Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Josie's 2 Month Update

Month 2 brought some good news and some bad news.  Since everything was all over the place (AGAIN!) I am just going to wing this post as well, since we are nowhere near in a routine.  Might as well carry that theme over to my blog!

At the end of June I tried my best to get the house put back together and cleaned and do some grocery shopping in the hopes of a better July.  Nope.  The chaos just wasn't ready to leave yet.  We encountered another run of craziness.  It began when I burned my face.  I have super sensitive skin and sometime it just reacts funny with products I'm using.  I don't even have to try something new, one day my face just decides it doesn't like what I'm using and it actually burns.  Like I got a chemical peel or something!  On the plus side it happened the night before I had a dentist appointment, so my awesome dentist gave me a sample of some expensive cream and it cleared up in about 5 days.  But for those 5 days I could barely talk or go out in public so that was fun!

We had a fun weekend planned for the 4th of July, just lots of stuff around home and with family.  Josie was still screaming everyday but we decided to try and fight through it rather than letting it keep us behind closed doors every weekend.  So Saturday I packed up the kids and headed to my sister's while Mark tried to get the yard work done so we could spend the rest of the weekend together.  Well I no sooner got to town and Stella was sick.  Watery eyes, 102 fever, and runny nose.  I turned back around and headed home, hoping it was just a quick summer cold.  Josie was more unhappy than ever, so I headed to Wal Mart to grab some "sick snacks" (usually Stella eats super healthy so when she's sick I stock up on the good stuff to make sure she eats and drinks).  I decided to try a different formula for Josie too.  I was a desperate woman!  We'd been through Newborn, Gentlease, and AR (too thick to drink through her Dr Browns bottles and made her constipated), so I decided to give Nutramigen a try.  A few friends suggested a milk allergy on Facebook when I put up a post asking for suggestions, and Nutramigen was the most recommended dairy-free formula.  I grabbed a can hoping it would work in 48 hours like the can claimed!  Wouldn't that be nice!  To my complete and utter surprise, after a miserable 4th of July weekend with a screaming baby and SUPER sick Stella (she didn't eat, drink, or talk all weekend!), our prayers were answered almost exactly 48 hours later.  By Monday Josie was a completely different baby!  Just in time too because Stella didn't get much better after the weekend.  Monday I took her into the ER since Mark had the day off.  They ran tests for RSV, strep, influenza, and did chest x-rays.  They also tested her blood and gave her fluids through an IV.  We were there all afternoon and it was pure torture for Stella, and everything came back negative.  Just a nasty virus.  I was happy but frustrated to put her through that for "nothing".  But as a parent you just have to.  She was so so sick.  For 5 full days she didn't eat, drink or talk.  Her fever hung around 102 that entire time.  Thursday I called the doctor to see if I should take her back to the ER for more fluids since she was so dehydrated and he said yes.  But that morning she had some luck:  the fever broke and she started to eat!  Tons of fruit and applesauce.  By Friday she was drinking and talking again, and even though she was still sick most of the next week we didn't have to return to the ER thankfully!
A very brief 4th of July celebration this year.

That week Josie was so good, it was such a change.  I soaked in the quiet and her baby smiles, it was the first calm I'd experienced since she was born!  But Mark got really sick and then so did I, so the calm didn't last long.  Thankfully mine was only a 3 day thing, because just like we knew she would, Josie eventually got sick.  To see a 2 month old cough and sneeze so much was heartbreaking.  She only got to be free from stomach pain for a week before the virus hit.  Life can be so cruel sometimes.  During this time Mark had to go on 2 trips for work.  Taking care of two miserable kids by yourself is NOT FUN!  And just when Stella got completely better, about 4 days later she relapsed and got a runny and bloody nose.  A sick Stella is the worst.  She is SO stubborn and won't take medicine.  She fought us so hard she bit through her lip, so we had no choice but to give up.  I think she would have healed better if she would have taken the Tylenol, but what can you do.  So we had one sick and miserable house ALL MONTH!  Thankfully (knock on wood) I think we are all pretty much healed!
Thank you Nutramigen for giving me my baby back! 

My poor little sick family!

But the bad luck didn't stop with the sickness.  Mark ran into some stress at work and broke his phone AGAIN, plus our dishwasher broke last weekend.  Just one thing after another I tell ya!

We did manage to finally sneak in a date night last Sunday.  We went out for pizza and to see Jim Gaffigan live in the Quad Cities.  That's always been on my bucket list, I was so happy to go.  The girls stayed with Grandma while we went, and thankfully it wasn't too late of a night since it was a Sunday.
Date night to Jim Gaffigan!

OK, so that was the "bad news".  I always like to get that out of the way first so there's something to look forward to.  As July comes to a close I am hoping August brings a fresh start for us.  But that's exactly how I ended last month, so we shall see!  Let's do a quick "where we're at" check-in:

My incision is healed.  It is no longer seeping, but it doesn't look pretty like after Stella.  It is still really red and bruised.  Not sure if that will ever go away.  But I am healed and free from pain so I am a happy camper!  I ordered a new at-home fitness program and I am super excited for it to arrive!  Hoping to have a good update on that next post!

Stella still has a bit of a runny nose, but I'm thinking it's allergies.  She feels pretty good, but the sickness made her very ornery.  I think she just got cabin fever and I can't blame her for acting out.  Being stuck in an 800 sq ft house all summer just stinks.  Hoping to change that next month!  We did decide to put her in a daycare center where her cousin goes once a week.  Just to get some social skills and help her speech along.  Today is her second day.  Last week she LOVED it and did so well.  Mark was gone so I took her and picked her up, but it's in Geneseo so normally every Tuesday he will take her before work and get her after.  I think it is going to be so good for her, and it will help me get some things done too.  That's how I'm finally finishing this post today in fact!  We also decided to up her Speech Therapy to once a week rather than twice a month.  This month she was sick her first session and her therapist was on vacation during her second.  Her therapist is AMAZING, but is so booked solid we can't make up missed sessions.  She does such a great job and I want to take advantage of her before Stella is done with EI (they are done when they turn 3).  I'd also like to hit everything full throttle before she turns 3 and gets sent to PRE-K.  We have a meeting for that coming up soon!  Yesterday I took Stella for her ADOS evaluation (we were supposed to go at the beginning of the month but had to re-schedule because she was so sick).  This is basically a test to determine if enough Autism signs are present to warrant the full diagnostic test.  A lady just played with her and took notes.  Stella seemed to do well, only had meltdowns in the restroom and elevator (big surprise!)  I will do an update on Stella after we meet with her pediatric developmental specialist next week to discuss the results.  Don't want her to steal Josie's blog post :)  But we made some nice changes this month and now that the girls are better we can get out and about more!  Regardless of the test outcome, I'm pleased with the direction she's headed (although I am super nervous).
Sisterly love!  Stella is such a good big sister.  She always shares puppy and enjoys helping burp and feed Josie.  She always says "she's so cute" and "she's talking" when she's happy or "Josie sad" when she cries.  So in tuned with Josie!

OK, now to the star of my post, Miss Josie Mae.  We started calling her Josephine as her colicky alter-ego, and now that's all Stella calls her.  It's super cute but I know we gotta work on that!  Nutramigen formula is stinky, pricey, and doesn't mix well.  But it is a BLESSING!  Josie is now the happiest baby I've ever seen.  Constantly smiling at people and starting to coo.  It breaks my heart to think of how bad her tummy must have hurt all those weeks.  But only looking ahead from here.  She's finally pooping normally, not spitting up as much, and burping after eating.  She is using the Dr Browns bottles and is still on 0.8 mL of her AR medicine.  We aren't pulling that until 3 months just in case she does have some acid reflux too.  I don't want her to hurt anymore.  She is able to take 4oz of formula at a time consistently now!  I kept raising and lowering the amount until we got on Nutramigen because she was never content, but this formula allowed her to get herself on somewhat of a "schedule"  She goes to bed every night around 8:00 and sleeps until about 5:00am.  Wonderful sleeper, just like her sister!  She eats at 5:00 and goes back to sleep until about 8:30ish.  So great!  Then she eats roughly every 2 hours throughout the day.  Probably more often than most babies, but she cluster feeds because she doesn't eat through the night.  She also takes about a 3 hour nap most afternoons, around the same time as Stella.  I fully believe in routines and will do an updated baby routine post soon (when it's a little more established).  Stella's baby routine post is my most popular post (find it HERE).  It provoked quite the debate, but I stand by my words that you should do your best to get your kids in a sleep routine from an early age.  Anyways.  After Josie started feeling better we moved back to the bedroom at night.  She still slept in her rock n play by the bed at first, but I really wanted her on a flat surface as soon as possible to avoid wearing a helmet.  I don't know if that's what causes mis-shaped heads, but I have heard it might so why risk it.  Just my opinion.  So she is now in her bassinet (thankful we can finally use the Angelcare Monitor for her!) during the night.  We put her to bed in it around 8:00, but after her 5am feeding she doesn't want to go back in there so I put her in the rock n play for her morning "nap".  I'm OK with that. 
Just love clean baby snuggles!  Josie loves the bath!

Josie can already hold her head up for quite a while.  We have done some tummy time, but not as structured as I did with Stella.  Mainly laying on my chest and practicing holding her head up on my lap.  She also loves to grasp toys and hold blankies while she sleeps.  And we already have another thumb sucker!  She never did take the pacifier, I don't even try anymore.  She jams her thumb in her mouth but is super awkward with the other 4 fingers.  She usually ends up poking herself in the eye, and she gouged her cheek up last week.  I tried mittens but the little stinker can get her thumb out of them!  I remember Stella going through that phase too.  She still sucks her thumb when she's tired or upset.  I'm not one to complain, I like that they can self-soothe and I HATE pacifiers.  Personal preference.  Josie was 22" (24%), and 11.7 lbs (51%) at her 2 month check-up.  She also got her shots, but it was when she didn't feel good so that added to the misery!  But happy to report she is now a healthy, happy, absolutely beautiful baby girl!  I can't wait to start doing more with her now that she feels good!  Don't ever take that for granted moms, and if your newborn screams all day every day don't believe that it is "just colic", even if that's what the doctor tells you.  Please consider acid reflux and/or a milk allergy from the beginning, and don't quit until your baby's happy!  I am so glad I didn't!
Puppy getting in on tummy time!

Mark is mostly better too, just has a little cough left.  He's swamped at work right now with paperwork, but that should draw to a close as the month ends.  I am also SUPER happy to report that I took Kaiser in this morning for a half-way check-up from his ACL surgery.  I can't believe it's been 3 months.  He was still limping quite a bit so I was worried he snapped the line or tore the other one (happens often because they bear all weight on the good leg while the other one heals).  The vet said he is healing beautifully.  Very little arthritis in the torn knee, and the other one isn't swollen at all.  3 more months of taking it easy and he should be back to his old self!  (we won't ever stop worrying about tearing the other one, but at least the recovery will be over and he will be as healed as he can be)  He has made himself quite comfortable inside and keeps busy watching over his sisters, and when he's in his kennel outside (when weather permits it's been humid and miserable lately) he enjoys watching and barking at all our chickens.
Always lays by the girls or outside their doors when they sleep!

So there you go.  Super long and probably boring post.  But now we are all caught up.  I have high hopes for August.  We are all healed and healthy.  We have some nice changes coming our way.  Fall is right around the corner, my absolute favorite time of year!  I will be back with Josie's 3 month update soon (hopefully closer to her actual monthly anniversary -the 11th- now that things are looking up!)  Enjoy the rest of your summer, I know we will!