Thursday, March 31, 2011

sad news

Sorry I haven't been answering phone calls over the past couple of day, but I (we) keep getting really upset whenever we talk about things. This is the easiest way emotionally for me to update everyone all at the same time. I spent over 3 hrs at the vet Tuesday with L. Gumball. :( xrays...blood work...etc. His liver is starting to fail and he's becoming jaundice because he's not eating at all!!!!!!!!! I was told that if he doesn't start eating by this weekend then we'll have to put him down. :( He was given a steroid shot and an appetite stimulant prescription on Tuesday and has started eating a little. The dr. is going to call me everyday to discuss his progress...
We either put him down (which, unfortunately, we would end up doing) or it would be aggressive and expensive treatment to save him. Feeding tube, ultrasound, episcopacy (sp?), biopsy, chemo...the list goes on and on...

He only weighs 11.6 lbs. It's tough because he still has his same temperament--just less energy, which makes sense because he's not eating. He's losing a lot of muscle in addition to fat. He's literally dying of lack of nutrition like someone who is anorexic. :(

Yesterday the vet said we are definitely not close to being in the clear, but she is pleasantly surprised and happy for us that Gumball has started eating again. Yesterday he ate so much, but I have yet to see him eat today... :(...

On a lighter note...I had to smile while I was making the bed this morning because I found cat food crumbs on my side of the bed. I woke up twice in the middle of the night to Gumball eating out of the food bowl I placed on my bedside table. I've never been so happy for interrupted sleep!

future Dr. Matt..

...would be so proud!

I was thinking of him while I read this today. Since Grace is over 3 months, the area of the eye responsible for processing colors has fully developed. Babies love to look at human faces. The symmetry of a face is calming and soothing for young babies. I thought that was interesting...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Movin and Groovin

This is how perfectly still Grace used to sleep in her crib....
She moved into this position yesterday before she fell asleep for her morning nap! 

I know bumpers and such are so not supposed to be in cribs anymore, but what happens once she starts hitting the wooden sides? (Samantha Vetor style...) Her head is literally against her crib in this picture. Any thoughts?

PS Thanks for the cute outfit, Francine! xoxo

Monday, March 28, 2011

Girls ONLY: Road trip

Grace and I had many firsts this weekend. We had our first girls' road trip without Michael. Many great memories with great friends were made, but we sure missed Daddy. It definitely made me appreciate him that much more for being so helpful and involved with Grace.

Our first part of the weekend was spent in Zionsville, IN. We had dinner with the Vetor and Spitzer families. After the little ones went to sleep, Amanda, Anna and I stayed up for girl talk. Even though I just saw them, there is always so much to catch up on. Baby Grace (I can still hear Audrey saying that) and I slept in the Spitzer's new bedroom, but not until we heard Anna and Audrey tell us a bedtime story...adorable! When Audrey was asked if we can come back for another sleepover with Grace's Dad next time, she said, "no...just the girls again." I had many moments this weekend daydreaming about how nice it would be if we all lived in the same city. Of course the great people from New Harmony are always included in my daydreaming.  ahhhhhhhhhhh....we would be unstoppable!
I had to get a picture of them before we left in the morning, even though there was nothing easy about it. Audrey and Brock look like they are ready for their baby brother to join their family. I sure do wish we would have taken it the night before with Miss Samantha Vetor. :(
Our next stop on our girls' road trip was to BLOOMINGTON! We went to Mother Bears for pizza and beer - it felt like college all over again (except this time we had a baby!). After lunch we stopped by the track to watch the Little 500 qualifications... unfortunately it was freezing and we couldn't wait to get back in the car. One of my favorite moments was being there with Pat because he has never seen anything Little 5 related. It was fun hearing his questions and comments while we were at the track. Michelle and I were talking about how riding seems SO long ago- almost like another lifetime ago. After a rough car ride for Grace we arrived in Columbus for Lauren and Pat's bridal shower. It turns out the "shower" was really a cocktail party that didn't end until 2AM. The night included delicious food, lots of wine, loud music, a champagne toast (with a splash of Grand Marnier), and an after party at the Freeland's house. After meeting the Freeland's family friends, we've decided we have to bring our A-game to the wedding (because we were definitely the losers at the shower - those grown ups know how to party!). I'm picturing lots of drinks and dancing at that wedding! Sunday morning was all about breakfast and Grace... I got lots of breaks from taking car of her. I had a great time spending the weekend with wonderful friends. We are so blessed to have them in our lives.  The drive back home seemed extra long because at that point, we were really looking forward to being home and relaxing with Dad! Tonight was one of my favorite family moments to date.
 
Pictures to come...Lauren and Pat got a big kid camera since the last time I saw them!!!! Check out Lauren's Mom's facebook photo album in the mean time.

Hello Everybody

When we're not playing with Grace, Michael and I love spending time together looking over our pictures. We're okay admitting we've become losers and are even obsessed. Tonight, while we were reminiscing, he commented on how he loves this picture and thought it should be added to the blog. I love it! He is the perfect Dad for a little girl! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Our chatter box

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Daddy can get Grace to smile and "talk" more than anyone else.
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Patti, Matt's Mom, is already teaching Grace to say Mama and Dada. 
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Grace was "talking" so much before I started recording her. I replayed this video back to her and she kept smiling and giggling at herself. Too bad I don't have two Flipvideos. JIK!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Message from future Dr. Matt

Grace's eye fact of the day: She can't see detail because she has too many connections in her visual cortex right now. It will start to get better when her left brain starts only seeing the right visual world and vice versa.

Chicago St. Patty's Day

These past couple of weekends have been fun in Chicago. Michael and I have been doing a great job with still doing the things we want to do, even having Grace in our lives. A couple weekends ago, we decided to act like irresponsible non-parents again, and had a party for Chicago's St. Patty's Day. We have yet to make it to the parade or the dying of the river, but we did have Irish flag layered jello shots. Rachel found them on a blog that's solely about gourmet jello shots.  Libbie and Matt spontaneously watched Grace this past Friday night  so Michael and I were able to have a dinner date at Coast Sushi...always a treat for us!

Who had fun celebrating St. Patty's Day...Chicago style? 
THIS GUY!
 ...and a bunch of other people too
Rachel and me sharing a jello shot with "Alyse!" 
 
This picture is from a couple years back, but it is still my all time favorite St. Patty's Day pic. Happy Birthday, Matthew Arthur, who grew up on McArthur! 




Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

Grace received a lot of St. Patrick's Day love! Thank you all! xoxo
Thanks to the O'Connor side of the family Grace is 1/4 Irish, unlike most of us from Chicago who just pretend to the day. Happy Birthday shout out to Uncle Matthew! xoxo 
more pictures to come so check back later...
 Hanging out with the birthday boy. Grace wasn't in the mood for this photo session.



Another funny baby

Adair posted this hilarious clip on my facebook page last night and it already appeared on the Today Show this morning!

Rolling over Milestone...check!

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Grace is officially rolling over tummy to back on a consistent basis. Today was an especially impressive day. She rolled over around 10 times in a row trying to get a better view of our bedroom fan. She kept practicing so she was able to show off her skills to Daddy when he got home from work.

Side note: Grace and I went to the park with Kristin, baby William and Franklin. Today was absolutely beautiful, but I couldn't believe how many people were at the park with their babies, kids and puppies. I really hope we make our park/walk time a routine...

Asseff and Yasmeen, you two are joining next time...

Pop-Tastic Wall Decals! {GIVEAWAY}

 While watching American Idol tonight with Michael (of course after Grace was asleep for the night), I was also checking out and becoming obsessed with another Mommy Blog, A Few of My Favorite Things. She gives away free things and is a Mom of twins (shout out to the soon-to-be Bruinsma beauties and the Adley boys...play date next week? Check out her most recent blog about these absolutely adorable wall decals...perfect for a nursery for play room. Amanda Vetor...I think these would be too cute in Sam's upstairs playroom. I'm just sayin... As a teacher, one of my favorites is the tree of knowledge. The Glitzy Girls with their accessories would be so fun for Grace in the future. Imagine having paper dolls on your bedroom walls!

Pop-Tastic Wall Decals! {GIVEAWAY}

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kids changing the world

Papa Lon, Grace and I were enjoying the Nate Berkus show. All three of us thought this 11-year-old girl from Chicago is doing something pretty cool and worth blogging about. She has helped provide hundreds of bikes and helmets for kids who can't afford them! Nate Berkus donated 300 helmets!

Clean out your garages and basements and let me know if you have a helmet and/or bike to donate. I'll make sure it gets to her.

She even has a website! Check it out... Pedal Power 
Oh the possibilities for kids...

blanket

Grammie Mo's friend who recently passed crocheted this blanket for Grace.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Attention Mommy Followers

I found this Mommy Blog, City Mom: Raising Kids in the City,  on Bloggy Moms. She's Canadian and has a ton of resources for free stuff. She also shares her thoughts on the mommy blogging world, which I didn't know existed either. I'm slowing realizing how HUGE and extensive it gets and I haven't formed my opinion yet...

Who doesn't love free stuff? Check out her blog when you get the chance...

Watch me grow

 
Happy 3 months, Grace! She becomes more alert and fun everyday. Her personality continues to develop. Here are a couple things she is now doing...
  • She will make eye contact with you and "talk" back and forth with you for a little bit. Daddy is the best at getting Grace to do this. 
  • She is able to hold a rattle in her hand for extended periods of time. While playing she fell asleep last week and woke up with her long fingers still wrapped around one.
  • She is consistently sleeping through the night. When I say sleeping through the night, I mean our definition of sleeping through the night...anywhere from 8-12 hours!!!!!!! 
  • Every morning she wakes up the happiest baby who just looks at me and continuously smiles! :) my favorite...
  • She sits up in her Bumpo chair (thanks Ali), has rolled over once while on her tummy, and is consistently turning on her sides during tummy time.
  • Some of her favorite activities are: staring at the ceiling and lights (still her favorite), watching TV...especially basketball with Dad (I'm being serious), lying under her farm activity set, taking walks/naps in her pram, staring at herself in the mirror, straining her neck to see what's going on while you hold her up against your shoulder. For some reason she starts getting fussy when you try to turn her around to make it easier on her???
Who do you think Grace looks like? Mommy? Daddy? Neither? A combo of both?

Special Weekend


This past weekend was special for several reasons...
  1. Papa Lon's sisters came to visit from Minnesota and Kentucky.
  2. Grace flipped on to her back from being flat on her tummy. 
  3. Grandma Patti and Papa Lon babysat Grace overnight! 
  4. Mommy and Daddy spent quality time with each other, family and friends.
  5. Chicago St. Patty's Day was Saturday! 
Heather, thanks for Grace's new toy...she loves it! Grace can't wait to meet Uncle Robert and see Aunt Donita again in a couple of weeks! 

      

    Mommy and Me workout

        
    Grace and I have been going to Baby Bjorn aerobics weekly and she absolutely loves it. She either falls asleep in her carrier or is extremely alert and looks at herself in the mirrors. The Moms do abs and push ups while the babies hang out in the middle on their mats and blankets. Grace does tummy time and has already been checking out the boys in the class. It's a great way to meet other Moms with little ones. Thanks, Adina

    We've also tried the Mommy and Me music class at EBC, but I've decided Grace is a bit too young for it. I think I'm a little excited to do as many day time activities together while we can before I have to go back to work in August. :(

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Baby Tink

       
    Here's a taste of Grace's 3 month photo shoot! 
    Photographer: Mommy

    Gumball

    I think they are becoming friends...or at least protective of each other!

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Ash Wednesday

    Michael has decided once again (I believe it's his 3rd consecutive year) to give up drinking for lent.
    We're both doing our usual, which is to go to church every Sunday.

    After we got back from Ash Wednesday service, Michael and Grace took a feeding break to burp and pose for an adorable picture with their ashy foreheads! Once Grace was down for the night, Michael and I enjoyed Maggiano's fish and sald for dinner. We sure love our easy and romantic Maggiano's take out dinners! xoxo

    First Dinner at Joe's

    On Tuesday Grace got to go to Mommy and Daddy's favorite restaurant for her first time! The ladies there LOVED her and continuously stopped by our table to say hello. Grace was on her best behavior and it was so nice how the staff was so accommodating. Grace, going to Joe's is a pretty big deal. Mommy and Daddy usually go there for special occasions only like our anniversary. Our good friends Stephanie and Corey Prologo even got engaged there!   
    The Nierengartens had a great family dinner on Fat Tuesday!  

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Laughter is medicine to the soul


    8-month-old boy laughing hysterically while at-home daddy rips up a job rejection letter. They are also on the TODAY show.

    This YouTube clip is CONTAGIOUS! I can't wait for all the funny moments that are yet to come with Grace! :)  Between this clip and the Charlie Sheen vs. Ron Burgundy article, I am having an EXCELLENT start to my day! Thanks for thinking of me, Mom and Rachel!

    After lots of subtle requests, I have decided to remove the music from my blog! Keep the suggestions coming, please...I REALLY appreciate the feedback.  I'm making this up as I go along...

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Road trip #2: St. Louis

    Grace had a fabulous time meeting the girls (and seeing Michelle and Doug again). We stayed in a hotel just around the corner from the Bergers. We learned real quick at the Vetor's in Indy that we don't do well sleeping in the same room as Grace so the suite was better than ever. The weekend was the perfect amount of group time, girls time, Gracae time, relaxation, and a bit of craziness. Michelle's friend cooked us dinner Friday night at their place. We felt so wined and dined. The courses even included wine pairings and dessert. The girls went out Saturday night while Daddy and Uncle Dougie watched Grace. Chocolate chip pancakes and a coffee to go before we hit the road Sunday afternoon. We are really excited to see everyone again for Lauren's bridal shower and wedding!!!!

    Poor Baby

    Grace got sick for her first of probably many times. The pediatrician wanted me to bring her in since we were leaving for the weekend. Her symptoms were: rough cough, runny and stuffy nose,vomiting, and we could feel the raspiness in her lungs when we held her. However, she is still happy and calm as ever! She tested positive for RSV. The doctors said it will go away in a couple weeks, to not worry unless she doesn't have 3 wet diapers in 24 hours, and to resume normal activities. I definitely was the one who gave it to her because I had the exact same symptoms the week before and I LOVE giving Grace Mommy kisses...oops!
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    Having our own personal NICU nurse with us all weekend, made it extremely easy to spend quality time with Mommy's girlfriends in St. Louis. Thanks, Nurse Kat...can't wait to see you again in Minnesota for Lauren's wedding!


    Identity crisis?

    L. Gumball has found a new place to nap...
    Talk about an expensive cat bed...
    PS I promise we have been giving him a TON of attention! 
    Yes, we are obsessed with taking pictures of our cat and baby with our new camera! Can you tell?

    IU PU dinner

    Grandpa Den, Grammie Mo, and Uncle Matt came over for dinner and to watch the IU vs. Purdue basketball game. Matt...Grace LOVED your outfit!!!! (even though the outcome was unfortunate) Grace was intently watching the game as you can see in the picture where Uncle Matt is holding her.

    2 Month Wellness Check

    Grace had her 2 month wellness check the day after Valentine's Day (I know I am getting behind with these posts. I just wanted to make sure to include this one for our family's records)  The doctor says she's doing great! She weighs just over 10 lbs and is 22" long!
    • We're still supposed to put Grace to bed on her back, but if she flips over we can leave her on her stomach. Prior to 2 months babies need to sleep on their backs to decreases the risk of SIDS, unless the pediatrician says otherwise.
    • Now is the time where Grace will learn sleep behavior association.We need to start working on her bedtime routine, putting her to bed when she's sleepy but still awake, start weaning her off depending on the 5 S's from The Happiest Baby on the Block (swaddling, shhhhing, swinging, side, and sucking). Side note: I'm currently reading Healthy Sleep Habits; Healthy Child by: Marc Weissbluth. He is a pediatrician with thirty-five years of experience and founded the original Sleep Disorders Center at Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital.
    • We should start keeping one arm and hand unwrapped while she sleeps so she can self-sooth and put herself back to sleep by sucking on her hand instead of a pacifier. I tried this the first night and her hand was so cold when she woke up! :( I'm still undecided on this because I feel like I'm encouraging Grace to be a thumb sucker.
    • It's no longer an emergency if Grace gets a fever!!! Before, if she was to get a fever it was an automatic spinal tap. That's why parents of newborns are so crazy about germs, taking the little ones out in public, avoiding other kids, etc. 
    • She got her first round of vaccines. I left the room, but Michael stayed to calm her down after she received her shots and was screaming bloody murder! :(
    Next wellness check isn't until 4 months...
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