Nora – 38 Months

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Nora never ceases to amaze me! She’s sweet and cuddling with me one minute, whining the next, and then throwing a tantrum five minutes later. I blame her age. Three year-olds are tough! Nora hates be woken in the morning… she’s especially moody if she doesn’t wake naturally… Daycare/school drop-offs are still a little tough but definitely getting better. She pretty much just whines now, her teacher, Coya, will pick her up, tickle her, Nora waves to me, and then is happy and playing five minutes later, per pictures I’ve been sent. Today she skipped to her room although was whining when I left. Yesterday she skipped to her room and happily sat down to paint once we arrived.

Potty training, well, it’s coming along. We alternate between pull-ups and underwear during the day, but still definitely do pull-ups at night, and she wakes very wet. For the most part she stays dry in underwear at school, but has lots of accidents at home. Maybe our routine is off here? She will gladly use the potty at school every two hours on their schedule, but at home she really, really fights me. Most of the time when I tell her to run in and go she refuses and cries. Thus at home it’s mostly pull-ups, as I tell her if she won’t sit on the potty, she can’t wear underwear. And let’s not even talk about poop. She refuses to poop at school and has gone in underwear more than I want to admit at home. Yuck. I’m trying not to push potty training, like if she cries to go at home I don’t make her. Or should I?

Nora is still a very picky eater. Mostly carbs go into her mouth, and I can’t blame her, carbs are yummy! She loves noodles with parmesan cheese, bacon, sometimes scrambled eggs, Special K Strawberry Breakfast Crisps, ‘fruit’ snacks, apples, and we still do chocolate Pediasure before bed, although finally out of a straw cup instead of a bottle! I hate it has a lot of sugar, but I swear it’s what is keeping her alive, and it does have some vitamins.

Nora is really good about staying in her toddler bed. I think she only got out of her bed once now since March when we converted her crib. I still use a baby monitor with her. The other night we had a big storm which scared her. I went in to comfort her as she was crying, I’m not sure if she would have stayed in bed that night or not. Our bedtime routine though is getting more and more painful for me, especially when I’m here alone with the girls. I read books with both girls, but separately. Nora likes me to crawl into her bed and cuddle for a bit, and then she wants to talk awhile with me in there too. Sometimes she will play the ‘I’m hungry’ or ‘I’m thirsty’ card. She’s getting more and more clever.

I often look at Nora and can’t really believe how big she is, although she’s still only 27 lbs ūüėČ She speaks extremely well, basically carries on complete conversations with us, well, to an extent. Our conversations usually involve her daytime activities at school, who she played with on the playground, her overnight dreams, what type of snack she wants, what show she would like on her iPad, you get the idea. But still, I’m amazed at some of the things she says and remembers. Her cute little voice gets me every time, even when she’s being a little stinker!

I’ll update about Mother’s Day soon, when I find the time! Eric is off this week so we’ve been trying to do some things around the house, and of course he insists we eat out for lunch each day, which takes a ton of time and really breaks up the day. He’s meeting with a personal trainer now and then I think we are going to a movie this afternoon before we pick up the girls. Our 6th wedding anniversary is tomorrow and I think my mom is watching the girls for us tomorrow night, hopefully a fancy dinner out!

Happy Friday!

Nora’s 3 Year Well Check

I just read the first post I wrote after Nora, well, baby A, was born. And now writing about her three-year check-up. I still get a little emotional. Maybe it’s this darn new anti-depressant!

Check-up went well! Probably a little hard to see the pictures below, but Nora was 28 lbs. 4 oz. which is 31% for weight, and 3 ft. which is 48% for height, both adjusted. This was our first visit for Nora with our new pediatrician since we moved, so we had a lot to discuss. This visit did remind me that Nora is due for more immunology blood tests… and I was so hoping they could be drawn at the MedLabs attached to our ped’s office. But oh no… Can’t be that easy! Apparently the University is the only lab around here that has the technology for these specialized, rare tests. I guess I’ll have to find another day for that super-fun (I can only assume) visit. No shots at this exam, as Nora is all caught up on vaccinations, thank God!

I’m really trying not to stress as much about Nora’s eating, or lack there of. Daycare continues to tell me she eats well there, which baffles me. She definitely has certain meals at home she will eat, and some she will only pick at. But she is gaining weight, although still with the help of Pediasure. I’m actually going to start buying the lower-calorie version, I think they are called Sidekicks. Maybe fewer calories in liquid will help her eat better. We shall see…

The picture above is quite telling… A year-year exam with a binkie. I know we need to ditch it. But oh God, I dread it. So much about parenting, and so often alone lately, feels so hard. I want something to be easy. Allowing her to continue with the binkie is so much easier on me, but I totally realize not better for her in the long-run. We’ll definitely be ditching the binkie on a week Eric is home!

Motivation

I’m finding it harder and harder to write these days. It’s not that I don’t want to, or need to. I have the thoughts in the head. I just seem to find myself filling my time with other activities… Maybe once we get back into a routine I’ll find more time. Below is what’s going on in our lives!

  • Thanksgiving was fun! Eric and I hosted at our new home. He smoked a turkey, I made some sides and my mother brought a bunch of food as well, and my sister too. It was a small gathering, just 6 adults and 4 kids, but it was nice, and fun. But in true form, the day went way too quickly. And I was so busy I didn’t take a single picture the entire day. Ugh. As you know how much I love pictures. On to Christmas I guess! I better start shopping!
  • Speaking of our new home… I’m still in the process of unpacking and decorating. It’s supposed to be fun, right? Why does it feel like work?? Our Christmas tree has been up almost a week, and yet still stands with only lights… Maybe today?
  • I went yesterday to get some ideas for window treatments. What are your thoughts on shutters? We have white trim, so probably something similar to this picture. Would you do the entire house in these? Bedrooms too?fullsizeoutput_17b9
  • Nadia had her 15 month (12 month adjusted) checkup this past Monday. I’m totally mom of the year, she has an ear infection and I had no idea. She’s been teething and cranky lately, but I guess I just figured it was her teeth and nothing more. I did ask her pediatrician about continuing physical and speech therapy. Her thoughts were… lets hold off for now. Nadia is babbling more, and says a few words. Also, she is close to walking, as she currently walks around furniture quite a bit. Her recommendation was to see how well she walks once she does. Our PT in Cedar Falls thought she felt some tightness in one leg, but our pediatrician wasn’t able to find that. So for now, I guess we’ll see. I trust our pediatrician, as she has lots of preemie experience but I also recognize she is not specifically trained in physical or speech therapy.RX99vTMmVzPUA1jdGrQ
  • At Nadia’s checkup we also discussed the cyst on her foot again. It started on the bottom of her heel shortly after birth, but now as her foot is growing it seems to be positioned more on the back edge of her heel. Our ped and Eric both agree it was caused by so many heel sticks in the NICU for blood tests. My understanding is its dead skin cells stuck under the skin. It seems to be getting larger so needs to be removed, otherwise the fear is it will bother her when walking with shoes. Problem is… with children, they like to put them out, as it will involve cutting and stitches. Ugh. Eric wants to do it at home. I said no way!
  • Girls are healthier this week and back to ‘school’ as we call it. Nora seems pretty excited to go each day, although is still a little weary of me leaving. Nadia on the other hand, screams as soon as we walk into her room. Yesterday her teacher did send me a few cute pictures of her playing. So she must not cry the entire day! Neither of the girls are napping well there, in fact, Nora hasn’t napped at all this week. So bedtime¬†is fun. And she isn’t doing as well sleeping through the night either lately like she used to. I hope we all adjust soon.
  • Eric has been gone since last Friday, and even with daycare help, parenting alone is hard. Really hard. A part of me hates all this responsibility. I have so much anxiety toward the girls eating, especially Nora. We are still relying on some bottles of Pediasure. Nadia is still taking a few bottles too of toddler formula, but she loves eating much more than Nora ever did!
  • I’m struggling with figuring out my purpose… This probably needs a post all its own… My original intention with daycare was to get the girls some socialization with other kids a few days a week. Everyone tells me though, that the girls will adjust much better if they have a consistent routine, meaning they should go everyday. Do you all agree? And if so, what the hell do I do all day? I can only decorate this house and consider working out so many hours a day. A job is the obvious answer. But I’m scared that would take me away from the girls too much, as I still normally get them from daycare late afternoon. And with Eric off every third week, I don’t want to be working during that time, as then I would never see him. I need a really flexible job. But no clue what that would be!

I’m sure I’m forgetting a million things I was going to mention, but I’ll leave you with a somewhat amusing story…

Yesterday morning I spent several hours remaking our bed. I had purchased a new memory foam mattress topper, a gel mattress pad, and new pillows. So I washed all the new stuff and put on a clean set of sheets as well. I was worn out, so I threw all the dirty stuff into a basket in our bedroom, vowing to do laundry soon. Yesterday afternoon the cleaners came. And put all the dirty stuff back on the bed and piled all the clean stuff in the laundry room. Only in my life, right??

Feeding Therapy Evaluation

I feel like I live at the Pediatric Therapy Clinic. We (I had to take Nadia too) went this morning to Nora’s feeding evaluation. I had no idea what to expect, but they asked me to bring three foods she will eat, and three she won’t. The first half hour or so was just information gathering, we discussed Nora’s premature birth, acid reflux as an infant, her breastfeeding issues in the NICU, her posterior tongue tie and upper lip tie, how even after correction she still took forever to finish a bottle… I gave a list of what Nora will eat, how we still rely a lot on Pediasure and toddler formula, the how she spits out a lot, even before she’s really had a chance to taste.

The therapist really wants to see Nora twice a week, but we’re already there once a week for Nadia’s physical therapy, once a week for Nadia’s speech therapy, and now once a week for Nora’s feeding therapy. Adding three appointments a week to our schedule is enough for me, I can’t do four. I feel bad, but I can’t, not now anyway. Maybe in a month when I get a new sitter hired and we’re into a routine.

I was able to see a little bit of the actual therapy today… ¬†The therapist started with one of the foods that Nora likes, sour cream and onion goldfish crackers. A few were put on a plate for Nora, and the therapist put a few on her plate at well before going on to talk to Nora about how crunchy¬†the crackers were when chewed. She made a big display of it, and of course Nora thought it was hilarious and then wanted to crunch them as well. Next they moved on to a food Nora doesn’t like, pumpkin banana snack bars from Plum Organics. Again the therapist took a bit of the bar as well, talked to Nora about how it was soft, didn’t make noise when she ate it, could be smashed with her fingers, etc. She asked Nora to first touch the bar, then kiss it, etc. until finally asking her to ‘send it down to her tummy’. Apparently they aren’t supposed to always or even often use the word ‘eat’… This process went on with the other foods I’d brought, almonds, fruit snacks, yogurt, and bits of actual fruit.

The therapist seemed to focus a lot of Nora’s acid reflux as an infant, suggesting perhaps Nora has learned that eating is actually painful and thus she has somehow learned what she can eat, a very limited variety of foods, that won’t cause her reflux. I’m not sure I believe this theory…

One of the questions I was asked was whether or not Nora is overly concerned with her hands being messy. I’m not sure on this one. She does ask me to wipe them off if she gets a lot of food on them, but she certainly doesn’t freak out about it. Looking back though, I never really let Nora eat with her fingers… You know that spaghetti picture everyone has of their child? We never did that, rather tried to teach Nora from a young age to use silverware. I more blame giving up on the idea of baby food so soon for the issues we’re having now. Nora spit out a lot of baby food at first, and being a first time mom I figured she didn’t like it and quickly moved onto baby led weaning. Having seen Nadia spit the baby food out a few times before liking it and figuring out how to eat it, I now think maybe I just didn’t give Nora enough time. Who knows… Can’t go back now I guess.

Our next feeding therapy session with Nora is this Friday, so rather soon. We were given a few instructions to work on at home in the meantime:

  • continue our usual routine, sticking with the Pediasure and toddler formula for the time being
  • during family meals prepare for Nora foods we know she likes and will eat, even if that means mac and cheese and fruit snacks for every meal; the goal for now is just to make sure she is eating with us
  • during family meals talk a lot to Nora about what we are eating, meaning about the foods we want her to eat; for example if I’m eating a green bean tell her how it’s soft and green, doesn’t make a sound when chewed, can be cut into smaller pieces, how yummy it is, etc.
  • plan time for one-on-one therapy meals with Nora, perhaps when Nadia is napping (ha); during these ‘meals’ introduce Nora to new foods but also incorporate familiar items she likes while completing this feeding log¬†Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 3.02.28 PM
  • the idea with the log is to start at the top and attempt to move down the list by encouraging her, playing with the food, doing these things myself with the food, etc.; if she won’t move down the list, go back to the top and start over

So… this all sounds great and wonderful, but ah, finding the time, and preparing new foods to try is already a bit overwhelming to me, not to mention also finding foods to take to the actual therapy sessions, oh, and going to the therapy sessions. I know, this is just one more thing I’ll look back on and think, oh, remember that? But still, right now it feels like a lot for me. Especially since my specialty is accounting, not playing with kids and their food!

20 week anatomy scan and other updates

I can’t even remember the last time I posted… ¬†Nora is keeping me extra busy these days, still clinging to me 90% of her awake hours. ¬†As cute as it was at first, I just want to get something done! ¬†I don’t think I’ve done laundry in over a week. ¬†I might have to go buy new underwear today!

20 week anatomy scan and appointment was flawless. ¬†The ultrasound tech and my doctor told me baby girl looks perfect. ¬†Below are a few pictures ūüôā ¬†We’re still working on names. ¬†I have a few in mind, but none I’m completely set on.

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My cervix measured 2.9 cm, so still short, but not in the danger zone. ¬†It’s my understanding they won’t measure my cervix from here on out… ¬†Makes me a little nervous, but I guess I just have to trust that my doctors know what’s best. ¬†I certainly feel different this pregnancy. ¬†With Nora I always felt like she was literally falling out. ¬†I don’t feel that way at all this time, so something must be different, in a good way. ¬†Below is a picture from 21 weeks. ¬†I have gained way more weight this time… ¬†Too much McDonald’s is to blame, I assume. ¬†But at night I crave pretzels, apples, and watermelon. ¬†Could be worse I guess. ¬†(I’m convinced your behind grows during pregnancy to even out your center of gravity.)

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Nora is still living on mainly chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and hot dogs. ¬†We added in blueberries though… but wow, messy diapers from those! ¬†At her 15 month check last week she weighed in at a whopping 17 lbs 2 oz. ¬†But the good news, she is on the charts now, unadjusted! ¬†Well, only 1% for weight, but still. ¬†They did recommend feeding her Pediasure instead of regular infant formula as it has 30 cals/oz compared to 22-23 cals/oz. ¬†Hopefully it helps her gain a little faster. ¬†Sometimes I feel bad giving it to her though, and still in a bottle, like I’m relying too much on it, for the times I can’t get her to eat much solid food for a meal. ¬†It’s kind of my fall back… ¬†She will usually suck down 7 oz of it before bed. ¬†I’m going to keep trying sippy cups, but for the time being, before naps and bed she is refusing them but will take a bottle.

I’m out of thoughts for today. ¬†I should be better about posting more often, I like looking back at where we’re been, it’s just that finding the time lately is hard. ¬†And I assume it won’t get any better after Nora’s little sister arrives!