Thursday, December 12, 2013

Valley Children's visit and Bryn's Allergies

On day 9 Bryn woke up with a swollen pink eye with goop coming out, also she was inconsolable without wanting to eat or nurse.  We thought it was a blogged tear duct as we had heard of that being quite common.  We called the doctor just to be safe and they told us to bring her in since their was some green and it seemed to getting worse.  She had a fever of 100.3 and after examining her the doctor said it was cellulitus of the eye and she needed to go to Valley Children's Hospital immediately.  She warned us they would be doing a full work up with blood cultures and a spinal tap:(  Sure enough they immediately checked us in and began the exams and it was so sad to see her hooked up to everything and getting pricked and the spinal tap was the worst.  It was deja-vu, as we had to take Harper there on day 5 of his life:(  She was given lots of antibiotics because they don't mess around with infections in infants.  The worst was that we would have to stay there for at lest 48 hrs until the blood cultures came back. I had already been going stir crazy when I had delivered Bryn at Clovis Community and now we were checking back in to a hospital:(  Trying to nurse her was soooo hard because she was hooked up to the IV plus 2 other monitors.  The monitors were soooo loud and kept going off for no reason, so def hard for her to sleep as well.  They have pull-out couches for the parents, so we stayed with her and my parents stayed at home with Harper.  Thank you Mom and Dad for helping out!  The nurses and doctors were very nice, but they constantly come in and check baby and unwrap her and so it was def not easy to sleep for anyone.  Brendan would go home from time to time to see Harper.  On day 3 the tests all came back negative for other bacterial infections and menangitis.  We were released to go home-yay!  Glad to have such a great children's hospital nearby, but hoping to not see it ever again!

So as many of you know Bryn was definitely a cranky baby from the get go, she would scream and cry for hours on end, it felt like in the evenings and nothing but nursing seemed to calm her, but even that didn't always work.  It was quite overwhelming and hard since it would be about when Brendan would come home until bedtime around 10.  That is the busiest part of the day and we couldn't even just sit down and relax, get Harper fed and bathed, or eat ourselves and she wouldn't take a bottle.    It was such a struggle hearing her cry and also not having gone through it with Harper.  Around week 5 or 6 I noticed that her poop (TMI) was starting to look strange, very different than what I was used to.  I know they say that breastfed babies can have all colors, but Bryn's started turning green and filled with mucous-ewww!  I spoked with the lactation consultant and the nurse from the ped office and they said to try a few things, but not a huge concern without blood.  After a week I just knew something was not right and took her in with some dirty diapers.  Dr. Evans tested it and came back and said "well I know what is bothering her, she is allergic to cow's milk protein.  Don't stop breastfeeding, because the formula for this is expensive and really gross tasting.  You are going to have to get rid of dairy from your diet though"...I looked at her and said "my favorite food is cheese!"...then I though about alllllll the milk I had already pumped and frozen for when I returned to work:(  She said I could donate it or give it to anyone I knew with a baby, but when I told my niece Kaila about it, she suggested I start mixing it with Harper's reg milk since it will help during cold and flu season:)  Oh man was I in for an education, milk and its by products are in everything!, from bread to salami to protein bars, to chocolate!  Not only milk, but whey, casein, etc.  After starting my research I also learned many infants with this allergy are also allergic to soy, which is in even more things!  Soy is a highly subsidized crop by the government so it is a cheap filler for lots of things, plus it is usually a GMO:(  Although it can take weeks for dairy to come out of my system, the dr suggested I take soy out as well since she wasn't really get a lot better.  We had her tested for some bacterial infections since she had been in the hospital with an IV for antibiotics but that came back clear.  She has what is called proctocolitis and MSPI, basically she is allergic to dairy and soy protein and it gives her colitis:(  After weeks of being dilligent I even say soy is an ingredient in the vitamins I was taking-REALLY???!!!  I have been free of it for over 2 months now and she is doing much better.  I am still not convinced this is truly the fix, but since allergy tests are not accurate until 1 year old, this is the route we will be going:)  It is definitely a hard route, but I have found a lot of great resources (thanks to some of my friends and family for leading me to recipes and websites) and have learned a ton of new recipes.  Eating out is the hardest since it is difficult to trust restaurants and waitstaff since dairy and soy are in EVERYTHING practically and lots of people always answer, oh yes it's gluten-free, well that's not the same;)  I have learned to be a label-hound and we cook even more at home and lots of fresh ingredients, so I feel like this is at least making us eat healthier:)  Of course I don't limit Brendan and Harper to all of this, but we don't make separate meals at home normally. 

I am curious to see what it will be like when we start introducing Bryn to solids and what the doctor says as far as trying to re-introduce soy and dairy around the 9-12 month mark.  We keep our fingers crossed she outgrows it:)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013



-After we finish reading a book before bed he says: "I read it myself" and then takes it from our hands.

-The other day after a soccer game Brendan said he needed to change his shirt because it stank and Harper said "Why, did you go poop?"  We both laughed hysterically and then that made Harper laugh since he knew we thought it was funny, so he started to repeat it:)

-This morning when Harper was getting dressed we were talking about the day and he was talking about his friends at daycare.  Then he said "and baby sister", and I asked "Where is baby sister?" and he replied "vacation"...interesting concept for pregnancy;)

-Harper got in trouble with his dad the other night and afterwards he said "I want Grampsy"

-Harper was having problems with his monkey puzzle and drug me over to help and I told him where it went and he said its hard, it's not my job!

-After honking at a man trying to take my parking spot Harper asked if I wanted him to beat the guy up

-Harper says Gracy has an owie on her ear, I think she's hurting, I think she's going to die

-Harper said Bryn was his favorite girl in his life

-He told Brendan-you work so you have money so you can buy me toys

-He told me-mommy you're not going with us because only the cool boys are going

-The cat was meowing to get through the gate and Harper said settle down kitty

-Harper said he was proud of me. I asked why and he said because I gave him a hug and kiss:)

-Brendan was leaving for work and Harper said I love you daddy and then once Brendan left and closed the door he told me I love him:)

-He likes to tell us when we say a bad word, "we don't say that", like stupid, shut up, etc.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

She's here-Bryn Charlotte Rhames

Bryn was due on Sug 14th, her cousin Eirann's bday, but she decided to cook a little longer in the overn.  Harper was also born after his due date, but he was induced.  This time I wanted to stay away from an induction if possible, mainly because I didn't want pitocin.  I was also pretty nervous about the whole pushing part, since it took over 2 hours to push Harper out and he was only 7.1 lbs.  2 days before my due date at my dr appt, I was checked and 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced so the baby could have potentially come anytime, though women can walk around like that for weeks.  My aunt Casey came down that weekend hoping I would go into labor so she could be here for the birth, but sadly baby didn't make an appearance:(  She had to get back to Reno since as a judge she can't miss very much work. 

Mon, Aug 19th I had another doctor appointment in the morning.  As we headed out the door I did a last min set up for Harper's things and my hospital bag just in case we didn't come back.  When the dr checked, he said well you are 100% effaced and dilated to a 5 and your bag of water is bulging (TMI warning-meaning it is hanging down and out and that it could rupture at any moment).  He said "Cathleen, walk over to the hospital (behind the office), I'm going to call ahead and they will be waiting.  I'll break you water and we are going to have this baby before 5 (it was after around 1030 at this point). Brendan, go take your son home and come back and I will break her water."  So, I headed over to the hospital and checked-in, they kept asking if I wanted a wheelchair because they couldn't believe I was dilated to a 5 and walking around.  I didn't even wait in triage since my doctor had already had me assigned to a room in the new delivery wing!  The room was super nice.  My nurse Lindsey came in and started everything going with an iv and heart monitors.  Dr.  came in at 1130 and broke my water, my contractions were then about 5 min apart.  I got my epidural at 1245 (thank goodness, the pain was too much-props to those who go natural), I was dilated to a 6 at 1:15 and then I dilated to a 10 by 220 and we had to wait a little for doctor to get there to start pushing.  Bryn was born at 3:17 pm, much faster than Harper and she weighed over a pound more!  I almost had a retained placenta again but finally it came out, so glad because my recovery went so much smoother this time around.

On a side note, since no one caught Harper's tongue-tie until 5 days after he was born(and he ended up having to go to Valley Children's Hospital due to dehydration), I was super paranoid and asked the ped who checked her, all the nurses and the lactation consultants and even stayed an extra night so I would have peace of mind that she was healthy and could breasfeed properly.  Everyone said she was fine, no sign of tongue-tie, but I wasn't convinced until I could see our pediatrician, but that wouldn't be until the following Mon, per the checking out pediatrician's orders.  Long story short she was tongue-tied, but in the posterior position, so it just made her not efficient at bf, unlike Harper who couldn't at all before they cut his frenulum.  She had the procedure done as well and it went quickly.  Tongue-tie is a hereditary condition usually and the second sibling is 25% likely to have it as well.  I am tongue-tied as well, but back then they just diagnosed me with failure to thrive and made my mom supplement with formula (tongue-tied babies can take bottles fine).

"I don't want to hold the baby, she's fragile."
"The baby doesn't talk, I will teach her."


First pink outfit

Big brother Harper, not so sure of this "fragile baby"

Dr. Lopez

Car ride home

First smile

Harper on left, Bryn on right

Monday, September 23, 2013

Baby Girl Rhames

My good friends Andrea, Nicole and Julie threw an intimate baby shower for Baby Girl Rhames in June.  Some of my immediate family and closest friends here in town attended.  It was at Max's Restaurant and it turned out perfectly:)  The decor, food and company were wonderful and it was a blessing to have this new baby already showered in love.  Lots of cute, girly clothes and colors on hand.
Julie, Me, Nicole and Andrea


Harper and mommy

Mom and Me

Nicole, Me and Michelle

One of the customized monthly onesies made by Artsy Fartsy aka Ari

The ladies

Andrea and me (friends since the 1st grade!)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Summer '13

Wow-Summer has flown by and I have been meaning to blog for soooo long and haven't gotten around to it.  School ended on a good note in June, I had some really good kids this last year and I always miss how nice it is at then end of the year to know all the students as opposed to the beginning of the year when I am trying to learn 185+ kids names and get them into a routine.  My homeroom graduated, here were their parting gifts (side by side pics of when they were freshmen and seniors).

Our 4th Anniversary was June 19th, so I planned a surprise getaway for Brendan while my parents graciously agreed to watch Harper.  Brendan had no idea where we were going, at one point he had convinced himself it was LA.  I booked the Cliffs in Shell Beach (Pismo).  We drove over and as soon as as we took the 41 South, he realized it wan't LA, but still didn't know the end location.  On the way we stopped at Bianchi Winery, where we are members, for a taste (Brendan of course, not me:( )  Then we stopped for lunch at the Side Car in SLO.  Finally we landed in Shell Beach mid afternoon and the weather was beautiful.  We walked down to the beach while our room was being made up.  That night we had dinner at the Cracked Crab, one of the crab was def our fav.  On our actual anniversary day we had breakfast and then I surprised Brendan with a couple's massage at our hotel, so relaxing!  That afternoon we headed over to walk the Bob Jone's Trail in Avila and stopped along the way for lunch.  In Avila we walked the beachfront and did some more wine tasting:)  For dinner we went to Giusseppe's and it was delicious, we ended at the Ventana Grill for mud pie (which I have to say is now on my list for top desserts.)  On the way back home we took sandwiches to go from DePalo&Sons deli (where I worked one year in college) and headed to some wineries in SLO that Brendan hadn't visited before.

As far as Harper this summer he is out of daycare, so we booked him for some activities.  He still attends MyGym, which he loves, every week.  We also enrolled him in Jan Thomas Swim School, where I attended as a little girl.  It is pretty close to where we live, hard to imagine when I went there it was considered to be in the middle of nowhere.  He cried the first day, which the school said is completely normal, though for us it was shocking since Harper is so outgoing and doesn't usually cry in new situations.  Funny though when he got home and Brendan asked him how swimming went, Harper responded "fun" and that he was ready to go back the next day!  His teacher was named Ms. Morgan and Harper loved her and was such a charmer, telling her "you're so pretty!", so of course she loved Harper as well.  He is quite the fish and can swim pretty well now, jump into the pool from outside and either swim to you across the pool or turn around and swim to the edge, then get down to the steps. 

Some of the funny things Harper has been saying lately crack me up:
-Harper says he has a kitty in his nose, I asked what color he said red. Then he said its a superman one;)
-We pull into the driveway and he says we're home, we made it!
-Harper and I are talking about the baby in my belly and he points to it and says there are bees and ladybugs inside it!
-Boots is Dora's sidekick
-At the circus when we were all clapping Harper yelled out "bravo"!
-He said "I want the robot monster toy." I said where is it? He said at the store, lets go get it!
-On the phone with daddy this morning, daddy asked what he had for breakfast and Harper said-cake! Too bad he had eggs and bacon!
-We put a shirt on he had never worn and it didn't match his batman shorts, it says I'm cute, moms beautiful, dads lucky! I say to Brendan oh your sis Erin got that shirt and Harper says, no it's for baby sister!

-He was having a conversation with his dragon Toothless and went in to the dining room and came back without him and told me Toothless was in time out, I asked why, and he said because he was hitting.

For the 4th of July we headed up to the cabin in Shaver with Brendan's sister Erin and her family.  I was nice to get out of the oppresive heat in Clovis.  Harper had a ton of fun with his cousins Conor and Lauren.  We did lots of bbqing and went into town a few times, once for some icecream. 

My mom rented a house in Cambria for 10 days, so she, Harper and I headed over and my dad and Brendan joined us a few days later.  It was so wonderful to enjoy the coastal weather and views and the beach. We had lots of walks through the hills, on the beach and downtown.  We visited SLO, Morro Bay and Avila.  It was great relaxation and an escape from the heat.  Hope to make that a yearly tradition:)

Tootless after being found and left on the trail, thank goodness for nice people:)

*I will post about Baby Girl Rhames shower later...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Harper's 2nd birthday

This year we celebrated Harper's birthday on Sunday with a breakfast, so we asked anyone who wanted to come dressed in their favorite pajamas.  Of course Harper loves his pajamas, I thought he would choose Batman, but he choose his Cars pair (though if we had Superman as a choice that would have def been the winner!).  We had quite the turn-out, mostly immediate family (which is big for us) and some close friends.  We served a great spread with help from others, so thanks to you who added additions, it was much appreciated!  As usual Harper loves a crowd and this year spent much of it playing with the other little ones in the living room or backyard.  When it came time to sing Happy Birthday he got a little nervous with all those people singing to him, but quickly realized how fun it was, especially after blowing out his candle on his cupcake.  He chowed down on his chocolate one of course!


Gotta have milk with chocolate cake
Happy boy!
Pretty much sums up his whole day
Chocolate chocolate!

Link to singing Harper happy birthday, he gets a little panicky then realizes it is all for him and recovers;)

Harper's birthday was actually on Mon, so he was lucky enough to spend the day with his Nana while we were at work:)  He had a fun day platyng at the park and eating a special froggie cookie.  That evening we had dinner at home with my mom and dad and Harper had another cupcake of course!  We have been looking for a new car for awhile and finally found one!  My dad was nice enough to go and pick it up for us in the Bay Area and brought it back to us that night.  It is a Toyota Highlander hybrid.  It is such a nice ride, has the 3rd row we were looking for with a pass though in the second row and air vents in the ceiling for rear-facing car seats and it is AWD.  So excited to drive a car I picked out!  Harper digs mom's new ride, but was a little confused to see dad driving mom's old car (the 300 is really Brendan's, so now he has that back to drive).

Harper went for his 2 year checkup.  He is 30.4 lbs, 34 3/4 inches and in the 75th percentile for height and weight.  He is your average 2 year old boy she said, though his verbal skills are more advanced.  She gave us some pointers on behavior, especially when he hits (which can happen with other kids more timid or smaller than him, and oddly enough never at daycare, just with mom and dad-sigh).  He is really getting good at the checkups, which is nice and even remembers his doctors' names.  No shots this time and he doesn't have to be back until 3 years old, though we will see Dr. Evans in Aug when baby girl comes.  One of the cute things he does now is when someone sneezes, he says "Excuse me".