Friday, October 2, 2015

Itty Bitty Happy: Update

I posted a few months ago about Vivian and how she is so itty bitty happy.
We’ve been doing a lot of things to see what is up with her petite-ness. I think where I left it was that we were giving her some formula but still nursing every 2 hours in hopes that that little bit of supplementing would do the trick.
Plot twist: It did not do the trick.
We gave it about 6 weeks with frequent weight checks, essentially zero weight gain. We were starting to see her length and head circumference affected by her lack of weight gain and that was no good.
We checked her labs, and thankfully, all of that came back normal.
That forced our hand to move to primarily formula, which by this point, I was totally fine with because sheesh, she needed to get bigger and it was obvious that something wasn’t working. So we had to get her up to 24 ounces of formula per day which was not the easiest of tasks.
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We have her on between 22 and 26 ounces a day and she nurses primarily at night now. And finally we are seeing some actual gains, which is making everyone feel a little better.
At her nine month appointment we got the okay to start her back on foods as long as there aren’t any dramatic decreases in her volume intake. She has a fairly strong tongue thrust reflex which makes it hard for her to get pieces of food to stay in her mouth, but she does pretty well on purees. She doesn’t always tolerate all of her bottles the greatest and sometimes she wants to eat ALL THE FOOD and sometimes not, but hey, I can say the same for myself!

The goal is that she gets back on the curve by 15 months. She's a petite 12.5 pounds right now!

It makes me a little sad/frustrated/angry that for whatever reason breastfeeding was so hard for us in the weight gain department. Maybe I didn’t produce enough. Maybe she burned too many calories while nursing. Maybe a million things that don’t really matter right now.
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Overall, she is finally heading in the right size direction.
Developmentally? She is a tiny rockstar – she has been crawling for months, but finally is up on all fours, puling up on everything, waving, clapping, and grinning from ear to ear whenever she isn’t crying or sleeping!
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We often get a lot of strange looks when people who don’t know her see her – she surprises everyone and I usually just say something about her being sweet and portable. Not a preemie, not neglected, not anything but small and loved and perfect just the size she is.
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Monthly Update

Since I can only seem to get my crap together roughly once a month - quick update with pictures from my phone that will definitely post out of order.

First grade is serious, you guys! But public school has proven to be a great change for G as she is getting the academic attention she needs.

We went to the fair! We love the fair!

I am lucky to have had the same beat friend for like 25 years. We are also lucky to have gotten a picture where almost all of our kids are looking!

We went to the beach! And jet-skied with dolphins. And loved on the ocean. And ate great food. and made awesome memories with our whole family. And is it time to go back now PLEASE???

Aleesia started dance and she is sure that she is a hotshot ballerina! Gianna started dance and is doing jazz and ballet - we are SO HAPPY with our new studio. They are both going to learn so much!

Our house will be ready SOON and we are so looking forward to it!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

These Days….

There is so.much going on around here (always?!) and 101% of the time, I have no time to really even process all that is happening in our lives. I am going to give a quick rundown and I really, truly (honestly) hope to expand on most, if not all, of these things going forward.

* Gianna started FIRST GRADE last week. We ended up moving her from Catholic to public school after a really long debate. I think we made the choice that made the most sense. The first week went well for her, so that’s exciting for all of us!

* Aleesia is officially 2.5 and she is THE SPUNKIEST ball of energy I have ever met. I’m lucky she is mine, but also, wow – she makes me tired!

* Being a full-time work at home mom for the past 6 months has been so great. And so hard. And so many things. There are a few things I can say for certain though. This wouldn’t be possible without my village – our nanny, my sisters, my parents, cousins, so many people who help out when needed. Being at home has been so fun and the flexibility I have is wonderful. But it is HARD to be “on” all of the time.

* We are going to the beach in a few weeks! We are going to Hilton Head for the first time and really looking forward to it. If you’ve been there – tips, tricks, places not to miss are all greatly appreciated! We are planning on vising Savannah as well while we are there.

* Our new house! Oh my gosh, so much I can say about our new house. We have a pre-drywall meeting this week and we are looking forward to that. I have pictures of the whole process and will hopefully do a few posts related to our building process (which has been really great). Things are moving along and I am ALL OVER the Pinterest boards with updates and ideas for decorating a house that is significantly bigger than our previous home.

* Vivian is such a sweet baby! She finally started to sit up on her own and can go from laying/crawling to sitting. She’s been crawling for at least 2 months so she gets all over the place and flashes her amazing smile at us! She is a bit of a mommy’s girl and she doesn’t love to sleep without touching me. It has been hard to get her in a sleep routine, but we’ll get there. We started to give her some baby food a few weeks ago and she is just now really getting the hang of eating from a spoon.

* I ran a half marathon last weekend, it was a great race and I had a pretty huge PR. I’m looking forward to my next one in September. I also finished my 4th (or 5th?!?) MBA class last week. I’m looking forward to finding some good books to read on vacation – any ideas for me?

Overall, I’m not ready to give up summer yet but also ready for the routine the school year brings. We have fun plans that will get us through the end of September and then our fall plans (and moving!!) start up in October! I don’t feel like I am as organized and on top of life as usual right now which is frustrating but somehow we are all getting through our days!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Itty, Bitty, Happy

Gianna was a pretty small baby, if you go by growth charts and percentiles. She also projectile vomited after every bottle, and sometimes in between for 9ish months.

Aleesia was a really small baby, if you look at her growth stats. She also battled sepsis at 8 weeks and that little journey really set her body back on the whole growing part of babyhood.

Vivian came along and was the biggest baby I have birthed, I was so ready for some chubby baby thighs! Exceeeept that she followed in the slow gaining footsteps of her sisters, as was evident at her well visits. Thankfully her pediatrician didn't jump straight to the "she needs formula RIGHT NOW" conclusion right away, after seeing that her sisters were also slow growers. They let us work out our breastfeeding relationship, fix the problems, learn to work together, etc.

Then came her 6 month well visit. A week or so before I had a few people ask me about her size. I always made some comment about her portability and shook it off. After all, she ate every 2 hours, almost around the clock & truly never seemed unsatisfied after her feedings, with a few exceptions & those times we would give her a bottle.

Also, Vivian is the happiest baby I have ever had! She was hitting her milestones, I had no concerns about her other than just wondering how big she was getting.

So, our pediatrician told us that our itty, bitty, happy girl was seriously itty bitty. She hadn't grown in 3 months! (For the record, at 6 months she was 10#6oz) but she looked great otherwise, was hitting all her milestones, and was showing off her voice for the pediatrician! But we had let this weight situation try to work itself out for 6 months, it was time to do something else since there is no reason we could come up with why she wasn't getting bigger. Even though she was generally super happy, this weight situation needed to be dealt with as her small size would really work against her if she were to get sick for any reason & we want to make sure she keeps developing appropriately. First step was to determine (or assume) if there was inadequate intake.

For 2 weeks we supplemented with about 8 ounces of breast milk or formula on top of her regular nursing sessions. The next weight check was OK, but she'd only put on another 5 ounces when we had hoped for 8-10. We started working under the assumption that increased intake helped some but may not be the whole problem. Her pediatrician asked me to start mixing her bottles to 24 calorie since the volume she was taking was adequate at this point. So we tried that for 2 weeks and were able to move her to about 10-12oz extra a day plus nursing whenever she wanted.

Her weight check this week (at 7 months) had her checking in at 11#2oz, not a huge jump. We discussed moving to 27 calorie formula but she is already pooping so much more (apparently from the high-cal formula!) that her pediatrician didn't think that was wise. I did convince him to let her start solids, though. She has been ready to yank the food right out of my hand for at least a month so I was happy when he said we could try it. With the understanding that if her volume intake started to decrease her solids intake would have to decrease too as the higher calorie milk was more important.
We were both OK with this decision! I'll try anything to combat that pesky failure to thrive diagnosis.

(Of course, she got the touch of a stomach bug yesterday which had me a little worried about her. She's much better now, thank goodness!)

We get a month to keep doing what we are doing to see how she grows. It is tricky to time when to nurse her, give her a bottle, and food, but we will figure it out. I don't love breastfeeding like some people do, I pretty much do it because they say it's beneficial and it is really very convenient. But it is still kind of hard and she recently started to NOT be satisfied more after feeding because she doesn't want to work for it/GIVEMEABOTTLEPAHLEEZE. I am happy to have made it to 6 months exclusively, but the girl has to eat and I'm going to feed her however she needs to be fed! She's going to take the lead on what happens with our breastfeeding relationship, I'm good with whatever she wants/needs.

Let's just hope she is a little bit less itty and bitty and still just as happy in a month!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Moving On

In May of 2010 I felt like a real grownup, we finally owned our own home!


It wasn’t very big and it wasn’t very fancy, yet at the same time it was just right.


We made the space work for us turning the rooms into a variety of bedrooms, playrooms, and offices as we needed to change the space to meet our needs. We grew our family in that house, quite literally, as since we moved in as a young Family of Three.

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But as we expanded to our Party of Five – our small house, while it held us and all of our stuff and all of our memories relatively well, wasn’t going to hold us, our stuff, and our memories for too terribly long. It was time to get this little house sold.


Thankfully, we only had to endure about 3 weeks of keeping the house spotless and over a dozen showings before another young couple decided our house was just right for them.


We said goodbye to our small house, the white house according to Gianna, last week.DSC_0258DSC_0255DSC_0262

But now where do we go?

For now, we are going to have an extended sleepover at my parents house – which we are so incredibly thankful to be able to do.

And sometime before October, this beautiful plot of grass will become a beautiful new home for us!5.9  (3)5.9  (6)

We never EVER thought we would build, we had in fact, said we would definitely NOT build – but we are very excited for this adventure, for a home that checks all of the boxes on our wish list.

If I felt like a real grownup when we bought our first home, I can bet that I am going to feel like a really blessed grownup when our new house gets signed over to us.