Monday, November 29, 2010

Audrey: 4 months (November)

Little Audrey is not so little anymore! She is getting bigger by the day. She barely fits into 3-6 month clothes and definitely fits better in her 6-9 month stuff. It is getting colder so I am having to layer all her summer dresses with sweaters and long sleeve onesies. Girls clothes are convenient that way.

Devon loves being a big brother and is eager to feed Audrey a bottle. He does at least one feeding a day and holds her often. It is so cute to see him share his toys with her and lay down next to her when she's on her play mat.

She is starting to have more of an interest in toys and kicks her legs with surprising force! She is getting so strong and showing off that little personality.

Audrey is a sleeping champ! She is down to two naps a day and it is amazing. She usually sleeps during our morning outing (ie: park, Children's Museum, etc) for an hour or so, but manages to stay awake and enjoy most of it. Once we get home she goes down around 11:30 and sleeps until 4:00. If she's not up by 4:00 I wake her up. She takes an evening bottle and is asleep around 7:30. She has been waking up around 3:00am lately for a feeding, but she sleeps so well otherwise I don't mind getting up with her. Everyday is a little different so she keeps me on my toes.

She is this close to rolling over. She turned on her side the other day and she is figuring it out. She will be rolling over any day now so no more leaving her on the changing table, I guess ;)

I love to put her in dresses, but she ends up grabbing the bottom, pulling it up and drooling all over it that I often have to change her into another outfit because she soaked through it. It's gross and funny at the same time. She likes to be holding something so I try to give her a toy or a blanket.

She is laughing and cooing and is so alert. She is very ticklish! She loves to be held facing out so she can see what is going on, but loves to snuggle up close right before nodding off to sleep.

Just sucking our thumbs.

I love doing her hair and even made a few barrettes out of flowers. She is pretty happy to sit while I do her hair and she looks so damn cute with a little pony "fountain" on the top of her head.

My super crafty sister, Katy, made this blanket. She even made a doll size one for her little, blue cradle. It has adorable fabric that I love, love love! Thanks, Katy!

This lavender blanket was made by my Mom. It is so soft. Isn't it beautiful? Thanks Mom!

Audrey loves to smile at her Daddy, but is quite the Mama's girl at the moment and she cries pretty much the whole time if I leave her at home. It feels good to be needed, but it's sad that she has such a difficult time.

I am just loving every moment with this little girl. She is just such a good, sweet natured and calm baby she is easy to fall in love with. It is such a special time for our family as we head into the holidays, making new traditions, making new memories and celebrating as a complete family of 4.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jasmine: 2001-November 27, 2010

I will miss you, sweet girl.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's not always about the kids

Jasmine watch ... day 12

Last Tuesday at 9:00 I was on my way to a play date with a new friend and her two children who are exactly the same ages as my kids. She also has a boy and a girl. She is a very sweet Mom and always makes me feel encouraged. She is a positive person and I appreciate that most about her.

As I was driving to her home all I could feel was gratitude.

Gratitude for the fact that I was NOT on my way to put my sweet Jasmine to sleep. I made a 9:00 appointment to put her down, but I happily cancelled it on Monday because she was doing so much better. I can't believe I almost put her down at the advice of the vet. I know the vet wasn't flippant about putting her to sleep, but I also felt like she wanted me to do it in that moment. It's not like I have this stray cat that I found and she's sick ... that cat is almost 9!!! She's a member of the family so you would think that more caution and more options would be considered to save her.

At least I listened to my own instincts and didn't give up. She is eating better and I got her a fountain so she can have access to running water any time of the day. Hydration is extremely important with kidney issues so that should really help her. She is up and around more and even ran away from Devon ;)I haven't seen her run in a while so that is good. I don't know what's wrong with her, but I hope that she is getting over it.

Things are really looking up! Thanks for your concern.

In other news ... nursing the baby isn't going very well to say the least. I noticed that she was fussy and crying when she was feeding and I could just tell there wasn't much milk. I decided that I would give her a bottle of formula and pump and see how much milk there was. I put her to bed at 7:00 and pumped at midnight. I would normally get 5 ounces, but I BARELY got two. Not good. I pumped again at 7:00 am and I only got two ounces. After 7 hours I only got 2 ounces. Not good.

This also happened with Devon around this same time (3-4 months). My milk just went away. It's funny how we (as Moms) can have so much guilt over things that are out of our control. I felt like I wasn't being a good Mom to him by not being able to provide milk, but I know it's not my fault and there's only so much you can do. I cried every feeding that I had to give him formula. I felt like I was failing as a Mom and it really made me depressed. I still feel guilt about stopping with Devon even though I know I did everything I could. When my supply went down I put on weight to make sure I was eating enough, I pumped every two hours (even though he was sleeping through the night), I took medication to increase the hormone that helps produce milk ... for three months. When he was 7 months his pediatrician begged me to stop because he could see that I was visibly stressed by the whole thing so I did. I'm glad he gave me permission to do that and I immediately started to feel better.

I have tried many things to boost my supply and some women just don't have a lot of milk. I am one of those women. Some women make TONS of milk and have more than enough to feed their babies and freeze milk for a year. I am not one of those women. I pumped a few days ago and when I only got an ounce I decided to stop breastfeeding. It makes me extremely sad to stop since I really do enjoy that time with her, but if there's no milk there's no milk.

I read a recent study that found that the benefits of breast milk really only apply to the first week of life since the colostrum and the hind milk (milk for the first month) that follows it are the most important antibodies and nutrients that a baby needs. After that, as long as the baby is getting milk it doesn't matter if it's breast milk or formula.

I have tried a few of the frozen dinners that I made and I have to tell you that I'm not impressed with most of it. It tastes like "left overs" even though I bake it in the oven. Does that make sense? The mashed potatoes were pretty unappetizing (very starchy and doughy) and the stuffed pasta shells were a little dry. I'm sure all of this takes a little finesse, but I don't know if it's worth it. I do think that spaghetti sauce is perfectly fine frozen. I will admit that even though the food hasn't been great, on the few occasions where we did eat them it was a lifesaver to have something ready to go. I think I might try a few soups since the weather is getting colder it might be nice to have that on hand.

I am dreading the holidays, but I am trying to stay positive. I do not have that "holiday gene" that most of my family seems to have. We put up a tree every year and I enjoy that I have to admit. I like going to the lot, picking out a live tree, watching Joe heft it into the house all by his manly self and setting it up together. We don't usually do gifts for each other, but this year we are going to and I decided that we should do stockings and start our own traditions with the kids. I am excited to give my gift to Joe and to watch Devon enjoy his first real xmas as a "big boy" since he is finally old enough to open gifts and articulate a bit better. It's Audrey's first xams this year and our first xmas as a complete family.


Monday, November 8, 2010

It's not always about the kids: Jasmine watch ... day 5

This is Jasmine.

She is almost 9 years old.

Nicknames include Jasim (Devon calls her that), the femur, the fu foo, the girl and the foof.

She was found in a parking lot when she was just a kitten and we have been loving her ever since then. We got her because our other cat, Sampson, was depressed and needed a companion to cheer her up. She is a sweet cat. She doesn't like everyone, but if you're lucky enough to have her like you she will never leave your side. She follows me into the bathroom every time I go. EVERY time. She nibbles on my toes. She sleeps in the bed with us at night and often wakes us up because she walks back and forth over Joe and I. If I'm really lucky she will burrow underneath the covers and snuggle at my feet. She will only eat tuna if it's really fresh, sashimi quality fish. She loves to have her front teeth rubbed and wags her tail like a dog. She is a sweet kitty.

A few days ago we couldn't find her anywhere. When we finally found her she had lost weight and was noticeably lethargic. She wouldn't drink or eat anything. Her back legs would slip out from under her when she went up or down the stairs. It was very sad to watch her limp around. I took her her to the vet and she weighted 5 pounds. She normally weighs 10. A normal cat fever is 100 and she was 104 ... VERY high for a small cat. They gave her IV fluids, meds and took some blood. Turns out she has chronic kidney failure. They said that she would need a 2 day hospital stay ($550 on TOP of the cost of the tests that I already paid for) and sub Q fluids every day ... for the rest of her life. Having to poke a needle into my cat every day for the rest of her life is no life for her. I can't put her through that and I have a feeling that she would not even let me do that for very long anyway. She sent me home.

I went back a few days later to talk about our options and the vet said that if I wasn't going to give her fluids that I should put her down. I told her that I wasn't ready to do that in that moment. Jasmine was doing OK at that time and it seemed premature to put down an animal that seemed "fine". I had them give her another IV and took her home. I made an appointment for Tuesday at 9:00 to take her in and have her put to sleep.

Heartbreaking doesn't begin to cover it. I had this cat before I had my children. I used to literally cry on the way to the airport when Joe and I would go out of town because I was worried about leaving my cats alone.

HOWEVER ... I have to tell you that she is doing so much better today!!! She is not 100% by any means, but she IS doing better today. She is drinking water, walking around and she is sleeping in our bed during the day which is a HUGE change since she has been hiding in our closet most of the time. She is purring again and her eyes seem brighter. She is rolling on the floor and showing me her belly so I can scratch it ;)

Maybe she ate something poisonous and it's just working its way through her system? Maybe she is just really sick, but not terminally sick? Maybe I am in denial and want to think that she is doing better, but she's really not? It's possible. Whatever happens, I canceled my appointment to take her in and I am going to take it one day at a time and see how she does. I am just giving her lots of love, water, trying to get her to eat food and hoping that is enough to get her through this. It is not her time to go and I'm not giving up on her!

The point is ... I am hopeful.