Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas and More

So I lied...I haven't been great at updating, but I have been extremely, extremely busy. Of course I'll start my post about Madeline. We are definitely going through a "stage." A stage of screaming rampages. I even took her BACK to the doctor last weekend to make sure she didn't have an ear infection...she's perfectly healthy....AGAIN. I'm sure our pediatrician thinks I'm totally OTT. But, I'd rather be safe than sorry. The screaming rampages are getting better now. They're only happening when we are trying to put her down for a nap. For about 10 days, it was ALL day long. So, perhaps this little stage is about to end?!?! And naps are lasting only 15 minutes long. We are getting much of a break!

Other than that, she's been just adorable. She's mastered tummy time, found a new octave in coos, laughing daily, grabbing more, etc. She has rolled over a few times in the past week, but I'm not going to really count them until she's doing it consistently. All the smiles and laughs just melt my heart. I've got her on a new nighttime schedule. We're attempting to go to bed at 8:30pm...which means I'm also having to go to bed early. I'm hoping she'll start going 12 hours at night instead of the 10 I've been getting. Although, I'm not sure that's going to take. But, I'll try it out!

She is still in newborn clothing, but she's outgrowing the legs! So, I'm going to have to transition her to 0-3 months even though they are huge elsewhere. Poor girl!

I think I also might attempt rice cereal this weekend. She's been wanting to eat more, and I don't think it's a growth spurt, but rather her tummy just not being satisfied by the thin Alimentum formula. I ordered a pro biotic blend, so I'm hoping she doesn't have any issues with it. I'll start giving her a bowl (not bottle, no longer recommended), at dinner. Which means, we get to set her high chair up!

We had a great Christmas with both of our families and Madeline did very well. I didn't realize how much work it really is to do Christmas Day dinner, but wow, I'm still exhausted. And, my family cooked the majority of the food. We had enough to feed around 40, instead of the 10 of us here. Madeline received tons of cute stuff!

I'm not going to do a year end review this year since, well, we didn't do much. I was pregnant, had Madeline, and that's about it. Of course, it was the most significant year or our lives. We are so blessed to have such a precious little angel.

Not much is in store for 2013. We are both in a friend's Florida wedding in October, and we are hoping to make it into a vacation. Madeline will not be in attendance, but staying with my parents. It's too much to travel with a baby...with everything you have to bring, rent, etc. Plus, additional expenses. For us, at least. Tommy and I have both agreed that we won't be taking Madeline on any trips within the next year. We have family that we'd love to see, but for the majority of them, it's easier for them to fly up here then us going down. I think some people underestimate how difficult it is to drive/fly with a non-easy going baby, too. So, it's just not even an option at this point. Gosh, it's an obstacle for me just to take her to the pediatrician or up the street to Target! I'm sure the small outings will get better in the next couple of months, though. I can't imagine a trip. So that's that, and hopefully everyone (as I'm sure they will) will be understanding and respectful.

Okay, enough blabber. Here's the photos:

Pooped with Poppy

I love my Sophie the Giraffe who we have renamed "Jo-Jo"

I no longer need a pillow!

Gammy and Poppy

Thursday, December 13, 2012

And So It Begins..

Wow. Not quite sure where to start today...I know, I's been awhile. I've been constantly busy and there is a lot going on!

I'll start with Madeline. We are going through a lot right now...teething, reflux issues, 4 month sleep regression, and a growth spurt. Plus, general crankiness. The past couple of weeks have been fun and exhausting at the same time. She's learning something new all the time! She is now sucking her thumb, grabbing objects, found her feet, laughing, and babbling and cooing like crazy! We are still having issues with tummy time and her being a little lazy. I think she just hasn't really figured out how to use her arms.

We had her 4 month check up earlier this week (She's 4 months tomorrow). Her stats are as follows:

Weight: 11 lbs, 5 oz (10th percentile, previously was 8-10th)
Length: 23.5 (Jumped to 40th percentile from 10th and grew 2.5 inches)
Head: 10.3 (Jumped to 20th percentile from 10th)

So, she's one growing baby! We couldn't believe she's grown 2.5 inches in 2 months. Even the nurse was shocked, and measured twice. The check up went well, but because we are still having stomach issues, reflux issues, and she's lazy with tummy time we are having a follow up appointment at 5 months. She got her shots, and has been okay for the most part. She's having an upset stomach, and crankiness, but I expected that. The pediatrician told us not to start rice cereal until 5 months (but wait until the 5 month appointment for approval), then solids at 6 months since she still has stomach issues.

I actually took her in last week because she's fighting the bottle. She is screaming bloody murder after eating 2-3 oz. So, the pediatrician switched her from Zantac (she was on the highest dose) to Prevacid (which is stronger and $150 more each month). Today is the first day she hasn't been a mess during feeding I don't know if it's reflux or teething. The doctor said it could be either. She does have other teething symptoms, too. No teeth peaking out just yet!

It's been so much fun seeing her conquer new tasks. She has given up on rolling over for now. She's actually been having fun sitting in her Bumbo, and she loves lying down and pulling herself up into a sitting position. And, standing. She loves to stand. Too bad the bouncer/jumperoo is still enormous for her.

Her Nap Nanny has been recalled due to parental error (and stupidity), so I'm about to transition her to her pack n' play in our bedroom. I was going to do it this week, but since we're dealing with a sleep regression, I figured I would wait it out until it passes.

In other news, we are getting amped up for Christmas! We will spend Christmas Eve with Ray-Ray and So-So, then mid Christmas morning with Tommy's mother's side of the family, then the afternoon Christmas Day with my family. I can't wait! My other grandmother, MawMaw, will also be in town and meeting Madeline for the first time.

Okay, it's picture time. I really haven't taken many photos over the past 2 weeks...I'll be sure to take some this weekend.

Our first family portrait!

My first wrapped Christmas present!


I'm going to try to start updating more often again! More photos to come soon!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Thanksgiving ended up going pretty smoothly for Madeline's first full day outing. We made our first stop at Ray and Sandra's since my brother and sister-in-law's flight didn't get in until the afternoon. We got to see the twins, Lance and Shellie, Matthew, Stan and Carol, and of course Ray-Ray and So-So. It was fun to hang out for awhile. Afterwards, we headed straight to my parent's home.

It was actually Michelle's first time to meet Madeline and that was fun. We had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, played with Madeline, then headed home to start our night time routine around 6pm. The rest of the weekend was spent with my family. My brother took some great photos of us, which I'll post on my next entry (I have half of them now).

I'm pretty wiped out today. Madeline is going through another growth spurt. She basically slept for 24 hours straight on Friday (getting up to eat), but now she's refusing naps, is exhausted, and a hungry monster again. That's okay...she needs to grow and it should only last a week. I'm pooped. Her sleeping at night is getting better, but she's grunting all the time in her sleep, making it difficult for myself to get any. Ah, well. And, there's no chance that I'll be moving her into her bedroom anytime soon since it's completely located on the other side of our house, and Nap Nanny's cannot be placed in a crib. Plus, her reflux is a big issue for not moving her, too. It'll probably be a few months before we move her into her own room. Or longer. I don't know. I can deal with the restless nights; I am used to it by now.

I'm about to purchase a video monitor for her while she naps. I'm not comfortable leaving the room now while she sleeps because she's more mobile (she can flip out of her swing and bouncer now), and I have a fear of her choking on spit up. So, I'm hoping that I can find a Cyber Monday deal, and that will help out tremendously.

I've been getting more annoyed at randomness lately. I'm not sure if it's hormone related, or that I'm just exhausted....or both. I have to stop myself before going on a rant, or chewing someone out. And gosh, if I see one more political or religious post on Facebook, I am going to scream. No, I do not want to support your ignorant cause, and I'm so sick of the constant whining about our election results. I suppose my tolerance level has dropped a you can see. :)

I have several photos that I need to post, but I think I'm going to hold off until tomorrow. I think I need another cup of coffee!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I am so exhausted. I was thinking this past weekend and this current week would be a breeze since Tommy is off work, but in actuality, it's ended up being busier than usual. It's simply due to the fact that I'm OCD (not really, but perhaps a touch) and want to get all my stuff done that I've been wanting to do, but haven't quite found the time. I've ran errands everyday since Saturday, cleaning the house, decorating the house, visiting friends/family, and of course taking care of Madeline. There has been zero down time, well, with the exception of taking a few minutes to blog. I haven't even watched television! (And, I must admit that tv is one of my guilty pleasures). It's my fault...but I want to get all this crap done! I'm hoping I will get caught up by tomorrow afternoon. Although, I'm not sure that's going to happen. Okay, end of my vent....

I went to the doctor on Monday, and it looks like I am going to have to see a cardiologist for my dizzy spills. My other symptoms are actually gone, which is great. But, the dizzy spills are continuing and we can't figure out why. My doctor did say it could be due to the fact that I've lost so much weight, and low weight can cause them on occasion. She also advised me to gain 5 lbs or so. I'm fine with that, but I'm not really able to gain right now (I'm assuming because I'm so busy and constantly on the go. I'm probably burning way too many calories). Perhaps my Nana was right...with the holidays around the corner, I'll be eating tons of delicious food. I actually ended up taking a pile of clothing to the tailor today to get taken in, since my entire wardrobe is falling off of me right now. I'm not really worried about the dizzy and faint-like spells. I'm just getting checked out as a precaution.

Madeline rolled over from her tummy to back twice Monday night, then rolled back to tummy once. She hasn't conquered it again, but she's trying. She's also trying to reach for her toys. She's holding onto more items, too. She loves grasping her blankets...and she tries to put anything and everything in her mouth. She'll grab my finger and pull it directly in it! She tries to suck on my arm, shoulder, name it..she'll try to eat it. I've also found that she's enjoying just playing on a blanket a little more than her playmat. We tried the jumperoo again the other night. She's still way too small for it, but she's not as wobbly in it. She's still way too thin for it right now. 

The past two nights have been significantly better for sleep, too. She's only woken up a few times to stir, then back to sleep. However, she's not wanting to go back to sleep after her early morning feeding. So, I've been having to get up much earlier. For her age, going 8 hours in between a night feeding is rare, so I'm thankful for that. It's typical for only 4-6 hours at her age. With that being said, I really shouldn't complain. I wish I could get her to go to bed earlier, but she won't have it! Maybe in a few months.

I'm excited for Thanksgiving on Thursday, but I'm terrified at the same time. It's going to be our first time out of the house for an entire day. I'm just praying she'll get a nap in at some point...and that I don't forget to bring anything. Our car is going to be loaded with tons of baby gear...haha. Thankfully, both of our parents live in town, so that makes it much easier, but still difficult nonetheless. I'm sure we will have a wonderful time.

And, here's another explosion of photos from the past few days:

She smiles a ton, but she's usually moving around, so those photos always end up being too blurry, unfortunately. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Considering that it is the week of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd take a moment and reflect upon what I am most thankful I am extremely fortunate to have the best parents in the world, a loving husband, and a beautiful little girl.

I'm thankful that I grew up in a loving household with both parents. My brother and I always came first and nothing was ever about them...never selfish. I can't imagine a parent not wanting to help with raising their child. Sure, I do the brunt of caring for Madeline, housework, and our household errands since it's technically my "job," but Tommy is also willing to chip in and do his part as a parent as well. I guess I just don't understand why either a mother or father (or both) would choose to take a back seat. And, I do say choose and want...because it is a choice. (Unless there is a domestic issue, custody, etc.). I guess I'm talking more so about parents who are married raising children. Perhaps lack of maternal or paternal instinct? Selfishness? Scared? I'm not quite sure and there could many explanations, I guess.  It's just something I simply do not understand or can fathom. I could not imagine playing an inactive roll in Madeline's life, or worse, not wanting to be there. I feel as though my life just started since introducing our sweet baby girl into the world. Now as an adult, my parents are my best friends! I truly hope that Madeline has as great as a childhood as I did.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox. :)

In other news, Madeline is doing wonderfully on her new formula. It's totally worth the extra cost, and her tummy issues are subsiding. She's still a super gassy baby, but no more tummy aches or painful gas. She's getting so close to rolling over, laughing, and finding her feet. Any day now one of these will happen. Today she finally mastered the mini push up on the floor. She was doing them on me...but she's always been a little lazy on the actual floor tummy time. So, that's a new milestone reached! I did take her to the pediatrician this week since she's had a cold off and on now for a few weeks, and well, the sleep issue. She's doing fine, and we found out that the sleepless nights have been due to the combination of mucus and saliva. Basically, she's having to teach herself how to regulate it...usually by a cough. She's been gulping, throwing her head back (out of frustration), kicking her feet, and grunting all through the night. I thought it might be sinus drainage or her reflux acting up. But, the past three nights have been somewhat better. She's gone down easier, and will do the gulping for about 10 minutes and stir, then drift off again to sleep. And she'll repeat this around 6  times during the night. Better than being up all night long.

For some reason getting her to go back to sleep after her early morning feeding has been challenging. This was a breeze for several weeks...but not so much now. She's definitely sleepy, (and is still needing more sleep) so I don't know what the issue is. She's really started to grow now, too. We weighed her last week and she was 10lbs, 3oz. She should weigh around 12 lbs by Christmas if she's gaining consistently.

Oh, and she turned 3 months last Tuesday! So hard to believe!

Tommy is off work all week long and I'm so excited. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and I'm going to run a couple of errands to do the final touches on our Christmas decor. Our house is halfway decorated right now...we just need to put the tree up. We'll have to do the tree when Madeline is taking a long nap. Whichever day we can catch, we'll put the tree up then. I can actually run my errands that I need to do during the week while he watches Madeline - YAY! Of course, no Black Friday shopping for me. I just don't have the patience for that any longer. Actually, we'll probably avoid any type of shopping all weekend long.

I'm so excited for the holidays. It's my favorite time of year despite the colder weather. Too bad it only lasts a month!

Sorry for the lack of photos...I'll definitely update them tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Is it Working?

Madeline has made major changes this week! She's no longer dealing with upset tummies, fewer colic sessions, and she just seems happier. So, perhaps the formula change is starting to work? We certainly hope so. She is so close to laughing now...and she's trying. I think she'll be laughing any day now. And her coos have changed over to babbles of some sort. Not quite babbling, but sorta in the middle.

Our nights have still been a mess. I think daylight savings time and this current growth spurt have her all messed up. I was up the majority of the night last night with her. She's turned into my little hungry monster. She went from eating 24oz per day to 30oz! Of course, I think she'll taper back down to around 25-26oz once this growth spurt ends. Plus, she now weighs 10lbs. She gained over half a pound in less than a week. Despite the sleepless nights the past 3-4 weeks, she's doing great. I do get one random night where she'll sleep perfectly, but I think there are so many changes going on developmentally that it's just messing with her. Plus, she's starting to enjoy being up for the day and hanging out with us. Before, she'd only be content for 15-20 minutes, then my little screamer would start up. Plus, she's starting to nap consistently throughout the day. Not every time, but it's a HUGE difference.

Her personality is starting to show more and more. I think she's going to be a very active child...into everything. Much like my brother was (and still goes a million miles per minute even as an adult).

Here's a random photo explosion from the past week.

I had my ultrasound to check for gallstones last week, and they didn't find anything. Which is a good and a bad thing. I'm still having symptoms of something. Constant nauseousness, abdominal pain, and hot flashes with dizzy spells. Plus, I keep losing weight. I'm not complaining about the weight loss, but I have barely worked out in the past month and I'm still consistently losing a pound per week. But, that could be because I'm active all day long and I'm still eating pretty healthy. And, clumps of my hair have decided to start falling out. I'm talking huge clumps. So, I've gotta do more testing. I have a feeling it's issues from HELLP syndrome, which I can have life-long problems with now...or maybe my body is just trying to adjust from it? I don't know. It's annoying, anyway. And my symptoms are so much worse 10 minutes after I eat anything...whether it be healthy or not-so-healthy. Oh well..hopefully it will either stop or we'll eventually get to the bottom of it.

I'm getting super excited about the holidays. I'm even debating going ahead and putting up our Christmas decor next weekend, even though I know that's a little cray...but I would like to be able to enjoy the scenery.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Day in the Life...

A Day in the Life of Ashley and Madeline

I'm a member of a popular social site dedicated towards women trying to conceive, pregnancy, and moms. This week, I was chosen to do the "Day in the Life of" segment. I chose to do today, because I thought it'd be a little easier considering I'd have Tommy's help.

Beware, this will be a long, photo heavy post!

My day started out with a feeding at 6am. Madeline went to bed the night before at 10pm, and stirred a few times during the night, but awoke hungry and ready to eat at 6am. So, thankfully, I did got some sleep last night. During the past 2 weeks I've been lucky to get 1-2 hours of sleep per night due to  a "wonder week" and now a growth spurt. She went back to sleep after her feeding, stirred for about 20 minutes, but was asleep around 7am.

I decided to get up around 8:30am. I would have loved to sleep in longer and take advantage of Madeline "sleeping in" (We are usually up between 7am-8am), but I had cleaning to do and errands to run. So, here's me getting ready while Madeline sleeps. Yes, I'm sitting in the sink. Why you ask? I don't really have a legitimate reason, except for the fact that I've done this since I was a teen....and I haven't stopped.

As I was finishing getting ready, my sweet baby girl decided to get up at 9:20am. Wow. She slept so late for her! YAY!!!! As you can see below, this is my favorite time of day. 

Time for a diaper change, outfit change, and feeding.

Before I head off to Target and Z Gallerie, we take a photo op together:

 So, I'm off running my errands and Tommy is left to be Commander-in-Chief.  I run my errands, come home, and Madeline has eaten again, napped, and up for a bit. However, it's time for an outfit change due to spit up.

Here's what I bought little Miss Madeline at Target:

Next, it's nap time again, so I rock Madeline before I place her in her swing. However, she didn't stay asleep for long, but went back for a brief nap.

Finally, I can enjoy a cup of cappuccino. It's now 1pm. (Made in my awesome Dolce Gusto Creativa).

While she's napping, I'm getting her stuff together to go to Gammy and Poppy's (my parents) who asked if they could babysit during the afternoon. And, we are off.

Tommy and I hang out just for a bit.


Time for a little adult time at a local pub and a much needed glass of wine.

About two hours later, we are bored, and decide to go back and hang out with my parents before heading home.

Once home, Madeline napped, while I finished the final touches on our dining room.

Next, we decide it's time for a bath, dinner, etc.

Time to make her food for the next day, warm her bottle. She was not pleased that she had to wait. She was a hungry monster.

She eats, I rock her, place in swing....and she was out for about 15 mintues. I then decide it's time to blog. Tommy's rocking her now, but I suspect she's not going to go back to sleep until her next feeding. It is currently 9pm and she will eat next between 9:30pm-10pm. After her feeding, I will try to put her down for the night in her Nap Nanny...pray that she sleeps well...and repeat! Whew. I'm pooped.

The day has literally been nonstop. I haven't had a break, and won't get one until bedtime around 10:30-11pm (we hope at least).

Although, the past couple of months have been stressful, challenging, and exhausting...I would not change it for the world. I'm so thankful and blessed to have my beautiful daughter. My life finally feels complete.

***Quick Update***

Since Madeline has been on her hypoallergenic formula, there has been a change. Her gas is no longer painful. This is *great* news. It will take another 1-2 weeks to really see the full results. She's also still in her newborn clothing and diapers, but I'm moving her to size 1 diapers next week. Hopefully, they'll fit.  She has finally been able to fit into her newborn sleepers during the past week. They're still somewhat big, but that's fine. At least she has some growing room. We also weighed her the other night and she is 9lbs, 3 oz. So, she dropped a bit during the past week instead of gaining, but nothing to be concerned about. She has been eating like crazy the past few days due to her current growth spurt.

I have an ultrasound on Monday morning to verify I indeed have gallstones. Although, I'm pretty positive based on my symptoms. We shall see. I have also been advised both by my OB and GP that I should refrain from having any more children. Because of the combination of my severe HELPP syndrome and Madeline's asymmetrical IUGR, it would be in my best interest to not conceive any more children. It could be life threatening to myself and/or a potential baby. I'm not devastated...I think Tommy's more disappointed than I am. However, it would be nice to have the option to have more children. I'm content with an "only." I can still technically get pregnant and my pregnancy go smoothly, but it would be considered high risk...and well, I could be risking my life.

Okay, I've gotta relieve Tommy of his "rocking" duties, follow our bedtime procedures, then hopefully I'll be peacefully asleep in the next 2 hours. *fingers crossed*