Thursday, July 21, 2011

Exciting, exciting times :)

What an exciting last few weeks we've had!  James was out of town last week and so it was just me and the boys for about 6 days.  We had fun cuddling, watching Veggie Tales, and just hanging out (one day we didn't even get out of our pj's).  While James was gone, Henry learned how to sit up on his own :)  He'd done it once or twice before, but it became a multiple-times-per-day occurrence as of last week.  And, just for reference, this is about 6 months before Carter did it.

This week, it's been nice to have James home, but we certainly haven't finished our tricks!  Henry cut his 6th tooth :).  Carter has discovered he likes to make nests around the house with towels/blankets/sheets/etc.  And Tuesday night Henry pulled up for the first time ever!  We did get it on cell phone video and I'll try to post it later this week.  Henry has also spent a bit of time on his feet, leaning against our rather large footstool.  He's ventured a few steps and is learning how to sit down (so glad my kids are patient enough to learn this before  He and Carter LOVE standing on opposite sides of the foot stool and "talking" back and forth (Henry's becoming quite the motor mouth...though mostly unintelligible chatter) and playing the drums on the foot stool.  It's been so much fun, though they are certainly going to be troublemakers together.

Today I walked into the living room to find that Carter had pulled a carton of cherries out of the trash and Henry was eating them.  It had just happened so he didn't actually get to any pits (THANK GOD!).  Carter can be pretty sneaky and is good at giving Henry things he isn't supposed to have ;)  (Lara Bars, cherries, paper, etc.)

Henry is also eating really well!  The other day we had carrots, pears, and I'm pretty sure he "vacuumed" some of Carter's oatmeal off the floor during breakfast.  He also enjoys bananas (whole, not cut in bits), avocado, blueberries, cherries (peeled, pitted, and cut up), and grapes (also peeled and cut up).  It's been so nice to not have to worry about feeding him purees and he's really enjoyed learning to eat new foods.  We've actually had fewer (read: zero) choking issues than we did with Carter!  Both boys are growing like weeds and it's been fun to watch them grow this summer :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to kick start your kids modeling career ;)

I had totally forgotten about this picture until the subject came up in a conversation on Facebook today.

So a few months ago Carter was having HORRIBLE diaper rash issues.  I thought his cloth diapers were the culprit and put him back in disposables only to have the same problems (though slightly better b/c I could use a zinc-based cream).  We finally figured out that he has trouble with milk and has a horrible reaction that last for about 24-48 hours after ingestion (though he does ok with many cultured products like yogurt and with most cheeses).  He would be all red and swollen anywhere that his poo touched his skin.  One night I was fed up with it and remembered hearing someone say (before I had kids) that they would cut the bottom out of a diaper with boys so they wouldn't pee all over when she let them go naked--to let the skin breathe.

I will preface this by saying that I never intended to share this pictures publicly.  I took pictures only to send to my mom because it was SO funny looking.  She, in turn, showed them to a nurse she works with that is constantly harping about letting wounds "breathe".  That nurse then asked for my permission to use the picture in her teaching materials :).  So I guess this is the birth of Carter's modeling career...though I'm not sure how appreciative he'll be in the future.

***I DO NOT recommend doing this with a disposable diaper!  The little moisture absorbing beads get everywhere...on your floor as well as on the baby's skin which can be even more irritating.  I have since done this with a cloth diaper and used pins to keep it in place (snappi's don't work as well as there isn't any material to "catch" with the bottom of the Y shape).***

Monday, July 11, 2011

I am way past due on an update on this site :)  Life has been crazy lately (but that's pretty much become our new normal).  The boys are doing great!  Henry has a total of 5 teeth now (3 on top and 2 on bottom) and is interested in eating everything he can get in his mouth...books, paper, Lara Bars (that Carter gives him or leaves within reach), fruit, etc.  He is also scooting around quite well!  It's not a crawl, more of an army/belly crawl type thing.  But man is he fast!  At his last Dr appointment (about a month ago) he was 29 inches and 20 pounds.  He's doing great and is still just the happiest baby I've ever seen...I love waking up to his smile :)

Carter is also doing great!  I think it's good influence on the part of our friends children, but he has started talking a lot more!  Unfortunately, he is also copying me a lot and I have learned a few things...for instance, I apologize all the time even when it isn't my fault that something happens (something rolls off counter, Carter drops something, someone has an boo-boo) and Carter does it too.  I think I also spend WAY too much time on my phone b/c he is constantly "making calls" into his hand (or shoe, or remote, or truck).

The diet has been going well and Carter has gone from not really growing/gaining at all (dropped from 95th percentile to 25th) to getting back up to a normal weight.  He is now in the 90th percentile!  I attribute this COMPLETELY to our dietary changes.  He is eating so much more and it is healthy stuff...especially healthy fats.  His diet mostly consists of fruits, veggies, and nuts :)

We also moved both boys into the same room a while back.  I was worried it would be a problem, but both boys have actually done much better sleeping when sharing a room.  They sleep through one another fussing, go to sleep quicker, and wake up "talking" to one another (which is a nice change from Carter waking up screaming).  There have been a few instances where I've had to put one of them down for a daytime nap in a different room, but that doesn't even happen once a week.  We are so blessed to have these two amazing little ones in our care!  I am so thankful for my "miracle" babies and so blessed by their amazing hearts and beautiful smiles!

Btw...if you are interested in reading about my struggle with getting pregnant, the first part is up on my other blog.  You can find the post here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Carter got another hair cut.  It's amazing how much older he looks when his hair is short!

Henry, playing at Oma and Opa's house.

Henry is such a great eater!  Loves bananas, avocados, and beans and rice :)  He also despises being

A lot has been going on in our house and it's keeping us very busy!  But it's been tons of fun.  Yesterday we got the boys signed up for their "Diaper Dolphins" swim class for the summer and for the summer reading program at the library!  It's gonna be a great summer!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gluten week down

Thought I would write an update on how we are doing on a gluten free diet and some other things that have been going on lately.  Here is more info on why we are going gluten free.  So far we have seen a bit of an immediate improvement in Carter's attitude and some other physical symptoms of his hypotonia.  One things is that he is falling less.  He used to fall up to 20 or so times a day on a bad day (I mean falling as he's walking not tripping over things--it was worse in shoes) and has bruises all over his knees.  Now he seems to only fall when he is starting to get tired so it's significantly less.  Hopefully this will get better.  Carter has also made huge leaps in speech...stringing two words together without prompting (something he hasn't done before) and his vocabulary seems to be expanding.  He is also actually asking for food...real food!  It used to be a struggle to get him to eat anything that wasn't a cookie (animal cracker/graham cracker) or crackers (goldfish mostly).  Now he is actually asking for things like eggs, beans and rice, and bananas.  He also seems to be overcoming some of his texture issues when eating.  He used to not like anything that was crunchy or hard to bite into and that seems to be getting better.  I can't say for sure that the diet is the reason for this, but it's still exciting!

I have also been doing better.  I think this diet has actually been hardest on me as I am so used to grabbing something quick and easy for lunch and that was usually a sandwich.  Gluten free bread (at least the kind we bought) makes me avoid sandwiches unless neccessary :(  I so very much miss  The good thing is that I had been having constant migraines, at least once a day in the week or two leading up to the diet.  Now that I'm going strong, the migraines are almost completely gone!  I have had migraines since I was in my early teens and so this is a great relief!  I still notice them when I eat sugar, but we have also been limiting that and it helps a lot.  It is so true when people tell you that the more bread and sugar you eat the more you crave.  I used to crave them all the time and now it isn't so bad.  I have also lost 3 pounds so far, mostly I'm sure because we are just eating better food (almost nothing overly processed) and I'm not snacking as much.

In other news, Henry is definitely mobile now!  He is rolling everywher and likes to scoot around in the walker from time to time.  He also loves to bounce in the jumper at James's parents house!  I was telling James the other day that it is almost like being a first time parent because we never went through these "normal" things with Carter.  He was so content to just lay on his back, I think he only rolled twice before he was one and Henry will roll just to reach things on the floor.  It is so fun to watch the boys together.  Carter loves kissing on Henry, as long as Henry keeps his hands to himself.  Henry watches EVERYTHING Carter does and so wants to be with him all the time.

We also moved Carter back into his crib.  He had done well for weeks in his "big boy" bed, but began getting out every 5 minutes at bed and nap times.  He would scream, throw a fit, and run out of his room every time we put him back.  He wouldn't sleep with us laying down with him or with us in the room.  We decided that maybe because of all he has been learning, he was overwhelmed with the thought of making all of these changes and the comfort of his crib might help him to sleep.  I think we were right b/c we have had hardly a problem putting him down since the switch.  Now our biggest issue is getting him to be quiet for a while during nap time as he goes through this transition from two to one nap each day.

I'm excited to see what we have in store in the coming weeks and I'll try to post more pictures soon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Guitar Lessons

A few days ago, James gave Carter a 3/4 guitar that he used to play.  Carter LOVES it!  He plays several times a day (just picking and strumming the cords) and has started singing to himself :)

This is a video of how I found him today...I took it on my phone so the quality isn't excellent and the sound is really low (I had to crank up my speakers on the computer to hear him).

And here's one of Henry for good measure :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Carter's Diagnosis

Not many know about the concerns that we (and Carter's doctor) were having that led to the appointment we had yesterday morning with a developmental pediatrician.  I didn't even really think there would be anything wrong.  That maybe he would tell us it was all just because he was born premature and we'd be on our way.  But that's not what happened.

When Carter was born 5 weeks premature, we knew he would always lag behind other kids his age.  He wouldn't hit developmental milestones until 1-2 months after most other kids and we were ok with that.  After all, 1-2 months isn't a huge deal, especially when he gets older.  But them something happened...well, not really one thing but a string of things.  He wasn't rolling over.  Not at 3 months or 5 months or even 7 months.  He did it once or twice and his doctor and I just figured because he was my first and I held him so often that he didn't feel the need to.  I rationalized it away as him just being comfortable on his back and not needing to roll over.  Then he didn't crawl...he never really has.  People said that was normal, some kids just skipped it.  He didn't cruise around the house holding on to things (unless my pants or fingers count), he didn't pull up on things, and he still wasn't crawling.  Around 12-14 months he really started trying to walk, though not the take two steps and fall thing that you hear about...when he walked he just did it.  I think he fell once.

So writing these out together seems like we should have known SOMETHING was up and I think in the back of my mind I always did.  I tried, in vain, not to compare him to the other kids in the church nursery who were so mobile at 9 months they were moved into the 1 year old room when my son, at one, wasn't moving at all.  I almost cried when talking to his doctor at his 1 year appointment and confessing that I had NEVER seen him sit up.  If I put him in a sitting position, he could sustain it, but he never sat up on his own.  This was when she referred me to the developmental pediatrician.  "Just to be safe", "because we think he's been behind on some other things like rolling over", and "because he was premature" were some of the comments she used when telling me to make the appointment.  Her language made me think that while something could be wrong it probably wasn't and I was just overreacting.

Somewhere around 14-15 months I decided that I would try Carter on a gluten free diet.  After two days I saw my son sit up on his own for the first time ever.  I don't know if this was a fluke or not.  Everything I've read since yesterday (which has been quite a bit) says nothing about being able to change anything about his problem with diet.  Nonetheless, sitting up is what I found and I was thrilled!  I then was sure that he was gluten intolerant and that was part of what was causing his delays.  So I worried less and less about his appointment and almost forgot about it completely.

Yesterday morning we woke up early, had breakfast, and headed to the doctors.  They did all the normal things:  height, weight, blood pressure, and head circumference.  Head circumference is a bit of a joke if you've ever seen my son.  His head circumference has always been in the 90% percentile and since he was around 12 months it's been off the chart!  We joke that it's because he's so darn smart ;)

We were ushered into a room and waited for the doctor.  The doctor came in and, while watching Carter play, asked some questions about his medical history.  At one point he threw a tennis ball for him to chase.  5 minutes after entering the room he told me that my son had a condition called Hypotonia...low muscle tone.  It's genetic (probably carried by my husband after a discussion of our childhoods) and there is nothing to really be done about it.  Carter will have this the rest of his life...and will, possibly, be affected by it that long as well.  It is a problem with the basal ganglia in the interior part of the brain.  It doesn't affect how he thinks, just how his body responds physically to external stimuli.  He walks a little funny, he is hesitant, prefers to keep to himself (lately this has meant not wanting to be touched by other kids), and can have balance issues.  This diagnosis explains EVERY SINGLE THING that we have worried about since he was born (even his inability to nurse in NICU and difficulty breast feeding).

The good isn't a death sentence by any means!  A lot of famous people supposedly (according to the specialist we saw) have has similar problems...people like Michael Phelps and, possibly, Einstein.  Carter also has a mild form of it (from what the doctor could tell) which means that we don't think he has any severe problems (this can be caused by things like muscular dystrophy, tay-sachs  disease, cerebral palsy, etc).  He won't need ongoing physical therapy or anything like that--though it was recommended to get him into a swimming class.

Driving home I had a mixture of relief and worry.  Relief because I know that my son isn't going to be physically disabled or have huge problems growing up, plus we now know what the problem is.  But worry because I don't want him to feel frustrated or be teased or not be able to be a big brother because Henry does things the same time Carter does.  Now all I can do is pray that God will give us the strength and wisdom to carry forward from here on.  To lead us in directions that will benefit Carter and steer away from things that might be frustrating or dangerous for him.  Pray that he will understand that he is just different because God had a plan for him that required this to happen, and that he won't feel like a freak.  We know there will be days in his future that are frustrating and things will come up that he won't be good at, but we also know that we can handle it.  We also know what to watch for in future children including Henry (who so far doesn't seem to show any of the same signs).  And who knows...maybe someday he'll win the Olympics :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday...26 years old :).  Carter woke me up by showing me his new discovery of how to get himself out of bed.  Needless to say that when he started fussing this morning I was more than a little shocked to see him in his doorway instead of in bed.  He followed that up by being a complete sweetie and motioning to hold Henry.
 This was closely followed by Carter shutting himself in Henry's room (aka the playroom) and this is what I found...

He dumped the trashcan of dirty diapers into Henry's crib and put his toys in the trashcan.  Oh my goodness I love how my kids keep me on my toes!

I definitely did not think my life would be the way it is right now...but I couldn't be happier!  I'm so glad that God's plans are so much more amazing than mine.  I have an amazing husband, two wonderful kids (after being told we would have trouble ever having one), a house, a dog, and I'm a stay-at-home mom--those of you that knew me back when know what an amazing heart transformation THAT has been :).

I was reminiscing over the last 10 years of my life over at my other  You should check it out!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Catch Up - Feb 2011

So at the end of Jan I told you we had some nice weather?  It was VERY short-lived!  Mid-Feb we got hit by the snowpocalypse :).  It was kind of nice though b/c we didn't need to go anywhere, James was off work, and we spend lots of family time together (plus I got to do some actual cooking).

This was our front porch before bed.
 Our car the next morning.
 Our poor postman trudged through this junk...this is what it looked like with me crouching down looking out the front door.
 Charlotte's house was no suited for a 70 lb dog
 This was the snow hanging off our front porch roof...this was a few days after the snow.
 We finally dug out Friday (I think)...isn't he great for doing all the work!
 Carter was content to try out a Christmas gift instead of helping shovel.

 We finally got out to see Opa and Oma (James's parents) and they surprised Carter with new music!  He LOVES listening to music :)

(I have more pics on my phone, and I will upload those as soon as my phone cooperates)

Catch Up - Jan 2011

January was very much the same as December....cold! (I have more pics on my phone, and I will upload those as soon as my phone cooperates)

Carter starting calling Henry "bubba" and kissing, hugging, rubbing his back, and patting his tummy.
 We also found out that the only way he was going to eat fish sticks was with ketchup...which was a messy discovery!

Carter got better and better at signing (here he's signing more after pulling groceries off the table)....guess he was extra hungry this day.
Bath time is more fun since he learned to splash.
 And Henry still slept a lot...

At the end of the month it did warm up and give us a few good days to go to the Tulsa Zoo!  This trip was less fun for Carter b/c he didn't really care for seeing the animals, but now he loves it :)

Catch Up - December 2010

OK, finally have some pictures to share, so I'm going to back up about to December.  Man I'm bad at  So here are pics from December.

Carter finally decided to try eating with a spoon...
But still prefers his hands (here is his fave treat, peanut butter on a rice cake).

He was still drinking from a bottle most of the time.

But finally decided that sippy cups were ok sometimes too :)

Mommy didn't realize at the time how long his hair was  Look at all those pretty curls!

We took a trip to KC shortly after Christmas to spend time with Adriana....this was on the way to meet some friends at Union Station.

Henry was a little left out from pictures this month...mostly b/c I always seem to forget my camera when he was playing and partly b/c he mostly just slept :).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Update on the Fam :)

I've been waiting to update until I was able to get my camera battery charged again, but I'm still losing the battle of finding the charger.  So I thought I'd just give a quick update on what's been hapening lately.

A while back we decided that we were getting way too many "your little girl is so cute" comments considering we have two we cut Carter's hair.  It looks pretty good and he did GREAT!  I thought he'd be scared of the clippers, but he let me do everything but get real close to trim around his ears.  It's growing so fast, he's probably due for another cut in about a week or so.  And, yes...I did save his hair.  I wasn't planning on it, but once I made the first swipe with the clippers and saw how much I was actually cutting, I freaked a bit :)

We also have successfully (so far) moved Carter into his "big boy" twin bed.  Sometime Saturday night it appears he crawled out of bed and tried to curl up on the floor.  We assume he crawled out b/c we didn't hear him fall (he does have a rail up that covers 1/2 the bed) but James heard him whimper a bit and when he went to check on him there he was on the floor trying to cover up with his little security blanket (about 1 ft x 1 ft).  Other than that he's done wonderfully!

Henry is starting to babble more and more and sleeps through the night now (meaning he sleeps about 8-12 hours at a time), needing only one late night feed and then only if he goes to bed before 10:00 pm.  Thank you Lord for such wonderful sleepers!  Henry does seem to be teething now, but it's not nearly as bad as I remember with Carter...another blessing!

I'll try to post some pictures from my phone later...and hopefully sometime soon I'll find the battery charger for our regular camera :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sick, sick, sick :(

Sickness has overtaken our house.  Ugh.  Brianah was sick Saturday night and most of the day Sunday.  That meant a fun day of playing at Oma and Opa's house for Carter, but when he got home that night he had a fever of 103.  Tylenol/Ibuprofen overnight seemed to help and then he got worse Monday morning.  Trip to the doctor's office confirmed what we feared...a virus.  Not that that is a bad thing, but it's frustrating to know it just needs to run it's course.  He is still spiking fevers, sleepy, and fussy.  But the silver lining is that today, so far, we've not had such a problem getting him to drink fluids.

Lots of cuddling time on the couch, crawling in bed with mom in the morning, and more juice than usual are all on the agenda for probably at least another day.  Here's hoping and praying he starts to feel better soon!  And that Henry stays well! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Velentine's Day!

Today is Valentine's Day.  That hasn't meant much in our house up to this point.  James and I have never been super interested in celebrating this holiday and the boys are too young to really seem interested.  I am, however, starting to have dreams about fun projects to do with the boys this time next year.  Dreams of heart shaped pancakes (or french toast), pink bread, finger painting, and making presents for daddy.  It's times like these that I have to consciously enjoy their little baby stage of life as I know next year I'll be wishing for it again :).

Here are some pictures of the boys...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Welcome to our Family!

In an effort to keep our families update on what is happening in our lives, I am starting this blog :)

It will be a place for us to share pictures, stories, and plans with our family that isn't as close by.  I will try to update a bit more in the days and weeks to come, but I'll leave you with these pictures for now:

Getting ready to leave for Trunk-or-Treat at Calvary Baptist Church.

Carter with the pumpkin he painted.

Henry with his pumpkin, painted by his Aunt Jentry.

Mommy is saying a prayer of thanks to the Lord for reminding her to lower Carter's mattress the day before!

Bonding time!

And there's Henry!  This was about 1 1/12 months old.