Monday, November 8, 2010

11 months old / first steps!

She's one month away from being a year old -- I don't believe it. Someone has some serious party planning to do!

And to celebrate her new status as an 11-month-old, miss Audrey took a few steps on her own today. The bad: it was for the babysitter. When the husband told me, I burst into tears, causing him to say, "Uh ... I guess I shouldn't have told you?" But then she stood up and took a couple of shuffle-y steps toward me with a big grin on her face, and I decided it didn't really matter that much. I won't lie, though -- I was already struggling with some going-back-to-work guilt and that didn't make things any easier.

Audrey is such a ham -- she loves to laugh and dance, and she's just really ... jolly, as friends call her ... most of the time. I can't wait to see how she and her big sister interact when she's a little older.

Friday, November 5, 2010

long time no blog

First order of business: Halloween!

Olivia and Audrey are pictured with the newest member of our extended family, their adorable candy corn cousin, Mr. T.

I think Halloween sort of blew Olivia's mind. My favorite quote from her was: "I go to the house ... and they give me CANDY?!" She was really, really into it.

She wanted to go home after a few houses so she could eat her candy. Not wanting to deal with a crazed toddler on a sugar high, we gave her a few minutes with a sucker and had her put it away for the next day.

Some random cute Olivia-isms:

-- Enthusiastically exclaiming, "Soor!" (sure) when you ask if she wants to do something
-- Saying a d instead of j: SkippyJon Jones is SkippyDon Dones

Audrey will get her own post in a couple of days, when she turns 11 MONTHS old!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

way behind on posting

Audrey turned 10 months old on 10/7!


is getting one of her top front teeth
can stand up without holding onto anything
is cruising all over the place
says dada, mama, and kitty (kih-TAY!)

Olivia is just a few months away from her third birthday, unbelievably.


absolutely loves her preschool class
talks even more, if you can believe that ;)
says jump like dump and chocolate milk as tok-lat milk, which is adorable
can be moody, but so so sweet.

And me? I got a job offer I couldn't refuse and went back to work full time. I miss the girls terribly during the day, but they seem to be handling things really well. I'll try to get some new photos uploaded soon of my sweeties.

Friday, September 24, 2010

first baby sign

Audrey did her usual 11 p.m. wake up last night (this girl just refuses to sleep through the night, like, ever), and when I went to get her out of her crib, she was opening and closing her hand like this:

milk sign

It was so cute! I haven't done a ton of signs with her so far, but I think I'll step it up now that I know she's learning them.

She's also standing up every chance she gets, and more importantly, has mastered how to get down from standing (which means I don't have to rescue her every 5 minutes all night long when she wakes up to practice her newfound skills). She says an excited hard k sound when she sees the cats, just like Olivia did, is starting to learn to clap her hands, and also knows what I mean when I tell her to dance, kick her legs, and pat her belly. She'll sit on the hardwoods and use her legs to spin herself in circles, then laughs when she gets dizzy. As her speech therapist recently said, she's a seriously cool kid. :)

Suddenly, waking up at 6:30 a.m. is her new thing ... which I really wouldn't mind if I wasn't up with her at midnight and then from 3-4 a.m. But I keep trying to tell myself that she won't be sleeping like this forever -- her first birthday is less than three months away, which seems absolutely insane!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

big girl goes to school

Olivia started preschool last week. I, of course, was terrified -- how would she do? Would she cry? Would I cry? We talked it up a lot, but then I'd hear her crying in her crib at bedtime:
"Mama! Please! Pleeeeease don't leave me at schoooooool!"

So I was understandably nervous. For her first day, I was scheduled to volunteer in the classroom. She did fine, but I thought maybe it was because I was there. Tuesday was her first drop-off day, and we talked a lot about how I'd give her a hug, leave, and then come back after a while. We got to school that day and waited outside the classroom until the teacher opened the door. O looked a little wary, especially because there were a few kids crying in the hall. When that door opened, though, she started pushing me toward the door, saying, "Hurry up, mama!" I was only there for a few minutes when she asked me if I was leaving and if she could have a hug. I'll admit that I sat in the car down the street from her school for the full two hours, sipping coffee, reading a book and missing her a little bit, not wanting to be too far away.

Today, we got to school and she clapped with excitement when we pulled into the parking lot. I hadn't even been in her classroom for 2 minutes when she TOLD me to leave. "Mama! You go bye-bye now! See ya!" When I picked her up, one of the moms told me that Olivia is one of the most social kids in the class. When there was a lull in conversation during snack time, Olivia said, "Hey! Let's talk about our friends! What are our friends' names?"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

a conversation with Olivia

It lasted for what seemed like forever.The phone rang, so I muted the song I was playing for her to answer it. She started whining:

O: bumcontrol!
me: what? what's bum control?
O: I said, bunnkinstrol.
me: (giving up on my phone conversation) Um, Olivia? I'm sorry, but I don't know what you're saying. Can you show me?
O (exasperated, louder): BUMCONTROL!
me: uh ...
O: bumcontrol?
me: does something hurt?
O: NO! i said, bunnkinstroll.
me: what is that? can you show me?
O: look at the computer and see.
me: Oh, it's on the computer? Is it a game?
O: Silly mommy! It's not a game!
me: a song?
O: yes! I SAID: bunnkinsroll.
me: bunkinsroll? a song? how does it go?
O: (hums an inaudible melody)
me: (finally figuring it out) Jenny Jenkins?
O: YES! bunnkinsroll jenny jenkins!

The song I had been playing before the phone rang was Jenny Jenkins by Lisa Loeb ... but I always change one of the lyrics to "roll, buddy bumkins roll" (we occasionally call Audrey buddy bumkins for some reason). She's always been so verbal and understandable that it was really puzzling and frustrating for us both for me to not know what she was talking about!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

9 months old

Audrey is 9 months old!

She has two teeth that finally came through ...

and, just like her sister, she has a fun little silly face that she makes when you ask her to. :)

brief hiatus

I've been slacking on updating the blog, but need to get cracking! This week is a big one -- Audrey turned 9 months old on the 7th, and Olivia has her first day of preschool tomorrow.

Another update and pictures soon ...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

pulling the plug on the paci

I'm full of dread over this. We should have really done it long ago -- before she was super attached, before she had it so long that it started giving her an overbite, before she could remember that her mean mommy took away her most favorite thing in the world. Alas, we did not, so here we are.

We've determined tomorrow night is go time. We'll both be around all weekend, so I can spend as much time comforting her / helping her sleep as I need to. Dan will have to help with overnights, as miss Audrey is still waking up every few hours. Everyone tells me she'll have a few bad nights and naptimes and then it'll be a thing of the past.

I've been talking up the paci fairy, the idea of her sending her pacis to babies who don't have any, and telling her what a big girl she is, but I think it's still going to seriously suck. I've offered her a trip to the toy store to pick out something new -- anything she wants, even -- but I'm not sure she gets the concept. Last week, I told her that she could have M+Ms if she went on the big girl potty. She walked in, sat on the potty chair for 1.2 seconds, then came over with her hand outstretched, saying, "Mommy, I'm ready for my M+Ms now!" Those two year olds are so darn literal!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

8 months / 2.5 years!

Olivia turned 2.5 and Audrey turned 8 months old today!

Olivia, as she likes to say, is "VERRRRRY busy" lately -- her imagination amazes me. She's always doing things to entertain her baby sis, a favorite being sniffing her toes and then yelling, "P.U.!" Such a lady. ;P

She had another tooth incident during the week that was nearly identical to the one last November: running ---> tripping in kitchen ---> tooth, meet tile floor. She'd just been to the dentist the day before for her 6-month cleaning and was very brave ("I just cried a little bit!"), but her bravery waned slightly in the face of a second visit in a week. She did fine, amusing the whole office by stating that she wanted THREE silly bands AND A DUCK TOO! as her prize at the end. We go back in a couple of weeks to have the previously-restored tooth re-restored. Poor OE.

Audrey has been having a big couple of weeks: learning to sit up on her own, working on honing her crawling skills, showing the first signs of her two bottom teeth peeking through (finally!), saying dada and mama, and just today, pulling herself to standing while holding onto a toy. I wish I'd been quick enough with the camera, because the look on her face as she stood there was something like, "Hey wow look at this cool thing I did hey mom look I'm standing up OH MY GOD HOW DID I GET LIKE THIS AND HOW DO I GET DOWN?!"

We went to a picnic for families of kids with hearing loss today, and everyone was absolutely gaga over her tiny pink hearing aid. Some of the older kids who had hearing aids themselves came over to see it, and it was really great to see these kids, some of them with profound loss in both ears, even, doing just fine. She starts speech therapy next week, which I'm really excited about!

Friday, July 30, 2010

solo sitting up

Two nights this week, I've woken up (at Audrey's request, natch) and found her sitting up in her crib, sort of like, "Oh, hey! What's up, mom?" I still haven't seen her do it live, but suspect that this newfound skill of hers along with her recent scooching development may have something to do with her sleep getting even worse. Oof. Good thing she's cute!

Monday, July 26, 2010

nearly mobile!

I think this might count as officially crawling. I just watched Audrey scooch her way across her playmat, onto the hardwoods, turn around and go all the way back again. She also made a beeline for my laptop that was on the floor, as well as a couple of Olivia's toys that she shouldn't have.

Two mobile kids? Hold me!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

you know you go to McDonald's too much when ...

... your almost-2.5-year-old has the following conversation with someone in your family:

Olivia [to brother-in-law]: Let's go to McDonald's to get a happy meal for you!
Produces two different Happy Meal toys, procured during two stops during our 2-day, 13-plus-hour car trip, to share with him

brother-in-law [ever the good sport with Miss O]: Ok, great!

O: Let's get some chicken nuggets.

BIL: That sounds good.

O: Then we eat some apple dippers.

BIL: I like apples.

O: And maybe get a small french fry?

[at this point, I'm doubled over with laughter in the kitchen -- such attention to detail, specifying the size of fries. Though I suppose I should be glad she didn't say something about large or super-size options -- I have been on Weight Watchers, after all.]

BIL: What will I have to drink with my happy meal?

O: a diet coke!

Note to people reading who may be aghast at the notion that I serve my toddler diet coke -- I do not! I
do, however, allow her to eat nebulous blobs of chicken that may contain an ingredient similar to that in Silly Putty -- they're sadly one of the maybe 10 foods that she'll eat right now -- but she gets milk with her anti-foaming agents.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

7 months old!

Our sweet baby Audrey/Oggie is 7 months old today!

She is such a sweet little chunk of chub. Check out her jolly demeanor:

Editing to add that she's been saying "mama" for a couple of weeks now. According to the baby books, they can say mama and dada indiscriminately at 6-7 months, so it's not that surprising ... but it is super heart-melty when she turns and says it when I walk into the room. Sweet Ogg.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Audrey's timeline

I had to get this together for a hearing loss advocacy group that's helping me fight to have speech therapy added for Audrey -- it was declined due to her age and because she hasn't been diagnosed with a delay -- so I thought I'd post it here. A little keepsake, if you will. Maybe another overwhelmed mom with a newborn who has just been diagnosed with hearing loss will stumble across this via Google and it'll help somehow ...

This timeline doesn't include every single one of her audiology appointments, and I don't have our meetings with the parent advisor from the advocacy group listed, either. And I wonder why I've felt so busy.

12/7/2009 – Audrey born

12/9/2009 – told upon leaving hospital that she failed her hearing screening twice (didn’t know about first test); were given pamphlet for First Steps

12/17/2009 – First Steps intake appointment

1/8/2010 – 1 month old; ABR at St. Vincent

1/13/2010 – ENT appointment

1/20/2010 – CT scan (advised by audiologist and ENT) at St. Vincent under general anesthesia

1/29/2010 – First Steps evaluation

2/2/2010 – pediatric opthalmologist appointment

2/11/2010 – First Steps IFSP meeting

2/17/2010 – hearing aid evaluation/fitting appointment with audiologist

3/4/2010 – first meeting with parent advisor

3/11/2010 – pick up hearing aid (just a few days past 3-month birthday)

3/18/2010 – parent advisor meeting

3/25/2010 – audiologist

4/8/2010 – another audiologist appointment

4/8/2010 – parent advisor meeting

4/22/2010 – parent advisor meeting

4/29/2010 – audiologist … again!

5/3/2010 – decide parent advisor isn’t good fit due to insistence upon heavy sign language use; call First Steps to terminate advisor. Request new parent advisor and to add speech services to IFSP at that time

5/13/2010 – you guessed it: audiologist

6/9/2010 – 6-month audiology booth test

6/29/2010 – receive paperwork to add new parent advisor to IFSP

6/30/2010 – request for speech services declined

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

100% pure toddler

I took Olivia to get her hair cut today, something she's been dreading pretty much since the day she last got her hair cut over a year ago. I started talking it up a week ago, explaining all the steps: first, she'd go into the salon and meet Yvette (who also cuts my hair). Then she'd sit in a special big-girl chair that goes up and down. Yvette might spray a little water on her hair, and then she'd use scissors to cut it, and it wouldn't hurt at all. And the best part -- that when her haircut was done, she would get a sucker and a sticker.

She talked about all the steps in the car on the way over, even cheerily adding, "And then we be all done and I get lollipop, sticker AND a balloon!" She did fine walking into the salon and greeting Yvette and my sister, who graciously agreed to swing by and wrangle Audrey so I could give O my full attention.

But then she got in the chair and the tears and "NOOOOOO!"s began. We decided she should sit on my lap so it would be less scary. Yvette busted out a sucker for her and explained that people love to get their hair cut. Then, in a moment of brilliance, she suggested that maybe she should cut mommy's bangs first and then Olivia could have her turn. "NO!" she interjected through her tears. "It's

If you ever had any doubt about her nearly-two-and-a-half-ness, you need look no further for proof!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

scariest parenting moment ever

We were in the Starbucks drive-through on Friday and I heard Audrey making a gagging noise as I pulled up to the window. I thought maybe she was spitting up, but she whimpered in a weird way, so I flung my door open as the barista was trying to hand me my drink and opened hers to check on her. She seemed ok ... she had a wet chin like she'd just spit up, so I got back in the car, got my drink, and started driving. Then I heard the gagging noise again and something just didn't seem right, so I looked for a parking space -- there weren't any at Starbucks, so I sped to the next parking lot over and screeched to a halt.

I got out and unbuckled her from her seat, and it definitely seemed like she was choking on something, but I didn't know what -- she didn't have any toys in the seat or anything like that. I thought maybe she'd spit up, aspirated it and couldn't catch her breath, but I turned her over my knee and started hitting her on the back because I was sort of at a loss for what else to do. I flipped her over and noticed that her lips and feet were sort of turning blue, but she was still whining and conscious, just getting more limp. Gah. My heart is racing just typing this.

When I saw the blue lips, I grabbed my phone and tried to call 911. But first, I accidentally hit redial on one of my friends, then a freelance client who lives in CA -- stupid easy-to-redial iPhone + shaking hands! I vaguely remember a women in her car one parking lot over staring at me -- I wondered briefly if she thought I was losing my temper with the baby or something. I just kept pounding her on the back, and she finally coughed up a bunch of foamy saliva all over me and the ground.

She didn't cry, but the awful gagging/choking noises and the strange whimpering had stopped and I could hear her breathing clearly, so I told the 911 dispatcher I thought everything was ok. She told me the paramedics were almost to us and to just stay where we were. While I was standing there in a daze, I looked down by my feet and noticed a folded up pink band-aid. Then what happened hit me -- when she had her shots on Monday, one of her band-aids came off when I was putting her in the car and got stuck to the seat back. I meant to take it off and forgot, and then didn't even notice it when I put her in the car. I guess she kicked it off the seat and somehow managed to get it in her mouth. plainplainTo say I feel like mother of the year is an understatement. :(

The paramedics were so nice -- Audrey charmed them with her babbling and grinning like nothing happened, and flashed a super huge grin at the very cute EMT. I called the pediatrician's office when I got home, and they said as long as she could eat without an issue, she didn't need to be seen. The nurse said, "Great job, mom -- you did the right thing!" But I don't feel like I can take any credit for it ... the right thing would have been to have gotten that band-aid out of the car when it happened.

The most important thing is that she's ok. Me? Not so much. I keep flashing back to it, remembering how I kept saying, "Audrey Audrey Audrey!" and telling Olivia to be quiet so I could think. My dreams the last two nights have been filled with topics even the most novice dream analyst could figure out: planes crashing before my eyes, horrible car accidents, Audrey choking on grapes, toys, plastic bags, you name it. And there was the dream about Bret Michaels hitting on me, which ... who knows about that one.

Olivia keeps saying things like, "Audrey coughing and the am-ba-wance came!" She pretended to choke while she was eating and told me to call the ambulance (not funny mere hours after The Incident, but pretty hilarious now!), and says "Mama hit Oggie's back and the red firetruck came!" -- that line will surely be the one she yells at top volume the next time we're at the store. ;)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

6 months!

She's starting to sleep for several hours at a time now -- last night, she was only up once, but it was from 3-5 a.m. Baby steps. She rolls from back to belly and belly to back, and is starting to get the hang of sitting up, though she's still super wobbly.

At her ped appointment today, she weighed 15 pounds 8 ounces (45th percentile) and was 26" long (60th percentile). She's definitely more of a chunk than her big sister was at this age, at least from looking at her chunka chunka thighs.

She has 6-month testing at the audiologist tomorrow, which I'm a little nervous about for really no reason. I know I'll be holding her in the testing booth, and that she'll be wearing her hearing aid and will have her other ear plugged for the test, but other than that, I'm not sure how it'll all work. More on that tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

crocodile roll

Audrey can apparently now roll herself over and over and over to get somewhere. How do I know this, you ask? I haven't yet witnessed it personally, but I put her on her playmat this afternoon, went in the kitchen to get a drink, and came out and she'd rolled herself partially under the entertainment center. Thankfully, the Wii Fit board kept her from going all the way under. I'll take that mother of the year trophy now!

We joined the summer reading program at the library today. Olivia got a card with her name on it, and she'll get points for every book I read to her. Right now she's loving "If You Take a Mouse to School" and "Please Baby Please." Audrey and I also got cards, but I'm thinking neither of us will be doing much reading right now. ;)

Olivia cracks me up lately -- she says some of the cutest and funniest things. Tonight when I was getting her ready for bed and hugged her, she said, "Once upon a time, mama gave OE a big hug! Once upon a time, OE gave mama a big kiss!" Sweet, right? While changing her dirty diaper, she proclaimed that it was full of "walrus pebbles." I think she must have gotten that from daddy.

And last -- but definitely not least -- Audrey only woke up once last night for a bottle. Thank you, baby sleep gods! I apologize for cursing your name repeatedly over the last 5.5 months.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

sibling rivalry already

Olivia had her first major encounter with someone who completely ignored her in favor of her little sis. We were at Target, OE in the cart, Oggie in the bjorn. An older woman walked by and started loudly oooooohing and aaaaaaaahing over Mr. Ogg. She even went so far as to squeeze her leg chub (which is plentiful). This woman went on and on and on about how cute Audrey is: those eyes! those dimples! that CHUB! Olivia sat there totally silent -- if you know her, you know how rare that is -- and gaped at this woman. I could tell she was probably thinking, "Really, lady?" She finally did turn to O and tell her she was cute, and she replied, "Yep." I had to laugh.

So we're sitting here eating dinner (well, I'm eating; she's eyeing her food with distaste and begging to get down). I break out paper and a marker for her as a stall tactic. She starts writing and says, "I'm making a naughty list!" [note: this is from a Dora Christmas episode we last watched in December, not some parenting threat I'm busting out. Though now that I think of it ...] She finds a piece of scrap paper with a picture of a baby on it, starts scribbling on his face, and says, "Look! That's baby Audrey on the naughty list!" I asked her what Audrey did to get on the list: "She talks like a baby." Watch out, Audrey -- this probably won't be the first time Olivia throws you under the bus.

Monday, May 24, 2010

a few Olivia-isms

Just have to jot these down before I forget.

"poop my face" = what everyone else in the world calls a zerbert.

"I so sweaty from the birthday party/park/car!"

"Say!" -- as in, "Say! Have you seen my piggy?"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

never enough time

I felt like I was so busy when Olivia was a baby -- I laugh now at all that free time I had. Oh, free time ... how I miss you.

I've obviously been bad about keeping up with this blog. Hopefully sweet Audrey won't think this is out of any sort of imagined 2nd child syndrome. I find her just as adorable and brilliant and fabulous as Olivia, but with two kiddos now clamoring for my attention nonstop, plus trying to freelance here and there ... it's just difficult.

My goal for the week -- hmm, maybe next week -- is to get my photos uploaded and caught up on here ... Audrey's 5-month birthday was on May 7th, and I got a shot of the two girls together for Mother's Day as well.

[editor's note: 5.5 hour has elapsed since I began typing this post.]

A quick rundown on recent events:
  • I ran the entire Talk Walk Run 5K for Hear Indiana! It took me 39:06 to do it, but the course was hilly and I'd only trained at a slow pace on a treadmill. I'm contemplating a 5-mile race in early June, and I've already signed up for the 500 Festival mini marathon in May 2011. I was also the top fundraiser for the event, bringing in $1800. Another guy got a big chunk of donations at the last minute, so technically I came in second, but the director had to cut off the fundraising at some point. Thanks to everyone who donated, and my great family and friends for all the support. A special shout-out to Uncle Na-Na, who ran with me and kept me motivated (and from trying to speed up during the flat patches).

  • Audrey is still not sleeping much better. This pains me. ;)

  • I've had a pretty steady stream of freelance work lately. This is both good ($$, mental stimulation beyond repeated viewings of Elmo's Potty Time) and bad (difficult to work when your children refuse bedtime). Grammy has been wonderful about helping out when she can, which is much appreciated.

  • I just enrolled Olivia in a pre-pre-preschool. It's 2 days a week for 2 hours each time, and is obviously play-based. It's a co-op, too, so I'll get a chance to be in the classroom with her once or twice a month. Mainly, I'm hoping that this will help her get more comfortable around other kids.

  • The girls ;) got me a really cute card for Mother's Day and a gift certificate to my favorite pedicure spot. It was a nice day. Now I need to figure out how to top last year's awesome Father's Day Kindle gift. I'm thinking I won't attempt another baseball game like last year, though.

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's 9:00. Parents, do you know where your children are?

#1 just fell asleep, despite skipping her nap today (I sense an alarming trend there);

#2 is still wide awake after a 30-minute cat nap at 7pm. Last night she was still kicking at 10:30.

Have I mentioned I'm on a deadline for a huge freelance project?

Dear universe:

I surrender! Here's my white flag. I apologize profusely for ... well, whatever it was I did in my previous life to get such crappy sleepers in the international baby lottery. Are these moms whose newborns sleep through the night at 6 weeks old paying you off? Because I want to get in on that racket. It's been almost five months. Five. Long. Months. Please, universe ... can you call off the dogs already? Surely it's quite entertaining, giving me a bad sleeper for my first kid and then an equally bad sleeper for the second when the world is full of "your second will be so much easier" adages. I'm tired. So tired that even 4 straight hours -- no, make that 3! -- of sleep sounds positively delightful. Can you transfer this house's bad-sleeping juju to a vapid celebrity who can afford a night nanny or two? Maybe one of those Kardashian girls? That'd be swell.

me (the girl with the permanent dark circles who yawns a lot)

Monday, April 26, 2010

plodding along

I had typed up a long, whiny post the other day about how hard it is to stay at home with two kids, but eh ... no one wants to read my overly indulgent self pitying. :P

Audrey still isn't sleeping more than 2 hours at a time at night, making me wonder just how bad I was in a previous life. She's sleeping in her crib more these days, and took naps for both grammy and daddy today. She's cute as can be, though -- rolling over, smiling and chatting a bunch. She loves looking at her hands and grabbing her toes, even managing to stick some in her mouth this week. She doesn't seem to mind when I put in her hearing aid, and her face lights up when she hears the little intro song it plays when it starts up.

Olivia is enjoying spring so far, making use of her sandbox and water table as much as possible. Her speech is still off the charts, and she's becoming very funny. Last night, she requested that D read her a One Step Ahead catalog before bed. She said, "We NEEEEED to go to the store to get a new trike for OE!" She also requested a trampoline, a playhouse, and the more reasonably priced "hippo head" (which we actually can't use because our tub spout isn't shaped like that). I think we probably need to stay out of Toys R Us for a while ...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

no schedule, no sanity

I should know better. And I actually DO know better, but I apparently temporarily lost my mind. On Wednesday, we were invited to a 6:30 p.m. birthday dinner for a friend's 2-year-old. Olivia normally goes to bed around 7:30 these days, but we said what the hell and decided to not only go to the party, but to let her have cake and ice cream at 8pm and to not get home until after 9pm. She passed out pretty quickly after being put in her crib despite seeming crazy wired, but woke up really early the next morning and had bad/short naps for days.

And then last night, another friend invited us over for an impromptu cookout at 6pm. We were excited to have actual plans on a weekend night and again cast aside our good judgment. Olivia was so wound up from the two dogs there and all the attention from everyone that she wouldn't even touch the mac and cheese I made for her at home to bring along -- and her taste of my hot dog didn't go over so well. We got home around 9pm and she went right to sleep, but woke up at 7am SUPER grumpy -- like, crying and asking to go back to bed at 10:30. I'm hoping that we can get her into bed at 7 tonight with minimal drama.

Audrey doesn't really have much of a schedule yet, despite my best attempts at creating one for her, but even she's been rocked by our recent nighttime socializing. She wouldn't sleep in her crib last night, so I ended up plunking her in the swing out of desperation and crashing on the couch. She was up every 2 hours all night long, and then stayed up from 9am until 2pm today, when I finally gave up on trying to rock/bounce/shush her to sleep and popped her in the carseat for a little trip around town.

Note to self: do not deviate from the schedule under any circumstances!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

4-month stats

Audrey's 4-month checkup stats!

weight: 13 pounds 12 ounces (60th percentile)

length: 25" (75th percentile)

head circumference: 41.5 cm. The ped didn't write down a percentile for this ... I suspect because her noggin is giant. :P

Friday, April 9, 2010

4 months old

How does the saying go? Time flies when you're ... not sleeping?

Oh, the humanity of a photo shoot

Someone was not at all pleased about having to share her cupcake.

Monday, April 5, 2010

houston, we have a crib sleeper!

It's not the coveted sleeping through the night milestone, but who cares? I'll take it! Audrey slept for 3 straight hours in her crib last night -- the first time she's ever actually done any sleeping in it.

I was able to get her down for naps in there all day today, and she's been sleeping upstairs for about 2 hours now. Thank you, baby sleep gods!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

breaking news!

Audrey rolled over -- and twice, so I know it's not a fluke! Not quite as early as her sister, but still pretty close. Stay tuned for video evidence.

a big week

Some good news: thanks to some seriously awesome and generous friends/family, I've been able to raise a little over $1000 for Hear Indiana! If you want to donate, you can do so at my page:

Some not so good: Yesterday we were at the audiologist, and I told her that I'd signed up. She's tall, super thin and fit, and she made a face when I mentioned it. She said something like, "Oh. Wow. Yeah ... I ran that last year, and it was REALLY hard. It's all hills." Hills, you say? This does not sound promising. I went back to the 5k website and noticed they describe the course as "challenging" and "hilly." Is it too late to revert from couch-to-5k to just the couch portion?!

The audiologist retubed Audrey's hearing aid, and it fits SO much better now. Instead of flying over the top of her ear at the slightest movement, it stays where it's supposed to. I think I'll be much more compliant with having her wear it if I'm not having to adjust it every minute.

Audrey found her feet this week, started working on blowing raspberries, and is making a ton of new sounds - she's very chatty. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with her hearing aid or not. They can't do additional testing until she's 6 months old, so we'll just have to observe and see how she does.

Olivia seems to be teething despite supposedly already having her 2-year molars -- lots of drooling/chewing on things, plus a bonus dose of whining for good measure. Tylenol seems to be helping, so hopefully it'll pass quickly. She seems so grown up to me lately. Her sentences are getting even more complex, and she can climb up the slide in the backyard by herself and has also started jumping. She's still a baby in some ways, though: loves her paci and blanket, wants to be rocked every night before bed. I don't mind.

Monday, March 22, 2010

jog for ogg!

I recently started the Couch to 5K program -- more to force myself back into the gym and try to rid my body of this stubborn baby weight than anything else. I wasn't really planning to attempt an actual 5K, but then my brother-in-law heard about the Talk Walk Run 5K in Indianapolis. Proceeds go to Hear Indiana, an organization that provides services to children with hearing loss. Since that topic is near and dear to my heart these days, I decided to go for it. The worst that can happen is that I'll get picked up by the straggler wagon. :P

If you're reading this and want to sponsor me, go to:

Don't feel obligated, of course, but I'd be thrilled with even $5. Donations are tax deductible!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

3 months old!

Audrey is 3 months old today! I was going to post and whine about our horrible sleep issues and how tired I am, but I'll save that for tomorrow. ;)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Audrey's ear

I haven't really felt much like writing about it until now ... I think I needed a little time to process everything.

Short story: Audrey has a mild-moderate hearing loss in her right ear -- which is called unilateral sensorineural hearing loss -- due to a Mondini malformation. Basically, a normal cochlea should have 2.5 turns, and hers only has 2.

Longer story: She failed two hearing screenings in the hospital before we were sent home. We were momentarily upset until the nursing staff and many friends/family told us that she probably just had fluid in her ears from birth and that we shouldn't worry about it. She did need lots of suctioning when born, so we told ourselves it was a non-issue.

We were put in touch with First Steps, which is Indiana's version of the early intervention program that every state has, and scheduled an appointment at a local hospital with an audiologist when she was around 3 weeks old. There she had an auditory brainstem response (ABR) test done, which is actually kind of cool. Electrodes are placed on each side of the forehead and behind each ear and then sounds at various levels are played into the ear via a little earbud. The brainwaves tell the audiologist whether the sounds are being heard or not. I sat and held Audrey as the test was conducted and tried to interpret the brainwaves on the screen for myself. I noticed that the audiologist was doing a bit of sighing and clicking at one point and started to get worried. Sure enough, the test showed that she does indeed have a hearing loss in her right ear (but the left ear was fine). She can hear up to 50 decibels in the right -- normal conversation would be at about 50 db -- but nothing below that. I was given a book titled "workbook for parents of children who are newly identified as hard of hearing" and tried not to cry until I got in the car and called my husband. Hard of hearing. I knew it could be worse, of course, but no one wants their newborn baby to have anything wrong with them.

The audiologist said she strongly recommended that Audrey be fit for a hearing aid so that she didn't suffer from any speech delays. That didn't go over very well with me at the time -- all I could picture was a big, clunky device that would make her a prime target for teasing by her peers in school. She also suggested that we take her to an ENT for follow-up, which we did.

The ENT told us that there are several syndromes, all very serious and some even life threatening, that accompany Mondini malformation in children. After reviewing Audrey's bloodwork from her hospital newborn screening, he told us she didn't appear to have any of those problems. Obviously, that was a relief. The ENT told us we should have a CT scan done so that we could rule out a couple of different anatomical things, one being large vestibular canals that could result in instant and permanent hearing loss in both ears should she ever have a head injury. He also mentioned having her checked out by a pediatric opthalmologist, because kids with hearing loss can also often have eye problems as well.

So about a week later, I found myself back at the hospital with Audrey, this time in the outpatient surgery department. She was going to have to be sedated with general anesthesia, because apparently you have to be entirely still for a head CT or they'd have to keep starting over. My husband stayed home from work that morning to watch Olivia, so I had to deal with it all on my own -- the screaming, hungry baby who wailed the entire way to the hospital because she was hungry (no food 4 hours prior to test due to anesthesia), and the worst part, watching her be sedated via a tiny pink little gas mask that I later learned was scented like cherries. The anesthesiologist assured me that yes, the way she was breathing was normal and that she was already under even though her eyes were open. He asked me if I wanted to kiss her, and I was like, "Well, yeah!" And then it hit me -- he wanted me to leave the room. I think that was my hardest moment as a parent so far: walking out of the room pushing the empty stroller with her car seat attached and turning around to see my tiny baby in her pink and brown striped PJs on this huge table with an even bigger CT machine nearby. A wonderful volunteer distracted me with a friendly stream of chatter as he walked me to the waiting room desk, where I checked in and was given a pager. I realized in my fog that it was the same waiting room where I sat and waited while my mom was having her knee surgery several years ago.

I was thankfully only away from her for about 15-20 minutes, just enough time to scarf down a bagel, call my husband, and call my mom. A nurse came to take me to the recovery room, and I was relieved to see that she was the only one there (aka, no adults coming out of anesthesia and vomiting everywhere). I held her for a few minutes while giving her a bottle of pedialyte, and then they wheeled us -- me on the bed holding Audrey, like we were in some sort of hospital parade -- to another room where we waited for a nurse to take out her IV. I expected her to be pretty out of it for the rest of the day, but she handled it like a champ, napping only briefly in the car on the way home and then getting back to her normal schedule pretty much immediately. Anesthesia is one of my biggest fears, so I was so happy that she came through it ok and with no side effects.

The ENT called about a week later and told me about the Mondini malformation diagnosis. She doesn't have the large vestibular canals, so we don't have to worry about keeping her out of sports. And he said that while he can't predict the future, he doesn't think we need to worry about her hearing getting worse in that ear. Fairly good news all around, and I was happy that we at least had a reason for the hearing loss -- we were told that most of the time, the CT doesn't show anything and you're just left to wonder.

The pediatric opthalmologist was great and said she looks perfect; we go back when she's around 1 for another check and then he said he won't need to see her again if all looks good.

Now we're in the process of getting her hearing aid. The First Steps program pays for all things hearing related until she's 3, which will be a big help. Hearing aids can cost over $1000, and insurance doesn't cover any part of them (which I find ridiculous). She'll be wearing a behind-the-ear (BTE) style that will connect to a plastic piece that will go in her ear. I was told we could pick any color we wanted for the ear mold, but I went with clear with pink glitter to match the baby pink metallic BTE piece. It's actually pretty tiny and cute as far as these things go ... and you can be sure that I'll be posting pictures of her modeling it as soon as it comes in sometime in mid-March. The ear molds need to be custom fit, and the audiologist said that sometimes the kids will outgrow them between the fitting -- where they squeeze pink goo into the ear and let it harden a bit, somewhat like how they do dental impressions -- and when they come back from the lab about 2 weeks later. We'll also be working with a treatment team that includes a parent advisor who has a background in childhood/deaf education and will help us keep an eye out for any speech delays that might occur as a result of her hearing loss. Hopefully that won't be a problem, but you never know.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

meet mr. ogg

Audrey is a baby of many nicknames. We started out calling her Oggie, because that's how Olivia pronounced her name when we first picked it. Then she called her Ah-Dee, and now she can pronounce her name properly. But the nicknames have stuck around.

In the sleepless, slap-happy, delirious newborn days, we started calling her Oggmeister or Oggmeister 3000. Olivia heard the "ogg" and "meister" parts and switched them in her head, so she was calling her Mr. Ogg. As in, "Oh no! I hear Mr. Ogg crying downstairs!" We found it so hilarious that we've started calling her Mr. Ogg now as well.

So our dear Audrey may not ever learn her real name. She's:

mr. ogg
butter bean
butter biscuit (I have no idea how these last two started)

You should see the looks we get in public when we refer to our kids as OE and Oggie/Mr. Ogg.

2-year and 2-month appointments

We had the pleasure (hahahahaha) of taking Olivia and Audrey to the pediatrician at the same time for their 2-year and 2-month checkups on 2/8. They'll probably have a few overlapping appointments because they were both born on the 7th (Olivia in February and Audrey in December).

Audrey handled it all like a champ, even smiling through some of her appointment. Olivia, on the other hand? When we were still in the car and turned onto the street where the ped's office is located, I heard a shaky, "Mama? Mama?" from the back seat. As we neared the building, she became much louder and demanded to "go home now! No doctor!"

The crying started as we pulled into the parking lot and continued in the waiting room. The receptionist said, "She's two? Just wait - it sometimes is even worse at three!" Oh, good! Something to look forward to!

Audrey was 10 pounds 2 ounces (40th percentile) and 22.5" long (50th percentile). Her head measured 39 cm, which, according to this growth percentile calculator, is above the 95th percentile. We apparently make thin kids with giant heads!

Olivia weighed in at 26 pounds 11 ounces (50th percentile) and is 36" tall (93rd percentile, which I think is the lowest she's been for this stat so far).

They both got shots. Olivia cried harder while the doctor looked in her ears than she did for the vaccines. Sitting on the scale? An exercise in torture. Poor girl. She seems fairly traumatized by the visit, too, because for the last few nights she's been crying "no doctor! no doctor!" after we put her to bed. :(

Monday, February 8, 2010


It's hard to believe, but miss Olivia turned two yesterday! We had an eventful weekend, with a big snow the night before her much-anticipated Dora party (causing most guests to cancel - but we still had a wonderful time with the group who did come) and the Superbowl on her birthday, which the Colts sadly lost. I have a feeling her sleep schedule is going to be off for days ... she woke up at 6:30 this morning, which I don't think she's done since she was a baby.

Happy birthday, sweet girl!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

funny girl

Olivia has only been up for about 20 minutes this morning, but she's cracking me up already.

While standing in crib: "Mama, penguin jammies keep OE warm and toasty!"

After telling her it might snow this weekend: "Oooooooh! OE having a DORA PARTY! Blow out da candles!"

Telling her that she'll get to have a birthday cupcake: "Mmm! Cupcake very tasty!"

Here's a quick video of her talking about her Dora party. I also managed to get her to say her nicknames for Audrey (baby Oggie, Mr. Ogg):

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

some days are better than others.

Today hasn't fallen into the better category so far. It's just past noon, and:
  • We're all still in our pajamas.

  • Olivia discovered how to turn the knobs on the gas stove (note to self: get some childproof covers ASAP before she burns house down)

  • Audrey is having a bit of a fussy day, probably compounded by the horrible night's sleep we both got last night. Recliner sofa is great to sit in ... to sleep on? Not so much.
I need to go to the grocery store, but after the Great Target Solo Run Fiasco from a couple weeks ago, I'm too gunshy. Besides, how exactly does one go about shopping when their cart is filled to the brim with kids and there's nowhere to put the food? I took my mom on a trip to Target last week, which was insanely helpful. Sadly, I don't think she wants to be my shopping assistant every day of the week. ;) I'll consider the day an accomplishment if I can get myself dressed and both kids into the car to drive to the ATM to deposit a couple of checks.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

the big barf theory

We hit two unpleasant milestones in one day: the first scary choking-on-food incident, followed by the first toddler barf. Sure, she spit up as a baby, and I remember her gagging on her breakfast the day of her first birthday and puking, but that didn't quite match up to this.

Olivia had a dentist appointment, and I promised her a stop at Dunkin' Donuts on the way home for a bagel. I also got us some Munchkins and let her have one in the car. She was eating another at the table when she got quiet. This girl doesn't get quiet ... like, ever. I looked at her and her facial expression was one I hadn't seen before. She made a little gagging face and I realized that she probably stuffed the entire donut hole into her mouth at once. I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasn't quite up on my toddler choking protocol -- I know what to do with infants, but I couldn't remember back to the infant CPR class I took before Olivia was born.

I grabbed her out of her chair and whacked her on the back a couple of times (note to anyone reading this: I've since learned that you're supposed to do the Heimlich on older children). I asked her if she was ok and she didn't answer. My terror level shot up even higher at that point, because like I said, she doesn't ever stop talking. I swept her mouth with my finger and couldn't feel anything, so I whacked her on the back while asking her to talk to me. She croaked, "Talk talk" in a pathetic, quiet voice ... and then proceeded to hurl all over the kitchen floor. Strangely and thankfully, she seemed entirely unfazed by the ordeal. I helped her rinse her mouth out in the bathroom and then she asked to watch TV. Typical Olivia.

Have I mentioned how I feel about vomiting? Emetophobic would be a good way to describe me. It ranks up there in my top five fears, maybe even above general anesthesia and bees. If someone merely mentions that their stomach hurts or lets out more than one sigh that I interpret as the pre-puke style breathing, it's enough to send me into a panic. So you can imagine how well I did with this. I'll spare you the details, but I survived. And I became even more thankful for my new Hoover Floormate. ;)

Friday, January 29, 2010

smile (7 weeks)

[* smile obtained by grinning like a maniac and saying such things as "wubba nub nub!" in a loud and high-pitched voice]

Thursday, January 28, 2010

ah-day ---> ok

Olivia seems to be getting more and more grown up every day. She's always been a big talker, but she's expanding her vocabulary and some of her cute mispronunciations are starting to fade away. "Ah-day" for "ok" is one of them. And instead of always saying her name as OE, she'll sometimes say it as Oh-wee-ah. Thankfully, she still says dah-der-roo for kangeroo, which is probably my favorite word of hers. Editing to add that wick-wick is now music. She's growing up too fast!

Olivia has a follow-up dentist appointment tomorrow and has been saying "no dentist" every night when I brush her teeth. Yes, that will be a lot of fun. And her 2-year-old well baby visit next week on the same day as Audrey's 2-month checkup (and first vaccinations - ugh). That should be interesting. Shall we take bets on who will start crying first? ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

6 weeks old!

Can you tell I'm almost never on my laptop these days? If only blogger made an iphone app ... ;)

You can see her giant cephalohematoma -- which has thankfully gone away -- in the 2- and 3-week photos. It was quite the enormous goose egg, causing everyone to ask if she was a forceps/vacuum delivery (she wasn't).

Here's proud big sister Olivia with Audrey. She's doing so well with her and doesn't seem super jealous (so far). When Audrey cries, Olivia enjoys saying, "Wah! Wah! Wah!" in a totally monotone voice. I haven't had a chance to get a video of it yet, because, you know, when one is screaming and the other is faux-crying, I'm generally sweating and twitchy and don't think to reach for the Flip camcorder. But it's pretty funny.

We're doing really well overall! I wish I had more time to post here -- I still need to post Audrey's birth story, for instance -- but hopefully that will change at some point.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

1 month old already

That whole "time flies" thing is really true. I'm not sure where the past month went! The newborn phase this time around doesn't seem as acutely exhausting -- probably because I've already lived (suffered? :P) through the Big Life Change from an adult able to do whatever I pleased whenever I pleased to someone living with a tiny, squalling dictator who is unable to do things like take showers without a lot of planning. But getting online other than to quickly check email on my phone proves to be difficult most days. I know it'll get better as she gets older, so I'm trying to enjoy the needs-to-be-held-nonstop phase we're in now.

Audrey had her 1-month appointment today. She went from 7 pounds 9 ounces at birth (and then 7 pounds 1 ounce at discharge from the hospital and 6 pounds 6 ounces two days later) to 8 pounds 3 ounces. She's 21 1/4" long (was 18 3/4" at birth) and her head circumference is 37 cm. According to the percentile calculator, that means:

Length = in percentile 25
Weight = between percentile 10 and 25
Head Circumference = above percentile 95

Unlike Olivia, who has consistently been in the 95th-98th percentile for height since birth, we have a little shorty on our hands. Apparently with a big noggin to boot. It's so hard not to compare the two of them.

Speaking of Olivia, she's 23 months old today! Preparation for her big second birthday bash has begun. I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday -- not imagining she would have an opinion -- and her reply was "Have a Dora party!" I didn't think I'd have to worry about a character/theme party so soon, but a Dora party she shall have.

Pictures to come. Really. Soon (hopefully).