Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Bye 2011

Welcome to 2012!

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty excited about the new year.  Besides having a beautiful daughter, 2011 didn't turn out quite how I had pictured or imagined.  With us being on one income for almost the entire year, times were tough.  I still believe the move to Texas was what was right for us.  I'm looking forward to enjoying Texas more this year.  I'm looking forward to watching my daughter grow and learn and change.  I'm looking forward to change.  It has to be coming...

But for now I thought it would be fun to take a look back.

 We arrived in Texas on January 1st and moved into our apartment on January 2nd.
Let the adventure begin!

 Lots of baby things happened in February.
We found out we were having a GIRL and not a boy like we thought.
We registered, started putting together baby furniture, and took a hospital tour.
OH, and the Packers WON the Superbowl! :)

 Two fun things happened in March--we found our church home and we started getting the nursery put together.

 In April I traveled to Ohio for my baby shower.  
I was incredibly blessed, got to spend a lot of time with my family and friends, and enjoyed a "vacation" of sorts. Then I had a fun road trip back to Texas with my friend Laurie.

My blood pressure started to creep up in the beginning of May.
   A few weeks later it was made official that I would be having a June baby instead of a July baby.
We got a 3D/4D ultrasound done.  We also picked our pediatrician.
 We didn't know it at the time, but we spent one of our last weekends as "just us" in Ft. Worth visiting the stockyards.

June was a BIG month for us! :)
We finished the nursery, packed our bags, and froze meals.
Then I got put on bedrest. :(
We went in for our weekly doctor's appointment on June 22nd and my doctor asked if I wanted to have a baby that night.  We went in that night to start the process.

Olivia Grace was born on June 23rd at 7:21 PM.
She came in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces and 20 1/2 inches long--
with a nice cone head and fire hose sized umbilical cord! :)

 We got her professional newborn pictures done.  I'm so happy we did!
My mom came and stayed with us for 10 days.
I was on maternity leave, which was so nice.  We spent the month trying to avoid the 100+ temps, work through Olivia's jaundice, and figure out breastfeeding. Also, there were lots of kisses and snuggles! :)

August was a TOUGH month.
Olivia would scream, be unpredictable, projectile puke, and be overall fussy.
I cut out dairy.  It seemed to help for a bit, but then we ran into the soy issues--and the ten days straight of excessive and nasty poop.
On top of that, I had to go back to work.
Thankfully... we got that all figured out AND my friend Laurie came for a visit!

 Thankfully September went much better.
Olivia got put on her special formula and became a totally different baby.
We got in the groove and she started doing all sorts of fun and new things.

 Olivia was dedicated to the Lord on October 1st.
She enjoyed lots of pumpkin activities.
She went to her first library story time.
And she was the cutest little lady bug around!
We also had a visit from my friend Amanda.  Olivia go to meet her and see all sorts of Dallas sights!

 We took a 20 hour (one way) road trip to Indiana.
Olivia got to meet most of her aunts and uncles, some of her cousins, some of my cousins, my aunts and uncles, and her great grandma.  We had a really nice time and Olivia traveled well.

 Olivia experienced her first Christmas.
She met Santa, got lots of gifts, and had fun hanging out at home with mommy off of work for two weeks.
She also tried real food for the first time.
She has such a fun personality that has started to blossom.

I can't wait to see what this next year brings...

Friday, December 30, 2011

So Proud

Remember this?
If you missed it... BRU had the Alimentum Ready to Feed (purple) bottle in all their emails under the buy 9 get the 10th one free deal.  When you looked at the fine print, you realized that the Alimentum was the ONLY one not included in the deals.  So I wrote them and complained about false advertisement.  Then they sent me a survey.  The emails had not been changed yet, so I once again stated my issue.

Guess what shows up in the emails now?
My voice was heard!
It's the small things in life. :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

6 Month Check Up

We went to Olivia's 6 month well visit yesterday.
She is 28 1/2 inches, which is the 99th percentile.
She is 20 pounds 1 ounce, which is the 98th percentile.
Her head circumference is 18 inches, which is the 99th percentile.
Near perfect! ;)

When the nurse took her temp and length she couldn't see me and started crying.  I just got her calmed down and the doctor came in.  He didn't even go near her and she screamed bloody murder.  She's never been that upset about a stranger before.  He said, "So she's starting the stranger anxiety?"  I said yes, that it had started last week.  He said it's a good thing and is normal.  He was so good about it.  He did the rest of the visit with her on my lap.  He even handed his stethoscope to me and had me put on her chest and move it around.  He is not our normal doctor, but rather a different one in the practice.  I really liked him.

(How can a 6 month old have so much sass?  Oh right--she's mine!)

 He was not the least bit concerned about her size.  He just kept saying how healthy she was.  He said, "She must be a good sleeper."  Ha!  Sure.  No, really, 14 hours a day is good.  He said that she is proportionate and there is nothing to worry about.  If she was 98th in weight but 30th for height (or something like that), then we'd have a problem.  He said we are feeding her exactly the amount we should be.  Michael asked if it was an indication that she would be tall or big when she grew up.  He said not necessarily.  He said some babies are just big.  He went on to say that if she goes well above the 99th percentile for weight and stays there, then we would talk about decreasing the formula intake and upping the solids.

He reiterated what I said yesterday--that her main source for her first year should be formula and solids as "the icing on the cake".  He asked if we had started solids.  When I said she had avocado and sweet potato he enthusiastically said, "Good! Good choices!"  Ha!  Yes, I knew that. Thanks doc! :)  Then he went on and on about how good avocados are and that it is a great food for babies. See all you people who judged (who don't really read my blog anyway)--I wasn't crazy!

We asked if we could go ahead and try a different formula.  Babies can grow out of MSPI.
Some doctors say to wait until they are 6 months.  Some say to wait until 9 months.  Others say wait until a year and then try cows milk.  $300 a month for formula is killing us.  If we can at least try something different then we'd like to.  He gave us the OK to give it a shot.  We have about a day of Alimentum left and then we are going to try the Similac Sensitive.  Since she is already drinking the Ready to Feed, we decided to go ahead and try that to start.  If it works, we will likely switch to the powder (which she's had before).  Even if we have to stick with the RTF, it is $3 cheaper a bottle, which would save us close to a hundred dollars a month.  If she needs the Alimentum, then by all means we will continue to buy it for her.  We'd just like to at least see if she's grown out of it. (PRAY!)

We can't introduce any new solids while we are trying this experiment.  Otherwise we wouldn't know if it was the formula or the new food that is causing a reaction.  I guess it's a good thing she likes avocado and sweet potatoes! :)

She got her DTaP booster. When she was crying after the nurse took her stats I joked that she was probably crying more at that point then she would when she would get her shot.  I was right.  She didn't even flinch when she got the shot.  I'm honestly not even sure if she knew she got one! :)  We go back in a month to get the Hib and PCV booster.

I asked the doctor if we had to get her the flu shot.  I am not a fan.  I have never had one--even when I was teaching.  I don't plan on getting one ever.  I think the last time I had the flu was in 5th grade.  Even if I get the flu tomorrow (knock on wood that I don't), I stand behind my decision to avoid the flu shot.  Therefore, I really didn't want to get it for Olivia.  However, if the doctor had said it was a must then I would have done it.  When I asked if she had to get it he kind of chuckled.  Before he answered I said, "Because I'd really rather her not".  Then he said, "Well if you'd rather she not then I'd prefer she not".  Meaning, he wasn't a fan either.  He gave us a name of an over the counter homeopathic spray that we can use.  For babies you spray it under their tongue a couple of times a week to prevent it.  If they get the flu, you can use it to help improve the symptoms.  I like the idea of that much better than injecting her with all that gunk.  I'm really not a hippie.  I swear.  But I sure do love my holistic pediatricians! :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Olivia turned 6 months on Friday and we decided to start "solids" just a few days before.  Like most things, solids aren't done the same way these days as they once were.  Back in the day it was always "start with rice cereal, then do all the vegetables before doing fruit".  The thought process was that fruit is sweet and if you give sweet stuff first, then they won't eat the veggies.  That has sort of been proven wrong in the recent years.  Besides, breast milk is SUPER sweet, so that thinking doesn't even really make sense. Plus, I figure with formula that smells (and probably tastes) like dog food, all food has to taste better than that. Also, you no longer have to start with the cereals.  Since I am making my own baby food, I've been using a few different resources.  One website that I use is found here if you are interested.

Going off the advice of that website and my pediatrician, we started with avocado.  
(Apparently this is shocking to some most people!? :) )
I'm not sure how much she actually ate.  She was trying to figure out what to do with it.  She kept gagging too.  I don't think it was because she didn't like the taste.  It might have been a texture thing.  The next night I added more water to the smashed avocado to make it even thinner.  She still gagged. She got into it a little more, but was still trying to figure out what this whole thing was all about.  We also broke out the high chair.
 (As you can see, we played a little before eating.)

By the third day she was all about the solids.  She was opening her mouth for the spoon, leaning her head forward, and looking for more.  She also was done with the gagging.  I guess she got use to swallowing.  She might have eaten a little more than she needed to that night.  She ended up puking some of it out later. :(

So far we've been doing it at night.  Since she's still learning what it's all about (and pretty much has a constant fountain of drool coming out of her mouth), it's sort of messy.  We go right from there to the bath.  We aren't being super strict about it.  Babies main source of nutrition is suppose to come from formula/breast milk the first year.  Solids are "just for fun" at this point.  There have been two nights where we weren't home, so we skipped solids those days.  If she was underweight or a preemie then I may be more anal about it.  At this point I'm just going with the flow.  We went from avocados to sweet potatoes.  She seems to like them.  I'm still trying to decide what we are going to do next.  She has a few more days of sweet potato (following the 4 times rule).  I'm thinking peas...or maybe bananas.

Here is the video of her trying the avocados for the first time.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Our Christmas

Warning: This post is going to be a little picture heavy and is mostly for the grandparents... but feel free to take a peak if you are interested! :)

Our morning started at 7:15 with Olivia awaking after sleeping 12 straight hours!  Woo hoo!  She is right on the verge of cutting a tooth, so I was expecting her to wake up in pain a few times throughout the night.  Her bottom gums are swollen and you can see the two white lines of the teeth, but they haven't quite poked through yet.  We had a yummy breakfast and then set out to open some gifts!  Michael and I didn't exchange gifts this year, so it was all about Olivia!

I tried to pick some of the best pictures.  I am not looking my prettiest, but that's what Christmas morn is all about. :)  We didn't wrap everything she got.  I didn't want it to be too overwhelming.  We did make sure she had something to open from everyone who sent her a gift.  She had a couple things from most people.

I tried to get a picture of her sitting in front of the tree, but sitting was not on her agenda for today.

So I laid her down and took a picture of her reindeer butt!
She did have socks on, but after kicking them off 3 times I gave up.

One day I want to get matching stockings with our names on them.
It was not in the budget this year. Plus, I couldn't find any I loved.
Then I couldn't find any "O" stockings or even an "O" pin to put on a stocking.
So we went the kiddie route and got a moose stocking. :)
She almost always knows when the camera is on her.  
She was looking at the camera instead of the gift in most of the pictures.

(Look Gramma Kathi-no bow!  Just crazy hair)

She really did rip the paper.
She liked this package because the paper crinkled after she unwrapped it.

She loved the red tissue paper too.
She started getting sleepy.

We had a bit of a rough mid day due to her discomfort.
I think she was having tummy issues on top of teeth issues, but we eventually got it all resolved.

We headed over to our friends John and Alison's house.  Michael went to high school with John.  They ended up moving here just months after us.  It was nice to be able to hang out with them and their family.
Silly girl!

When the teether isn't close by, the fingers will do.

That was our Christmas. We hope you had a great one too.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Six Months!

Olivia Grace, you are SIX months old!
(Holy cow, how did you get to be half a year already?)

What have you been up to?  

*I don't know your official height and weight.  We'll find those out at your 6 month appointment on Tuesday.  From what I've seen, you haven't gained a ton of weight since the last appointment, but you have gained some length.  At least according to all of your high water pants! :)

*You are still wearing mostly 3 to 6 months clothes, but I have got all your 6 to 9 month clothes ready.  You've worn a few already.  (So we did make it a month like I said.)  You are still in size 6 to 9 months for footed pajamas.

*You are in size 3 diapers.  I was told you would be in that size forever.  I don't think you'll be in them as long as I was imagining.

*You are still drinking 6 bottles a day.  Most bottles are between 5 and 6 ounces.  We have just started to try to give you 7 ounces in your bottle in hopes of weaning down to 5 bottles a day.  It's worked once so far.  We'll see if we can keep it up.

*We tried switching to the faster flow nipples, but it was just too fast.  Surprising for how fast you eat.  We'll try again in a few weeks.

*You now know what your bottle is.  If you see it, you want it.  Since it takes 4 minutes to heat up, we try to make it a little before it's time to eat.  We now have to hide it until it's time for you to eat it.  You will even stare at empty bottles...even if you are not hungry.

*You are not on a set schedule, but we do have somewhat of a routine down.  You go to bed anywhere from 6:30 to 7:30 (depending on when I get home from work), and you sleep 11 to 12 hours.  You usually wake up once to eat--somewhere between 3 and 5 AM.  You nap every 2 hours, which means 4 naps a day!  I wish we were on the 9 and 1 o'clock nap schedule like all the books say.  However, you don't nap for an hour to 2.  You nap for 30 minutes exactly.  I have come to terms with this.  Ultimately, you are getting the 14 hours a day you need.  I have tried everything I can to extend your naps and it just doesn't work.  For now you eat every 3 hours.

*I forgot to mention this last month, but you sleep un-swaddled now.  You've been doing this since about 4 and a half months.  I did a week with one arm out, two days with both arms out, and then just got rid of it all together.

*You always want to go, go, go.  Your mind wants you to move about, but your body just can't do it yet.  So instead, you rock your upper body trying to tell us to move you.  I have a feeling that once you learn to crawl, you will be non stop!

*You learned to roll from back to belly on December 3rd.  Since then you are a rolling machine!  Unfortunately, you still haven't figured out/remembered how to roll back.

*You have sat up by yourself for a few minutes now.  You aren't great at it yet, so I never leave you sitting by yourself, but you are getting there.

 (She lunged at me, so I had to catch her!)

*Since you can roll over, you now sleep on your side or your stomach most nights.  Stomach sleeping made me nervous at first, but there really isn't anything I can do about it.

*You are still a fountain of drool, and you shove things in your mouth with force.  Those teeth have to be coming soon!

*You have also become a thumb chewer.  That's right.  You don't suck your thumb(s).  You chew them.  It's usually because you can't find anything else to shove in your mouth.

*You have started to hold your bottle on your own.  You don't do it every time, but if you aren't holding it by yourself, you like to help us hold it.  It won't be long before you'll be able to do it independently.

 (She's a nosy one.  She's always trying to see what daddy is doing.  He walked away into the kitchen and she peered around to see what he was up to.)

*You've just started having some separation anxiety.  I got called to the nursery last Saturday.  I kind of figured it was going to happen.  You hadn't even wanted to go to daddy during the day, and you started crying the minute I dropped you off.  You had never done that before.  Then we went to Little Man's house for dinner and Nana was dying to hold you.  You started crying immediately and didn't stop until you were back in mommy's arms.

*I think you reached for me for the first time last week.  Although, I haven't really seen you do it again.

*You laugh so much more now.  It's so fun to get you going.  Your laugh makes me laugh! :)

*Because of your new tub, you now LOVE bath time again.  You will kick and splash and play with bath toys.  You seem to do a lot of your laughing when you are in the tub.  Now our problem is getting you out.

*You blow lots of bubbles and are back to sticking your tongue out a lot.

*You are pretty much over most of your big toys.  You will tolerate the bouncer and play mat for short periods of time.  You will also tolerate the swing if it is in the upright position.  If it is reclined you cry almost instantly.  Really, the swing and bouncer need to go to storage.  I just keep putting it off because I like having a place to put you in a pinch.  I know... I know... You are a big girl now! :) 

*I have said for years that I had no doubt our child was going to give us a run for our money.  You are a sweet, sweet girl, but you know what you want/like.  You've started throwing little tantrums when you don't get your own way--screaming, kicking your legs with force!, and squirming about.  I've started telling you no and that we don't act like that.  Surprisingly, you seem to understand and stop or calm down at least half of the time, if not more.

*You've also started watching us with intent any time we put something in/near our mouths.  I'm hoping this means starting solids will be easy.

*You seem to be an outdoors type of girl.  You loved the heat this summer.  Now you enjoy the wind in your hair and on your face.  I wonder what this means for your future?

(The swing REALLY is about to go into storage!  Also, I never put her in there without buckling her in.  She would sit up and then topple right out.  I just put her in for a quick photo.)

*Things you love right now are: watching the squiggly line screen saver on the computer, your jumperoo, that snail musical thing, eating, baths, anything you can get in your mouth, watching daddy and being held by mommy.

*Your least favorite things right now are: not being able to see mommy, not being able to move, move, move, sitting still, reading (sometimes--only because it requires sitting still), and the reclining in the swing.