Monday, August 28, 2017

Gemma's 7 Month Update

Baby girl is growing so fast! This past month she has reached so many milestones!

This past month Gemma:

-learned to crawl properly

-got her first tooth (and second, the bottom middle teeth)

-starting eating more solid foods, moved on to stage 2 baby foods, and learned how to pick up and chew baby puffs (She eats solids at breakfast about an hour after she wakes up and at dinner when we eat)

-had to have her crib lowered

-started pulling herself up to her knees and now pulls herself up all the way to stand

-got a new convertible car seat and stopped using the infant car seat

-and she got her bangs trimmed for the first time

Phew! Slow down kiddo.

Photo dump below

Friday, July 28, 2017

Gemma's 6 Months

What?! How in the world has it been six months since my littlest baby was brought in to this world?

Time. Just. Slow. Down.

Weight: 18.5 lbs (92%)

Height: 25.9 inches (60%)

Foods: She has tried all the "first" baby foods and loved most of them. Carrots were iffy. She also has had avocado and watermelon. This kid loves to eat. She wants to be eating when we are eating. She also sat in a highchair at a restaurant for the first time last weekend! SO crazy. She also eats puffs.

Still breastfeeding and loving it; no bottles. It's the easiest thing ever now that we are to this point and I hope to continue until she's at least a year. Fingers crossed we don't have any issues when she gets teeth haha.

Still sleeping with me but she takes pretty good naps in her crib during the day and even goes to sleep in her crib for an hour or two most nights before I bring her in bed with me. Some nights I get super lucky and she'll sleep in there until around 12:30. I have high hopes for getting her in her own bed full time. eventually. ha.

She isn't really crawling yet. She gets up on her hands and knees and rocks and rocks then flops forward, scotches forward, rolls over and over, and on and on until she gets where she wants hahaha. She's definitely mobile but I'm sure she'll figure out proper crawling any day now.

She loves her jumper and her walker. She will actually walk forward in it already. Trying to keep up with her sister.

Gemma absolutely loves her sister! She is always watching her and laughing at her. She loves when Elsie pays any sort of attention to her, at all. It's THE cutest! I can't wait for them to play together in the coming years. I hope they are the best of friends.

Baby girl is getting so big! It's equal parts exciting and sad how fast it's going by. I love seeing her little personality starting to shine through. Gemma is the happiest, smiliest baby ever! People even make a point of telling us how happy of a baby she is anywhere we go. We are blessed.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Myrtle Beach 2017

In June we went to Myrtle Beach with my mom, her boyfriend, and my grandma. The girls and I had a really great time! (Jay didn't get to go this year.)

We stayed in a two bedroom condo/apartment. Elsie had her own room which was really nice!

Every day when Gemma and I woke up and went to the apartment next door and had coffee with everyone while Elsie was still sleeping. By the time she got up and ate breakfast it was time to get down to the beach. We tried to go down there around9am everyday so we could get a few hours in before lunch and naptime. We went back up to the rooms to have lunch (hotdogs, sandwiches, etc) and put Elsie down for a nap. Most days my grandma would listen on the baby monitor for Elsie while the rest of us went back down to the beach or pool for awhile. By the time Elsie woke up we were pretty much done with the beach for the day. We'd either go back to the pool or do something else.

Elsie warmed up to the beach by the end of the week but definitely preferred the pool. 

For dinner we went out to eat. Grandma only went with us once. One day we fed Elsie then went out to a nice Italian place after Elsie went to bed while grandma watched her. She did okay at the restaurants when we took her with us though, thank god for netflix! Gemma usually slept in her carseat through dinner.

Overall it was a really nice time! I wasn't sure how much I'd get to relax without Jay there to help but it turned out okay. Hopefully we can all go again next year!

Here's some pictures:

Friday, June 30, 2017

Elsie Lately

Things Elsie says:

"peas" and "tank you"- anytime she wants or is given something, not sure how but she's super polite

"boom"- for a fist bump haha. She has to have a hug, kiss, high five, and a boom before nap and bedtime, and she tries to do it several times if it keeps me from leaving.

"No! I not!"- so sassy

She still calls Gemma "baby" but does it in the cutest high pitched little mama voice

"da-yee"- for daddy

One time she came up to me outside yelling "Mom! Dog ship" I'm sure you can figure that out  haha oops. But she always had to point out when the dog has pooped by telling "Poop!"

We recently went to the beach and when she says beach it sounds an awful lot like another certain B word

"nolk" milk

"coy"-car (most of her Rs are said as Ys)

She still sleeps with "Momo" (Elmo) but  also likes to take "Nana" (Anna from Frozen) and "Tata" (Elsa) to sleep with her

Which brings me to how she says her name...she doesn't really often, but when I get her to say it, it sounds like "Ta-tee"

That's all I can think of for now. This will be fun to read through someday. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Gemma's 5 Month Update

Baby girl is growing so fast!

Thus month she's really started getting around. She figured out how to roll from back to front awhile ago but this month she really mastered going from front to back as well. Within the past week she's been  rolling all over the place.  She also tries to get on her hands and knees already and sticks her butt up in the air. I'm betting she'll be crawling next month. When she tries going forward now she scoots backwards.

She got hold of a piece of watermelon on vacation and loved it! She was so sad when I took it away. So I started giving her some solid foods. I know it's not really recommended until 6 months but, just like Elsie was, this girl is ready. She's tried banana, pear, apple, and squash. Loves it all! She doesn't have much of the tongue thrust reflex left either so she isn't really spitting it back out. She's still breastfeeding too, no bottles or anything. I'll be starting a sippy cup in a month or two.

She absolutely loves watching Elsie and is always smiling at her. It's so cute!

We just moved up to size 3 diapers and she's wearing 3-6 month clothes primarily.

Hmm what else...

Oh she also started liking  being in the jumper. I don't leave her in for long but she likes playing with all the toys in it.

Working on sitting up alone. She can for about 30 seconds at a time. She'd much rather be moving than sitting.

Also, still no teeth but lots and lots of drool.

And still cosleeping although she does sometimes nap in her crib if we are home.

It's so much fun watching her grow. Time needs to slow down!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Gemma's Feet

This post has been a long time coming. This will be a lengthy post.

Gemma saw a new orthopedic doctor shortly after we got to Virginia. At this point she was still in boots and bar that the German doctor had her wear after casting. First we saw the physicians assistant and she said that her feet were really flexible and looked great. I showed her pictures of her feet before and throughout the casting process. She doubted that we needed to even wear the boots and bar during the day anymore maybe just at night.

Then she brought the doctor in and he was even further impressed with her flexibility even to the point of doubting that she ever had true clubfoot. He thinks she might have just had a positional thing from running out of room in the womb. He said he knew it was almost heretical (is that a word?) in the clubfoot community to not wear the boot and bar but that he really thought we should just leave them off for a month and see what happened. Since he never got to see Gemma before she went through casting, he couldn't tell for sure what her feet were like but he also knew that the clubfoot treatment is very long (like 4 or 5 years of nighttime wear) and it was either continue with treatment as is for that long or see what happens. I left it up to him to decide. Since when she was born two pediatricians said it wasn't clubfoot, I had always been skeptical.

SO we decided to leave the boots off and come back in about five weeks to see.

Today was the day!

The P.A. said her feet look great! If it had been clubfoot they would have almost immediately started turning inwards and she would have lost a lot of flexibility. She is still very flexible and her feet haven't turned in. Such good news! She said we don't even need to go back to follow up, we have their information in case we ever have anything come up but they are confident that it was just a positional issue that was corrected faster with casting but that she probably didn't even need casting to correct it. But obviously the casting didn't hurt her at all since the German doctor did a good job.

So that's that! Our prayers were answered and Gemma's feet are perfect!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Gemma's 4 Months

Gemma is four months old! 

At her doctor appointment today, she weighed 15.3 pounds (84%) and was 24.9 inches (77%) long. Her head is 39.7 cm (18%). And she got her shots.

She rolls from back to front but hasn't really figured out rolling from front to back as she's only done it once. Her new favorite thing is when she's laying on her back to push down with her legs and lift her butt up. She's scooted several feet by doing that.

She is still exclusively breastfed. And she still won't really take a bottle but honestly I don't really need her to so I haven't worked on it much. I don't really ever pump, but I have a few bags in the freezer just in case.

Gemma naps in her crib, carseat, or carrier depending where we are. We co-sleep at night. She eats once or twice during the night.

She loves chewing on her hands or a toy (and she drools a lot), sitting in her bouncer seat (but shes almost too big), and watching her sister. She doesn't like riding in the car too much but doesn't hate it all the time.

She's really a very happy baby always smiling at everyone. We get a lot of compliments on her smile and big blue eyes.

We love her so much!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Gemma's 3 Month Update

This baby is three months old tomorrow! Time is flying. 

Gemma is still breastfeeding about every 2-4 hours. She won't take a bottle. Womp womp.

She started wearing size 3-6 month clothes a few weeks ago. She can still fit in 0-3 month but they are pretty snug. At her brief check up with the pediatrician a few weeks ago she was almost 13 pounds!

She tolerates tummy time for about 5-10 minutes then gets fussy and she rolled over from front to back on Wednesday April 26th, for the first time. When she's laying on her back she turns her head and looks way up almost like shes trying to roll from back to tummy already too.

Gemma loves when Elsie talks to her. Elsie likes to say "Hi baby!" to her in the mornings when she gets up (and throughout the day) and Gemma smiles so big.

She's starting to like sitting up more than laying down. I wonder if she'll sit up on her own early like Elsie did?

She sticks her tongue out at me now. It's so cute! One of my favorite milestones.

She prefers me over anyone (obviously haha) but doesn't really like other people to hold her for long, especially if I'm around. We need to work on that!

She went to her new orthopedic specialist Dr Jex and his physicians assistant Dr Kristobak at Walter Reed this past Monday. It was a very interesting visit and to sum it up we are taking a break from the boots and bar for a month because... he isn't convinced she even had clubfoot to begin with because of her flexibility. I'll write another lengthy post on this really soon.

Here's another picture because oh my god those cheeks! 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Elsie's Two Year Update

I'm only a month and a half late on this. 

Elsie's party before we left Germany

It has been the longest craziest last couple of months and Elsie is busy growing and adjusting to it all. We still have one more move to do from the hotel to our house next week but she has handled all the traveling and moving so well! She adjusted to the 6 hour time change pretty easily. It took about a week for her sleep schedule to get back on track but she is back to sleeping from around 8pm until around 7am. She's been sleeping in her pack n play while we wait for our household goods to be delivered.

With all the changes, Elsie has been a little more picky with eating. We still try to give her what we are eating and she usually will eat some or all of it. Our go to meal for when we just need to make sure she'll eat is chicken nuggets and fries, she'd eat them everyday if we let her. We also still give her some milk in the mornings and evenings.

Elsie has been talking up a storm! Iti s a little hard to make out what she says but she's definitely transitioning from babbled sentences to actual sentences that are just rambled together. I can understand about 60% of what she says these days which is good. I love when she says "so coot!" to Gemma.

Elsie is still in diapers but I plan on trying to potty train her in a month or so. She's showing a ton of signs that she is ready for potty training. She says "potty" and when she poops she'll usually come up to me and say "I poop" and lay down for me to change her. We have been trying to teach her how to pull down her pants but since the weather here is so nice she will probably wear a lot of dresses anyway.

The "terrible twos" are definitely upon us. Little miss Elsie is super independent and wants to do everything her way and on her own time. It can be very frustrating at times but we are working through it.

On the other hand, it is crazy that our little girl is getting so big and can do so many things on her own now. She helps me get diapers and wipes for the baby. She has also been letting me know when she wants to eat or have a snack. (Even if that means opening the small fridge in the hotel to bring me said snack haha)

It is so much fun to watch her grow.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Gemma's 1 Month Update

I can't believe how fast 4 weeks have gone by! So much has happened in this first month.

Gemma lost her umbilical cord stump at 7 days and had her first bath.
She smiles when she's awake but only when she wants to.
She has had awesome head control since she was born and pretty much holds it up on her own.
Her eyes are blue and getting lighter by the day.
She eats every 1-3 hours and I'm still breastfeeding. We made it to a month yay! It was rough to start and pretty painful. She has a shallow latch. But it doesn't really hurt anymore unless she cluster feeds and it really did get better right around 2-3 weeks like everyone says.
She's mostly a really great sleeper. We cosleep (because you gotta do what works when you have to be able to function the next day) and she mostly sleeps all night with about 3 feedings. Sometimes she has a bad night if she's gassy.
She really is a calm baby which I wasn't expecting at all since she was always moving and kicking me when I was pregnant.

Gemma was born with a very mild case of clubfoot on both feet. The doctor right after she was born said she only needed stretches and physical therapy. Then at her first week checkup on post, her doctor said it wasn't clubfoot just tight ligaments and recommended the same thing and referred us to a physical therapist. However, the physical therapists recommended we see a pediatric orthopedic specialist to get her feet casted, that they thought she'd need that and not just stretches or even splints.

So when she was 3 weeks old we quickly got a referral to the specialist and got her in to see him that same week. I was sort of thinking/hoping the specialist would say she didn't need casts, but that wasn't the case. He said it was clubfoot and that she needed casts right away (probably should have already been done) for at least 4 weeks and then special shoes/brace after that. So on Thursday she got her first cast which will be changed weekly.

Since we are moving so soon, there are added difficulties with finding a doctor stateside to immediately continue treatment. We can't finish before we leave and she can't have much of a gap between castings and what not. Fingers crossed/ prayers that it all goes smoothly. It's really stressful on top of everything else with moving but we know it's what's best for her so she hopefully doesn't have any delays in walking.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Gemma's Birth Story

"I never knew how much love my heart could hold until someone called me mommy."

Our baby girl, Gemma Lee, was born at 12:42am Sunday January 29th, 2017. 

Almost everything I read about second babies said that they usually are born earlier than first babies. So, I was pretty set on Gemma being early since Elsie was born at 39 +3 days. It turned out to be a bad mentality to have when days kept passing, my due date arrived, and still no baby. My mom flew in to help with Elsie and there was still no baby. The end of pregnancy is rough with so many aches and pains and the anticipation, and it's even worse when you've passed your due date. So we just tried to keep busy and walk the baby out, plus by that point I had already tried almost everything else to start labor (pineapple, sex, red raspberry leaf tea, evening primrose oil, hip circles on a yoga ball, etc.) 

On Saturday night, 40 +6 days pregnant, I had decided to go to bed after a day of little in the way of contractions, it just didn't seem to be happening that day. I went in to be around 10, laid down and had a relatively painful contraction. Jay came in to go to bed and I told him I had a few contractions at this point but after having gone to the hospital in false labor the previous week, I was determined to stay home until I couldn't handle it anymore or my water broke. So I stood next to the bed while having a contraction and felt a popping sensation (almost felt like her head turned in to place or something). Still no water breaking. Then with the next contraction or two I felt a little gush of water. This all happened within about 15 minutes. I told Jay who said something like "Are you kidding?' because he was trying to go to sleep haha. (It was just funny because I had a feeling it might happen this way because it's similar to how Elsie was born)

After my water broke the contractions got more intense, as they do, and I had to stop walking and breathe during them. They were already on 2-3 minutes apart. I called the hospital to tell them we were on our way. With my first labor only being about 5 hours total, I knew to go in right away because the second is often a lot shorter.

Longest 5 minute car ride of my life! Got up to the Kriessaal (l&d) and the midwife took me to my room right away to hook me up to monitors. She checked my cervix and I was still 2cm like I had been all week. The contractions were still only a few minutes apart and getting stronger. The midwife let me stand because the thought of sitting for 20 minutes to be monitored was terrible. Jay had to go down to do paperwork for our health insurance and the 20 minutes he was down there felt like hours. 

My waters had only broken a little at home, so while I was standing being monitored it was gushing all over the floor, so much so that Jay asked if I was peeing (haha). The nurses gave me whatever their first level of painkiller was in my iv. It did seemingly nothing. I was waiting on my epidural that I requested as soon as I got there. I didn't have one last time but it sounded so nice this time. They were waiting on bloodwork. 

At one point I threw up. Shortly after that I felt like I needed to poop. All that was a sign that I needed to be checked again, and when she did I was at 7-8 cm. And in walked the anesthesiologist. The midwife said basically that they could do the epidural but then I had to sit still for 20 minutes and given my history of fast labor it probably wouldn't take effect before the baby came. But it was up to me. While I was trying to decide, I felt the urge to push and then the midwife checked me again. Yep. No time for epidural. Crap. 

Time to push. Not sure how long I pushed, or how many times. It felt like forever but obviously can't have been that long. I had arrived at the hospital around 23:00 and out came Gemma at 00:42. We were all laughing about how fast that was. 

Just like last time, I got to hold Gemma for hours. I delivered the placenta, and got stitches while holding her. Still tore a little but not as bad as last time, even with warm compresses. 

Gemma was 3600 grams (7lb 15oz) and 50cm (19.6in). Almost 2 pounds bigger than Elsie was. She was born facing up at the new moon that night.

We went to our room around 03:00 and Jay went home to sleep. We stayed in the hospital 2 more nights but could have stayed a third. I really love the hospital I delivered at (same one as with Elsie) but I was ready to go home to be with my little family. 

So that pretty much sums up the birth of my second daughter. I was in labor for just over 2 hours. It was crazy fast and surreal. Truly amazing.

It is true what they say, that you don't have to share the love for your second child, your heart just grows for them.