Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas!

What a Christmas! Parker and Callie got TONS of gifts this year...our little house is stretched to the max I think! They are having fun exploring all their new toys everyday. Cory got me a tennis racket so I can finally learn to play! Yay! Here are some pictures from the past week from all the fun activities...







Saturday, December 20, 2008

Luminarias!

I drove Parker and Callie around Pasco this evening...don't worry, right before the big snow storm hit again. The 3 of us took a cruise after dinner and checked out the luminarias. It was so pretty! The neighborhoods seemed to be hit or miss. Some went way out, while some didn't even put up one strand of lights! Overall,it was really cool though. Parker got to see 3 Santa Clauses and even got his first candy cane...which he hated! After that, we went and looked at the house across from Ron's Foodmart that has the lights to music. That was awesome too! We haven't made it out to Senske yet, but I hope too maybe on Christmas. So that was our exciting night. Now we are all bundled up by the pellet stove warming our little toes..too cozy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

March For Babies time!!




So we finally have our team...."Team Supreemie"!! As you all know, March of Dimes is a wonderful charity who's cause is near and dear to my heart. A great way to show your support for healthy babies is to walk in the March For Babies. The 6 mile walk is April 25th at 9:00 in Columbia Park. Please go to our Team page and either sign up to walk with us, donate some moolah, or both!!

Visit http://www.marchforbabies.org/teams/teamsupreemie RIGHT NOW! :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Get a $5 Gas Card...Free!

This one is just too good to not share with you guys. Thanks to moneysavingmom.com, I went and got mine already. Take the Techron Trivia Challenge HERE and win a $5 Gift Card if you answer all 3 questions correctly. These go fast so hurry!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

SAVE THE DATE!!





Got an email today from the March of Dimes Washington Chapter...March for Babies date has been announced....APRIL 25TH!!! So make sure you sign up for our team and walk with us to support the March of Dimes. Registration and fundraising starts December 8th. Stay tuned for our official team name this week so you can sign up. We won't be "Team Parker" this year, as cousin Brady and Ms. Callie Bug were also born premature, and we want to incorporate everyone into our family team name.

Also, remember that petition I bugged you all to sign? Well we have success! Here's what the email said: In May 2008, after testimony from the March of Dimes, the Washington State Board of Health approved the addition of 15 disorders to be screened for at birth. Now more than 80,000 babies born every year in Washington State will be screened for 27 conditions at birth; and if any of these conditions are detected, treatments are available to enable the babies to live a normal, healthy life.

Good job everyone who helped! See, we do make a difference!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Callie Pics, 3 month update

I can't believe my baby girl is already 3 months old on Friday! Time is sure flying by. It's almost time to start buying baby food again! At least I got a few months off from buying that stuff. I'm really thinking I'm going to try and make as much baby food as possible. Organic baby food is more expensive in the jar, so I'm thinking maybe by making it and freezing it, it will be cheaper.

Speaking of saving money, wanted to let you guys know that today being "cyber Monday", I got some good deals at oldnavy.com. Use the checkout codes "savenow" and "oneday" and get free shipping plus 20% off! It's such a good deal!

Anyways, back to my Callie-Bug. She's so great! She's still sleeping through the night (thank God!), she's rolling over from belly to back, she gets up on her little forearms when she's on her tummy, she's cooing up a storm, and social smiling!! I think she really wants to be up playing with Parker. Wierd to think she could be crawling around in just a few months. Then I'll really have my hands full! I'll have to keep track of yet another person and make sure she isn't hurting herself or someone else! lol!














Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday Shopping

So myself, my mom, and my sister headed out to the stores...with Parker and Callie even! We didn't go out until about 8:30, thinking we would miss the big crowds. We were wrong! It seemed the stores were getting worse as the day went on! We hit Walmart, Sears, JcPennys, Shopko,Lowes, Griggs, and attempted Kohls, but decided not to go in after checking out the parker lot line. Here's how I did...
I got Parker-
a winter coat
PJ's
2 pairs of pants
a shirt
a coloring book
crayons
an Elmo book
Total: $18 bucks.

Callie-
hoodie
pants
Total: about $8

Cory-
I cant say because he reads the blog, so lets just say I got 4 items and a stocking stuffer for $53

Miscellaneous Stuff
4 storage bins for $12
Lunch for me, Parker, and my sister $15
Diapers $8

Grand total for Black Friday: $114.00

I wanted to stay under $100, so not bad! How did you do with your shopping trip? I'm now almost totally done with Christmas shopping. I only need stocking stuffers for Callie and Cory, and gifts for other family members, which I'm budgeting another $150 for. I was so excited when I got home to wrap gifts and got into my "Christmas closet", there were a bunch of gifts I had forgot about! Yay!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Cory and I spent the day with the babies, lounging around and pigging out. We played a couple board games and got out some of the Christmas decorations. Hope you had a fun holiday!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Random pictures

I had some random pictures I thought I would share..they are kinda older, but still cute!



The pumpkin patch had a petting zoo




Family Pic



Parker and mommy after Parker's first haircut



Gettin' my first haircut at Monkey Dooz



Being Silly



Smiling Callie



Callie after the pumpkin patch

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Parker's 1 year appointment

Parker is 1 whole year old! You know what that means...more shots!! Parker got 3 of them. He's 20 pounds, 9 ounces and about 28 inches. He's in the 25th percentile, just like Callie! I guess it's true, these little preemies do really catch up eventually. Anyways, nothing else really from his appointment to report. He got some cream for his face. He's got "drool rash". He's still so handsome though- even with his drool rash!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Callie 2 month appt.

Ms. Callie Bell had her 2 month check up. Everything went great. She is 9 lbs., 13 oz. and 21 3/4 inches long (she;s in the 25th percentile). She got 3 shots plus the oral rotavirus vaccine. She cried, but got over it pretty fast. Its her brothers turn on monday!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Callie is 2 months old already! She will have her 2 month appt. this week so I will let ya guys know how that goes. I don't have any concerns with her, just excited to see how much she weighs. She is mostly sleeping through the night now. She gets up once a night maybe 2 times a week. I'm so lucky, I know. I figure Parker didn't sleep through the night until about 5 1/2 months so I've paid my sleepless night dues. Miss Calliebell is full of smiles and trying to giggle. She mostly just takes a huge deep breath that sounds like a wheeze...it's pretty darn cute. She has just started "cooing" over this last week. Yes, she is very happy. She does have her diva side though. She is quick to cry when she's not happy and can be demanding at times! I just try to laugh it off.

Halloween was fun. The day before we went to Uncle Jason's work out where his whole office building does trick or treating for the kids. Parker was Superman, Callie was a lady bug, and Brady was a dragon. Callie slept the whole time, and eventually Brady went out too. Parker was the last man standing, but even he passed out on the way home in the car. Parker and Brady got lots of candy and one of the women Jason works with even got them toys! The next day was Halloween. We had plans to go out to Grammie's school and then to go with cousin Brady and Sebastian to downtown Kennewick for some trick or treating. Well, on the way out to Grammie's work, both babies fell asleep. I decided to keep driving around to let them sleep. Parker has been having what I think may be night terrors and part of helping that is to make sure he is getting plenty of sleep during the day. So anyway, I ended up driving around for 2 hours while they slept. Brady wasn't feeling well either so he was sleeping too! We ended up all just going out to dinner at Applebee's with the kids in their costumes. Our waiter was even dressed up as Jack Bauer from "CSI". The Knowlton family had to stay home though so Brady could rest. We still got to see him in his costume though and he looked real scary! lol!


Superman and my little lady love bug!




Brady the Dragon

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Parker is 12 months, 1 week....Callie is 7 weeks!

Parker

Taking his first steps
That major rite of passage is almost here, if it hasn't happened already — some time this month, your baby may take his first steps alone. (If he doesn't, don't worry — it takes some children several more weeks or months to start toddling.) If he's like most children, your little one will take those early strides on tiptoe with his feet turned outward. Keep the camera ready to capture the moment!

New kinds of play
Your baby's play probably will start shifting from mastering his fine motor skills — he's got that thumb-and-forefinger grasp down pat — to exercising larger muscles. Some children this age have an attention span of two to five minutes for quiet activities, although your child's favorite games may not be all that quiet.

Your child probably thinks it's fun to push, throw, and knock everything down. He'll give you a toy as well as take one, and he likes games where he can put things in containers and dump them out again. This works well with blocks in buckets or boxes and with pots and pans, which he can nest inside one another. He'll thrill to the loud sounds of those pots and pans banging together, too.


Callie

Reaching out
Your baby's hands should be mostly open now — ready to reach out to the world. In the early days of your baby's life, grabbing was mostly automatic and instinctual and she couldn't let go if she wanted to. Although she can't really grab objects just yet, she can hold things placed in her hands. And, once she wraps her hands around something, she might not let go so easily. She'll also begin to try and bat at objects, so keep potentially dangerous objects far from your little one's reach. This means not holding hot liquids or sharp objects while you're holding her.

Learning begins now
You may notice short periods of time when your newborn is quiet and alert. This is prime time for learning: Your baby's brain will grow about 5 centimeters during her first three months!

Use these calm intervals to get better acquainted with your baby — talk to her, sing to her, describe the pictures on the walls. She may not be able to add to your conversation just yet, but she's learning nonetheless.

New textures for her hands to feel and new sights and sounds (all in moderation) are all learning opportunities. Even bath time becomes a laboratory for understanding life.

Eyes can track objects
With both eyes now able to follow things consistently and well, your baby can track a moving object much better, something she may have been able to do for only brief periods since birth.

The stores are packed with developmental toys, but you'll do just as well with everyday objects. Pass a rattle or a bright plastic ladle horizontally in front of her. Then try moving it up and down. This should attract your baby's attention, though she probably won't be able to smoothly follow things vertically for another three months and diagonally for another six months.

You can also play eyes-to-eyes by moving very close to her face and slowly nodding your head from side to side. Often her eyes will lock onto yours.

Remember, your baby is an individual
All babies are unique and meet milestones at their own pace. Developmental guidelines simply show what your baby has the potential to accomplish — if not right now, then soon. If your baby was premature, keep in mind that kids born early usually need a bit more time to meet their milestones. If you have any questions at all about your baby's development, ask your healthcare provider.

A New Adventure....

Cory and I spent a lot of time talking about if I should be a stay-at-home mom when Callie was born. It's what we both want, but not really financially possible right now. And although my work schedule at my current job was only 2 days a week, it was hard for all of us to commit to that again. So, I decided to leave my current position at Riverview. It was a very hard choice because I love my cowokers and our patients so much. But, as I'm surely learning, the choices that we have to make for our families aren't always easy.
It's funny though, how the Lord puts opportunities in front of us and sticks us right where we should be. Only a couple days after resigning my position, I was offered something I just couldn't refuse... a per diem position at KGH in their "special care nursery". I decided to accept the offer. As most of you know, preemies are now a passion of mine since Parker was born. I had to jump at the chance to help these special babies and their parents. It works out great too because it's a major pay increase and so I won't have to work as many hours and I get to choose the days or nights I work. Not that pay matters when you will be doing something you really feel a calling for.
And more great news..right now KGH is what's known as a level 2A nursery, which doesn't really take care of babies that are too too sick, but still need extra care. Now, KGH is expanding their nursery and is seeking approval from the state to be able to operate at a higher, more intense level of care. That means taking care of even sicker babies, which is scary, but a good scary. I'm starting orientation tomorrow, so I will keep the blog updated as much as possible with all the exciting things to come. Never a dull moment!
Cory is also looking for a full time job until the business is really up and going enough to support us on it's own. So if anyone hears of anything, let us know!

Cool Sears Program






Found this awesome post on http://www.butfirstwehavecoffee.com. I'm sure I will definatly be taking advantage of this program now that Parker's growing up! The post is about



Sears hosts a neat program called Kidvantage. As long as you purchase kids clothing and/or shoes, they will replace the item with a new one of the same size/brand if it wears out. Yes, you heard me right! If your little fellas, crawling on their knees to play cars, wear a hole in their knee, you wash that pair of pants, take them back to the retail store and they replace the garment! And boy, do those 5 and 6 year olds go through the jeans!

Some stores/states require you keep the receipt. Be sure to find out when you go in and sign up. One state we lived in did require one to bring the receipt back in with the garment.
After $100 has been spent on the Kidvantage program, you receive a coupon, attached to the bottom of the receipt, for 15 percent off your next purchase.

Birthday Fun

Well Cory and I survived our first year as parents...well, more like Parker survived Cory and my first year as parents! We celebrated Parker's first birthday on Saturday with family and friends with a small get-together at our house. With all the chaos, I didn't get any pictures so if you were there and happened to get pictures, please email them to me! I did get lots of good video though. We played "Parker Trivia" with questions about Parker's first year. We gave the prize to Catlin, Cory's little brother. Afterwards though, I was looking through everyone's papers and saw that cousin Tiffany and little David should have won!! So sorry Tiffany, if you are reading this...I owe ya one! Parker had a blast though. By time we got to his cupcake and presents, he was pretty pooped. In fact, he didn't even make it through opening presents. Cory and I ended up doing it for him. He got lots of great presents!! He didn't really know what to think of the cupcake. Maybe too sweet for him? He wasn't really into his pizza either, which he usually chows down on. Too much excitement to eat I guess.
Callie slept through the whole party, but decided to get up about 2 minutes after everyone left. Guess she wasn't really in the partying mood either. I can't believe only 10 more months and we will be celebrating her first birthday.
It's hard to remember our lives just 1 year ago in October of 2007. We weren't even parents for the most part of the month, and were just living life. Who would have known in just 1 year, we would be parents to 2 babies!! So let's see what 2009 will bring us!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Patch





My sister and her family and my mom all decided to take the little ones to the pumpkin patch at The Country Mercantile. It was so fun! We went on a hayride, listened to a live band, went to the petting zoo, sat on tractors, climbed a huge haystack, and finally, picked out some pumpkins. We were all pooped afterwards and Parker passed out! Callie actually slept through the night that night from all the excitement. Don't worry, she was up every 3 hours again the next night. Bummer! Cory was still recovering from his kidney stones, so he didn't get to come. Hopefully next year.
It was really fun to go to something for the babies...not that they will remember anything from this year. There aren't very many family things to do in the Tri-Cities, so we really enjoyed the day. I wish they had more things like this around here. If any of you readers know of any inexpensive, fun family activities, let me know!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Just wanted to share that Callie was weighed and was 8 lbs, 14 oz and 19 inches! What a big girl for 6 weeks old!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Easy Peasy Dinners!

So here is another cool blog out there. This mama is eating only crockpot meals for a year and blogging all the recipes with reviews too. Thought I might pass it along...http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/. We are all so busy, crockpots are the best! I only use mine for chili and pot roast, but this blog has really inspired me!!
Cory had his lithotripsy procedure yesterday. Everything went well...I guess! (The dr. never came and talked to us, so we aren't really sure what to expect.) We are straining his urine, but nothing yet. They also took his stent out, so thank God that is out too. Cory is still having pain, but his pain medication does not work. I guess in 10% of the white male population, hyrdocodone does not work...the ER doctor seemed to think Cory falls into that category. Man, one of those things knocks me out! So he's still walking around the house moaning and groaning! We had our second wedding anniversary on Tuesday too...what a way to celebrate! lol!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where have I been?!


Wow, how time has gotten away from me the past few weeks! I'm sure you guys are wondering what is going on with Cory. Well.... he has been through the ringer, that's for sure! He has been in and out of the hospital due to being in so much pain. He had a kidney stent placed and was just admitted to the hospital again a couple days ago for pain control. He just got home this morning and is actually more comfortable. On Wednesday he will have a shockwave treatment called lithotripsy. That will hopefully break up the kidney stone. When the doctor placed the stent, he tried to break it up, but it was too large. That's also the reason why he can't just "go up" and get it out. After that, he will have to pass the stone and then he can have the stent removed a few days later. Whew! I can't imagine! Ouch, huh? We can't wait till all this is over.
Parker is almost 1...only another week! He is getting his first haircut tomorrow, which will be so fun, but also sad at the same time. Seems like only a few months ago he was born and we were just settling in as a family. Anyways, we are just getting things ready for his first bday party. We are just going to have family over and have cupcakes and hang out. Nothing too over the top!
Callie is doing great too. Six weeks old now. She is still getting up a couple times a night, every 3-4 1/2 hours, eating 3.5-5.5 ounces at a time. We switched her formula to similac sensitive because she was have extreme gas that seemed painful and real runny stools. The formula seems to be working great. She is much more comfortable and grunting and pulling her legs up a lot less. I can't wait for her appt. in a couple weeks so I can see how much weight she's gained. Cory and I think it's so weird to have a baby so alert and awake all the time while so young. We joke that Parker didn't wake up until after Christmas when we brought him home :)
Other than that, we are getting ready for Halloween. Parker is going to be Superman and Callie will be a ladybug. How cute! Can't wait to take lots of pictures.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Birthdays!

Happy birthday to my mom and Cory's brother, Chase! Yay! Parker is 11 months old today too and Ms. Callie Dee will be 3 weeks old tomorrow! Whew..what a week to celebrate!

As for Cory, we are still waiting....

I wanted to share with you guys this awesome deal I found on moneysavingmom. It's for a ton of free picture prints on artscow.com

New members can get one photo book for $4.99 (with free shipping) when you use coupon code PB499.

Plus, use coupon code free10xbooks to get an additional 10 free 8x8 photo books from ArtsCow (you still have to pay shipping, but these might make a fairly inexpensive Christmas present for some on your list).

Also, use gift certificate FREE800 to get 800 free prints (again, you still have to pay shipping and you can only redeem 50 prints per month, but it might still be a good deal for some of you. To redeem the coupon code, login to ArtsCow.com, go to "Members Area", then to "Credit and Discount", and then enter the Gift Certificate and click "Validate".)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Poor Daddy!

So where have I been?! Well, our poor Papa has his own little medical emergency. Here's what's going on...Cory has been complaining of back pain for a couple weeks. He was thinking he may have thrown it out somehow. Well, on Sunday he was in so much pain. He looked really upset and kept having to lay on the ground while helping me with housework. So, I finally said, "where exactly is your pain?" He pointed to his lower side. I said, "Umm that's not your back, that's your kidney!" I told him he should go to the ER to make sure he didn't have kidney stones or something more serious. Well anyone you knows Cory knows how stubborn he is...especially when it comes to doctors or his health (kinda ironic considering I'm a nurse!). Finally, he decided he should go. Turns out, it is a kindey stone about 1 cm big! That's way too big to pass on his own, so he is needing a procedure called lithotripsy. That's when they use shockwave therapy to break up the stone into smaller pieces so he can pass it on his own. Well, more bad news. The machine that they use to do the procedure is a traveling machine and is only here on certain days. They can't get Cory in until October 15th!!! So we are still debating what we should do...He certainly cannot wait over 3 weeks. Financially and physically, he really can't take it! So sorry to those of you I have not been returning phone calls or emails...I've been taking care of 2 babies under the age of 1 and a very sick husband. I will keep you all updated on the situation. Keep Cory in your prayers for some relief!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Callie's 1st Dr. appt

Everything at Callie's first appointment went really well. She's up to 6 pounds, 1 oz. and 19 inches! That's awesome for 2 weeks! Everything was normal, she didn't have to get any shots this time...that's for the next appointment in 6 weeks. We are changing her formula though because her poopies are like water, which could mean she's lactose intolerant. So, we changed to a soy formula...just like her brother already! Callie is still sleeping about 4 hours at a time and yesterday even went 5! I know, we are so lucky! Things are still going really well. The only stressful time is when both the babies are crying for a bottle. I just prop Callie up in her boppy and have Parker in the other arm! Crazy!

As for Parker, he is finally getting his teeth! His top right came through about a week and a half ago and the bottom left cut through the other night. Looks like his other bottom tooth is going to come through real soon. Poor guy is getting them all at once. He's cruising along the furniture really well. His physical therapy appointment went great last week, and Parker has some new goals. Next appointment will be in 2 weeks again!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Parker is 10 months, 4 weeks!


Again, this is according to babycenter.com:

You may see your baby start to take more of an interest in other babies. For the most part, babies this age parallel play, staying happily engrossed in their own activities alongside one another, but without really interacting. This is normal -- focusing on their own abilities and needs is how babies develop. Over time, though, you'll notice your baby stealing glances at fellow babies and perhaps crawling over to try to use the same toy.

Your baby may now assert herself among her siblings and begin to engage in parallel play — contentedly playing alongside (but not with) another baby. Informal baby playdates can be a great way to encourage your little one to develop social skills. Just remember that babies this age are still too young to understand the idea of making friends.

Think of these playdates as helping your baby build a foundation for learning how to interact with others. And she may get new play ideas from these first buddies. A bonus: You'll have some help and support from the other babies' parents.

Your baby now understands simple instructions, although you may still be ignored when you say "no." (To help the word carry a little more weight, use it sparingly, for setting important limits.)

Even though your baby may not always remember tomorrow what you've said today, it's not too soon to set certain boundaries and start teaching some important distinctions, like right from wrong and safe from unsafe.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lots of Pictures!!

Taking a ride


Such a good sleeper!



Parker in the hot tub



One week old



First airplane ride at Fred Meyer's

Friday, September 12, 2008

Growin' Babies!

Here's Parker's 10 month, 3 week update from that one website I posted from last time. Here's what it says about this week:

Your baby may "walk" while you're gripping his hands, and even hold out an arm or leg to help you dress him. At mealtimes, he may be able to drink from a cup on his own (though some children may not do this well for months or even another year or two) and hand-feed himself.

Once your baby's able to drink from a cup by himself, you may need to start ducking, because he's just as likely to toss it when he's finished as to set it down.

Your baby's ability to vocalize is improving, and he may say his first word any time now. When he does, repeat it softly and clearly so she can learn the correct pronunciation. (Bear in mind that many babies won't utter an intelligible peep for several more months, and that's normal, too.) First words don't always have precise definitions, by the way. "Dog" may mean anything with four legs, and "ba-ba" could signify bottle, teddy bear, bye-bye — or all three.


Ms. Callie is a week old today!! Yay! Things are going so good, I really can't believe it. I feel great and Callie is such a good baby!! She's sleeping 4-4.5 hour stretches still and eating about 2 oz. at a time. Her jaundice is looking better, I've been putting her under the window for sunlight. Parker is still adjusting some. He's been getting pretty clingy and follows me from room to room. I don't really mind though, he's so awesome!

The Carlson's brought us dinner last night and got to see Callie and we got to see David. They are such a sweet family! Parker loved the lasagna and I have hilarious pictures of him smothered in it. I'll try and post those later. Grandpa Stemp got to meet his granddaughter last night too. Grandma Stemp brought over lots of really cute clothes. Callie is in preemie sizes, which we didn't really expect so she doesn't have to many outfits for the time being. They grow so fast though, I'm sure she'll be in newborn before we know it!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Callie Has Arrived

So as many of you already know, Callie Dee Stemp was born September 5, 2008 at 1:45 p.m. at 36 weeks exactly. She weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 17 3/4 inches.
Labor started about 8 p.m. The contractions were not very regular so I wasn't sure if it was real labor or not. They wer about 8-11 minutes apart, but the back pain was getting intolerable! Around 1:00 in the morning, I had my mom call the OB floor and ask the nurse if I should come in or not. She suggested taking a bath and rocking back and forth because it could be the position of the baby making my back hurt so bad. After trying that and still being in A LOT of pain, I decided to go in.
When I got there, my heart rate was very high and so was Callie's. It was over 200, which is not good for the baby. I had a temperature and some lower abdominal pain as well and so they decided to do some tests to see where the infection is, thinking it was probably a UTI. Turns out I had acute chorioamnionitis, an infection in the amniotic fluid. The Dr. that was on call that night was thinking I may need to have a C-Section due to the infection and having previously broke my tailbone while in labor with Parker. I was really scared to have any type of surgery. The Dr. was going off shift that morning, but said he would see what all the tests said and then go from there. When the next Dr. came in, he said it was up to me if I wanted to have the C-Section or not, and that the risks were about the same with both. I decided against the C-section.
Finally around 10:00, I got the epidural and they hung Pitocin and really got things going. At 1:45, Callie Dee arrived. I only had to push about 7 times for about 15 minutes. This labor experience was MUCH easier than Parker's and so far, the recovery has been a thousand times easier.
Callie was taken to the NICU for evaluation due to her high heart rate and fever. She also had a pretty bad rash all over her body. The Dr.'s decided she would need antibiotics through an IV for a couple days, but that she could stay in the room with me! The NICU nurses came and got her once a day and once during the night for a couple hours to give her the meds and then she got to come back. All her blood cultures and lab work came back normal. When we left the hospital, her rash was pretty much gone and she was weighing in around 5 pounds, 6 ounces. Not bad!!
Now she is at home with us and things are going great! The first night was a big adjustment for all of us and no one really slept. The past two nights have gone great with Callie sleeping 4-4.5 hours at a time! I laugh because I get up with Parker more than Callie!! She so beautiful though and was so worth any amount of bedrest, dr. visits, or medications.
Cory and I want to thank everyone who helped us out over the past few months, especially my parents who let us turn their home upside down by moving in while on bedrest. I seriously don't know what I would have done without them. I can't imagine how early I would have ended up having Callie if I didn't have their support! Also, Cory's grandma, Lucy, who helped us out during a really low time and helped with chores at home while I couldn't be there. All our family members have been so amazing and we really don't think this pregnancy would have been so successful if it weren't for them. We know how blessed we really are and can't believe God gave us even one more miracle.
I will try and keep updating with new Callie moments! Getting on the computer has been hard...so busy these days!


First family photo...Don't know I was looking so annoyed! LOL!


Parker meeting Callie. He thinks she's pretty cute!


Me and Callie Dee


Papa and his new baby girl



Making her debut!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Appointment Yesterday, Appointment Tomorrow!

Appointment yesterday went real well. I got a gift bag from APW since I made it to 36 weeks. My sister was with me and we were both laughing because neither one of us had got that far in our pregnancies before! Anways, still measuring at 3 cm. And this is crazy- the other cervix is dilating too at 2.5 cm! We were all laughing about that one since really I'm 5.5 cms total! So the amniotic fluid level was even lower at this ultrasound, down from 8.1 to 6.5. I guess the normal range is 8-22, and although I'm not in the "normal" range anymore, the Dr. said it's really not that bad. They still want to check on it before the weekend starts, so I have to go in AGAIN tomorrow to check the fluid level and have a non stress test. The baby can become stressed if the level gets too low so that's the reason for the NST. Callie was measing in at 5 pounds, 9 ounces, but the tech told me that it's really not very accurate because the head measurment she got was so poor due to her position (She's very very low!) I guess that's the one they really go by for weight, so it's probably wrong. I told her I didn't mind, that anywhere in the 5 pound range was awesome to me!! My weight was back down a couple pounds, so that was nice!
On another note, Parker got to play with most of his cousins yesterday! He got to see cousin Brady and David in the morning and then cousin Sebastian in the afternoon. He was pooped! We are going to Great Grandma Stemps this afternoon too for some fun.
Cory has picked up some shifts with Mechanical Insulators again and had to be at work at 5:30 this morning!! Poor guy! I just keep looking at the clock thinking how he's been at work for two hours all ready, and I'm just getting up for the day.
Melissa's house hunt continues...check out her blog for an update on that.
Nothing else really new! I'll update tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

10 months, 2 weeks....

I get these weekly updates from babycenter.com about different things Parker might be doing. I don't take it too seriously, as we all know, each baby is so different. But I thought I might start to post each one. Here's what it says:

At this age, your baby can sit confidently and may even walk while holding onto furniture, possibly letting go momentarily and standing without support. She'll take steps when held in a walking position and may attempt to scoop up a toy while she's standing, too.

Those magical first steps toward independence — and lots more exercise for you! — are just around the corner, if they haven't arrived already. Most babies take their first steps sometime around 12 months, but some start much earlier. If yours isn't walking yet, don't worry — it's still early. Some babies wait until they're 18 months old to make that move.


Also, Parker waved "Bye-Bye" to Cory last night! It was awesome!!

Parker In The Paper

Parker made it in the Tri-Cities Herald today! It's in the KidsZone page on the back of the Lifestyle section. So check it out and he'll be signing autographs at a later time. Lol! I tried to link it, but I couldn't find it on the TCH website. Oh well! Anyways, he's pretty cute!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Money Makin' and Money Savin'

Since I've been on bedrest this summer, I've been doing a lot of reading on the internet of other "mom blogs". I've found a lot of really cool things and gotten a lot of tips. I thought I would pass on a couple of the things I've found out.

First of all, I've recently learned of a couple of easy to use sites that can earn you a little extra side money. I'm not trying to sound like an infomercial or something, but I thought they were pretty cool. These websites pay you to take surveys and read emails. They are: Cashcrate and InBox Dollars. If you click on the names, they will take you right to the websites. Anyways, I thought this was pretty cool and so I signed up and made ten bucks yesterday in like an hour! I read another mom blog where the woman makes a hundred bucks a week just on these sites and spends about 12 minutes a day average working on them.

The other thing I'm learning a lot about is using coupons. Now, I'm already a coupon clipper, but there are ladies out there that should be considered professionals! They get crazy amounts of groceries for like five dollars, it's awesome. I don't think I will go as far as they do, but I've learned a thing or two. First of all to make sure you know your favorite stores coupon policies, especially when it comes to printed coupons off the net. My favorite stores are Walmart and Target and here is what they say. I got these from couponmom:

From Wal-Mart:

“Wal-Mart Stores can accept coupons that are available on the Internet for customers to print from their home computers. The following are guidelines for the stores for accepting Internet coupons:
- The coupon should be legible and say "Manufacturer Coupon". There should be a valid remit address for the manufacturer, to ensure the coupon can be processed for payment.
- The coupon should have a scan-able bar code.
- The coupon should have an expiration date.
- The coupon cannot be a photocopy.
- The limit is one coupon per item, per Customer.
- A Salaried Manager can refuse to accept a coupon if it does not meet any or all of these guidelines.”

From Target:

“Coupons are a great way to save even more when shopping at Target, and we make it easy to use them at our stores. But because of the variety of coupons available to our guests, we do have some guidelines for how coupons can be redeemed at Target:

-We accept two kinds of coupons: Target-issued coupons and manufacturer-issued coupons.
-We'll accept one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon for the same item, unless either coupon prohibits it.
-We can't give cash back if the face value of a coupon is greater than the purchase value of the item; in that case, we'll adjust the value of the coupon to equal the price of the item.
-We can't accept coupons from other retailers, or coupons for products not carried in our stores.

All valid coupons should be presented to the cashier at the time of sale."

So there ya go. Also, I've been using my coupons whenever I need a certain item. However, the key that the "pros" use is to make surey you only use your coupon when an item is also on sale. This way, you are getting your item practically free or close to it. A lot of these moms actually make money when using coupons and rebates! This mom on moneysavingmom uses her Walgreens to do just that. She always uses the coupons Walgreens puts out and gets most of her self care items for free or close to it. Here is one of her favorite coupons:
Here's an example of how she got 6 Fructis items for $2 or free depending on what coupons you have:

Garnier Fructis hair care items--$3.99

Buy 6 Garnier Fructis items at $3.99 each
Use $1/1 coupon from August EasySaver booklet (this should take off $6)
Use 6 $1/1 coupons (from 05/04 and 06/22 RedPlum inserts) or 6 $2/1 from tearpads found at Dollar General
Spend $12 plus tax out of pocket (or approx. $6 out of pocket if you have the $2/1 coupons)
Get $10 rebate from September EasySaver booklet
$2 out of pocket (or free plus overage with $2/1 coupons) after coupons and rebate!

I just think that's so cool! Some other tips include: getting the magazine All You. It has some awesome coupons in it and the magazine is only $1.77 at Walmart. Also, organize yourself. I use an accordian folder that I got for $1 at Target. It's broken down into different catagories that work for me like Baby Items, Groceries, Gift Cards, Restaraunts, Personal Items, ect. You just need to find what works for you. I've seen other people use binders or folders. Another pointer is to ask your friends and family to save their Sunday paper for you, which has all the best coupon inserts.

I'm going to be posting some more things about coupons this week, since that's what I'm into lately! :) I'll try to find other tips that seem to be working for other people across the web. Check out this site A Full Cup to get started. Or click on the Money Saving Mom link to the right under "my favorite blogs" box. Also, feel free to comment on your money saving tips to share with all the other moms who read my blog!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baby Horoscopes

Everyone knows how much I love psychics, horoscopes, and all that stuff...Here are some things I found about Scorpio (Parker) and Virgo (Callie) babies. It's just for fun!!

So looks like Callie will be a Virgo baby. Here is what the universe is predicting for her!!

August 23 - September 22
Planet - Mercury
Element - Earth


For better or for worse, the Virgo baby is plenty fussy! How else do you expect these kids to grow up to be perfectionists? Get used to it: the Virgo baby can be quite particular and needs to have a routine. At least having a routine isn't all bad, but don't even think of changing it! This baby will not respond well to a lot of change. The Virgo baby can also be picky about food, so keep it simple at mealtimes. Aside from these peculiarities, this tot doesn't require a lot. A clean bedroom and simple clothing are sure to keep this baby dry-eyed.
As well, the Virgo baby is quite good at amusing itself for hours with the most basic of games, feeling very little need for the attention of others. The Virgo child also wants to talk early on, probably earlier than most of the other babies around. There's a lot going on in that mind, so it may as well come out!
From an early age, this baby can also be seen as mother's little helper, as the need to serve others is a strong Virgo trait. They also won't make a fuss over their accomplishments, since by nature these kids are a bit shy. To sum up, the Virgo baby is fine on their own but also happy to help others, loves cleanliness, and can easily keep themselves amused. Pretty (albeit picky!) good kid.


Mr. Parker is a Scorpio, which fits him pretty well:

October 23 - November 21
Planet - Mars & Pluto
Element - Water


When a Scorpio baby enters the world, all eyes will focus on them. And that's exactly how it will be for a long time to come, as this baby must be the center of attention! To that end, this is quite the manipulative little tot, sucking up energy from everyone around.
The Scorpio baby is also a bit mysterious, making it hard to figure out what's wrong when the crying starts. So often, it's something which is seething below the surface and will be very hard to draw out of this child. You must also consider power struggles when thinking of this child, as the Scorpio baby will expect that Mom, Dad, and everyone else will fit into their schedule and plans. Make no mistake, this is a powerful child!
The flip side of this is that this baby is quite clear on what they want and can get that message across. One important note: Scorpio babes loathe lounging in dirty diapers, so change them often! Many times, this can be the simple source of their discomfort, although the malady may not always be so clear. For that reason, the Scorpio baby should be watched closely.
Someone will generally be watching this child, though, as the Scorpio tot enjoys a crowd, especially one where it can lead. To sum up, the Scorpio baby is clever, wants things on their own terms, and will know how to get it. Watch out!


Copyright 1999-2008, Astrology.com and KnowledgeWeb

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

35 week appointment

Well today I'm 34 weeks, 5 days and had another appointment. I had another ultrasound of the baby and she is measuring about 5 pounds, 6 ounces. The amniotic fluid level was a little low, so the Dr. is going to check on that again next week (if I make it!). He did an internal exam and I am almost 3 cm's dilated and 80% effaced. He said Callie could come at any time now, so we're ready!! Dr. Turner also was a little concerned because I gained 6 pounds since last week. He said it's physically impossible to gain that much fat in 1 week and it's got to be from swelling and fluid retention. So I also had to have some labs done to check for preeclampsia. He said it's okay because that's the kind of weight you can "just pee off". Yeah right!! I think it's because we just went out to breakfast at McDonalds before the appointment and Callie gained a half pound this week. I'm not concerned because I'm not showing any signs of preeclamsia and I haven't gained 1 pound in 5 weeks, so who cares if I had a big jump this time? Dr. Turner also loved seeing Parker. He was really happy I've made it this far and said, "I think we've done a good job!" I would have to agree!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Parker's 10 month appt.

Sorry I never got to updating about Parker's appointment on Wednesday. He had a really great appointment and didn't need any shots. He weighs 18 pounds, 1 ounce and is up to 27 3/4 inches! He's about in the 10th percentile for both weight and height so that's exciting. He fell off the chart for height at his last appointment, so he really grew these past couple months.
The Doctor is really happy with how Parker is coming along developmentally too. He's right where he expects a 10 month old to be! We don't think he'll be needing that physical therapy too much longer.
The "rash" around his eye and face isn't really a rash, but a form of milia. That's just oil clogging his tiny pores, or baby acne! It looks a lot worse than it is I guess since it's around his eye.
His Dr. also said Parker won't be needing the RSV shots this winter! Yay!! At about six thousand dollars per injection, we are still paying off last seasons! LOL! Since Parker didn't really need much time on the CPap and wasn't on a ventilator at all, his lung damage was minimal, so Dr. Taylor thinks we'll be just fine. We are so happy!
As far as how much formula intake he's getting, we're pretty much okay there too. The Dr. would like him to get 24 ounces per day as a minimum, which the majority of days, he gets. As for weening him off his bottle, we are doing the right thing there too. The Dr. recommends babies be completely off a bottle between 18-24 months, so we are on the right track. We've tried giving him a sippy cup of formula for breakfast and then give him the rest in his bottle. He really still loves his bottle, so we might have a challenge on our hands. But he's still got 8 months to get used to it, so we'll take it real slow.
So it was a typical check-up with no worries!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Everyone To The Doctor!

Had a weekly appointment yesterday..what a shock! lol! Well they decided to do an actual ultrasound of the baby instead of just my cervix. They just wanted to check on the growth of Ms. Callie and check the amniotic fluid level. After the ultrasound, my doctor got called to the hospital for an emergency so I saw the P.A., Laura, who was really nice. She said she had Dr. Turner look at the ultrasound before he left and he agreed everything looked great. She was measuring 4 pounds, 14 ounces!! Parker was around 4 pounds 8 ounces when we brought him home last year, so she is going to seem so big to us! Cory says he can't see anything on the screen during the ultrasound so that was pretty funny. He really wants one of those 4D ultrasounds, but I tried to explain they would only do one if they were concerned about the baby, not just for fun. And since the problem is with my body, not the baby, we probably won't be getting one. I didn't bother getting any pictures printed because the baby is head down, facing my back so there wasn't really anything to see. They scheduled 2 more ultrasounds for my next 2 appointments, so hopefully I can get some good shots then.

Other than that, some more exciting news...I'll be 34 weeks on Friday! Yay!! They would not try and stop labor at this point. The doctor explained to us that at 34 weeks, most babies do fine breathing on their own, however, some do not. She said even if the baby went to the NICU, sometimes they have to be intubated, but only for a very short time and maybe even still get to go home right away. I've already had the betamethasone injections for her lungs, so that's great. Also, I don't need anymore progesterone shots, and after Friday, I can stop the procardia and erythromycin! It's so exciting..no more pills or shots!! Obviously, they've been working though, so I'm kinda nervous I'll go into labor or something. She also said after Friday, I can start very very VERY gradually start doing more on my feet like going to the kichen or walking from room to room a little bit. She said if I'm not having contrations or cramping, I can build up my activity level. If I do, she said just cut back and go back to strict bedrest. I'm so excited! Cory wasn't very happy she said that because he thinks if they give me an inch, I'm going to take a mile. He said she can't tell "someone like you" to take it so slow because I'll just dive right in. I don't know what he means by "someone like you", but I don't think it's a compliment! :) I would never do anything to risk the health of the baby, so I will follow Dr. orders.

Parker goes in for his monthly appointment today with his pediatrician too. I'll get back on today and let ya know what happens. We had a few concerns: Parker has a rash around his eye and part of his face. We wanted to know about getting the RSV shots for the 2nd RSV season (the NICU recommended geting the shots through the 2nd year because he is still high risk through this year), and when we should start weening him off his bottle. Also, I want to make sure he's getting enough formula during the day because he seems to be really filling up more on table foods now. Well, I'll letcha know!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ouch!

Aww, poor Parker got stung by a bee last night! Cory and I were sitting outside and Cory went to put Parker in the grass to practice standing. All of a sudden, Parker started crying like he was just shot or something! I looked at the bottom of his foot, and sure enough, he had been stung. Poor Bubbahs! We put an ice pack on his foot and gave him some tylenol, then we soaked his foot in the pool which seemed to instantly help. He's so tough! So here's a picture of Parker from the other morning. As you can tell, he's pulling himself up to standing now!! He's very unbalanced once he gets up there so I'm always worrying about him. He's had a couple spills, but nothing too bad...yet!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yet another appointment!

Had my weekly OB appointment today. Dr. Turner was out, on-call at the hospital, so I saw another Dr. I actually saw the Dr. that admitted me to the hospital when I went in with Parker last year. I was measuring at 1.6, so pretty much the same! The Dr. said, "Well, nothing is really going on with you except your cervix is really, really, really short!" He said I was his most high-risk patient of the day, but I was being boring! lol. I guess boring is good at this point! My belly is measuring right on target, vital signs were all good, Callie's heartrate was great...all wonderful things!

Parker has started pulling himself up to his feet! It's so exciting! He's only been crawling for about a month and now he's trying to be on the go even more! He pretty much topples over right when he gets up, but hey, we are pretty proud. I'll try to get a picture posted of him doing it. The physical therapist will be so impressed!

I'm so bored lately! I've been watching a lot of Olympics. I can't believe the are getting rid of baseball!!! I love watching the volleyball too. Does anyone want to join a league with me this winter? Also, had a mean game of Scrabble last night with mom. She beat me by 1 point. Gotta step up my game I guess!! lol! Oh, and I deleted my mypace page too. It's the end of an era!

Cory is plugging along down at Spectrum. We are just waiting for his city license to come through and his doors will officially be open to anyone and everyone! It should be coming in hopefully this week. His sign is up too, you should go check it out. I will try to put pics of that up too this week. His shop is at the bottom of the Cable Bridge, across from the mini golf place. Which, by the way, is not open this year! What's up with that?? I love mini golf! Not that I would be going, but still- that place is like a landmark in the Tri-Cities!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We Have a Name!

We finally have a name for our little lady! After all this time....ready...here it is...we are going to name her....

Callie Dee
It means "Beautiful Lucky One"

So that's it! Finally! As for an pregnancy update, I was admitted to the hospital last week. I went in for my weekly check up and the cervical length shortened up a lot from about a 2.5 to 1.9 and showed funneling. The dr. decided to check me and I was dilated 1 1/2 cm and 70% effaced. He did the FFN test too (which can predict preterm labor), luckily, that was negative. That means I had less than a 1% chance of going into labor within the next 7-14 days. He decided he wanted to admit me to KMC. I got the betamethasone injections for the babies lungs, nonstress tests, IV antibioitics. I guess the monitor showed I was having contractions, although I couldn't feel them at all!! So, he started me on a couple of meds to stop that. Only bad thing is they are for lowering BP, so they made me pretty dizzy!! My BP's were like 90's/40's! oh well, it's worth it!! Anyway, got another ultrasound that Thursday and I was measuring at a 2.0. The Dr. said since it's about the same, either I could stay in the hospital and wait to have the baby and stay on complete bedrest, or go home, stay on bedrest, take all kinds of meds, and swear to come back in if ANYTHING changes. Of course, I cant take being away from Parker, and since everything seems stable, and they weren't really doing much for me at that point, I decided to come home that night.
Then, not such good news. I had another US and appt. yesterday, and cervix was measuring about 1.5. Dr. Turner was pretty upset and felt like he should have kept me in the hospital. He says studies have shown women do better on hospital bedrest than at-home bedrest. I don't know how much more I can stay off my feet though! I barely move to begin with! Okay, there have been a few times I've pushed it, but I'm about to go crazy!! Anyways, after some convincing, he decided I should come back in tomorrow to have another ultrasound and we could go from there. I had another nonstress test too, which looked good. I guess when the measurement is 1.0 or less, labor is immenent. I'm 31 weeks, 5 days today, which is what I was when I went into labor with Parker. I consider everything from here on out a success really. The Dr. isn't sure if I will make it to 34 weeks, but he really doesn't want us to give up. We are disappointed that we are going to have another baby in the NICU, but it's something we knew was probably coming. The Dr. is out of the office, so I will have the ultrasound and then he will call me at home to discuss the results. How nervewrecking!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Just Checkin In

I forgot to update everyone on Parker's first physical therapy appointment. It went pretty well. The physical therapist showed us some things to do with Parker to help him with sitting up. She had him work his side muscles by using a mini baby stability ball, which was really cute. Then she had him work to crawl and did exercises to teach him how to go from crawling to sitting. He actually did pretty good. She also looked at his feet because one foot seems to turn out. She said she wasn't going to worry about it yet, but he may need some type of little brace to help straighten it out. I guess baby's feet change when they start walking, so it may correct itself. So she will continue to work with Parker and show us more things we can do to help him.
Also, we ended up starting Parker on Zantac to help his reflux. It was getting really bad and when he couldn't stop puking on the physical therapist, we knew it was time for another intervention. Zantac has really helped. Still having small "erps" but nothing compared to what it was.
As for me and the pregnancy, everything is going well. I have another appointment tomorrow, which knock on wood, will go great! Cory and I are still kicking around names for the baby. I think he likes Miley, so that's a new possiblity. I've been super bored lately, so I'm thinking about revamping the blog somewhat and making it a little more interesting. I need a project before I go crazy!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another appt.

Saw Dr. Turner again yesterday. Things went awesome. I was measuring at 2.5, which we were happy with. He even let me cancel my appointment for next week!! I'm so excited!! I still have to go in to get my progesterone injection with the nurse, but that's okay. Also, I asked him if things continue to go well, if I can be taken off bedrest at some point. He said maybe around 32 weeks!! I go so happy and then he said he wasn't sure because when people get as excited as I did, it usually means we will take advantage of it. lol! I probably would, but not on purpose. I can't wait to clean my house again. I keep saying I wish I could be off bedrest for like 4 hours to get everything in order again. Cory is trying his hardest to keep things tidy, but it's really not working out! I don't think a guys idea of clean is the same as most girls.

On another note, my stupid car broke down the other day. We really need it to run another couple years so I was really bummed out about it. Luckily, my dad is pretty sure he knows what is wrong with it and him and Cory can probably fix it themselves. Something about a fan clutch? Oh well. Thankfully we don't need 2 cars right now since I'm on house arrest. We also hope to get Cory's truck back on the road soon so that we can have it going again. It needs so much time and money though. Grrrr, cars! So fun! My mom and my sister are getting new cars today too, I'm so jealous!

My mom took me to get my hair done though yesterday after my OB appointment. It's super short and blonde now! I love it so much!! Cory says he likes it too, so that's a plus.

Anyways, my next appointment is the 28th I believe. I will be 30 weeks preggo at that point. How exciting!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Update

Had my weekly appointment with Dr. Turner yesterday. My cervical measurement was down to a 2.6 from a 3.3 last week (the higher the # the better). The Dr. was still pretty pleased with the measurement though and we were both really happy that we've made it to 28 weeks. This is a really important week for the baby because she is starting to produce sufactant in her lungs which helps her to breathe on her own. The Dr. says I will continue weekly cervical ultrasounds for a couple more weeks and if things are still going good, we can probably stop doing them weekly. However, if it's still shortening, we need to keep coming in every week. So, I guess we are just playing it by ear. I started leaving amniotic fluid around 28 weeks when I was pregnant with Parker, so these are really crucial weeks...hard to believe I was in the hospital at 30 weeks with Parker, which would be only two weeks from now with this pregnancy. Weird to think our daughter could be here that soon!

Also, we talked about a few other things...got permission to float around on a raft in the pool! Yay! As long as I don't jump in, it should be okay! I was mostly sad about when we talked about avoiding another tailbone break during delivery....remember with Parker, I broke my tailbone while pushing.. and he was only 3 and a half pounds!! The Dr. said there really isn't anyway to avoid another fracture except for a c-section and of course we don't want to do that. So, that really sucks. That was way worse than the labor and I'm so not looking forward to that again. Oh well, I guess even more reason to get an epidural again! lol! The last thing we talked about was me trying to con the Dr. into ordering another ultrasound so I could see the baby again. All these weekly ultrasounds are just to check on my cervix, so I never get to see her!! He told me he didn't think he would be able to justify it to my insurance to do even more tests since I'm already having so much done. Also, he said he saw everything they needed to at the 5 month baby ultrasound and she looked completely healthy. Oh well! I guess we'll get to see her eventually...hopefully 3 months from now!! My next appointment is Tuesday.

As far as Mr. Parker pants goes, he is doing great. He had his upper GI testing done and turns out he does have some reflux going on, hence the puking! He is still such a happy guy though and his Dr. says this is something he will grow out of between ages 1 and 2. He gave us some things to try though. We've been letting him sit up after eating, keeping pressure off his belly. Also, we are to try putting just a little bit of rice cereal in his bottles to try and thicken it up a little. As long as he's gaining weight okay and doesn't seem to be severe, we will just let him grow out of it. So far, nothing really seems to be working, but we are still trying.

So we are surving the bedrest pretty well so far...I can't believe it's been almost a month! What an adjustment its been. I think the Lord is trying to teach me to slow down, that's for sure! It real tough from going to mom and nurse mode to lay around all day and put your feet up. The girls from work came over to visit me and brought me an awesome basket! It had all kinds of relaxation things and books and card games. It was so sweet!! Another friend of mine brought me over some baby clothes and brought her daughter to visit Parker. It was so fun!! I love getting visitors...it really helps having playdates to look forward to!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A GREAT day!!

So bedrest has done wonders!! I had an ultrasound today and my measurements were actually up!! I was 2.2-2.3 last week and today I was 2.6-2.8! I'm so excited! No hospital for at least another week (hopefully!!). The Dr. says to just keep doing what I'm doing..bedrest, shots, pills. Also, he told me about this new prenatal vitamin for high risk pregnancies that has shown to decrease preterm labor. So that's great too and I will have another appointment next week.

I forgot to update you on Parker's developmental screening that was a few weeks ago. It was really interesting watching all the different tests. There was a physical therapist, speech pathologist, and occupational therapist there. He scored at 7 months for cognitive thinking (which is like his problem solving and thinking skills), 6 months for speech, and 5 months for motor. So, he did qualify for services for physical therapy to boost up those motor skills. They set up goals for Parker to meet. The first one will be for him to sit up on his own for a few seconds, then 30 seconds, then be able to sit up and play with toys. Therapy starts in July. The therapists scored him at his adjusted age (5 1/2 months), but it was really interesting because they said Washington state does not recognize prematurity as a problem and doesn't allow for scoring on an adjusted age. Kinda funny how that works. Oh well, we want to give Parker all the help he needs so we decided to go ahead with the therapy. They said they thought he is doing great though and didn't think he would need help for that long. So that's great news too.

Parker had his 8 month check up yesterday too. Can you believe he's 8 months old today?! He weighed 16 pounds 9 ounces and grew another inch! He fell off the growth chart for height, but that's okay! Me and Cory are both short so it's to be expected! lol. Also, he's going in for an upper GI xray on Friday to make sure he doesn't have any reflux going on. He's such a pukey baby, we just want to make sure nothing is going on. The Dr. said most babies grow out of it by around a year and a half. If that's the case, we still have 10 more months of throwing up! Yay! We go through about a million bibs and fifty outfits a day!

On another good note, Cory is very close to opening his screenprinting business. Within a day or two, his doors will be officially open! It's been such a long wait, we are so happy. Cory is really happy to be the provider for our family again, he feels great! It's such a scary thing to open your own business, but I know he can do it. He talks about the business like he talks about baseball...he gets so excited!! I didn't realize how draining opening your own business can be financially, emotionally, and everything!! It's funny how the timing has been almost perfect from the business opening to me being put on bedrest though since I'm unable to work now.. Kinda sucks though because Cory is gone for like 16 hours a day working. That means Parker and I have basically had to move back in with my parents so someone is around to take care of us. I only can get up to use the restroom and take a shower, so it makes it really hard to take care of an 8 month old! I'm so lucky my mom is off for the summer.

So just wanted to let everyone know all your prayers and positive thoughts really paid off!! Keep em up...they are working!!! I'll check in again hopefully next week!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bedrest Again

Well my Dr. appt. did not go so well today. Turns out my cervix is already thinning out. At 21 weeks it was 3.7 cm, then a little over 3.0 last Friday, and today 2.3 cm. So, I'm on total bed rest until the baby comes. Pretty scary stuff. We really didn't want to go through having another preemie but the Dr. thinks I can probably make it to 31 weeks again if I really stay off my feet. So I'll probably be updating the blog a lot more often since I'll have so much time on my hands!!! I will continue doing the progesterone injections and erythromycin to maybe help the situation more. Dr. Turner says no meds have really been proven to work, only bedrest. I asked about doing a cerclage, but he says the issue is the uterus and it would still contract even with the cervix closed. I'm just running out of room again. I go back in next week and the Dr. says if I'm measuring less again, he's going to hospitalize me. That's the last thing I want to happen, so I'm going to be a good girl. Luckily Melissa and Mom are going to help me around the house and with grocery shopping and all that stuff.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Parker's going to have a Lil' Sissy!!

Just had our ultrasound this morning. Found out we're having a girl!! She is up to 13 ounces which is about the average size for that gestational age. The ultrasound tech said the baby is so low against my pelvis, they couldn't get any face shots. That's okay though, she's onry like her brother! :) As far as names, I thought Cory and I had agreed on Sawyer, but apparantly not. He thinks it's too manly sounding. haha!! So anywho, I start erythromycin today and progesterone injections too. I have to wait for the progesterone to come in throught the pharmacy which should be next week sometime. I start going in every 2 weeks, then weekly around 28 weeks with ultrasounds everytime. Dr. Turner is being extra cautious with this one and we really appreciate that!
Parker had his developmental screening done as well. He scored as high as possible on the communication and language part so that was awesome. He was just a little low on his motor skills. So we take him to the Children's Developmental Center in a few weeks so an occupational therapist, physical therapist, and teacher can evaluate him and see if he needs further sessions. If they think he's doing great, they just review his scores and follow up with us in about a year. If not, we set up a game plan with goals and exercises we will start. I'm sure he'll do great! And even if he doesn't, we all know how Parker does things on "Parker-Time"!

Monday, May 5, 2008

6 month check-up

Parker had his 6 month check up last week! He weighed 14 pounds 10 ounces and was 25 1/2 long! He got his 6 month shots and did great. Nothing real exciting to report. He has his developmental screening on Thursday so we'll get to see if he's behind on anything. Personally, I think he'll do great.

Also, Melissa had her baby, Brady, last Monday. He's been in the NICU because he was 4 weeks early and had breathing issues. Melissa had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, which can cause the baby to have immature lungs. He's had to be on CPAP to help him out. He's been there for a week now so they are hoping to get him to Peds within the next couple days, and then eventually take him home. It's been tough watching them go through having a baby in the NICU and watching Brady struggle during his first few days, but we know they will all do great! We are proud of our little preemies! My sister and I both hope to have longer pregnancies in the future!! Brady's favorite nurse was Parker's favorite nurse too!! We love you Nurse Rhonda!! The NICU team is amazing at Kadlec, although we hope we don't have to ever see them again!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

March For Babies Tody!

Had the March For Babies today to support the March of Dimes. It was a really nice walk. The weather was beautiful!! Our team raised $590! That's pretty good for only 7 people! Team Parker was myself, my mom and dad, my sister and her husband, and Cory's grandma. Also a good friend helped raise a lot of money for our team (Thanks Ang!) It was a 6.5 mile walk and we were done by around 11:00. 2 hours...I know, we're slow pokes! Next year, we want to double our team size and double how much money we raise...so get ready everyone!! I'm going to start recruiting for Team Parker even earlier next year. I also hope to be a little more organized. It was a little confusing this year and I wasn't completely sure how things worked either. I hope to get pictures of the walk up soon. Thanks to everyone who helped!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

RSV Season Has Been Extended :(

I took Parker to get what I thought would be his last RSV injection yesterday. Turns out RSV season has been extended in Washington State through May. So, he will have to get yet another shot next month. Anyway, Parker weighed 13 lbs., 5.6 oz. and was 24 1/2 inches long. His head grew more than anything!! haha! He's doing great though and is eating his fruits and veggies wonderfully still. He's sleeping through the night, usually 10 hour stretches. He's such a good baby!!

As far as the next little bubba is concered, he or she is just as onry as it's older brother!! We had the typical 12 week ultrasound to check for downs and other genetic disorders. The baby was layed on it's side facing my back and refused to move! So, they didn't get anything they were looking for but that's okay. The heartrate was 167. I'm thinking we have another boy on our hands! :)

Oh, and if you haven't already- sign up to be on our march of dimes team!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Parker Rolled Over!

Parker finally rolled from his belly to his back last night!!! It was amazing and I think we scared him because we were cheering so much!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another Little Peanut!

Yes, it is true. Parker is going to have a little brother or sister!! Needless to say we were completely shocked when we found out. I was still in the process of getting my own health checked out.

When I was in labor with Parker, I found out I had been misdiagnosed from the beginning. They told me I had a bicornuate uterus, which mean I had a "heart shaped" uterus. When another Dr. came in to check on me during labor, he was shocked because it turns out I have uterus didelphys. This means I have two complete uterus' and two cervixes! The Dr. wasn't sure how someone could miss this..he said it was obvious. He actually thought it was really cool because he had only seen the condition once before in his medical residency. Meanwhile, I felt like a freak of nature!! :) So after Parker was born, they sent me to a high-risk fetal maternal dr. to discuss my next pregnancy. Appartantly women with this condition usually have infertility issues. Also, there is a large percentage born with only 1 kidney! The high risk dr. sent my new OB dr. his recommendations and said they would be contacting me to set up all kinds of testing. Well, there isn't time for that now!! I guess I'm lucky because I don't have any problems getting pregnant!!

In February, I started feeling really queezy in the morning. That was the only thing that had tipped me off. I went to the store and got a pregnany test just in case. Guess what?! It said, "PREGNANT". I immediatly called the OB nurse and asked if it could be a false positive from just having a baby and still having the hormones in my body. She said it was highly unlikely and ordered a blood test just to make sure. That was on a Friday. On Monday the nurse called and said yes, my levels were very high and I was definatly pregnant!! About 1 week later, the Dr. called and asked if I could come in that day. He said it was important we do an ultrasound and find out exactly how far along I am. I got to see the heartbeat on the ultrasound, 153, and see our little peanut. My due date is set for October 3rd. Two babies under 1 year old...crazy!!

My OB, Dr. Turner, said he had discussed me a lot with the high risk dr. They said it is difficult to know how to treat me because there are no studies out there really for my condition. They said I should start progesterone injections around 20 weeks but there are absolutley no studies of uterus didelphys and progesterone. They don'e know if it will help or not. Also, if you start the injections too early, there is an increased risk of late miscarriage. They also recommended starting low dose erythromycin at 20 weeks which has shown to decrease spontaneous rupture of membranes (my water breaking). They will do the injections and pills through my 34th week and after that, my body is on it's own. I will be followed very closely and any signs of preterm labor I will be put on immediate bedrest. I have another ultrasound in a couple weeks. I also found I have a UTI so I'm on antibiotics already. We all know how much I love taking pills!

Parker is very excited to have a sibling. I think he's quite the entertainer so he'll have a blast. He's really started "talking" lately!! He's so big!! I'm going to try and update his slideshow this week with more recent pictures. Parker also went to his first baseball game last week. He went and watched Cory coach the Freshman. He slept through almost the whole thing! Parker also has started eating his veggies and rice cereal really well. He loves sweet potatoes and squash and hates carrots! I think we'll try green beans next. Yum!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

RSV Shot #4

Parker got his fourth RSV shot today. He was 12lbs 7.6 oz. and 24 inches long. He's 2 feet tall already!! He's doing great, just tired from the day. His next shot will be his last for this RSV season and is on April Fool's Day! Can't wait until next winter I get to fight with the insurance company to try and get the shot covered for next winter. Fun! I just spoke with a woman from the March Of Dimes who said her daughter didn't get RSV until she was 3, so to still be careful when they are so young. I guess the worrying never stops!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

4 Month Check-Up

Parker had his 4 month check up on Tuesday. Everything went really well! Parker weighed 12 pounds and even better news- He's on the growth chart now!! Yay!! We are so excited!! He has reached the 5th percentile. What a milestone! Dr. Taylor probably thought I was crazy because I got pretty emotional when he told me. haha! Parker got more shots and did great. His nurse felt worse than he did! It's hard to give such a sweet boy shots! :)
The Dr. also swabbed his tongue to check for yeast to try and figure out if he really has thrush, or just a white tongue. When the Dr. looked under the microscope, he could not see any yeast. It is probably just formula sticking to his tongue. They are still sending it to the lab to make sure, so we should hear a definate answer next week.
Also, it's time to start Parker on his rice cereal and then move on to veggies, and then fruits. I can't believe he's growing so fast! He seems to be a little unsure about the rice cereal, but I'm sure he'll get the hang of it. He always does things on his own time table as we all know.
Parker has been having a great time with Grandpa while I'm at work. My Dad is so awesome and loves hanging out with his grandson. Cory has been hard at work trying to get the screenprinting business going again and ordered equipment yesterday! So sometime in March, they will be actually opening their doors! Cory has really wanted to do this for a long time, so he's pretty excited.
As for me, it's been hard going back to work, but easy at the same time. I really love Riverview and enjoy being around my co workers again. I'm working for a different Dr. to accomadate my part time schedule. Everyone knows I really miss Dr. Taylor but I'm getting used to my new position. It's very hard to leave Parker in the morning because this is when he is the most happy and smiley. I think he has fun no matter who he's with though.
Anyway, Parker has his second to last RSV shot next week, so that's exciting too! Poor kid's thighs are going to be so sore!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Parker's Birth Story

Reading back on this blog, I realized that Parker's birth story and hospital stay isn't on here! It's a long story, but I'll try to sum it up.

Around October 14th, I started leaking out what I would later find out was amniotic fluid. I was embarrassed because I thought I was leaking urine from the pressure on my bladder. I went to work that week and by Friday, I knew this wasn't right. The amount was getting quite large. I called my Dr. office right when I got off work. Thank God the triage nurse called my back (it was after 5:00 and they were getting ready to leave). She told me I should go to the OB floor just to get checked out. I was very hesitate, still in denial that anything was wrong. She convinced me to go. My mom decided to come with me since Cory was still at work. I told him I would be home for dinner. ha!

When I got to the hospital, they did a couple of tests and sure enough, I was slowly leaking amniotic fluid. I was in preterm labor. They were going to keep me in the hospital and monitor my fluid and the baby almost daily and give me steriod injections to stregthen Parker's lungs. Also, I was going to be on IV antibiotics just in case there was some kind of infection that caused the labor. Dr.'s still aren't sure what exactly sends a woman into preterm labor. I was still in total denial that I would be having a preemie. The nurses told me there were a couple of other women on the floor that had been there for over a month, so I thought that's what would happen with me.

After days of ultrasounds and being totally bored on complete bedrest, I was sick of the hospital! The nurses told me they were going to give me and Cory a tour of the NICU and prepare us for what might happen.

On October 25th at 1:30 in the morning, I started having cramping. I called the nurse into my room just to let her know. They hooked me up to the monitor, but they could not pick up any contractions. Within the hour I was having strong contractions, but the monitors still were not picking them up. Earlier in the night I had recieved a lovenox injection because I was on bedrest (this is a blood thinner to prevent blood clots due to being stuck in bed). Because of this, the anesthesiologist refused to do an epidural. I didn't think I could do it! Finally around 6 or 7 in the morning, the Dr. came in to see me and said they would not try and stop my contractions and I would go ahead and deliver. Also, a new anesthesiologist came on duty and he said he would give me an epidural, but I had to wait 12 hours after the injection, which put me at 9:00 am. I later learned that preterm labor comes on stronger and more intense than a full term labor. Lucky me! I ended up having an internal monitor because sometimes with my issues, the uterus contracts unevenly and sporadically and the regular monitor wasn't picking them up. I had an episotomy because any stress to a preemie's head can cause a brain bleed.

Cory and I were the only ones in the room. The whole NICU team was there, waiting. After 45 minutes of pushing, Parker was born. The cord was wrapped around his neck twice, so Cory did not get to cut it. The NICU team worked on Parker for about 10 minutes. I did not get to hold him, but I did get to give him a kiss on his tiny cheeck.

I did not know how much he weighed or how long he was. A student nurse went to the NICU for me to find out. He was 3 pounds, 7 oz. and 16 1/4 inches long. The neonatolgist came into our suite and addressed my whole family to give us the gameplan. We basically had to wait to see what Parker would do. She told us to expect him to be on a ventilator, oxygen, lots of wires and tubes. I had to sign papers to let them treat Parker and allow certain procedures to be done on him "just in case". I was really trying to hold it together at this point. The Dr. said I could come see Parker in a while, but they were getting him stabalized at this point and we would have to wait. Finally, we got to see him.

He actually looked really great. That first day, he only had an IV. Not bad. Cory and I were both nervous to hold him. He was so small. so tiny and fragile. The nurses told us there may be days when we wouldn't be able to hold him, so we took advantage. I didn't know how hard those days would be when I couldn't hold my baby. One of the most emotional days came the following day, when I got discharged from the hospital, and Parker stayed there. Leaving him there and not getting to take him home was horrible. No mom should have to feel like that. Like her baby is not her own, yet a medical facility's. I felt like I was abandoning him, even though I knew he was in the best place for him.

Throughout his stay, he such a fighter. Later, the Dr's called him "the star of the NICU". They said he did not act like a normal preemie born this early. He did not ever need the vent. He was put on a CPAP machine, which does not breathe for him, but does keep his lungs open. Seeing him on the machine was very difficult. I felt helpless because I was his mom and I am supposed to take care of him, yet I couldn't do a thing. I could not even hold him when he was on the CPAP. I could just stoke his little head and whisper to him that he would get to come home soon. He had multiple IV's and was always bruised on his head, hands, and feet. The nurses said his IV's went bad all the time, so they were always having to restart them. He needed a feeding tube. Sometimes it was down his nose, sometimes down his throat, depending what type of oxygen he was on. HE starting his feeding at only 1 ml of milk. That's like a drop. He worked his way up to 35 ml's from a bottle by time we went home, which is about an ounce. When he finally got to feed him from a bottle, I was so happy, but nervous. His oxygen levels dropped so much, the nurses decided to wait a couple days and try again. He was jaundice and had to be under bili lights for almost 2 weeks. His little feet were always bruised because he had his blood taken at least twice a day and they get the blood from his heels.He was put on caffiene because that helps remind his brain to breathe. His heartrate was always fast, so they did a full cardiac workup. Nothing was wrong, just a fast heartrate! He had to learn to eat and breathe at the same time, put on weight, and maintain his body temperature without help. Almost every night, I did "kangaroo care". This is based on a study that was done on women and babies in third world countries and because their babies were always on their chest with skin-to-skin contact, they seemed to thrive more and their heartrates would slow to match their moms. It's really interesting actually and NICU's all over the country now do kangaroo care. It seemed to really help Parker too. His last few days in the NICU, he was put in an open crib because he was able to keep up his body temperature outside of the icubator. He got thrush from all the antibiotics he was on. He also couldn't seem to keep his oxygen level from dropping when he ate, so we kept oxygen handy at all times. Until the moment he went home, he was hooked to a heart monitor, oxygen monitor, and respitation monitor. He had to prove he could be in a carseat for an hour without having his oxygen level drop, which he did the second time around. He was in the NICU for 26 days and in Pediatrics for 3.

The day he came home was so scary. To unhook all his monitors was terrifying. The Dr.'s pounded into our brains all the scary germs out there. To not take him in crowds, smokers, or other kids. To constantly wash our hands. Not to take him anywhere during the flu and cold season. They said we were taking him home at the worse possible time of the year. I guess if you are going to have a preemie, have one in the summer! Parker was slightly over 4 pounds when we brought him home on Thanksgiving day. What an ironic day to bring him home on, because we were so totally thankful for our miracle.

In a way it was hard to leave the NICU. Parker had specially trained nurses and a neonatologist at his bedside everyday. THe nurses really never left the baby for more than a few minutes. Also, the other babies that were there, that we had gotten to know, were still there. Some had been there for months already and still had a long ways to go. I still wonder about them.

We are blessed and we know that. I look at Parker everyday and I am amazed. He is an inspiration to me and to those around him, and he doesn't even realize it.