Thursday, September 20, 2012

1 month 9.20.12

Miss Caroline is 1 month today!  She is going through a growth spurt.  Lately, she likes to only fall asleep while breastfeeding, knows when you put her down (ugh!), and still enjoys to be swaddled.  She is starting to get on a bit of a schedule.  I notices this mostly at night.  She wakes to feed at 8pm and feeds until 10pm.  Sometimes I fall asleep while feeding her, which results in us sleeping on the couch until midnight or so when I wake.  She generally sleeps until 2AM and feeds for an hour or so, and then is back up at 5AM.  The house is up by 5AM, so that works out pretty well.  She normally gets "fed in bed" while Nick gets ready for work and Tillman gets ready for school.  We get to visit with the boys before they leave the house for the day. After they leave, we generally sleep until 8AM!

At one month, Caroline is starting to make/blow bubbles!  She's also working on her neck strenght.  Tummy time is mostly when laying on my chest while burping.  She often tries to look around and pull her head up to look.  She's doing really good with head control.  Her favorite places to sit are the swing, bouncy seat, and in some one's arms (of course)!

I've also been trying to pay attention to what I've been eating to see how it effects her...mostly caffeine and sweets.  Sometimes I think that she is up late or won't take a nap because of what I've eaten.  I haven't figured out any trends yet, but try to stay away from caffeine and sweets after 5PM.

I was torn about using a pacey but I gave in about a week ago.  I won't say she loves it, but it certainly comes in handy when she will take it.  It has giving this mommy a huge break and allows others to care for her when she is fussy. She'll only take the Gerber one.  We only have 2 of these paceys, so I'm very protective of it!  Dr. Clifford said that paceys are a good thing (studies show it can protect against SIDS), but like anything, if you start it, you'll have to stop it one day.  I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Caroline's trending stats:
2 days:
Weight:6 lbs 2 oz-8th percentile
Height:19.75 inches-44th percentile
Head: 13.25 inches-12th percentile
BMI: 11

2 weeks:
Weight: 6lbs 13 oz

3 weeks (sick visit):
7.4 lbs (with clothes and a diaper)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

24 months 9.12.12 - Check Up with Dr. Clifford

Tillman went to Dr. Clifford on Friday, 9.14.12.  We told Tillman he was going to Dr. Clifford.  He repeated the word doctor, and I was trying to get him to say Clifford, but he responded "dog." I caught on to what he was referring, and asked what color Clifford is, and he said "red."  I didn't know he knew Clifford the Big Red Dog, but I guess he watches that at school. 

We were all prepared for him to get a ton of shots, but he only got the Hep A shot and the nose mist flu vaccine. He took the nose mist like a champ.  He gets Flonase daily, so it was no big deal for him.  He did have a little fever after from the flu shot, but was good to go by Saturday afternoon.  I couldn't believe that the next time he goes for a well check is at 3 years old.  We've been so used to every 6 months.

We had a list of questions.  First on the list was about allergies.  Tillman's nose runs all the time, and Nick has allergies.  He can be tested at this point, but Dr. Clifford felt that we wouldn't treat his symptoms any different than we are currently doing (Zyrtec and Flonase).  We did talk about switching it up from Zyrtec to Allegra.  He said to try Allegra to see if he responds differently.  We'll revisit the allergies at next well visit.
I was also asked about adenoids.  Tillman's ENT has recommended that if his sinus issues continue, we consider taking out the adenoids.  Dr. Clifford had an interesting view.  He stated that the ENT wants to tackle anatomy and the allergist was to tackle issue with chemistry.  His view it is a combo of both, and his suggesting was to watch is closely.

While asking all the question, he observed Tillman.  He stated that Tillman's coordination, agility, and language was very good for his age.  He told us that boys are pretty slow with language (he isn't alarmed at this age if boys aren't talking), and he was putting together sentences and really doing well with speech. That did make us feel pretty good/proud of Tillman!

Tillman also got weighed and measured.  Tillman is still know at Tiny T!  His height is in the 4th percentile and his weight in the 25th percentile!  Dr. Clifford said he likely will not be 6' 8", but 36 month visit they could better predict how tall children will be.  I know he gets the shortness from my family.  I'm 5' 2" on a good day, and many other family members are short.

Tillman's Stats:
Height: 32 inches-4th percentile
Weight: 26 lbs (gained 3lbs in a year)-25th percentile
BMI: 17.9-81st percentile (He's pretty stocky)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

9.12.12 "I two!" 24 months

8.19.12-Hampton Park-last hours as an only child!
This blond, cute, yet stubborn and independent kiddo is TWO! It's hard to believe that two years ago, Tillman join our family. He came on Grandparents day, and how appropriate being named after his Great Grandfather and his initials after his Granddaddy. 
This month has been a HUGE month for Tillman. He is a BIG BROTHER!

If you're happy and you know it...clap your hands!
Tillman's language has developed. His new favorite word is "Mow Mow." (lawn mower).  Imagine that, a child of a landscaper!  He can count 1-2-3 and knows how old he is- "I two." He also says "I don't want to!" and "I want." The latter are normally used when eating.  He doesn't want to eat what we've prepared for him and points to the pantry and says "I want."  He could eat Goldfish, Cheez-Its, and chips every meal.  As cute as it is him being independent, we've had to start putting our foot down and making him eat what we think he needs rather than him ruling the roost.

Loves his DADA
Time out has picked up at the house.  It is mommy and daddy's friend, and Tillman is obedient with it.  There has been an adjustment with him not getting all the attention. He tends to act out to get our attention.  He is doing a lot better, and he does like his sister.  In fact, he came in to the room this morning and told me and "Carol-yine" bye -and blew a kiss to us both.  It was really cute to see him be sweet towards her and recognize her.  I think he is turning into a wonderful big brother.  He is often concerned when Caroline cries-he knows how to "shhh" a baby too. 

Tillman looks up to something!
 With the weather cooling down, allergies for Tillman have increased.  We took both kiddos to the doctor last Saturday to get checked out.  They both have a cold, but Tillman got an antibiotic.  Nick and I were excited to have some meds, until we got home.  Tillman absolutely would not take the medication-gagging, spitting, etc!  We tried mixing it, hiding it in food, but Tillman noticed it all and refused to eat.  Nick put him in his lap and said "you are not getting down until you drink your milk !" Well, Tillman screamed in his lap for 30 minutes.  He occasionally took a sip, but he clearly wasn't going to drink it all. 
What little boy doesn't love a stick?
The bigger the better for Tillman!
A nurse friend gave us the trick to hold his nose and squirt the meds in his mouth. She stated he would have to swallow if we did this.  I thought it sounded pretty harsh, but listening to him scream for 30 minutes, we were willing to try. wasn't harsh at all, and was over in 15 seconds.  This will be a trick we will use in the future!  By the time we tried the trick, I'm sure he had lost 3 or 4 doses in emptied milk and yogurt!  Man, Caroline won't get away with anything...we'll know all the tricks by the time she is two!

Tillman on his 2nd Birthday Morning!
On your second birthday, here's a few news stories....
-The iPhone 5 was released!  This is huge.  It is the first iPhone to be release post-Steve Jobs (founder/CEO of Apple). I am sure by the time you get a cellphone it will be the iPhone 25, but it is a huge deal today for all of those iPhone users (like your mommy).  All of your photos are taken from the iPhone!  Not sure what I'd do without my iPhone.
-The Obama vs Romney election is in full swing.  Both conventions were last week and debates are starting soon.
-Chicago School Teachers are on strike for 3 days now...who knows when those children will go back to school.  The teachers are in a union...something we don't yet have in SC.

Tillman has his two year check up on Friday and his birthday party on Sunday!  Lots more news to come on 24 months of Tillman Alexander!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Caroline's Delivery & Recovery

The way I look is exactly how I felt!
I looked much better after running a marathon!
I have been going back and forth on whether or not I should post about this, but (as you can tell) I thought I'd give it a shot.  The VBAC happened.  It wasn't as "blissful" as I thought it would be and the recovery was the opposite of "blissful" for sure!  I stated at the end of the delivery that I would NEVER do that again.  They all told me to mark my words.  I'm pretty sure it will be a C-section next time if there is a next time.
Right before pushing began.
I think all pregnancies and children come with their challenges.  With Tillman, he never slept and was up all the time.  Looking back, I am glad I had a C-section with him.  I felt much better after the C-section than the VBAC.

Now with Caroline, she has been a great sleeper, but my personal recovery has been a challenge.  Most of the "symptoms" have resolved themselves within two weeks, but those two weeks were very hard!  Something I rarely do-called the doctor on call, called the office and talked to the nurse and emailed Dr. Villers about my symptoms.  Just my luck, they were all normal things, and it just had to run its course.

How it all went down...
My water broke, and I was having contractions (9:35pm 8.19.12).  Nothing significant, but at least it was something. After getting checked in, the nurse and the doctor on call told me to settle in for the night and that it was going to be a while.  (at this point, I was hating all of those people who have babies in 5 minutes or even 10 fact, I still hate hearing the stories).  I was given Benadryl to help me sleep (little did I know at that point I would be in L&D for 24 hours).  Dr. Villers came around 8:30AM the next morning to "check me."  Honestly I can't remember the progress at that point, but it wasn't much.  She said that Caroline would be born on 8.20.12, but unsure when.  She came back around 1PM and then approximately 6PM.  Around 6:30PM, it was time to push. 
At this point, I was really unsure what to expect on what the pushing was all about.  I do understand why women get angry with their husband and everyone in the room.  This stuff is HARD!  I began pushing with a nurse that I had all day, and liked, but shift change was at 7PM, and this new nurse came.  She was fine, but I really don't want to hear that she had all of hers naturally and bla bla bla!  She was trying to convince me that it would hurt a lot worse if I didn't have the epidural.  I really didn't want to hear that either.  I was hurting pretty bad, hating life, and thinking "what have I done," "when will this be over", etc!  Another nurse came in and tried to introduce herself to me during this ordeal...not the time for a friendly introduction.

So, back to the pushing.  Everyone is looking while I'm pushing.  Yes, I'm doing all the work, and the others are watching...ugh!  I know, it is supposed to be like that, but again, it is very frustrating situation. 
With each contraction, I did 3 pushes.  3 pushes pretty much equaled a millimeter of movement in Caroline coming out.  I was pushing my heart out, yet only a millimeter of progress.  The entire room was speaking of the progress and they kept saying "wow she has a full head of hair."  Well indeed she does; however, the updates were very discouraging.

At the end, I was tired, ready for it to be over, and was in extreme pain (*epidural*-in 30% of women, it will not reach the delivery area (most only feel pressure...I felt a ton more), so I found out the next day after quizzing the anesthesiologist...I really wanted him to go tell that nurse that I pretty much had the child naturally for the last two hours of the delivery!).  This discouragement had me throw in the towel.  I asked for help.  Dr. Villers asked for 6 more pushes.  On the 6th push, she attached a vacuum to Caroline, and she came right out.  The vacuum didn't even leave a mark (very thankful of that); it just got her over that last hump.

Nick got to cut the cord, and they gave me Caroline to hold (skin to skin).  I was so tired at that point and really don't remember much about the happenings in the room.  I was very much in pain, yet glad to meet Caroline.
I'm sure that Nick could give more commentary in the room, but this is my account.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Caroline's Room

So, I believe I left off by only showing Caroline's "crib nook" in her room.  We worked on Caroline's room right up until the actual day we went to the hospital.  It is all complete, and we've had several guest stay in the room since too.  Nick's dad took care of Tillman while we were at the hospital, and my mom came for a full week to help out with Caroline, cook all my favorites, and of course, we got out and took baby Caroline shopping! Yes, she went to Publix at a week old and out to a side walk sale that week too!  It was nice to have CiCi here, so we could get out of the house!

For Caroline's room, we put her furniture in a room that already had a queen bed, as we still plan to use this as a guest room for a while. 

The Crib Nook is just at the foot of the bed on the other side of the door.  The crib fit nicely in this nook.  I think for previous owners of the home, the nook was used for a desk/study area.

Big Brother Gift

If we were told once, we were told 10 times to get Tillman a Big Brother gift from Caroline.  It seemed like every time we turned around, someone was suggesting to us this.  Well, we gave in and did just that.  Tillman got a Big Brother gift from Caroline.  The gift was in hopes that the Tillman would be more open to sharing "his air time" with Caroline if she was nice from the start and gifted him something. I'm sure Graham is wondering where his big brother gift is from the past two children...

Nick went to Target to find a TRUCK-Tillman's favorite thing!  Nick reported that it took him forever to find the perfect truck.  Unsure if the "perfect" truck was more for mommy and daddy or Tillman, as the perfect truck didn't require batteries, didn't make noises, and didn't come with a remote control! 

We wrapped the gift and placed it in the Moses Basket where Caroline sleeps.  We told Tillman that Caroline got him a gift!  He loved the truck, and we refer to the truck as "Tillman go get your red truck...the one Baby Caroline gave you."  We refer to it a good bit to get the message across and have him show it to all his visitors as well. 

When Tillman and Caroline Met....

Who is that?
 We were not discharged from the hospital until 5:15, so we had to hustle to get to the daycare before they closed at 6 to pick up Tillman.  Nick really wanted for Tillman to meet Caroline at home, but it just didn't work out.  They met in the car.  When Tillman was getting into his seat, he looked over, and you could tell he was thinking "what/who is that!"  He was straining his neck to catch a look at her while we were riding home.  He was extremely curious.

"Tillman where is baby Caroline?"

When we got home, we officially introduce Caroline and Tillman. Yes, in the garage!  During the introductions, it began to rain.  We got inside just before it poured. Nick had to get the car unloaded in the downpour while life as normal continued inside.  Tillman had to be feed, changed, cleaned up, and be put to bed before 7.  It is funny how life continues, yet life has changed so much.  It was two world colliding.   I remember thinking-", who do I help first, what do I do first, how can I do this with two..."

 Of course we are managing it, although, I do feel Nick and I are out-numbered.  We are used to caring for one, and with two, it seems like Nick is pulled in one way and me in another.  I am sure we'll be able to pull it back together soon.  As the Darius Rucker song says "It won’t be like this for long, One day we'll look back laughin’, At the week we brought her home, This phase is gonna fly by, So baby just hold on, ‘Cause it won't be like this for long....It won’t be like this for long, One day, soon that little girl is gonna be, All grown up and gone, Yeah, this phase is gonna fly by, So, he's tryin’ to hold on, It won’t be like this for long." Hearing this song, makes me really want to enjoy this phase, appreciate what we have, and not wish it away. After all, life is good and these two little ones are a blessing to us!

Baby and Big Brother

The position Caroline is most often in

Caroline is know as "baby" at our house.  Tillman doesn't show too much interest in her, but he has had to adjust to not getting all the attention.  Tillman will only call her "baby." He does know who we are speaking of when we say sister or Caroline, but only points and says "baby." He does like to touch her feet, is curious about her, and thankfully isn't bothered by her crying.  We were eating dinner last night, and Caroline was in the bouncy seat crying/pretty upset, Tillman was eating his dinner as if nothing was going on.  I was appreciative.  I've seen children get cranked up just because another child was crying.  He seemed un-phased.

We are tyring to emphasize that Tillman is the big brother.  He has taken on a few task as big brother-taking Caroline's diapers to the trash and taking laundry to the basket.  He enjoys being included and it makes him feel important.  We are glad to have the help!  He is becoming a very good helper and enjoys tasks. 
Taken while in hospital.
Caroline with her Cupcake hat
Caroline has been eating a ton during the day (every 2 hours), but sleeping 5-6 hour stretches at night.  This has been a blessing.  Before Caroline was born, Nick and I discussed our sleeping arrangements.  When Tillman was born, I lived on the couch.  It was easier to feed there, and he was ALWAYS up.  He was a hungry guy.  I knew this time around I needed to sleep in a bed.  Nick agreed to go to our guest bedroom this time.  However, we've all been able to keep in our normal routine.  When Caroline wakes, we go to the couch, feed, and come back to the room for the rest of the night.  So far, this routine is allowing us all a good night's rest. 

A bit of a smile while in the hospital
As far as Caroline eating so much, I often wonder if she is actually hungry or needs a pacifier.  I don't want to not offer her any "food," but then again could she really be hungry all the time like this?  I'm unsure.  I just continue to take Ibuprofen and offer her it (breastfeeding).  My lactation consultant friends say to stay away from the pacifier, and so far, I'm trying.  I know it would be nice to have her suck on that for a while now, but when it comes to weening off the pacifier later in life, I'm unsure it is worth the trade off.