Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas, 2 year and 3 month pictures!

We were a few weeks overdue for some milestone pictures but since Brayden decided to collide with the dining room table mid birthday party, we had to wait for his black eye and face to get better. Poor kid! They did Christmas pictures first, which we got a few really cute shots, but trying to get milestone pics AFTER holiday ones was pretty much a joke. Brayden just wanted to run around and Bella was just over it at that point.  lol  So I'm counting the individual shots as milestones too. We ended up going to Portrait Innovations. They do a good job for studio portraits, we usually go there once a year. I do wish we had some extra money to get professional shots again but hopefully sometime soon.  So here's some of the photos we did get. We ended up buying 5 poses and they give you the photo cd so that's nice. I think they kids look adorable!! (but i may be a little bias)

These are the ones we selected!

the coloring is a little of on this, didn't realize till after the fact

Here's a few more from the shoot! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy 4 Months Bella!

Every month that passes I can't believe Bella is another month older. Sounds stupid to say but time is going even faster this time around.  Bella is still the same laid back and calm little girl. The only time she gets fussy is when she wants to eat, be picked up or her stomach is bothering her. So much of her personality is coming out! She is definitively going to be my talker. She will "talk" at length from time to time and will even sing along with you. She has the most infectious smile and laugh and loves to be tickles and play games. She smiles with her eyes and it absolutely melts my heart. I still think she looks just like Brayden when he was little. The resemblance is uncanny.

Bella is getting so big! She is gaining at a crazy pace despite all of her stomach issues. I had her to the pedes a week an a half ago and she was already 15 lbs! She has offically doubled her birth weight. We have her 4 month appointment on December 4 so I will have her exact height and weight stats.  Her stomach problems are an ongoing issue. Ugh I wish there were clear cut answers. I'm still trying to get her gastro appt scheduled, the office is driving me nuts by not calling me back. But she is currently on Prilosec (1.25mL), 2x a day and and Zantac (1.8mL) 2x a day for breakthrough pain. Even on both she is still refluxing and in pain but it's less than it was.  I'm still on the soy and dairy free diet and based on the mucous and color of her diapers I have a good feeling we will be doing more elimination. Thankfully the color and mucous in the diapers doesn't bother her so that's a good thing. At this point I'm willing to take it as far as we need to keep breastfeeding. She is doing so well and really relies on it as her comfort zone so I really don't want to take that away from her. Aside from the stomach issues, shes an amazing nurser and has made it so easy on me, so I'm extra determined to do it for her. 

Big smiles!!

She usually eats every three hours during the day, unless she's not feeling well. Based on what I can pump from one side she's drinking at least 4-6 ounces per feeding. She still hates the bottle. Ugh, she will sometimes take pumped milk from the bottle from Jason but has been refusing to take it from anyone else. That should be interesting since we have a wedding on the 8th. I'm hoping she drinks for my mom and katie!  

Silly faces :) 

She is still a good sleeper. She generally wakes up 1x a night. For a breast fed baby I will take it!! Although the times change she usually goes down to bed at 9 and will sleep till about 5 nurse and go back down. We tend to take her upstairs with us when we go to bed b/c we are co-sleeping so sometimes moving her wakes her up and that adds another feeding. But that's on me not her.  She tends to have a 30-40 minute cat nap in the morning , a long 3 hour nap in the afternoon and a cat nap after dinner.  It's nice at least for now her afternoon nap co-insides with Brayden's. I'll take it for as long as it lasts. 

Bella is doing really well developmentally. She's not nearly as advanced as Brayden was but she's right on track.  She's been trying to roll both ways, but is always getting stuck on her arms. I'm sure being the little chunker she is makes it tougher :)  She loves to sit! Her back is getting stronger but she still sits forward in her "monkey" pose to hold herself up. She does like playing on  her play may but will only lay on her back for short periods of time. I swear she thinks she is missing out on something so she needs to sit up. Plus laying flat doesn't do any favors for her reflux so I don't blame her.  She does like to stand and her legs are pretty strong.  She just tried her play jumper and really seemed to have mixed feeling about it.  I think she just didn't know what to make of it but had fun.  

Teething, boy did I NOT miss teething. So far she is a decent teether but only the future will tell. She has been teething for the last month despite not having any break through. We are using a baltic amber teething necklace and it helps with the pain, but the drool is a flowing! lol Here's hoping she is not a dramatic teether like her brother and they don't take forever to come in!!


Bella tried her first food on Thanksgiving! I don't think she is completely ready for food full time. We plan on doing things like with Brayden by skipping cereal and doing food led weaning with some puree. For her first meal we tried sweet potatoes with apple. Yes I know they're suppose to start with one food type but i was having a hard time finding an organic food that was one flavor. I plan on making all of her food like I did for Bray. Even making organic baby food, it is SO cheap! I really think making the food really helped Brayden find his love for a variety of foods so here is hoping!  In the mean time I will probably give her food sporadically until we get her stomach issues under control. Then I will start  more consistently. 

I think we seriously took 50+ pictures. Half of them she was trying to sit forward and falling or just wasn't looking. Gotta love bloopers lol 

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This Thanksgiving we have so much to be thankful for. This year has really been a roller coaster of highs and lows. But we've gotten through it all and are blessed to have two little miracles in our lives.  Happy 1st Thanksgiving Bella Rose! Trying to get a picture of both kids smiling or just paying attention was impossible, this is the best we got lol 

We kept with our annual tradition and did thanksgiving dinner at Jay's parents house. Dinner was delicious  Even with the diet (dairy/soy) restrictions I was still able to eat a lot of food!  I seriously ate 3 plates full, but I will say in my defense it was a ton of veggies, so I can't feel bad. lol 

Helping Grandma make mashed potatoes! 

The kids had a great day! In the morning I made breakfast. I attempted to make "turkey pancakes" for Brayden, I think it ended up looking more like a dinosaur or turtle than anything but he loved them so that's all that mattered.  

After Breakfast, Brayden helped me make a sweet potato pie and pumpkin spice muffins! That kid LOVES to cook! He is a pro at the kitchen aid mixer (supervised of course!), has figure out how to work everything on it and is great at pouring, mixing and most importantly test tasting.  As soon as he hears or sees you starting to cook in the kitchen he runs in the dining room and gets a chair and tells you "I cook". He is too cute! I think we have a little chef on our hands, or at the very least he will be a great husband who makes dinner later.  :) 

I decided to make Bella a Thanksgiving outfit, which automatically meant there was going to be a tutu involved. lol I had seen some cute turkey things as inspiration and just kinda went with it.  I think it turned out cute. I wish i had planned my time better so i could have done a little more with the shirt and or gotten a nicer onesie online but oh well. I think it turned out cute!  Of course with a model like her, of course it looks adorable! (i may be a little bias!) For anyone who is looking for something special for their little ones, please let me know or check out my FB page Designs by Cupcake Cuties! Thankfully one of my kids sits still for pics lol 

Bella also turned 4 months on Friday so I figured Thanksgiving would be the perfect time to try her first puree. I plan on making her organic food again but since it was a trial I got a few earth's best pouches to pick from.  We ended up doing sweet potatoes with apple. I know, I know you're not suppose to start with a 2 food combo but she did great.  She really liked it, but like all babies trying new foods made some hilarious faces. Despite her doing well with the puree I am definitely holding off on starting foods full time. We're going to do like we did with Brayden and do a combo of puree and baby led weaning. It worked out great for him. He loves all kinds of food and was on table solids completely by 9 months. Anyway, Bella is doing SO well with her weight gain and nursing that she doesn't really "need" supplementing. I really need to get all her GI issues squared away before I really focus on adding more things to her diet.  
                            I also uploaded a video of her to FB you can check that out HERE  

This face is HILARIOUS! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bella's Tummy Troubles

Bella has been struggling with her reflux and intolerance issues for the last few weeks. Despite being on Prilosec two times a day it hasn't been enough to break through the pain. She is normally such a chill and calm baby so you know things are really hurting when shes cries so much and has to be held all the time. It breaks my heart! On top of that, shes been having mucousy poop and dark green diapers off an on. Ugh I'm so frustrated for her!! The color and mucous is indicative over other GI irritations so with everything she's been going though I wanted to get to back to the pedes.

I've talked to the Dr about her reflux and other issues before and since she is maxed out on her allowed dosage of the Prilosec the only other option would be to add Zantac. I HATE the idea of her being on meds, let alone throwing more medication at her, but I agreed with the Dr that it's better to try it to see if it helps her break through the pain.  So we currently have' her on a rotation of meds to get her through the day. On a positive note it seems to be helping and she hasn't been in pain like she had been.

It's also time to head to the gastro. I called yesterday and I'm waiting to hear back from them with the appointment date.  Speaking of, I think I'm going to stalk them out b/c they were suppose to of called me back by now.   Anyway, the pedes agreed that with the poop color and consistency issues that there is prob another food intolerance that we are dealing with. I can honestly say I am going nuts trying to figure out what is bothering her. I have been diligent about making sure I have ZERO dairy and soy hidden and otherwise so I know it's not from me slipping. I did soy challenge her about 3 weeks ago and that did not go well. So I know that's still a no go. I KNOW dairy will not go well so it's not worth even trying since it takes 2+ weeks to get out of my system.  Bray didn't outgrow his milk issues till about 10-11 months so I'm not anticipating her being any different. So the dr said the next things that kids are generally allergic to are eggs, wheat gluten and tomatoes  Whew, i am hoping and praying that is not the case b/c it's hard enough to find things to eat now.  Of course I will do it for her but it would definitely be tough.  Since the mucous doesn't "hurt" her we are waiting to talk to the gastro before we start doing full eliminations.

I know it may sounds nuts but I am really determined to keep breastfeeding. Bella is an amazing nurser, she really has made it so easy for me. I can honestly say I've been fortunate enough to not have had that "i don't think i can do this anymore" moment.  I know part of it is mental for me. With Brayden i had NO supply, he had latch and nursing issues so it compounded in to us not being able to breastfeed.  Since this time is different I love the time we do get together and I would hate to give that up. My biggest hang up on continuing breastfeeding is Bella. She loves, loves, loves to nurse. It's her comfort and I really don't want to take that from her. She also hates the bottle. She barely takes one for jason if we give her pumped milk, and anyone else is a huge struggle. She refuses to take a bottle from me since she knows I have the milk on tap.  lol So, here's hoping if we do need further elimination that I can keep up with it and we won't have to stop.

On a positive note, she is gaining really well despite everything!  She was up to 15 lbs when we were at the dr on friday! This girl loves to eat and it's more than evident with how much she is gaining so fast lol. I love my little chunky monkey!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2012 Walk to End Alzheimers

Yesterday was the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's. It was the second year we participated and we were glad to see there was an even bigger turn out.  Jason was able to do fundraising at his work this year and a few of his co-workers joined us in the walk. Overall they raised a good amount of money so we were happy we'd be able to contribute toward further research and Alzheimer's education. For those who aren't familiar we were walking in honor of Jason's dad Rich who is currently battling the disease. We were also walking in loving memory of my Aunt Joan and Jason's grand mom   It was an emotional day but we were glad to support and represent my father in law by being there.  Thank you to those who were kind enough to donate, it means more than you could know!!

 Racing Uncle Robbie!

People Watching!

Rough housing with uncle robbie!

Walking through Phillies Stadium!

Bella First Pair of Earrings!

We've been wanting to get Bella's ears pierced and finally went for it! She did really well considering. Of course she cried and it broke my heart but I nursed her right after and it calmed her right down. A dose of tylenol later and shes "all better". We picked out the princess cut stone set in white gold.  I think they look adorable!! We wanted to get them done early so shes doesn't "remember" the pain. I know some people like to wait till they are older so than can remember it as a milestone but I was a little too excited. lol Hopefully since she got them early she won't mind them and hopefully won't be trying to pull them out. Thankfully they're the kid safe kind with rounded locking backs so they don't dig in to her head.  It'll be fun to pick out cute earrings for her later. 

Here we go! 

Being a big girl! 

So pretty! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Happy 3 Months Bella Bug!

Happy 3 months sweetheart! It is truly amazing how much you have grown and changed in such a short time!   Bella the sweetest, most lovable personality. She still looks so serious but she will give you her big smile and  started with real laughs and giggles at 9 weeks.  Nothing is better than a child's laughter, it can completely turn your mood around to see that smiles and hear a big laugh.  Bella is our chatterbox. I don't ever remember Brayden "talking" as much as she does.  She will get in to her moods where she talks to herself and makes the craziest screeching and babble sounds.  Other times we will carry on long "conversations" with each other about her day. lol Her latest version of talking are these dinosaur-like screams. It almost sounds like she is angry but she is having a good old time. I have a feeling she is going to blow Brayden away with her language milestones. I'm not at all surprised since you know girls never shut up lol.

Since we don't have a 3 month appointment I'm not sure exactly how much Bella weights, I'd guess it's at least 14 lbs. But I did measure her and she grew another inch this month so she's now 25"!! 
I love her big baby blues!!

Bella still loves nursing! She is still eating ever 2-3 hours depending on the day and will take 4-6 ounces of pumped milk. She is not really a fan of the bottle. She's definitely shown her preference for the boob vs the bottle. She will only take a bottle of breast milk if someone else gives it to her, if I try she automatically refuses and wants the real deal. Ahh,  i see this as just the beginning of a strong willed little girl :) She loves to fall asleep and comfort nurse. Which is great for bonding but i am trying to slowly get her off that so she doesn't HAVE to nurse to sleep every time. We've tried giving her a few different binkies since she just wants to suck on something but she refuses them all. I'm glad it's one less habit to break later, but sometimes the break on my nipples would be great. lol 

Bella is working really hard on sitting and trying to roll over. Her back is getting much stronger.She can sit fairly well propped up against something but tends to tip over and face plant. lol It cracks me up when she does it in slow motion like she's trying but can't stay up.  I think she will be rolling from tummy to back very soon. She has all the moves right but gets stuck on her arms. 

Bella is still a great sleeper. I am trying to get her on some kind of schedule but it can vary. Not that we are by any means sleep training but if we can get some schedule down that would be great. We try and get her to nurse and sleep 9-930. She will sleep for long stretches and wakes one time usually b/w 12-1 or around 5-6 and goes back down till 9 or so.  She takes a really long nap around 1 when Brayden does and tends to cat nap in the morning and later on.  Considering she is 3 months I'm thrilled with the routine she is on.  She had an obsession with sleeping on her tummy.  She will sleep all day on her tummy if you let her. It makes me paranoid. I know SIDS is at its greatest risk between 2-4 months so I am really nervous when she wants to sleep on her tummy.  I will only let her do it at nap time when I can keep checking on her even then i am anxious. The only reason I let her at all is because she has some really strong head control. As soon as she can roll I'll feel better, plus I don't be able to control her rolling anyway.  

What an expression

And the monthly comparison of Brayden/Bella: 3 Months

Happy 2 months Bella!

Everyone says time goes faster with the second child and they weren't kidding. :) I cant believe Bella is two months! She is getting so big! She did great at her pedes appointment and only cried for 30 seconds after her shots! What a trooper.  Shes now 12lb 8oz (85%) and 24" long(95%)! I affectionately call her my chunky monkey.  I absolutely love her little leg and arm rolls! 

Despite looking serious most of the time Bella is such a content and happy little girl! She really has a lot of personality! She also started cooing along with her gorgeous smiles, it absolutely melts my heart!  She loves being carried in the moby wrap and being held. I'm really lucky she is not a big cryer and usually only gets fussy when she is hungry or if she wants to be picked up. 

At 6 weeks she finally transitioned to 0-3 clothes and 1 diapers. Even though she is a little chunker her length distributes it so she has been in NB size longer. Also being in summer clothes and not having to worry about pant lengths makes all the difference. Anything one piece like rompers and PJ's she grows out of much faster b/c she is so tall. We had this same problem with Brayden! We've got some tall kids!

We finally got Bella's MSPI (milk/soy protien) issues and reflux in order. I KILLED me to have to dump almost 50 ounces of breast milk i had frozen b/c it had milk and soy in it. After having no supply with Brayden any stash was like dumping liquid gold.  Despite how hard the diet is we're doing so well keeping up with and Bells is thriving. This girl LOVES to breastfeed. I know babies love to, but she seriously gets excited to get on the breast. lol She eats a LOT!  During the day she will go 2-3 hours or longer during nap but she's drinking a lot of milk at one sitting. Since she was a few weeks old she will drink a good 4 oz of pumped milk at one time. She definitely has a great appetite!

Bella has had good head control since she was about 3 weeks old.  At 2 months she can sit well in her Bumbo and has even tried her Exersaucer. She is great at tummy time holding her head up when we put her on her elbows but will only tolerate it for a few minutes at a time.

Bella is a great sleeper. Aside from growth spurts or times when her reflux is acting up she will normally sleep from 9 or so till 12 or 1, nurse then sleep till the morning. We are cosleeping with her so it makes it really easy to nurse and get her back down .  We really lucked out with her sleep habits!! 

UPDATE*** Almost forgot to add on the Brayden/Bella 2 month Comparison!