Monday, April 27, 2009

6 Month Check Up

Micah had his 6 month check up today and I am pleased to report that he is a healthy little boy. I was a little nervous about the appointment because it was scheduled for 10:30 (right in the middle of his morning nap), but he did very well ... hardly fussed at all (we'll see how he makes up for the missed nap this afternoon).

Anyway, here are the stats:
17.11 lbs 50%
27 inches long 75%
45 inch head circumference 77%

Micah's pediatrician said that his percentage in weight going down from 60% to 50% is normal for his age as he begins to be more active, but not increase his caloric intake by much. He's comfortable with Micah being on a four hour feeding schedule during the day with two additional solid feedings (by the way, he tried squash for the first time on Sunday and LOVED it) and going twelve hours between feedings at night.

He suggested that I start offering a little bit of water in a sippy cup at the end of each solid feeding to start learning how to drink from a cup and because the fluoride in the water benefits his teeth. I also learned that combining foods with vitamin C (like most fruits) with iron fortified cereal helps his body to better absorb the iron. He also said that it's normal that Micah has gone from pooping every day to pooping every two to three days (as long as his poop is not rock hard there's nothing to worry about).

He got four more shots and downed the rota vaccine like it was sugar water. Jackson comforted him when he cried from the shots (what a good big brother) and for the most part Micah handled them like a champ (I still gave him a dose of Tylenol right before the shots just in case).

Anyway, I feel TOTALLY blessed to have two healthy little boys!!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Both of my boys took pacifiers when they were very little (about 4 - 6 weeks old). I've always debated about whether or not I wanted to give them one in the first place, but it was either a pacifier or they wanted to nurse in the middle of the night all of the time and THAT wasn't going to happen. Maybe I should just let them discover their thumb ... although, I personally think that it's easier to take a pacifier away than it is to get a child to stop sucking their thumb. Plus pacifiers may help decrease the risk of SIDS.

However, I've read that it's harder to break pacifier use after 6 months. When Jackson was about 6 or 7 months old I asked one of my close friends who had an 18 month old at the time what she did about the whole pacifier issue (I wanted to know if she had any tips on how to wean Jackson from the pacifier). Her response was, "when you figure it out let me know." The next day I took Jackson's pacifier away. I didn't go cold turkey, but I limited it to the car seat and his crib. By 8 months Jackson wasn't taking a pacifier at all.

So, now I'm starting the weaning process with Micah. He already only takes the pacifier in the car and crib which is good (with a few exceptions when he's visiting family/ friends where I don't want him to be fussy). I decided that today was going to be the day that I attempt to put him down for a nap without a pacifier. His first nap was a success! He cried for about ten minutes and then put himself to sleep. He even woke up in the middle of the nap, cried for two seconds and put himself back to sleep. The second nap he cried for two minutes and then went right to sleep, but he woke up half way through the nap and couldn't sooth himself back to sleep, so I gave in to the pacifier. He hasn't had a third nap yet and that's usually his toughest nap (he's transitioning out of this nap very quickly, but still needs it most days) so we'll see how that goes. I'm just going to take little steps at a time. I'm sure I'll have some setbacks along the way (like the shots he'll be getting on Monday), but we'll get there.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Buckets of Fun!

We had two days of over 90 degree weather. Although I'm not complaining (if I did there may be a few of my family and friends from the Midwest that would jump on a plane and shake some sense into me), it's not fun when you live in a two story town home with no air conditioning. Fortunately we have a pool in our complex ... unfortunately I'm not very talented at taking a six month old and an almost three year old to a pool that is three feet or deeper by myself (I was a lifeguard for many of my teenage years and pools and kids still make me nervous), plus Micah was taking a nap and I couldn't bring myself to leave him in a hot car seat by the pool while we enjoyed the cool water. SO, I busted out some buckets and filled them with cold water for Jackson to play in. I let him splash around as much as he wanted to (in hindsight I should have put him in his swimsuit). Alas even this was too hot as the sun beats right on our patio during the day with no shade to protect us, so we finally went inside where I had the house shut up like a cave around 10am to keep it cool. It was fun to enjoy the summer weather, but I'm glad to have a little spring before anymore heat hits us. Jackson had a great time too!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

When My Kids Are Sick ...

I think I've gotten much better in the past year about not FREAKING out when my children are sick. When Jackson was little the slightest sign of an ear infection and I went to the doctor's right away. I attribute that partly to the fact that I had a WONDERFUL pediatrician in Omaha that was only five minutes from our home. I also attribute it to the fact that I was a new mom and didn't know much about viruses and infections and the like.

When we moved to Santa Maria I had a TERRIBLE time finding a good pediatrician for Jackson. He saw one in town for his two year check up and I swore I would NEVER go back there. I FINALLY found a pediatrician for Jackson and Micah through a loop hole in the system. Long story short ... when Micah was born the on call pediatrician was not accepting new patients, but made an exception for infants he sees at the hospital for newborn wellness checks (he graciously agreed to accept Jackson too). He is wonderful! However, it's a 45 minute drive to his office. SO, between not having a trustworthy pediatrician for Jackson for several months before Micah was born and now having to drive 45 minutes to get to one, I've definitely been more patient about waiting out whatever virus is going around.

Side note: I must also mention that I have a friend who is a pediatrician in Omaha and I call her A LOT when I'm unsure as to whether or not I should take the kids in to the doctor. She's saved me several visits to the doctor and has calmed my motherly nerves MANY times (thanks Marie ... if you ever get a chance to read this during your crazy schedule).

I've learned several tips from pediatricians and other moms that have made those nasty runny noses and horrific coughs a little more bearable. I've also learned a few facts that have given me peace and allowed me to sleep a little better when my little ones are so sick and I feel so helpless:

Some Facts:

Most ear infections are viral related and by the time an antibiotic starts working (about 48 hours) they usually go away on their own. If they are still showing signs of an ear infection after 48 hours then it's probably a bacterial infection and the antibiotics will help.

It is physically impossible for a child's body to generate a fever high enough on it's own (as opposed to being in a hot car) to cause brain damage (don't laugh ... when your child is burning up there are MANY thoughts that run through a mother's mind).

Taking a child's temperature under their arm, ear or forehead are only approximate temperatures. The only way you can get an accurate temperature reading is by taking it rectally (something I have yet to do). HOWEVER, 99% of the time mother's intuition is correct and if you suspect that your child has a fever, they probably do. Tylenol, Ibuprofen or a temped bath will help bring the fever down temporarily (NOTE: fevers are part of our body's defense system, so fevers are a good thing (the only exception would be if your child is under 8 weeks old)). In addition, if the fever is too high usually there will be other symptoms of concern that will warrant bringing them to the ER or doctor (like seizures for example).

You can safely alternate between Ibuprofen and Tylenol every three hours when you suspect that your child (one year and older) has a fever or ear infection in order to make them more comfortable.

Croup lasts about three days and the second day is the WORST! A steamy bathroom and then a walk out in the cold can help calm a croupy bark.

Studies have shown that honey is the best cough suppressant for children over two years (it may even be one year, but I wanted to play it safe).

A Few Tips:

Cool Mist Humidifiers are wonderful for loosening a cough in the middle of the night and for getting all of that yucky snot out (you'll want to change your kids sheets often though). (I also use the empty humidifier (filter removed) as white noise in their bedrooms when they are not sick.)

Putting a few pillows and/or blankets under the mattress will prop your child up to minimize coughing fits while sleeping. However, don't over do it because infants tend to roll to the end of the bed with too many pillows under the mattress.

Letting your infant sleep in a car seat or swing for a few nights so that they can breath more easily does not usually create a habit that you have to break later on, but it does allow for you to get a couple more hours of sleep on the nights when they are sick.

Non-medicated Saline Drops and a Bulb Syringe when used properly for infants (toddler's nostrils are too big and usually they can blow their own nose) work well to unclog an infant especially right before they nurse or take a bottle. However, you can suck all day and you still won't get it all out.

Some Things that Did NOT Work:

BabyVics although it smells really nice, I don't think it did anything for my kids' cough.

DanActive, although I am a huge fan of the benefits of the probiotics in this drink I wouldn't say that drinking it shortened the length of my children's illness (not that it claims to, but I guess it was hopeful thinking on my part).

Anyway, ... can you tell that my kids are sick right now? No matter all the facts and all the tips I still feel so HELPLESS when my little ones can't stop coughing in the middle of the night or they cough so hard that they throw up a little or they wheeze or cry or, or, or. Whenever they are sick like this God uses it to remind me to put their physical and spiritual well being in His hands and to ultimately trust Him.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter Pictures

Here are a few pictures from our trip to the Midwest for Easter:

5 Months

It seems like it's been awhile since I've posted about our progress. Colin was on vacation for a week and a half so we've been traveling like crazy! It's been wonderful to visit places and see people, but it has been difficult on our routines.

Micah was doing about a three and a half hour feeding schedule with one two hour feeding towards the end of the night to keep up the five feedings and to also keep up the twelve hours of sleep he was getting at night. I also started feeding him baby oatmeal once a day at his 5 o'clock feeding. However, when we were on vacation in the Midwest Micah was not nursing well. He'd eat one side (maybe) and then nurse only a tiny bit on the other side. I attributed it to a flexible routine and him having a cold. There were a few times that he went longer than three and a half hours and he nursed MUCH better (I thought maybe he was getting ready to go on a four hour feeding schedule before we left, but I wanted to wait until we were back from vacation and in a normal routine), so I "sucked it up" and switched him to a four hour feeding schedule and added one more feeding of oatmeal at the end of our trip. I was surprised at how easily he fell into a four hour routine. Now Micah's routine looks like this (knock on wood because as soon as I write this something will change I'm sure):

7:30 nurse
9:30 nap
11:30 nurse and feed solid food
1:30 nap
3:30 nurse and feed solid food (although I'm thinking about doing solids around supper time instead, so that when he's weaned from nursing it'll be an easier transition to our meal time, but I don't want to create a habit of eating every 2 to 3 hours still)
5:30 short nap (this nap can get easily skipped if need be)
7:30 nurse and bed

Micah also started rolling from his tummy to his back pretty consistently this month and he can sit up for a few seconds without assistance. His drool output has definitely increased this month and perhaps we'll be seeing a tooth in the next little while (Jackson didn't get his first tooth until 7 months so we'll see). He's a happy little guy and although he hasn't made any consonant sounds yet he loves to jabber. He's a cuddle bug too. Sometimes if he fusses at the beginning of a nap all I have to do is cuddle with him for a few minutes and then put him back in his crib and he goes right to sleep. (By the way, I'm still swaddling him for his naps and he still takes a pacifier. For bed time, I put socks on his hands (I know it sounds silly)so that he doesn't accidentally scratch himself and to discourage him from sucking his thumb.) He's also very tender hearted when it comes to his brother ... if Jackson is crying Micah will cry too and the minute Jackson stops so does Micah.

I haven't had much Mommy and Jackson time lately due to our traveling, but Jackson has not been deprived at all (time with great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, going to Disneyland, etc.) He's grown up so much these past couple of weeks. I LOVE watching him play with other children ... his personality begins to shine. Despite being sick with a cold at the end of our vacation Jackson has been SUCH a trouper with all of the crazy traveling we've been doing lately. I really am proud of his maturity in that regard.

My boys are growing up WAY too fast, but it's been such an honor and a blessing to watch!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Question: Why is it that the two biggest church holidays where we expect our children to look nice for pictures and be happy are the most chaotic?!

How could I possible expect my children to be little angels when they have been in an airplane for four hours straight, in the car for a total of about eight hours, missed several naps, pumped full of sugar, sleeping in a totally different environment than they are used to, over stimulated by all of the relatives that need to hug and kiss on them and sick with colds.

But they were.

I'm the cranky one. I get irritated if people are not considerate of my child sleeping in the upstairs room. I'm annoyed with all of the noises of a different house (creaky staircases, squeaky doors, footsteps on the ceiling). I get frustrated when someone wants to interrupt my motherly routine. I'm paranoid about germs from strangers and relatives. I'm disappointed the the sleeping arrangements are a little more than cramped. I'm cranky.

But it's worth it.

I've missed being with family. It's rare to be in a room full of people that you love so much and who love you in return. It's rare to watch your children be loved on and cared for and played with by people who genuinely love them and want whats best for them. It's rare to talk until the wee hours of the night about anything and everything because no one wants to say good night because that means it's one more day closer to saying good bye.

It's TOTALLY worth it.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


So when we first moved here the original thought was that Micah and Jackson would share a room once Micah was sleeping through the night. Then I changed my mind ... I think families who can successfully have such young children share rooms should be given a medal! I'm not that brave. :)

Micah was sleeping in our room (actually our walk-in closet ... don't worry we moved all of our clothes out of it) since he was about 8 or 9 weeks old. He started to warp the bassinet in the pac-n-play so we decided it's probably time we switched him to a real crib. Since Colin took some vacation time now was a great time to do it.

The transition was very smooth. We are all sleeping well in our new rooms. Here are a few before and after pictures of the switch-a-roo!

Jackson's room before the switch...
and Jackson's room after (we had to move his bed because we wanted to decrease the chances of the boys hearing each other) ... it looks a little bare, but at least he has plenty of room to play! :)
Micah's room when it was the office ... Micah's room now (there he is in his crib sound asleep).
Our bedroom before...
and after (we're a little cramped (you can't even see the 4 drawer filing cabinet we crammed in there too), but we're glad we were able to give Micah his own room).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Our Trip to Disneyland

Colin is off of work for a week and a half. YA!! So, we took a road trip to my grandparents' house in southern California and made a day trip to Disneyland. I was a little nervous about taking a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old to Disneyland. I played out the worst possible scenario in my head ... we arrive at Disneyland and Jackson takes one look at Mickey Mouse and screams in terror and won't stop screaming until we get in the car to go back to my grandparents'. Luckily that is NOT what happened. Although I wouldn't necessarily recommend taking such young children to Disneyland (the chances of them remembering any of it is unlikely), we made some GREAT memories and this is probably the cheapest we'll EVER get to go to Disneyland so we went for it! I watched Jackson grow up before my eyes on this trip. Even though he talked about the "bad guys" the entire drive from my grandparents' house to Disneyland and what he would do if he saw one, he didn't show an ounce of fear the entire time we were there. He got to see a street show with all of the Disney characters while eating a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar (you'll see the evidence of that on his shirt in some of the pictures posted). He went on King Arthur's Carousel, The Dumbo Ride, It's A Small World (of course) and visited almost all of Toontown. My grandpa came along too and it was wonderful to spend some quality time with him as well. We ended the day at 4pm when Jackson fell asleep watching the parade despite my yelling, "Jackson look, it's Mickey!" After Disneyland we headed to my sister and brother-in-law's apartment in San Pedro and enjoyed a nice supper at Macaroni Grill to celebrate her 28th birthday and their one year wedding anniversary. Jackson ate a ton of sugar and got only a one hour nap (probably closer to 45 minutes) and didn't get to bed until 10pm that night. I was AMAZED at how he didn't melt down at the end of the night even though he was one tired little boy. He's growing up so fast. Jackson hasn't stopped talking about how Mickey blew him a kiss since we've come home. Toontown King Arthur's Carousel Even Micah enjoyed "It's a Small World" Jackson "driving" Mickey's car at Mickey's house. Jackson had a GREAT time bonding with his Great-Grandpa Kohlenburg Here's a few pictures taken at my grandparents' house.