Thursday, March 31, 2011

two things

Folks, I have some big news:

1. I just found out that my husband is being deployed. For those of you who saw my angry tweets and facebook statuses a couple days ago, this explains why I will not be able to talk to him for so long. Prayers for his safety would be wonderful! {This isn't a HUGE change for us- we are still separated either way- I just liked knowing he was safe and sound at his base in South Korea.}

2. My DSLR is supposed to be here TOMORROW!?! Fastest shipping ever! I wish I could put into words how excited I am. Be prepared for pictures. LOTS of pictures.

Look who's feeling better!

Elliot is finally starting to feel better! It's been all babbles and gummy smiles around here this morning! He can even breathe without snorting and wheezing most of the time now. I couldn't be happier. Now let's keep our fingers crossed that he continues to get better and doesn't get sick for a third time.

Gummy smile

Feeling better

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Sick baby

Elliot is still sick.
We went to the doctor today. Despite all those days of Pedialyte, he now weighs 11 lbs 5 oz!! That means he has almost doubled his birth weight already. WOW!
I was looking at pictures from the NICU earlier. Looking at that tiny, fragile baby boy brought up all kinds of emotions. It's amazing how much he has changed already. Time is flying by. After putting the pictures down, I scooped up my {growing} baby and cuddled him to my chest like we did during kangaroo care in the NICU. We took a nap together that way, and it was perfect.
I feel so blessed to be able to spend every moment of every day with my son, watching him grow and witnessing all the changes. Wouldn't t be nice if we could freeze time? Unfortunately, we can't. So I'm soaking up all the cuddle time I can get while I can. Before long, he'll probably be toddling all over the house, too busy for hugs and kisses. Yikes!

Brand new
One of my favorite pictures of Elliot in the NICU, when he was only two days old. ♥

Sweet angel.
Look at that sweet little face :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Coming Soon :)

I've always wanted to create my own blog layout- but never tried it. So today, while Elliot caught up on all the sleep he missed over the last week, I went ahead and started one! Here's a preview of the header.
What do you think?

Caution: Sickness ahead

We are STILL sick.
The good news is that Elliot seems to have finally gotten over his stomach virus. The bad news? He now has a pretty nasty cold. He was up almost all night crying again {just when I was finally catching up on my sleep}. Who knew a cold could be so tragic?! Of course, it didn't help that my aspirator basically stopped working so his nose was plugged up with green mucus {gross, I know} and we ran out of infant Advil. My mom thankfully went out and bought a bunch of stuff first thing this morning, so we seem to have the cold under control now. He HATES getting his nose sucked out, though!
To top it all off, my sore throat turned into a cough that scares the beejeezus out of Elliot in the middle of the night. I swear, every time his eyes closed, I coughed and woke him up again. At least I have my voice back, though... Elliot was creeped out by my muteness. I'm one of those moms who never stops talking to her baby... I talk him through everything we do. IE- "let's go change your diaper," "hold on, mommy's getting it," "here's your paci," etc. About a month ago, after I'd already been talking him through things for weeks, I read that it encourages language skills, so that's a plus. BUT when I lost my voice, Elliot kept looking at me, expecting me to say something, and it broke my heart.
Well, at least we're not missing anything outside, really... It was below zero last night and is still freezing out so it's not like I'd want to take Elliot anywhere anyways. I just want my happy, laid-back baby back!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I was playing around with different manual settings on my camera today. :)
I realized a few things: I wish my camera had a lower aperture, it's pretty much useless without natural light, and I still REALLY want a DSLR. But with that said, I still managed to get some decent shots.
I got a camera attachment for my iPad, so these were edited directly on there- I haven't even uploaded them to photoshop on my MacBook yet. If you're looking for a good iPad photo editing app, I recommend Photogene. I've tried several and this one is my favorite so far.

Kicking away
Elliot in the bath

Bath time
I wonder what color eyes he'll end up having?

Hanging out
How cute is that face?!?

Cuddling with Grammy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Things I Couldn't Live Without {while traveling}

I still can't believe how easy it was to travel with Elliot. It seems like other moms are always telling me horror stories about traveling with babies. My own mom is even guilty of this- I flew for the first time when I was six weeks old, and apparently I screamed the whole flight. Luckily, Elliot did not take after his mama this time- it was a piece of cake! He did SO much better than I thought he would. He was happily sleeping or checking out the airplane {and babbling to our neighbor} the whole time.

Products I couldn't live without while traveling with an infant:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Green Sprouts formula dispenser- unlike a lot of the others, this has sections for four bottles instead of three. The lid fits tightly so I didn't have to worry about it spilling in my diaper bag- so tightly, in fact, that I had trouble removing it later to refill it! An added bonus- Green Sprouts is an eco-friendly company, and we all know how I love that ;)

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
GroVia Biosoakers- I didn't want to use disposables during the trip because I didn't want Elliot exposed to all the chemicals, but I didn't want to lug around four days worth of dirty diapers, either... So I decided to use disposable inserts inside the covers that we already had. I chose these because they were chemical free, biodegradable, and flushable. They worked great for us! They did leak more than our cloth... but to be fair, I wasn't changing him as often as I usually do.

Infant Advil {white grape flavor}- I gave this to Elliot an hour before the plane ride and he did great. I love that it was dye-free because, let's face it, some ALWAYS dribbles out, and Elliot liked the white grape flavor a LOT better than the cherry Little Tummies tylenol I'd given him in the past.

Lamaze Freddy the Firefly- Once Elliot grew bored with his new surroundings, it was easy to distract him with this toy- and it clipped right onto my diaper bag, which saved room inside for other neccessities!

BooginHead Pacifier Grip- Because Elliot seems to like spitting out his pacifier every 2 seconds, and airport floors are DIRTY. This saved me from constantly washing his pacifier. These are the only ones I could find that work with Gumdrop & Soothie pacifiers. I picked up a random pacifier clip at WalMart but it only worked with pacifiers that had a handle. These come in really cute colors, too!

Evenflo Aura Select travel system- Since we live in northern Michigan and are still buried in snow, this trip was the first time I was able to test out my travel system. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised! For the price {$200}, this thing worked GREAT. Easy to set up and collapse through security, really smooth to push through the airport, and it has really nice, bouncy shocks which came in handly while pushing him along the road at the St. Patrick's Day race. I gate checked it so that I could use it to push him in the airport, have his carseat for in the car, AND so I could watch them put it on the plane- they've done studies on how roughly checked carseats are handled in airports, and most of them aren't even safe for use afterwards!

My iPad- Airplanes and cars tend to put my son to sleep. So this gave me something to do while he was snoozing- I read a book, showed the person sitting next to me pictures of Elliot when he was in the NICU, played a few games, and even read some children's books to Elliot once he woke up. There are also some pretty nifty ABC/counting kids apps out there that Elliot finds mesmerizing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sick sick baby

Hi everyone!
In case you were wondering... Yes, we are alive! Elliot did really well traveling and despite all the different people and places we visited, he was a perfect angel the whole weekend. Seriously! People on the plane commented on how good he was and several of my relatives even asked me if he ever cries!
We came home on Monday afternoon and that's when things started to go downhill. Elliot started screaming like crazy and stopped taking his bottles. After he went twelve hours without eating {he usually eats every 1-2 hours, mind you} I took him to the emergency room at 3am. I couldn't get ahold of our family doctor and our neighbors were probably about to call DHS because it sounded like we were torturing him so I didn't know what else to do. I was terrified that something had gone wrong in his belly or intestines.
Turns out, poor Elliot has a pretty nasty virus that has invaded most of his digestive tract and respiratory system. After four days of drinking nothing but pedialyte and MANY dirty diapers {our first experience with baby diarrhea... Yuck!} he is finally starting to eat formula again. He's still pretty out of it but at least he's actually sleeping and not crying as much now.
I caught a bit of the bug myself so after I hopefully get some rest tonight I will probably dump a bunch of St. Paddy's Day pictures on here tomorrow.
I'm pretty sure this was what we got in return for having such a perfect baby on vacation... lol.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, March 17, 2011


No cute festive pictures of Elliot yet- tomorrow we're flying out to Massachusetts for Saint Patrick's Day weekend, so I'm saving all of his cute outfits. :) We're Irish, so this holiday is a big deal in our family!
I'm REALLY excited- Elliot will be meeting most of his cousins, great-uncles and great-aunts, as well as his great grandma, great grandpa, and great-great grandma! I can't wait. Then of course there's the annual St. Patrick's Day 5k road race and the parade, too! Fun stuff.
Any tips for traveling/flying with an infant?
I have his travel system ready {which I will gate check} for toting him around the airport, and I'm also going prepared with a formula dispenser, infant tylenol, mylicon drops, plenty of pacifiers, distracting toys, his soothe & glow seahorse, and about 100 other things stuffed into my diaper bag. We'll be using chemical-free, flushable, biodegradable liners inside of our WeeHuggers and Flips covers during the trip for convenience. I just refuse to put regular sposies on him! :)
Wish us luck!
I'll be sure to post throughout the weekend via my iPad, which, by the way, I am LOVING so far!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Elliot: 3 Months!

Elliot is 3 months old today!
This means that he is "officially" an infant now and is no longer a newborn. Where does the time go?! He is changing so quickly these days- just a few days ago, he figured out how to touch/bat at the toys on his bouncy seat, and today he just discovered his feet. It seems like he does something new every day!


This month:
♥ Elliot weighs about 10 1/2 lbs
♥ He is wearing 0-3 month sleepers, mostly 0-3 month onesies, newborn tops/hoodies, and newborn pants
♥ He is eating 3 ounces every 2 hours during the day and 2 ounces every 1-3 hours at night
♥ He is still waking up 5-8 times a night
♥ He is starting to be a little more independent and enjoys sitting/playing in his bouncy seat
♥ He naps by himself during the day, as opposed to only sleeping while being held
♥ He discovered his feet- and likes to watch them move
♥ He is EXTREMELY drooly and always has his hands in his mouth
♥ He LOVES loud music and the bathroom fan
♥ He smiles all the time and will smile in response to things {funny noises, playing paddycake, kisses, etc}
♥ He looks for me when I leave the room
♥ He knows that running water = bottle and will stop crying because he knows what's coming- or sometimes, when it's not even close to feeding time, if he hears water running, he'll demand a bottle even if he's not very hungry
♥ He recognizes and loves his Uncle Matthew
♥ We are still cosleeping and cloth diapering, and we love it

{See Elliot at 2 Months}

Monday, March 14, 2011

Well hi there, Mr. Smiley!

Yes, I finally caught it on camera- the SMILE!
Elliot has been smiling an awful lot lately- probably because he's been feeling much better. In fact, he's been eating 3 ounces consistently for a couple days now- with hardly any spit up and much less fussing.


What a ham
He likes to throw his arm up like that when he smiles. It's adorable.

Big grin!
How cute is that grin?! Drool and all... :)

Other big news: Yesterday, Elliot figured out how to touch the toys on his toy bar! I feel like that is a big milestone. So proud! He doesn't know how to grab them yet... so he just lightly touches them or bats at them wildly. There's no in between for this kid!

What's this?!

10 Day Challenge- Day 1

I stole this from Kaleigh at Our Little Lifesicle. If you haven't checked out her blog, you definitely should! She is an awesome photographer, and her daughter Lilla is beautiful!


Ten Secrets:
1. I'm obsessed with brushing my teeth.
2. When I was in middle school, I stuffed my bra.
3. I have ADD
4. I frequently leave lists and sticky notes all over the house
5. My husband and I eloped
6. I am HORRIBLE at math and use a calculator for everything
7. I'm a little OCD about bathroom cleaning
8. I still check my closet and under my bed every night before going to bed
9. I can't wiggle my toes
10. I have struggled with an eating disorder for almost 10 years
... I guess these aren't secrets anymore, huh?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

40 Days of a Healthier Me

Thanks to being on bedrest for seven months, and then Elliot being in the hospital, I haven't worked out in a long time. What I {really} want to do is run- but there's no way I can take Elliot out in the jogging stroller right now- not with all the snow we've been getting lately! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll stop snowing and warm up sometime soon, but since I live in Northern Michigan... it could be awhile.
In the meantime, I decided to try out Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I've heard so much about it and now I know why! Today was my first day- and she kicked my butt! It really is a great workout. I always do aerobics and skip strength, but this forces me to do both, which is good. And the best part? Each workout is only 20 minutes long- which is perfect for this new mama, since free time is a commodity lately.
It feels really good to be active again, and it goes along with one of my Lenten promises- to be more healthy. This year, I decided not ONLY to give up something bad {desserts and unhealthy snacks}, but also to start something new. First, I'm going to try to exercise more. Second, I'm going to take time to pause every day to think about what I'm thankful for. I'm not sure if I'll post this EVERY day, but at least every time I blog. :)
Today, I am thankful for: technology, which allows me to talk to my husband even though he's across an ocean, bathroom fans {which hum my son to sleep}, my supportive family, and motivational physical trainers- even if they're just on TV.
Are you giving up anything for Lent?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

tummy time fail!

Didn't even have time to get out his toys- he was clearly not in the mood for tummy time.
Elliot normally LIKES tummy time. I swear!

... and a funny outtake. My little brother REALLY wanted him to look at the camera. lol!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Big Boy!

Isn't it amazing how quickly babies change? It seems like just yesterday Elliot was struggling to take 5mls of breastmilk in his first bottles... and now he is taking three ounces! Yes, that's right: THREE OUNCES! I'm not sure if it's due to our slow transition to new formula or what... but Elliot is taking mostly three ounce bottles during the day now. He is also spitting up a lot less.
I'm also starting to wonder if maybe my boy is preteething already? He used to only chew/suck on his fists when he was hungry... but he does it all.the.time now. If he's not sleeping or crying, you can bet those hands will be in his mouth.

Yummy fist!
See? Here is is chewing on his fist AND wearing a 0-3 month hoodie!
Oh man! He is just growing up too fast!!

PS: in case you were wondering, I'm feeling much better today.
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Monday, March 7, 2011

This mama is SICK!

First of all, thanks for all the replies yesterday! For the record, I'm not under any delusions that Elliot will or should sleep through the night anytime soon. But 3 hour stretches (like he did in the NICU!) are a whole lot easier than the measly one hour naps he takes all night long nowadays. I was just curious to see what has helped all the other blogging mamas :)
Secondly- I AM SICK!!!. Really sick. I have some sort of stomach virus/flu. Let me tell you- it's tough being this sick with an infant to take care of! My mom was a big help all day yesterday, but then it was just me dragging myself out of bed every hour to feed Elliot last night. He spent a lot of quality time bonding with the toys on his bouncy seat while Mama was locked in the bathroom, too. I felt bad but there was no other option! I missed Aaron last night more than ever. All the single moms in this world deserve some serious credit!
I'm feeling about 70% better today. Much better than yesterday, but still not well enough to eat or drink anything other than saltine crackers and gingerale.
Be on the lookout for a new blog design and some seriously cute pictures of Elliot discovering his hands! {Hopefully uploaded later, if I'm feeling up to it}

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Help me turn my night owl into a sleepy bear?

Dear Elliot,
I know you think it's cute to wake up every hour at night... but Mommy does not! Please start sleeping longer. Thanks :)

PS- don't worry, I still think you're cute. But you're MUCH cuter when you're sleeping ;)

In all seriousness: Elliot is still waking up every 1-2 hours at night. He averages about 1.5 hours of sleep at a time. Any tips to help him sleep better/longer?

Keep in mind the following things, though:
- Elliot has a sensitive tummy. His doctor said he recommends parents of "normal" babies put a teaspoon of cereal into their nighttime bottles to help them sleep longer. Obviously this would be a bit tricky for Elliot- and a big risk. So I still haven't tried it.
- He's scared of the dark & silence- We sleep with a small lamp and his soothe & glow seahorse on. I've thought about possibly trying to get him to sleep in the dark, but then I'd have to turn on the lights everytime he wakes up, and I feel like that would wake him up too much. Right now, he wakes up cranky but still half asleep, drinks his bottle, and falls asleep immediately, sometimes before he finishes his bottle.

Apparently, the camera comes out and Elliot decides to sleep?
Mama & Elliot- 11 weeks


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Elliot's Idea of Perfect

Saturdays are for relaxing, right? Elliot's idea of a perfect Saturday morning is a comfy bouncy seat, fleece hoodie, a belly full of milk, and a big picture window to look out of.


Big Eyes!

And his Friday nights? No booze or shenanigans for this fellow- he's content with his boppy, blankie, and pacifier. Yes, he's a party animal.
Don't wake the baby!


little hand

Friday, March 4, 2011

My chatterbox

Elliot has been quite talkative lately!
Please ignore my annoyingness. Hey, whatever it takes to make the kid talk/smile, right?

... and he's also been very sneezy!

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Elliot's doctor appointment

Thumbs up! All ready to go!

... or not.



We got up bright and early today to go to Elliot's doctor appointment. Elliot woke up even more than the normal 7-8 times last night {he was up every half hour at one point}, so we were both pretty tired!
First of all, Elliot now weighs 10 pounds! Wow!
He is now taking Zantac twice a day for his reflux, and we are switching his formula from Enfamil Gentlease to Gerber Good Start Gentle Plus. The Gerber formula has as much fiber as breastmilk {the Enfamil does not}, and less lactose and corn syrup so most formerly-breastfed babies do better on it. I sure hope so! Next week, Elliot will have a swallow study at the hospital. I'm definitely not looking forward to taking him back to the hospital, but I'm glad we'll be able to see what's really going on in there.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Now this is just getting ridiculous...

Feeding Elliot has always been a challenge. I suppose I should be happy that he CAN eat now, but seriously? This is getting a little ridiculous. We cannot get through one bottle without him gagging, choking, coughing, spitting up, and having at least two meltdowns. Mind you- this is for one measly 2 ounce bottle! And THEN, once he finally finishes the bottle (or lately... once he has eaten an ounce and refuses more) if I DARE try to have him sit or lay flat after he eats, he screams as if I were trying to kill him. The only positions he can tolerate after eating are either laying on his belly, but he will spit up a lot more, or being dangled by his armpits. How in the WORLD that is comfortable, I have no idea. But he seems to love it.
Since his belly is still incapable of holding any more than two ounces at a time, this is a battle that we fight at least twelve times a day. I counted, and yesterday I made him a grand total of FIFTEEN bottles. FIFTEEN! This makes for a very frustrated mama and baby.
I used to think this was mostly a belly problem, but ever since we made the switch to formula, Elliot has been a whole different baby. He's had SO MUCH less gas and is pooping regularly, once a day! That is no small feat for my little constipation king. During the small windows of time that he is not either starving, eating, or recovering from eating- he is SO HAPPY. No screaming. No straining and grunting. All smiley and babbly and utterly adorable. I wish I could see a whole lot more of that side of him.
I'm thinking what some of our NICU nurses suspected- that he had reflux- is true. The symptoms were easily masked and/or overlapped by all the GI tract symptoms and issues, but now that those seem to have cleared up, it's quite obvious. So, we have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. Let's hope we come home with some sort of magical remedy that will make this all much better!