Huck Inlow | 4 Months


Late posting, as usual! But in our defense, with Huck’s last surgery and recovery, things have been a little hectic! 

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

He is wearing size 2 diapers and currently not wearing clothes since he just had his Glenn surgery. Was wearing 3-6 months right before though! He has almost completely outgrown 3 month onesies. 

Eating: Huck was eating anywhere from 120-150 mls per bottle, every 3-4 hours up until the point he went for pre Glenn cath lab at around 3 1/2 months. After that, he developed necrotizing entercolitis (NEC) and was put on bowel rest and antibiotics for 14 days. They ran IV nutrition during that time. He was released to restart feeds the Sunday after his Glenn and we started with 15 mls and are up to 30, but so far he is not tolerating his feeds very well. He has taken 7 bottles in the last 24 hours and puked up the entire volume of 3 of them. Eating is the main thing he has to figure out again post op in order to be able to go home. 

Sleep: Again, pre Glenn, he had a pretty decent routine, but it kind of all went out the window post op. He is starting to sleep more at night and nap less during the day, though. He still sleeps a lot in the mamaroo which helps his reflux, but will also sleep pretty decent in his bed at a pretty steep incline. I’m still brainstorming ideas for sleep when we go home.. pretty sure we will be getting a mamaroo, but trying to think of other options too. We had an arms reach co sleeper that I’m trying to figure out if there’s a safe way to elevate the head of it. If you have any ideas, let me know! He will be sleeping in our room for quite a while because I’ll be a nervous wreck for … oh, the next 18 years. 

Milestones: He rolled belly to back a few more times before he went back on chest precautions post op, and when he’s on his back, he rocks really hard to one side. Wants so badly to flip to his tummy! Has really great head control and can sit unassisted for up to 20-30 seconds!

He also went through his first hurricane. We are still in Houston, so we were here throughout Hurricane Harvey and it was pretty intense here for a little bit. 

Medical Milestones: He had his Glenn on September 7! This was his second open heart surgery. Post op recovery is going well! He was extubated the day after surgery and has been on room air since then. We have been working on getting back up to full feeds so that he can get off tpn and lipids and hopefully go home! His reflux is back with a vengeance so we’re trying to work around that. He is still on lovenox shots, clonidine, a diuretic, reflux meds, diazepam, and methadone for opiod withdrawals, but we are actively weaning methadone. They turned milrinone off a few days post op. So far, labs look good and indicate a successful Glenn! 

Currently satting in the high 70’s to mid 80’s, heartrate is 120-150, blood pressure is usually 90s/40s. 

Likes:

  • Being held / rocked / snuggled
  • Mamaroo
  • Watching videos of sister 
  • Watching movies, really likes Sing 
  • Being tickled
  • Listening to Elvis 
  • When you blow kisses at him
  • The lights that reflect off his monitors
  • Warm bottles
  • Chewing on toys
  • Field trips out of the hospital room

Dislikes:

  • Diaper changes
  • Picc line dressing changes
  • Baths
  • Lovenox shots
  • Getting his blood pressure taken
  • Getting his temperature taken
  • Being listened to with the stethoscope
  • Pretty much anything hospital related anymore, haha
  • Pacifier
  • Being restrained in any way

Whew, another month down. 123 days in the hospital and 128 days in Houston.. we are so ready to go home. We basically missed the whole summer being down here with Huck and we’re ready to get out of here, get back to the country, and enjoy the fall. Even though our stay has been long, I couldn’t imagine how things would be if we were anywhere else but TCH. We’ve now seen what happens with babies that start out where we were supposed to start out (that’s a story for another day), so that alone makes us thankful to be here, but we are also so thankful for how so many people have taken what seems to be a special interest in our boy and our whole family. I’ll actually miss a LOT of people when we finally go home! 

Huck Inlow, you are so loved! I hope one day I can explain to you how much not only your daddy, sister, and I love you, but how much our entire community and family and friends and nurses and doctors and PCA’s and therapists and complete strangers love you. You have so many people supporting you and we have been shown so much kindness from all of those people. I hope you always know that kindness. And I hope you know how many people have rooted for you, prayed for you, and fought for you. You have love from and support from all over! 

Happy 4 months baby boy! We can’t wait to show you the world! 


Advertisements

Huck Inlow | 3 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 | 62 cm

He is wearing size 2 diapers and mostly 3 month clothes, but a few of those are starting to get snug length wise. He basically just blew right through that size. 

Eating: Huck is currently eating 85-100 mls of breastmilk (roughly about 3 ounces, give or take a few mls) about every 3-4 hours. He was made NPO (nothing by mouth) for a week due to a bloody poopy diaper and that hindered his volume capacity a little but he’s finally doing a lot better.

Sleep: His daytime sleep is still fairly consistent. He’s normally sleeps until about 8 AM, gets a bottle, then meds, and lovenox about 9 AM, takes a shortish nap, gets his weight done, a bath, and lead sticker change, followed by another bottle and meds, then a really long nap from about 12-2/3. He’s usually awake and happy around 3 PM where he will eat/play/cat nap until around 5:30. He’s been eating less and sleeping more at night which the doctors and I are both good with. He’ll normally eat again about 9 PM, sleep a good stretch, eat again around 2-3 AM and sleep another good stretch. 

He still sleeps a lot in the mamaroo which helps his reflux a lot, but will also sleep pretty decent in his bed, in his “nest” that they make for him. 

Milestones:
He rolled belly to back for the first time and has had a few little laughs! He also sits up assisted and can control his head and body really well. 

Medical Milestones: Thankfully, nothing has changed majorly since 2 months. Currently still inpatient on the CVICU heart failure unit while we wait on our Glenn surgery. We will be here until then. He is on milrinone and clonidine + reflux medications + a twice daily diuretic. He is not on any respiratory support at the moment and taking all feeds by mouth. He is finally off tpn and lipids, but still getting therapeutic doses of lovenox for a blood clot in his picc line. The Glenn should be happening in the next few weeks! 

Likes:

  • Being held / rocked
  • The mamaroo
  • His playmat 
  • Anything with lights and sound
  • The bumbo chair 
  • Warm milk
  • Listening to Elvis (it seriously calms him down immediately)

Dislikes:

  • Diaper changes
  • Picc line dressing changes
  • Baths
  • Lovenox shots 
  • People messing with his feet

I can’t believe this little guy is already a quarter of a year old. It seems like it’s both flown by and crawled by. I love getting to know him and spending time with him and seeing him with his daddy and his sister. His next surgery should be very soon and if everything goes as planned, we should be home not too long after that. For the first time, all four of us will be together under one roof. I can’t hardly wait! ❤️



Huck Inlow | One Month

Our sweet little Huck was one month old on June 13 but as usual I’m a bit behind. When comparing to Whitlee’s one month update, this one will be a little different since he’s in the hospital still but I want to document his milestones, nonetheless. 

Stats: Hospitals go by grams, but I’ll translate. Huck was born at 3035 grams which converts to 6 lbs 11 oz and is now up to 3950 grams which converts to 8 lbs 11 oz. So he’s up two whole pounds! This is amazing for a heart baby and the fact that he didn’t get to eat anything until he was several days old, and has been intubated twice more inside his first month and was held on feeds during those times. (Has technically been intubated 4 times now – once for surgery, twice afterwards, one more inside the second month.)

Eating: Huck is currently eating 80 to 100 ml (2.7 to 3.3 oz) of regular breastmilk at each feed, typically about every 3 hours. Sometimes a little sooner, sometimes a little later. His doctors have him listed as “ad lib” which means he can eat whenever he is hungry as opposed to scheduled feeds. 

[Side Note – I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but Huck actually participated in a research study when they first started feeding him. I’ll try to sum it up quickly but basically a company called Prolacta created a human milk based fortifier from pasteurized donor milk and by using that fortifier instead of a milk based or amino acid based formula fortifier, they have been able to reduce the percentage of NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis) in NICUs around the country from 10-12% down to 2%. Fortifiers are used in babies that have low birth weight or have had delayed feeds for some reason, so someone had the idea of using the same fortifier in heart babies as well, since they have delayed feeds or decreased volume due to surgery and/or the overload on their hearts. They’re currently in the study phase of that idea, comparing babies that have the human milk fortifier vs a formula fortifier to see if they tolerate feeds better, have reduced NEC, and have improved growth or development. Here’s a link if you’re interested in reading more.]

Anyway, so how this worked for us is that when they started feeds, we knew Huck would get a fortified version of my breastmilk. By participating in the study, we did not know if he would get the human milk fortifier or the amino acid based formula fortifier that TCH uses as their standard care, it’s all a secret to protect the integrity of the study. We will eventually know which arm of the study he was on when the study concludes in 18 months. When we were supposed to go home, they had to transition him off of whichever secret “study milk” he was on, to be solely on my breastmilk with a known amino acid based formula fortifier. Well he rejected every single bottle that was not labeled “study milk”. I have no proof, but you can probably guess where I’m going with this. So we tried a different amino acid based fortifier and he did a tiny bit better, but it was still a struggle. Then he coded, was intubated again, and when he was extubated, he would barely eat at all. Like we fought to get him to take 20-25 mls. There was talk of putting an ng tube back in, there was suspicion that he was having major reflux issues, maybe tube irritation from intubation, we just weren’t sure. All we knew was he wouldn’t eat and it was so important for him to eat and gain weight. One day, while I was pumping, his intensivist and a cardiology fellow were in the room and we were discussing the feeding issue and they suggested that whatever I just pumped, let’s give him that and see what happens, so just straight breastmilk. We started slow with half a bottle but he downed 30 mls in about 5 minutes, then took another 30 without batting an eye. The next feed, he took about 70. And the next, I think was 77. And he’s ate wonderfully ever since then. They decided as long as he gained weight, he didn’t need the fortifier. So far, so good! 

I’m exclusively pumping for him like I did for Whitlee, but with Whitlee I had an oversupply which led to 3 rounds of mastitis. I purposely decreased my supply this time to hopefully match more of what he would eat at his max point. I loathe pumping but since he apparently wont eat anything else, I have to stick it out. 

Sleep: He sleeps pretty well for the most part. When we were on the inpatient cardiac floor, I could stay every night with him and he would eat and usually go right back to sleep. He normally has one or two periods where he’s awake for about an hour and looks around a lot but he still snoozes quite a bit. 

Milestones: Because of his surgery, tummy time is delayed until 6 weeks but when he lays on my chest, he picks his head up and looks around. 

He loves to look at faces. He has an intense stare and can track really well with his eyes. He’s been tracking since just a few days old. 

He also furrows his eyebrows a lot and is very strong. A lot of his nurses call him “the hulk” instead of Huck. 

We’ve gotten lots of smiles. Still questionable if they’re real smiles or not, but they’re appropriate for when he seems happy, so I’ll take it. 

Medical Milestones: He had his first open heart surgery on May 16 at 3 days old, a double barrel DKS Norwood with BT shunt. Also taking full feeds by mouth and normally isn’t on any respiratory support. (He’s currently intubated while I’m typing this post.)

Likes:

  • Being held
  • Rocking and bouncing
  • Watching the mobile
  • When we talk to him 
  • His pacifier 
  • Holding hands with his nurses when they do his EKG’s
  • Having one arm next to his face
  • Oral care

Dislikes:

  • Diaper changes
  • Waiting on a bottle
  • Getting an echo done
  • When they hold his arm still during blood draws. He doesn’t cry when they stick him, only when they restrain his arm. 
  • Being swaddled with both arms in

I posted his one month picture on my instagram and the Huck’s Heart Facebook and said that I never expected when we decided to have a second baby that this is what our life would look like, that I’d be taking his monthly pictures in a hospital room but here we are. I’ve been asked quite a few times how I’m holding it together and if I’m being honest, everyone sees the public version of me. I’m not perfect and I have fallen apart a few times in private, but then I’m reminded that our baby boy is alive. No matter how scary it gets, or how hard this is, or what curveball we get thrown each day, he’s alive. And we will continue to fight right alongside our little guy for every day that he continues to fight too. ❤️ 

Whitlee | One Year

So we took an unintentional blogging break to get over the excitement of Whitlee’s first birthday, but we’re back! Prepare to be bombarded with photos and posts..

O N E year, yall. Our tiny little 4 pound 3 oz baby is a year old. I am equal parts sad and excited. This girl is so smart and so much fun…I can’t even begin to explain how much fun.

IMG_5524

Stats:

We actually had Whitlee’s one year appointment on her birthday and she got SIX shots. Poor baby. But she’s up to 18 lbs 10 ounces, and is 28” tall. Her pediatrician said she’s in the 30th percentile, which I think is perfect. Not too small, not too big. I’ll take it. She handled the aftermath of shots much better than normal, but got a small knot in one of her legs for like 3 days afterwards. She got a flu shot on top of her normal one year old shots and we go back in a few weeks to get the other half of that.

IMG_5522

Eating:

At her appointment, we were given the full green light for whole milk and any food she’s willing to eat. I mentioned last month that we were doing more solids, but topping her off with Stage 2 baby food thickened with rice cereal. It actually worked out really well. She’s gradually picked up enough on the solid foods we’re rarely following up with baby food at all. And her appetite seems to have finally increased. She’s eating a lot!

We recently gave her a small bottle of whole milk to test the waters and she had diarrhea really bad afterwards so I instantly thought she’d inherited my lactose intolerance. We talked to the pediatrician about it and she said that it was probably just too much for her little belly since she’s been on a gentle formula and to try to gradually move into it. So we’re doing formula at 22 calories for half the bottle and filling the rest with whole milk and she’s doing well with that. We’re working towards ¾ whole milk and then we’ll do the full swap.

Big news – she FINALLY stopped taking a bottle in the middle of the night. She gets a mid morning bottle, an afternoon bottle, and a bedtime bottle, all 6 ounces each which when we swap to whole milk fully, we may space that out in sippy cups of 2 or 3 ounces here and there to make it up to around 18 a day, which was recommended by the pediatrician as well. Speaking of sippy cups, whew. This is a surprising milestone that she never really reached – Whitlee has never really held her own bottle. She spent two weeks in November at an in home day care and I’m not sure if the other kids holding theirs caused it or maybe the daycare provider couldn’t hold it for her, but she suddenly started holding it herself. But this delay has caused her an additional delay in sippy cups. She knows how to drink from a straw like a pro, but tilting a sippy cup has her thrown off. We’ve hidden the straw sippies for now and are practicing with the tilt several times a day. Our goal is to have her on straight sippy cups by 15 months, but I’m really not going to push our luck. We just now got off the middle of the night bottle. 🙂

Food Likes:

Gerber Baby Yogurt

Cheerios

Baby Goldfish

Macaroni

Ravioli

Deer Meat

Ground Beef

Corn

Beans of any kind

Any bread

Pancakes

Food Dislikes:

Plain bananas

Cookies – weird!

Bar B-Q

Potatoes (mashed, baked, anything)

IMG_5475

Sleep:

Oh time change, I despise you. We were making such great progress in the night sleeping department, and then time change happened and rocked her little world. I’m relieved to say now though that she’s finally going back to normal. Normal for us is a bath at 7, pajamas and a bottle, then she actually goes down in her crib awake, and will usually fall asleep in 5-10 minutes and sleeps until anywhere from 11PM to 1AM. This has gradually been increasing later and later and I’m hoping that soon she’ll sleep through the night in there. I’ll take what I can get though. I tried the week of Thanksgiving to get her to go back to sleep in her crib after that middle of the night wakeup, but it was n o t happening. Oh well. I kinda like her in the bed with us anyway.

She still takes two naps – one morning nap about 9:00 and an afternoon nap about 2:00. Both are usually an hour and a half to two hours. Occasionally she skips one nap and just has one really long nap. Either way seems to work pretty well.

Milestones:

-Two more teeth! This seems to be listed every month lately. We’re up to 8 now!

-Walking like a pro

-Squats to pick something up and stands back up without falling

-Gives hugs and sugars on demand, even to her toys

-Blows kisses (without the hand movement)

-Has started climbing on everything

Says:

MaMa

Daddy

Uh Oh

Bye Bye

Mine

Bink Bink

Puppy

Mag (Maggie)

Bath

So we’re up to a lot of words and she’s getting smarter every day. The climbing stage has hit and we have to watch what we leave lying around that she could possibly climb onto. She’s also getting a little bit sassy. She throws fits occasionally and will pull on my pants wanting me to pick her up and she’ll shake her finger at you like she’s telling you a l l about it. I don’t even know where she learns some of this stuff. The other day, I dropped her off at my mother in laws house and she wanted down to go play with her toys. So I let her down but followed pretty close behind so I could tell her bye. By the time I rounded the corner of the living room, she’d found a bink bink and popped it in her mouth, grabbed a teething bracelet and had it on her wrist, and a small purse slung over her shoulder. Then looked at me and said “Bye Bye”. What even? Oh and she’s on the move constantly. That’s why the majority of her one year pictures are from the side or in action. But still such a good snuggler. She likes to sit with me sometimes and will just lay her head on me…for about 3 seconds then she’s on the move again!

IMG_5492

She’s finally starting to wear more 12 month clothing and the occasional 18 month outfit. We did make the switch to size 4 diapers and they are much better! Our little munchkin is getting BIG!

Likes:

-Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

-Other children, especially her cousin Tyner.

-Being outside

-Riding the RZR

-“Driving” Daddy’s truck

-Remotes/Cell Phones

-Her “Bink Bink” (pacifier)

Dislikes:

-Diaper Changes

-Clothing Changes

-Being told “no”

-The baby gates

IMG_5513

So that’s the big one year update! We’ve actually had her birthday party since she turned a year old so that post will be up soon as well. I won’t get too mushy here about her turning a year old, but I did write her a letter the night before and I was pretty much bawling the whole time. Whitlee has been such a blessing and we are so thankful to have such a sweet, funny, happy, smart little girl. I never dreamed being a mom would be this amazing, but it definitely exceeds all expectations. She makes our world go round.

Happy 12 month update, baby girl! You are so loved!!

Whitlee | 11 Months

IMG_5292

So I lied. 11 month post did not happen on time. But in our defense, Whitlee was running 104 fever the day she turned 11 months, so we had a rough couple of days. She’s better now though! It was the weirdest thing. We ran some errands a couple of Saturdays ago and I noticed while we were out that she felt a little warm, but was acting fairly normal. She gives “hugs” these days where she lays her head on your shoulder or chest and she was doing that a little more than normal but I wasn’t sure if she actually felt bad. I actually recorded information for a Day In The Life post that day. Anyway, we got home that afternoon and I was able to check her temp – 99 something. So I figured probably new teeth. She tends to run a low grade fever when she cuts new teeth. This time though she acted normal, played like normal, ate normal, everything. The only thing out of the ordinary was, she does this thing where she leans her face down in the bathtub and blows bubbles with her mouth and she got a little water in her mouth and started coughing, then threw up. But it wasn’t like she threw up, it was just a little bit of gag and then spit up. Didn’t think much of it. Through the night, she felt much warmer so about 2 AM I got up and checked again – 102.5. Okay, definitely not just teeth. By Sunday (the 25th), she was at 104 and still not a single additional symptom. No runny nose, no cough, no vomiting, no diarrhea, no weird rash, nothing. Just cried a lot and slept a lot. I was able to talk to the pediatrician and she said just keep her hydrated and comfortable, give her meds if she seems like she can’t sleep well or won’t eat, but otherwise try to let it run its course and bring her first thing Monday. By Monday she didn’t even have fever anymore and they tested her for everything under the sun, including cath-ing her to check urine for a UTI. Nothing. And that was it. She’s perfectly normal now.

IMG_5205

Stats:

Since we ended up going to the doctor yet again, we got another weight. She’s 18 lbs now. No idea on height, but now that she is standing really well, I’m going to start marking her height on a growth chart that will hang on the wall. I’ll probably get her first measurement on it on her birthday – which is less than a month away now!! Oh em GEE.

IMG_5303

Eating:

Since we’re nearing up on a year old, I’ve naturally started to stress about what she should be eating at this point. We’ve had a lot of trouble with the Stage 3 baby food and I never could put a finger on whether it was taste or texture. If you’re not familiar, Stage 3 are purees with small soft chunks of food in them. They’re basically the same flavors as Stage 2, but we were lucky if we could get her to eat more than a few bites. More times than not, we’d just end up feeding her more yogurt or cheerios because it seemed like that’s all she’d eat. After reading something another mom blogger pinned on Pinterest, (Thanks Kendra!) I got the impression that Stage 3’s are notorious for being rejected because they’re just weird with the texture. And at this point she should be eating more solids than anything, but if she’s not quite ready, to offer solids but top her off with normal purees and to thicken the purees with rice cereal. So we set that plan in motion and lo and behold – the girl can EAT. For breakfast now, she gets a variety of things. We usually give her some type of finger food solids – homemade french toast sticks, waffles, cheerios, eggs, and then she gets yogurt or oatmeal thickened with rice cereal. For lunch/dinner, we’ve started giving her whatever we’re having and then topping her off again with baby food thickened with rice cereal. She’s eating a much wider variety of things now and it seems like this will help make that transition much easier when we slowly do away with the extra purees and move to just normal food.

We’re still doing formula at 22 calories, and she takes a morning bottle, an afternoon bottle, a bedtime bottle, and unfortunately a middle of the night bottle. I’m still working on weaning the middle of the night bottle but I feel like we’re close. I just wish I knew the secret.

IMG_5305

Food Likes:

Gerber Baby Yogurt – every flavor so far

Cheerios

Hot Dogs (cut super small)

Baby Goldfish

Salad Crackers

Bananas coated with graham crackers

Chicken Nuggets (cut super small)

Any bread – girl likes her some carbs

Pork Roast (cut super small)

Beans of any kind

Food Dislikes:

Plain bananas

Any kind of baby food “meat”

Avocado

IMG_5245

Sleep:

We are slowly making progress in this department. After she fought me a couple of times on putting her to sleep, I started putting her in her bed at night and doing again another VERY loose version of cry it out. Not a single time has she lasted more than 15 minutes of crying, and in the last week she has only whined a little and then gone right to sleep. She’s still not making it all night in her crib, but she is making it about 3 or 4 hours for the first wakeup. I still bring her to bed with me after that, but I’m about to put it to the test and see if she’ll stick it out. I almost think she would skip the night feeding if she would stay asleep in her bed. So maybe those two things will come together?

She still takes two naps – one morning nap about 9:00 and an afternoon nap about 2:00. Both are usually an hour and a half to two hours. A few times, she’s almost held out long enough that we have skipped one of the naps and I’m nervous for when we make the switch to one nap.

Milestones:

-Two more teeth! We’re up to 6 now. I was tickling her one day and she always throws her head back and laughs and all the sudden I saw two tiny new top teeth broke through the skin that were not there the day before.

look at those teeth!

look at those teeth!

-Goes from crawling to standing on her own now

-Is up to 7 steps now I believe. She’s getting pretty good at walking. She cruises around the furniture and then will take off on her own.

-Says “Uh Oh”

-Says “Bye Bye”

-Gives hugs on demand

-Gives sugars on demand

-Gives high fives on demand

-Points at e v e r y t h i n g

-Wears a ponytail now and pigtails…. cue Momma with big heart eyes!

So we’re up to 4 words and she’s getting smarter every day. We can ask here where something is and 9 times out of 10, she’ll point at it. We’re starting to work on faces too – like nose, eyes, mouth. Right now she’s good at pointing at daddy’s truck, lights, and other people.

She’s starting to wear more 12 month clothing and I think we’re very near swapping to size 4 diapers. We’re on a box of 3’s now, and I think I’ll try a box of 4’s that we already have waiting when we swap this next time.

IMG_5214

Likes:

-Any animals

-Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

-Other children, especially her cousin Tyner.

-Being outside

-Riding the RZR

-“Driving” Daddy’s truck

-Getting her ears cleaned with baby Q-tips…seriously she can be screaming and will just go silent when I clean her ears.

-Remotes/Cell Phones

-Fascinated with the pattern on our flooring

IMG_5221

-Did I mention pacifiers?? She wouldn’t take one to save my life when she was a tiny baby, but now that girl can spot her “bink bink” a mile away. We have them stashed everywhere so there’s always one available. I actually attribute a little bit of the sleep transition to the bink bink because she seems to self soothe a little easier with it. I hope that’s not going to be too tough a habit to break.

Dislikes:

-Diaper Changes

-Clothing Changes

-Being told “no”

It is insane to me that it is her birthday month already and I’m working on the final details of her first birthday party. Time truly does speed up when you have kids. She’s learning something new every day and amazes us constantly with how smart she is. She’s on the move like CRAZY right now so catching a picture of her that isn’t blurry is becoming quite the task. Happy 11 months, Whitlee Bug! One more month to go!

IMG_5291

IMG_5227

IMG_5223

Whitlee | 8 Months

  
Funny story. The other day, a girl I work with was asking if I had started planning Whitlee’s first birthday party. I was like, “Well yeah. Cause, I’m obsessive.” Which I have. I’ve actually had a secret Pinterest board since before she was born. Crazy, I know. But then my friend was like, “Yeah I figured you did. It’s like what.. 4 months away?” UM, WHAT? How did this happen??  

  

Stats:

We don’t go back to the pediatrician until 9 months but if I had to guess I’d say somewhere in the neighborhood of 16.5 lbs. And tall! I feel like she’s gotten much longer in the last month or so. I can’t wait to get an official weight at the doctor next month!

  
 Eating:

Whitlee still gets a mixture of formula and baby food. She’s still eating anywhere from 4-6 ounces a bottle at a 22 calorie ratio. We did finally switch to a level 3 nipple and now she’ll suck down a bottle in like 6 minutes flat. She did start doing something weird that she’d dropped around 3 or 4 months. But I’m seriously not sure what to do about it because if she’s hungry – shes’s hungry. Anyway, she started waking in the middle of the night again to eat. So she’s eating a bottle at about 7:30/8 PM before bed, eating again about 1 or 2 AM, then again at usually about 6 AM. I’ve tried just rocking her back to sleep instead of feeding her, I’ve tried feeding her more at the last bottle, I’ve tried feeding her more baby food before the last bottle. Nothing works. Oh well. I guess night weaning is on our to-do list again.   

We’ve also moved up to Stage 3 foods that have little chunks and I’ve started giving her more solid solids lately and letting her self feed. I’ve given her kiwi, sweet potatoes, okra, squash, and bananas. Oh – and she likes bananas now. She used to hate them. That hate has been replaced by kiwis. She HATES kiwis. But she does really well with chewing and then swallowing. It makes me super proud and super nervous all at the same time. She’s also doing really well with puffs and the teething biscuit things that she previously choked on. Seems like she’s just really getting the hang of eating.

  
Sleep:

Oh sleep. We are still up a creek on this one. We did crying it out and it went okay. We even got one 12 hour stretch out of it, in her crib, no wakeups. But it was short lived. And then we reverted back to where she sleeps a couple of hours in her crib, then I bring her to bed with me. It’s just easier on me when I have to get up for work, to not be up fighting her every few hours. I’m hoping to give it another go and be more strict this time. No going back!

She has finally settled into a pretty consistent day routine for naps though. She normally has two naps that are one to two hours. She naps about 9:00 to 10:30/11 and again about 2 to 3:30/4. That’s a relief!

Medical Issues (?):

No medical issues this month. Although we did have one day where her ear swelled up and turned red and was warm to the touch, but I couldn’t figure it out. It was gone the very next day though. I’m gonna say probably a mosquito bite? 

Milestones:

Not many new milestones this month. She’s just really getting good at everything she was previously doing, like sitting unassisted and is getting really good at standing holding onto something. She is trying SO hard to crawl right now and it’s amusing watching her try. I’m also expecting new teeth any day. She’s mostly wearing 6 month clothing now and can fit into some 6-9 and the occasional 9 month outfit. And we’re finally in size 3 diapers. 

  
Likes:

-Still only has eyes for her daddy 

-Her momma – she reaches for me all the time now

-Bath Time – especially now that she can sit up on her own in the tub! And because, ducks!

     
 -Dogs

-Being Outside 

Dislikes:

-Waiting for a bottle

-Diaper Changes

-Clothing Changes

-Getting her face wiped after eating

 Nicknames:

-Whitlee Bug

-Momma’s Girl

-Daddy’s Girl

-Doodle Bug

-Shuga-boog

-little alligator (because diaper changes have become akin to alligator wrestling)

   

   
Whew, another month down. And as I mentioned above, it’s only 4 months until her first birthday. Cue the tears now! She is such a happy child and we absolutely love her to death. Can’t wait to see how much more she grows and learns in such a short amount of time. We love you, Whitlee Bug!

  

Whitlee | 6 Months

6 Months4

Wow. 6 Months down. I cannot believe Whitlee is 6 months old. It was so crazy all day on the 25th to look at the clock and think “6 months ago today at this time, I was driving to my doctor’s appointment, not knowing she would be born that day” or “6 months ago today at this time, I was being prepped for surgery.” Nolan even kept looking at her saying, “6 months old… man, 6 months old..” I think 6 months is such a major milestone! She has suddenly become less infant like almost overnight it seems!

6 Months3

Stats:
I waited to post this because we went back for Whitlee’s 6 month appointment on the 26th. She is now 14 lbs 6 oz and 25 inches. I think she said she’s in like the 15th percentile for her weight and 16th percentile for her height and 14th for her head circumference. So she’s proportional at least! But really they said she’s doing good, just still a little small overall for her age, which is to be expected as a preemie. Nolan and I both aren’t very big people anyway, so we never expected to have a huge baby. But her size did lead to some changes in eating.

6 Months5Eating:
So with bottles, she is kind of all over the place. She keeps getting this weird cough that her pediatrician technically refuses to treat because if they stop her from coughing, she could get pneumonia. So we treat with breathing treatments and a humidifier, but every time she gets this cough, her appetite gets weird. To sum it up though, she eats anywhere from 3.5 to 6 ounces about every 4 hours, sometimes it’s 3.5 hours, sometimes it’s 5. We’ve relaxed a lot and as long as she seems satisfied after eating, we don’t push the issue too much on how much she ate. If she only ate a little, I usually try to give her a little more about an hour later just to top her off for a while. We’ll also give her like an ounce to two ounces as a snack throughout the day if she’s really fussy and acts hungry.

Originally I mentioned in her 4 month post and 5 month post that we were going to do Baby Led Weaning, where you start them on soft solids at 6 months and allow them to feed themselves at their own pace. While I still think BLW is a wonderful idea, and would love to try it, with Whitlee being premature and still slightly underweight, we’re having to go about it a little differently than planned. I had a long (well, long for a doctor) talk with her pediatrician, who isn’t fully familiar with BLW and I had to explain the logistics of it, and she addressed some key points and told me her concerns. We chose this specific pediatrician because she is slightly younger than most and would be more open to newer ideas, which she is, but we also chose her because her education is top notch and she did her residency at Texas Children’s in Houston. I am 100% confident in her education and opinion as a doctor, so I trust the path she has us on with Whitlee.

Her main concern was the fact that with BLW, they learn to chew before they learn to swallow and depending on the baby it can take a little while, even months, before they start to actually swallow and digest food. She said she really needs to be actually getting some food into her belly, like now. She actually intended for us to start food at 5 months but knew we were waiting for BLW at 6 months. She said if I could get Whitlee to eat soft solids now by way of BLW, to go ahead and start that day and if it went great, then proceed. If she didn’t take off with it, we may need to reevaluate the situation, because she really does need to be eating a little at this point to help with her weight.

A little while back, she choked on a teething biscuit. Like her face turned blue and I had to yank her out of the high chair and whack her on the back and make her throw it up, so I was a little gun shy about solids. I’m weary of every little gag now and I worried that with her being premature, that maybe she wasn’t ready yet. But we tried avocado and bananas, which are recommended as the first foods to try. She had the concept down of grabbing it and putting it to her mouth, but man, she HATED the taste of both avocados and bananas. She’d barely touch it to her tongue, then she’d make horrible faces and spit it out and throw it back down on the tray. I mean this girl ate a lemon without even a smirk and you’d have thought we were feeding her Warheads candy with the faces she was making. We tried over and over again and a few times she actually made it into her mouth and immediately gagged and spit it out. She was literally gagging at the taste of it. It wasn’t making it far enough into her mouth for her to be gagging at the back of her mouth. Then she gagged hard enough that she threw up a bunch of milk. So not only was she totally not into eating the food, but she was losing milk on top of it. I’d hardly call that a success. So Nolan and I talked it over and decided to try some applesauce on a spoon, fed the way of traditional baby food. And lo and behold, she LOVED it. She kept opening her mouth so perfectly for each bite, and didn’t make any bad faces. I tried to sneak in some really mashed up banana and bam – the face was back. She really doesn’t like bananas.

So after that escapade and the talk with the pediatrician, we’ve decided to do traditional baby food for now. I’ll probably do a mix of store bought and homemade. My thinking was that with full term babies and starting them at 6 months, you can stand (weight gain wise) to give them weeks or a month or so to get the hang of it and actually start to swallow the food. With Whitlee’s individual situation, we can’t afford to wait that long. We’ll start feeding her baby food once a day for a little while, then bump up to twice a day, then up to three times a day. And probably around 8 or 9 months, we’ll revisit finger foods and see how it goes. That’s when their “pincer grip” kicks in and they can pick things up like cheerios and pees and the Gerber puffs.

It seems like every time I research something to. death. it almost always doesn’t go as planned. But like I said, I trust our pediatrician and from now on, we’ll just go with her plan. Baby food for now + 22 calorie bottles, then at her 9  month appointment, we’ll reevaluate the situation. Seeing her reaction to the applesauce just felt right.

Sleep:
Same story. She’s still swaddled for the most part and just seems to do really well that way. She actually took a 4 hour nap one day because she was swaddled! A few times we’ve tried letting her sleep in her crib on her belly to see if she’d sleep longer, but she still didn’t make it through the night. She actually woke up earlier than she does if we swaddle her. So I guess until she’s just getting crazy with the rolling, we’ll continue to swaddle. We still do the same routine every other night (baths are every other night). We do bath time about 8, then she gets a clean diaper and lotion. Since it’s summer time now and Texas is already super hot, we let her sleep in just a diaper inside the swaddle. Then she eats a bottle, we swaddle her, give goodnight kisses and I rock her to sleep by about 9. She’ll usually sleep until about 2 or 3 in her crib, sometimes earlier, then I let her sleep in the bed with me until 5. I’ve heard that when she starts eating solids, she’ll start sleeping through the night. We shall see.

She’s still taking two pretty decent naps a day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon, then she gets a few shorter cat naps in throughout. Her newest thing is taking a short 30 minute to 1 hour nap about 7PM. I’ve tried to put her to bed at 7PM, but she still wakes back up around 9ish to eat.

Milestones:
-Got her ears pierced
(We were undecided about this. I thought it’d be better to do it now but Nolan wanted to wait until she asked for them. My thinking was the chances of her not ever wanting them done were slim to none. I have them, and basically everyone she knows has them. And I feel like she’d ask for them much younger than we think. She’s around Kynlee all the time and she has hers pierced, plus she’ll start preschool around 2/2.5 years old and a lot of kids there will have them. I feel like she’d ask for them around 3 and to me, that’s too young for her to take care of them by herself and at that age where she’d fight me to clean them. So we got them done and she did amazing. She barely even cried. And they turned out super cute.)
-Started “talking” to us
-Found her feet and chews on them all the time
-First trip to Nanny Kay’s house
-Momma’s First Mother’s Day
-First trip to the lake
-First Boat Ride – loved it!
-First Ride in a Side X Side – put her right to sleep
-Gives “sugars”
-Tries to wave “bye-bye”

IMG_20150501_094333

IMG_20150511_081527

IMG_20150523_074036

IMG_20150523_221008

IMG_20150523_194255

She’s wearing mostly 3-6 months. She can still fit into a few 0-3 and 3 month outfits but most of them are too small. But her little swimsuit is a 6-12 month and is almost too small! We just moved up to size 2 diapers this weekend. We’d been planning on using up the rest of our size 1’s over the weekend and then moving on to size 2’s, but we went for a ride in the side x side on Memorial Day and she had a blow out mid ride and we had to go back to the house and get her (and me) cleaned up. So we’re officially in size 2’s now, using a mix of Pamper Swaddlers and Luvs. I’m not sure about the Luvs just yet. They seem to fill up really fast, resulting in changing diapers more often.

Likes:
-Her daddy – has suddenly become all. about. her. daddy. Seriously. If she hears him or sees him and knows he’s there, then she either wants him to hold her or she’s got to at least be able to see him at all times. You should see me try to feed her a bottle when he’s anywhere near. It’s insane. She immediately smiles when she sees him.
-Bath Time
-Mickey Mouse
-The swing at KK’s house
-Her swing at the shop
-Riding in the boat

Dislikes:
-Waiting for a bottle
-Getting her nose wiped
-Shots 😦

And I thought I’d add this in..

Nicknames:
-Whitlee Bug
-Whit-wee (the way our nephew pronounces it)
-Momma’s Girl
-Daddy’s Girl
-Shuga-boog
-Shugie-boogie
-my girl or our girl
-Little turkey
-Whiney Hiney

So that’s our girl at 6 months. Things are changing, and even in the last few days since turning 6 months, she’s started doing even more stuff. Always growing and doing something new. She’s a talker and a mover for sure! Happy ½ birthday, Whitlee Alyzabeth!!

1 2 3 4 5 6 Months (2)

P.S. The giveaway I’ve been talking about for what seems like forever now will post next week!!