Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Five Months!

How thankful we are for our sweet five month old!  Hallie is a ray of sunshine through the tough times we've had the past few months. She is super cuddly and loves to go to new places and smile at everyone. Being held and drinking a bottle of milk are the solutions to 99% of her problems. If only we were all that easy to please!

She is beginning to cut a tooth in the top center of her mouth.  We can feel a corner of it poking through, and she's drooling like crazy and biting everything she can get her hands on.  We think she's beginning to have teething pain, because sometimes she'll get fussy and want to bite her hands and rub her ears.

She is still not sleeping through the night. She sleeps for 3-4 hours at a time, so we usually get up with her twice before our alarms go off. She's becoming more aware in the middle of the night, too, so getting her back to sleep takes longer than it used to.

I think some of the sleeping problem is because she's still sleeping in her car seat at night, and look how big she is in it now! We have tried putting her in her crib instead, but she still only sleeps up to 3 hours there. We are looking forward to sleep training her soon. (I mean, we're not looking forward to the process, but looking forward to the result.)

She learned to roll over from her back to her front this month! This was the look on her face after the first time it happened - total shock! 

 She still loves playing with balloons, and Emma has kept us in stock from all her hospital stays recently. Hallie has progressed to holding/bouncing two balloons - one in each hand.

We bought a jumper for her at a consignment store and she LOVES it! She mainly swings from side to side instead of bouncing up and down, so it looks like she's dancing.

She can't sit up on her own yet, but enjoys it when we wedge her into the corner of the couch or a chair so she can see everything.  She has really become interested in toys and loves it when Emma shares some of her "big girl toys". 

She can grab her toys on her play mat intentionally now instead of just batting at them with her hands.

One of her very favorite pastimes is watching her big sister play.  She is going to know everything there is to know about My Little Pony and Paw Patrol by the time she can talk.

 We pulled out Emma's old high chair so Hallie could sit at the table with us instead of on our laps while we ate. She enjoys sitting up a lot more than lying down or reclining in her car seat, but doesn't enjoy it nearly as much as sitting on our laps.

We've also introduced pureed foods.  She's had oatmeal cereal, apples, pears, bananas, and avocados. Pears are her favorite so far, but she will eat a few bites of almost anything.

Messy smile!

She is still getting eczema on her scalp. It's not as bad in this photo as it sometimes looks, but her forehead is usually red from her scratching and rubbing it all the time. And if I'm not on top of clipping her nails, she will scratch her head until it bleeds. Poor kid.

My mom and I took Emma and Hallie to the playground on an unseasonably warm day, and Hallie had her first swing ride!

She looked grumpy the whole time. Heh!

But I worked hard to get at least one smile out of her.

The girls got matching t-shirts ("This is what an amazing sister looks like") from one of Dan's former coworkers, Marianna.   

Doesn't she look grown up in this picture?  We love this cutie pie and all the personality she's showing!

Starting Off The Year With A Bang

We were really hoping for a nice, boring month after Emma's surgery, recovery, and the Christmas travel and festivities last month.  Apparently God doesn't want us to have boring lives. Some of the good things from January:

We had the prettiest snow, and loved playing in it. Dan and Emma got three days off from school!

Our pretty new front yard covered in snow and Emma making sure it was covered in footprints!

Dan, his dad, and my dad are still working hard on our kitchen every Saturday.  It's usually the only day of the week they can all work for about a half a day, so you can imagine why it's taking us so long to finish the renovation!

The island looks fantastic and we love the openness between our kitchen and den.  The darker wood laminate sample on the floor is what our kitchen floor will eventually look like.

We've loved seeing Dan's parents almost every weekend for several months now.  Dan's mom is so good about bringing special toys for Emma to play with and it gives them some bonding time.

We also celebrated my 39th birthday in January. Time to say goodbye to my youth! :)

We ate dinner at Texas Roadhouse with my parents

And then enjoyed dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with my parents and Dan's parents the next night! I got a Cheesecake Factory gift card from my brother, Steve, his wife Sheila, and my niece, Meera.  The perfect gift and timing!

They sang "Happy Birthday" and gave me a small ice cream sundae at Cheesecake Factory. Emma got the ice cream, since I was having cheesecake for dessert.

We had a fun play date with my sister-in-law, Robin, and her daughters, Naomi and Miriam.

The girls love to play at the awesome toddler play area at MacArthur Center mall in Norfolk

Cute cousins walking through the mall together :)

Unfortunately, Emma had another UTI and a hospital stay in January.  Her urologist had told us that it is very important that Emma does not get constipated because it can affect her already problematic bladder issues.  We have had her on a modified diet and potty schedule to try to prevent this, but she got constipated for 3 days in early January and as a result, couldn't fully empty her bladder.  It was hard for us to believe that it would affect her so much, but she had an ultrasound scheduled that week, and we saw for ourselves in the ultrasound images that her bladder stayed full, even though we took her to the potty twice and explained that she still had more pee that she needed to push out.  She just couldn't do it!  

She had a fever and her urologist was concerned that her stents would hold onto the bacteria and need to be removed earlier than planned. We took Emma home with her prescribed antibiotic like we always do when she gets an infection, and it seemed to work for 6 days, but then her fever came back.  So we followed her doctors advice and admitted her into the hospital for 3 days of IV antibiotics to treat her infection.  After the 2nd day, her white blood count looked normal again and her fever was gone, so her urologist removed the stents from her ureters.  It was a quick, out-patient procedure, but she kept Emma another night at the hospital to make sure the fever and infection didn't come back.  So we had some unexpected days and night at the hospital and had to take time off of work again. 

We had a rough beginning of the hospital stay.  It took them over two hours to get Emma's room ready, and when she was finally in her room, the nurse couldn't get the IV in (there was a lot of poking, jiggling the needle around, and screaming from Emma).  The nurse was only allowed to try twice (thank God!) before she had to call someone who was better trained for the job. They also gave Emma a mild sedative since she was so tense and frightened after that awful experience. After the meds kicked in, she was super loopy and couldn't care less that someone was poking her.  This picture was after she finally had her IV in and was settled in bed for the night. We gave her some special new toys to cheer her up, and she's holding a new My Little Pony.

The nice thing about this hospital stay was that Emma wasn't recovering from major surgery, so she felt pretty good and was willing to go to the toy room to play a few times.

They allowed her bring a few toys back to her hospital room, which was fun!

Nana, Papa, and Hallie came to visit and play one afternoon. Grandpa and Grandma came to visit, also, but I forgot to get a picture.

TV and DVDs on the laptop were still the biggest source of entertainment during our three days in the hospital.
We had another tough day on our 2nd full day at the hospital. Emma was scheduled to have her urinary stents removed at 2 pm, so she couldn't eat or drink until after her procedure, since it required anesthesia.  Unfortunately, the surgery scheduled prior to hers took hours longer than expected and hers got pushed back until after 4 pm.  Her surgeon also had a meeting scheduled at 4 pm that day that she couldn't cancel, so we had to wait until almost 7 pm before Emma was taken back to anesthesia to begin her procedure.  I was SO PROUD of her that day!  She was hungry and thirsty all day long, but only asked about it once per hour or so, and she accepted it when we told her that she couldn't have anything to eat or drink until after she saw her doctor.  What a trooper!  She was on IV fluids, so I didn't worry about her getting dehydrated. We just had to distract her from wanting to eat or drink all day.  That's tough for an adult to handle, much less a 3-year-old!

Here, Emma had just woken up from her stent removal, and we showed her one of her stents that her surgeon saved for her to look at.

There it is. It stretched from her kidney to her bladder and was meant to stay in until late February, but was removed early since some of the UTI bacteria was trapped in it and oral antibiotics couldn't get rid of Emma's infection.

She was back in school and feeling great the day after she was discharged from the hospital!

She got to help hold the flags during the pledges at chapel.

We are thankful that she's back to her spunky, energetic self, and are praying for no more infections or issues!