Wordless Wednesday

Huskers ALMOST beat those Jayhawks...



Did you hear about the OCTUPLETS (that's 8 babies) born in California yesterday?! Holy crap.

It brought me back to my infertility treatment days. My mind flooded with the memories of taking shots every night. I would feel the twinges and the pressure and the pain but wait in suspense to hear how many "good follicles" I had had brewing. Since I have polycystic ovaries, my follicle count was usually way out of control (20+ mature follies on each ovary...yikes). What did this mean? If I were to get pregnant, my chance of conceiving multiples were really high. I left my first reproductive endocrinologist because she insisted I sign a form that said I'd reduce fetuses if I were pregnant with more than 3. We didn't believe in reduction so we cancelled a cycle or two due to over response (and found a new endocrinologist).

It makes me wonder...did this new mom in CA do fertility treatments?? If so or if not- what were they thinking when the ultrasound showed 7 babies (the 8th was a surprise at birth). All I can say is GOOD LUCK. ;) Parenthood is extraordinarily challenging with 1....8 would put me in a looney bin.

Regardless, I'm sure she's in the hospital glowing over her little ones. All the best to her and hers. Wowza.

+++EDITED LATER+++ I'm stunned to hear the news that the mother of the octuplets has 6 kids already at home (her parent's home), she's unmarried, she used donor sperm (I don't have a problem with donor sperm within itself), her own mom was quoted saying that that her daughter really liked having kids and didn't want the 8 remaining embryos from previous IVFs/transfers to go to waste. I'm completely shocked to hear that the endocrinologist transfered all 8 embryos, and he should lose his license in my opinion. Ug. I have much more to say but I won't.

*P.S...I've been over doing the "p.s.-ing" lately but I wanted to share a picture I came across tonight. I was transferring old pictures to a memory stick (those have a more official name, don't they?) and saw one of my favorite pictures from Declan's first day home. It's of Mark and his dad and little D in his nursery. Look at the peanut!! Tiny tiny!


The Formula Chronicles

I've written about our formula woes several times on this blog. Every time I mention it, I get a few emails in my inbox about it. Before I get started I want to say that I'm not a pediatrician and I would never encourage anyone to diagnose their baby from the details of our journey.

Common questions:

1. How did you know you needed to change formulas? When did D's symptoms start? Declan joined our family when he was 1 week old. His birthparents said he was a super gassy baby and didn't sleep much at night. We "acted" accordingly to the gassiness he was experiencing. For us, gas drops did nothing. We tried several bottles and ended up on Dr.Browns. (with N.UK nipples). It didn't make much difference. He was really hard to console, didn't sleep much, pulled his legs up, had a loud "rumbly" tummy, had rabbit poops or pebbly poops. Something just wasn't right. We thought it was colic.

2. Did you try anything before you got on the expensive (Ali.mentum) formula? Yes!! We tried different bottle first of all. Then, after a frantic visit to our pedi, we put Declan on Preva.cid and Milk of Mag.nesia. So we were treating him for acid reflux and constipation. I would say his symptoms improved 25%. It was only a honeymoon period, though. He was right back at the screaming, not sleeping, pooping problems. He was also on a "gentle" type of a popular formula.

3. What is Ali.mentum?? Ali.mentum is a hypoallergenic formula that is very simple and broken down. It's used for babies with milk intolerances, etc.

*One thing I want to add- our doctor was against us moving on to Ali.mentum. Mostly because of the huge cost to us and the fact that a formula intolerance is marked by more watery stools and Dec's were opposite. The straw that broke the camel's back was a Friday where Declan hadn't slept at all from 7am-7pm and was screaming so hard his eyes were bloodshot. My mom called and said GO GET THE ALI.MENTUM!!! Within 48 hours, he was a different child. Happy, comfortable, a pleasure to be around. He was off his reflux meds within a couple days and off the milk of mag.nesia within a day. His stool became normal (for the first time). He was 6 weeks old at this point.

4. You mention how expensive your formula is. Can you get it in at Wal.mart or do you order it special? You can buy this formula anywhere you'd get other formula. It's about $27/can which lasts only 3 days or so. Declan's tummy stopped liking the powder and did well with the Ready-to-Feed version which was $9/bottle/a day. YIKES.

The GOOD NEWS?! It's temporary!! Just today, we started adding Tar.get brand "gentle" formula to the Ali.mentum!! His stomach is doing great with it!! There is a light at the end of this pricey tunnel. ;)

Thanks for all the questions. If I missed anything...shoot me another email. I am very thankful there was an option out there when all seemed bleak so hopefully this post isn't too doom and gloom.

p.s....I could never figure out why people put dots in words. It's so if someone googles "Ali.mentum or Tar.get, etc.", my blog doesn't pop up.

p.p.s....I think it's impossible for me to post with no pictures, so I'm leaving you with a shot of Mark showing Declan some of his favorite music videos on our laptop. Here, they're listing to Michael Jackson. Not sure if the little man is a fan quite yet but I'm sure he will be. ;)


5 months old!! :)

I would have to say Declan's 4th month was the best by far! He did so many new things and his little personality it starting to shine though.

Today: January 25th, 2009...my baby is 5 months old today!
Weight: Nearing or over 15 lbs
Height: Estimating 26'' or so
Notable happenings:
-Starting the beginning of January, Declan now sleeps through the night. Woot woot!! He averages 10-12 hrs/night.
-He eats 7 oz/feeding now (up from 5 oz last month)
-Declan now rolls both ways and seems to enjoy his time on floor more these days. He also sleeps on his tummy now. Cute cute!
-Houston, we have a tooth!! Yes, 1 cute little pearly white.
-We're almost completely off the "ready to feed" Ali.mentum formula and down to just the powder. This month we'll try to transition off of that to a (cheaper) "regular" formula.
-Declan belly laughs now. Freakin' adorable.
-Big boy takes drastically less naps...usually a short one in the morning and an hour-ish one in the afternoon.
-This month, Declan realized our dogs existed! He now reaches out and grabs/pets them. It's the beginning of a beautiful friendship. ;)


Red vs. Blonde

Where has my baby's full head of cute red hair gone?? Here's a pic of him months ago:

Most of the red hair has fallen out and has been replaced with lots of sprouting blonde:

Is this normal?? Could it go back to red someday?? It was also so much thicker when he was younger. Weird. This is just one of those things no one tells you about. ;)


History in the making...

I'm sadden to hear the "world is ending" comments from (some) fellow Christians and Republicans. With all that said, though I'm thrilled for our new President, I'm thankful that my hope is in God, not man. No matter the name you wrote on your ballot this year, it's hard to deny the optimistic vibration of our country.

I was choked up during the inauguration with my son on my lap. I'm proud to be an American. I'm proud to say with even more confidence: "you can be anything you want to be." I'm thankful for change and a new start. I'm thankful for a leader like President Obama and can't wait to see what is to come (he's got a lot on his plate, no doubt)!

I will never forget this moment:


Guess what??

My not-even-5-month-old got his FIRST TOOTH today!! Yep, his bottom left tooth poked through and his bottom right has a swollen bump so I'm sure that one will be on it's way soon too. I can't wait for his toothy grin!! Here's a common shot of Declan (everything possible goes straight to his drooling mouth):

Or this:


Wordless Wednesday

(Wordless Wednesday cheat here. I must explain my first video post of Declan. I was popping my gum and he was so tickled! I think I'll watch this video every single time I feel bummed about anything in life) :)



Mall walking observations...

Ok. I have to admit something. (Gulp). I've gained over 15 lbs in the last 5 months since Declan has joined our life. Keep in mind I did not birth him so I have no "baby weight" excuse. I like to tell people that I quit the gym until he's 6 months old (that's the point where I feel okay leaving him in the nursery). This is true but I could go after work when Mark gets home but I'm typically pretty exhausted. I also tell people about our new grocery budget: $75/week for formula and very little left over so we get pasta, baked potatoes, ramen noodles and other cheap things. But no more excuses!

Today, Mark and I started a friendly competition with each other. We both have different goals but, above all, want to live a healthier life. We don't want to specifically diet. We want to eat really healthy MOST the time but still be able to have a little flexibility. So last night I cleared out our fridge and pantry and spent over an hour at the grocery store re-stocking (and reading lots of labels). We have work out goals- both different- but goals nonetheless. We had our first weigh in this morning and will continue to weekly. If we reach our goals and live the healthy life we really desire for 6 months, a short Vegas trip late summer will be our reward.

So, anywho, regarding the mall walking. The weather bites today (cold, super winder, yucky) so we loaded up and went mall walking. Here's what I learned:

-Mall walkers take their work out very seriously.
-Mall walkers are easy to spot with their casual clothing, arms pumping and winter coat around their waist.
-Mall walkers get a lot of looks from shoppers and the mall employees.
-Mall walking is semi-tortuous because there are tons of delicious smells floating around.
-Mall walking is also tortuous because there are tons of sales right now.
-I think I can keep this up at least 3 times a week during the winter.
-3 times around our mall is over 2 miles! Woot!

Anyone else with new diet and/or workout goals??


Update. . .

Thank you everyone for all the advice!! Here's where we are with the "crib wetting." We tried a size larger Hug.gie and it didn't work. Still soaked in the AM. Then we tried his regular Tar.get diaper with the size larger Hug.gie over it! Double diapered, yes sir. Well.....it didn't work either. So tonight's new experiment is the Hug.gie with cloth diaper cut in half and folded inside the disposable. This is most likely temporary. I have picked out a couple cloth diaper options that I might try. The nice side effect of a cloth diaper inside the disposable is a ginormous diaper butt. It's adorable!!

I also updated the look of my blog. :)


More advice needed por favor...

Everyone is such a wealth of information I'm going to keep hitting you all up for advice! Thanks!

Two things (both having to do with our new 10-12 hour sleep nights):

1. Declan wets through his diaper at night. We currently use Tar.get brand (they never leak during the day). My mom got us some Hug.gies and they leaked too. So, tonight he has both on! Yes, double diaper big butt Decs. Hope it works. ;) What overnight diapers work for you? Decs was allergic to Pampers when he was a newborn so I'm steering clear of those.

2. Declan now flips on to his stomach all the time. Nice developmental milestone, eh? Yes, yes that's true but he HATES IT. He cries and snorts and gets all bent out of shape. During the day- no biggie- just reposition. But now he does it at night too so we have to go flip him over. This mostly happens an hour or two after he goes down and right when he wakes up. So what do we do?? Keep flipping him? Does he just start to like sleeping or playing on his stomach?

This is not an advice thing but I've started to give in to Declan chewing on my (clean) finger. He always tries to shove it in his mouth and prefers it over most teething toys. I know for sure he's teething because I feel 2 coming in on the bottom!

Picture challenge!

I love reading all about the life of this family. There are 4 little boys and baby twin girls! Craziness!! Anywho, she challenged other bloggers to go to their May '08 folder and pick the 21st picture. Here's mine:

This picture is from the Husker's Spring Game this year. Notice the stadium is packed (sold out actually)!! It's pretty crazy considering Spring Game is a glorified practice. Well, we were excited to take in the game and were about half way through the 2nd quarter when my husband's high school friend that went with us started throwing up ON MY HUSBAND. He is 6'8'' and was sitting behind Mark so it was a straight shot on to Mark's head. It ended up he had food poising from chicken so it was pretty freaking disgusting. After throwing up violently 4 or more times, I turned around and said we are leaving NOW. He's such a dedicated fan he wanted to stay. Ug. Not a very good memory though it's slightly funny now.



Guess what's been going on the last 4 nights?? Our sweet son just started sleeping TEN+ hours a night. It seems his 3:30am-ish feeding was more of a habit. My hubby gave him his paci and comfort blanket instead of a bottle this weekend and he went back to sleep. Fabulous, eh? The craziest thing is what simultaneously happened. The day after Declan's first big 10 hour night, he went from 4 ounces a feeding (every 3 hours) to 6 ounces a feeding. Just like that. Hmm. Compensating I spose. I've always been proud of my napper. He napped about an hour-ish after each feeding for 1.5 hours. NOT ANYMORE. Mr. Goodsleeper takes a catnap in the morning and a 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon. Geesh. What a big boy.

In "I-hate-anything-but-my-million-dollar-formula news", Declan has zero interest in my lovingly homemade baby food. As soon as the food hits his mouth he fusses which quickly escalates to a cry. Now, being the amazing mother that I am, I shove another spoonful in to his mouth when he cries because his lips are tightly closed otherwise. Hmm. Pass judgement....get it over with... I've been diligent to keep trying but I'm getting close to just waiting for awhile to start back at it. Why did we skip rice cereal you ask? Our pediatrician doesn't want him to be on it until he's 6 months old because of his formula intolerances. Any advice out there? Keep trying? Wait a bit? He's 4.5 months old today so it wouldn't be a big deal to wait. For some reason Declan looks so old to me in this picture (this is the face most our feedings):

I'll leave you with a picture that warms my heart. I have the BEST (and cutest) sister-in-laws EVER!!!!

I know you've missed that smile....

I just noticed my last several posts featured Declan's "staring off in space" face. This face occurs most often when he's soaking it all in around a lot of people. So, no worries, here's your happy-little-man fix.


An update in photos...

It's been busy around here lately! Mark's brother and his wife moved back from Beijing, China. In April they had our cute nephew and him and Decs finally got to meet. They are going to be best buds!

Also, Mark's other brother and his wife are visiting from Seattle. Aunt Jess and little man:

Decs got some love from Uncle Erik. He even practically fell asleep when being bounced on his knee tonight.

Last Friday he rolled from his back to his stomach!! I was shocked since he just started rolling from his stomach to his back. What can I say? My child is advanced. ;) His Auntie J is to thank for tempting him with his comfort blankie in to rolling. I have a feeling his mobility will quickly change our lives. I caught this pic after he had rolled but before he freed his pinned arm:

This is how you will find Declan the majority of his awake time (I swear the boy is teething):

Not to jinx our progress, but Declan has been sleeping longer and longer at night. Just last night he slept 9:30-7:30. From here on out we're going to try to soothe him instead of feed him when/if he wakes up at night. No worries- if he's starving, we will feed him but I think the middle of the night feeding is more of a habit than anything. Plus, as he sleeps longer now, his ounces per feeding have increased. Woot woot!


Happy New Year!!!

Our sick little family spent the night lying low watching football and eating shrimp gumbo. We all got good sleep and I feel the best I have in 9 days!! Woot woot!! Baby Declan is still fighting his cold but is in good spirits. We're excited to break free from this prison we've been in forever (our house) :) and go watch the Huskers play in the Gator Bowl today. GO BIG RED!!

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year's!!