Nora – 28 Months

My baby is 28 months!!! Hopefully one of these days she’ll slow down, use less energy, and gain weight, as she’s still only 23 pounds, with clothing and a wet diaper. Or perhaps the feeding therapy will help. I expect a call from our pediatrician tomorrow with the referral. Nora definitely has her terrible two moments, but the sweet kisses before bed make all the headaches so worth it!

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Sticky

I hate to complain about the sticky weather, but can the humidity climb any higher?? Yuck. Feels wet just walking outside!

The girls and I ventured to story time at the CF Library this morning, well, actually, we went to meet a friend and her two boys, and just happened to arrive mid-story time. Nora was quite disruptive, but she seemed to somewhat enjoy watching the other kids. After that finished we stayed to play while I attempted an adult conversation with my friend. It’s always difficult with kids, but it was really good to see her. And nice to get out of the house. I stopped on the way home for a Happy Meal for Nora, which she is actually eating now. Surprise surprise. Maybe all the activity wore her out and made her hungry. Next will be her nap, as it’s after 1pm.

Update on that house in Hudson we made an offer on… Our realtor texted me last night that the sellers could now make 600k work. Interesting, since our final offer was 585k. I guess I’m giving up on it. It’s not that we can’t afford 600k, more than we, and our realtor, don’t believe the house is worth more than 585k, mainly since it’s outside of town. So the search continues. Maybe it’s a sign. Makes me wonder if God is trying to give me more opportunities to realize we need to move back closer to Iowa City.

Eric didn’t get home last night until close to 9pm. I’m not sure exactly when he finished his clinic in Ft. Dodge, but he made time to have lunch with his grandparents and mother after. It shouldn’t annoy me, but it does. As him having a late lunch/early dinner with them meant he didn’t start his 90 mile drive home until 5:30pm. He could have been home by then. And to make matters worse, he got a call from the ER on his drive home that he needed to come see a patient. Ugh. It’s never ending. I despise bedtime alone. Nadia is getting her top four teeth, thus she is always fussy, bedtime being no exception. I stopped reading to Nora in her room five times to go calm Nadia. Which never actually did calm her. Nora was finally in bed around 8pm at which point I just stopped fighting bedtime with Nadia and brought her out to play a bit more. In the end, it all worked out, but it totally stresses me out when both are screaming, both need me… I never quite know how to separate my time. Neither want to wait, Nora crying just as much as Nadia if I walk away from her. 

As for Nora’s eating, I’m going to call her pediatrician this afternoon and ask for a referral to feeding therapy. There is a therapist at the same location where I’ve been taking Nadia for speech and physical therapy. Ugh, the thought of going there three times a week overwhelms me, but… Nora isn’t gaining weight. I hate picking her up, she’s just bones. Even her face seems sunken in lately. Or maybe it’s just my imagination, I don’t know. Meals are just so stressful for me. I actually avoid taking her out places because it’s so stressful if events fall over mealtime or involve food. I hate this feeling. I’d at least like them to evaluate her.

Regressing?

I feel like Nora is regressing a bit lately… When it comes to eating… The past week she has eaten much less than what is even normal for her, which is little to begin with. And she’s been crying lately for a bottle. I hate she still takes bottles at two, but… In bottles she either gets Pediasure or toddler formula meant for two year-olds. The formula is probably better for her than any real food I can get her to eat, as she is limiting herself to popsicles, ‘fruit’ snacks, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, cheese, and the occasional frozen gogurt. The pediasure is pure sugar, so although it was recommended by the neonatologists who still follow her from Iowa City, I’m not a huge fan of it. And I know, plenty of moms with ‘normal’ kids will tell me she will eat when she’s hungry, but I’m beginning to think that isn’t the case. I’ve noticed often Nora is extremely moody, but if I give her Pediasure, she perks up and is happy, like perhaps she was just overhungry. Why wouldn’t she connect eating with feeling full?  Ugh…

My other thought is jealously… She sees Nadia getting a bottle and wants the same attention… I don’t know. I’m running out of ideas, but feeding Nora is seriously so stressful for me. I dread mealtimes. I don’t know what to offer her. She just stares at almost everything except her standard mac and cheese. How many meals in a row can a child eat the same thing??? She used to like apples, but even those she turns her nose up at lately. Most vegetables she spits out. She did eat quite a few pistachios at dinner tonight, which shocked me. Of all things for her to eat!

I know Nora isn’t gaining weight, as she steps on our scale every morning as she likes the beeps it makes… Nadia is so much easier to feed, as so far she likes lots of the baby food I’ve tried with her. I wasn’t originally going to do baby food with Nadia, thinking baby-led weaning would be easier. But I did the baby led shit with Nora and see how well that worked out! So Nadia is getting jars of stuff that sometimes smells awful, but she likes it!

Tomorrow afternoon is Nadia’s first physical therapy appointment. I have no idea what to expect, but I’m nervous. I guess I don’t want to find out she’s behind in meeting milestones for her age. But perhaps knowing sooner rather than later is better…

Nora’s Immune Results

Dr. Bayer, Nora’s Immunologist just called with some bad news…

At our last visit on February 1st Nora’s IgG level was 453, the normal range for her age being 453-916. Now it’s only 365, so quite a significant drop. The doctor told me not to worry, as we know Nora’s body can make some IgG. The rest of the test results aren’t back yet and could take a couple of weeks as they are rarer and take longer to complete. The original plan was to see Dr. Bayer again in 12 months, but now we must return in 6 months for more tests, or sooner if Nora’s starts to develop infections.

I’m bummed… but I know it could be worse. It could always be worse. For the time being Nora is healthy, except for a horribly bad cold. I’m focusing on the good!

Another rainy cold day

It’s got to warm up soon, right?? This weather is wreaking havoc on my mood…

Yesterday late afternoon Eric got home from work and I decided I needed out of the house. Sadly, roaming Walmart with Nora while Eric watched Nadia was the most exciting thing I could find. Nora, of course, wasn’t content to sit in the cart… she insisted on pushing the cart. And pulling random items from the shelves and throwing them into the cart when I wasn’t looking. Sneaky little girl, and several surprises for me at the checkout. Here is her looking all proud of her cart pushing skills. 

Last night Nadia slept in our room in the rock and play. Which no longer rocks, damn thing. I wouldn’t say she slept any better but at least she was closer so I just had to reach over when her binkie needed replacing. I hate to ruin her transition to her crib, as she was doing so well in there, but I need sleep. Tracker tells me I got almost four hours last night. Not enough. Hence I’m supposed to be napping while Eric watches the girls for a bit, but I hear Nadia crying… Amazing what moms hear that daddies don’t…

Omg, I just went to see why Nadia was crying and found Eric asleep on the couch. Men. 

This morning while Eric was working the girls and I ventured to Michaels so I could find some yarn to make a baby blanket. More on that another time… Anyway, while there I realized something… I need to learn to lower my expectations while out and about with the girls. They aren’t always going to be happy, or in good moods. We aren’t always going to actually accomplish anything. But that’s okay. It’s the experience, right? Nora had fun helping me pick yarn, and Nadia happily chewed on her binkie before falling asleep in the stroller. Sure, Nora refused to ride in the stroller and thus made the trip harder and longer than expected, but we got out of the house and spent the morning together. I can only assume that when the girls are grown and have moved away I’ll miss these times. 

Tomorrow Eric has an outreach clinic scheduled in Ft Dodge, about 90 miles from our home where he grew up. I’m terribly annoyed he’s seeing patients there when he’s more than busy enough in town. I have a feeling the arrangement has something to do with seeing his windowed mother more often. Don’t even get me started on that topic which really deserves an entire book. Eric doesn’t like to drive in the morning so he usually leaves Sunday evenings as his clinics there are always on Mondays. Thus, another night and overnight alone with the girls for me. Please sleep well Nadia!!

I do have a sitter tomorrow, but because Nora has an appointment in Iowa City with the immune team that follows her. I hate taking both girls alone so Nadia will stay home with the sitter. It’s still an all day affair for Nora and me though, with driving back and forth and the awfully busy clinic. Plus, they will draw blood to check all her antibody levels and I think she is getting a special vaccine for children with compromised immune systems tomorrow as well. I so wish Eric was going with us instead of to Ft Dodge. 

Still no word from my realtor on when we can see that house with all the light wood. Maybe he didn’t get my email as he’s usually really fast with replies…

35 Weeks

I was holding Nadia last night, rocking her while she was screaming, I assume teething, and was thinking, I can’t believe she is already 35 weeks! Where do the days go??? She isn’t sitting yet, just propped up in this photo.As for teething, I don’t remember Nora being so fussy. It seems like Nadia is inconsolable unless we keep up with Advil every 6 hours. So far I only see her two bottom front teeth coming in, but I haven’t really looked in her mouth lately. Yesterday was tough, Eric didn’t get home until late, Nadia wasn’t interested in napping, only wanted to be held, and Nora was whiny anytime I gave Nadia attention. So basically all freaking day. And Nora loves to play outside, which is great, but hard with Nadia. Seemed like every time I laid Nadia down we would go outside to play, and 15 minutes later (no shit) Nadia would be awake and screaming. How do mommies with 5 kids do this????

I did find time yesterday to (finally) color Easter eggs with Nora. I’d been meaning to, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. And I’ve decided I need to do more art projects and such with her. We had fun, she really enjoyed it I think! Granted, we needed with multicolored hands, but totally worth it. And it was adorable how when Eric got home from work she said up to him and pointed to the fridge so she could show him her eggs.

Yesterday I also signed up for ABC Mouse. Anyone familiar? Love it? Hate it? It says it’s for children starting at 2, but I feel like Nora is too young for a lot of it… We’ll see I guess. She loves the iPad, so at least this would be a learning opportunity while using technology.

Did I ever write about our trip to St. Louis? Hum… Stay turned for that!

Professional Pictures

I’m kicking myself in the foot for switching photographers…

The photographer I’ve been using since Nora was born was really great, in my unprofessional opinion. But… she recently had a baby, lives aways from me, has a tiny studio, etc. So, to make things easier on myself, I picked a different girl who I’ve known for a while, but never used with the girls. And honestly, I can’t say the pictures are bad, but they aren’t nearly as great as our other girl’s. Tell me what you think… and be honest. Her style is definitely different, more action shots, whereas the other girl did more posed stuff with lots of props. Maybe it’s the props I liked though, added a lot to the pictures, made them more interesting. These pictures seem plain to me. And…. I’m paying more and not getting edited photos. I purchased the images from both photographers, but my original girl fixed every photo, made it look great, even when blown up huge, as I like to do in my house. This girl, I already paid more, and I’d still have to pay for each picture I want edited. Ugh. I guess I could pick a few I want to put up on the walls and just have those edited. But I’m annoyed! Especially with Nora’s pictures, as she has a cut on her lip that totally stands out to me, and her hair wasn’t really fixed nicely 😦 Or am I just being a crazy perfectionist mom??

Nora’s 2 Year Session

email: stefaskeland@gmail.com,

password: nora

 

Nadia’s 3 Month Session

email: stefakeland@gmail.com

password: nadia

 

Oh… and Nadia has been rolling like crazy!

More naps?

Is it possible Nora still needs two naps each day? She seems to be awfully moody lately… Adjusted she is 22 months. I guess that still seems old for two naps a day, but clearly I know nothing. She sleeps well overnight, but her one nap today was cut short when Kona barked at a bird. It was probably 90 minutes. 

I need to catch up on weekly pictures, maybe tomorrow. Tonight, I’ll leave you with this fun pic of Nora sporting pjs in size 2T. She is growing up so fast!

She’s Two!!!

Nora is two. How did that happen?? We decided not to do a party, although mostly for the wrong reasons, mainly Eric’s mother,  but more on that later, or another day. So instead, since Eric had a few days off work we took the girls to Madison, WI for a few days. We wanted a location that wasn’t too far of a drive, a place that had a few things for kids… I think Nora had fun, we went to the zoo one day and Nora was fascinated by the giraffes, monkeys, and an ass who was surely a horse to her, the children’s museum another day, and on Nora’s birthday went to this adorable kid’s cafe for lunch, Ella’s Deli. It was a fast few days, but very enjoyable. The girls even slept rather well in the hotel, all things considered.

So it’s Tuesday, Eric is back to work, it’s only 10:40am and Nora is already down for a nap. Nora had her two-year well-child visit yesterday and got a shot… I’m not sure if that’s why she is super tired and cranky today or what… Maybe just the terrible twos already! The house is a disaster, there is tons of laundry, I need to work out, Nadia wants to eat every three hours round the clock, so I’m tired, for some reason my lower back is killing me, and tomorrow are Nora’s two-year pictures, and I have yet to finalize her outfits. I ordered a few things, but haven’t tried any of it on her yet.

Speaking of Nadia eating every three hours… Apparently she is not allergic to the protein in cow’s milk, as for about the past two weeks we’ve been feeding her my frozen breast milk and she seems to be doing okay. We’re still putting MiraLax into her bottles as our doctor suggested, and wow, so many blow-outs from breast milk. I actually liked her on formula better for that reason, not a single diaper that exploded onto her clothing. Now though, I’m feeling even worse that I stopped pumping. So bad I considered starting again. I mentioned re-lactation on here before, right? Eric thinks it’s a crazy idea, and that I would regret it after I started, the time involved… I don’t know. Still considering it… And, I have several cases of really expensive Neocate that she doesn’t need either. You have to order it online and I doubt it’s returnable, so ugh. I mean, I guess I could keep feeding it to her after I’m out of frozen breast milk, but seems a bit of a waste of money when I could feed her any old formula. Oh wait, back to my finance days, sunk cost

I really miss writing… I’d write an entry everyday if I had the time. Not that anyone would want to read… I guess I see this blog as something I’ll want to look back on years from now, like a diary, and there are obviously lots of life events missing when I don’t write for months or weeks at a time. Maybe I’ll try to find some time tonight to catch up and write a bit more. Maybe.

One more random thought before I go. Nadia still isn’t rolling from her back to her front although she easily gets from her stomach to her back. She’s almost 7 months actual, 4 1/2 months adjusted. Should I be concerned? When did your babies roll? I’m just terrified that her brain bleed and back of oxygen at birth will delay her.

Here are a few pictures from our trip to Madison and Nora’s birthday celebration with my mom and step-dad.

 

Almost March!

OMG, where did February go??

Nora turns 2 in 16 days!! I’ll be 37 in 11 days! How is that possible?! And what do people do for second birthdays? Another party with family? Is it bad of me to say that sounds like a lot of work? And since Eric’s mom and I aren’t on the best terms, which is maybe a story for another time, I’m not even sure I’d want to invite her. Regardless of a party or not though, I don’t even have any gifts purchased, or even in mind, for Nora. I feel like we buy her too much as it is… The only thing I can think of is maybe more age-appropriate educational toys. A lot we have seem a little young for Nora now. Any recommendations?

Below is Nora’s most recent monthly picture. She’s saying lots and lots more words, but the most surprising thing… All the sudden all she wants to do is eat. No seriously people. The girl who wouldn’t eat now loves to eat. She points to her high chair and says ‘eat’ all day long. I’m not even sure what to think, or what to feed her all day, for that matter. This is all new to me. And yes, it’s good, but different, so I’m feeling a little lost. For breakfast today she had two Jimmy Dean sausage links, maybe half of a fairly good-sized apple, fruit shredz, and milk. Yes, all the sudden she will drink milk too. She seemed satisfied for maybe 45 minutes when she was saying eat again. So a bit ago I gave her some Annie’s Sour Cream and Onion bunny crackers, and now she is in the pantry opening the Cheez-Its. Do you let your children walk around with bowls of crackers and such? Or do they always eat in their high chair? If she is always going to eat in her high chair, she will now be sitting in it ALL DAY LONG. Also, way back when, when she wasn’t eating well, one of our high-risk follow-up group nurse practitioners suggested allowing her to watch a movie or cartoon while she eats. So for the past several months we always turn on the iPad when she’s in her high chair. Now not only does she say ‘eat’, she also says ‘show’. Have we started something awful? Should I no longer allow her to watch TV while she eats? I honestly kind of like it, as it keeps her occupied for a bit and allows me to spend time with Nadia.img_4412

Last week Nora was very ill with vomiting and diarrhea. So sick that Eric even had some of his clinic patients rescheduled so he could take her to the doctor with me. Thankfully they allowed us to keep her at home as long as we continued to keep Pedialyte in her to avoid dehydration. She’s obviously much better now… Maybe throwing up turned a switch in her to start eating! I did not escape the sickness, and I’m pretty sure Nadia has it now, no vomiting though, thank goodness. Eric was sick for maybe six hours and he acted like he was dying…

I need to take another weekly picture of Nadia today, but here is last weeks.img_4413

She’s getting so big! Over 12 pounds, way larger than Nora was at 4 months adjusted. In fact, she’s so big that I panicked when I realized she wasn’t going to fit in an outfit Nora wore for baby pictures, a scrub outfit. I was hoping to have them both photographed in it for Eric’s office. Below is the photo of Nora. Thankfully a friend is saving my life and making a larger set, and fast, as Nadia’s pictures are scheduled for March 8th. I still need two other ‘outfits’ for her though. Ugh. I’m no good at this outfit for pictures stuff!askeland-3432-x3

Nora is down for a nap, so cuddle time with Nadia!