more importantly super helpful! First order of business was a weight check, of course Henry has no problem in that area. His nurse even told him that he was a hause cat. He's a big boy weighing in at 18 pounds. Henry was just smiling away during his appointment. He is such a happy baby!

I ran through Henry's medical history with the nurse before the Nurse Practitioner came in to check him out. Stacey was excellent. I was convinced that she would not know how to help him because she was the fourth medical professional for Henry to see. She was very concerned about Henry's condition and immediately began creating a plan to help him. His x-ray was fine in regards to his organs but there was an excess of poop inside his body. That's not surprising, considering this has been going on for nearly two months. A specialist has little tips and tricks that the other doctors did not have since they see a wider-range of problems. A gastroenterologist knows more about tummy issues than I could ever imagine. Stacey suggested splitting his reflux medicine into two doses and administering it with a spoon rather than a syringe. That has made a HUGE difference because he is getting more of the medicine instead of it just dribbling down his chin.

Stacey performed a rectal exam and there was some blood in his stool. That could mean a variety of things but most likely it could be from trying to pass his BM or the presence of a food allergy. I opted to take the conservative approach first which is a medication called lactulose. Conservative is a relative term since we have tried so much but at least it was not so invasive as some of the other options. Henry takes 4ML's a day along with his reflux medication. It seems to be helping a little but not like the NP expected it too which means a barium enema might be our next step.

I will delete this post when Henry is older so that it will not cause any embarrassment to him but wanted to post our experience to help other moms. Several moms have either emailed or commented to me, that their children suffered from constipation too. It's hard to find any real solutions on the Internet and every baby is different. Be sure to check with your doctor regarding your own child.

Things that we have tried:

warm baths
rectal temperature
leg exercises
prunes and pears
fruit juice
eliminating solids including rice cereal and oatmeal
squatting positions

My parents were here during Christmas and we were all sitting in the den searching the Internet for ways to relieve constipation. There are some pretty wild suggestions out there!

We just got back from Henry's six month check-up. Thankfully, Carl went with me since it was Evie's three year check up too. It was pretty crazy having two kids at the same appointment. Pediatrician suggested giving the lactulose one more week before doing anything more invasive. There was no blood in his stool this week so that's an excellent sign. My best trick for getting your baby to go to the bathroom: put your favorite outfit on him and then put him in the exersaucer. Works like a charm and that's laundry that I am more than happy to wash if it makes my baby more comfortable. Let's just hope this keeps working for Henry.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up!

Oh my, what a weekend! I think that this is the first time that a Monday sounds good. Routine is a good thing! I will miss Carl though when he goes back to work.

Evie had a birthday party yesterday. That's the story of our life these days. We only attend parties of our favorite people as a way to cut it down a bit. However, we really like a lot of people. Joshua's party was so much fun. His sweet mom, Sara, did not miss a detail and orchestrated the perfect train party. Not a detail was missed. Each child was given a ticket and circulated to eight train-themed centers. They dressed up like Sir Topham Hat, shoveled coal, worked train puzzles and sorted the mail at the depot. Evie loved it all! Her favorite part was the train ride through the neighborhood. It was a bit brisk for a train ride but it was worth it to see Evie enjoying herself so much. After a few train rides, it was time for a train themed lunch. Evie loved eating her turkey train sandwich. It was an exciting morning and exhausted our sweet girl. She slept for nearly four hours after that adventure. Henry slept great too which was a real treat for us to have both kids asleep for the same period of time.

We had an early dinner and then watched Evie put on a show with her dress-up clothes. Evie kept us entertained while we watched the South Carolina primary results roll in on television. I tried to watch a movie with Carl but fell asleep. He watched, The King's Speech and thought it was very good. Maybe I will try to sneak a movie in during nap time this week.

Morning came too soon! Someone always wants to wake up at 7 and this morning that someone was Evie. We went to early church. Evie was reading to "her cousin" when I picked her up. She kept telling me and everyone within ear shot that this girl was her cousin. Perhaps, her name was Mary or Lucy but she was not related to us. Henry did not fare so well in the nursery this week. He was not happy at all when I picked him up and did not settle down when we went back in the church. Carl and I decided to head out after communion because Henry literally never cries so we knew something was wrong with our little guy. It was so sad to see him with big tears and gasping to breathe. He perked up after a feeding and a nap.

Carl and I did a major clean-up of the house to prepare for our small group to come over for dinner. Carl did most of the cleaning while I ran to the grocery store. It's pretty easy to cooking-wise because everyone brings something. Carl grilled pork tenderloin and I made two pies along with an appetizer and a dessert. Dinner turned out well but it was a madhouse! Eight adults and seven kids for dinner is a bit overwhelming. Thank goodness, that a few of the kids had youth group tonight so that cut our numbers back a little. We made it but barely. Carl said he was so in shock the entire time that it was so wild and I gently told him that's the way it is with kids. We will  finish the year but will probably either skip small group next year or do one without kids. Evie was a major pain! I am sure it's hard to have so many people in your house playing with your stuff when you are three. Some of the big kids were not so sure about her but she sure loved them! Maybe loved them a little too much. We enjoyed the fellowship with friends - it's just getting to that part. That's the hard part for us, getting dinner prepared, served while entertaining the guests and taking care of our kids. It's a lot at this stage in our life. We really have enjoyed getting to know the other couples. I may feel differently in a few days but after three timeouts for Evie, pillow fights with tears in the den, a horrible storm and chocolate pie smeared from here to there - it was a little much. We have to host one more time and I am thinking a nice cookout would be fun and a little easier to manage.

We were so busy doing this weekend that we did not get around to taking many pictures. In the morning, Valerie is coming to take pictures of Henry and Evie for their six month and three year portraits. Wish me luck, my first time doing a photo shoot solo but I wanted the pictures done while Henry was still six months old. Hope your week gets off to a great start!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Week in Review

Monday: We celebrated Evie's birthday! It was so fun watching her open all her birthday presents. We spread it out over three days but here are a few pictures for the grandparents. She wanted to go to Harris Teeter for a pink balloon and a cookie. I love that she is so easy to please most of the time. Then, we went to see Beauty and the Beast in the movie theatre. Henry stayed with a babysitter. It was Evie's first movie and I was not sure what to expect but she LOVED it. Except for one part, when she told me that she wanted to go home. She perched on my lap for a bit and enjoyed the rest of the movie. Campbell and Christian came with us along with their Mommy. It was so much fun. Can't wait to go back for another movie. Evie requested chicken nuggets and lemonade for her birthday dinner. That was easy!  It's just so hard to believe that my sweet girl is 3.

Tuesday: I took Henry to the GI doctor while Evie was at school. Doctor was amazing and had lots of good suggestions. Evie was so proud of her birthday crown from school! She took ice-cream sandwiches to her friends and told me multiple times how all her friends "like them samwichs." After school, our neighbor, Erin came over to help me with Evie. I was not too sure how it would all play out but Erin did a fantastic job taming our Tennessee Tornado.

Wednesday: We headed out to the MOMS Club board meeting and had a delicious breakfast. Evie played with Jackson and Elise. Henry just hung out with me. Evie told me that she wanted Henry to go back in my belly. Only took her 6.5 months to make that comment so that's pretty good. Henry pulled her sketch book off the table which annoyed Evie. However, she quickly forgot about this and told me that Henry was the best brother ever and that he so sweet. We made pancakes for dinner and just hung out around the house.

Thursday: Evie had school and Henry had his sitter. I had an appointment and then met Courtney for lunch at Wild Iris. If you are local, check this place out! It was delicious. We both had the tuna melt but it was not your ordinary tuna melt. It was served on warm homemade bread and was loaded with red onions and capers. DELICIOUS! Let's not forget the amazing housemade potato chips that were seriously divine! I cannot wait to go back. After lunch, we went to Stacey Rhodes Boutique. It  had lots of super cute clothes but it's definitely more of a splurge type place. Too bad, we do not have any upcoming weddings to attend because they had a million cute dresses that would be perfect for a fun cocktail party or wedding. Perhaps, a bit much for playgroups and playgrounds. Erin came back to help me out but Evie was asleep. She played with Henry for a bit. Mother's Helpers are fabulous!

Friday: Evie was quite imaginative all morning and had all kinds of elaborate role playing that she wanted me to participate in with her. She was super sweet with Henry and kept hugging him. Evie is quite generous with her hugs these days.Then, we headed out to see our friends in Murfreesboro for playtime and lunch. It was so fun although Evie was extremely whiny! That whining drives me crazy and I do mean crazy. Evie and Abby kept busy playing with the dollhouse, drawing on the easel, and turning Maura's house into a disaster zone. Maura made some delicious chicken sandwiches. Best part, is that she will use the rest to make barbecue pizza tonight. I cannot wait to try that with my family. Evie crashed right when we got home and Henry seems to be busy trying to relieve his constipation. Carl has been out of town and is on the way back now. We will all be thrilled to see him walk through the door! Happy Friday, y'all!