May 31, 2010

Getting your Heart Baby to Eat

My feeding therapy advice:

Let me just throw out a few disclaimers before I begin.First of all, this is what worked for us. It was a learn as you go process...

It was ugly- REAL ugly!

Please proceed with understanding.

Alright.... if you have any specific questions that I did not address please email me- I don't know how much this will help. oh, and I don' t know what is going on with the text, but this was a lot of different entries.

Coming home with baby on NG:

You might as well shave your head for all the hair pulling that will occur due to the above sentence. There are moms who loved being able to push a button and know how much was going into their kiddo. Although it definitely had its convenient perks- I was NOT one of those moms. It drove me crazy to take Mia out of the equation. I was on mission to teach Mia hunger from the moment we started giving her breast milk through a binki trainer.

I knew the odds were stacked against me because she had been intubated so long and her experience with any oral intake was next to nothing.

Ok, go back a few steps…

- When we were in the hospital she had a swallow study which she failed- so my hands were tied until her next swallow study. This gave me time to get well acquainted with senior feeding pump. Tips for feeding pump:

- Fill bag with enough formula so you will have extra at the end. This allows you to push down on the neck of the bag until the formula is almost spilling out, then close the lid. Turn upside down and while squeezing the bag press the release valve in the tubing- this will allow you to prime the entire length of the tube without pressing the slower than molasses “prime” button. Also, it will eliminate air getting pumped into the bag due to any type of movement what so ever. The last thing you need is to be pumping your babies tummy full of air then have them toss their cookies because too much air got in there. Now, the pumps are suppose to stop if it doesn’t sense any formula in the tubing, but we had plenty of pumps malfunction and keep on moving that air right along with intermittent amounts of formula. Some pumps just don’t read as well as others.

- Get as many chargers as they will allow you… we had three. I remember going to one of her check ups… back when we were going twice a week and I thought I grabbed the charged pump. I needed to give her all of her meds, but had no way of getting them or any food into her. Luckily someone was in the homecare office or it would have been a nightmare. Also, they beep like crazy when they are low on battery and will shut off leaving the food in the bag and not in the baby.

-If you change the setting on one pump- change them all. As you are trying to teach hunger/stretch that tummy you have to increase in volume and speed- make sure both pumps are consistent.

* more to come on this

On that same note… Many occasions arise when you don’t need a full feed and you set the pump, then forget. Then realize hours after your baby should have been fed that he/she only received the 15 cc’s that you programmed for meds. This usually happens if someone else turns off the pump (my kids) after the alarm. It is bound to happen, but before you go to turn off the pump change it back.

-If you are putting meds in the feed, mix them with less formula than you need and run that feed to make sure all the meds got in- then add the rest of your formula to finish the feed. Usually, you use the ports on the NG tube to push meds, but post transplant there are so many drugs and their tummies as much diluting as possible. You will learn quickly which meds make them sick. With Mia she would throw up immediately after some meds were pushed… it didn’t matter how slow we pushed them. In this case… ask the docs if you can dilute it in the feed.

How to teach hunger Mia style:

As soon as I was given the green light, aka she passed her swallow study, it was operation lose that tube before her first birthday.

OK- so initially it was binki trainer land- I loaded up more binki trainers than I can remember. We had to teach her how to suck- it was awful! She would gum the binki trainer and we would push a little formula then she would choke, then gag, then lose her feed. Soon I learned the following:

Start the binki trainer right when you start the feed- this way she is associating her tummy filling up with sucking and swallowing the formula.

Having the right formula is key! We started out with the nastiest tasting/smelling formula ever. I tried it just to see what we were up against, and I gagged. I knew we would get no where with that formula. I tried flavoring packets for awhile... but gave up on that. We switched to vanilla flavored Elecare, which worked for awhile, but we finally ended up using the kirkland formula or Similac organic.

Present the bottle as often as humanly possible. The more that nipple is in their mouth, the more comfortable they become with it.

000.. speaking of nipples... we tried all brands. I was kind of a maniac and convinced myself that if I kept switching things, that there was this magic recipe that would make her magically eat. I tried different flows, and brands, and wasted money in the end, but it made me feel better :-)

I always held Mia on my lap with her facing me, well actually she was reclined on my legs, but she did NOT want to be cradled when I was trying to feed her. She wanted her space. I liked doing it this way because she could see my face and I could talk to her and encourage her.

The months were spent trying to speed up her feeds/the amount to stretch her stomach... while getting her to take as much by mouth as possible. The problem was that the pump ran each feed took a long time since Mia's stomach was too small to have a full meal in just a few minutes, and until she was getting her feeds in the time a healthy baby would, she would never be hungry. It was a slow process but eventually we got her to a point where we could start subtracting what she took from bottle from her feed, or run the feed at the same time and turn off the pump minus the feed.

When I started feeding her in her sleep things really picked up. She more or less learned how to eat in her sleep. I sat and sat and sat with that girl with a bottle in her mouth.

I cried

I prayed

I wanted to throw the bottle through the window

I cried some more

I tried again

She was so happy it was easy to get over the frustration.

Then began the sleep feeding. Initially I held her and got her to sleep in my arms then I snuck the bottle in her mouth and she began to eat... and the angels were singing! I held her until she figured out how to hold the bottle herself. That didn't take long because she was almost a year old :-) After that she pretty much took all of her meals in her crib.

I can't tell you how relieved I was when she finished her first bottle during one of her naps. It was a beautiful day!

The rest is pretty much history. Eventually she learned to take a bottle wide awake and her food intake improved slowly over time.

Once we got the bottle down we started introducing more and more foods. Any kind of solid food made her gag, then she would lose all the milk we worked so hard for her to eat. If it could dissolve in her mouth, she could handle it... anything else?... gag gag gag. The gagging let to chocking- it was a NIGHTMARE! We just kept on truckin.

back to NG for a sec

When the NG tube would get ripped out by a couch cushion, or stuck under daddies arm (this happened more than once) or when she would gag it out- we left it out! This was always my trial period for getting rid of the NG.

It went a little something like this:

Tube and Tape were ripped off her face accidentally

I would feed her while she was sleeping

I would pray and pray and pray

Then when she needed to eat again and hadn't had enough that day, I would put the tube back in.

This cycle happened on and off for a couple of weeks...

Then came the one time I took her tube out on purpose for a photo shoot. I needed pictures to put on her 1st birthday party invitation, and it ended up being the last time she had that tube.

CRUNCH TIME: So, after I took out the tube... she did loose a tiny bit of weight. This is discouraging YES! The doctors are never please with weight loss. Bottom line is tube is irritating and ultra bothersome and I felt it was next to impossible for her to take enough with it in. For about 3 days she was only consuming the bare minimum for what her nutritionist wanted her to take. Maybe even a little less... I remember it being a stressful time- I almost put the tube back in multiple times. On Day three she was taking enough all because that tube was OUT! I had to feed her on my lap awake... torture and in her sleep because her tummy wasn't get expanded enough to hold say a full bottle.

My biggest advice is to stick to your guns! You are the mom and you will know if it is working or not. Don't let anyone discourage you! Obviously if they don't gain weight within a couple weeks you may need to go back to the drawing board for a bit, but with our experience it took taking it out and holding our breath and giving her the bottle round the clock to make progress. At her next appointment she had gained weight and I knew the tube was gone for good. Another thing that might help during crunch time is adding calories to the formula. You can get powdered calories to mix in- there are different choices out there. We mixed pediasure with her formula for the extra calories. We didn't do this for long because the doctors didn't want her to "gain too much weight." They wanted her to to stay on her own curve and didn't want her to make a big jump in weight. I definitely could have worked closer with a nutritionist, but there was so much more going on with meds and interactions that I just took on the eating. I knew what I had to do, and had the basic idea of what she had to get to remained nourished... and ran with it.

Oral Aversions:

Our feeding therapist wanted me to awaken her mouth by putting my fingers in her mouth often. I could not do this... I tried, but after living in a hospital... I couldn't. I bought teething rings- the kind that vibrated. I gave these too her all the time, she didn't want them in her mouth, but I kept giving them to her. Eventually she started putting them in her mouth.

I used the little blue baby tooth/gum brushers before meals to prep her mouth for eating. She fought at first but then thought it was funny.

I tried to always sit with her and put something in my mouth and show her what to do, basically give her a narrated play by play. I'm sure if someone was taping me doing this they would get a kick out of my exaggerated chewing while telling her to chew.

I gave her a million different types of simulations. From dum dums to every type of baby food that one mommy could buy. One thing about teaching hunger and coaxing one to eat is that A LOT of food will be wasted... a lot! I would get all excited about a particular concoction I made for the princess only to have her refuse it and my hopes and dreams shattered! not really. Just don't get frustrated when you end up wasting food. I ate a lot of her rejects, but I had to draw the line with baby food vegetables.

Those little mesh bags for fruits were the BOMB. Mia wouldn't put it in her mouth at first... ok... you're going to laugh but here are a few things I put in that bag:

-whip cream, cream cheese, apples, blueberries, vienna sausages (mmmm), oranges, all manner of babyfood, jam, frozen fruits, popcicles, avacados, pretty much anything I could fit it there.

My only real advice for food is TRY EVERYTHING. I swore foods off, then revisited them, and had more success. Beating the NG was a 6 month long nightmare, which only led to another 6 month long feeding frenzie. A majority of that food wound up on the floor. We basically started with only disolvables, then purees (the baby food grinder was used every day) then eventually soft chunks, and full on solids. There was gagging and puking in all stages, which set us back, but she slowly started trusting food. It was frustrating because once she gagged, it was over for that meal. She was insulted and hurt, and didn't want anything else to do with eating. ME EITHER!!!!

You'll learn what foods gag your kiddo, and can avoid those for awhile. I remember giving her spaghetti one night and not cutting up the noodles... WHAT WAS I THINKING?? She had one noodle half down her throat and was gagging like crazy. Poor girly. I didn't think anything of it because pasta is one of her fool proof foods. Needless to say, I now cut up her spaghetti and she loves it.

Give lots of sips water when your feeding... this helps with making sure the thicker foods get down and they are less likely to choke say after the third bit of cheese soup. drink breaks are a must!

About six months ago the only thing Mia "couldn't" do in regards to eating is taking a bite and getting a chunck. She would just knaw on food until she got a piece, or would eat a piece from me cutting it up. I really wanted to take a bite from like a cracker or something. That is the last thing I needed her to do before I felt like she was eating 100% She could eat almost anything, but wouldn't take a "bite." This was probably due to her having 3 teeth.

* Would you believe me if I told you there is nothing she doesn't eat?

*Would you believe me if I told you she has been eating full chicken nuggets (not cut up) for 6 months?

*Would you believe me if I told you I do not feed her anything anymore? I give her her meals and silverware and she feeds herself!! It is every mommy's dream right? Well heart mommy's that is.

*Would you believe me if I told you that she still makes a MASSIVE mess at every meal? yes, you probably believe me on this one. I guess that is our last step and I don't see it going away anytime soon. I still give her lots and lots of variety at meals- this is more of a nutrition paranoia than a calorie intake dilemma.

Just for mom's that may need ideas for foods here is what we fed her once she refused baby foods:

- disolvable baby snacks.. mostly the yogurt puffs- she would eat a whole bag if I let her.

- cooked carrot sticks (with butter)

- GOGURTS (lots and lot of them)

- avocado chunks

- pasta Pasta Pasta... all forms, all sauces, EVERYDAY

- crackers every kind

- cookies (walmart brand) "don't forgets" vanilla wafers

- slices up oranges... she just sucked on them

- sausage (SHE LOVES THIS)

- bacon... her first food... but a big gag inducer... at least for the first couple months

- canned chicken... Costco

- Vienna sausages

- Anything she didn't want I dipped in a yummy dip (ranch) or in cool whip. Sometimes the food remained, but SOMETIMES it got in!

- you can read back if you want through the journey, there were many blogs like THIS ONE that may or may not help you.

Here are some emails I emailed to a friend during the whole process- if you want to read anymore of this massively long post.

Oh, Mia didn't want the bottle in her mouth- so I would give her the binki and when she fell asleep I would give her the bottle. Waa ha ha...I'm so sneaky!! do you want him on the sippy? or do you want to keep him on the bottle? If you want him on the sippy maybe try putting things in it that are delicious- like his formula with some vanilla pedialte or try a flavor packet (I get mine from the hospital and have a million if you want some) or put whipped topping on the nipple- I mean I've tried a million things. I think with the sippy it is more of a slow process because they are not going to get the bulk of their hydration unless they know how to eat in the first place. I think when it is sippy time I will give it to her maybe only at lunch for her to get familiar with and put juice or something yummy inside- then tip it up now and again, but no pressure. I know some women that don't give their babies any toys but sippy cups until they drink from them- maybe I should do this :-) We did visit the sippy cup for a minute. Mia didn't really get it. She gummed it a little, and swallowed what was poured in (because there was no plug) but that's not what we were working on. It's funny, but I changed my strategy after talking to you. I decided to feed Mia while she is sleeping and it is working wonderfully- her "awake time" feeding seems to be improving too. She has been taking four bottles a day with solids- I am calling it good enough. I realize that this isn't a cure all to my feeding issues, but her tube is out and it is working for now. Mia has a gag reflex that we are working on. The therapist told me to get my fingers in her mouth and that would go away. This is difficult because I am such a germ a phob that I don't do it. I let her chew on a lot of toys and hopefully that will help. She doesn't eat anything that isn't pureed finely- however she is starting to eat those little stars that melt in their mouths. I think because of her needs we will probably be on the bottle for awhile...I want to get her to a place where she wants a drink and she wants to eat and I feel like she hasn't learned that need yet. I will re introduce the sippy when I feel like she desires the liquid. Believe me- I think if there was one issue in my life that I wish would just resolve- this is it! I know someday it will, but it is so tiring and frustrating. Yay for the ranch!! Mia is a huge fan of ranch. Our nutritionist told us to give her as many high calorie foods as possible. I dip her baby food fruit in whipped cream and she loves the whip cream. Mia responds well to dressing, creamy soups, she loved the sauce of pork and beans...random. Bascially any thing I am eating that has zero chunks she loves. I made a broccoli cheese soup last night and used the baby food grinder. She loved it! After about six or seven bites she started to do the open mouth gag thing because I had ground up carrots, potato, broccoli, onion, and celery. The cheesy part was getting less and less and I kept giving her bites just to see what she would do. I am also trying to work on that gagging- pesky gagging. Anyway, after she kept gagging on the thicker stuff I could tell she wasn't interested anymore because it was uncomfortable to eat. I rinsed out the grinder and did all cheese with one vegetable and she ate a lot more. I think she gets discouraged when she gags and then refuses to eat. I gave her some cereal and it seems like sometimes it dissolve fine and others she gags. Who knows!! Oh, Mia is a huge fan of bacon... who isn't? I just put a whole one in her hand and let her suck on it. She takes it in and out so I know if she gets a chunk...then I have to fish it out so she doesn't choke, but Mia would munch on bacon all day long. Do you have one of those mesh baggie things that you put solid food in and they suck on? I tried to give Mia some food in it and she couldn't stand the texture of the mesh bag. I put super delicious stuff in it to try and get her loving it- like whipped topping, yogurt, a yummy sugary desert. She would lick it off then try to put it in her mouth and would just throw it away. I pretty much gave up on it because it was driving me nuts. Then, the other day I put a bunch of frozen blueberries in it and just left it on the tray and walked away. When I came back she had the whole thing in her mouth and was gumming it. Now, I put all kind of fruit in there for her to try and she loves it. I thought she would never do it though. What I should have done is just put them on her tray as toys before I ever presented the food. That way she would have gotten used to the mesh. Mia luckily doesn't have reflux- we dodged that bullet somehow (the only one really ;-) She does puke...but it is always because she is gagging on the tiniest smallest morsel of food. Little turkey! I have noticed an increase in what she will take when she is awake now. I think she is FINALLY associating the bottle with getting full etc. I was talking to home health yesterday telling them how I just put her down with a bottle and she drinks it down- and they strongly discouraged that. I told them...well if the tubes out- I have to move in that direction. Mia would never learn hunger if she still had the tube. I figure in a couple of months she will be taking enough when she is awake and then I can just put her down for her nap no bottle...hopefully. Mia will take the baby foods, but she really likes "real people" food. My baby food grinder has come in really handy. I grind up whatever we're eating in all it's salty glory and she loves it. Mia's biggest hang up is sucking.

Yes, the whole eating thing is a big fat nightmare. I am encouraged by the fact that it won't always be this way!!! I had someday tell me..."well she will know how to eat before she goes to kindergarten." WHAT? excuse me, that is like five years away- I'm thinking like six months lady!!! Gotta love the encouragement though.

I don't know if this was helpful for anyone, and there are many details I missed... it has been a long journey, but the details are still fresh. If you have specific questions let me know, and I can try to help you.

One final thing before I go to bed... Mia has perfect cardiac output. I was able to push her because fatigue didn't apply to her. Her angel heart is a strong, fully functioning heart. For many mom's who struggle getting their kiddo to eat this is not the case. Many heart babies do not have the endurance or ability to be pushed the way I pushed Mia. Many of our heart friends are hypoplast babies and
many of these sweet babies have to work extra hard just to oxygenate their bodies. Please keep this in mind... cardiac output plays a HUGE roll! Some heart kiddos get fatigued much sooner and it will be a longer process, but bottom line is...

YOU CAN DO IT!!! I KNOW YOU CAN!! If you need a personal cheerleader- I am your girl! If there is one thing I do not want to repeat it is this and I am incredibly sympathetic for those who are going through it. Good luck!!

May 29, 2010

So much of him to love

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This little man

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is getting lots and lots of attention

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mostly from the female kind (that's mommy's hand behind his head)

We're teaching him how to play

and be goofy like the rest of us!

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Using her VIP crown, Ellie crowned him in his sleep! This pretty much sums up his rank

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Mia's willingness to give unlimited kisses has transferred to her baby bro

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they are mostly opened mouth kisses on the head- we don't try to limit her

Sam, you are a well loved, highly fought over, sweet as can be baby boy!

May 22, 2010

Aunt Nats

This is Aunt Nats & Sammer jammer

She is my sister

She came to visit us, I mean Mia... hmmm... no picture

She wanted to take Mia home with her

Surprisingly, Jense was on board

We loved having her here!

She bought the girls some clothes- thanks Nats!

She bought Ellie extra clothes for "mother's day"

Because she's a little mommy.

She brought the sunshine to us- and it promptly started raining when she left

please come back!

We miss you and the sunshine.

May 17, 2010

More Mia anyone?

Using his daddy's camera, Jensen took some of the pictures for this post.

I haven't written about my little sweetie in a minute. Mia is better, she is back to her happy screaming, and knee running.

She is busy busy busy. She played in her first toilette... hopefully it was her last. She empties drawers, pulls out wipes non stop, helps with the dishwasher load/unload process, and makes a colossal mess at every meal.

She still says, "no" to everything. It is a really sweet, it's an almost whispered, drawn out "no." Daddy likes to ask her all sorts of questions so she can sweetly reply "no." He asks her, "Do you want to go do Disneyland?" or "Do you want five dollars?" His favorite question to ask her is.. "Do you love mommy the most?" Interestingly enough, she never responds to him the way he would like. Ok, ok, she does. It's messed up!

She insists on being outside every waking minute of the day. Luckily the weather has been cooperating. She sits at the backdoor and cries and cries until someone will take her out. She generally gets her way...for a little while at least. On the walk to the swings she screams with delight.

She has adapted really well to Sam. She doesn't seem to mind that he came into existence. She rubs his head a lot... something we did not teach her to do. She pats him when I'm burping him, (something we did teach her) but most of all she likes to take his binki. She is our little binki bandit and promptly puts the binki in her mouth. Another thing that is adorable is how she assists with all diaper changes that take place downstairs. When Mia needs a change she will knee walk to the diaper cupboard and retrieve a diaper and bring it to the adult in the room. She is also in charge of all of the wipes. She pulls out a wipe and says something in her own little language... this continues until I remove the wipes. When I am changing Sam, she is my little assistant as well. She hands me all the wipes and says something... I don't know what it is, but taking a stab I would guess she is saying, "here you go mom." Also, it's hilarious to me that she is showing signs of wanting to potty train, but DOESN'T WALK YET!! We won't be entertaining any ideas of potty training until she can get herself into the bathroom on her feet.

She can walk and will walk and actually enjoys entertaining people by walking, but to her, walking it is not a mode of getting from a to b. She is plum NOT INTERESTED in walking on her own accord. I think she will figure it out soon because she will now walk long distances without a scared look on her face. We have a lot of video of her walking, a lot, a lot, a lot- but I will post a video when her walking becomes a tad more "official."

She hands out super sweet kisses and hugs. We call hugs, "arms around nuh neck" and she squeezes so's the best!

Mia loves her "rice therapy." She loves "playing rice" and will sit in that bin forever. We are trying to get her feet used to different textures so she will walk someday. Standing in rice and beans is our last hope :-) I have always loved sensory tables... so I find myself "playing rice" along with Mia. Well, until Sam cries of course. When I get up the courage I will try some shaving cream in her bin- that will be fun- AND she will smell all yummy after her bath.

We went to her appointment last week and everything is looking GREAT! Her BNP went back down... HALLELUJAH. Her last BNP was 235, and that number gave me major anxiety. Luckily we are back down... it's possible it was so high because she was getting sick then... who knows.

This is Mia with my doc, Dr. Stefanelli. He had never met her before...ever. I felt a little bad that I have never taken her back to the office that watched over her all those weeks of pregnancy. He called often to check in on us during her wait as well. They all loved her of course! I love NWCHC- the staff is fantastic.

Speaking of that that visit... my valve that had increased in insufficiency due to pregnancy, is now back to where it was beforehand. Wut wut!! Don't get too excited though because the root is still dilated with no chance of going back to where it was. Dr S wants me to go back on the meds, but the drug is not breastfeeding friendly, so I am allowed to wait. He asked me how long I intend to nurse. I said, "six months?" knowing that he would be fine waiting six months so I can nurse. I will try and milk it (he he) for longer when I go in. I of course don't want to jeopardize anything, but I really really want to nurse my little Sam for as long as possible. I would be thrilled with a year so we'll see what he says next time I go in.

On the heart subject- another little baby girl (same doctor) was born this week who needs a transplant. I visited with her mom before she was born, and am just taken back to two years ago. It is pretty unusual to know before you have your baby that they will require a transplant. Generally it is news parents receive after birth, or if a defect is found before birth, parents generally have more options or time before being dependent on a transplant. Besides Mia, this is the first little girl I know that was born completely dependent on a transplant. I check my email all the time waiting for some news. Please pray for this sweet family!

* I promise promise I am working on the feeding blog- it is difficult to get all of it out- I apologize to the mom's who have emailed/called for tips. I'll get on it.

May 15, 2010

I HAVE to laugh

Being a NW resident for some time now, I have noticed a change in the weather. Not the weather itself... but the weather report.

After the Twilight phenomenon- the local news stations broadcast the weather in..... wait for it... wait for it...


I noticed this quite some time ago... and laugh every time they talk about highs and lows and mention how warm it was in Forks that day. I KNOW that before the books, forks was never mentioned on the weather report... EVER!

Yes, I took a picture of my tv during the weather report.

It has become quite the tourist attraction that I suppose a lot of people need to know the weather in Forks.

It just makes me laugh that forks is up there with a handful of the major cities here in WA! So.. if any of you are planning a trip to Forks- watch the news and you'll be set!

May 11, 2010

The big Chop Chop......

NOT to be confused with the "big snip snip."




My Hair

all of it

well except for what is still on my head

but it feels like all of it

It's nice to have a change

John's a little sad


Not sad

Baby Sam?

Not sad

kitchen broom?

Not sad

before and after pictures below

Elvis got her hair chopped too

she wanted it short

and short it is

is she sad?

no, not sad one stitch


Yes, sad


of course

Mostly we're sad that it makes her look older

we're desperately trying

to prevent her from growing up.

This did NOT help.


Hair falling to the floor


I do love her pig-tails now!

Before. in the bathroom mind you.

After. not in the bathroom

Yes, this is a head shot of Moi. I think head shots are silly... well taking them at least. Why would I have such a recent head shot?? Well, some girlfriends and I are starting up a little business and needed them for the website. Looking at my face all head shotty makes me laugh... he he.

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Me and my girlie with our new choppity chop chop hair and sunshine on our faces.

May 10, 2010

Born to be a MOM!

My mom was born to be a Mom! Mom, you are the best mom... really you are! The longer I am a mother the more I learn just how wonderful of a mother you are! You are an angel mother and I love you!!!

You know who else was born to be a mother??

This girl.
It's only appropriate that on mother's day I honor this little moma! She wakes me up every morning insisting that she needs to hold "baby boo jewg."

She holds her new bundle of joy almost as much as his real mom. Her mommy skills came in quite handy while Mia was sick and needed me. Sam, believe it or not, is generally happy to be held/danced/rocked/burped by "mommy #2"

She can put in the bink with her mouth while holding her little bundle

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She's got that longing - loving look while she holds him- so sweet!

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She promptly takes the baby after he nurses to burp him... and he does... burp that is. oh, and there's a sneak peak of her short hair.

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While I was snapping away, I think she wanted to show off... and held Sam one handed, and helped Mia walk across the room. Already mommy multitasking.

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Ellie's mother's day program at her school melted my heart! I wanted to cry- yes, it was sweet and endearing... but I wanted to cry because I felt like a terrible mother that day. I didn't let her wear the outfit she really wanted to. Well, not so much outfit, but pettiskirt. She kept telling me that all the girls were supposed to look really pretty. I just wanted to get her out of the door and off to preschool. I should have just went with it, but there were two babies crying, and I convinced her that the sequins (on her shirt) were pretty enough. All this heartache (hers and mine) over a stinkin pettiskirt.

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She must have gotten over it quickly, because she was all smiles at the program. Afterward I told her she could wear her fancy skirt for her VIP day, she lit up and gave me a big hug. I still feel badly, but it was a good learning experience for me. Life's too short not to wear your pettiskirt as much as possible I suppose.

Jensen's program was equally adorable. He sang loud and proud the entire time, that surprised me really. He was so proud of all of the mother's day gifts he made for me, especially the clay necklace. I was too! The kids also made a cute watering can at church, and a lovely hanging basket that I LOVE!

My friend posted this on her blog, it is so touching, and perfect for Mother's Day! This woman is such a great example of motherhood!! She is amazing.

Happy Mother's Day!!

May 8, 2010

Sir Smiles a lot

My Favorite birthday gift was little man givin' up the smiles!!! Oh my heart!!

May 3, 2010

Opinions Please


For my birthday I am getting my hair cut- yes C U T cut!!

It has been too long... for too long.

Sorry dad- it's time. Last year my dad told me, "don't you dare cut your hair!" My hair is falling out at an alarming rate, and I'm starting to feel like Willie Nelson. Also, it's just easier to have a newborn with out long hair getting in the way. It grows fast dad...promise.

so... the question is:

1- Long Wispy bangs- minimal layers?

2- No bangs... layers?

3- flat ironed choppy layers?

4- Short bangs?

5- Lots of layers?

Que Piensas?

I am not one of those people who think they can waltz into the salon with a picture and come home looking like the celebrity- wouldn't that be nice!? but it is still fun to plan for a fun hair cut.

*I do need to cut at least 10 inches

*I have big ears, so.... don't go suggesting a bob

*and it will probably be in a pony tail 6 out of 7 days of the week,

I will post some before and afters after it's done. Ellie is coming too... she has been begging, and by begging I mean sulking, and by sulking I mean angry, that she can't have hair like AUNT NATS. It so much easier to do her hair long, but I am in that place where I am trying to be open to her desires as well- TRYING! It will be sad for me to see her long hair go- what is it with my family and parental favor toward long hair? She'll be cute no matter what, but it's still a little sad for me.

Aunt Nats is flyin in for my b-day and we are off to the salon... operation "Aunt Nats" hair. If Ellie insists on looking like someone, I am glad it is my sister.

So cast your vote #1?, 2? maybe 3? I have had the same hair cut- "just a trim" for a few years now- so what's your advice?