An Unlucky Time Of Day

To say it’s been a busy couple of weeks would be an understatement. Not that people have “lucky” times of the day, we definitely have an “unlucky” time of the day, which happens to be 3 a.m.

Last Friday morning I woke up to sounds in our bedroom (which is formally the attic of our house). It sounded like either something fell of my nightstand or small scratches. I heard this same sound twice and woke up Jed to ask if he could hear it, when all of a sudden something fluttered/flapped/flew above our bed!

Like a kid that’s afraid of the boogie man, I immediately dove under the covers while Jed sprung up to see what it was. What was it? A bat! Ugh! So Jed started following it to the best of his 3 a.m. – alertness ability but we lost it. I finally braved it enough to come out from under the covers to help Jed look for it.

Our bedroom is the whole upstairs of our house, so we don’t have a door, which means we didn’t know if it was still up in our room or downstairs (thankfully Charlotte’s room was closed). Jed last saw it near the stairs. So for 45 minutes we looked all over the main level and upstairs. Finally, we said we have to dig deeper and start tearing apart the house as I was not about to go back to bed with a bat in the house. So we started in our little reading nook by the top of the stairs which also happens to be where we put extra bedding and sure enough, wedged between our quilt and wall was the little bat. Jed got a towel and caught it and let it outside!

Fast forward three days and we had a little different experience at 3 a.m.!

We’ve had some big storms and lots of humidity here in the Midwest and we awoke to quite the storm early Monday morning. Lots of thunder and lightening. At around 3 a.m. we had thunder that pretty much shook the house and then the loudest sound I’ve ever heard. Lightening struck a big oak in our backyard (about 20 feet from our house)! I have never seen such a bright light. It happened so fast and everything in our house turned on for about a second. Even our smoke alarm went off! We shot out of bed and of course went down and checked on Charlotte (who woke up very briefly). The dogs were definitely shaken (mostly from the thunder).

So far the damage is as follows (that we know of so far):

- Two broken windows from flying bark

- Our neighbors cars both had damage from flying bark (dents)

- Our garage door doesn’t work now (and there’s no side door to get in and do an override)

- Our modem shorted (which was replaced)

- We had to replace our internet router as that shorted

- Our Apple TV is now dead

- We haven’t checked our basement electronics yet, but I’m worried those may be shot too

But, these are all things that can be replaced and aren’t necessary. The good thing is that we’re all safe because it could have hit the house or started a fire and then we would have had much bigger problems.

We had a tree service come out to check the tree as we’re worried that it isn’t stable anymore and it’s two biggest branches are over the house and garage! They said it’s fine, but we’ll be calling our insurance company back and seeing about getting it removed as that is now a hazard.

So hopefully we don’t have any more 3 a.m. surprises. My heart has had enough this past week!

On that note, we’re also taking our first trip without Charlotte. It’s a belated birthday/early anniversary trip. Charlotte will be staying with Grandma and Grandpa and we’ll be boarding the dogs (for the first time) because of Tank’s diabetes. I’m excited to get away and relax, but I’m also a little sad because this will be the first time I’ll be away from Charlie overnight! Thank goodness for Facetime! And I know she’s going to have a great time (especially now that’s she pretty much walking).

Until next time!

Charlotte Mae: First Birthday!

One Year!

One Year!

One year old! Wow! That went by fast (I know, that’s cliché to say). But it did. It has been so amazing to watch her grow and learn over the past 12 months and I know it’s going to continue to happen quickly.

Last Monday, August 4th, was her birthday.

We had a great day celebrating as a family. We went to the toy store in the morning to pick out a few things and then in the afternoon we went to a local park and Charlotte got to experience her first splash pad/wading pool! She was a little hesitant at first, but she warmed up quickly to the water fountains.

Splash pad

Splash pad

We ended the day with dinner and a dairy-free cupcake for her! We also practiced blowing out candles, but all she really wanted to do was grab at it.

Because her birthday was on a Monday, we decided to have her party this past weekend on August 9th.

I’ll tell you what, I probably spent too much time planning this party (thank you Pinterest) and I have learned a lot, but it all turned out great! Next year’s theme will be birthday on a budget :)!

I didn’t want to go with a “themed” party since I know we’ll have many of those in our future, so I tried to keep it simple and sweet (ok, that’s probably a theme).

I tried to buy things that I would use again some other time. So I bought small mason jars for drinks with paper straws, I bought two barn wood frames that I will be reusing in her room for pictures and paper bows that can be used again for decorations. I couldn’t find cupcake toppers I liked, so I ended up making my own by buying scrapbook embellishments and gluing them to toothpicks! I think they turned out great.

For the kiddos at the party we got some outdoor games (inflatable bowling set and horseshoes) and we bought small plastic balls for a ball pit in the kiddie pool – everyone’s favorite!

Because we had to plan it around her nap times, we ended up having the party over lunch time (11 – 1) and had picnic food. For desserts we had cupcakes, rice krispie treats, cookies and a candy bar! I made her smash cake because of her milk protein allergy and it was a hit! It was a dairy-free, egg-free recipe for an applesauce spice cake (or muffins). They also had a recipe for a dairy-free frosting that I used. I did add some strawberry jam to the cake to add a little more flavor.

For goodie bags, I decided to get small gifts that the kids would enjoy more than candy. So each child received a small gift with bubbles and a little clapper/noise-maker toy. I used brown lunch bags, stamps and ribbon to make these instead of buying bags. Genius!

Goodie bags

Goodie bags

Of course our little girl is spoiled! She received a lot of really nice gifts. Her Aunt Vered even crocheted Hobbes from the Calvin and Hobbes comic series (one of her mommies favorites!).

Sitting with Hobbes

Sitting with Hobbes

We got her a chair and have since found out that her favorite thing to do is climb and stand on it, so I may be having a heart attack before I’m 31. So we’re learning to sit nicely.

On Saturday, August 2nd, we went and took one year photos. It was a rough day with teething, but she was a trooper (although the balloons I bought were not and deflated in the car). We had a friend of ours, Melissa Jackson Photography, take the photos and they turned out awesome! Here are just a few.

I wanted to have the chalkboard in the photos, but we hadn’t had her 12-month checkup yet, so we attempted to measure her and we found out at her appointment yesterday that we were a little off. We were under on her weight and over on her height :) Not by much, but have you ever tried to measure a baby that doesn’t want to sit still? It’s not easy.

So what has the last month been like?

She’s been attempting steps on her own without assistance. She can do about 4 steps before she sits down. But she walks very well along walls, furniture, holding hands, etc. so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. Her scooting has been really efficient for her so I think that’s why she hasn’t walked earlier! She’s really fast scooting, pushing things and walking along things.

She loves to sit on the highest vantage point. On chairs, toys, etc. Her favorite thing to push around and sit on is a plastic container that we keep bottle parts in.

She can say “mama” and “dada”, but no other “real” words yet. But she babbles all the time and is close to dog, I think. She definitely picks up on tone and inflection. She also knows the signs for “eat” and we’re working on “more”. She also knows what a lot of objects are like dogs, ball, blocks, etc.

She loves stacking toys and LOVES balls and anything she can palm with one hand. We got her a little sports activity center with a tiny slide, basketball hoop and baseball and bat and she loves climbing and going down the slide.

We have basically weaned her from breastfeeding and are now attempting to drop the morning and night bottle feedings. It is definitely an emotional thing to stop breastfeeding and having that special time with her, but I also would like to eat a little dairy again and not feel like I’m hurting my child. We started her on rice milk last month to get her used to the taste and she takes it really well, so we’re giving her that with her table foods, along with water. She’s a good eater, so I’m not too worried about her not getting what she needs. The doctor stated to keep her on the vitamin D drops though.

Charlotte Mae – Twelve Month Update

2 Weeks = 9 lbs., 2 oz. – 75th percentile
2 Months = 13 lbs., 11 oz. –  97th percentile
4 Months = 15 lbs., 15 oz. – 90th percentile
6 months = 17 lbs., 10 oz. – 78th percentile
9 months = 19 lbs., 3 oz. – 55th percentile
12 months = 21 lbs., 12 oz. – 60th percentile

2 Weeks = 21.3″ – 81st percentile
2 Months = 24.5″ – 97th percentile
4 Months = 26.5″ – 97th percentile
6 months = 27″ – 86th percentile
9 months = 29.8″ – 97th percentile
12 months = 30″ – 77th percentile

Head Circumference:
2 Weeks = 36.5 cm – 61st percentile
2 Months = 40.5 cm – 86th percentile
4 Months = 41 cm – 48th percentile
6 months = 43.4 cm – 74th percentile
9 months = 44 cm – 49th percentile
12 months = 44 cm – 20th percentile

Charlotte Mae – Twelve Months

Likes: Animals, bath time, water, the dogs, balls, stacking, climbing, talking/babbling, being outside, standing, walking with assistance, reading, turning the pages of books, sitting on books, yelling, going to the park, swinging, going for walks, watching people, dancing, music, eating, playing with toys, sitting on steps

Dislikes: Getting her diaper changed, being told “no”, sitting for long periods

Clothes: 12 month clothes and size 3 diapers (except at night when she’s in size 4 overnight)

Looking Forward To: Having a little down time. It’s been crazy between my birthday, her birthday and life in general, so I’m looking forward to just getting back to normal for a bit.

Check it out! A whole year!

And now a little comparison between mommy and Charlotte at one year!

A Hard Lesson Learned

Yesterday was a bad day. It started out as a great day, but I’ve learned that things can change very quickly. Before I go on, I need to say that I honestly didn’t want to post about this as I feel very ashamed of myself. The story that I’m about to tell is about a lapse in judgment on my part and, as you can tell from the headline, a very hard lesson learned.

Yesterday was the scariest day of my life thus far (that I can remember).

So what happened?

Well, if you follow my blog, you know that Charlotte, my almost one-year old daughter, has a milk protein allergy. We had her tested back in March after she had some formula and had a reaction at daycare.

You can probably guess where this is going now, but here’s what happened yesterday afternoon.

It was a gorgeous day here and we decided to take a walk up to the local shopping center that’s about a half mile from our house and grab some drinks at the cafe. I packed some rice milk and snacks for Charlotte and we headed out.

We arrived at we ordered our drinks. An iced coffee for Jed and a smoothie for me.

I’ve worked really hard to always remember to ask about milk in things that I eat and obviously anything that Charlotte is going to eat, so I asked about the smoothie (since it was a veggie and fruit smoothie) if there was any dairy in it. They said “no”. So I ordered and while we were waiting, the waitress asked if I wanted the protein. I didn’t even think about it and said “yes”.

So we sit down at our table and enjoy our drinks. Charlotte is on my lap having her snack and rice milk. Then, without thinking, I see if she wants a sip of my smoothie. Of course she does, she’s been pointing at it! So I give her a small taste, and then another. That’s it.

We finish and start walking home.

On the way home she starts coughing. She’s had a bit of a cold/allergies the past couple of days with a runny nose and watery eyes, so we think it’s that.

When we get home I notice that she’s just not acting right and when I look at her face I see red splotchy patches. I start to freak out! I gave her some Benadryl as instructed on our sheet from the allergist. I think about it and the light bulb goes off. I called the cafe and asked if the “protein” they put in the smoothie is a protein powder. They said yes. Oh S&*t! Protein powder has whey in it, a milk product.

I start to freak out even more. My husband and I start watching her closely and try to figure out what to do next. Her face is a little red and she seems in discomfort, but those are the only symptoms so far. Then she vomits a little bit. Of course it’s also Sunday afternoon and we can’t take her in to her doctor’s (and most other offices are closed), so we debate between calling the emergency line for our doctor or just going to the ER. We have an EpiPen, but it doesn’t seem like we need to use that as her lips, and airways seem fine. Then she vomits again, but this time it’s a LOT!

Without hesitation we got her in the car and went to the ER. They were great about getting us in right away and they started checking her vitals. She had a little wheezing, but her airways were open and there wasn’t any swelling of the tongue. Her lip was a little swollen and she had hives on her skin where it had come in contact with where she had thrown up. Her face was getting better.

They ended up giving her a shot of epinephrine and a breathing treatment. They also gave her Benadryl and a steroid that we will continue to give her through tomorrow night, just for any possible delayed reactions. They monitored her for an hour and after everything she was evaluated and good to go home.

Amidst all the nurses that came in and out, taking her blood pressure, listening to her chest, giving her medicine and shots, she was a trooper. The hospital was so good with her and had someone on hand to help with babies in comforting them and giving them toys to play with. I am so appreciative of each and every one of them.

This was something that Jed and I knew was probably, eventually going to happen, but I still can’t believe it did. And even worse, I feel ashamed and terrible that I was the one that caused it. I had a lapse in judgment giving her a taste of my drink. To think that it was only a couple of sips mixed with a lot of other stuff that she’s not allergic to and she still had that bad of a reaction is scary. I didn’t do it on purpose, I just wasn’t thinking about the “protein” and what that was.

I am grateful that it happened with us and that we took her to the ER. There will never be any hesitation if this ever occurs again, which I pray it will not!

Even though I am ashamed of this situation, I wanted to share it because it’s a human error and I need to remind myself that we all make them. But it’s the scariest thing I’ve been through and it reminds me of how fragile and precious life is.

I am happy to report that Charlotte was back to her normal self when we got home and playing as usual. We will go in to her doctor later this week for a follow-up evaluation.

The Big 3-0!

This Thursday I’ll be turning 30! That’s weird to me. I don’t feel 30 (but I probably look it!).

A lot of people bring up that this is a big birthday, but honestly, it feels no different to me. I think I can attribute that to the fact that I have an almost one-year-old that I’m so focused on that I sometimes forget about me.

But the idea of age to me has changed. I’m not as worried anymore about what I’ve accomplished by when. But I have spent the last few weeks reflecting on how much has happened in 30 years, and it’s a lot! I think about the days I used to play traveling soccer, graduating high school and college, starting my first job, getting my license. There’s so much I haven’t thought about in a long time.

Even within the last 10 years things have changed dramatically! I graduated college, I moved to Des Moines, I’ve changed jobs multiple times, moved into our first home, took in Tank and Dora, got married, and had a beautiful daughter! And this to me seems like just the beginning!

I also think about some of the hard times, the friends and family we have lost, and how I wish they were here to share moments with us. But I know that’s life and we have to take the bad with the good.

So with this reflection on the last 30 years, I thought it would be fun to make a list (because Jed knows how much I LOVE lists). Check it out!

30 Things I’ve Learned Over The Past 30 Years:

1. Face-planting off lawn chairs is not a good idea

2. Rocks aren’t food

3. Big brother’s will torment you as often as they can, but they’ll always love you

4. Never lie to your parents. They’ll figure it out eventually.

5. Take risks

6. AAA is a great service

7. Trees are for climbing

8. Soak up as much sun as you can (winter’s are rough)

9. Some people shouldn’t be in charge of babysitting

10. Just ask. People’s answers may surprise you.

11. Be careful what you wish for

12. High school is only a short moment in time

13. It’s a good idea to wear pads when you Rollerblade

14. Hobbies are good things to have

15. Little brothers can be annoying, but they’re a lot of fun to have around

16. Vinyl never goes out of style

17. Trust is a hard thing to regain

18. The rides at Chuck E. Cheese are for kids only

19. True friends never leave

20. Dogs are like kids

21. Money is better when earned

22. Move in with someone before you marry them (you’ll learn a lot)

23. Travel as much as you can

24. Your dad will bail you out of jail

25. Try everything once

26. Family might drive you nuts sometimes, but they’ll always be there for you, so spend lots of time with them

27. Everyone needs help at some point

28. Don’t say it, do it

29. Kids are a lot of work, but are totally worth it

30. Nothing is unmanageable

And because most people really just want to see photos, I tried to collect a sampling from the last 30 years. Enjoy!

That’s it. I’m about to turn 30 and my daughter is about to turn 1! Can’t wait.

Charlotte Mae: Eleven Months

IMG_0720Yesterday was exactly 11 months! Only one more month until she’s a year. Where did the time go?! I’m so behind on planning her first birthday, but hopefully I’ll have time while on our vacation (which we are on now!) to get invites out!

As always, we’ve had a lot going on. That’s life. This past month Jed had to travel for work for two weeks (two separate weeks) so that was a bummer as it’s very difficult to get anything done without some extra hands to help with the dogs and Charlotte.

Before he left we got to go to family day at the air base. Now that we have a kid I don’t feel as awkward about going since it’s kid-focused. Most everything was too old for Charlotte, but we did get in a bouncy house for a couple of minutes and also met some superheroes!

We had some misfortunes this past month as well. Charlotte got a staph infection. This was really the first infection she’s had. The doctor said these have been becoming more common, especially in children with eczema because of their dry, patchy skin that can break open. That’s pretty much what happened with Charlotte. It was mainly on her wrist, but small blisters spread on her face and scalp. Poor girl. We got an antibiotic and antibacterial cream for the spots. It cleared up but it’s looking like it may be resurfacing. We’re CONSTANTLY putting lotion and cream on her all day to keep her skin protected, but it can get difficult.

We also had some pretty severe storms and heavy rains and after one of the storms (not during it), a big tree limb fell in our front yard. Thankfully no one was hurt and there wasn’t really any damage, but it was just one more thing that took up unwanted time.

Thankfully it happened the Friday Jed got home from traveling so he could take care of it :)


But more about Charlotte, since this is her 11 month update!

She has quite the little (or big) personality. She will now throw temper tantrums (laying face down on the floor). It’s kinda cute and funny since they don’t last long . . . yet. She pulls herself up on EVERYTHING she can and we got her a walker that she uses really well, except for the steering part. Her balance is pretty good, but she hasn’t quite ventured to trying to take steps away from holding onto something. I think she likes going fast so if she wants to get anywhere in a hurry, she’ll do her butt scoot.

She also gets visibly frustrated now (and sometimes quite easily). Not that she didn’t before, but it’s more often now. So if she can’t do something, she’ll wine and throw her hands around. But usually it’s over quickly and we try not to interfere too much so she can learn to do things for herself.

I think I said in last month’s post, but she LOVES to eat. If there is food around, she wants to eat it. I can barely get her meals ready before she realizes what I’m doing and starts whining to be fed. She would probably eat all the time if she could. I’m glad she’s not too picky. She still doesn’t like bananas (we’ve tried a lot) and she didn’t really take to blueberries the other week, but she’ll pretty much eat anything else, which has been nice.

It’s still difficult with her milk protein allergy to make food interesting since so many things have milk in them, but I’ve found a couple of websites that have great non-dairy recipes that I’m going to start trying.

I feel very selfish when I say this, but it’s been hard avoiding dairy and especially cheese since I LOVE cheese. I do it because I know it’s for her benefit and obviously I don’t want her to get sick or have a reaction, but let’s just say that it will be nice when I’m done nursing, which may be soon because I’m not producing as much and barely can pump enough for her three days of daycare. We have started to introduce her to rice milk to help her get a taste for it since that’s what we’ll be transitioning to after her 1st birthday. So we give it to her with her snacks and table food meals.

Her eating schedule is as follows: Breast milk five times a day (7, 10, 1, 4 and 7:30). Breakfast is usually around 7:45-8 and consists of Plain Cheerios or Puffs and fruit. Lunch is usually around noon and is almost always a meat, vegetable, grain and fruit and dinner is the same around 6. We also will have morning and afternoon snacks if she’s hungry, which usually consist of Gerber Graduates Lil’ Crunchies (Garden Tomato) or fruit.

On the subject of food, she’s figured out that the dogs will eat what she drops and she now purposely drops food for them. They are going to get so fat! Well, Dora is because she can see the food. Unfortunately Tank doesn’t get as much because he’s blind from this diabetes.

She has three teeth now. Two bottoms and one top. The top just popped through last week and I’m wondering if the other one isn’t too far behind as she’s been fussy and drooling a lot.

In terms of activity, this girl never stops when she’s awake. She constantly moves and doesn’t sit and play in one spot for long (which is why it’s difficult to get anything done). She loves books, mostly flipping the pages and anything with textures and flaps. We got her some building blocks and she’s really good at mimicking what you do, so she can stack, although she prefers to knock things down. She also loves putting things in and taking them out. She likes to take out her dirty laundry and throw it around. Sometimes she’ll put it back in!

She loves the dogs, as always. So much that she tries to tackle them. She loves wrestling with all her stuffed animals and Jed and I.

She talks a lot. No real words yet, but definitely more conversational tones.

And lastly, I’m excited to say that we are officially on vacation up at our cabin in Northern Minnesota! This is Charlotte’s first time up and I’m so excited to see her experience all these new things – like swimming in the lake, going on the boat and other fun adventures. Hopefully we’ll get a little R&R too! It’s just the three of us (plus Tank and Dora) until Tuesday and then my parents are joining us on Tuesday and my uncle on Wednesday. So it’s going to be a full house, but really fun to have everyone here.

Charlotte Mae – Eleven Months

Likes: Animals, bath time, water, the dogs, blowing out lights (I’ll have to explain in another post!), watching other people (especially kids), eating, walking along furniture, books, drinking with straws, playing with toys or anything really, going for walks, making faces, talking, whining, smiling

Dislikes: Getting her diaper changed and being told “no”

Clothes: Still in 9-12 month, but mostly 12 month. Diaper size is 3, but we had to move her up to size 4 overnite diapers at night because she started having more blowouts at night. One particular morning I got to walk into a literal S&*% storm. She had blown out and there was bits on her floor, the crib, the sheets were covered and some even got between crib and wall. It was one of our worst moments to date. I felt so bad for her, but she was fine apart from being mad that I had to change and clean her up before feeding her. So, that is why we are now in bigger diapers at night and so far (knock on wood), it’s been working!

Looking Forward To: Her first birthday! I can’t wait to see her dig into her smash cake and blow out her candle (which I think she may be able to do!).

And a look at the last 11 months!

And on a completely different note (and will be a different post), my 30th birthday is this month! Oh, boy.