Friday, March 30, 2012

Another "Ear-y" Post

I am at the end of my rope with Bailey's ears. She has only had tubes in her ears for two months and she now has her third infection since. I really and truly thought that the tubes would fix everything, once and for all. Boy was I wrong:-(

When I went to get Bailey out of bed on Thursday morning I noticed that there was blood on her face. I looked and saw it on the sheets, too, and I at first I didn't realize where it was coming from. I quickly noticed that it was coming from her right ear so I called her ENT and got her in later that morning. The doctor looked in her ears and then determined that he had to clean them before he could even see in them because they were filled with so much garbage. After the horrible process of spraying them down and Bailey flipping out, he finally got a good enough look. Sure enough, they were severely infected, yet again. He said that perhaps these infections are one big infection that we just aren't getting rid of each time. So now we're on a two week course of Bactrim, that is giving the poor baby awful tummy troubles, and yet another month worth of ear drops, which are obviously a pain. We go back next week and if the ears aren't looking better they want to do a culture and determine what exactly this pesky bacteria is so they can figure out a different treatment plan.

The doctor also mentioned a frustrating possibility... Maybe her body is rejecting the tubes? It's not common but sometimes the body will won't accept the tubes and it treats them like an allergy and tries to flush them out. In that case, they would need to be removed and that would leave us where, exactly? GRRRR!!! I'm hoping and praying that these medications do the trick.

I was expecting to see improvement today after being on the different medicines but now her left ear is bleeding, too. I hope that tomorrow is a different story because this is just awful for her. I can only imagine how uncomfortable she must be:-(

I realize that this a small, fixable problem and that this is by no means a life threatening issue. I'm not trying to over-dramatize this or make mountains out of molehills here, but seriously, this has been going on for like 8 months now. Enough is enough!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday, Bailey!!

My dear, sweet Bailey,

It's hard to believe that a year ago from today I was recovering from your birth in one hospital while you were struggling and sick in another. Daddy would go visit you and send me pictures and I would sit there staring at them with tears in my eyes. I had only briefly met you before they whisked you away and I was longing to have you on my chest where you belonged. I wondered if you would even feel connected or attached to me when we were reunited because we were apart for those long couple of days. I feared that the nurses in the NICU would take my place but everyone kept reassuring me that I was still your mommy and I did carry you in my belly for 9 whole months!

As soon as I was well enough to leave the hospital, daddy rushed me to go see you! When I picked you up for the first time, you instantly nestled in my arms and soon nursed like a champ. I changed your diaper, which made you fussy, and I knew how to comfort you and settle you down. It was like no time had passed and you and I had always been together. I automatically realized that no nurse or grandparent or anyone in the universe could ever have the same type of bond with you that I can have.

Through the past year, you have become my biggest "mama's girl" ever. When I'm in plain sight, you want me and only me. You adore your daddy too, of course, but nothing seems to make you feel quite as happy as when you're in my arms. On the rare occasion that I leave or run a quick errand to the store by myself, you try to follow me out the door and cry when I shut it! When I come back you always rush to see me with that big grin of yours and I love to watch you light up.

I have loved watching you grow this year, Baby! You have gone from that tiny baby to a crazy little girl who is into absolutely everything. You love to get into my kitchen cabinets, remove all the contents of my diaper bag (when I forget to zip it up), and make lots of messes. Your favorite place to explore is the refrigerator and you're never very happy with me when I close it up! You've already been walking for about 2 months and you're so fast that sometimes I have to run to catch you. I think you're just busy trying to keep up with those big sisters of yours!

You have also learned a bunch of new words. You like to hide your eyes with your hands and say "boo!" You laugh every time and in the process, you show off your 6 brand-spanking-new teeth. You've also learned to say "ball," "bye," and "all done." I love hearing your little giggles and babbles and I can't wait for the day that you and I can actually carry on a conversation.

There is not a day that has gone by where I haven't admired your beauty. You have the most beautiful curly hair and your eyes are so vividly blue. You would not believe the compliments I get when I'm out and about with you! I stare at you in amazement and I simply cannot believe that you're mine! I am so blessed to be your mommy and try each and every day to be the very best that I can be for you, Princess. You were that final missing puzzle piece to our family and now that you're here, we're complete. You play such a special role in our family and Daddy and I are so thankful that God entrusted you into our care.

Your first year of life has been challenging at times, but more than anything, it's been extremely rewarding and full of joy. I can't wait for the years to come and all of the things that I'll have the privilege of teaching you as your mother. Happy Birthday, Miss Bailey! I love you more than you could ever even begin to imagine.

With all my heart,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Crock Pot Magic

I know that my blog isn't a recipe blog, per say, but I am so excited about my latest concoction so I have to share it.. Chicken Enchilada Soup. I have served it to many people who all agree that it's amazing.. Either that, or they're just flat out lying:-) But my girls, who do NOT lie, absolutely love it! To top it off, it's super healthy. The ingredients are mostly pantry staples that I threw into a crock pot one night out of desperation for a quick lunch the next day. What more could you want?? So, without further ado, here's my recipe:


2 generously sized pieces of chicken (thighs or split breasts)
1 can of chili beans
1 can of enchilada sauce (I use Old El Paso mild)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 an onion (I prefer red but anything will work)
1 lime
1 can of diced tomatoes
Garlic Salt
1 tbs of tomato paste
One box of chicken broth (or 2 cans)
2 chicken bouillon cubes


- Remove the skin off of the chicken (Otherwise, your soup will be greasy). Place the chicken in the crock pot and cover with the chicken broth, about a cup of water, the bouillon cubes, diced tomatoes and enchilada sauce.

- Drain the beans and throw them in,

- Mince the garlic and onions and then add them.. There's no need to even cook them first.

- Squeeze the juice of a lime in (watch out for seeds!).

- Add the tomato paste, a sprinkle of cumin and garlic salt.

- Mix everything together really well.

- Turn your crock pot on high and walk away.

- After it cooks (I let mine go overnight but I bet 3 hours or so would be adequate), remove the chicken, shred it and throw it back in.

No joke, it takes 5 minutes to throw together and it's amazing! We top ours with sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips and avocado.  It's delicious!

Let me know if you try it! I would love to hear if you like it or not:-) Enjoy!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What A Year!

Today is what I like to call Bailey's "should-be-birthday."  If you remember, I had a scheduled C-Section with her that was postponed at the last minute due to the hospital being full. Instead of having a March 25th baby, I had her on March 27th. At the time, it sure was the end of the world. I was a wreck!

Little did I know on this day last year, but that little setback was pretty much the way the rest of the year would go. For starters, my delivery with Bailey was a little tumultuous (constant vomiting, excessive blood loss, issues with scar tissue) and to make matters worse, she was taken from me and sent to a NICU in a hospital 30 miles away. It was definitely not the joyous birth that I had so desperately longed for. In fact, if I think about it, tears still feel my eyes.

After the hospital and birthing challenges were behind us, I was happy to have my girl home and move on with the rest of our lives. I quickly realized that she would sleep absolutely nowhere but in my arms. We tried the swing, several different bouncers, her crib, the couch, a Pack 'N Play, etc.. If you name it, we tried it. We also quickly learned that she had reflux when she started vomiting like crazy. She would seriously soak me with vomit with absolutely no notice. It made life that much more work. In fact, she had so many issues with throwing up that she was hospitalized at 3 weeks of age because the doctor feared she was dehydrated. That was yet another ordeal.

There have also been the constant, never-ending ear infections. For many, many months we battled pesky ear infections that weren't even touched by antibiotics. After getting her tubes in on January 27, we have seen marked improvement. She stills gets infections but the fluid drains out so she's not in as much pain, thankfully.

All of these challenges aside, Bailey is simply a high needs baby. Healthy, sick, rested, not rested.. It doesn't matter- She requires constant attention and if she doesn't get it, she is a disaster. This means that if I put her down to go the bathroom, she flips out. Dinnertime is still precarious, as well, and it's quite a daunting task to feed everyone because of Bailey's demands. We've had many issues with sleeping (that are thankfully completely resolved, finally) and nap time is still somewhat of a joke.. I'm lucky if she sleeps for an hour. Oh yes, and then there's the constant, non-stop nursing. Anytime she gets her feelings hurt or she falls down, she has to nurse. Otherwise, she's inconsolable. I think she still nurses a million times a day! Lol. Because of all of this, life really seems like one enormous balancing act.

I have been too proud to really post about the emotions and challenges of having such a demanding baby... Mostly because I don't want people to think I'm complaining. That is not at all my intent in writing this and I wouldn't give my precious girl back for anything in the universe. In the midst of a rough day, her smile and goofy personality is all it takes to make it worth it. Her life has absolutely been a whirlwind and things have been (and still are!) a little crazy but I'm confident that it can only get easier from here on out!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

5 Year Stats

Miss Brooke had her 5 year well visit today. It was an especially great appointment because she didn't have to have any shots. That always makes doctor visits much more tolerable!

My little peanut weighed in at 34 pounds and she was 39 inches tall. These numbers landed her in the 15th percentile for both categories. I knew that she was tiny compared to her classmates but this just confirmed it.

Everything else checked out great with my oldest girl and I feel very blessed to have such a healthy, vibrant 5-year-old on my hands:-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Exciting News!!!

I am pleased to announce that as of April 1st, my husband will be (Drum roll, please!)... On the day shift!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And no, this is no April Fool's Day joke:-) After 6 years of him working nights and/or evenings, this should be a pretty amazing treat!

I could go on and on about the things that I'm excited about. I'm most looking forward to having the hours after the girls go to bed to unwind together. Right now John uses that time to catch a nap before work because he doesn't sleep very well during the days. I can't even imagine how it will feel to go to bed together, either. That's just not something we're used to! It will be wonderful for John's exhausted body to get some normal rest, too, because he pretty much runs on fumes all the time. I feel awful for the poor guy.

We're not really sure how long this whole day shift fantasy will last... His department bids shifts so that means that someone with seniority over him could out bid him next time. This bid was for April through June so we know he'll at least have this luxury for three months. There are like 3 or 4 people that could bid days and get it before he would but they haven't bid days in years. You never know when someone will change their minds, though, so we're not getting too excited or thinking long term... That way we won't be too discouraged if he gets bumped off in July.

Oddly enough, I think this new shift, as wonderful as it seems, will be a bit of an adjustment. Right now I'm spoiled because John gets home in the mornings just in time to sit with the little girls while I run Brooke to school. I'll have to bring them with me every morning, which will make mornings that much more stressful. He'll also get home around 3:30 or so in the afternoons (which is early, compared to most of my friend's husbands) but I'm used to him being up between 2-2:30. These changes will be MORE than worth it, for sure!

It's so ironic that just a few weeks ago I posted about my frustrations and challenges with John's schedule. I am so thankful that God has answered our prayers in regards to John's exhaustion and that he's getting a much needed reprieve. I am so looking forward to some more normalcy for our family. Now, if he could only get holidays and weekends off... Haha. I'm not naive enough to believe that would happen!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bath Time Terror

What do you do with a baby who is terrified of the bathtub?? I'm running out of tricks here and Bailey is not budging... Which is pretty typical for her personality. Lol.

I'm not really sure what went wrong. She was always content in the bath when she was tiny and she even liked it when she graduated into the duck tub (an inflatable tub that works well for when they want to sit up but can't quite sit well on their own).  Now she'll just stand there and cry and if you try to make her sit, she flips out and it results in her screaming hysterically.

I've tried everything to help her get over this fear... Heck, I've even gotten in the tub with her and she was equally as upset. I've questioned if her baths were too hot, too cold, etc.. I can't think of anything like that that would be a factor, though. She takes a bath with her sisters, too, so you would thinks she would want join in on their fun. I don't know.. I just don't get it. It's almost impossible to bathe a baby who is standing up screaming!!

Do any of you baby experts have any advice? This one has me perplexed. to say the least! Bath time used to be a time for me to "refuel" while they played. Back in the day, I used to read a magazine and sit still for a few minutes while they played... Things are just a tad bit different now. Lol

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hodge Podge

I was just remembering how I used to blog nearly everyday when Brooke was a baby. How funny is that? I techinally had a 2/3 less to talk about but now I guess I just have 2/3 less time. Boy, isn't that the truth. I don't know how I find time to breathe anymore!

Bailey has been walking everywhere. She has turned into a fulltime walker over the past few weeks and she's getting a little bit quicker than I would prefer. She keeps me on my toes! She's terrified of shoes so that makes things more difficult. We're working on it, though! She's also learned to say new things like "Ugh oh," "All done," and "Bye bye." I love her sweet little voice... It's raspy like her older sisters' voices were. So cute!

We just got home from the ENT, only to find that Bailey has her second ear infection since getting the tubes a little over a month ago. Her ears have been leaking green stuff non-stop and sure enough, another nasty infection is the culprit. Now we're on drops for 14 days. I tell ya... Does it ever end with this child? I feel so bad for all of her problems.

Today was also an exciting day because Adrienne had her first haircut. She'll be three in a few months and it just now needed cutting. It was getting so long and ratty and now it looks a lot fuller and it's very pretty. She was so excited and so very proud to be a big girl... Or as she says, a "biggle." Lol. I love that spunky little girl!

Brookie just started T-Ball and did great at her first practice. Her daddy has been working with her and I'm pretty sure he's determined to make her a pro:-) Haha. She's so excited about having an actual game but that won't actually start until early May. I can't believe how big she's getting.

Adrienne and I had a HORRIBLE stomach bug last Friday that landed me on my butt for a couple of days. I'm absolutely exhuasted trying to get caught up on rest and housework. John's been amazing and helpful... I seriously couldn't even begin to think about doing it with him. He's just incredible! It's been 3 days and I still feel weak and worn down. I wish I could take an entire 24 hour period to just lay in bed and rest but I HIGHLY doubt that's happening anytime remotely soon! Lol

So that's the lastest. Now you have it and now I'm caught up:-) I would love to update more often... I love having this documentation of our daily ins and outs. I hate taking pictures so I blog. Without that, I'm not much of a memory keeper for my kiddos.

It's beautiful out so we're off to the park. I intend on soaking up the sunshine anytime it decides it wants to come out and play!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Shift Envy

I am so thankful for a husband that works so hard to support his family. Even while the rest of the world is sleeping, he's hard at work protecting his community. Despite the exhaustion that comes with working nights, he still goes into work each night and never complains. It's pretty amazing... I think I complain more than he does!

Six years ago we set out on this journey of becoming a law enforcement family. When I married John, I knew that it would always be like this. Being a cop was his dream long before we were together and I knew that I kind of had to throw away having a "traditional" family life. I would have absolutely married him again, all things considered, but before we got married, the challenging schedule of a cop didn't really sound like a big deal at all to me.

Now that Brooke's in school and all, it's getting harder. John working nights isn't really such a huge deal with her school schedule but his nontraditional days make it a little bit more difficult. He works 4 days on, 2 days off so that means he only gets every 6th and 7th Saturday off. Though I love my life and am completely content, sometimes I can't help but wish that we had those "normal" Saturdays off where we all stay in, eat pancakes and relax together. The girls and I do that, but there's something missing without daddy.

John should soon be able to get on days.. He has enough seniority now but it depends on what the people over him bid. That will be amazing because at least we'll be able to sleep in the same bed and he won't be so physically worn down from not sleeping at night. However, that won't fix these weird days off.. Nothing will.

Sometimes the 9-5, Monday-Friday job with holidays, nights and weekends off sounds so enticing to me. You people out there that have that really have no clue how lucky you are! That lifestyle is so far from what I'm used to that I can hardly picture what that would be like.

There are advantages to John's schedule, though. For instance, when you only work 4 days in a row, it goes by super, super quick. Before you know it, John's off again! Also, it's kind of nice having days off during the week because the malls, restaurants and movie theaters are virtually empty so we don't have to be bombarded with tons and tons of people. On top of that, I always get pleasure when the rest of the world is going back to work on Monday and it's John's "Friday." It feels good to know that at that moment his schedule is better. Lol

I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I know that Johns is doing what he loves and that makes me feel so happy! Sure, the schedule isn't great but he's living his dream and doing what he was called to do and he's so good at it. I would never want him to give that up... Not for anything!