Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One Sick Little Sweetheart

I’m lying here next to Gracie as she attempts to nap for the second time today.  The stinker appears to have her first cold and she is not at all happy about it (and neither are her mamas).  I suppose we should be grateful that she made it 9 months without getting sick and while we are, it is still so hard to see baby girl feeling icky like this. :(

Her symptoms began on Monday evening while she was with grandma and grandpa.  They called concerned that she had a fever right around the time I was leaving work to pick her up.  When we got home, she did feel warm and was definitely not acting like herself.  We took her temperature and she was running a fever of 102.3 degrees.  I immediately called Dr. C and was told that because she wasn’t displaying other symptoms like vomiting, we needed to treat her fever at home, given it stayed below 103.  Our evening was then spent comforting the babe and administering Tylenol while closely monitoring her temperature.

Grace woke about every 1-2 hours from the time she went to bed Monday night.  It was heartbreaking to see how uncomfortable she was so we decide she needed to sleep with us (ok, so maybe that was more for us than her).  Anyway, around 4am Tuesday morning we woke to do another temp check and baby girl was on fire, which scared the crap out of both of us.  Her fever was up to 102.5 and she seemed to be doing worse.  Following another dose of Tylenol and some cold compresses, she was able to fall back to sleep.    

G stayed home with her on Tuesday and messaged me throughout the day that things seemed to be improving.  Gracie’s temperature was going down and she was smiling again and eating.  When I got home from work she looked like a new baby and considering how quickly she turned things around we both thought that she must just be teething.  Yeah, not so much… within a few hours the runny nose and watery eyes started followed by a second night of waking up every couple of hours + vomiting.  I think it’s safe to say that the throwing up part was the worst of all, for the babe and for us.

So, it is now day 3 and here we are.  I took today off so Georgia could go to work and catch up on some things and it’s a good thing I did.  Grace didn’t let me put her down once all morning, poor little honey.  The great news is that she’s now approaching the 2nd hour of her afternoon nap!  Thank goodness because this girl needs some rest! 

Both Georgia and I know that in the long run getting a little cold is a good thing because it will help to build her immune system.  More so than that, the past 3 days have reminded me of how blessed we are to have a healthy baby.  Going through Gracie’s cleft lip surgery and recovery were unbelievably difficult but through it all we had an end date.  We knew when everything would take place and when baby girl would be back on her feet.  To think that some parents have to go day-to-day with a baby that has a chronic illness and the uncertainty that must come along with that makes my heart ache.  Today my hat goes off to them.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our Day of Thanks

And what a wonderful day it was!  I told G as we were leaving my brother’s house around Gracie’s bedtime that this was the absolute best Thanksgiving I’ve ever experienced.  Georgia happily agreed. :)

Our day started with some final food prep at home as we waited for Georgia’s parents to join us.  We were tasked with making the turkey, rolls, green bean stuffed Portobello mushrooms and pumpkin spice cupcakes (you must try these cupcakes, I’ll share the recipe in just a bit).  Ma and pop-in-law brought the green and red chile, mashed potatoes and dessert yams.  To say that we over cooked and made a feast would be an understatement!  Everything was delicious, even baby girl thought so.  She nibbled on mashed potatoes for the first time and seemed to like them.

Following our meal we were all stuffed so we lounged for a bit before heading to my brother’s house to watch the end of the Cowboy game and eat again... This is where Gracie showed us the first of two new tricks she had up her sleeve this weekend!  My brother is in the process of completing an addition to his home so the extended living room is just tile right now.  The girls considered this the bees’ knees and spent the evening speed racing around the living room in their walkers.  At one point, Gracie strolled up to her cousin Devin, began waving her hand at him and said, “hi”.  Devin said hi back not thinking anything of it but everyone else squealed with excitement.  This was Gracie’s first “hi” and I’m sad that I missed it but she has since done it several times for mama, so I’m thankful for that. :)      

This is our nephew and my godson, Devin.  Isn’t he just precious?!
Nani and her little girlies.
Rudy claimed to be smiling in this picture, umm… I don’t think so. ;)
Go speed racers, GO!!
Gracie’s second trick of the Thanksgiving break was to pull up to a standing position all on her own!  She did it for the first time while I was out running a quick errand, but luckily she did it again just hours later.  Georgia said that baby girl was playing with her toys in the living room in a sitting position when G stepped away to wash her hands in the kitchen.  When she turned back around Grace was standing up just looking at her.  Georgia was pretty shocked, lol!

In other weekend news (it’s been a busy couple of days) we took professional holiday pictures yesterday.  The pictures were taken by one of my sorority sisters, Lindsey who is a freelance photographer and I am so excited to see how they came out.  She used some adorable Christmas props and took a few shots of Grace in a basket in a big open field that I just know I am going to love, love, love.  We should have the pictures in about a week, ekkkk!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I also hope you know how thankful I am for you, my blog friends!  I am thankful for your sweet comments, your advice and the way in which your posts inspire me everyday.  Thank you!

As promised, here is a picture I took of the delicious cupcakes I made for Thanksgiving as well as the recipe.  If you give it a go – be sure to tell me how they came out.  

~ Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes ~

Cupcake Ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp allspice, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, kosher salt, 1 stick softened butter, ½ cup sugar, ½ cup pure pumpkin puree, 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract, 2 eggs

Frosting Ingredients: 1 (8oz) block fat free cream cheese, 2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp pure maple syrup, 2 cups powdered sugar, chopped pecans for topping

Cupcake How To: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill 12-cup muffin pan with liners.  In a bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and ¼ tsp salt.

In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar.  Beat with a hand-held mixer for 3 minutes.  Add pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.  Beat in eggs and incorporate dry mixture into the wet mixture until completely combined.

Fill each cupcake liner ¾ of the way full.  Bake until the tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean (roughly 20 minutes).  Remove cupcakes from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Frosting How To: Beat cream cheese, butter, maple syrup and salt in a large bowl until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar until thoroughly combined.

Top cupcakes with frosting and pecans.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

36 Week Well-Baby Visit

Yesterday was baby girl’s well-baby visit and she had a great report card!  Our previous check-up was in August so we were very much looking forward to this appointment.  Dr. C checked all the usual things including weight, height, head circumference and where Gracie falls on the growth curve.  Not surprisingly our little gal climbed from the 70th percentile to 86th in head circumference.  What can I say, she has a big and beautiful brain. ;)

Dr. C was very pleased with Gracie’s motor skills and energy level.  Her verbal skills were also praised and Grace made sure to give us all a sampling of just how vocal she is.  At one point, I went to the bathroom clear across the office and could hear her shouting as clear as day from inside the bathroom stall, lol!  We discussed baby’s diet and talked about new foods we plan to try this month.  Some of the new foods we’re introducing include, black beans, pinto beans, cottage cheese, onion, garlic, cauliflower, peaches, natural yogurt and the spices nutmeg and cumin.  With the exception of peas, Grace has LOVED everything so I’m sure she will enjoy these new foods too!

The highlight of this appointment was getting the “all clear” on the lump in Gracie’s arm.  Up to today I haven’t blogged about the lump because I was just too freaked out at the thought of what it could be to even talk about it.  We discovered the lump a few months ago while putting lotion on Grace and were terrified because it was rather large and hard which is bad news when it comes to any kind of mass.  Our pediatrician along with another doctor assured us that they were almost 100% positive that it was simply a collection of tissue and would dissolve on its own.  After months of watching it closely it turns out they were right – it has completely dissolved!  Thank you Jesus!

8 Month Stats:
  • Weight: 18lbs 12oz – 60th percentile
  • Height: 27in – 43rd percentile
  • Head Circumference: 17.8in – 86th percentile

With Thanksgiving on the horizon and the good news we received yesterday, the thing I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving is our healthy and happy baby girl.

What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Two Teeth!

No more gummy smiles here!  Yesterday as Grace was sitting on my lap, she grabbed my thumb, stuck it in her mouth and bit the bleeeep out of it.  This is how we discovered that our little gal has not one, but two teeth!  We have since taken about a hundred pictures because 1. We’ve been waiting for these teeth to surface for months and 2. Our new Nikon D3200 digital camera arrived yesterday!  We have been saving and shopping for a professional grade camera for about a year and finally found the perfect one!  It is of course super fancy and super awesome so naturally we have no idea how to use it… I played with it a bit this morning as I was attempting to get a picture of Gracie’s teeth and even though I didn’t know if I was using the correct setting or really what I was doing, I love the way they came out! 

Here are some first shots with the Nikon 
(and please ignore my child’s greasy hair… it’s bath day). ;)  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Helicopter Mom

As I type this post my mom is watching Gracie, our niece Mia and nephews, Devin and OC for the day.  Devin (who is 6 years old) has been counting down the days to today because he loves spending time with the girls and he really is such a loving cousin. But that's not what I'm here to write about, I digress.  As I packed Gracie’s diaper bag last night I realized that I was kind of nervous.  I’m not nervous that my mom is watching baby because with 3 kids and 4 grandchildren, she clearly knows what she’s doing.  I think I’m nervous because this is Gracie’s first play date with her cousins without me or Georgia being there.

In my nervousness I called my mom 3 times last night.  The first call was to tell her that even though Mia and Grace use the same brand of bottle, she needs to make sure she doesn’t give Grace Mia’s bottle because the nipples are different… to which my mom replied, “Honey, Mia doesn’t drink from a bottle anymore so there’s no way for me to confuse them”.  Strike one.  My second call was to remind my mom that I prefer Grace eat organic baby food so I would pack some for her.  Mom’s response, “Honey, I have a ton of baby food that is going to go to waste but ok, send her with food” (said in an understanding and sweet voice).  Strike two.  My third call was to let my mom know that I was packing yogurt bites for snack time because the baby still doesn’t have teeth and could choke on puffs.  HELLOOOO helicopter mama!  By this point I was annoying even myself.  Strike three, I’m out.

I think that if Grace were a daycare baby I would be much less worried about her choking, getting sick, getting bit by another kiddo, falling, bumping her head… you know – all the stuff that comes along with daycare and multiple children in one place.

So… after spending the majority of last night and this morning stressing, I decided that I would chill the F-out and look at this as a good thing.  There are going to be cuts and bruises over the years and yes, Grace may very well get bitten by a cousin today but guess what – so did the rest of us and we survived.  It’s good for her to get outside in the sun and play and get dirty and wrestle with her cousins.  It’s good for her to be around chaos once and awhile and join in the craziness.  And it’s also ok for the babe to eat some good old fashion Gerber baby food and puffs every now and then.

Well, maybe not the puffs. I can't throw everything out the window.  Ha! 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

8 Months of Gracie

On Wednesday Grace turned 8 months old and I can’t even believe it.  Our little babe is going to be a year old in just 4 short months!  As much as it makes my heart ache to watch her grow so fast, each month brings new joys and experiences that far outweigh anything we could have imagined.  Every day she seems to do something new and I feel as though she is growing like a weed.  Our gal is already in 9 month clothing and even fits in some of her 12 month jammies!
The big to-do this past month was our first family vacation and Gracie did awesome.  We survived both flights with minimal fuss and she did great eating and napping on the go.  Baby girl got to spend a ton of quality time with her uncles and experience so many new things.  It was quite the adventure!
Another big development we’ve observed in the past couple of weeks has been a change in Gracie’s temperament.  Yes my friends, our darling baby has begun to throw temper tantrums.  If we’re buckling her in her car seat and she doesn’t want us to – she lets us know!  If we are reading to her and we don’t let her “eat” the book, she is not a happy camper.  Now don’t get me wrong, these are not toddler-style fits by any means and only last about a minute, but they are tantrums all the same.  According to everything I’ve read this is an age appropriate “emotional milestone”, but to her mamas – it’s just a whole lot of noise, ha! ;)

Here is a bit more of what our Gracie girl was up to in month EIGHT ~

* She can clap and it is the most adorable thing.  We never know when the claps are going to come, but when they do we start clapping and cheering too like a couple of crazy mamas. :)

* We have a crawler!  The crawl starts with Grace dragging her body across the floor while working herself up onto her knees, but don’t be fooled by the slow start.  This girl can move!

* She points at things she wants us to pay attention to or wants to grab.  When reading she points to the characters on each page as if to say, “hey, I know you”.

* Songs that are guaranteed to get a smile are, “you are my sunshine” and “patty cake”.

* LOVES water and has been using a sippy cup regularly for a few weeks now.

* She has graduated to the big girl bed and by that I mean we’ve lowered the level of her pack-n-play to the ground.  The plan for month 9 is to transition Gracie to her nursery… wish us luck!!

* Talking is in the very near future.  We have a basket of toys and felt vegetables and fruits and when we go through each food she stares at our mouth and makes a different noise with each.  It of course sounds nothing like what we’re holding in front of her but the effort is there.

* She is saying, “mum” and “ma” more regularly than last month and it just melts our hearts every time.  She has also started making new letter sounds including, ta, ma, da, ba, ya and um.

* With the introduction of baby led weaning she has tried: eggs, toast, potatoes, pickles, whole carrots, broccoli, pasta, tomato, lettuce and whole pears.  Pickles are her favorite!

* No signs of teeth yet.  Her smile is still 100% gums. 

* We have upped feedings (organic purées) to 3 per day to keep up with baby’s growing appetite.  Breakfast is served around 10am; lunch at 2pm and dinner is at 7pm followed by bedtime between 8pm and 8:30pm.

* Changing Gracie’s diaper has become a bit more challenging.  The minute we take the diaper off she tries to bolt.  This month we moved up to size L cloth diapers. 

* Despite our best efforts she has discovered our iPhones.  Now, whenever we whip’em out to take pictures or video she wants the phone, MUST have the phone, will do anything to get the phone!

* Her absolute FAVORITE book is, llama llama red pajama.  We read it at least twice a day. :)

And that pretty much sums it up.  We have Gracie’s next pediatrician appointment in 2 weeks so we will have growth updates soon. :)

Happy 8 months to our beautiful babe!  Your mamas sure do love you.

Friday, November 9, 2012

{This Moment}

{This moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo capturing a simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Year Three

Today I am thankful for so many things.  I am thankful that I woke up this morning to the realization that Barack Obama has been re-elected as the President of the United States!  I am thankful that today we celebrated our 8th month of being mamas to the most beautiful baby girl on earth AND I am thankful that today Georgia and I also celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary.  Pretty great day, right?!

I’ve often heard that in the end it’s the little things that keep a marriage together and I couldn’t agree more.  My wife is amazing when it comes to the little things.  Whether it’s getting me water before bed because she knows I get thirsty at night, or allowing me to ride “shotgun” where ever we go because I like to people watch.  Things like sitting at the dinner table to keep me company even when she’s finished eating, or willingly watching Friends every.single.night because she knows it’s my favorite show.  She is amazing at the day-to-day, I love you’s like getting up early with baby on Sunday mornings so I can get an extra hour of sleep, or rounding up the dogs when she knows they’re making me crazy.  She is the kind of wife who says, “you’re beautiful” even when I’m sick and know I look horrible.  She is the kind of wife who says I love you at the end of every conversation no matter how short.  She is the kind of wife who listens to me vent about work even when she has had a tough day too.  She is supportive, she is kind, she is nurturing, she is beautiful and she is mine.  How lucky am I?!

Three years came and went in the blink of an eye.  On this night three years ago, we were dancing the night away with our friends and family in beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and tonight we’re having a quiet evening at home with take-out and one very adorable, sleepy baby.  I feel so blessed right now that I can feel my heart is full. 

Happy anniversary my wife.  Thank you for loving me.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane!

We just got back from our FIRST family vacation and now that baby is sleeping and laundry is washing, it’s picture post time!  We spent our vacation in Los Angeles visiting Gracie’s uncles Dean and Chris.  Our visit was 5 days and we did so much that it took nearly 200 pictures to capture it all (my name is Kristin and I’m a pic-oholic)…  I would love to blog about everything we did but that would be one long post so I’ll highlight some of our favorites instead.

::Warning:: this is a very picture heavy post so grab a chair. ;)

We scheduled our flight for the evening because we knew that flying during baby girl’s bedtime would be much easier than flying when she was wide awake.  We were both a little nervous, not really knowing how she would do but all-in-all she scored a solid 7.5 on our flight out, haha!  Aside from some whimpering followed by one wide awake baby until the last 10 minutes of the flight – she did good.  Checking Grace in and taking pictures of her with her first ever flight ticket was our favorite part!

G’s brother, Dean and his boyfriend, Chris picked us up from the airport and our evening was spent grabbing some groceries for the week, eating a quick dinner and getting settled in.  For our first full day in LA we spent the afternoon shopping at The Grove, where I spent WAY too much money at Kids Pottery Barn (seriously, best store ever), followed by dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and an evening with the uncles.  Gracie did great napping on the go and loved the lights and water fountain show at The Grove.

One of the main things on our LA to-do list was to visit the La Brea Tar Pits.  In our research for family-friendly things to do in Los Angeles, visiting the Tar Pits was listed as a must see on nearly all of the websites we visited.  It was also mentioned in a children’s book on LA that I ordered for Gracie before the trip!  The La Brea Museum houses what they considered the “most important” Ice Age fossil collections.  The museum also has an open paleontology lab and scenes depicting Southern California and North America thousands of years ago.  We wore Grace in the museum so that she was eye-level with everything and she was so into it!  We were basically “that family” in the museum with a baby squealing, laughing and clapping the entire time.  She sure did make her presence known but it was absolutely adorable (and hilarious) to watch her as we made our way through the museum.     

Following the museum we met up with uncle Dean as he got out of work.  We all thought that our day would end with dinner but Dean and Chris had a surprise for us!  They reminded us that it was Dia de Los Muertos and that they were taking us to the Hollywood Forever Dia de Los Muertos Festival in the historical Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  You may have seen this cemetery in movies like “Wedding Planner” and “Valentine’s Day”.  It’s the one where they show old movies and host festivals similar to the one we went to. We had no idea what an amazing experience Dean had in store for us.  The festival was huge and full of so many people dressed up as their favorite Dia de Los Muertos characters.  Dean was also dressed up and while his face may have looked scary to some, Gracie loved it!  Anytime he would jump around and dance in front of her, she would crack up!  There were art booths and food vendors for as far as the eye could see and the performances that were taking place throughout the cemetery were unbelievable!  It was such a fun experience.

The next day was BEACH DAY, which was an afternoon we were very much looking forward to!  The guys took us to a small beach they came across a few months ago in Malibu that allows dogs so we got to take their dog, Mini along.  This was a huge bonus for Grace because she is obsessed with Mini!  The beach was perfect – private, not busy at all, and absolutely beautiful.  I’m a water sign so taking Gracie to meet the ocean is something I’ve been looking forward to since before she was born.  G ordered Grace a baby wetsuit in case it was cold and it worked out perfect.  We enjoyed a yummy picnic lunch, under a big umbrella, while listening to the waves.  We also took a short walk with baby girl over to some large beach rocks where there were live starfish and sea anemones.  They were so cool!!  Gracie had so much fun and did awesome all day!  She carefully examined the beach mud but didn’t try to eat it and loved splashing her feet in the water.  I can’t wait until the day that we can take her back. :)

Our last afternoon was spent touring the Santa Monica Pier with Chris as Dean headed back to work.  In the many, many times we’ve vacationed in LA over the years, I’ve never visited the pier so it was a pretty cool experience.  We did a little shopping, ate some “fair food” and watched as the sun began to set before enjoying our last meal together in California. 

The week went by so fast but was filled with wonderful memories that we will treasure forever.  We owe a HUGE thank you to Dean and Chris for hosting our first family vacation and making it so special for us.  Grace is blessed to have you both as her uncles. xo.

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