Friday, September 26, 2014

Ellie's two month check-up


Yesterday Ellie had her two month old check up. I have been dreading this day, but yet somewhat looking forward to at the same time for awhile now. Dreading because of the shots and happy because of the immunities (whooping cough/pertussis scares me to death) and since I have a germy 4 year old, who regardless of how many times I tell her to wash her hands still manages to pick up every cold/cough/snffle and stomach bug that goes around and I'm sure Austin being at the University 6 hours a day doesn't help with bringing germs into the home either. But I am so relieved that it's done for now. She was already a little fussy at the appointment because it was in the middle of her late morning nap, but when she got the shots she screamed like she hasn't screamed before. And her newly working tear ducts proved to be factories as hot tears streamed down her cheeks (she had just started crying real tears just days prior to her appointment). It's the most heartbreaking thing to see those real tears, especially when it's a pain cry. If only she understood that we are protecting her and not wanting her to be in pain. I quickly nursed her back to baby bliss and made our way home.

Ellie has finally surpassed Maisie on the growth charts- despite being a 1/2 pound heavier than Maisie at birth, Ellie has proved to be more dainty than her big sister (probably because she actually sleeps more at night, rather than Maisie thinking I was an open all night buffet), until this appointment. Baby girl has been averaging a pound every two weeks (what!?) and continues to impress the doctor with her steady growth and sweet demeanor.

Let's get to the stats... I'm also going to add in her weight and height from her appointment with the lactation consultant when she was 7 weeks old because of her nursing strike.

 7 pounds 8 oz & 19 (?) inches

5 days:
7 pounds 9 oz & 19.5 inches

2 weeks:
7 pounds 14 oz & 20.5 inches

7 weeks:
10 pounds 8oz & 21.7 inches

9 weeks/ 2 month:
11 pounds 6oz & 22.3 inches
62% percentile in weight and 46% percentile in height

Our little Hazelnut is chunking out nicely (please reference above photo for evidence of her glorious cheeks), where she was so long and petite before, she now has rolls (on rolls). I love this yummy squishy stage because it produces some of the best cuddles around.

I am one proud mama.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My Girls

First time meeting each other (and first photo of just the two of them).
Ellie is just a few hours old.

12 days old

3 weeks old

one day shy of 7 weeks old

I don't know how they are both so cute, or what I did to deserve the two of them, but what I do know, is just how lucky the world is because it became a whole lot brighter now that they are apart of it.

Nursing Strike

Ellie is already a creature of habit. By the time she was a week old, she had a predictable eating and sleeping pattern and she has remained that way even now at 9 weeks old. But during our last day in Yellowstone, she started acting funny. We were walking around Old Faithful until it was time for Ellie's reliable noon nursing session. I got us situated in the car and began trying to feed her, but she was acting weird. I figured she wasn't in the mood for the nursing cover or that my hands were too cold or something because she was rooting around like crazy, but wouldn't stay latched. I tried to remedy all the potential problems, but she grew more and more furious. I would lift her up to hold her and she would calm down (although still rooting and trying to latch on to my face) I would set her down and once I tried to get her close enough to nurse she would scream- like a full on furious scream. I knew she was hungry, but she was refusing to nurse. This went on ALL day. It even got to the point where I would try to get her to latch and she would turn her head away and scream without even attempting to nurse. By the time we got home that night it was about 9:30pm and she still hadn't really eaten since 8:30 that morning. I was worried, emotional and engorged. I was desperate for her to eat so I pumped and fed her via bottle, which she scarfed down. So it wasn't the milk... it was me.

I cried for hours that night. I felt rejected and honestly, my feelings were hurt. She didn't even wake up during the night to feed (she usually wakes up once around 4am). She slept from 11pm-8am  and as she was starting to wake up, but still extremely drowsy I tried to get her to latch on and bingo, she was on. She actually ate really well, but then that whole day she was back to refusing any feedings unless I pumped and gave her a bottle. At first I was thinking it was nipple confusion, but that would be impossible because she had only had two bottles in her life and they were weeks prior to our trip. I called Ellie's pediatrician and he set up an appointment with the lactation consultant and then he was going to give Ellie a check up after to make sure her ears and throat were ok. The lactation consultant was awesome! Reassuring and extremely helpful. She confirmed it was a nursing strike and that she was not self weaning or doing it because she's angry- and that at most it will last a few days. She said a baby might go through a nursing strike for any number of reasons, but the main ones are:

1) sick or starting to get sick
2) disruption of schedule or pattern
3) new environments
4) over tired

She wasn't sick, but the other 3 were dead on. Turns out Ellie is just a little sensitive to her surroundings and didn't appreciate all the driving and disruptions of her sleep (i.e getting in and out of the car a million times). The lactation consultant wasn't at all worried and reassured me that Ellie wouldn't starve and she would snap out of it soon enough. The next day Ellie was almost back to normal and then had a little regression on Sunday, but was back to normal by Monday. I am so relieved to be back to our schedule, but that nursing strike as hard as it was emotionally it was worse physically...

I didn't want to pump too much because I wanted to encourage her to nurse and I didn't want her to get into the habit of bottles, so I took a hit and became engorged, which led to clogged milk ducts (ouch!) and then early early Sunday morning (2am) I woke up uncontrollably shaking. I was covered in sweat, but cold to the bone. I felt like I was dying because of how cold I felt. I was shaking so bad my teeth were chattering. I was so confused at first but then I noticed my left breast hurt insanely bad- like there were shards of glass stabbing it and that's when I knew it was mastitis (an infection). I woke Austin up and told him to keep an ear out for Ellie while I hopped in the bath hoping to warm up. I took an EXTREMELY hot bath. I could feel how hot the water was on my skin, but my body would not warm up. I felt like death- just like a lifeless corpse. My body ached and was covered in sweat to the point where my hair was wet with sweat (gross I know, but whatever) after 45 minutes in the bath I got out and tried to wake Ellie up to coax her to nurse on that side. She latched on and it hurt so bad it took my breath away. I fought through it because I needed her help in breaking up the clogged duct where the infection was. Ellie fell asleep after a few minutes so I ran downstairs to get my pump. I was only able to get an ounce out, which was not good because I can usually get at least 4 or 5 ounces. While pumping I noticed 4 distinct lumps (multiple clogs) that were tender and hot to the touch. I took 600mg of Ibuprofen and laid in bed shaking with the down blanket wrapped around myself and pulled up to my chin and finally fell asleep still feeling lifelessly cold. I woke up the morning to more pain, but my fever had broke because I no longer felt cold, just super sweaty and dehydrated.

I texted a few friends and they all came to my rescue dropping off things to help- essential oils, a powerful hand pump, freezer bags and overall encouragement and well wishes for a swift recovery. I spent Sunday relaxing and catching up on missed sleep and diligently pumping, applying oils and taking regular doses of Ibuprofen and by later that evening I was feeling a little better. Still lots of pain, but not flu like anymore. I was actually able to sleep that night and in the morning made an appointment with a dr to see if I needed antibiotics because I was still super swollen and hurting. By the time I got to the dr, i was able to work out all the clogged ducts and was told to hold off on antibiotics (because of the risk of thrush). By the next day I was pretty much back to normal, just sore.

This whole dilemma was a nightmare and I am so glad to be 100% better. Ellie is back to her routine and she couldn't be more happy to be back on her schedule and either can I.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Yellowstone National Park

-Mt. Haynes-




Yellowstone Grand Canyon:

-Yellowstone River-

-Upper Falls-

-Lower Falls-
I have seen a lot of waterfalls, but both the Upper and Lower Falls were both the most intense and powerful ones I have ever seen.


Upper Geyser Basin / Biscuit Basin:

Midway Geyser Basin:




Madison River:



Lower Geyser Basin / Fountain Paint Pot
(our favorite area)


If we had one goal this summer other than having Ellie join our family, it was to visit Yellowstone -especially to see Old Faithful. So we finally made it happen on Austin's 27th birthday! We rented a hotel in West Yellowstone, Montana (about an hour and a half away from our house) and after checking in and eating a delicious pizza dinner, we made the 5 mile trip to the West Yellowstone National Park entrance and entered into Wyoming. Upon entering and paying the $25 park pass and driving through I became unimpressed. Oregon is such an incredibly beautiful state, that the first section looked so much like it that I felt guilty spending money to see something we essentially were surrounded by in Oregon, but the deeper we got into the park the more stunning and amazing it became. We spent that first evening in the park with the goal of getting to Old Faithful, but we were so enamored with all the geyser basins leading up to Old Faithful that we didn't make before the sun went down. We spent the chilly evening mostly at the lower basins and paint pots. It was amazing (and amazingly cold).

The next morning we woke up early, ate breakfast at the hotel where we were surrounded by foreign tourists (mainly of the Asian decent, but tons of English and Australian folk as well). Austin and I cracked up while reading all the signs the hotel put up around the dining area, one translation in English and the other Chinese, one read: "do not stick metal tongs in the toaster" and the other more hilarious "do not microwave hard boiled eggs". Austin and I were laughing that it must have happened enough times to warrant a sign for both, dare I say, common sense scenarios? Gah, could you imagine the smell of hard boiled eggs in a microwave?! I could gag and laugh right now just thinking about it.

 Anyway after breakfast, we made our way back into the park to make our date with Old Faithful. We got there and had about an hour to kill before Old Faithful was due to erupt. We spent that time wondering about the museum and gift shop where we bought Maisie an adorable stuffed buffalo who we named Buddy (I wanted Buffalo Bill, but both Maisie and Austin refused). Finally it was the time we were waiting for, Old Faithful was about to blow. We anxiously waited while freezing our tails off and then it went off. I mean it was cool and all, but Austin and I were both kind of underwhelmed by it. We are still happy we have seen it though- it's just there are so many awesome, more beautiful and less crowded geysers/ hot springs worth spending more time on, but we are thrilled that we finally crossed it off our bucket list. The rest of the day we drove towards Canyon Village and stopped many times inbetween. We also made friends with a buffalo who came right up to our car. My window was down and no joke if I reached out I could have touched him, but we read that a surprising amount of people die per year in Yellowstone from bison/buffalo so I decided to keep my arms in the car.

The trip was so much fun and I am so glad we got to go on a fun adventure as a family of 4 before the summer ended. Until next time Yellowstone!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Eastern Idaho State Fair





6 weeks old









Well the day has come. After a year of nightly thankful prayers (yes, Maisie has prayed thanks for the fair EVERY night for an entire YEAR) it finally came back around. Randomly throughout the day Maisie would squeeze my leg tightly and excitedly yell "Mommy! I can't believe it! We're at the fair!!" she said it more than ten times no joke. This girl lives for the fair. I mean whats not to love right?! The lights, the smells (some are more pleasant than others), the food and fresh squeezed lemonade, carnival games and souvenirs, the animals and magic shows... all of it is just so much fun. Maisie is so full of life and seeing her thoroughly enjoy every single minute of her day is so rewarding as a parent. I don't think she complained one time, even when she was exhausted and her feet were tired from walking, she was just so thankful to be there. It was such a fun day as a family of four. 

Memorial Day @ Egin Lake

We have now been living in Idaho for a year now and we would always hear people talking about the "sand dunes". We didn't really pay much attention to it or were even interested in going because we don't have any recreational toys (ATVs, dirt bikes, rock crawlers etc.) so we never made our way over there. Finally on memorial day, we were bored and craving some outdoor time, so we decided to venture over there and see what all the hype was about. Along with Rexburg Rapids, this is another spot I wish we would have taken advantage of more this summer...


You can see some of the sand in the background- this is on the very edge of the sand dunes. Further down are mountains of sand. It was massive! It looked like the Goby desert... no joke! Our friend told us that people get lost all the time, especially once it gets dark and you are completely surrounded by sand and unable to see anything else. Yeahhhh no thanks.



5 weeks old and loving the sunshine and fresh air.


Rexburg Rapids



5 weeks old
 Ellie didn't go swimming, but she lounged around in her/Maisie's old swimsuit anyway
Here's Maisie at 2 months old wearing it.


This place was really fun and I wish we would have gone more than once before it closed for the summer, but now we know next summer to get a season pass or something. We just waited too long in the summer to go. I  wasn't up for it while being massively pregnant and then pretty much the whole month of August was a stormy mess. Finally when the good weather returned (thank heaven it did because I was getting nervous it would never come back) we were able to FINALLY go. Maisie loved it and is already excited for next summer and I am too because we will have an adorable 1 year old to enjoy it with as well. Let's cross our fingers that little Ellie is a water baby like her big sister!

Porter Park

There's a park by our house that has a splash area that we frequented a handful times this summer. We probably would have gone more than that, but on hot days/weekends it was crazy crowded and difficult to keep an eye on our overly excited 4 year old. Instead we preferred setting up our kiddie pool and/or sprinkler in the front yard while visiting with our friends and neighbors, but it was still fun to venture out to the park and take in the sounds of summer.





This summer was amazing! Perfectly dry and hot, without being too scorching or humid. I now see why people put up with the insanely cold Idaho winters because the spring and summers here are perfect (I know this may be sacrilegious, but dare I say, better than summers in Oregon?). Except for this August... I would say 70% of August was stormy and filled with monsoon like storms- rain and hail and super loud thunder and lightening. At first it really upset me because I felt like summer just disappeared without a chance to soak it all in, but in hindsight I am truly thankful for all the indoor time that I spent cuddling my two girls. Summer eventually came back this month and we are now currently bringing in autumn with high 70s low 80s. No complaints here.