Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Asher - 6 months - update on sleep training.

It's so funny how different two little kids can be. Jake was a challenge to sleep train, but once he got the hang of it... he's been an amazing sleeper! Asher has done very good right out the gate. He is now going to be at 7:00pm, and waking at 5am, and then back down until 7:30am. Every once in awhile he will wake at 1am as well... If he does, I feed him, change him, and put him back down. Soon, I will get rid of that time slot completely. But, at this point I'm so thrilled with out easy it was.

We are now working on naps. He generally gets tired in between 8:30/9am and then again around 12:30/1pm. The awkward time he gets sleepy again is 4/5pm. Trying to figure out what to do with that time. Usually if he takes a nap it's only about 30/45 minutes so I just let him sleep when he's tired. 

He's such a happy, easy going little guy. He loves to pick up and play with anything that Jake has next to him. He loves his big brother. And Jake is such a good big brother. Very gentle. Very sweet.

Asher is 6 months and is doing great! He's a big boy. Completely solid! He's wearing 18 month clothes, and still wearing size 4 diapers. He has a doctors appointment next week, so I'll post his stats then.

He's sitting up, eating baby food, and still on breast milk. He doesn't like bottles. A little strange for me, because Jake didn't care what he was getting, as long as he was eating. Asher seems to be picker with that. Yesterday, I was running errands for Jake's birthday party and I had to come home right after, because Asher wouldn't take a bottle. He screamed until I got home. HMM. That would mean that I can only leave him for 3 hours at a time. Looks like I might need to start the bottle training here and there. ha! ;)

Here are some pics of my little guy.

Grant's brother Renzi has been in town for surgery on his back and foot, so we have been able to spend some time with him. Lee Anne also came into town for a few days as well. It was so good having them here. They have spent lots of time with our kids and us, and we were even able to do an adults dinner out in Newport Beach. Jake has been running through the house screaming, "Den Zi". He is going to be sad when his uncle leaves. When Lee Anne left, he asked a few times where she went. I tried to explain it... but, he had no clue what I was talking about. Two year old's don't get the distance! ha! Guess this means more trips need to be planned to OKC. :) I look forward to seeing them again! 
Asher grabs the puzzles too!
He makes me smile!
My boys getting ready for our walk. Jake was over my picture. He just wanted to get there so we can play! Notice how big Asher is? He's almost as big as Jake, right? Too funny!
Night out with Grant's brother and sister in law.
My little 6 month old! :)
Jake's birthday is this weekend! I can't believe my baby is turning two! I have LOTS of decorations I'm working on... His theme is POCOYO. His favorite cartoon! It's the only thing he'll actually watch for more than 10 minutes!

Monday, August 27, 2012

What do you know about Lupus?

Everyday I wake up, and I'm grateful. I'm grateful for the health of my family, and myself. I didn't know much about Lupus. I have heard of it, but never really met anyone that was living with it. One of my closest friends sister was diagnosed this year with Lupus. She almost lost her battle, but remained strong and confident.

I wanted to post something on my blog about Lupus and Monica's story. Watching the Keltz family go through this journey, while staying positive and strong, was very inspirational. I would like all my readers (family and friends), to read her story, visit her page, and pray for her.

A group of us will be walking in honor of Monica on September 29th.

Here is Monica's story:

In early November 2011, I woke up with a crippling stiffness throughout my entire body. It was arthritis, and it debilitated me from being able to move my hands and feet. I was essentially bed ridden. After weeks of joint pain, I then began to experience chest pain, exhaustion, shortness of breath and headaches. I thought it was Pneumonia, but two doctors thought it was Bronchitis. It came as a shock to me because I was in great shape and I was an athlete. My doctor was treating my "bronchitis" with antibiotics, but my health was worsening. I was constantly hot and needed to be fanned. I felt like I was burning up inside. I had no strength and no energy. When I stopped eating, my family really began to worry. My face was swollen. And I fell getting out of the bed. 

One fateful night, I touched my mother's face and everything turned dark. The oxygen was leaving my body. My sister, Kathleen, and my mother knew when my face turned as white as a sheet that they needed to get me out of there ASAP.

In late February, I was taken by ambulance to the emergency room where I was intubated (forced breathing machine down my throat). I spent 28 days in the intensive care unit.For the first few days, unable to speak or open my eyes, I didn't know what had happened. The doctors tested and tested. They discovered that I had an autoimmune disease but were uncertain of my future. My lungs and kidneys had failed. I was on constant dialysis. Biopsies to my organs discovered that I had been misdiagnosed. I had plasmapharesis to clear out my plasma. Days of chemotherapy treatment (my hair is now growing back!). Doctors said I was lucky to be alive. At least that is what my family has told me they said. I can't even begin to express or recall everything that happened during that month... 

In March 2012, I was diagnosed with systemic lupus, at the age of 23. Basically, my "good" blood cells were somehow fighting other good cells instead of fighting only the bad ones. I was operating on less than a third of the blood I needed to survive. I had been a college student and was at a highpoint in my athletic career as a member of the school softball team. 

Daily, I fight to keep hold of the life I'd known - busy social life, nursing school studies, late nights dancing by the beach, long term boyfriend, packed sports tournament schedule, family outings. Slowly, I am realizing that I have to live my life and not fight it. I am learning to let go of the things that don't matter anymore.

I want to be healthy and happy! I want to LIVE! I can honestly say, "Lupus, kiss my ass!!!" And it feels great. Sure, I feel tired and get headaches sometimes. And you should see the toolbox of pills I get to take now on the regular. My doctors at UCLA are fantastic. And I'll never forget the nurses there and at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance who were there for me. They saved my life. 

Thank you for your help and supporting me. For those special souls who visited me while I was in the hospital, your kindness touches my heart and I pray for you every day. Knowing that together, we can bring awareness to many people of this disease.

Monica :) 
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sleep training (night 1 & night 2) for Asher.

The other day I woke up after getting a total of 4 hours (not consecutive) sleep. I was exhausted. It hit me. It's that time... Time for... The dreaded... SLEEP TRAINING!!

Our pediatrician said to wait until Asher was 6 months (although it would be safe to do it now... and he's 6 months next week), and for when we got back from traveling to start the process. He doesn't fit in his bassinet, and we all don't sleep when he sleeps next to me. And during the day he naps in his crib. It was kind of a no-brainer!

So, when Grant got home from work I told him our plan. I reread the book that I liked for Jake's sleep training, and we were set!

First, a good bottle of wine.

Second, a schedule that works for both boys. Jake has been on the same schedule for months. And now he is napping from 1pm-3pm, and down for the night at 7:30pm.

So, here's how it goes:

530pm/6pm: Dinner
6pm/630pm: Bath time
7pm: Reading books
730pm: Bed

Sounds reasonable, right? Here's the results from night one and two...

Night one:
6pm dinner
630pm bath
7pm fed and bed
705pm went in to check on him
715pm went in to check on him. Rubbed his back and sang him to sleep.
955pm fed and back asleep
1249am Grant went in and rocked him back to sleep... No feeding
249am fed and back to sleep
6am fed and back to sleep until 7am

Night 2:
530pm fed dinner
6pm bath
630pm books and quite time
645pm (he was trying to fall asleep in my arms) laid him down for bed
1am fed and back down
5am fed and back down
7am woke up

Jake is such a good sleeper now... But, he was a huge challenge in the beginning. I thought maybe Asher would be hard to sleep train too. Jake screamed for 2 to 3 hours when I first tried to sleep train him (when he was 7 months old). Reading back in my blog when I was going through that process with Jake made me laugh! I never thought I'd get through it (if your interesting in reading those stories search in my blog for sleep training). Asher has been pretty easy! So far so good! Next will be getting the naps in order!

Here is my happy napping baby!
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Colorado Springs Family Vacation!

We are back from our family vacation. We went with the Midwest Stones, and the Back East Badanes. I guess we are considered the West Coast Stones. Ha! Just kidding. :) I've never spent much time in Colorado, and I'm glad Renzi booked our stay at The Broadmoor. It was a wonderful place for families and children in general.

It was really cool seeing our growing families. All of our precious boys! 5 boy cousins to grow up and play together. That is so neat! Family vacation every year so that they can always remember these times, and hopefully caring on our traditions! There was a moment when Lee Anne and I were at the pool sitting next to each other, when Walker (4 days younger than Asher) and Asher started to communicate. These little cousins and their little personalities. Watching Asher and Walker communicate brought tears to Lee Anne's and my eyes. They seriously had their own little conversation. They were talking, smiling, cooing, and laughing.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Jackson (5 this month), and Asher.
 Uncle Renzi, Asher, and Walker (5 months 1/2 months)
Brothers with their boys.
West Coast Stones.
Ginny and I with Miller and Asher. Miller was giving Asher a hug! Too cute!

In the cabana with my boys...

My little fish. He's getting so good in the water. He's loves to swim!

After a long day of swimming, the boys took a nap... I drank some wine! 

One of the nights we ordered room service and a movie. 

Went to the zoo...

Miller (1 year in a few days)

And we had family pictures taken... Here's a sneak peak.
Jackson, Jake, Miller, Asher, and Walker. 5 boys under 5! 

And... what's a vacation without an Urgent Care of ER visit, right? UGH! One night Jake was feeling and looking sick, so we left dinner early to head back to our room... To start, he isn't much of a crier, and he was crying through dinner, and wanted me to hold him. I knew something was up then. Grant and I left, as soon as we got to the hotel, he "croup" cough started back, and he had a fever. It was a rough night. Asher slept mainly in the pack and play, and Jake slept with Grant and I. I didn't sleep much. I'm sure Grant didn't either. 4 people in the bed, is a little much! The next day we went into Urgent Care. Virus (from traveling on the play ... probably), and a cough. Poor little guy. And poor mommy and daddy... this was supposed to be vacation for us! Jake couldn't even go into the pool our last day. He carried around his floaties. It was sad. 

Brothers. Asher reached out to a sick brother. It was sweet.

Our last night (since Jake was sick), we stayed and hung out at the hotel grounds. The guys ordered and picked up dinner, and we sat outside and had a picnic. Good way to end the trip. All together. Here is the picture of the cousins 4 days apart. Finally a child that is the same size. BIG STONE BABIES. 

 Ginny, Grant, and Renzi with their kiddos.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Big Boys!

Today I took my boys into the doctor for a follow up appointment. Since Jake was sick a few weeks ago, and Asher had a small cold. I knew they were fine, but it's always good to make sure!

The boys are getting so big! Totally taking after their daddy! Let's be honest folks... Asher is half the size of me now! Jake soon will pass me up! Jake is mainly getting taller, but he's still solid! And Asher is even bigger than Jake was at this age! Next month is the 6 month and 2 year check up! I'm taking both boys together for that! Double shots? I better bring back up! Who wants to join in on the fun?! I'll buy wine after? Ha! ;)

So, today the boys are the following:

Asher (5 months, and 2 weeks): 28 inches, and 21lbs 2oz.

Jake (23 months and 1 week):
36 inches, and 33 pounds.

That's all I have to say about that.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

The fun never stops!

That can be translated so many ways, right?! Well, this time I mean it as all the fun we've been having this summer! Jake is almost 2! So, I started planning his birthday party... He's LOVES Pocoyo! That will be the theme this year. His party will be over Labor Day weekend. :)

We have one more vacation planned, and a few more birthdays... and then it will be fall! FALL!? Yep. Craziness.

So... Let the cell phone picture stream begin! First up, lunch with our friends and our growing families! The Wheat's came into town and we got to see their daughter Emery, and Tucker. They're adorable. I look forward to seeing them again and next time the kids playing more! It was kind of hard at the restaurant we were at! See Lex in that pic below? She had her baby girl 2 days ago! Mommy did great, and baby is beautiful (pic below of that)!
Then we went to Disneyland! We saw the new Cars Land, and Jake went on the Dumbo ride! Since we have a pass we go whenever we like, and usually only stay a few hours. Each time we go Jake goes on something new and exciting! The picture below pretty much sums it up. Cars Land, Dumbo, Toon Town craziness, and then... passed out in the back holding Mickey. Love.
Jake continues his swim lessons, and loves them so much! He's doing great! I'll have to post a video of his progress!
We've been over to Auntie Lizzie's house for our usual play dates. When I tell Jake we are going to Auntie Lizzie's he runs to the door and grabs my shoes, and then runs into his room and grabs his! He LOVES to play with Victoria, and see Liz.

Asher is getting so big! He's wearing 18 month onesies, and even sitting. He will fall over after a short time, so I don't travel far away from him. Now, he's trying to move into the crawling stance! Already? Yikes! I literally love on him all day. When he can talk I'm sure he'll tell me, "enough mom!" until then... I will continue to squeeze! It's hard not to when they are this cute!
My big boy and I! It's hard for me to believe that he'll be two next month! He's such a good boy! Curious, adventurous, happy, loving, inquisitive, and all around cute! Ha ha! I love watching him grow into the little person he is. :)
Grant and I had a day date in Dana Point, and the St. Regis Monarch Beach hotel. We had brunch, walked around, shopped, and relaxed.... It was so nice! I think its so important to take time for ourselves and our relationship. Even though we have so much fun with our kiddos, it's nice to take time away and have fun together. I always look forward to my time with my handsome man.
After brunch and shopping we stopped by and met Eloise "Looie"! She is beautiful and sweet as ever! I look forward to seeing her grow!
There's a little of last weeks happenings! Will continue to post! Have a happy week!

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