Saturday, December 18, 2010

Already behind in blogging!

Seriously, is it really a week away from Christmas and the last blog I posted I was complaining about people pushing it on me?!?!  Geez!  These past few weeks have been a whirlwind and it's not getting any better.  We are two days away from leaving for FL and I've yet to start packing for four people and preparing the dogs for boarding for 10 days.  I don't really know where to start and I hate that feeling.  This past week has been so busy with doctor appointments and other errands that I'm a little behind in laundry, but what's new?!

Speaking of doctor appointments, Annie had her 2 month check-up and you would never know she had a slow start in the beginning!  She is now 24" long (94th percentile) and 11 lb, 4 oz (60th percentile).  Her head circumference was measured at 15 1/2" (75th percentile)!!!  So, apparently my girl is long and has a big head!!  Once again, I do believe she will slow down dramatically just like Ella did after the first year, so we'll see how these measurements continue.  Her next appt. is in February.  As for milestones, she has become the most smiley baby in the past couple weeks.  Mommy and big sister are able to get more smiles than daddy, but I think she's still figuring out who he is as Stephen has been super-busy this past month!  She starting to coo more and more and is getting more interested in her play mat and focusing a lot more on objects.  It's fun to see her "grow-up", but it's going w-a-y to fast already.

Ella has also had her share of doctor appointments in the past couple weeks.  Last Friday she had another procedure on her lip (this would be the third, but different, procedure).  For those of you who don't know, when Ella was about 2 or 3 she had a mucoceil (a salivary gland inside the mouth that was damaged by trauma like biting inside her mouth or a fall that didn't heal properly and made a pocket of fluid) inside her lower lip.  We were just watching it for a while, but it continued to get bigger and it started to look like she had chewing tobacco inside her lip all the time.  So, between her dentist and her pediatrician, we decided to get it excised because that was the usual treatment to get rid of it.  Well, after the first excision scar tissue formed and her lip still looked big.  So, in March of this year we had it excised again and what do you know, the same thing happened.  We decided to see a plastic surgeon and get a second opinion and Ella ended up getting an MRI because the doc thought this was more than just scar tissue, likely a type of lymphatic malformation which means that excision will most not likely work anyway.  So this time around the doctor decided to use a laser and cauterize the area to reduce the malformation.  So, after this past Friday Ella had a lot of swelling, but not pain thank the Lord.  Her follow-up appointment on Wed. went well and a lot of the swelling had gone down, but we still to give it time and wait to see if the procedure did anything.  So, her next follow-up is in February as well and at that time we will decide if something else needs to be done.  Prayers would certainly be appreciated as we are really hoping this works and Ella can go on with her life without worrying about how her lip looks and answering everyone's questions about what's wrong with her lip.

After this busy week I was able to get some pampering in and got my hair cut. That always makes me feel better.  It's almost as good as a massage to me.  It will give me the extra boost I need to finish everything that lays ahead of me...not only packing for four people, but wrapping gifts for a little Christmas that we'll have here Monday so we don't have to lug everything to FL!  So...Stephen is on-call today and I will be officially starting to pack!  Or will I?!  Maybe I'll wait until tomorrow...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Did I miss Thanksgiving?!?!

I'm sorry, but I have to vent.  I'm not ready for Christmas yet people!  Why do we jump from ghouls and goblins to Santa and reindeer?!?!  I know Christmas is everyone's favorite holiday and I'm excited to decorate and start singing Christmas carols, but I also don't like to cheapen it or give my child(ren) an excuse to already start asking when she gets to open presents, etc.  

Thanksgiving didn't use to be a big deal to me when I was younger, but as I've gotten older I really do look forward to it, not just for the delicious food, but because it really is a great time to think about all we have to be thankful for and to spend it with family and/or friends.  Stephen and I have not been able to spend very many Thanksgivings with our families in FL these past several years, so we've either had a really small dinner with just the three of us (which will now be 4) or we've had great feasts with friends which have ended up being super-special and a lot of crazy fun!  This holiday has great traditions as well, so why are we skipping over Thanksgiving?!?!

Now, I don't want to tick people off who have family traditions and put their decorations up by Thanksgiving.  To be honest, I don't care what you do in your own house, but please, if you must put the Christmas lights up outside right after Halloween, please don't turn them on until Thanksgiving night!  Trust me, I'm waiting with bated breath to decorate and turn on the musak if not the evening of Thanksgiving, then first thing the next morning (on my way to do some Black Friday shopping - which is when the Christmas season officially begins)!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Annie's 1 month stats

The stats are in!!  Annie had her 1 month check-up this morning and was as calm as could be throughout the whole exam.  Surprisingly, she got a shot this morning that I was not prepared for, her second Hep B, but that makes her 2 month check-up a lot better.  She'll only get two vaccines during that visit.  As for this one, she cried very briefly and was quick to soothe.

Anyway, after all those weight complications in the first couple weeks of her life, she weighed in today at 9 lb, 8 oz (57th percentile).  She's also grown quite a bit and measured at 22.5 inches (91st percentile).  Much like Ella was early on, she is quite long, but after the first year or so, I'm sure she will drastically slow down in the growth department.  Ella has been in the 20-25th percentile for at least the past two years!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A new start, a new life.

It has been a while, I know.  I'm sure you're wondering why I'm even bothering to update you if I'm not going to do so regularly.  Well, I'm turning over a new leaf...mainly because I miss my outlet of bragging (about my kids and husband), venting (about my kids and husband) and opining (about everything else).  But, my life has also gone through some changes since I last updated this blog and I figured this is really the best way for me to keep track of memories and experiences along the way since I am not good at scrapbooking or any other creative things like that.  So, here is to a new start and to a new life...

Ann "Annie" Lorraine Patrick
Born on 10/14/10 @ 9:38a
8 lb, 3 oz and 20 3/4" 

Annie arrived via repeat C-section at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.  I'm trying to decide whether to rehash the "loveliness" surrounding my pre-op and post-op experiences thanks to an anesthesia resident (pre-op) and a old nurse (post-op).  For now, I won't...but, that's not to say there won't be a future post exposing all that ridiculousness!  Anyway, the actual surgery went as smooth as can be and even though there was some meconium when Annie was delivered, everything was fine.  Surprisingly, Annie was born on a Thursday morning and I left the hospital the following evening, mainly due to the "awesome" (dripping with sarcasm) nursing staff.   

Since we've been home Annie has been great.  She only cries when she is hungry or has a dirty diaper...OR if you put her down.  I do not remember Ella needing to be held this much.  I am trying to enjoy it realizing that this is most likely my last baby, but as my house gets more and more cluttered and smelly (?), I need to be able to get things done.  So, this is where I'll give a shout out to the Moby wrap (  I don't know how I lived without this when I had Ella, but this is the only thing saving my sanity...and my back.

I'm also trying to breastfeed again with Annie and I'm happy to say that overall it is going a lot better than it did with Ella.  Unfortunately, as I was celebrating the smoothness of breastfeeding this go around, Annie ended up losing 12% of her birth weight within the first 4-5 days of life (more than 10% is not normal).  As we took her to and from the pediatrician's office and saw a lactation consultant, no one understood what the problem was as my milk had some in good and plenty and it seemed like Annie was latching and feeding well.  Even still, I was put on a strict feeding schedule of feeding Annie every 2-3 hours (and waking her up to do so if she wasn't already awake) and then pumping after the feedings to get any other milk I had and then offering that to her.  9 times out of 10 she would take more milk.  I was not understanding what I was doing wrong, if anything, and felt like I couldn't succeed at breastfeeding no matter what!  Why did everything have to be soooo difficult?!?!  I will admit that after a few days of this I was going insane and in the middle of the night I did NOT want to pump, so I supplemented with formula if she wanted it.  She didn't take it every time, but the times that she did, it was so much easier and faster than pumping! I did this for about two weeks and thankfully it worked.  As fast she dropped to 7 lb, 4 oz from her birth weight of 8 lb, 3 oz, it seemed she gained it all back and more and on Nov. 2 she was a whopping 8 lb, 7 oz!  So, I was officially able to get back to 'normal' breastfeeding, whatever that is (I'll save those rantings for another post).  I will still pump occasionally if she ends up sleeping longer and I'm about ready to explode.  Ella has enjoyed helping feed her and it killed her last week when she had a bit of a cold and we made her stay away from Annie!

Speaking of Ella, she is a big Kindergartner now and goes to school all day (which apparently isn't a free right in MI) and it has been good for all of us.  I cannot imagine her still only going to school for 1/2 a day.  She would hate it just as much as I would.  But, with that big transition and also her riding the bus to and from school everyday, becoming a big sister on top of all that has been an interesting journey.  She absolutely loves her sister and wants her to be able to play and talk already!  As for now, she enjoys singing and reading books to Annie.  But, completely separate from Annie she has her 'normal' 5-year-old moments that I believe she would have whether Annie was here or not.  But, I am confident that she will be a GREAT big sister and tons of help in the future!

As for other 'new' things, Stephen is a fellow as of July 1, 2010.  He started a dual fellowship in neonatology and is also a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.  No one knows what the latter is, so don't feel bad.  It's a highly regarded research fellowship for medical personnel, but again means nothing to us lamen folk.  His dual fellowship is a total of three years (meaning the earliest we would be leaving MI is in 2013).  The first two years is 80% research and 20% clinical time which means he's mostly in the NICU on-call on the weekends unless he is on service which he only was in July and won't be again until May 2011.  The third and final year will mostly be clinical time in the NICU.  He is absolutely in love with his job(s) and is excited about the opening of the new children's hospital in November 2011.  

So, new things abound in the Patrick family, especially since the last time I posted something.  I'm looking forward to more newness in the future and more posting, but right now I would just love to enjoy the familiarness of my bed.