Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic pre-schooler, my spunky toddler, and myself! Enjoy!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Avery: 2 Months

Today, Avery turns two months old!  Time is totally flying and I need to be better about savoring all of these moments because they truly do pass by too quickly.

At Avery's one month appointment, she weighed 9.5lbs, still 21 inches.  She was in the 30th percentile for height and head circumference, and just under the 50th percentile for weight.  The nurse said Avery had the smallest feet of any non-preemie one month old she had seen!  Avery didn't get any shots at that appointment, but she did get the second of two newborn screening heel sticks where they have to fill in 4 circles the size of a quarter with blood.  That's worse than a shot in my opinion.  Avery's two month check up is on the 30th of this month and she will have vaccinations at that appointment. 

Tiny Rant:
Although Avery didn't get any shots at her one month check up, we heard enough screaming from much older kids in every room around us to suffice.  Since I have a son who has to get multiple items injected into him during any given week and a minimum of 6 finger pricks every single day, I am not sympathetic at all to kids who scream during their vaccinations or finger pricks.  I know I should be more sensitive because I know it still hurts them, but I wish everyone could take some extra doses of perspective.  Side note: both of my boys cried during their flu shots this year, and Michael threw a fit during his 5-year check up in August (I was not with him during that visit, Aaron was).  So, I'm not saying my kids are above any other kid.  I'm just saying I personally do not feel sorry for any kid who gets yearly finger pricks or vaccinations because my own son has to get these everyday and I wish he didn't have to.  Okay. Rant over.  Back to Avery's two month update. :)

Clothing: Avery is comfortably in 0-3 month clothing.  She is tall, so I don't really put her in footie pajamas unless they have a bit of stretch to them.  In our state, it's just now starting to get cold, so she's mainly just been wearing a short sleeve onesie until this week when I put her in long sleeve onesies (and a pair of 3 month pants since I don't have any 0-3 month pants for her).  Tonight it the consignment sale shopping night and I will take inventory of her clothes and buy her a few things if necessary.  

Diapers: She's wearing size 1 diapers.    

Sleeping: Avery sleeps great.  She takes good naps during the day and she sleeps for one long stretch at night before waking once or twice afterwards.  She liked to kick her legs out of her Velcro swaddle blanket and would have a fit trying to do this in the middle of the night, so my mom suggested putting her in a sleep sack.  I tried it out last night, and there were no fits from Avery!  But I am totally sad.  I bought 4 swaddle blankets at the consignment sale in the spring for her.  One wasn't long enough.  One I gave to my mother in law to keep at her house. One we use every single night.  And one was the next size up.  So to think that my baby is already outgrowing the need/want for a swaddle makes me sad!  She's only 2 months old!

Feeding: Avery can go 3-4 hours during the daytime between feeds.  She's an efficient feeder, but not all the time.  She quickly falls asleep while nursing and I have to work to wake her back up so she can finish eating.  Sometimes, this fails and I have to finish the feeding by pumping so that I'm not messing up the supply-and-demand of breastfeeding.  I was off of work yesterday and Avery had a bit of a cold so she wasn't eating as much or as often.  So I'd pump at the 3 hour mark and then when she was hungry, I'd try to give her a bottle but she just wasn't having it.She doesn't mind bottles if someone else is feeding her but if it's me, she wants to nurse.  I guess it's building up my supply by pumping then nursing, so that's okay.

Tummy Time:  She still has great head control.  The nurse was impressed with that at her 1 month check up.  Avery can prop herself up on her forearms and look all around (albeit a bit wobbly).  

Poop:  Avery is a once to twice a week pooper.  The pediatrician sees no problem with this.  It's taking me a while to get used to though.  Avery gets super gassy on the days leading up to a poop and I know she's uncomfortable.  We give her Gripe Water or gas drops to help with this.  But I always feel better when she poops because I know she's more settled and relaxed.  

Habit:  Avery has to see me if she's awake and at home.  I don't think she does this at my mother in law's house during the work days, but I've certainly found it to be true at home.  She can be content in her Rock and Play or bouncy seat or swing, but I have to be in her line of sight.  Otherwise, she fusses.  Mostly this happens right before she naps, so it's probably her way of showing tiredness.  

We are smitten with her!  Both boys love her to pieces!  I can't imagine our lives without her in them.

Until Next Time, 
Much Love, Reba

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Little Update

I forgot how intense the cravings could be during post partum!  I have a bigger sweet tooth now than I did during pregnancy and beforehand.  If I could bake cookies every day, I would.  I try to trick myself into satisfying my sweet tooth by eating a couple strawberries or even carrots with peanut butter, but it doesn’t always work. 

On Sunday, Aaron attended the Talladega Nascar race, and the boys and Avery and I were on our own at home. We attended church (I got off easy from my week to do children’s church since there were no children besides Michael, and he decided to stay in the nursery with my mom, Noah, Avery, my mother in law and my 9-month-old niece). 

After church, my mom came over to watch the boys and Avery while I took a whole bunch of winter clothes to the local consignment sale drop off day.  The sale starts this upcoming weekend, but all consignors had to bring their items ahead of time to have them looked over by the staff to make sure they were quality items.  My mom, mother in law, and I will shop on Friday night during consignor night (I got two guest passes), before the sale opens to the public on Saturday.

When I got back home, I found that the boys had stayed in their room but never actually went to sleep.  So guess what? I told them they were going to definitely have to sleep, and I was able to get a little nap on the couch.  The boys slept for two hours and when they woke up, it was dinner time.  They were content with leftovers (praise hands!!!) and afterwards, they played on the deck while I made cookies.  I didn’t have any brown sugar, so the cookies were made with only white sugar.  So, I accidentally made sugar cookies with chocolate chips.  The boys liked them.  We turned on a movie through an Amazon app and they ate cookies for their bedtime snack. 

By this time, the race was over, but Aaron was stuck in major traffic.  He doesn’t usually get stuck in traffic when he attends the races, but he and his buddies parked somewhere else this time.  So, it took him two hours to get out of the parking lot, and then it took him an hour and a half to get home.  Although Michael fell asleep within 10 minutes of going to bed, guess who was up at 9:00 when Aaron got home? Yes. Noah.  My night owl and also my early riser.  He was up on Monday morning at 5:40.

Tonight, Michael is participating in the Kindergarten performance in school.  Kindergarteners are performing Halloween songs during the APT meeting.  The sign-up sheet was sent home in August asking if kids wanted to participate.  I was sure Michael didn’t want to do it, but Aaron said we should ask him to be sure.  To my surprise, he wanted to do it!  I’ve heard bits and pieces of one of the songs over the last several weeks, and he seems really into it!  I’m super excited to be attending this very first of hopefully many school performances. He has to wear a costume, so he’s going to be Mario. 

Noah’s had a bit of regression since Avery’s arrival.  He’s getting some molars right now which is definitely contributing to his fussy spells.  He gets flustered if he’s in the midst of saying something and then forgets what he was going to say.  And I think this is just him being three, but he is struggling with the internal debates of asking for something and then not wanting it.  Then if you start walking away to put it back, he screams for you to come back to him.  Then he screams if you get close to him.  So… that wears me out.  But I know it’s a phase and I know it will pass.  He makes up for all of it when he is sweet because he is really sweet.  I just wish I had that Noah around all the time.  It’s a guessing game in a way, to know how he’s going to act when he wakes up… or anytime I randomly look at him… or if he loses a toy… etc. 

He’s so cute though because he likes certain things and is very loyal to those items.  At the moment, he’s very much into garbage trucks and school busses.  He has a few garbage truck toys and a few school bus toys.  On Mondays, we wave to the garbage man.  And every school day, we wave to my dad’s bus as it drives by, and sometimes we’re able to wave to the second bus that drives into our neighborhood.  My mother in law has taken a couple pictures of garbage trucks as she’s seen them and we’ve printed them out for him.  So, occasionally, a picture of a garbage truck will be his toy of choice that he carries around.  For example, at the DMV when I was changing a license plate for the van.  He carried around his garbage truck picture and showed everyone in line who would pay attention.

Avery is super great. She has been a great night eater the last few nights and this is awesome for me so that I can nurse her and then go right back to bed.  For a long time, I’d attempt to wake her up, she wouldn’t wake, I’d pump, she’d wake up during pumping or about an hour after I lay back down.  So, I’m really happy when she’s able to nurse in the middle of the night.

Yesterday our weather was finally cool enough for me to put a long sleeve onesie on her and she was adorable!  She’s doing really well at my mother in law’s during the day.  Noah is also totally fine with having her there since he still gets to pick the shows all day long.

Michael is finally enjoying school.  He’s made a good buddy and they pretend play Mario or Pok√©mon each day at PE.  Last week was fire safety week and he got to look around a real fire truck.  He came off the bus with a plastic fire helmet on and was too cute for words!  He shared with his brother and then they played “at the firehouse” (ie, our living room) for the rest of the afternoon.  I’m really happy for their closeness in age and that they are best friends.  Sometimes they’re worst enemies and say “I’m never playing with him again” and I just say “Ok” because I know that in less than 20 minutes, they’ll play together again.  And it never fails.

I’ve been trying to get back into a workout routine.  Aaron and I worked out together right after Noah was born and we were super consistent and it was FANTASTIC!  Baby weight came off super fast (but my supply tanked, so now I know better).  This time, I’m trying to be more sensitive to my post partum body and not do too much too soon. Aaron and I worked out one day last week, but I need to get us both back into a more steady routine (and I’ll just modify the movements so I don’t hinder my supply). I’m continuing with my walking DVDs and try to take a picture every time that I walk because most often, I am either holding Avery or wearing her in the baby carrier.  I have a post partum DVD that I did the other night and I had to put Avery in her bouncy seat and then use my hand or foot to make the seat bounce as I did the movements.   

I’m glad to see some fall weather, and I’m hoping it sticks around!  I’m also glad the consignment sale is this weekend because I need to buy pants for Michael since he only has two pairs that fit, and I’m washing one pair each day to get him through this week.

Thanks for reading!

I’ll update some more later this week about the performance tonight!

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

School Update

I've officially completed two terms of grad school and am about to start my
third term.  This school works off the quarters system where each fall and
spring class lasts 8 weeks, and each summer course lasts 6 weeks.  I
actually really enjoy this set-up.  It is fast paced, and then it's done.
Between the summer and first fall term, I had a one week break.  Then
between the first fall term and the second fall term I had an official one
week break (which I'm finishing up this week), but since I finished all
assignments and exams a week early, I actually got to have a two week break
which was nice.  I didn't know what to do with my free time, though, so I
ended up going to bed early on the nights when Aaron plays computer games.

I initially signed up for three courses for the second fall term, but I
realized that was probably too much to handle, so I cut it down to two
classes.  Then, as a family of 5, we really needed a different vehicle and
purchased a used van (it was part of the Corporate Fleet for Toyota and was
used as their courtesy vehicle).  We plan to pay it off at the beginning of
the year since we hate car payments, but until that time comes, I reduced my
class load to one class until the van is paid off.  That way, I can pay for
school with less than one paycheck, and save the rest to build back up our
savings account (where we took our down payment from).  I anticipate taking
just one class for the first spring term, and then take two or three classes
for the second spring term once we don't have a van payment anymore.

All of the classes have been so interesting thus far and have all
reconfirmed my desire to become a teacher.  I've always loved learning and
loved being a student, so it's super fun for me to absorb knowledge and find
it interesting along the way!  I did sign up for a class in the first fall
term that was a follow up to the technology class I took in the summer.
However, I found out that I couldn't actually take the follow-up class until
I'm an intern in charge of a classroom since the follow-up class requires a
project where I'd actually have to submit copies of students' work
showcasing a technology app I incorporated into a lesson plan.  The
professor was super helpful and tried to create a work-around so that I
could take the class immediately following the first technology class, but
the head of the department said I'd have to wait until I was in an actual
classroom.  So... this class will be put off until my very last term when I
have to intern at a school. I'm a little bit bummed because I'm in a program
designed for those who achieved their bachelor degree in something other
than education.  So it's a tad frustrating to be in a program to become a
teacher and have to take a class that requires one to be in a classroom
actually teaching.  The two don't go hand in hand since I don't have a
classroom, and even my advisor was confused as to why the class was
structured that way, but it'll all work out in the end.

I've found a few tricks along the way to help me out financially a bit.
I've rented books on amazon for two courses-one during the summer term, and
one for the class that will start next week.  Renting books on amazon is
awesome!  You can typically rent them for half the price off or more, and
you can keep them til the end of the term.  Once you take the book to a UPS
store to mail it back and it's scanned in by the UPS worker, you are
released from all obligations to buy the book.  If you need an extension for
some reason, you pay a minimal fee and get to keep the book a bit longer.  I
haven't had to do that, and since the "return by" dates are usually 10 days
after the term has ended, I haven't had an issue getting the book back on
time, and I don't anticipate an issue this time.  Renting (and even buying)
from Amazon is way cheaper than getting the books through the university
bookstore.  I've had to buy two books so far (since they came with
electronic access codes and I was never sure ahead of time if I needed the
codes for the classes).  I will most likely sell these on Amazon since I
didn't use the access code for either class, and maybe someone else can
benefit from that.

Usually the syllabi for the classes are available the week before classes
start-typically by the Friday of the week prior to the class start date.  My
pattern so far has been to look at the syllabus and get super overwhelmed
and wonder how in the world I'm going to be able to do the work/projects,
and then I relax and get it all done. The classes-two in particular-have
pulled me out of my comfort zone, but I've made it through!  I'm very
blessed and grateful for my tech-savvy husband, and also for my tech-savvy
neighbor/associate pastor.  My husband and my neighbor have both helped me
navigate some tricky (to me) technological processes and I'm so so grateful
for their help!

Since I've reduced my class load per term, I'm not going to finish as
quickly as I wanted to, but as long as God gives me the stamina to press
forward in my current job and gives me the ability to keep earning a
paycheck here, then I know it'll be okay.  I dream about the day that I
finish with school and get to begin interviewing for a teaching position.  I
dream harder about being a teacher and getting to create the loving
classroom environment that I want to establish.  I dream the most hard,
though, about being home with my kids in the summertime and winter break.
Those memories that will be made are going to be priceless.  It's a long
road ahead of me to get there, but I'm so looking forward to it!

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Saturday, October 7, 2017

I Just Know I'm Different

I really didn't want this day to come.  Ever since the diagnosis of Type One Diabetes, I dreaded the day when Michael knows that not everyone lives with this illness.  He got a tiny taste of it in daycare just months after diagnosis when he was a little two-year-old boy.  He doesn't remember this though.

But now he's five and in kindergarten and as smart as a whip, let me tell you!  He understands that not every boy and girl goes to the nurse's office (sometimes MULTIPLE times a day!).  He has even helped the nurse explain to his class what diabetes is, and what happens if his blood sugar is not in normal range. "When my blood sugar is high (insert hands raised above head) I need insulin to bring it down.  When my blood sugar is low, (insert hands moving back and forth down by the knees) I need something to bring it up (insert two thumbs up) like juice!"  We smile at his cuteness and then our breath catches a bit as we realize this is a five year old talking about how his life is so medically difficult.

He knows that he is not the same as the others.

I hate to hear him talk about it, but I know he understands.

He comes home nearly every day to tell me about his day and who his best friend is.  Spoiler: it's always the same kid-- he just has to clarify everyday "my best friend B*******."

He was busy telling Noah about the pretend game of Mario or Pokemon that he and his "best friend" were playing and sweet little Noah innocently asks "Does he have diabetes?"
Michael replies "No, he doesn't have diabetes.  I'm different from everybody else in my class.  But he does take medicine.  His medicine is sprinkles mixed into his applesauce."

Now, I don't imagine that this little boy actually takes medicine, and I further doubt that it's in the form of sprinkles in applesauce.  What I learned though, is that his class views insulin as medicine (and most people do, when in fact it's a hormone that you & I have actively working through our own pancreases [pancrei?]).  And apparently, in kindergarten, taking medicine is cool.  So any story that a kid can make up about taking medicine puts them on the same "cool level" as Michael.  And I'm okay with this.  I know there will come a day when he doesn't think having an insulin pump is cool.  But that day is not today, so I have to be okay with his innocent freedom that he has at the moment.

I asked Michael later "Who told you that you were different?"  And he shrugged his shoulders and said "I just know I'm different" and then proceeded to continue playing alongside his brother.

(This is Michael showing his blood sugar reading of 100 which is a perfect number!)

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba

Friday, October 6, 2017

20 Fall Questions

I got this idea from A Little Bit of Everything blog, and she got the idea from The Blended Blog.  I thought it looked fun, so here goes!

Favorite Fall Sweet Treat?
I think fall flavored pies-- pecan pie (my dad makes a really good one!), pumpkin pie (just a small piece at Thanksgiving).  I can always go for a classic chocolate chip cookie and cup of coffee.  

Red, Yellow, or Green Apples?
Red, I suppose.  Gala is my favorite so that's kind of a red/yellow mix?  Green apples are best for baking, though.

Favorite Fall Sport to Play?
I'm not really a playing sports girl, but if I had to choose one of my favorite sports to actually play it would be Ultimate Frisbee.  I actually almost took this as a 1-hr course credit class at Auburn. 

Best Drink for Fall?
Salted Caramel Mocha hot from Starbucks.  I wish this was available year round. 

 Favorite Fall Activity?

Shopping at the consignment sale for my kiddos, and picking out their Halloween costumes and Christmas pajamas!  Trick-or-treating with them is pretty adorable too and this year we have a baby to parade!  Michael's kindergarten class is performing this month and he will be wearing a costume!  I can't wait to hear their little songs and watch their sweet performance.  

Must Have Fall Purchase?
Booties.  I think I've purchased a pair each fall for the last 2 years.  This year's version are VERY tight, so I will be stretching them out with some ideas I've rounded up on Google.  What did we do before Google??? Look up in an Encyclopedia "How to stretch out leather/suede booties" ?!? So far I've tried wearing super thick socks and then blowdrying my feet while wearing the booties.  That didn't work so well. The next trick is to put zip lock bags of water in the shoe and then freeze it knowing that the water will expand once it becomes ice. 

Pumpkin-Pick Your Own or Store Bought?
Store bought.  The "pie pumpkins" in the produce section are pretty cheap, and perfect for little kid hands to hold.  Buying a pumpkin from a patch equals paying for the patch's rate of inflation.  We use "pie pumpkins" for photo shoots.

Real or Fake Pumpkin?
I guess I prefer real so that I don't have to store them til the next year. 

Favorite Halloween Costume?
Michael was a baby tiger for his first Halloween, and Noah was a pumpkin for his first.  It's hard to beat the baby costumes. :)  I'm thinking Avery might be a cabbage patch doll, but we'll see.  

College Football or NFL?
College Football-- Auburn Tigers all the way.  War Eagle!

Fall or Halloween Decor?
Fall decor.  Although we let the boys trick or treat (something I didn't do while growing up), we don't decorate our house for Halloween.  I choose to decorate for fall and that way, the decor can stay up through the month of November. 

Raking Leaves or No Leaves to Rake?
We do not have any leaves to rake.  Yay!

Favorite Soup?
Crock pot chili with a pan of sweet cornbread. 

Favorite Fall Candle Scent?
Cinnamon Sugared Donut from Bath and Body Works.  This must be a scent only available last year because I can't find it on their site this year.  

Love or Hate Pumpkin Spice?
Actually, I don't like it.  I wouldn't say "hate" but it's certainly not a favorite.  I used to love it, but as time went on, it just didn't interest me anymore.  I'm so glad Starbucks came out with different fall flavors. 

Short Booties or Tall Boots?
Short booties.  My legs are short, so wearing tall boots make my legs look stumpy and who wants that?

Favorite Halloween Candy?
Reese's pumpkins! 

Pumpkin Spice Latte-Yes or No?
No. See above. 

Hayride or Corn Maze?
Hayride.  Kids get the biggest kick out of these and I think it's so funny!  We usually have a trailer with hay bales attached to the back of our church's tractor, and kids ride on the trailer during our fall festival.  Even if the kids can clearly see that the tractor drives around the property and comes right back to the starting point, they don't care.  They just enjoy the ride and that's what makes it fun to see through the eyes of a parent. 

Favorite Fall TV Show?
Person of Interest.  It seems to be cold in many of the episodes so it fits in with the fall/winter time line.  I like curling up under a comfy blanket and binge watching this show on Netflix. 

Until Next Time, 
Much love, Reba