parenting

3 Months of Catriona

3 Months into our newest adventure in parenting finds us falling more and more in love with our little girl every day. ¬†I can’t imagine a life without her.

At 3 months Catriona has mastered:

  • Rolling from back to belly as well as from belly to back
  • Sitting up with support
  • Grasping toys and bringing them too her mouth
  • Cooing

She loves:

  • Mom and Dad
  • Staring at her puppy brothers
  • Her little toy bunny
  • Endless walks in the baby carrier (as long as she is facing out)

She hates:

  • When mom works more than 3 days in a row
  • Being moved after she falls asleep

She is stating to:

  • Notice her brother and sis-co, and to enjoy interacting with them
  • Play for longer periods
  • Enjoy people other than Mom and Dad
  • Laugh
  • Settle into a nap schedule

That last one is my favorite thing of all ūüôā

Adventures in Diaper Cream (take 2)

In the interest of saving my sanity (and personal space) I have been working on having the two toddlers nap in the same room for the last few weeks.  It had been going pretty well.  They usually play for a half an hour or so, read each other books, and when I  creepily tell them (through the monitor I am spying on them with) to turn off the lights and go to bed they listen.  I do wonder what they think is happening when all the sudden my voice comes out of nowhere and I apparently can see everything they are doing.

Today something different happened.  I put the kids down and they both yelled they needed to “go potty” 5 minutes later.  Since we are encouraging potty training I went upstairs and brought them to the potty.  One adult size poop (thankfully in the toilet!) from one child and pee from the other one and then they were back to bed… And immediately into the toys when I shut the door.  I went downstairs with my monitor for some toddler TV, but then Catriona woke up and needed my attention.  During that brief 5 minute period when I was taking care of Catriona the terrible twosome opened up a dresser drawer and found a forgotten tube of diaper cream from when they were babies.  I got Catriona settled and then tuned back into toddler watching.  Liam was sitting on the bed talking to The Bean.  He appeared to be rubbing his belly which I though was a little odd, but the video was too grainy to see exactly what he was doing so I zoomed in.  That’s when I saw it… There was a tube in his hand.  I ran up the stairs with agility I did not know I still had and found Liam covered from head to toe in diaper cream.  The nice thick white stuff with lots of zinc in it that barely comes off a babies bottom when you wash it. It was in his hair, on his arms, nicely coating his stomach and (Thank God) not anywhere near his mouth or eyes.  The Bean had one little dollop on her dress, but otherwise was clean.  

I grabbed Liam and the tube and rushed downstairs.  My husband, who was lounging on the couch having recently returned home from the store, took one look at him and helped me get him stripped and in the tub.  He washed the diaper cream off of Liams body with soap and a wash cloth while I stripped The Bean and took a baby wipe to clean off the minuscule (in comparison) spot on her arm.  Liam started screaming.  There is nothing the child hates in the world more than getting his hair washed and daddy was trying to really scrub out the diaper cream.  We tried every shampoo, conditioner, and Internet remedy I could quickly find that we had supplies for in the house (which mostly centered around vinegar and lemon juice as we did not have any Dawn soap).  Nothing worked.  We just ended up making dread locks with his hair from all the scrubbing.  So my husband hopped into his sandals and drove down to the nearest store to pick up a razor to cut his hair with.  Once he returned we gave Liam his first buzz cut.  He loves it.  I want to cry for the loss of his hair.  He now has less hair than what he was born with.    

  They never did get their nap, but I got a whole extra load of laundry to do (thanks kids)!

Cheers!

  
On the plus side we won’t have to scrub his hair for a while… I am sure Liam will love that. 

And Then There Were Two… Catriona’s Birth Story!

Well, this is a long time coming as our little girl has now passed the 7 week mark, but here it goes!

After teasing us for a few weeks with hard a frequent contractions that would last hours and then fade away our little girl decided to (finally) join us mid May, just before her due date.¬† Catriona’s labor and delivery happened so quickly that it truly¬†took both Conan and I by surprise. ¬†On the day of her birth¬†Conan was leaving for work at a ridiculously early hour as he had a 5 hour commute ahead of him. ¬†Before he left the house at 5am he woke me up to see if I was feeling up to him being so far away. ¬†I had actually slept the night before and had not been feeling any contractions at all and a decrease in fetal movement for the last 24 hours. ¬†I told him that I was fine and he should go. ¬†He informed me that if I called after 9am he would be on the ferry on Lake Champlain and unable to turn around. ¬†I rolled over and promptly fell back asleep.

At 6:30 I woke up feeling a little crampy, looked at the clock, tried to go back to sleep, and then being unsuccessful at that endeavor decided to get up for the day so I could enjoy a shower before Liam woke up. ¬†By the time I was showered and dressed I noticed that the cramping had turned into contractions, but that they didn’t have a rhythm and weren’t as strong as they had been for the previous few weeks. ¬†The contractions were was all in my back, so I decided to take what was left of my free time before Liam woke up to do some pelvic tilt exercises to encourage Catriona to get off my spine. ¬†By the time 7:30 arrived, and Liam woke up, I was in much less pain (the pelvic tilt exercises actually worked!) but the contractions were settling into a rhythm .

At this point I figured it was just going to be another false alarm.  I did stop and time them, they were every 5-6 minutes.  At that point there was no need to call the doctor or my husband, but I did take the time to text my sister-in-law to see if she could come over and give me a hand before I went to get Liam from his room.  After a few weeks of false alarms I knew that the continuous contractions could make me very cranky, especially if Liam was having a whiny/cranky two-year=old type of day.

So I waddled upstairs, picked up Liam for my good morning hug, and immediately had to put him down as I was hit by a very hard contraction. ¬†Liam asked me what was wrong, and I told him Catriona was making my belly hurt again. ¬†He then proceeded to kiss my stomach to make it feel better (and at that point I knew it was going to be a good day with him). ¬†We made it downstairs slowly (he wanted to walk by himself) and without incident, but the contractions were speeding up and getting even stronger at an alarming rate. ¬†I was starting to have to stop and breathe through them. ¬†After getting Liam changed and set up in his chair for breakfast I texted my sister-in-law again and asked if she could come over early as I thought it might be a good idea to go to the doctors office and get checked just in case. ¬†I then called my husband at 8:15 am and told him he might want to turn around, but that it ¬†could be another false alarm. ¬†I called the office and was scheduled for a 9:30 appointment. ¬†Conan decided to turn around just in case. ¬†I called up my mom to let her know I was going to drive myself to my doctors to get checked for 9:30 and she (thankfully) insisted that she come and pick me up. ¬† Everyone was ready to spring into action though I was not yet convinced that it wasn’t a false alarm again so I continued to putter around the house doing some last minute cleaning and helping Liam get cleaned up and pick out some clothes¬†for the day while stopping every 4 minutes or so to breathe through a contraction. ¬†When my sister in-law arrived she decided she needed to take some last minute early labor pictures of me. ¬†They prove that while I am breathing through contractions I didn’t care if I had a double chin in pictures or not (lol). ¬†I never did quite get around to getting Liam dressed.

At 9:15 my mother arrived and we headed down to my doctor’s office. ¬†They got me into a room pretty quickly and the nurse practitioner checked to see how dilated I was, looked up at me and said “you are a seven, you aren’t going to have time for an epidural”. ¬†I am pretty sure I stared at her in disbelief and then repeated “seven?” ¬†I could clearly remember being seen centimeters dilated with Liam and the pain was MUCH worse than what I was currently dealing with.

Mom and I were went over to the hospital, I popped my head into my friend’s¬†office (who was also my OB for both of my children) on the way out to tell her I was 7 cm, and she said she would pop over to the hospital to deliver me shortly and then we headed out. ¬†The walking continued to be slow with all the stopping I had to do, but we made into the hospital (which is basically across the street), updated Conan, and got to a room by 10:15. ¬†By the time they got my base vitals, IV inserted, and started administering the first round of antibiotics (my GBS was positive on top of everything else with this pregnancy!) ¬† I was starting to feel the urge to push… it was 11 am and neither my doctor (Lauren) nor Conan was there yet. ¬†My doctor walked into the room 10 minutes later followed closely behind by my husband (who must have broken some serious speed records or hit the best batch of no traffic possible). ¬†The first round of antibiotics completed, and Lauren looked at me and said , “you are trying to not push right now aren’t you”. ¬†after I affirmed that she did a quick check, said I was just about 10 cm and asked if I wanted to have my water broken (she did warn me that delivery would be quick because Catriona was more than ready to come out at that point)s, which I quickly agreed to. ¬†Delivery was less than 15 minutes at that point and 3 pushes later we had our beautiful baby girl.

While she was coming out we did have to pause between pushes as her cord was wrapped around her neck twice. ¬†After delivery she also needed a couple of puffs of oxygen as she was in shock from her quick change of scenery and did not start breathing on her own immediately. ¬†There are no words to describe how stressful and elongated those moments after birth were when we didn’t hear a cry right away and then when she did start crying how weak it was. ¬†Thankfully she bounced back quickly and only needed a couple of puffs of oxygen before she¬†was able to maintain a good level without assistance and we were finally able to hold our little girl in our arms!

There are no words to describe how happy Conan and I are that despite the challenges with this pregnancy we are blessed with a beautiful and healthy baby girl.  Watching her big brother fall in love with her has been an amazing experience.  She has completed our family perfectly.

36 Weeks and Counting!

We have reached 36 weeks in this pregnancy and are slowly trudging our way towards 37!  Catriona has spent the last few weeks stubbornly not growing (she ended up dropping 4 weeks of growth total prior to this weeks doctors appointment).  So this week we did an ultrasound to check on her growth and the amniotic fluid levels.  Thankfully everything came out well.  She is estimated to be around 6 pounds 11 ounces at this point (which is amazing considering how small my bump is compared to when I was pregnant with Liam!) and while my amniotic fluid levels are on the lower end of normal they should be fine for the remainder of the pregnancy.  Her head is down, the contractions are becoming more frequent, and we are playing a waiting game to meet her.

I continue to have (what has become) my normal migraines, tachycardia, and passing out. ¬†For the last week my symptoms have been somewhat relieved, I even had 3 good days in a row where I was able to be up and about without any chest or head pain, but for an added treat these last few days I have been enjoying some third trimester sickness (which is amazingly just like the first trimester was). ¬† I have a cardiology consult tomorrow and am hopeful to find some answers to what can be done for this chronic chest pressure, shoulder pain, and episodes of tachycardia. ¬†That said, I am very aware that any medication that could be given to relieve those symptoms for me has to wait until after Catriona’s arrival, so I am learning to live with it and take it easy when things really start to act up.

On Monday my sister-in-law came over to the house to take some maternity picture for us since we are currently unable to travel to the photographer that we used to do the maternity shoot we did when pregnant with Liam (Linden Photography in Central NH). ¬†I spent some time this morning playing around on Photoshop and touching up the lighting on the pictures. ¬†I am pretty happy with the results, and so thankful to Aunty Moonshine for taking them for us. ¬†Though this has been a difficult pregnancy we are planning on it being my last pregnancy and I want to be able to look back on this time and remember how it has helped us grow as a family later on. ¬†I wish I had enough Photoshop talent to reduce the (well-earned) shadows and bags under my eyes… you would think someone who spends as much time in bed as I have been lately wouldn’t have any but I can’t seem to sleep for more than two hours at a time thanks to our little girls efforts to escape the womb.

We continue to be grateful for everyone’s prayers and well wishes. ¬†The support of our family and friends¬†¬†has¬†truly have been an amazing help in us pulling through this pregnancy!

Brave Boy

Poor Liam.  His parents are certainly not winning any Parent of The Year awards this year.

My little guy has had a cold for about a week and a half with a funny little congested cough like it was all upper airway. ¬†His lungs have been clear, but he has been spiking fevers off and on. ¬†He has also been a little cranky off and on, but no other symptoms. ¬† ¬†Sunday morning we woke up to find ear wax dripping down the side of his face. ¬†His ear drum had popped due to pressure. ¬†So we brought him in to see the doctor first thing Monday morning and they found a double ear infection. ¬†That’s right, a double ear infection that mom didn’t even come close to catching. ¬†Apparently our boy doesn’t give the usual signs of an ear infection (like tugging on his ears or showing any signs of pain in the area). No changes in appetite or anything. ¬†He is on antibiotics now. ¬†It is the first medicine beyond Tylenol he has ever had so we are monitoring closely for side effects (which we have thankfully seen none of yet). ¬†The bright spot in all of this is that he likes the taste of the medicine so it isn’t a fight to get it into him!

I was so impressed with how cooperative and well-behaved he was at the doctor’s office yesterday. ¬†I strongly suspect it is because one of his favorite dress up games to play is “playing doctor” with his Melissa and Doug Doctor Role Play Costume Set. ¬†He loves listening to “heart beeps”, checking ears, giving shots, and checking reflexes. ¬†Over the last few months of playing with this set he has also learned to stay still when his ears, eyes, and chest are getting checked. ¬†We were able to put those lessons into practice the other day¬†at the doctor’s office. ¬†Sometimes Liam acts like such a big boy it makes me incredibly proud and sad at the same time (and now I have Bittersweet Symphony running through my head). ¬†In less than a month he will be two (and a big brother as well). ¬†Time just seems to be going by so fast. ¬†My baby¬†boy¬†doesn’t really act like a baby anymore. ¬†Although I don’t wish to slow down his growing up I do miss the first years as we have stepped fully into the adventures of the toddler years (which thankfully still include the occasional snuggle for mom) and prepping to be an awesome big brother.

 

 

 

 

27 weeks and counting!

We have hit the 27 week mark and celebrated the last week of the second trimester with a big appointment at the OB office, complete with a follow-up ultrasound. ¬†I have spent the last week in frequent contact with my OB office and on frequent bed rest due to a headache that wouldn’t go away, blurred vision, and high blood pressures. ¬†All of these are unfortunately signs of preeclampsia. ¬†Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition that can affect 5-8% of pregnancies, but that typically starts later in the third trimester¬†(Preeclampsia Foundation). ¬†For me to be having signs of this condition this early into the pregnancy was scary to say the least. ¬†Thankfully my blood pressure has been staying down with bed rest. ¬†Unfortunately Tylenol has not been effective for the headaches or blurred vision for me and I stopped taking it after a few days due to the ineffectiveness and some right upper quadrant abdominal pain (which can indicate liver problems). ¬† ¬†So I ventured into this appointment with my Mom at my side (my husband was unable to take the day off of work) with a bit of trepidation.

First up was the ultrasound. ¬†Catriona is a bit of a mover and a shaker so it created a challenge for picture-taking, but everything look great. ¬†The fluid levels were good, the placenta is healthy, her head is down and she is ready to roll and the best news of all is that the membranes fused! ¬†Although there are still some (slight) risks for early delivery that go along with a late fusion we are now talking a week or two early as opposed to months early which technically means we have an excellent chance for a full term (after 37 weeks) healthy and happy baby. ¬†Now lets just hope that she doesn’t come on Liam’s birthday! ¬†Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers for the last few months that we would get our miracle, they certainly helped to get us through this stressful time. ¬†We feel so lucky to have this great news to share and to see how healthy our little girl is now that my body has decided to behave properly!

Next up was the visit with the nurse midwife and the OB.  It was a tag team visit due to the high blood pressures today, that ended up with a trip to the hospital.  While we have an excellent health care system up here in the Northeast, and some of the best prenatal care in the country, it is still very concerning to have more than a week of high blood pressures and headaches, so it was off to the hospital for me to test for preeclampsia ( a set of tests that includes a urine collection, liver function panel, creatinine, and CBC), and calling out of work for at least the next week until my next OB visit.  The midwife and OB were hopeful that the headaches, blurred vision, and high blood pressures (because they were not critically high and were only pre-hypertensive) could be due to a migraine headache caused by increased estrogen levels rather than preeclampsia because it was so early in the pregnancy.  After a couple of hours in the hospital, and a couple of blood draws we had our second round of good news for the day, no preeclampsia!  I am now on migraine medication and monitoring side effects, but my blood pressure is almost back to normal and right now I am pain free for the first time in 8 days (though a bit foggy and tired from the medication).

 

 

For me the best part of the day was being able to make it home in time to tuck my little guy into bed.  He loved seeing the new pictures of his sister and was so happy to get some extra Momma snuggles tonight!

Conan and I are thrilled with the news, and are very hopeful that after the next week life will get back to as close to normal as we can!  Thank you again to everyone for the thoughts and prayers!  Lets hope the remainder of the pregnancy is now stress free!

 

*****Preeclampsia is a pretty scary and potentially life threatening condition that affects 5-8% of pregnancies in the United States and accounts for approximately 18% of maternal deaths in this country.  To educate yourself more on this condition please visit preeclampsia.org which provides excellent resources in learning the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia.  Also keep in mind that while giving birth does solve the problems caused by preeclampsia for your infant it does not always solve the problems caused by it for mothers.  Be aware and educate yourself on the potential post birth problems that can occur for mothers who experience this condition.*****

Preeclampsia Foundation. (n.d.). Preeclampsia Foundation. Retrieved February 19, 2015, from Preeclampsia Fact Sheet : http://www.preeclampsia.org/pdf/Preeclampsia%20Fact%20sheet%20v2.pdf

 

Who Needs Diapers?

So today, after I woke up from a lovely sleep in (this a huge shout out to my awesomely understanding husband who totally gets the fact that sometimes I don’t get home from work until 3am, and if I can sleep I will) I had just enough time to turn on the Keurig before Liam woke up from his morning nap and started playing with his dolls in his crib. ¬†He sounded like he was in an awesome mood so I headed right up to get him so we could have some fun. ¬†That is when I walked into a naked butt in the air as he was working on standing up.

That is right… a NAKED BUTT!

My jaw may have literally dropped. ¬†Casually tossed over the edge of the crib was his diaper… he decided the shirt could stay on.

Because Liam is only 14 months old there was no hope in the universe that he did not pee all over the bed. ¬†So I gingerly reached a hand down and did the touch test… yes, it was wet. ¬†Awesome.

As my dreams of packing up the family for a trip to York’s Wild Animal Kingdom flew out the window and visions of endless loads of laundry jumped into my head I picked up my kiddo at arms length, brought him into his bathroom, placed him into the tub and proceeded to break one of the two cardinal child bathing rules that have been drilled into my head since I was a young girl who was slightly obsessed with The Babysitter’s Club, I turned on the water while he was in the tub. ¬†No, I did not burn my child, but his bubble bath might have been a little colder than usual. ¬†Honestly, he didn’t seem to mind.

Conan very nicely brought me a cup of coffee while I was supervising the tub time. ¬†He can be totally credited with saving my sanity with that one small act. ¬†(yes, yes, I know, I have a caffeine “problem”)

Does anyone else have any diaper removal stories?  Are there any hints or tricks to getting the little guy to not keep doing it?  He was so very impressed with himself when I found him, and although I did not make a big deal out of it (to him anyway) I have a feeling that my stubborn little one will keep up the trick now that he has figured it out.

Somersworth Children’s Festival

So I am a little behind in keeping up with the blog.. I blame the awesomely hot weather (and my subsequent desire to spend my life in the splash pool with the toddlers).

I also am prepping to head back to school in a big way next week after taking the spring semester off (it was so nice!).¬† I have a year left of classes, and a year left of an internship before I can take my administrator boards, so it is all serious all the time starting next week.¬† It really is a shame I can’t (safely) bring the laptop into the splash pool with me.¬† That would be some amazing multitasking.

This group of pictures is from the annual International Children’s Festival in Somersworth NH that we went to with a pretty big group of the family a few weeks ago.¬†¬† It was an absolute blast and if you are in the seacoast NH region on the 3rd Saturday in June you should definitely make plans to bring your family!¬† The activities there were definitely geared to the 10 an under crowd, but even the 1 year olds had a blast dancing and hanging out with the animals at the miniature petting zoo.¬† As a parent the events on the various stages kept me entertained as well, and it was so much fun to see the kids enjoying themselves.¬† I think this is going to be a yearly trip for us.

Want more information about the festival?  Visit the website for the Somersworth Festival Association.

And without further adieu… pictures!

 

First stop for us was the Wildlife Encounters area.  There were animals and a mini petting zoo for the kids.. a hit with all of them.  The folks over at wildlife encounters were super busy, but also super nice.  they do Birthday Parties in the area and my sister-in-law who works at a local day care center said that their visits to the daycare are always a kid/parent favorite.  Personally I loved the staffing ratio they had, despite all of the kids that were milling around they were able to keep everything well organized, the animals not overcrowded, and everyone happy and safe.

After the animals we had some fun on the playground, drawing pictures in the shade, and then cooled off with the splash pool that was set up before taking a long walk down to the second site of the festival (note* there was a trolley that we did not know about that would have taken us down minus the hike… good to know for next year!)

Next up for us was a nice cold drink and snack time while we watched a Jamaican band and then the TaeKwon Do demo put on by Mr. B’s school. ¬†The older kids were fascinated, the toddlers wanted to risk life and limb to run out among all the kicking and punching people. ¬†Apparently it looked like fun!

The second site had all the normal fair like activities, including rides, face painting, games, fair food and balloon animals.  There also was a pretty cool craft fair inside the school and a tented area that highlighted the cultural trends of different nationalities.

This is where Liam passed out (literally, while walking), so Conan and I trudged back to the car and went to go pick up pizza while everyone else got to enjoy a lovely trolley ride and some more fun!

Day 2

Day 2 of the selfie project: 365 Days of Momma

This morning Liam wanted nothing to do with snuggles. He was far to busy playing steal the blanket from our oldest dog while madly giggling. So I thought I would take a few minutes by myself on the couch with my morning coffee…

20140601-091257-33177526.jpg

Unfortunately that was quickly interrupted by the youngest dog who has an anxiety problem….

20140601-091349-33229539.jpg

Shopping With Two, moving on up to the two seater cart

Although Liam is (currently) an only child the hubs and I are very lucky to have family close by that had children a few months before us. One of those little girls hangs out with Liam during the week. My SIL and I do a child care swap. We both work full time jobs as nurses. So on my days off during the week I get to hang out with Liam and his cousin, The Bean. She is a pretty awesome little girl, and being just 5 months older than Liam, provides a pretty good playmate for him. They speak their own language to each other, and are absolutely adorable when they hug… Not so much when they beat on each other.

Running errands has been a bit of a challenge, but certainly not impossible. Especially since by the time Liam came around The Bean was able to sit up in a cart. They are both cuddly children so I have been wearing one and pushing the other during that golden two hour period between lunch and nap time that is my only chance to get out of the house for the day.

So yesterday I pulled into Target with the kiddos all bundled up in the car (it was a cold rainy spring day here yesterday) and I saw the two seater cart parked in the carriage return area. Now I know the warning on that cart says from ages 2-6, but my back was achey and I figured the kids are sturdy enough to handle it so I buckled then in and we were off.

My first stop was Starbucks. I finally had free hands and a spot for a delicious caffeinated beverage where the kids couldn’t reach. This automatically made it the best day ever. Then we ran into a coworker. I haven’t been exceptionally good about bringing the babies in to visit over the winter so it’s been a while since everyone from work has seen Liam… He has certainly changed over the last few months. Then we were off.

Overall the whole shopping experience was great! The kids were pretty well behaved for the first half of the store. It was easy to distract them for the last half… and momma got to drink an amazingly delicious caramel macchiato. As an added bonus they were super cute in the cart together.

20140409-082501.jpg

Not that they aren’t super cute all the time anyway ūüôā

I think we have a new and improved shopping solution…. Until we decide to have another one ūüôā