Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Birthday Party Weekend!

After Avery's sleep study, we had a weekend full of partying!

Late Saturday afternoon, we had a birthday party to go to for Carly. She's 4 this year and has an actual birthday this year too-she's a leap day baby so it's her first "real" birthday! 

We got there and the kids played awhile. Then we had dinner and it was time for some gift opening.
notice who's missing? Avery-she was quite the loner at times!

Brayden eyeing the gifts

Opening the gift we bought her

After gifts, it was time for cake! The cake was from Wegman's and was adorable!

Singing "Happy Birthday" to Carly!

Blowing out the candles!

While we were having cake, Brayden was hamming it up in the high chair-he was cracking us up!

And before we left, I got the cutest picture of the girls (minus Avery's crazy hairdo!):

Sunday we had another birthday party for one of Avery's daycare friends. It was at a bowling alley so we knew she'd have a blast....and she did!

They didn't do an organized game at all. They had maybe 4 lanes set up for the kids with the bumpers and ramps and just let them have at it for an hour. They took turns and had a lot of fun!  She started bowling with Daddy:

Then it was Mommy's turn (man do I look frumpy!)....we got 2 spares!!
After the hour of "bowling", the kids were taken downstairs to a party room where they had pizza, cake, and did gifts. And before we left, I got a shot of Avery and her BFF, Josie!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Quick Change of Plans

Yesterday at 4:30pm, we had a quick change of plans for the evening.

The sleep clinic called and had a cancellation for that night. Did we want to do the sleep study that night (a whole month earlier than scheduled)?

I called Gabe who was still working to see what he wanted to do since it was such a last minute decision. We agreed that we were ready to just get it done and over with. Even though we were both stressed out and nervous about it (more him than me since he had to take her), we decided it was for the best.

While Gabe finished up at work, I started to pack up an overnight bag for Avery and she helped me pick out her PJ's, books, and animals she wanted to bring. Pretty much all I told her was that her and Daddy would be going on a special overnight trip that night. I told her it was at the doctors office and that she needed to be a good girl and listen to Daddy and the doctors. That was the extent of it.

Gabe got home a little before 6, we ate a quick dinner and they were out the door around 6:30. They had to arrive at the office at 7.

I stayed home with the baby and of course was wondering how things were going all evening. I texted Gabe here and there, but didn't hear from him so I figured he'd get back to me when he could.

I was woken up at 12:30 from the crazy wind we had that night (so much for a good night of sleep-ugh) and checked my phone. Gabe had texted me back saying that Avery was completely amazing and that I'd be so proud of her. That made me feel good!

Cassandra woke up at 6am to eat and when I finished nursing, I got back into bed knowing they'd be home soon (they kick you out at 6:15am). Sure enough, 5minutes later I heard them come home. Unfortunately Avery was awake...we were hoping she'd fall back asleep in the car on the way home.

I came downstairs to her eating a doughnut and her hair was like a bird's nest-it was a huge mess!  I found out that they both had been up since 4am!

Basically, Avery was connected to 29 different things while she slept. Gabe said it took the tech about an hour to hook her up to everything. She had wires hooked up to her legs, feet, hands, chest, stomach, face and hair. I guess at 4am something came unhooked and the tech came in to fix it. Avery woke up while he was doing it and never fell back asleep. At 5:30am they decided to call it quits. I guess he had enough data though (thankfully!) so we're hoping things are good to go.

Gabe and I are truly amazed at how Avery did. Gabe said she was never told what they were doing. They just started hooking her up to things and she just sat there (watching videos on the iPad) and let them.

She never questioned what the wires were for.

She never tried to take them off or pull at them.

She never complained or cried.

She never asked to go home. (this from a kid who hasn't slept away from home except on vacations)

I guess Gabe went to give her a kiss and she said "but you can't kiss my face Daddy since I have all of these things on it." That was the extent that she talked about things. Even when she got home, she never talked about it. To be honest, it's the strangest thing! 

The morning was a little rough. Avery basically got about 5.5 hours of sleep last night so she was a hot mess when they got home. She was way overtired and completely wound up. We tried giving her a bath to get the paste out of her hair and it was a nightmare. She had a complete meltdown and screamed the entire time. Who would have thought that would have been the hardest part of this whole ordeal?! 

After running around awhile, Gabe finally got her to fall asleep around 11:45am and she took a 4 hour nap! I'm super glad because she really, really needed it!

We won't have the results of the study for three weeks, but we are so glad it's done and over with. And Avery was such a brave girl through the whole thing. We truly are proud of her!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

One Month Old!

Yesterday, baby Cassandra turned one month old already! It's hard to believe she's been here a month already-seems just like yesterday I was going through the labor from hell to welcome this little peanut into our lives!

She still seems much smaller than Avery was, although she is getting bigger! Some newborn stuff is starting to get snug on her now and she's filling them out more these days. She's still in newborn diapers at this point, but I have a feeling she'll be out of those in the next few weeks as well.

She's nursing well and eats every 2.5-3 hours I'd say.

I've sort of gotten her on a routine during the day of eat-"play"-sleep. After I nurse her, I change her diaper to wake her up and then she'll stay awake for an hour or two then fall asleep. She'll wake up again when she's hungry. If she hits the three hour mark, I usually wake her and try to feed her. She's pretty content most of the time-she fusses when she's hungry and tired. She still loves to suck herself to sleep but doesn't really enjoy the pacifier-she prefers our baby finger instead which makes like difficult at times!

She's been doing pretty well at night too-usually wakes up 2-3 times to eat on average. She's had a few nights where I'll feed her at 8:30 and she'll go until 2:30 before eating again. Unfortunately I don't get to bed until around 10 at the earliest (because of Avery's sleep issues), but a 4 hour stretch of sleep for me is still good! After that, she'll go 3-4 hours before eating again. So the past few nights I've gotten between 6-7 hours of sleep which is good!

Here are Cassandra's one month photos:

These are my favorites-she was getting so excited when I was talking to her so she was kicking away when I took these which made me laugh!

And for something to laugh at, here are Avery's one month pics! (Man, they look different!)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sucker Punch

This is what happens when your two year old doesn't want to go to bed and sucker punches you right in the mouth.

Or this is what happens when you nurse in public and someone doesn't agree with it and things get heated.
bruising on the right side of my lip

I wish I had a good story for this nice bruised lip I have....but I don't! And yes, I realize that the photos are wonky looking....the angle I took them at makes my face look distorted and my lips look enormous! But, you get the idea.

This was a bedtime accident actually and it was caused by my two and a half year old.

I was lying in bed with her last night and she sat up to take a drink. She had her back to me so I couldn't see her face. After she took her drink, she just sat there. So I said, "Avery, what are you doing?"

No response.

Just her flinging her head back towards me to lay down-with all of her might.

Her head met my mouth.

My mouth goes numb. 

She's silent.

I panic thinking she got injured because surely she should be crying from the force of impact she had. So...I ask if she's ok.

The tears start flowing "I WANT DADDY!"

I taste blood in my mouth and freak that she knocked out a tooth or something.

I climb out of bed, call for Gabe (who has to bring the baby up to me so that he can attend to Avery), and run to the mirror.

Blood? Check.

Fat lip? Check.

All teeth accounted for?  Check. (insert sigh of relief)

Pain? Check.

And this happened last night so the swelling has actually gone down from last night.

Parenting....good times had by all!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Someone enjoyed a special doughnut today!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sleep Tight

You might remember that last week I talked to the kids' pediatrician about Avery's current sleep problems. He suggested giving her melatonin, to which we really didn't want to do.

After several more nights (two weeks straight) of her staying up until after 10pm, I decided to call the local pediatric sleep center based on a friend's recommendation. 

Yesterday was the appointment.

I will say that I honestly went in thinking that we (as parents) were going to get a hand slapping. That her behavior was something that we were feeding into. Or that it was just her being a toddler. Or that it was because of the arrival of the baby. I was fully prepared to get a lecture on something and that the appointment was going to be a waste of time and not much help.

I was surprised.

They started by taking Avery's height and weight and oxygen level-all which were normal.

Then we went down the hall to a decent sized room and sat down with a nurse practitioner. I will say one thing-I was disappointed in the set up. It's a pediatric office and they didn't have a single toy for her to play with. And we were in this room for an hour! Of course Avery was running around, opening drawers, etc and the nurse was getting aggrivated. What do you expect this kid to do for an hour when you don't have a single thing to occupy her? Luckily I had my iphone with me and asked if I could pull it out (she said yes) so that kept her busy while I talked with the NP.

Anyways....she drilled me about Avery's history-health background and her sleeping background. Things were going fine-nothing out of the ordinary-until she asked if Avery snored. I replied "yes" and she said, "well, this might change things."  Apparently it's unusual for toddlers to snore and Avery snores pretty regularly.  I've never mentioned it to her doctor because I kept forgetting and I didn't think it was a huge deal. 

So after going over a zillion questions, she says she thinks one of two things might be going on....restless leg syndrome or obstructive sleep apnea.  The funny thing?  Both are hereditary and both run in my family. And neither of them were on my radar. 

She informs me about both things and says she wants to do a quick exam of Avery-check her tonsils, heart, chest, etc.  Well, she takes one look at her tonsils and says to me, "Her tonsils are enormous." She had me look....let's just say the uvula in the back of your throat (the dangly thing)-yeah, her tonsils touch it! You can barely see the back of her throat!  And when she sleeps, it closes up even more from the muscles relaxing! 

Of course she thinks there is some behavioral issues at play too. For instance-one of us always lays down with Avery until she falls asleep.  That came about when she was put in her big bed because if we leave her room, she'll play for hours on end. So one of us would stay with her until she fell asleep and it would work....until recently. So we're supposed to break that habit at some point but the nurse felt like it might be hard to break if there is a real medical issue playing into this whole thing too.

Basically we have to do a few more things until we have any solid answers. For the restless leg syndrome, Avery has to go and get bloodwork done to check her iron levels. With toddlers, it's hard to diagnose since they can't explain things to you so they check their iron levels in their blood. For the sleep apnea, she has to do an overnight sleep study to see if her sleep is interrupted and how severely it's interrupted. Once both of these things are done and we get the results, we can determine how to move forward.  I'm dreading both of them-she's never had blood taken (besides the finger prick) and the overnight study is going to be pretty rough too.

I scheduled her overnight for a weekend so unfortunately we have to wait until the end of March! We are on a cancellation list so it might end up being sooner. I'm hoping we get called in sooner because waiting that long is just crazy! If it stays as is, we won't have results of the study until mid-April....so two more months of waiting!

Gabe called our pediatrician and talked to him about everything too, just to get an idea of what he thought about this whole thing. And the pediatrician agreed that the sleep study was a good next step for us. So that was good to hear as well.

Part of me was relieved that there might be something actually causing this behavior. And of course part of me doesn't want her to have some medical issue to deal with. 

We just want some answers and suggestions to make bedtime easier.  Hopefully we're one step closer to that!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I had both girls decked out in their Valentine's attire today and didn't get a picture of it. Boo!

So, these will have to suffice for now...

Cassandra a few days ago in her girly heart outfit-sorry it's upside down! (If someone could teach me how to rotate these pics I will forever be grateful!)

Sleeping in her swing

Avery chowing down on her chocolate heart
I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day filled with lots of love! I know I did!

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Recovery

Now that Cassandra has been with us a few weeks,  I thought I would touch a little bit on my own recovery from the birth.

I will say that the recovery from a vaginal birth has been a cake walk compared to my c-section recovery!

In the hospital it was so weird for me to be able to get up and walk around less than an hour after giving birth. Once I was all stitched up, they had me get up and use the bathroom and move to the wheelchair so they could transfer us to our room. Once in our room, they had me up and using the bathroom immediately and I wasn't restricted from doing anything. The funny part? I kept thinking I couldn't move because of the delivery. I was afraid to get up and move around because I expected it to be like my c-section. My butt was sore from sitting in the same position for so long and my Mom was like "so roll over or get up and walk around" and to be honest, the thought never dawned on me to do those things because with Avery I couldn't! 

Of course this time around my pain was in a different spot-with my c-section it was my entire stomach and core area. This time it was my lady parts of course.  I'd say it took a good week or so for things to feel back to normal. It was uncomfortable and slightly painful at times, but Ibuprofen and ice really did help a lot. Sitting was uncomfortable for the first week, but now it's like nothing ever happened.  The only thing that's still not 100% is bowel movements-they are still painful at times even though I'm still taking stool softeners. I'm hoping that gets back to normal soon!

The one scare I had was when I got mastitis a week after having Cassandra.  And the big deal with that was that it made me nervous more than anything. Before the diagnosis, I was paranoid that my fever was because of something related to having the VBAC-I was afraid that it was something with my uterus-an infection or something....so that scared me more than anything. Even with that I wasn't in a lot of pain-it was more the fever that made me feel a little "off" at times.

I still was restricted from driving for two weeks (although I drove a week after having her) and wasn't supposed to lift more weight than the baby-which I did my best to follow. That was hard just because I still pick up Avery a lot. So it was hard telling her that I couldn't pick her up.  I'm also not supposed to take baths because of bacteria, which isn't a big deal to me.  I'll go to my OB at 6wks to get the "all clear" from them so hopefully things will go fine until then!

As for weight loss....I gained a total of 21 lbs (last I knew). As of today, I'm down 17lbs in two and a half weeks. I'm pretty surprised once again at how fast the weight came off. I'm sure it's mostly from breastfeeding and I will say that I've been eating like a pig these days so thankfully I'm burning off those extra calories or else I'd be in big trouble!  We'll see what happens with the weight now-after having Avery, I never got back down as low as I wanted to so we'll see if I get back to where I'd like to be. It was  just a few pounds that I hung onto, but it's still something! 

So those of you considering a VBAC, I highly suggest trying it! I never thought that the recovery would be so different, but it really is! I thought my c-section recovery wasn't bad, but this has been a breeze compared to that!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Two Week Checkup

Monday, Cassandra had her two week check up with her pediatrician.

She weighed in at 6lbs 13.5oz (3.5oz past her birth weight) and was 19.25" long. He didn't give me any percentiles, but mentioned she's on the small side which makes sense because she is small!

The appointment went well except that Cassandra cried the entire time!  He said that all looks good with her and that she doesn't have to go back until she's 2 months old!

I spent a lot of time talking to her doctor about Avery. She has had a really rough time at bedtime lately so I wanted to get some advice from him. 

Avery really doesn't nap anymore and hasn't napped consistently in a very long time. Because of that, we try to get her in bed between 730-8pm every night. Our routine is that she takes a bath (when needed), gets in her PJs, brushes teeth, read stories, then lie down and sing songs in bed. She used to do really well and would fall asleep within a few minutes of us lying there with her.

Lately it's been a different story. When we lay down with her, she is very restless-she thrashes around, kicks her legs and just is constantly moving. It's like she can't calm herself down enough to fall asleep. She does get frustrated and will start to whine/cry because she just can't get comfortable. It's almost like her brain won't shut off or something.

If we stay with her, sometimes we can get her to fall asleep in a decent amount of time. Sometimes she's so wound up that we end up leaving her because she just won't lay down and relax.

If we leave her room, things can get ugly really fast. She knows how to get out of bed, open her door and turn on the lights. Basically as soon as we leave, no matter how tired she is, she jumps out of bed and starts to play. We've tried totally leaving her alone and she'll literally play until all hours of the night (one night was close to midnight!)-one of us will end up caving and going into her just because it's so darn late and we want to get to sleep too!

It's such a hard situation-if we leave her alone, she plays all night. If we go in, we're reinforcing things in a way and she's not learning to go to sleep on her own. It's just so hard to know what is right to do.

So, I mentioned all of this to her doctor and he suggested trying a small dose of melatonin before bed. He said it sounds like we're doing everything we should be doing with her. He did say to remove all toys/books from her room and to try leaving her alone as much as possible.

So last night I emptied out her room and we did our usual routine. I stayed with her from 8-830 then told her it was time for me to go. As soon as I left the room, she was out of bed. I checked on her a few times and removed a few more toys I missed along the way. Gabe and I went up to bed around 1045 and she was still awake. Around 1120, Gabe went in with her and got her to fall asleep. Even without the toys/books, she found something to amuse herself: her dresser drawers....her entire floor was covered in every piece of clothing she has!  So I guess she doesn't need toys/books to amuse herself.

We decided to hold on the melatonin for now and see how things go. I don't know if this is an adjustment to Cassandra being home or what. We're going to give her a few weeks and see how things go.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


We had quite a busy week this week!

On Monday my friend Megan came out from Buffalo for a visit to meet the little peanut. It was great seeing her since we haven't seen each other since Christmas.

Monday night my Mom came out to stay for the week and help us out. She of course came with a car load of stuff-presents from her and some other people and of course food for the entire week! 

She bought Cassandra a pair of PJs that match a pair that Avery has (she bought Avery hers for Christmas). Of course we had to have them wear them and get some pictures of it! Don't mind Avery's silly smile!

My Mom stayed until Friday and it was a HUGE help having her here. I wasn't supposed to drive so she was on Avery duty a lot of the week...taking her to and from daycare for us and running errands if we needed her to. And like I said, her and my Aunt made us dinner for every night last week which was a big help too!  It was nice having the extra set of hands here to get us adjusted to being home.

My cousin from Buffalo called us later in the week to tell us that her son, Eddie was playing in a hockey tournament out here all weekend. We like to try and see him play so we told her when they head out this way to let us know. We offered up our house for them to stay and they took us up on our offer! He had 2 games on Friday, 2 Saturday and 2 on Sunday so they stayed at our house both Friday and Saturday nights.

Saturday morning we went to see his first game. We took both kids and had a great time-Avery really enjoyed watching the game!

I snapped this pic at the end of the game as Eddie was leaving the ice:

And a cute pic of Eddie and Avery (holding his hockey stick) after the game:

We didn't make the afternoon game because Gabe's sister and her family came over to meet Cassandra. They stayed a few hours and when they left, my cousin's were just returning to our house after their second Saturday game.

My cousin brought a plethora of gifts for the kids, including this adorable outfit (the hat courtesy of the hospital):

And I love this pic of Cassandra curled up in a little ball on Gabe:

Saturday night we made a pasta dinner here and the kids had fun playing together. They skyped with my Mom and Aunt to tell them the news on the hockey games:
Sunday morning Gabe and I took the kids to get pictures taken at Penney's and they did a really great job! The kids both cooperated and the pictures came out great!  Unfortunately, we missed my cousin's 2 games on Sunday as well-one was at 8am and the other was while we were having their pictures taken. Since we found out about the games sort of last minute, there wasn't much we could do. We already had plans made (his sister coming by, pics) and the timing just didn't work out. I was a little bummed we couldn't make it to another game, but it was really great spending time with them this weekend. It's been awhile since we've seen my cousin and her kids and I think Eddie and Avery had a blast together! 

Tomorrow is back to reality-no more visitors staying here and a "normal" week-yep, I'll have both kids myself this week! Should be interesting!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mastitis for 100 Alex

Since leaving the hospital, I pretty much have taken ibuprofen every 6 hours like they told me to.

Saturday I missed a dose by a few hours and noticed I got the chills. I took my temperature and sure enough I had a fever. It was only 100.1 but enough to make you notice it.  So I took my dose of ibuprofen.

Monday I missed a dose again (one week out of the hospital) but didn't think anything of it since I was one week out. Again I noticed I had the chills so I took my temperature and it was 100.5. I really didn't feel well at bedtime and was up sweating and having the chills a lot overnight.

Tuesday morning I decided to call my OB-I was getting worried that something with my VBAC wasn't right. I talked to my doctor around 10am and she told me to discontinue the ibuprofen for the day and to keep an eye on my temperature. My last dose of ibuprofen was around 4am or so.

So I felt good most of the day Tuesday-checked my temperature on and off and it was 98.6-normal as could be. Around 3pm I started to feel freezing so I checked my temp-it was up to 101.1.  I called the doctor and they didn't get back to me until 5pm-they wanted me to come in on Wednesday.

Today I went in and since they had no idea where the fever was coming from, they had to do a full exam-just what you want to do one week post partum!  Thankfully it wasn't too painful and everything with my old c-section scar seemed normal. 

The verdict? I have mastitis. I did notice one of my breasts was a little red underneath, but it wasn't painful at all and I just thought it was red from my bra strap. I guess when she examined them, the one that was red also felt a little lumpy which means I have a clogged duct (which is what causes mastitis in the first place).  I know a few people who have had mastitis and their symptoms seemed way worse than mine. Maybe I caught it in an early stage? 

Now I'm on antibiotics for the next 10 days and hopefully that takes care of it!  I'm just glad it wasn't something more serious!