Huck | 10 Months

Stats:

  • Birth – 3035 grams | 6 lbs 11 oz
  • 1 Month – 3950 grams | 8 lbs 11 oz
  • 2 Months – 4420 grams | 9 lbs 11 oz
  • 3 Months – 5620 grams | 12 lbs 6 oz
  • 4 Months – 5889 grams | 12 lbs 15 oz
  • 5 Months – 6840 grams | 15 lbs 1 oz
  • 6 Months – 7530 grams | 16 lbs 10 oz
  • 7 Months – no official weight check, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 lbs
  • 8 Months – 18 lbs even
  • 9 Months – 18 lbs 10 oz
  • 10 Months – 19 lbs 6 oz

Still wearing size 4 diapers and 9-12 month clothes for the most part. Occasionally a bigger size creeps in there, depending on the brand. Seems like he’s outgrowing things length wise sometimes and then sometimes it’s his big tummy. So different having a bigger baby this go round!

Eating: No major changes here, still doing Nutramigen formula and baby food/solids. He usually eats quite a bit throughout the day and will sit in his high chair 2-3 times a day for real food. We basically have to either hold him or put him in his high chair if anyone else is eating because he will help himself to your plate. He’s not picky at all!

Food Likes:

  • Puffs
  • Cheerios
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Peanut Butter is still his fave

I haven’t found anything he seems to dislike yet.

Sleep: He’s still sleeping in his crib, in his room. We did a little bit of boot camp for sleep, per the recommendation from his cardiologist. In the hospital they make them eat on a 3 hour schedule, so once we came home that’s what he was used to. After he recently started only snacking on his bottle and falling back asleep instead of actually eating, we figured he was waking out of habit and not necessarily hunger. So we let him fuss it out a little and we’re now down to two night feedings with hopes of weaning the early morning one soon.

Unfortunately, because of the awkward layout of our little house, he and Whitlee pretty much share a room, so it’s hard to let him cry it out even for a minute because I’m so worried he’ll wake her up.

Milestones:

  • Cut tooth number eight
  • Took his first steps!!

This is so major to us because due to the time spent in the hospital and just the toll a heart condition and two open heart surgeries takes on the body, physical and developmental delays are super common with heart babies. But Huck has seriously not missed a beat since we’ve been home. I even went back and looked at when Whitlee took her first steps because it was pretty early. Well, she took her first steps the week before she turned 10 months. Huck’s first steps occurred…. the week before 10 months. What?! Since then, his confidence is growing and he’s taken many steps and will stand on his own.

He’s also started saying dog. So we have da-da and dog.

Spoiler alert – he does finally say mama but it technically didn’t happen until the next month!

Medical Milestones:

We have been going to physical therapy once a week in Houston and he has made excellent progress with his torticollis. They also started helping him engage his glutes when pulling up and showed me exercises for him to do at home to encourage it. I really think this is what set the walking in motion, just gaining strength and balance at physical therapy and the fact that I work with him on developmental stuff pretty much every day since he’s been home.

But he took a few steps for them finally and they said as soon as he’s walking well on his own, we’ll probably be done with PT!

Likes:

  • Eating big people food
  • Whitlee
  • Maggie (our dog)
  • Any dog, really
  • Being outside, always
  • Being out at the shop
  • Playing with daddy’s tools
  • Pulling hair
  • Baths
  • Trucks
  • Anything that lights up or makes noise
  • Snuggling with his blanket

Dislikes:

  • Being cold
  • Having a dirty diaper, he wants to be changed almost immediately
  • Getting his face wiped

Huck’s little personality has seriously started to shine lately and he’s such a silly little guy. You can usually get him to smile with just a funny face and he’s very particular about what he wants. He’s obsessed with dogs and kids, will take you down for a bite of peanut butter, and can unroll an entire roll of toilet paper in about 3 seconds flat. Happy 10 months, sweet boy! You are the perfect completion to this already crazy family. ❤️

Advertisements

Whitlee Says

It’s been a while since I posted a “Whitlee Says”! I so wish I could have a video camera follow her around all day. She says some of the most hilarious things! Here’s a few from lately.

Me: Whitlee, what do you want for dinner?

Whitlee: Um, spaghetti.

Me: I’m sorry, I don’t think I have the stuff to make spaghetti.

Whitlee: Well maybe you should just go to the supermarket then.

.

Playing with her toys, I’m just watching and listening:

“Leave your guess below in the comments! Don’t forget to subscribe!”

(Too much YouTube Kids 🙈)

.

Me: Pizza is almost ready. Are you hungry?

Whitlee: Yes. I’m starvin…. like Marvin.

.

I hear Huck start crying in her room.

Me: Whitlee, what happened to your brother? Why is he crying?

Whitlee: Mayyybe because I slapped him.

.

She’s flying around the house…

Whitlee: I’m a superhero!

Me: You’re MY superhero.

Whitlee: Duh, I’m EVERYONE’S superhero.

.

.

Me: Whitlee, how’d you get so smart?

Whitlee: Umm, from Daddy.

Me: Oh okay, I had nothing to do with it, huh?

Whitlee: Nope.

.

.

Me: What do you want for a snack?

Whitlee: Maybe some eggs. And some corn. And some chicken. And some pancakes. Oh and bacon. And maybe some broccoli.

Me: So… fruit snacks?

Whitlee: Yes

.

Riding in the truck the other day, she only has socks on, no shoes. She looks down at their socks and says:

“My feet are really tired of being in these sleeping bags.”

.

All the time:

“Mama? I have good news and I have bad news.”

.

.

Me: Whew! Hallelujah!

Whitlee: Whew! Halla-you-lah!”

Huck | 9 Months

Stats:

  • Birth – 3035 grams | 6 lbs 11 oz
  • 1 Month – 3950 grams | 8 lbs 11 oz
  • 2 Months – 4420 grams | 9 lbs 11 oz
  • 3 Months – 5620 grams | 12 lbs 6 oz
  • 4 Months – 5889 grams | 12 lbs 15 oz
  • 5 Months – 6840 grams | 15 lbs 1 oz
  • 6 Months – 7530 grams | 16 lbs 10 oz
  • 7 Months – approx. 17 lbs
  • 8 Months – 18 lbs even
  • 9 Months – 18 lbs 10 oz

Wearing size 4 diapers comfortably and all 9-12 month clothes. I feel like he’s growing like a weed, and is SO strong. Daddy says it looks like he has muscles.

Eating: Huck has been doing really well on the nutramigen. I’m always surprised at how decently he eats, because nutramigen smells like dog food, but he likes it, so whatever works! He’s also eating anything we give him – baby food or big people food. Seems to prefer big people food over baby food but the other day, put down two of the baby food pouches back to back. And then another later in the day. Plus all normal bottles. 😳 He’s still taking several bottles throughout the night, but I’m hoping to wean those soon.

Food Likes:

  • Puffs
  • Cheerios
  • Eggs
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Peanut Butter is his fave

No major food dislikes yet. He makes funny faces for most fruits but still eats them

Sleep: The biggest change for sleep is that we just moved him to his crib. He’s still waking up 2-3 times a night to eat but I usually sleep a little bit more solid between wake ups since I don’t hear every little sound he makes anymore. I’m hoping he starts sleeping through the night one day.. this momma is so tired.

Milestones:

  • Can sit himself back up from crawling
  • Crawling on all fours occasionally
  • Army crawling super fast
  • Pulling up on anything and everything
  • Cruising the furniture
  • Can stand unassisted if you trick him into thinking he’s holding out to something
  • Just started walking behind the walker toy
  • Cut tooth number seven

Medical Milestones:

We went back in January to the cardiologist for a check up and another echo. He was super calm and they were able to enough to get a good look at his arch and they determined that it wasn’t narrowing and everything looked great! We got released to visits every six months and we weaned one more med. Which left us on one daily med, that he’ll be on long term.

We had our physical therapy evaluation for his torticollis and they confirmed he has it, but it’s very mild. We got some exercises for home and they recommended we see PT once a week for a few months. We haven’t started yet but I’m hoping it’s a fast recovery and a few months is a stretch.

Likes:

  • Eating big people food
  • Whitlee
  • Maggie (our dog)
  • Any dog, really
  • Being outside, always
  • Riding in the car
  • Pulling hair
  • Baths
  • Trucks
  • Anything that lights up or makes noise
  • Snuggling with a blanket
  • Being held
  • Standing up
  • Screaming at the top of his lungs

Dislikes:

  • Being cold
  • Being fed, wants to do it himself
  • Having a dirty diaper, he wants to be changed almost immediately
  • Getting his face wiped
  • His head being rubbed

I can’t believe it’s already been 9 months and that we’re rolling up on a year old so quickly. I’ve started planning his first birthday and we’re looking forward to moving out of the baby stage. We’re betting he’s walking pretty soon, which is a tad on the early side, but sister walked around 9 months, too.

Happy 9 months, little guy! We love you so much and you are the perfect completion to our family. ❤️

The Day Everything Changed

Today marks one year ago that we got confirmation of Huck’s heart with the fetal cardiologist. But the day everything changed was January 20. That day, we made that hopeful drive to Galveston, praying there was some mistake. That maybe our normal OB’s ultrasound machine wasn’t clear enough. Or maybe Huck was just laying weird and they couldn’t get a good shot of a whole heart. I remember thinking, “This isn’t really happening. This doesn’t happen to people like us. This is all just a mistake. A fluke.” While we sat on the ferry, we didn’t get out and sightsee like most people do. Instead, we sat in the car and googled heart defects. We knew what worst case scenarios were and we read words like “mortality rates” and “survival rates”. We vaguely knew what hypoplastic left heart syndrome was and we knew that a single ventricle defect still has mortality rates. I had a copy of the insurance paperwork from my OB’s office but I couldn’t make myself look at it because I was scared of what it might say. I didn’t know it until much later but the diagnosis codes were listed there, one of which was “apparent life threatening event”. We went to that appointment hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.

They called us back and we had the most in depth ultrasound ever. The tech took the time to show Nolan the things he’d never really gotten to see before, chatting with us the whole time. We saw his hands and fingers, feet and toes, his face and lips, all of his bones. And when she switched over to his heart for the echo, she went dead silent. We squeezed each other’s hands and we knew something was wrong.

They told us before that appointment that we would have the scan and then the maternal fetal medicine doctor would talk to us – good or bad, we would have answers before we left. The tech got up and left the room and we talked about how strong his heart looked. That there was one part that was just ticking away, so strong. We found out later that was his one good valve, which was strong. The doctor came in, sat down right in front of us so that he was at eye level, and said “we think your baby has hypoplastic left heart syndrome”. I swear it was like something in a movie. It felt like everything got really fuzzy around the edges and I was hearing him but I was simultaneously scrolling through my brain of everything I’d read about HLHS and how everything in our life just shifted. In one sentence, our world changed.

We were told that we would be referred to a fetal cardiologist, who confirmed HLHS one year ago today, but like most of you know, we later found out with our rockstar fetal cardiologist at Texas Children’s that Huck has his own rare combination of defects making up his single ventricle physiology. He’s not a straightforward HLHS baby; he has most of the same characteristics, but with a few additional defects complications. (As a reminder, Huck had ventricular inversion with a hypoplastic left-sided right ventricle, tricuspid atresia, a hypoplastic aortic arch, congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries, a vsd, an asd, and a very large pda. On paper it was listed as 7 different defects.)

We left there in rough shape. I don’t think we’d ever been so sad before in our life. I remember we tried to eat lunch but neither of us had much of an appetite. We were driving down the seawall in Galveston and I think we both saw him at the same time. I heard Nolan say “oh no” but it was too late. I’d already seen him. There was a dad waiting to cross the street, with a happy little baby boy in his arms. Something relatively small, but we both completely lost it. Nolan was on the phone with his dad and he just handed me the phone and I managed to choke out that we’d call them back. We had no idea how we were going to make it through this. But here we are, one year later and we’ve survived so far. And we’re home and happy and Huck is doing great, all things considered.

Yesterday he had a cardiology appointment and an echo to recheck the potential arch narrowing and his heart function. I’m so relieved that we found out that his echo showed almost zero gradient in his arch, which means no narrowing and no cath lab! His ventricle function is still the same – mildly depressed – and that may either stay the same or may still return at some point. His cardiologist was able to check out his consistent retracting that we’ve been noticing for a while, even when he’s very clearly not in distress, and she determined it’s not from respiratory distress, but mechanical from the way his sternum and ribcage healed from his two surgeries. We’re weaning his enalapril, discusses plans for the future, talked a little about his Fontan, and got released to visits every 6 months. Oh, and his saturations were holding steady at 89! I’ve been so anxious for this appointment, especially with it basically being the one year mark from THE day, but I left there feeling like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

This time last year was so hard on us. But this year, things are looking pretty bright. ❤️

<<<<<<<<<
rt #ToughLikeHuck #1in100

Huck | 7 & 8 Months

Stats:

Birth – 3035 grams | 6 lbs 11 oz

1 Month – 3950 grams | 8 lbs 11 oz

2 Months – 4420 grams | 9 lbs 11 oz

3 Months – 5620 grams | 12 lbs 6 oz

4 Months – 5889 grams | 12 lbs 15 oz

5 Months – 6840 grams | 15 lbs 1 oz

6 Months – 7530 grams | 16 lbs 10 oz

7 Months – no official weight check, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 lbs

8 Months – 18 lbs even 🙌🏼

Finishing out our last box of size 3 diapers, and moved into size 4’s. He kept blowing out of the 3’s. 🙈 Fitting comfortably in 12 month clothes and got some 18 month outfits for Christmas!

Eating: We had been using the European Holle formula for a while and I swear there was something in it that was magic because Huck was the happiest baby on it. Then some time around 7 months, he had something weird happen. He ran a low grade fever and had a runny nose, seemed to be cutting more teeth, and then started pooping like c r a z y. Up to 13 times in one 24 hour period. Several times a night. Blowouts galore. And it wasn’t watery, just loose and super frequent. This went on for 3 days. Then I started seeing specs of blood late on a Saturday on day 4. I was immediately worried about NEC (he’s had it twice, before his Glenn), but I knew the likelihood was extremely low, plus he didn’t have any other symptoms. Wasn’t very fussy, wasn’t refusing feeds, belly was soft and normal roundness. I didn’t have the gut feeling to run to the hospital so we waited it out until Monday, day 6. I was thinking maybe so much poop had irritated him and caused a fissure. But by Monday morning it was still there, a spec or two in every diaper, so off we went to the pediatrician. Thankfully, almost immediately after seeing one of his diapers, she diagnosed him with a milk protein allergy and switched him to Nutramigen. I think it was two days in that his poop cleared up from blood, and the frequency started to decreased about that same time and now we’re back to normal! He eats quite a bit more of the Nutramigen too, sometimes taking up to 6 ounces at one time. This is big for him!

Sleep: I think really the only thing that has changed in this department is that he’s maybe the tiniest bit more predictable. He still wakes up several times a night to eat but I noticed recently he doesn’t eat very much before he rolls over and goes back to sleep, so I think it’s more habit than anything. He normally goes down around 6:30/7, wakes up every 3-4 hours and is up anywhere between 5 and 7. He usually takes a small cat nap in the morning not too long after he wakes up, which from everything I’ve read, is a sign he’s not getting enough sleep at night, but we haven’t been able to get that figured out just yet. Then he normally takes two solid 1.5/2 hour naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Sometimes it’s two shorter naps for morning. He still sleeps in the co-sleeper next to our bed and I really think we’d be okay moving him to his crib, but if you’ve been around here a while, you know our house is old and awkwardly laid out, so you actually go through his room to get to Whitlee’s room, with just a doorway separating them. So I’m worried he’d either wake her up or vice versa, so we haven’t taken the plunge yet.

Also, he started flipping over to his tummy to sleep and prefers to sleep either on his right side or on his tummy with his butt in the air. So cute!

Milestones: Sitting up really solid

  • Can go from sitting to laying down on his tummy without crashing (usually)
  • Scoots around on his butt if the floor is slick
  • Standing if he has something to hold on to and acting like he wants to pull up on things he can get next to
  • Got his 3rd and 4th teeth – upper lateral incisors before his upper middles, so he looked like a vampire for a minute
  • 5th and 6th teeth also coming in – upper middle teeth
  • Had his first Christmas
  • Started real solids, prefers them over traditional baby food
  • Finally started babbling and of course, “da-da” came first – just like his sister
  • Got his first big boy haircut
  • Army crawling has started
  • Blows kisses intentionally (without the hand motion)

Whitlee never did the traditional crawl, up on her knees. I think it’s because our floors are so hard. Shoot, I don’t even want to crawl around on them. But she went straight from army crawling everywhere (fast!) around 7 1/2 months, to pulling up around 8 1/2 months and cruising the furniture and then took off walking around for good around 9 1/2 months. I’d say little brother is hot on her heels! This makes us so proud because we were told he would most likely have developmental delays and even possibly some severe delays but he seems to be pretty much on par with definitely what could be considered “normal”.

Medical Milestones: Nothing too major this month except diagnosing a milk protein allergy and switching formulas to alleviate that issue. We go back to the cardiologist in a couple of weeks for a check up and another echo. I’m hoping he’s calm enough to get a good look at his arch and they can make a decision on whether it is narrowing or not. We’re also praying his decreased function shows to be fully restored which we’ve been told can happen after the Glenn. His cardiologist will probably make a move on weaning his enalapril or tell us how much longer she wants him on it. We’ve been told he’ll be on daily aspirin forever (he’s on half now), but that the enalapril probably won’t be long term.

He also got a referral to physical therapy because he has some mild torticollis. I’m not sure when we’ll start PT for that, but it shouldn’t be too long and I’m hoping it’s not too bad. It’s not severe torticollis so maybe just some stretching or a tot collar for a bit. Our occupational therapist from the hospital said torticollis is super common in their cardiac patients. I guess maybe from being in a hospital bed for so long, but Huck has always preferred everything to one side. I don’t know if the torticollis came first and pushed the preference or if the preference is what caused the torticollis. Regardless, it can be corrected and should be while he’s still young.

Likes: Eating big people food

Whitlee

Maggie (our dog) – oh my gosh, he’s obsessed!

Riding in the car

Baths

Trucks

Anything that lights up or makes noise

Chewing on anything but loves Sophie the giraffe and his squeaky donkey

Snuggling with a blanket

Being held IF you’re standing up

Dislikes: Being cold

Being held if you’re sitting down

Being fed, wants to do it himself

Having a dirty diaper, he wants to be changed almost immediately

Getting his face wiped

His head being rubbed

It blows my mind that we are rolling up on a year old so soon! Things have started to settle down just a little bit but we hopefully have something good happening this year and things will more than likely become hectic again. But I was reflecting recently on where we are now. Life with Huck started out so different than your typical newborn stage and there was a lot of focus on “what needed to be done” and survival mode. I had heard that it takes a little while, but soon you settle into normal baby life, and the heart part becomes a little more distant. It’s always there, kind of like background noise, but it’s a little less front and center. I think we’re finally starting to get there, given everything goes well at the cardiologist next week. I remember looking back in the car the other day, seeing him in his car seat mirror and thinking how much I love him. It sounds weird, but for once I didn’t think about how thankful I was that he’s alive (of course, I’m insanely thankful), or wonder if he was breathing okay, or wonder what his heart rate or saturations were. I just looked back and thought, “goodness, he sure is cute. Oh, I just love him to pieces.” It was a nice normal moment.

Happy eight months, little boy. We are so lucky to be your parents and can’t wait for so many more normal memories with you!

New Year, New Plans

The later part of the year is always the busiest time for us. This year was extra chaotic with the addition of Huck’s appointments and just life in general with two kids, so I’ve fallen off blogging for a bit. I really think I just needed a little time to regroup.

I’ve always been a working mom. I took a 16 week maternity leave with Whitlee, but I did go back. Working has always given me two things – one) a place to channel creativity and use my “other” brain, and two) intention to focus on quality time with my kids and not just quantity. I lost my job in June 2016 with the downswing of the oil industry, and stayed home for a bit, but then I finally finished my cosmetology hours and went back to work doing hair. When we found out about Huck’s heart and the priority of getting him full term became a major point, we decided it was best for me to stay home and focus on my health and spending time with Whitlee before Huck arrived.

Now that we’ve settled back in at home, I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with a place to channel energy and/or a way to make a little bit of income. My sweet husband has assured me over and over that my only job is to take care of our kiddos, but it’s not in my nature to sit back. I won’t dare say sit back and relax, because as a prior working mom, I’m here to tell you – stay at home mom’ing is the most challenging, yet most rewarding job of all.

But in order to not completely lose my mind, I have to have a “task”. So I’ve dreamed up all kinds of ideas. I tried to start learning hand lettering. Ha! I tried royal icing cookies and while I really think I nailed my sugar cookie recipe, people that make these beautiful, detailed royal icing cookies have a very unique talent. I considered selling Rodan + Fields or LipSense, firing up my silhouette for a small business of shirts and other custom items, or doing hair at my house. But none of those ideas really played out.

So here I am.. maybe getting back into the swing of blogging again will scratch that itch. Huck’s 7 & 8 month posts are coming soon, as soon as we roll over 8 months in a few days. I’m hoping to try and get some direction with my blog and maybe some regular posts.

Let me know if you’re still around! ❤️

Whitlee | Three Years Old

Our first little love turned three years old on November 25. I can’t believe she’s already three!

We skipped the big birthday party this year and took her to Pleasure Pier in Galveston the weekend before while the weather was still pretty warm and then surprised her with “sparkle” (sprinkle) donuts and presents on her actual birthday! And after many late nights, approximately 3,784 popsicle sticks and probably the same amount of hot glue sticks, I was finally able to surprise her with her very own custom Barbie House! I’m so glad she loves it!

Third Birthday Interview

(These are her real answers, just as she said them to me! Some of them are so funny!)

How old are you?

Four

When is your birthday?

Twenty fifth one

What is your favorite color?

Purple!

What’s your favorite food?

Um, chicken nuggets

What is your favorite song?

Dirt on my boooooots

Who is your best friend?

Tyner is!

What’s your favorite animal?

Um, a panda!

What are you scared of?

Bad guys

What is your favorite thing to watch?

Max (secret life of pets)

What makes you sad?

When daddy leaves to go to work

What makes you happy?

Yaya does. I like Yaya.

What is your favorite thing to do?

Wash dishes. And laundry.

Where is your favorite place to go?

Target

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Um, a mommy!

What does love really mean?

You want to play with them!

Happy THIRD birthday to our baby girl! I have never known a love like the love I have for you. You are the sweetest big sister and you make your daddy and I so proud all the time at how smart you are! (Almost too smart sometimes!) You have got to be one of the funniest kids ever, and you’re constantly giving me a run for my money. Sugar and spice fits you perfectly! Hope you have the best birthday – we love you more than the world!