Charlotte Mae: Eight Months

Eight Months

Eight Months

Oh my goodness! Another month old. This little girl definitely has a personality all her own and isn’t afraid to show it. This past month was a busy one on all accounts. Starting a new daycare, having an allergic reaction, crawling non-stop, trying to pull herself up, saying “words” . . . and on and on.

So here’s the “short” recap of the past month in our household:

1. Started a new daycare. I am very happy with this decision. I know Charlotte is having a great time by her mood and how she gets excited to see her caregiver and the other kids – and her cousin! From reports from her caregiver, she LOVES Charlotte and says she’s such an easy-going baby, but very active. Sounds about right. She loves “school time” when they sing and go over letters and numbers. She loves cuddles, but also to move around.

2. We found out this past month that Charlotte is allergic to milk (the milk protein). So I cut out dairy from my diet (ugh) and we now make sure to read labels and make sure nothing we give her has milk or other forms of the protein in it. We also now have EpiPens in case of an emergency. While this obviously isn’t ideal, I’m glad we know this and can avoid any bad situations. Hopefully she outgrows it, which they say could be by the time she starts school. Fingers crossed! When she turns one year old, we’ll go in to test soy and rice milk so that we can start her on one of those. So in the meantime, I am breastfeeding and we do have a special formula as back-up that she can take. Eliminating dairy from my diet has helped with her eczema though. She still has it, but it doesn’t flare up as much or as bad, so that’s also good to know.

3. Crawling. Oh my gosh. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that she is able to get around, but I could use a break every now and then. She doesn’t stop! She still won’t pick her belly up and she really only uses one arm and one leg, but she gets around fast in her army-style crawl. And her new thing is attempting to pull herself up. She’ll grab something and sit on her knees and bounce. She also really likes to climb over legs. She would probably do well in an obstacle course. So yeah, we’ve got that going on now.

4. She’s been babbling for a few months now, but in the past month she has started saying “Da-Da” (which Jed is thrilled about) and this last week she started saying “Ba-Ba”. I keep telling Jed she’s trying to say “Dog” because she absolutely LOVES animals. Of course he’s not buying it.

5. She loves to eat and actually gets mad if you don’t make her enough food and have to make more. If she’s not done and I walk away to get more, she gets very upset. So far she’s had the following: Green beans, peas, carrots, butternut squash, apples, pears, mango, banana, one-pot chicken (chicken, carrots, leek and chicken broth), sweet potatoes, yams, broccoli and BBQ beef. And she loves it all, especially the BBQ beef, which was a recipe we made last weekend and we put in the food processor for her to try. We’ve also started Puffs and she’s getting pretty good at getting them into her mouth. No teeth yet, so right now we’re just gumming things.

Charlotte Mae – Eight Months

Likes: Food, purses, shoes, animals, talking, banging things on her high chair, crawling, climbing, singing, bath time, going for walks, watching people, b0oks, phones, iPads, anything electronic, music and toys.

Dislikes: Hats, being left alone, having lotion put on her face, aspirator to clear out her nose, kleenex (unless she’s ripping it up and trying to eat it).

Clothes: She mostly wears 9-month clothing with a few 6-month and a few 12-month items sprinkled in. She’s long and will probably have her daddy’s height, which is good with me.

She also now has “favorite” toys. She’ll play with just about anything, but there are certain ones she always grabs, which include a pink puppy teether, a small shamu stuffed animal we got at SeaWorld, a small purse my mom gave her, a silver rattle she likes to bang on her high chair and the shaped blocks you put in the bucket.

Her favorite right now:

Pink Puppy Teether

Pink Puppy Teether

 

Photos from the past month:

And this photo cracks me up. We went out to a favorite BBQ restaurant near our home – Jethro’s – and while it looks like I’m mad or ignoring her, I wasn’t. It makes me laugh because we have such different expressions. And she looks a little crazy. But that’s probably because it was her first time in a high chair out at a restaurant.

First time in a highchair at a restaurant.

First time in a high chair at a restaurant.

 

And last, but not least, the last eight months.

P.S. – This is the LAST month that Jed is at training! So no more single parenting starting in May! I cannot explain how excited I am about this. It’s been way too long and I can’t wait to have some semblance of a “normal” routine and be able to start doing more things as a whole family.

Never A Dull Moment!

It’s been a little while since our last post. Life is busy as you all know!

Last week we experienced our first, of probably many, emergencies. I’ve learned that nothing will really prepare you for parenthood because every baby/mother/father is different and last week was a perfect example of that. Sure you can read books, search the Internet, talk to other parents and so forth, but it really comes down to making the best decisions (usually going with your gut instincts) under the current circumstances.

Last week we started at our new daycare. I am so happy with this decision and Charlotte has been having a great time. I’m a proud mama when I hear her caregiver tell me how happy and good she always is.

Last week was also the first time she has been given formula. We’ve always provided formula as a back-up when she’s been at daycare (and some at home just in case). She’s still exclusively breastfed and eating purees now. Last Thursday I was at work and received a call from our caregiver that Charlotte was having a reaction. She had given Charlotte some formula with her oatmeal instead of the breast milk and said that her whole face started turning red, her eyes were watering, her lower lip swelled and she vomited twice.

These are those moments you dread, but know are bound to happen sometime. I just wasn’t expecting it so soon.

She asked what I wanted to do. I had no idea! I’m a new parent! I asked how she was doing and she stated that she was ok, but definitely uncomfortable. I told her I was going to call the doctor and see what we needed to do. I set up an appointment at the doctor and  picked up some Benadryl on the way to daycare as they said to give her a little (P.S. – If you have kids and don’t have this, I recommend you get some on hand – NOW!).

I went to the daycare and while she was red in the face and her lip was swelled, she seemed okay and was smiling and talking. I gave her some medicine and a bottle and we headed to the doctor. It was difficult to determine what is was because she only broke out on her face. It wasn’t really hives except for her lip, but the vomiting had me worried that it was something she ingested. Luckily her tongue and throat were fine and we were given some soy based formula. They called the allergist and left a message to see about next steps.

When we got home they had left a message that they wanted us to go see the allergist and have some testing as they weren’t sure what is was. We had also started the oatmeal last week and while she had it on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, it may not have shown up immediately. They also stated it could have been something viral and that those types of reactions can be from a virus. And since I was recently sick, that would make sense if I passed something along.

Anyway, we set up an appointment for Monday (this past Monday) afternoon and until then was instructed to lay off dairy (ugh), oatmeal and formula. So that’s what we did.

We had the appointment and they wanted to do a scratch test on her back, but because she has eczema and it was flaring up, we weren’t able to. So we had to go to pathology and do blood work. I was stunned. She hardly cried at all! Only a couple of seconds when they loosened the tourniquet. What a brave little girl!

They tested her blood for milk, oats, dust and dogs. The dust and dogs because of her eczema to see if that may be triggering her flare ups. The milk and oats because that’s what she ate before her reaction.

And today we received the results. Dogs and dust were negative. Oats was 2.67 which means that she probably isn’t allergic, but we’ll need to give her a little and wait 15 minutes to see if anything happens just to make sure. And then the whammy. Positive for milk allergy (not to be mistaken for a milk intolerance). It was over 100. I had no idea what that number meant until I looked it up. So it’s not a good number. This was mostly bad news, but good in the way that we now knew this information and can avoid more reactions. Like I said, her reaction wasn’t good, but it could have been a lot worse!

So what’s the plan? We were given a prescription on Monday for EpiPens (just in case) as well as a food allergy plan which details when to use medicine like Benadryl and when to use the EpiPen. I’ll provide these to daycare and also keep them at home. We were given the names of some very expensive formula’s that she should be good with and was told to obviously keep away from milk and all foods that contain the milk protein. So we’ll need to check labels and ensure it’s clear – even baked goods. Because I’m still breastfeeding, I have to watch my dairy intake. I had definitely cut back while breastfeeding but had never completely eliminated, so they said as long as I don’t increase what I’ve been doing, it should be fine. This is hard because I LOVE cheese and ice cream and everything that’s bad. So I guess this is the diet I wasn’t really planning on!

We will have to continue testing over the next few years to see if she outgrows it, which I hope she does. They’ll start by trying baked milk – I’m assuming that means baked goods with milk in them to see if she reacts. They say that if she can tolerate that, there’s a good chance she’ll outgrow the allergy.

They also stated not to give her eggs until age 2 and peanuts until age 3. We do have a family history of food allergies on my side of the family to eggs (grandfather and older brother) and to legumes (younger brother). She has eczema as well, which seems to have a higher likelihood for food allergies.

So all in all, it’s been a busy week. I’m so glad we found out this information although the outcome wasn’t what I wanted, but we’ll work through it like we do with everything. It’s definitely put on a little more stress on me in the breastfeeding department but it’s also what’s best for her. I’m just a little sick of the 3-hour schedule I’ve been on since she was born.

But at the end of the day, through everything so far, she is still the happiest little baby! And that’s what I’m thankful for.

Silly girl.

Silly girl.

P.S. – This is an old photo. I need to take more as her hair is crazy now!

Thank Goodness For Antibiotics . . . And My Husband.

So this past week has been a doozy. I’ve been pretty lucky this crappy winter and only been sick once. But last Tuesday I woke up with a horrible sore throat and my ears felt like they were going to burst. I had many sets of tubes as a kid so my ears are usually my tell-tale sign that something’s up. So I went to the doctor Tuesday and they labeled it as a virus and told me to gargle salt water. Lovely. Let’s just say that I have NEVER gotten better from gargling salt water. I have asthma, and when I get sick, everything gets worse.

So Wednesday came and I was still feeling craptastic. All I have to say is that I am fortunate that Jed is only in Omaha as he was able to get out of work and come home to help me with Charlotte as I was in no condition to be taking care of an infant. He got home Wednesday afternoon and was able to pick her up from daycare.

I was still pretty freaking miserable Thursday and Friday, so I made another appointment on Saturday morning. And the verdict. Sinus infection. Finally! An actual answer and some antibiotics. I was so relieved to hear they were giving me antibiotics to kick this crap. I’m still not 100%, but I can hear again and can taste food, and have an appetite again.

Needless to say, I’m on the mend. But it was still hard those few days because I was still breastfeeding (and still am as the antibiotics prescribed are okay while nursing). And let me tell you, when you’re tired and aching and congested, you don’t want to do anything. But as a mom, you have to. I was so happy Jed was home and able to basically do everything except the feedings, but it was still difficult, especially trying to keep away from Charlotte when I thought I had a virus.

In happier news, Charlotte is on the move (even more). She is like the Energizer Bunny. Once she starts, she doesn’t stop unless she’s sleeping. She is full-blown army crawling everywhere! She finally made it out of her room and explored the dining room and kitchen. We’re in trouble now. No more putting off the baby-proofing. I’m not sure the dogs like this new-found mobility. They follow her and circle her like little sharks waiting to see what she does. Which is usually lunging at them or chasing them.

Evidence. (Sorry, I don’t know how to rotate this video).

And of course she went for the outlet! Why wouldn’t she?

Uh-Oh!

Uh-Oh!

Last, but not least, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day From Our Little Leprechaun!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day From Our Little Leprechaun!

Charlotte Mae: Seven Months

DSCN0391If I could have one wish for this upcoming month, it would be that the weather will get nice enough to be able to go outside without the fear of freezing. I am SO sick of this winter (as I’m sure most of the Northern Hemisphere is). It’s supposed to be nice the rest of the week, even though we’re getting snow on Wednesday.

Anyway, Miss Charlotte Mae is seven months old! Craziness. She wants to move non-stop, which is why I would like it to get nicer out so we can get some fresh air and enjoy some new scenery. She almost always plays sitting up, unless she’s trying to reach for a toy. She can crawl if the toy or object is intriguing enough, which is usually something she’s not supposed to have like a cord or a phone. Figures. She does the army crawl. I need to get it on video. Once she does start going, she’s pretty quick. She mostly wants to just watch and play with the dogs, which has been a bit difficult as they have a bad backyard behavior we’re trying to work on.

She is also talking/signing/babbling a lot more. I feel like she’s actually trying to tell us things now versus just talking to hear the sounds. It’s pretty funny. When we Facetime my parents, she’ll start talking away to them.

We’re trying new foods. Her favorites are vegetables, so far winning the race are green beans and carrots. She’s still not a huge fan of the fruits except for bananas. I also started making her baby food, which could easily turn into an addiction. I’ve only made peas, carrots and apples thus far, but I’m planning on much, much more. There’s a couple of reasons I decided to do this:

1. It is super cheap! For example, I bought two bags of frozen peas for $0.88/each and it came out to 42 servings. That’s about $0.04/serving. At the store, most foods are between $0.99 – $1.50/serving. I don’t feel so bad if she doesn’t eat everything at $0.04/serving! And this way I can give her organic foods and still save money.

2. It is super easy. The only items I bought were freezer trays and a set of new peelers. All you need is a steamer or pans and food processor or food mill. We have a large food processor that we use and it seriously only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish depending on the food you’re cooking.

3. I know what’s in it. Not that there’s really anything different in some foods, but I get to pick the food out and know exactly what I’m feeding her.

I bought this book, Top 100 Baby Purees and really like the simplicity of it.

No sign of teeth yet, although I keep thinking she’s teething. They will probably pop through when I least expect it.

This last week marked her first really bad cold. She’s still getting over it and has a runny nose, congestion and a small cough, but her cough was getting so bad we took her into urgent care last Saturday night because we wanted to make sure it wasn’t turning into something else. Thankfully it wasn’t, just a bad cold. On Friday I had the pleasure of her first, real throw up. I’m talking emptying her stomach amount of throw up. Of course it was all over herself, myself and the floor. Thank goodness it was on the hardwood and not the rugs. Poor thing. I felt so bad because all she wanted was to be held, which we did after we got cleaned up. I’m pretty sure it was from everything draining into her stomach with the cold.

Because of the cold her nap schedule was really out of whack. We’re starting to get back into napping. But she also started getting up really early again – like 4-5 a.m. early. Ugh.

We also made the decision last week to switch daycares.

Although this new daycare is more expensive, I’m really excited about it because it has that structure/schedule we were looking for (she actually teaches things like numbers, letters, Spanish, etc.). The provider is originally from Honduras where she was a teacher. She worked at a daycare center here and then started her own in-home. She’s super close to our house PLUS one of Charlotte’s cousin’s goes there, so she’ll have family to hang out and play with. We’ll be starting there in two weeks.

Likes: Talking, sitting, playing, the dogs (she LOVES the dogs), phones and iPads, being pushed around in her little car (she likes to go fast), stuffed animals/dolls, bath time, eating, music, facing out when you hold her, books and reading, anything she’s not supposed to have. She loves my hair and trying to eat it.

She is all girl – she LOVES shoes, especially her patent leather ones that Grandma got her.

Dislikes: Having her nose wiped or lotion put on her face (pretty much anything near her face), sleeping in, sitting still, facing in when you hold her – she wants to see the world. Getting dressed has become quite difficult because she moves so much, so she’s not a fan. Trying to dress her should be considered an olympic sport. She’s definitely attached to me, to the point that she cries when I leave the room or walk away. Makes it a little difficult to get things done during the day.

And lastly, a look back at the past seven months.

And The Oscars Went To . . .

So I picked my winners. Below are my picks and the actual winners listed. I got 12 out of 24 correct – 50%. That would mean I failed, but I think I did a good job considering I didn’t see most of the films (I saw The Great Gatsby and Lone Ranger). I had no idea Gravity was going to clean house.

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
12 Years A Slave – WINNER, Got it!
The Wolf Of Wall Street

Actor In Leading Role
Christian Bale
Bruce Dern
Leonardo DiCaprio
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Matthew McConaughey – WINNER, Oh yeah.

Actor In Supporting Role
Barkhad Abdi
Bradley Cooper
Michael Fassbender
Jonah Hill
Jared Leto – WINNER – Totally nailed it!

Actress In Leading Role
Amy Adams – My Pick
Cate Blanchett – Actual Winner
Sandra Bullock
Judi Dench
Meryl Streep

Actress In Supporting Role
Sally Hawkins
Jennifer Lawrence
Lupita Nyong’o – Actual winner (I was back and forth on this one)
Julia Roberts
June Squib-My Pick

Best Animated Feature Film
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
Frozen – WINNER – Got another one!
The Wind Rises

Achievement in Cinematography
The Grandmaster
Gravity – WINNER, got it.
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Prisoners

Achievement in Costume Design
American Hustle – My Pick
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby – Actual Winner
The Invisible Woman
12 Years A Slave

Achievement in Directing
American Hustle
Gravity – Winner
Nebraska
12 Years A Slave – My Pick
The Wolf Of Wall Street

Best Documentary Feature
The Act Of Killing
Cutie And The Boxer
Dirty Wars – My Pick
The Square
20 Feet From Stardom – Actual winner

Best Documentary Short Subject
Cavedigger – My Pick
Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life – Actual winner
Prison Terminal: The Last Days Of Private Jack Hall

Achievement in Film Editing
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity – Winner
12 Years A Slave – My Pick

Best Foreign Language Film Of The Year
The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Great Beauty – WINNER – And another one.
The Hunt
The Missing Picture
Omar

Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club – WINNER – Got it!
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

Achievement in Music (Original Score)
The Book Thief
Gravity – Actual winner
Her – My Pick
Philomena
Saving Mr. Banks

Achievement in Music (Original Song)

Happy
Let It Go – WINNER, Yay!
The Moon Song
Ordinary Love

Achievement in Production Design
American Hustle – My Pick
Gravity
The Great Gatsby – Actual winner
Her
12 Years A Slave

Best Animated Short Film
Feral
Get A Horse!
Mr. Hublot – Actual winner
Possessions
Room On The Broom – My Pick

Best Live Action Short Film
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
Helium – WINNER – Whoa, I had no idea. Good guess.
PitÄÄkÖ Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
The Voorman Problem

Achievement in Sound Editing
All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity – WINNER. Woo Hoo!
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Lone Survivor

Achievement in Sound Mixing
Captain Phillips
Gravity – Actual Winner
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Inside Llewyn Davis – My Pick
Lone Survivor

Achievement in Visual Effects
Gravity – WINNER – I’m getting good at this.
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness

Adapted Screenplay
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
Philomena
12 Years A Slave – WINNER, One more!
The Wolf Of Wall Street

Original Screenplay
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Dallas Buyers Club
Her – Actual winner
Nebraska – My Pick

How did you do?! What was your favorite part of the show?

Now I need to start filling my Netflix account with these movies!