Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Day at Home

We spent Christmas day at home with just our little family.  We woke up around 8:00 and Kit brewed coffee (delicious Stumptown he got from his parents the night before) while I got Ellie up.  Since we have to wait at least 30 minutes after waking Ellie to feed her so that her Prevacid can kick in, we decided that would be the perfect time to open presents.

We had fun opening our presents, and Ellie loves her little birdies in their nest!  I also found a Star Wars onesie for her a couple of weeks ago that was her other Christmas present from mom and dad.  The birdies were more of a present from me and the Star Wars onesie was more of a present from Kit.  We figured both items made for fun memories, and since she got gifts from her grandparents and other family members as well, she didn't really need a million and one from us.

After presents, I fed Ellie while Kit made up our traditional Christmas breakfast - quick sticky buns.  We've made them every year on Christmas morning for the past three years.  Although we tend to make things from scratch, it's so relaxing to have yummy, warm breakfast in just a few minutes!

Then, after a quick trip to his parents' house to pick it up, Kit set to work putting together his new gas grill.  It's a mammoth but came in handy for our (most likely) new tradition of making bangers and mash for Christmas dinner.  Rather than simmer the sausages for the full time in the recipe, he finished them up on the grill.  Yum, yum!

We only took a few pictures (all of Ellie) that day, but here she is in her cute pajamas.  The legs aren't quite long enough for her to sit comfortably in them anymore so we let her little tootsies out while she opened presents.

Showing off her cute feet.

Enjoying a new toy that was actually a belated baby shower gift from one of my former bosses who is moving to Phoenix.

Checking out one of the egg shells.

And one of the birdies.

She enjoyed her gift!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas with Nana & Granddad

Because Kit's parents only live a few minutes away from us and because we always spend Christmas day at our own house enjoying our own little family, we usually celebrate Christmas with Kit's parents on Christmas Eve.  It works out well and we always love spending time with Kit's sister and brother-in-law who live in Idaho.  And this year we not only had their two-year-old daughter Boston, we also had their 7-month-old daughter London there as well.

Ellie and London hadn't met before this past Monday.  They were due a day apart from each other. Obviously, Ellie decided to jump the gun.  But London was a good girl and waited until the right time to come out.  Both girls are absolutely adorable.  When they first met, Ellie was tired despite having just woken up from a nap.  Loud noises have also been scaring Ellie lately.  So when London started loudly squealing and shrieking in excitement at meeting Ellie, Ellie proceeded to cry.  It was quite humorous because London was so excited and Ellie just wanted to get away.  But after a bottle and another nap, Ellie warmed up and decided she liked London.  Ellie and I spent every afternoon this week and almost every evening hanging out over at Kit's parents' house and enjoying time with the family.

Here are photos from the week.  I completely failed to get any of Ellie and London together, but Kit grabbed the camera on Christmas Eve so we at least got a few more of that day.

Boston got a Disney princess dress up box from her mommy and daddy as an early Christmas present.  She had fun dressing up with "Uncle Tit" as she currently calls Kit.

Ellie and granddad.

Trying to open the biggest present in the room a couple of days early. 

 A little further away for perspective.

Isn't Boston a cutie?

Ellie with her Auntie Kirsten.

Boston wanted to join the fun.




Boston got a pink and white boa in her stocking, which complimented her princess outfit beautifully!

Enjoying our stocking loot.

Opening Ellie's stocking since she and London were napping.

 Kit next to the biggest present in the room - his.

 Pretending he didn't know what was inside.

It's an awesome gas grill.  He set it up and used it Christmas day!

 Boston opening up one of the many movies she and London got from us.  Big Idea was having a great sale so they got stocked up on VeggieTales!  And I also found four Davey & Goliath movies (kind of a Christian version of Gumby).

Kernan will be getting his motorcycle very soon.  We're all praying he survives, but Carla has made sure his life insurance policy is paid up.

 Boston checking out the wrapping pile we created behind the couch.  She found throwing wrapping paper back there just about as exciting as opening her presents.

Setting up my new vacuum!!  Mine died a couple of months ago so I've been borrowing an extra Kit's mom had.  I had a blast on Christmas day vacuuming all our carpets and starting on our blinds.

Nana feeding Ellie.

Ellie enjoying her stuffed block from Auntie Kirsten and plastic/foam book from Nana.

The one picture I actually got of London.  She's absolutely adorable and has the cutest belly!

Speaking of bellies.  We got this same picture of me last year (even in the same shirt) while I was pregnant with Ellie.  Although I'm not big enough to fit into the maternity jeans I was wearing in the photo last year, my belly is definitely bigger this year.  And I'm only 15 weeks as opposed to the 18 weeks I was last year.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas with Grandpa & Grandma

Last weekend we traveled to my parents' house for an overnight stay and Ellie's first Christmas celebration.  We had a great time seeing my parents, three of my brothers, two of my sisters, one of my brothers-in-law and three of my nephews.  Because I come from a big family (five sisters and three brothers), it's hard to get everyone together at the same time.  So this was the biggest gathering we've been to in a few years.  It was fun to see everyone, play games, eat food and open presents.

Because I never remember to take pictures, I only got a few and they're all of Ellie.  Go figure.

 Ellie sat on grandpa's lap while everyone opened their presents and enjoyed watching.

Loving being the center of attention.

 Opening her first present!

Playing with wrapping paper on the floor.

"Mom, have you seen this stuff?  It's great!"

 Someone must have told a funny joke.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Sneak Peak

So I don't have any good pictures of our Christmas decor yet, but I do have a picture of the cutest Christmas present that my friend Becca Sue custom made for us to give Ellie for Christmas.  Kit and I working on minimalizing our lives (a post in and of itself) and, as a result, are being very purposeful this Christmas to only buy things that we need or will really use.  And for Ellie I wanted to simply get her a couple of items that can actually become memorable pieces she can (if she's sentimental at all) save as tokens of her first Christmas.

Enter Becca Sue's quest for fitness.  She's quite amazing actually.  In the past few months she's taken to preparing to run a half marathon and continuing on from there.  Given that exercise has never been a part of her life before (and the fact that I don't think I'll ever have this type of dedication to fitness), this amazes me.  Anyway, since she's also a stay-at-home mom, she's been finding ways to raise money for her trip (to Disney World!) for the half marathon.  She's been baking tons of muffins, and this month decided to do something more crafty since not everyone eats lots of muffins.

I jumped on the idea of her little crocheted toys and contacted her about making something for Ellie.  And this is what she came up with!  I love it!!  If you're interested in muffins or a cute crocheted toy, check out her blog and contact her!  Her rates are actually incredibly reasonable!

The birdies come out of their shells and even have their own little nest!

Health Update

General Rambling
Since I'm currently wide, but sadly, awake at 2:00am, I figured now is as good a time as any to update this here blog.  On Sunday, I thought Ellie and I were starting to get colds.  I was feeling like such and she was running a slight fever (100.5) and seeming a little extra fussy.  What I thought was going to be a cold has ended up being a sore throat and sinus pain for me.  Not sure exactly how Ellie's feeling, but given that she's groaning every few minutes on the baby monitor, I think she's feeling about as good as I am.  At least she's semi-sleeping.

9-Month Pediatrician Check Up
On with the actual health update on Ellie.  She had her 9-month pediatrician check up on Friday.  She was still 15 pounds, 4 ounces.  But since she was having tummy troubles all last week - that continue even now - there wasn't a concern at the lack of weight gain.  We go back at the beginning of January so we'll make sure then that she's gaining.

Speaking on going back in January, a couple of weeks ago, Ellie got her first Synagis shot.  Synagis is an medication of antibodies given by shot that helps prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).  Here's a link to the Synagis website.  From what the doctors have said, RSV can actually get pretty bad (i.e. require hospitalization) for some full-term infants so preemies and babies with lung issues can really get into trouble if they get it.  The antibodies help the body to fight off RSV, and if Ellie does get it, the RSV will at least partially attack the antibodies rather than Ellie's immune system, which lessens the effect on Ellie

It's actually pretty cool that they have something like this.  The shot is given monthly during RSV season, which varies by which part of the country you are in.  Ellie will get it from November to March (which by scheduling will actually be December to April).  I've head different price ranges for the shots, and the dosage depends on the child's weight, but the cost is somewhere in the range of $6,000 and $10,000 per shot.  If our insurance hadn't covered it, Ellie wouldn't be getting it.  But the insurance is covering it so we're very thankful for that!

Back to Ellie's pediatrician appointment.  I asked the pediatrician about checking to see if Ellie might have asthma, as I have noticed her having belabored breathing with things that shouldn't really cause one to have trouble breathing (i.e. gently playing, sometimes not really moving much at all, etc.).  At first the doctor was thinking maybe it was just her reflux, but when she listened to Ellie's lungs, she could hear the telltale sounds of asthma.  So for now we have a simple albuterol inhaler with a special little spacer and tube to give it to her with.

When I picked it up today, the pharmacist tried to tell me that I should attempt to have Ellie hold her breath for 10 seconds after inhaling.  The concept made me smile, especially since trying such a thing would make it look like I was suffocating the poor child because the only way to do so would be to manually prevent her from breathing.  I think we'll just do what we can with what she can do on her own.  I have heard that crying seems to help them breath it in deeper so we'll see if maybe she'll cry when I give it to her...though I don't want to traumatize the poor girl.

If we find ourselves using the albuterol more than a few times a week, we're supposed to touch bases with the pediatrician about putting Ellie on a maintenance medication.  I'm hoping that doesn't happen but thinking it might be inevitable.  In addition to being a preemie with former lung issues (creating a high likelihood of asthma), I have asthma that started in childhood as well and have a younger brother with more severe asthma.

High Blood Pressure
And because I can't remember if I've mentioned it on here (and it's the middle of the night, and I don't feel like checking), I'll mention that Ellie's high blood pressure is now gone.  She's been off mediation for over a month, and did great at her follow up with the nephrologist so he has discharged her from his care.  It's wonderful to have one less medication and to have a baby who is that much more healthy!

More General Ramblings
I'm not sure anyone will make it this far into actually reading this post given that it is being written between about 2:00 and 2:30am and will not be nearly as coherent as I normally try to make them.  But for those who have made it (or those who simply scrolled to see photos).  Here is your reward...

Sitting all on her own.  She's still not a big fan of it with her reflux, but on occasion she will sit on her own.  We stick close by though since she often still likes to fling herself backward when she's done.

 Playing with a Care Bear that someone made for me when I was a baby.

Cute toes.

Showing off her kicking skills.  She's preparing so that she can learn Kung Fu from her Aunt Laura once she's old enough.

Reading her Bible story book from one of the pastors at Kit's parents church and his wife.  It's her favorite book because of all the vibrant pictures combined with the black and white word pages.  Oh, and she really was just lying there flipping the pages of the book by herself while I was putting away some of her laundry.  When I grabbed the camera, she immediately smiled for the picture.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pregnancy Q&A

Now that Elise had the chance to make her big announcement, here are the answers to some of the questions many of you have been wondering...

How far along are you?  When are you due?
I'm 13 weeks today and due June 18th.

When did you find out you were pregnant?
October 6th.  I was actually just barely pregnant and the second line on the test just barely showed since I wasn't even quite 4 weeks yet.  Here's the ultrasound from a little over 8 weeks; the baby was measuring a mere two days behind (8 weeks, 1 day rather than 8 weeks, 3 days) and had a strong heartbeat of 178 beats per minute.

Does the doctor expect any complications?  What are the chances of you having a placental abruption again?
My doctor is very optimistic that everything should go well.  And the statistics are with him.  There's about a 1% chance of having a placental abruption in the first place.  That chance jumps to 5% in subsequent pregnancies once you've had an abruption.  At 20 weeks, I'll get a Level 2 ultrasound at the hospital.  That level will offer more detail than my doctor can do in his office and will hopefully show us if the placenta appears to be having any issues.

And if at any point during my pregnancy I experience abnormal abdominal pain, I am to call my doctor's office immediately (if during business hours and not so bad that I need to go to the hospital or call 911) or to go to the hospital.  There they'll monitor things closely to make sure another abruption isn't occurring before sending me home.

Are you scared, nervous, etc?
Not really.  I don't want to sound like I'm being dishonest, but I think that my personality is such that I don't worry as much as those with other personalities might.  If anything, I tend to be over-confident.  This is one of those situations, however, where I believe my confidence is well placed.  If Kit and I learned anything from Elise's birth, we learned that we have no control over our lives.  Not to say that we don't have responsibilities and things that we can control.  But overall, we aren't the ones in charge.  God is.  He knows exactly when this baby will be born.  He gave us this baby, at this time, in these circumstances, for His purpose.

I was worried about three weeks ago that I was miscarrying.  Things just didn't feel the same.  It turned out that between Friday and Monday, my muscles or ligaments or whatever it is that stretches out stretched out.  I went from being able to zip up and button my jeans on Friday to not even being able to zip that same pair of jeans halfway up on Monday.  All that to say, Sunday was a hard day for me.  I tearfully asked a couple of friends at church to pray for me.  And I spent the music portion of the service crying and praying to the Lord.  In that time, I gave this baby fully to the Lord.

I told Him through my tears that I don't know what His plan is for this baby's life or for my own but that I will trust Him.  That if the purpose of this baby's life was to be short and only within my body, then I will trust Him and use this baby's life for His glory.  And that if this baby gets to live a full, long life, I will trust Him and raise this baby for His glory.  Kit and I are blessed beyond measure for me to be pregnant again.  And we will strive to be godly parents for as long as we have charge of this new baby's life.

How are you feeling?
Much better in the last couple of weeks.  Although my nausea never hit the same level as I had with Elise, I was nauseous and had food diversions (still have those).  I've needed to eat a lot of food to keep up with both pumping for Elise and growing this new little one, which is hard with those diversions.  For a few weeks I was averaging half of an 8 or 9 ounce box of Cheese-Its everyday as a snack because it was one of the few things that sounded good and could really fill me up.

I was also exhausted at a whole new level.  Every morning I would get up with Elise, feed her, play with her, hope that she got tired again quickly, put her down for a nap, and then nap myself for a couple of hours.  But I think I'm feeling better overall compared with when I was pregnant with Elise simply because I'm not getting up at 5am to go to work every weekday like I was then.

Others questions?
Let me know!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

She's on the Move

I'll be doing another post soon to answer any questions Ellie's post might have brought up, but I couldn't resist sharing what Ellie's been up to these past couple of days.  She's become a real mover and has figured out that she prefers our hardwoods and vinyl flooring to the blankets that we lay her on.  Why?  Because she can scoot herself around on her belly using her mainly arms with a little bit of help from her legs.  She's seriously all over the place!

As I type, she's attempting to get from the living room to the kitchen.  Why?  Because her "dada" is in the kitchen.  And yes, all night she has been saying "dada" when ever she can't see Kit because she really wants to see her daddy!

In addition to these two exciting new tricks, she also held her own bottle while she ate for two full feedings today.

AND when Ellie and I were in Bath & Body Works today getting a Christmas present for Kirsten, she said, "Ha," to get the attention of one of the employees.  "Ha" has been her version of "Hi," and this was the first time she actually said it to someone at a perfectly appropriate time.  THEN tonight while playing on a blanket with Kit, he said, "Hi!" to her and she responded right back, "Hi!"

Apparently her announcement made her realize that she needs to get a move on so that she stays ahead of the pack!

 Her new found love of hard flooring led to her licking the vinyl in the kitchen.  Kit had Coco tell her last night that even he (Coco) doesn't lick the floor! Coco thinks the IQ in this house dropped significantly when Ellie picked up this trick.

This morning, after rolling to lick the floor 5-6 times and being placed back on her blanket 5-6 times, she rolled herself under the dishwasher and began playing with the buttons.

She thought this was the coolest thing ever.  Until she rolled over while underneath and bonked her head.

 Our happy, big girl!  She's looking more and more like her daddy every day!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bwog fwum Eh-wie

Hewo to my fans bwog weaders.  Dis is Eh-wie whiting my fust bwog post. I wud wike to stawt by sanking awl of you who have pwayed and suppotted my famiwee since I wuz bown.

I have enjoyed being in da spotwight but am whiting to wet you know dat soon I wiwl be shawing da spotwight becaws I'm go-wing to be a...

Dat's white ev-we-one.  Momee's gunna have a bay-bee.  If you have questins, you'll have to ask momee.  All I know is dat dis bay-bee means I got to see a squirmy ting on a TV at da doctor wast munth and hear a thumpy sound dis month and chew on dat paper tonight.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy 9 Month Birthday, Elise!

As we celebrate Elise's 9-month birthday, she...
  • Is 15 pounds, 4 ounces and 26-1/4 inches.
  • Still wears size 2 diapers.
  • Wears mostly 6-month clothes, but the pants are all still big in the waist.
  • Loves to listen to music and dance with mommy and daddy.  (A favorite pastime in our family since we got rid of our television a few weeks ago.)
  • Sometimes sings with me.  When I take showers, she sits in her bouncy seat in the bathroom.  By the end of the shower, she's usually ready to see me again and crying  For a couple of days, I was able to stave off her crying by singing a song my mom wrote for me when I was a baby (replacing "Em-a-lee" with "El-ee Laine").  The best part of this was that she would start making these cute singing sounds that she didn't normally make.
  • Is learning how to give kisses.  She's most consistent with giving herself kisses in the mirror.  She rests her nose on the mirror, reaches her mouth forward so that it touches the mirror and then licks.  And lately she's also giving kisses to mommy and daddy, but only when she feels like it.
  • Rolls all over the place.  She's getting really good at both rolling and scooting and really got the hang of things while at my parents' house since they have carpet in almost every room as opposed to our entirely hardwood, vinyl and tile flooring.  She has, however, gone for Coco's toys when they have been near.  And succeeded a couple of times - gross!
  • Can sit but doesn't like to.  I talked to the pediatrician about it because she clearly has the capability to sit and does so quite well on our laps (including leaning forward to where we aren't supporting her.  Her reflux just seems to bother her when she sits by herself.  The pediatrician wasn't concerned at all because she could tell by how well Ellie is moving around and by the fact that she holds her legs in the air (and chews on her toes) for long periods of time that she definitely has the back and abdominal muscles she needs.  The pediatrician said she'll probably just end up being a stander rather than a sitter.
  • Has two teeth, bottom center.  One is about 1/3 of the way out and the other one is still just peeking through.  She hasn't been overly drooly but does like to share her spit with the world from time to time.  She's also not overly fussy, which is nice for us.
  • Is getting bored with all of her toys.  But Christmas is coming, and we're also going to go to Anthony's house soon so she can check out what he has to help mommy and daddy know what to get her.
  • Is now sticking out her tongue and making what Kit calls the "PBBBLLPPP" sound at us.  It cracks us up, and we'll go back and forth blowing small amounts of spit on each other as we blow air out of our mouths with our tongues in the way.  We got a couple of cute videos last night so I'll try to remember to post them in the near future.
  • Is getting better at eating baby food but doesn't like to eat a large volume at this point.  She's getting all the nutrition she needs from her bottles so we're just feeding her baby food for the experience anyway.  She's also been trying banana in one of those mesh teethers you can put fresh or frozen fruit in.  She makes a mess but enjoy smacking on the banana.

"This sippy cup thing is pretty cool."

 "If I could just get it in my mouth."

 Enjoying peas (I believe).



 I've never seen her do this before, but this is definitely "the look" feared by men everywhere when given by women.


"There we go.  I love this cup!"

Eating squash for the first time.

She loves to feed herself.




 "Aw yeah.  I am the coolest."

What she does with her socks in the car.

 Showing off her cute new sweatsuit from Susan, Anthony's mom.

My favorite smiles of her include these squinted eyes.


 Getting ready to go to grandpa and grandma's for Thanksgiving.

Enjoying some tummy time at grandpa and grandma's.


Her first good look at the (undecorated) Christmas tree.  More Christmas decor photos to come.

 Enjoying bananas for the first time.


Showing off her cool banana sticker.  When I was little, I would always put banana and apple stickers on my hand.  My mom had saved Ellie some when we visited for Thanksgiving, but we never remembered to put them on.  So in honor of her first banana, I took the sticker off of the very banana she ate from and snapped a couple of photos.


 How Ellie felt about the Beavers (Oregon State) loosing the Civil War game.  But shh...don't tell granddad.