Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jillian's Ear Tube Surgery

I am so happy to be sitting here today knowing that Jillian's ear tube surgery is over with and that it was a huge success. I have been such a worry wart lately because of it. Worried about her being so sick, worried about all of the medications she has been taking, and more importantly, worried about her having surgery. I am just so thrilled that it went so well and she will finallybe comfortable and pain free.

Our day began pretty early yesterday. We were instructed to arrive at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital in downtown Cleveland at 5:30am for admissions testing and pre-op. That meant waking up at 4:30am to get ready, wake up a very sleepy Jillian, and head downtown. She was so tired and had no idea what lay in front of her. I wanted to make sure that she was happy and comfortable throughout the day so I packed up as many toys, blankets, and snacks that I could. And of course, her Snoozer bear! I also made sure to have bottles and formula on hand since she couldn't eat before her surgery.

We arrived downtown which pretty much felt to me like it was in the middle of the night. Everything was dark and eerie. You didn't hear any of the loud noises or have to deal with the bad traffic that you normally would expect being downtown. Finding a parking spot was also breeze! We arrived at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital surgery center at 5:30am, filled out some admissions paper work, and was shown to our pre-op room. The pre-op room itself looked so scary and real to me.

A nurse came into the room shortly after we arrived and asked us several questions about why we were there and how Jillian was feeling that day. She then handed us a little hospital gown and told us to sit patiently and wait for the Anesthesiologist to speak to us. The Anesthesiologist came in shortly afterwards and thoroughly explained to us their process on how they put the babies under using anesthesia. This was probably the scariest part of the procedure for Jeff and I. We hated knowing that they were going to intentionally put our little girl to sleep, however small the risk, it's always a risk you hate to take. He assured us that Jillian was in good hands and that she was only going to be under for only 25 minutes. Our ENT doctor arrived shortly afterwards to check on Jillian and to let us know that the room was almost prepped for her surgery. As we waited, several doctors and nurses kept popping into our room to explain their role in the process and how everything was going to be fine. A very routine procedure with nothing for us to worry about. Even though the procedure itself is considered to be routine, the number of doctor and nurses involved in the whole process is mind boggling! So many people to take care of our precious baby!! I was growing more nervous by the moment knowing that Jillian was going to be summons at anytime to be taken down to the surgical room. The last nurse to visit us explained that only one parent could walk Jillian down to the surgical room and was only able to stay with her until she fell asleep. We decided that it would be best if Jeff took her since she might cry if I handed her over to a stranger. We didn't want to do anything at that point to upset her since she was being such a great sport about everything. She just sat the whole time in her little bed, playing with her toys.

Finally the moment had come for Jeff to walk Jillian down for her surgery. My little patient and hubby looked so cute, hopefully we will look back on this moment as the last time that she would experience any discomfort or pain because of her ears.

Jeff returned with a sad look on his face, however, reassured me that she did very well. He said it took her a few moment for her to fall asleep but looked happy and comfortable. She had cried a little when they tried to lay her down but that was probably because her ears were bothering her. He also told me how amazed he was at how large the room was and how many doctors and nurses were in there just for her. I really wish I could have been there to see everything, but it was reassuring to know that Jeff left her in good hands. We are so lucky to live in an area to have such a first class hospital system as the Cleveland Clinic, I honestly don't think I could have taken her anywhere else.

Jeff grabbed us some Starbucks from the children's hospital cafeteria as we waited to hear from Jillian's ENT. I barely had time to log on to my netbook to catch up on a few blogs before our name was called. Our ENT came into the waiting room and told us that everything had gone very smoothly and that Jillian was already awake. She told us that she was so surprised that Jillian was such a happy baby because the amount of fluid that she had pulled out of her ears even surprised her. She explained that the fluid trapped behind the eardrum is normally a clear liquid, however in Jillian's case, it was very milky and glue like. She had to use several different tools on her just to get it all out. No wonder our poor girl couldn't get rid of these ear infections and couldn't sleep at night!!!! The doctor also explained that Jillian had been hearing everything as if it were coming from a tin can. She should now be able hear more clearly and may even be able to start saying a few words. Jeff and I were so relieved to hear that Jillian's surgery was a success and couldn't wait to go see her. We followed the doctor back into one of pre-op rooms and found Jillian crying hysterically and being comforted by three nurses. We were warned that the babies cry a lot when they come out of the anesthesia. The poor thing was probably so confused since we weren't there when she woke up. I quickly walked over to her and she reached out her arms to me. I quickly calmed her down and gave her a bottle of pedialyte that one of the nurses had handed to me. The nurses taking care of Jillian kept commenting how pretty she was and what an easy patient she had been for them. They also were laughing hysterically that all of the babies are normally laying down when they are wheeled out of surgery, however, our Jillian had her legs straight in the air and was showing everyone her diaper. So typical of my baby girl, trying to make the best of every situation!!!

I sat in a rocking chair with Jillian and tried to comfort her as much as possible. As I sat with her, I was amazed by all of the babies that I kept seeing being wheeled past us who were also coming out of their surgeries. So sad to see so many innocent little babies having to go through such a traumatic event at such an early age. My heart went out to them and their parents.

Jillian quickly recovered from the anesthesia and the nurses finally removed her IV. Her second IV of the week!!! We were discharged only an hour after her surgery and were back on the road by 9:30am that morning. The whole process had been so quick and easy. Jillian was recovering nicely and quickly fell asleep before we even got back on the highway to head home.

I want to thank everyone for all of the positive comments and prayers that we have received these past few months as we tried to work through the challenges of having a baby suffering from chronic ear infections. It has been such a trying few months for us and I am so happy that we can finally move forward. Jillian should no longer feel anymore discomfort or pain from all of the trapped fluid in her ears and from the infections. We are really looking forward to happier times as we approach the holidays.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Our Little Patient

It's been a rough week for my sweet baby girl. If you happened to notice when I wrote my last post, I mentioned that her ear infections were "gone for the moment." That is because her poor little ears were clear for all of three days. Three glorious days! I noticed my sweet girl was a little cranky Sunday afternoon and felt a bit warm to the touch. She also wanted to lay around a lot instead of her typical playful self which wasn't a good sign. My first thoughts were that she was coming down with another ear infection but just didn't think that was possible. She had only been off of the antibiotics for a few days now, is it possible that the ear infections could have really returned so quickly? The ENT told us just a few days ago that her ears had cleared up.

As expected, Sunday night was rough. Jillian was up every few hours for several hours at a time. She had a over a 100 degree fever and kept grabbing at her ears. I was mentally and physically exhausted, I can only imagine how my poor, sweet girl felt. Monday morning I called off of work and immediately made an appointment with our pediatrician.

Our pediatrician took one look at Jillian's ears and told us "they were a mess". Her solution was to give Jillian a very strong antibiotic shot. The shot was terrible, it's done with a very long needle and I am told is very painful for them. The whole experience was just awful, Jillian cried and I cried right along with her. I felt so badly that she was going through this again and nothing seemed to be working for her. I was also very concerned that Jillian was receiving so much medication at such a young age. Her tubes surgery couldn't come fast enough.

After another rough night on Monday, our pediatrician wanted to see us again on Tuesday to give her round two of the antibiotic shot. The shot was just as awful as it had been the day before. There were tears all around from both of us. We left the pediatrician's office with instructions to give her a call if Jillian's fever didn't subside.

Tuesday night was just as awful, if not worse as the past few nights. Jillian cried out in her sleep at 1am, 2am, and 3am. By 4am she had completely woken up and then so was I. I did manage to get her back to sleep by 4:30am, but knew I had to get up in an hour anyway for work. Jeff had decided to stay at home with Jillian for the day while I went into the office to try to get caught up on a few things. My day at work was horrible. I was so sleep deprived, my eyes and head hurt, and the Mommy guilt I felt for being at work and not at home with Jillian was more than I could bare. Thoughts of quitting again started floating around my head. Work is just so not worth it when your baby is sick. Once I arrived home, I knew I was starting to come down with something too. My body ached, I was tired, and I started to feel the chills come on. It never fails with me, when I am feeling overwhelmed and run down, I get sick so easily. So I started crying to Jeff how bad I felt for Jillian and how awful it was being at work while he was at home with her. I just felt horrible about everything. I was really at the end of my rope with Jillian's ear infections. After dealing with her chronic ear infections for the past two months, I am barely able to keep my head above water with work and everything else going on in our life. I am just really starting to feel helpless.

Jeff came to my rescue that night and luckily got Jillian to bed at a reasonable hour. We both celebrated his victory by also going to bed early and were asleep by 9:30. Our luck continued into the night and the three of us got a decent night of sleep. I decided to sleep in a bit and woke up around 6am as opposed to my normal 5am wake up time. I needed my sleep since I was also fighting off some kind of bug. After a quick shower, I got dressed and went to wake up Jillian for school. We decided to send her to daycare since her fever seemed to have subsided the day before and she had a good night sleep. While waking her, I put my hand on her forehead and checked for fever. I couldn't believe it, her head was as hot as ever! Ugh!!!!! This poor girl can't catch a break. I called off work for the second time that week and called the pediatrician. At this point, there was no way I could go into the office. I told myself to get over what was stressing me out at work and deal with it when I could return with a healthy baby at home. Sometimes as a working Mom you just have to let everything at work go and focus on your sick baby. I am slowly learning this!

Jillian just wasn't herself all morning. She threw up the medicine we gave her and all of her breakfast. Her temperature was around 102 and she was lethargic and clingy. I called the pediatrician's office as soon as they opened and the doctor told us to come in at 2pm which was her earliest opening. Since I still wasn't feeling that great either, we both laid around in my bed for most of the day. I let her nap in bed with me instead of putting her in her crib. A small treat for both baby and Mommy

I left for the doctor's office around 1:30pm in hopes of the doctor seeing us a little earlier. Our pediatrician's office is located within Cleveland Clinic's Hillcrest Hospital which is both an inconvenience and a perk all at the same time. A perk because we have all of the amenities of a first class hospital, an inconvenience because it is utter chaos all day long and trying to get in and out of there takes lots of patience and skill. I will typically use the valet service if I am not with Jeff. They are always so helpful in assisting me with my stroller, diaper bag, and my sick baby. The valet staff is sadly starting to get to know me since I have been to the pediatrician's office at least once a week since the end of August. They don't even ask me for my last name anymore when assigning me a valet ticket.

Once inside our pediatrician's office, she saw us immediately. She took a look at Jillian's ears and determined that they still were "a mess". She was also very concerned about Jillian's fever returning and that she was so lethargic. After further observations, she tells me that she needs to call Jillian's ENT right away and have them move up her tubes surgery. She also said she need to make a few more phone calls and excused herself from the examination room. After several minutes, she comes back into the room and says, I think she needs to be admitted to the hospital for further observation and some blood work. Her biggest concern is that she wasn't responding to any of the antibiotics that she was giving to her and that she was worried about dehydration with her high fever. She tells me to take Jillian immediately to the Pediatric wing of the hospital on the third floor and that they were expecting her. I wasn't expecting any of this. I knew Jillian was sick but the last thing I expected was for her to admit Jillian into the hospital. I was so upset, I called Jeff at work and sent a text to my family updating them on Jillian's condition. I rushed Jillian up to the Pediatric floor of the hospital and checked her in.

Jeff arrived at the hospital shortly after I called him and met us in the examination room. The next few hours were a whirlwind of blood work, tests, and the insertion of her IV. Each procedure was horrible. They all involved very large needles and each one brought Jillian a lot of tears and pain. I was a wreck but tried to keep it together. I had seen Jillian get so many shots and pricks with needles that week that I didn't want to upset her anymore by getting upset too. I tried to be strong for her because she kept looking at me like "Why are they doing this to me Mommy?" There is not a more helpless feeling in the world than seeing your child in pain, and I would have gladly switched places with her in a second if given the chance. After all of her tests were completed, they took us to Jillian's room.

Once we were settled into Jillian's room, she finally relaxed and completely passed out in my arms. The poor thing was exhausted from hours of crying. While Jillian was sound asleep on my chest, the hospital pediatrician came into the room to talk to us. It turned out that not only was Jillian slightly dehydrated, she also had a virus. She also explained to us that Jillian's ears looked like the infection was clearing up. She said it was obvious to her that there had been a chronic infection going on in her ears, however, the current infection had just about cleared up. It was a virus that was now causing the high fever, vomiting, and lethargic behavior. This was why our pediatrician was so confused to why the antibiotics weren't bringing down her fever. It was great to finally have some answers and that we weren't just sent home again with instruction to try another antibiotic. Our pediatrician had done the right thing by admitting us into the hospital for testing.

After hearing all of the results from Jillian's tests, we felt so much better. We had also heard our pediatrician got a hold of our ENT and was able to move up Jillian's surgery for this coming week instead of our original appointment scheduled in November. The rest of the evening was spent making sure that Jillian was hydrated, well fed, and comfortable. I was pleasantly surprised that all of the nurses who were assigned to Jillian were the same nurses who helped us when we had to stay over night in the hospital on Christmas Day for Jillian's jaundice. Jillian was only four days old at that point. All of the familiarity of the situation made me think back to how things were when Jillian was four days old compared to how she was at ten months old. What a different person I was! I remember crying at the drop of a hat with every question that the doctor asked, every test result we received, and every time Jillian would cry. Let's face it, I was a hot mess. A very overwhelmed, very sleep deprived and very hormonal new Mom. With everything that was going on with Jillian today, I can honestly say that I have really grown more comfortable and confident in myself as a Mom.

I found this picture on Jeff's cell phone from when Jillian was under the Bilirubin lights that Christmas night in the hospital. She looks so small and helpless. This new baby had felt so foreign to me at the time. I had no clue on how to help her.

Here is my sweet girl today in her hospital crib, AKA, baby jail.

The nurses had to place Jillian's IV in her foot since the veins in her arm weren't large enough to support an IV. You can see how they placed a support over her foot to protect it from little fingers trying to pry it off.

Trying to wave even though she didn't feel good.

Still able to give us a smile.

After a typical night in the hospital, one that consisted of constant night awakenings by the nurses asking me hundred of questions, we headed home with a happier and healthier Jillian. Her highest fever over night only hovered around 99.1. Her appetite had returned that morning and we were given our discharge papers by noon. It felt so good to go home with some answers, a new surgery date, and our own beds waiting for us. We all took a three hour nap as soon as we arrived at home from the hospital. No better medicine could have been prescribed.

Jillian and I happy to be home.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Daddy's Girl

We took Jillian to her first ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat) appointment on Friday to see if she could determine the cause for all of her recurring ear infections. My sweet girl's ear infection had finally cleared up (for the moment) but we knew she still needed a specialist to take a look at her ears. After listening to Jeff and I explain Jillian's ear infection history, the doctor determined that Jillian needed tubes. Her diagnosis was based on the fact that she has had three ear infections in three months with her last infection lasting over six weeks and it took four antibiotics to clear it up. So our baby girl needs tubes. We have mixed feelings about the whole thing, happy that she will finally be pain free and be able sleep better at night, nervous because she has to have surgery and be administered an anesthetic.

Since Jillian's ear infection had cleared up (for the moment), she was in much better spirits on Saturday. While I was making a casserole for dinner, I noticed Jillian waving like crazy at Jeff out our back window. It was the most adorable thing ever, I had to grab our camera.

Jillian also stood up on her own this weekend. Jeff had her standing up by the coffee table and decided to see what would happen if he just let go. She just stood there for a few minutes all by herself! She is just getting so strong! I can't believe she is changing so much lately. I just love her sweet face.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Home Decor Blogs

I have come across so many great home decor blogs recently that it would be a shame not to share them with my readers. I keep a home decor blog roll on the bottom left handside of my blog if you ever need to refer back to any of them. Enjoy the inspiration!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Sweet Kitty

My in-laws were in Myrtle Beach on Monday so I decided to stay at home with Jillian instead of finding a sitter. What a glorious five day weekend I had with her! It was so nice, certainly a taste of the stay at home Mom lifestyle that I really think I would enjoy. Sigh....maybe one day. Anyway, since I was home with her for five days, I was able to get so much accomplished. One of the items on my to do list was to try on her Halloween costume to make sure it still fit! I bought her costume back in August and would have been in big trouble if it no longer fit by the time Halloween rolled around. I think we can all agree it fits her well and she is the most adorable pink kitty ever! I could just eat her up she looks so cute.

I took Jillian to the doctor on Tuesday for a follow up appointment for her ear infections. She had been on her fourth antibiotic for about a week now and her doctor wanted to see if this one was finally working. The good news is that it was working! The infection had cleared up in both ears, however, the fluid still remained and would soon get infected again if it didn't dran properly. We have our first appointment with our ENT on Friday to see what our next steps are. You can certainly tell that Jillian is starting to feel better because she is sleeping better and going to bed for me so much easier at night. It's been a welcome change for us.

I also wanted to take a minute to say hello to a special new friend of mine, Shannon over at Two Dudes and a Diva. Shannon and I read each other's blogs and have come to realize that our paths have crossed so many times throughout our life, that I am so surprised that we weren't already friends! Shannon has such a beautiful family, please stop by her blog and say hello!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Weekend

It was such a beautiful, Fall weekend here in Cleveland. The sun was shining, the temps were in the 70's, and we spent almost every minute trying to make the most of it. I spent my Friday shopping around town with Jillian for Fall decor. I didn't have too much luck but did happen to find this gorgeous sunburst mirror at TJ Maxx for our living room. I was in love with it from the moment I laid eyes on it. I was really hoping that this was the piece that I had been looking for to go above our couch in the living room. When I brought it home and held it up the wall, it was a perfect fit! I am so excited, I can't wait for Jeff to hang it up!

On Saturday, my sorority sister Stephanie got married. What a beautiful Fall day she day, you couldn't ask for a more perfect day for a wedding! The wedding was an hour South of Cleveland so Jeff and I spent most of our day getting ready. We also had to drive to my parents house before the reception to drop off Jillian which made for a long day in the car. It was totally worth it because I was looking so forward to seeing so many of my friends and sorority sister's. A few of them I haven't seen since college!! It was so nice to catch up with all of them.

If you can believe it, Stephanie's wedding was probably one of the first times that Jeff and I have been out together without Jillian since she has been born. It was so nice to have an enjoyable evening out without having to worry about her. I knew she was in good hands with my parents. Halfway through the reception, my Dad sent me this picture letting me know how much fun she was having with Grandma and Grandpa. Think she was having fun??? Yeah, I think so.

While we were getting ready for the wedding on Saturday, my sister-in-law sent me this beautiful picture from their seats at the Ohio State football game. What a view of the 'Script Ohio'! Both my brother and sister-in-law were in the Ohio State Marching Band in college so seeing the band perform the 'Script Ohio' is always so special. I am also so pumped that the Buckeyes are now officially #1 in the Nation! Thank you South Carolina Gamecocks!!!!!

On Sunday Jeff and I debated on heading out to Patterson's Fruit Farm and Pumpkin Patch for some pumpkins and mums, however, we decided to do some work outside in the yard instead. I put up some fall decor and Jeff cleaned out the garage. Our productive day outside was temporarily interrupted so we could watch the Cleveland Browns game. It was a tough loss but I felt they played hard. There were so many injuries, I would have been shocked if they would have won. Hopefully we will be able to make it out to Patterson's next weekend. I am also still in the process of putting together Jillian's outfit for our big day at the pumpkin patch. At least I now have another week to get it together.

Here is a sneak peek of our fall decor, I plan on writing a seperate post for Fall once I am done with everything!

Hope y'all had a great weekend!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

We Have Been Booed!

It's that time of year again and my neighbors are already out and about Booing the neighborhood! We received our Boo on Wednesday. I was walking down the stairs at 6am Wednesday morning and saw a orange and black sack on our front porch. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me at that hour but sure enough, it was our Boo! Whoever dropped off this Boo was so incredibly sweet and thoughtful.

The whole sack was filled with items for Jillian. A new Halloween outfit, Halloween legwarmers, children's books and a boo banner for our fireplace. I can't wait to find out who booed us because I owe them a huge thank you for being so thoughtful.

Booing has been a tradition in our neighborhood for the past three years. Here is the letter that comes with our boo package, it reads:

The Air is cool, the season fall,
Soon Halloween will come to all.

Ghosts and goblins, spooks galore
Tricky witches at your door

The spooks are after things to do,
In face a spook brought this to you!!!

the treats that came with this short note,
Are yours to keep, enjoy them both

The excitement comes when friends like you,
Will copy it and make it two

We'll all have smiles upon our faces,
No one will know who "Booed" who places!!!

Just two short days to work your spell,
Keep it secret, hide it well.

Please join the fun, the season's here,
Just spread the "Boo's" and Halloween cheer


Please keep it going by following these directions:

Enjoy your treat!
Place the BOO sign on your front door or a visible window.
Within 2 days, make 2 copies of this note, make 2 treats and 2 BOO signs
Secretly deliver to 2 neighbors without a BOO.
Keep an eye on nearby front doors to see how far and fast it spreads by Halloween.

Does your neighborhood boo each other?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Kitchens

Kelly's Korner is hosting her "Show Us Your Life" today and is featuring one of my favorite rooms in our home. The Kitchen! I am so excited that Kelly is featuring blogger's homes again! There is nothing I enjoy more than checking out home decor. So please take a look around my kitchen and then head on over to Kelly's to check out some other gorgeous kitchens!

Our kitchen is my favorite room in our entire house. When we built our home, I already had pictured in my mind what would be my dream kitchen. I had watched countless episodes of HGTV and toured hundred of model homes to know what I really loved in a kitchen. Dark cherry cabinets offset by light colored granite and stainless steel appliances. Our kitchen is just a dream come true for me and I am so grateful that I am able to cook and entertain in such a beautiful place. I love the layout of our kitchen too because it is open to our great room. I am able to prepare meals and wash dishes while being able to keep an eye on Jillian playing in our Great Room. I am also able to watch television, that was one of my pet peeves in our last home, not being able to see the TV from our kitchen.

One of my favorite items in my kitchen in our bamboo bar stools. We bought them last Summer from World Market and have been so happy with them. They are surprisingly very comfortable. I will often sit at our kitchen island when I work from home and can sit in those chairs for hours.

A recent addition to my kitchen is the window valance. The window was starting to look so naked that it needed a pop of color. I purchased the valance from Target and for now it works for me. I am still debating on whether or not if blends too much with the cabinets. I would like to eventually add a bamboo shade as well but I gave up on that search when I ordered three different bamboo shades while I was on maternity leave and nothing seemed to work out. So the valance it is for now. If anyone has any ideas on what you think would look cute there, I am all ears!

I also recently moved this cabinet from our dining room to our kitchen. Right now it is serving as our catch all. I have a basket inside the top shelf where I hide all of our mail, it helps to keep down the clutter from piling up on our counter tops. We are also storing our wine and liquor bottles on the bottom shelf. The cute little lamp on top of the cabinet if from Target.

Our kitchen table area is a bit unfinished at the moment. The red curtains are probably the fourth option I have had hanging up there for now and I am still not 100% happy with them either. Again, I just think between the cherry cabinets, the red valance, and the red curtains, there is just a little bit too much red going on. I am thinking of putting the curtains in the great room and moving the chocolate brown panels that are in the great room now back over to the kitchen. I am also in desperate need of an area rug underneath our kitchen table but until I make up my mind about the curtains, I am not able to purchase a rug.

Thanks again for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our kitchen!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A Few Things

I had a few things I wanted to mention on my blog so I thought I would just throw together a quick wrap up post. If you hadn't heard, Jillian has had a double ear infection for the last six weeks! The poor thing has been uncomfortable and in pain for so long now, it's really starting to weigh on us. As you can imagine, we are so frustrated and feeling so helpless. I want nothing more than to help my little girl feel better and I feel like my hands are tied. Nothing seems to be working. You can always tell when Jillian has an ear infection because she will cry out at night in her sleep for no apparent reason. Typically Jeff or I can get her back to sleep pretty quickly with a little help from her paci. However, we have been dealing with a whole new set of issues ever since Friday night. It's hard to tell if her infection is becoming worse or perhaps she has had enough now too, but Jillian is now waking up every 2-3 hours for and stays awake for a long period of time. The pacifier will simply not ease her back to sleep anymore. She either wants to be cuddled back to sleep or nurse. A few times she has woken up and will just cry out in pain, grabbing at her ears. When this happens, she is inconsolable and Jeff and I just feel helpless, trying everything we can to make her feel better. It's been a rough couple of nights and Jeff and I have been consuming endless amounts of caffeine. The bottom line is that we just want our little girl to get better, we want our precious baby girl back to normal.

We went to the doctor yesterday for Jillian's nine month appointment and for another follow up for her ear infections. The good news is that Jillian is a very happy and healthy nine month old. She weighs 19 pounds, 8 ounces, and is 28 1/2 inches long. Her weight falls into the 50th percentile and her height is in the 75th percentile. This seems to be consistent from her statistics at birth. She seems to be following in her Mommy's footsteps with her body type. The bad news is that her double ear infection hasn't gone away and we are on our fourth antibiotic. If this one does not clear up her infections, then we have to go to a specialist next Friday and talk about the possibility of tubes. I really pray that this antibiotic does the trick, I hate having to give her so much medicine at such an early age. The whole thing is just so upsetting and frustrating.

The weather has been nothing but cold and rainy this past week here in Cleveland so Jeff broke down and put on our heat. He used to have this "No heat until Thanksgiving" rule, however since we now have a baby, that rule no longer applies. Thank God! I hate being cold in my own house. I am not ready to where 18 layers of fleece just yet. It is supposed to warm up this weekend so I am really hoping we can finally live my dream of taking our baby to a pumpkin patch for pictures. Jeff and I used avoid pumpkin patches while we were dealing with infertility and I am really looking forward to finally bringing Jillian. I feel like it's my 'Rite of Passage' into Motherhood.

I also wanted to mention that I am still using my Twitter account but have changed it now to private. I now have to approve all of my follow requests. I thought long and hard about this decision and thought it was for the best. Nothing specific has happened but I was tired of seeing all of these random followers pop up that I had no idea who they were. I also started to have a lot of baby product sales people following me as well which I did not care for. I absolutely love Twitter and love following and "Tweeting" with all of my favorite bloggers/readers so please do not let my decision deter you from sending me a follow request.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Jillian is 9 Months Old

My sweet Jilly, Mommy is a little tardy in writing up your nine month post but for good reason. I have been busy running you back and forth to the doctor and trying to catch up on sleep. Your ninth month can be affectionately called "The month of the ear infection" because you have been pretty much dealing with a double ear infection for over a month now. Remember the ear infection you had when you came down with Roseola? Well it's still here and now both your ears seem to be permanently infected. You are on your third antibiotic so far and nothing seems to be working. Sleeping has been hit or miss because you often wake up in the middle of the night crying in pain. Some nights you will go right back to sleep with a little rub of your back and your paci but other nights you will stay up for a few hours. When that happens, you will usually cuddle with Mommy in your chair or you will hang out in bed with Mommy and Daddy. We have had some long nights together recently! We go back to the doctor again on Tuesday for another follow up, our fourth appointment in a month, and I really hope she has some good news for us.

Taking your nine month pictures this month was tough! First, you wouldn't keep your head band on and then you kept trying to rip your sticker off and eat it. Plus, you kept trying to play with everything around you, the drapes, the seahorse, etc. Then I was afraid to even take the picture because I was afraid that the moment I looked away to take the picture, you would lean forward and fall out of the chair. I have a feeling these picture sessions are only going to get even more difficult.

Leaning dangerously forward and scaring the crap out of Mommy.

This picture just makes me laugh, what a face!

This month you have really started to move and groove all over the floor. You have gone from rolling everywhere to army crawling. You sit up like a champ now and can also sit up by yourself from a laying position. You have really changed so much lately. It's amazing to think that just over a month ago you were barely sitting at all. All we have to do is put a remote control or a cell phone in the middle of the floor and you will be after it in mock two seconds!

Mommy is still nursing you on occasion but my supply is so depleted, you are probably only getting two to three ounces at a time at best. I have decided not to wean you off until your ear infections are completely cleared up. This has been my secret weapon lately to get you back to sleep at night if all else fails when your ears are bothering you. Or maybe this is just an excuse for Mommy to prolong the inevitable of weaning you completely off, but for now, it's helping us get more sleep at night. Maybe next month we will finally be done!

You are still not the best napper but my method to trick you into napping still seems to be working. Since your ears are bothering you so much, I find that you are preferring to fall asleep on my chest lately for naps which is wonderful because I love this extra cuddle time lately. I am worried though that we are really starting to develop some bad sleeping habits. I guess we will deal with it in the future if it becomes an issue but for now, I will take advantage of our extra cuddle time. Napping at daycare is still pretty much nonexistent. Thank the Lord you only go to daycare two days a week. You only seem to be napping for them once a day for an hour. You are much too busy hanging out with the other babies and playing to be bothered with a nap. You come home absolutely exhausted and will typically pass out during the car ride home before we have barely pulled out of the parking lot. I will let you sleep for only an hour but will wake you up after that or else you will never fall asleep at night. I am trying so hard to keep you on a 8:30 bedtime routine but between your ear infections and inconsistent work week schedule, it's very challenging.

One of the cutest things that you have learned to do this month is to wave! It was the cutest thing! We were walking around Washington DC and all of a sudden you started waving to a little baby boy. It was so cute. Flirting already! At first you would just randomly wave, but now you will wave back when you are waved to. You waved goodbye to me for the first time last week when I dropped you off at daycare and it warmed my heart and broke it all at once. I thought it was so cute that you waved good bye but it made me realize that you are now old enough to know that I am leaving you at daycare for the day.

Last month you cut your first tooth and I mentioned that I thought another one was close behind. It turns out I was right, the second bottom tooth popped up two weeks later. You look precious with two little teeth sticking out from the bottom of your mouth. From all of our trips to the doctor this month, she has confirmed that your two top teeth are getting close to popping through too. Your nose has stopped running so I suspect once it starts up again, it will be a sign that your top teeth are on their way.

We just started you on Stage II foods and the transition seemed to be pretty seamless. I think you are starting to enjoy all of the new flavors of the Stage II foods. You absolutely love your Mum Mum banana rice biscuits and have learned how to eat them without taking too big of a bite and chocking yourself. I think we may have made some strides this weekend with the yogurt melts and puffs. You actually ate the little pieces I gave to you without protesting or making a face. If I am not mistaken, I may have a caught a look of enjoyment once or twice. I try to put the little pieces on your tray but you are not quite sure what to do with them. You will try picking them up with your fingers but do not quite understand that you need to put them in your mouth just yet. I find this unusual because you manage to stick everything else in your mouth that you shouldn't!

Jillian, you are finally in still in Carter's size nine month clothing even though you still can fit into a few of your 6 month outfits. The six month pants are way too short on you because it seems like you inherited your Mom's long legs. On warm days I still can squeeze you into your six month Summer outfits. I feel like your were in six month clothes forever which is a good thing because you have a TON of six month clothes. You have so few nine month clothes that I feel like I am shopping for Fall outfits for you constantly. Mommy also finally found that Target Circo pink coat for you! Four Target's later, I finally found it for you at the Mentor Target. I almost did a happy dance in the baby section I was so happy. You finally now have the most adorable pink Fall coat.

You are still in a size 3 diapers and I am loving the Target diapers. I have always loved Target wipes so I am happy that I am now able to pick up a package of diapers and wipes for you every time I visit Target, which is pretty much all of the time. At your doctor's appointment last week, you weighed 17 pounds, 8 ounces. You seem to be a little peanut compared to the other babies your age at daycare. Your friend Scarlett is only seven months old and she is 21 pounds! She looks like a giant next to you and you are two months older than her! You have your nine month appointment next week so I am curious to see what percentile you are in for your height and weight.

I realized this month that you needed some new toys. Now that you can sit up and move around, your toys just seemed too young for you. I went to Babies R Us last weekend and bought you the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Table. You love it! We have it sitting on the ground without the legs and you will sit and play with it for hours. It's nice to finally have something else for you to play with besides constantly putting you in your jumperoo.

I also felt that you didn't have any stimulating toys to bring in the car with you. Just the newborn toys from your activity mat so I bought you the Fisher Price Little Jammin Band. It comes with three instruments and your favorite is definitely the piano.

You also love to sit on Mommy's lap and bang on my netbook keys so I also bought you your own laptop. You love to push the little buttons and also love to slam the lid shut.

You love all of your new toys and should be set now until your birthday and Christmas.

You still love to scream and babble and will make a high pitch scream just for me. I call it your "Mommy call". If you want to get my attention, you make this high pitch scream and I will typically answer you with the same high pitch tone. It's hilarious. It's our first form of conversation. Let's hope that you are getting your screaming at me out of your system and that it won't happen again when you are 16 and I won't let you go on a car date with a boy.

Thank you for another great month sweetie. I am praying so hard that your ear infections will finally go away. I am so worried that you are on the road to getting tubes in your ears and I really hope we don't have to go that route. The thought of you have surgery scares me to death. My love for you grows more and more every day. I am so thankful to God for choosing me to be your Mommy, what a precious gift you are.

Friday, October 01, 2010

What's In Your Target Bag?

I feel like I have been to Target a lot lately, even for me! The change in seasons has really added several new items to my already long Target list. Now that the weather is consistently staying in the 60's, Jillian needs some new fall clothes. I am also trying to start Jillian on puffs and yogurt melts and have not had a lot of luck so far. I break them up into little bite size pieces and try hand feeding them to her and she just makes the funniest faces and turns her head away. I thought she didn't like the flavors I was buying, however three different puff flavors later, I am now realizing that she just isn't a fan of them at all. Did any other Mom's have a tough time with these types of food at first? I can't figure out if it's the taste or the texture that she doesn't like.

Here is what is in my Target bag this week:
  • Welch's Fruit Snacks - I don't think I ever leave Target without buying a box of these. Jeff and I love them. They are great sweet treat to grab instead of a cookie or something else sugary and fattening.
  • Target Up&Up Brand diapers and wipes - I love both of these items and they are so much cheaper than Pampers. I stock up on the six pack of wipe refills. They are easy to pop in the plastic wipes container that we already have at home and are also great for taking to daycare.
  • Circo Infant Shoes Size 3 - Jillian is going to be crawling any day so this little lady needed some new fall shoes! I don't think she will be able to get by with just wearing socks this Fall.
  • Gerber Organic Pear Juice - Our pediatrician recommended giving Jillian this when she is a little "blocked up."
  • Gerber Yogurt Melts - Now trying the Mixed Berry flavor, maybe this one is the winner?
  • Cascade Cubes and Cascade Rinse Aid.
  • Light bulbs - I swear I am constantly buying light bulbs lately. I think now that we have been in our house almost three years, all of the light bulbs seemed to be burning out at once!
  • Archer Farms Blue Corn Chips and TGIFriday's Spinach Dip - I had our neighborhood ladies Bunko game on Friday night and wanted to bring something quick and easy. I always have good intentions about making something, however, in the end it's sometimes easier just to bring something pre-made!
  • Circo Pink Shoe Closet Organizer - I had to buy Jillian a cute shoe organizer to go with her cute new shoes!
  • Target Up&Up Brand eye makeup remover. I love this stuff and it's so much cheaper than the L'Oreal brand I used to use.
  • Earth's Best Organic Oatmeal - We found the rice cereal was constantly blocking up Jillian, all the Gerber Pear juice in world couldn't help sometimes so we switched to the oatmeal.

On my trip to Target yesterday, I raided the Circo separates table. These separates are so cute and colorful, and for $4 a piece, you can't go wrong in stocking up on a few outfits for the Fall. Target also has this cute little pink peacoat that I saw sitting on the Circo table but all they had were newborn sizes.
I have checked three different Targets so far in search of this coat and I can't find a 9 month size anywhere. It's even sold out in 9 months on-line. Grrr....nothing drives me more nuts than finding what I want and it's not in the size I want it in! I have one more Target store to try today so I am praying I find one. I even have my sister checking the Target stores on her side of town!