Tuesday, October 7, 2014

5 Months

Our 5 month started with a trip to a GI Dr to discuss Lyla & Nixon's acid reflux.  We were able to get their measurements at this vist:

Lyla's 5 Month Measurements:

Weight:16 lbs 14.55oz (79%)

Height: 25.5 In (60%)

Head Circ: 45.1 cm/ 17.76 in (99%)

Nixon's 5 Month Measurements:

Weight: 16 lbs 4.32 oz (69%)

Height: 63.5 cm/ 25 in (38th%)

Head Circ: 43.4 cm/ 17.09in (93%)

Ready for our Dr appt
Lyla ready for her GI appt
Nixon posing for the camera
Nixon already messing with Big Sister!!
The Dr. appointment went well, maybe too well.  The Dr. spent a lot of time discussing what we had done so far to alleviate the symptoms, what our concerns were, what the issues were and continue to be.  At the end of a LOT of talking, the end result was both good and bad... 
Good: the girls seem to be very normal babies and the spitting up should resolve itself by their first birthday.
Bad: The spitting up will likely continue until their first birthday. Ugh.

Papa posing at the Dr with Lyla.
Nixon bored by her Dr appt.
He wasn't overly concerned with the quantity the girls were spitting up and felt like the Prilosec was working well, so we will continue to use it and change only if symptoms reappear.  When I asked about solids, he said it was important to start babies with spit up and history of reflux on rice cereal first since its the best "trial food".  Meaning, its not harsh to babies sensitive tummies and it can be added to bottles and increased in quantity to achieve a thickness the babies can get used to. Also, it can weigh down formula or breast milk which will hopefully cut down on the amount of spit up we have. FINGERS CROSSED!!

Sunday, August 3rd: we were sitting in church and I let Nixon suck on my finger while listening to the sermon and I felt something SHARP!! NIXON had a bright white tooth cap poking out of her gums!!!  I couldn't believe it! I poked Trae and he felt it and we both grinned with shocked looked on our faces! Nixon seemed very proud, just smiling away.

Tuesday, August 5th: Claire and Trae see ANOTHER tooth popping out, next to the tooth that had already made its appearance. Nixon now has 2 middle bottom teeth poking out of her gums. They look SO cute when she smiles her big grin but WOW they are so sharp and she wants to suck/ chew on your fingers all the time. She shows no interest in sucking/biting on Sophie, pacifiers, chewing toys, nothing. I have tried freezing washcloths and that works for a few minutes, but nothing long term. Just fingers.  

Thursday, August 7th: Lyla joined the party and has a single bottom tooth starting to pop out of her lower gums. She sucks on pacifiers and chews on her fingers and seems content.

Playing at the YMCA kids center while Mommy works out
Lyla and Nixon are SO fun these days. Despite most people thinking they are identical, which we think is hilarious because they look so different to us, their personalities are SO different:

Lyla is so patient with Mama, Papa and sister. She doesn't mind keeping herself busy by playing with her feet, toys we give her, putting herself to sleep while we tend to Nixon.  As long as she isn't hungry and has a pacifier.. she is good.  She LOVES when you sing to her and is the happiest baby I have ever known. She will give you a gummy smile at the drop of a hat and will even give you a raspy Lyla-laugh if she hears you laughing. She is starting to look just like mama did when she was a baby and I even see myself in her in some of her many facial expressions.  When tired, if she hears sister crying, she will start crying too.. so I think she will be very empathetic and sensitive.. also very much like her mama. Lyla is very vocal.. she talks a LOT and even lets out these high pitched squeals that sound like a dinosaur. It makes us laugh and she likes that.

Nixon is our firecracker. She wants it her way and she will let you know it!  She is very independent wanting to sit up or stand up on her own and she gets frustrated when she is laying down on her back- she will immediately start rolling over and then gets frustrated she can't move when on her tummy. She wants to be held ALL the time, but likes her Bumbo seat where she can sit up straight and also likes her swing.  I invested in the  Podee bottle system which allows the baby's to feed themselves with a straw into their bottle and a nipple that attaches to the straw that they can hold in their mouth. Nixon LOVES this and so does Mama. 

Terwelp Appt:

We weren't scheduled for a Pediatrician appointment until 6 months, but I had noticed Lyla's soft spot being slightly raised, so I called Dr Terwelp before we left to go out of town. Sweet Lyla has always had a big head, she takes after her Momma in that sense. There isn't a hat that fits my head unless it's either specially made or an adjustable cap. This was different, though. The soft spot seemed like it was bulging a little. I had been monitoring it for a few weeks and while I didn't think it was getting a lot worse, it wasn't getting better, either. I called the doctor and he wanted to see her before we left time "just to make sure."
At the appointment, he took a measurement of her head and decided that at the fast rate it was growing, PLUS the soft spot bulge, that it would be safest to have a head ultrasound to rule out hydrocephalus or a brain tumor.  After hearing those 3 words HYDROCEPHALUS, BRAIN TUMOR.. it was if our world was stopping all over again. Trae and I got wide eyed and were silently panicking as Dr Terwelp told us not to leave town until we had the ultrasound results and that we should go to the doctor closest to Dell Childrens Hospital "just in case". WHAT?!
Lyla was completely oblivious, obviously.. giggling as she bounced on my knee.  Our car was packed, we were on our way to the beach with Milton and Sharon already there waiting for us and we were having visions of our little girl being admitted to the hospital.
To make matters worse, the ultrasound tech was running behind and we couldn't get in for a couple hours.  My Mama Bear hat went on and I told Trae to drive directly over to the ultrasound place.. I would handle this.  We arrived at SFC (Specially for Children) Neurology.. the same Doctor's office we went to when getting a consult on the boys' head scan (ENTER PTSD MOMENT).  I walked to the receptionist while Trae sat down with the girls and calmly told her about the last time Trae and I stepped foot in their office and why it was imperative for us to be seen immediately.

The receptionist got us back in 10 minutes. Thank GOD. 

Lyla during her head ultrasound

Little Lyla did great for her ultrasound, smiling away the whole time. The tech was very thorough, taking lots of pictures.  Poor Trae was sweating bullets in the waiting room with Nixon, but I was sending him texts the whole time reassuring him Lyla was doing well.

We changed the girls diapers and headed to the car to drive around the parking lot to put the girls' to sleep until we heard from the doctor. As we were loading the car, we got the call from our nurse stating that everything was clear- nothing but a big 'ol healthy head for our girl!

AMEN!!! Trae and I shed happy tears as our girls nodded to sleep and we hit the road to Port Aransas.

SO glad to be healthy, happy and on our way to the beach!


We took the girls to the beach for the 1st time this month! What we learned: traveling with babies requires a lot of work and a lot of STUFF.
The drive there (and back) were the longest road trips the girls had taken to date and they did great! I had to sit in the back with them almost the whole way to keep them company/play games/sing to them/ feed them, but we only stopped once for gas and the girls stayed in their car seats the entire time.  Nixon got pretty impatient towards the end of our trip, when I learned that "I am Henry the 8th I am" calmed her down quickly.  A random song that works well... and gets old after the "18th verse, same as the 1st!"

We had a great time. Milton and Sharon rented a condo next to the one we rented from Trae's Uncle and Aunt, which meant we had extra hands so everyone could get a little relaxation in while on our trip while toting the girls around with us.

We took the girls into the pool the first day in shaded pool floats to protect them from the sun. They liked kicking their feet in the water and leaning back in the warm water, but the sun was SO hot and tired them out quickly.  The second day we took the girls to the beach.  I was so worried the girls would get sunburned, so we had 2 beach umbrellas, the girls in an inflatable baby pool with sun visor and the girls slathered in sunscreen with sun hats on.  This mama was NOT letting her babies burn!
The girls liked sitting in the ocean - the water was so warm we think it might have been like bath water and they LOVE bath time! We let them stand in the sand and Nixon got super excited feeling the wet sand between her toes- she flapped her arms and squealed. It was fun to watch.

Sweet Papa and Nixon moment at the beach condo

playtime pictures after our dr appt

Summer time chillin'

My happy girl!

Nixon trying an orange at the beach- YUM!

Trae and I getting a night out in Port A while Nana and Poppy babysat

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

4 Months

Our 4 month check up with our Pediatrician, Dr Terwelp, was the first time back to the doctor since our 8 week shots!
Dr Terwelp was shocked by how well the girls had grown & kept congratulating me on my job well done keeping these girls well fed!
We are a far cry from only a few weeks ago when our girls were barely on the growth charts to now well over average.  What healthy baby girls we have!

Lyla's 4 Month measurements:

Weight:  14 lb. 11 oz (75%)

Height: 24 3/4 inches (60%)

Head Circ: 43cm (98%) 

Nixon's 4 Month Measurements:

Weight: 13 lb 11 oz (50%)

Height: 23 3/4 inches (30%)

Head Circ: 42cm (85%)

After getting measured we had to have our 4 month shots.  Both girls cried after their 8 week shots, but NOTHING like they cried at their 4 month shots. After 10 full minutes of the girls crying, not to be soothed by nursing or a bottle, the Dr came back in to make sure they were ok. We laughed, embarrassed that we couldn't soothe our little ones but after some cheerful singing, bouncing and general cuddling, both girls quieted down enough for us to put them in their carseats and go home. I think they were just taken off guard by the shots & of course, they HURT!! Thankfully, other than being super tired from all their crying.. no other real symptoms were noticed from the shots. 

A Typical 4 Month Day:

2AM: Lyla wakes up for a bottle. We started using over night diapers, so no more diaper changes at night, just 5-6 oz bottle, burp, rocking and sometimes a little nursing to get her back to sleep.

7AM: Both girls wake up. Trae and I change them out of their diapers & into their day clothes. The girls wake up every morning with huge grins on their faces.  It's so fun to go upstairs to their room, groggy and wishing you were still asleep and seeing their sweet gummy smiles.  It will wake you up faster than any cup of coffee!

Morning smiles
Morning Cuddles
7:30: Feed both girls (I nurse one before feeding her a bottle so I don't have to pump). Girls are eating 6oz bottles.

8:00: Girls play on activity mat or sit in Bumbo seat while I feed dogs/make my breakfast.
Drinking their breakfast while Mama eats hers. A moment of calm in the morning!
Playing together on our play mat
9:00 We play with our toys including the Excersaucer that we are liking more and more each day- Lyla can even get the lights to light up on her own by pressing a button! We also use our "Johnny Jumper" doorway jumper, but use it more as a swing for now as we aren't quite big enough to stand in it yet.

10:00 FUSSY BABIES= Need naps!! I feed the girls a bottle/ nurse one baby before giving her a bottle and I try to get the girls to nap anyway I can which is often one in their bed upstairs and one in the swing downstairs. Lyla is easy.. I give her a pacifier and a cool, dark room and she is pretty happy.. Nixon wants to be held and nursed to go to sleep for nap time. Many days I love this time with her, but there are times I need to get things done around the house!

11:00 When both girls are down, I do my "chores" (Chores= laundry, cleaning bottles, cleaning kitchen, dusting, etc) I rarely get thru with my chores before one or both girls wake up.

12:00 Trae comes home for lunch & watches girls while I shower/ put on day clothes, if I haven't already. READ: yes... I'm usually still in PJ's until Trae can get home. I hope to change this soon!

12:30 I eat lunch while girls sit in Bumbo seats playing.
Nixon feeding herself with the Podee bottle straw- Mama's favorite baby gadget yet!

1:00 Girls eat bottles then play

2:00 Usually this is when Claire comes (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) YAY!!!  I wash bottles & get her settled before running errands

3:00-5:00 I run errands- Grocery, Hot Yoga, Pay Bills, return items, whatever. Going to the grocery alone is amazing. Who would have thought?!

5:00/5:30 I come home, straighten up, help play with girls and start dinner while Claire watches girls.

6:00 Bath time starts & Trae gets home. Claire and I (or Trae and I) bathe both girls, giving them their Prilosec while they sit in the tub since they spit 1/4 of it out and due to its grape flavor, it is sticky and gets on EVERYTHING. Bath, Sleep Diaper, Sleep Suit, Bottle.

7:30-8 Girls are asleep in their Rock n Plays in their Nursery. (we haven't switched them into their cribs full-time because they are still having issues with reflux and because they sleep so well in these. They are getting dangerously close to outgrowing them, so we will need to rip the band aid off soon!)

9:00 Lyla wakes up- needs her pacifier back in her mouth- is good after that.

As you can see, life is getting MUCH easier these days. We have several hours uninterrupted sleep and are SO thankful for it! Nixon is our rockstar sleeper at night and rarely wakes up at all at night anymore, which is so awesome.

Our Summer Nanny, Claire is a GOD send. My sanity is completely restored with a few hours to myself a week to run errands alone and take a few yoga classes.  I look forward to getting my fitness routine back up and running again and Yoga has been a great way to get that started.

The girls and I have started adding neighborhood walks to our routine at least 3 times a week. We have to get out by 9 AM so that our walk isn't too hot, but it's a great time for Mama to get some exercise and baby's to nap/look at trees, etc. We even end up at a park sometimes for a quick swing!
Swinging at the park after one of our morning walks!
We are starting to get out and about a little more here and there. We go to the grocery together for small trips where the girls either sit in their stroller and I load groceries into oversized grocery bags or I wear a baby in a wrap carrier while the other baby sits in an infant carrier in the grocery cart.  (I need to have someone take a picture of me doing this!) 
Another weekly outing is our Tuesday play day at our church: St. Martins. We have good friends that we look forward to seeing every week and we really enjoy the trip!

A typical outing for me includes 10 minutes of sitting in the driveway after I get home, letting girls nap longer
We have a GI appointment in a few weeks at the girls 5 month "birthday" to check to see if we need to switch to a different reflux medication.  I have increased the girls daily prilosec dosage to 4ML/day and while their acid discomfort seems to be alleviated, the quantity they spit up is pretty substantial still.   I had NO idea how much babies "spit up".  I also had no idea "spit up" was really just vomit without a gag reflux. Poor babies.. I can't imagine how unsettling it is for them to experience spitting up as much as they do.  For me, it's just a LOT of laundry for both myself and them.

This month we celebrated July 4th with a neighborhood parade then a trip to Uncle Paul & Aunt Mandy's house where we took our first dip in a pool and LOVED it. It was mine and Trae's first experience with swim diapers & the importance of changing your child IMMEDIATELY if they poop in their swim diaper. (We were glad to have a bathtub to clean Lyla off & family around to help! ha ha!)

Walking in our Neighborhood July 4th "Parade"
Enjoying our July 4th at Uncle Paul & Aunt Mandy's house

Trae and I celebrated our 4th Anniversary with a night out to dinner & drinks at Jeffrey's and Sway while Claire babysat the girls. It was a really nice get away!
Celebrating our 4th Anniversary at Jeffrey's then Sway

We went with Trae to San Antonio where Trae was going to take his Certified Financial Planner exam (CFP).  Since the exam spanned over 2 days the girls and I stayed with my Mom & Dad (Nana & Pop Pop Young) while Trae studied and took his exam.  We went on walks in the park with Nana, played with our new jumper that Nana bought us and took LOTS of naps.  After Trae's exam was over, Nana & Pop-Pop watched the girls overnight & sent Trae and I to the Hilton Hill Country to celebrate our birthdays. What a treat! We had a relaxing night with a lovely dinner, lazy morning & yummy breakfast before heading back to pick up our little girls and head home. 
Nana Young posing after a long walk at a San Antonio park
Nana Young looking at the girls swinging
Great Grandma Jeanne holding Nixon during our San Antonio trip

Lyla & Nixon's personalities are really starting to shine. They both LOVE music, especially when you sing to them. They stop whatever they are doing, look you right in the eyes and smile when you start singing almost anything. I made up a song about the girls "Whose my little Munchkin" that I sing to them 5-6 times throughout the day when I need them to calm down or I just want a smile and it works EVERY time. So fun.

Pretty Girls!
Lyla is patient (unless hungry) and very curious about the dogs and your facial expressions. She seems to like to see your different facial expressions and what they mean. She also loves Mens deep voices or when Mama pretends to have a deep voice.  Lyla can roll over, but has only done it a few times... she doesn't seem very interested in rolling over right now.
Mama and her happy Lyla

Nixon is pretty impatient and wants to be held ALL the time. She also wants to nurse ALL the time, especially while sleeping. She loves to practice standing and smiles almost every time you put her on her feet. I swear this girl wants to just skip the sitting/crawling phase all together!  Nixon can roll from back to tummy and likes to do so!!  Nixon is VERY interested in food. She likes to watch people eat and seems very interested in the chewing process. I think she will be ready to start cereal/oatmeal very soon and I plan to talk to the GI Dr about it.
Nixon proving she doesn't want to sit still anymore by doing backbends off her boppy pillow
Happy Nixon sitting up like a BIG girl- she is so proud of herself when she gets to sit by herself.
Sweet Nixon

Mom's Favorite Things:
Claire- our summer nanny
Hot Yoga
Trips to grocery alone
The 3 hours of quiet time after girls go down/before bedtime with Trae

Babies' Favorite Things:
Neighborhood walks 
Bath Time
Patty Cake
Standing up with assistance

Nixon having fun in her "jumper"
Lyla exploring her Excersaucer
Blowouts = needing to move up a diaper size! Yuck!
Nixon smiling at Uncle Stephen at his & Diana's first visit to Austin