Monday, December 31, 2007

The Fashionista

So, I should've known based on Sierra's clothing choice most days that she has an interesting style. But I still walked into the fabric store while they were having a sale one day and let her pick fabric for her curtains. Note to self: don't give a 3 year old carte blanche in the fabric store unless you're prepared to deal with the consequences.

You know you have to see a close up. The stuff is made of 10 million little threads. You'll notice they are completely NOT straight, etc... in the above picture. I'd like to see you try to sew it. It's stretchy, heavy, and you can never tell if you're on the fabric itself or just the threads while you're trying to sew.

Yes, they're....ummm...interesting. And she *loves* them.

And next time you see a clown riding a little bitty bicycle, give him a tip. It's WAY harder than it looks! Especially when you have a three year old following extremely closely behind you telling you you're doing it wrong.

Sedona learned to blow raspberries this week. Action shot:

The girls watching the video of Sierra's informal dance recital. Sierra is not actually IN the video, since she was too scared to get up there, but we now have to watch it 3-4 times a day so she can see her friends (she's out of school for Christmas break) and practice her dances. Sedona is also fascinated.

And yes, I did cut my hair shorter. Only one person noticed it the first time, so I cut more off a couple of days ago.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Reading, reading, reading

After 6 months with no TV, I think it's safe to say my sewing and cooking skills have improved greatly (two hobbies I've started *really* enjoying in the last few years, but never seemed to have much time for). But mostly, we read a lot now. Besides my ever growing collection of books, we've managed to accumulate a pretty significant stack of magazine subscriptions--we get Mother Earth News, Outside, Smithsonian, Real Simple, and Bon Appetit. Mother Earth News is the only one we pay for. Bon Appetit was a gift (big thanks to my mother in law for taking note in my interest in it last time we were at her house) and the rest have been "bought" through online survey sites where you accumulate points by answering questionnaires. Now I just need to get my hands on Time, Newsweek or Money :-)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My girls!

Now that my mom's gotten her copy of this picture (part of her christmas), I can finally post it!

No, I'm not crazy enough to really let Sierra hold Sedona up on the playhouse like that, I'm holding on to the back of Sedona's overalls for dear life and leaning out of the way of the picture ;-)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hello again

It's time for another fun filled episode of Name That Baby!!!!!

Who's who?

And I hacked my hair off:

I think I'm gonna cut it shorter, but first I need to buy some clips to hold it out of my face b/c I don't think it'll fit in a scrunchie after I cut it again.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Re-Cap

It's been a whirlwind day!

Started off by taking Sedona up to the office to weigh her. She hasn't really gained anything (0.5 oz in the last week....she should be gaining 0.5 oz per DAY), but she hasn't lost either. She also had a REALLY good dirty diaper while I was there. It was yellow and everything. They've been neon green slime for so long, I was super excited to see that. (I'm such a mom) I also had to then improvise a diaper since I had left the diaper bag in the car. Since I already had a chucks pad (no naked babies directly on the scale, please!) out, I took it upon myself to use two bandaids that were right there and make good use of my cloth diapering skills. LOL When I got home and Josh saw my handy work, he insisted I take a picture:

When I got home it was time to start the cooking. This my first year to cook the whole holiday meal spread for a group of people and I did pretty okay. I kept thinking something was going wrong because it should take the whole day and I wasn't doing much of anything in the morning, but it really did only take about 2 hours to do the whole thing. I liked it and everyone ate without gagging, so I'm gonna count that as success LOL

Then came the presents. Sierra got a big kick out of handing everything out and then we all started in on opening. Sedona actually got two of hers open by herself. Sierra was doing real good until she got to uncle harry and aunt jen jen's present (a cash register to play with)---that was the end of opening presents. She just wanted to play with that and we had to keep reminding her she had other stuff to open. Every two minutes she was back at that register though! She enjoyed her other gifts, but the cash register was definitely the #1 gift this year. Before bed I told her it was time to put out her cookies and some milk for Santa and her response was, "maybe we need to try them and make sure they're still good because if they're bad now, that might make santa claus mad." kiddo. So I let her have one cookie (she proclaimed, "yeah! they're still good!") and we set out a plate for santa. She is all enthralled with the idea that grandma, papa and granny (her great grandmother) are staying at her house. She thinks it's really cool and kept asking where everyone was sleeping.

The evidence:

I thought this little hat Sedona got was the cutest thing :-)

Sierra showing off her cash register (I told her to hold it up, then said, "no, hold it so I can see your face". Some things get "lost in translation" when talking to a toddler!)

Another hot gift, the baking set. She kept saying, "I want to cook something now" As in, right now, this minute.

The cash register in action. Her new phrase is "okay, give me your money"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

My gorgeous girls!!!

So, this is the first year Sierra understands Santa Claus and can anticipate presents, etc... I admit, I have shamelessly used the Santa Claus threat for about a month to keep her in line. I had high ideals of not doing that, but it was so easy and it worked so well, that I just couldn't help it. As part of the Santa Claus thing, I explained to Sierra that she has to leave cookies and milk out for Santa. So she made cookies all by herself. Well, she had help with the oven part, of course, and I read the recipe and told her which scoops to use to measure and I did the vanilla and the salt, but the rest of it, she did! She even learned to crack eggs :-) When she was done, she called grandma to tell her "I made cookies for Santa Claus and you can have some, but you can't eat them all because they're for Santa Claus"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

One less zebra

We finally got her CF results and they were negative!!! We still don't know what's going on with her, but at least it's not that!

Monday, December 17, 2007

When you hear hoof beats...

When you hear hoof beats, look for horses. When you've shot down all the horses and still hear hoof beats, start looking for the zebras.

We are officially in the realm of zebras.

Let's see....We are still waiting on RAST results (our pediatrician let us know today that the test goes to a lab in California and usually takes 2 weeks). I spoke to a very experienced (graduated med school in '53) pediatric immunologist and he said he didn't think the blood in my milk was causing any problems and said we should look for eosinophils in her stool. So, Josh repeated that experiment, using his blood as a control. Still no eosinophils (which should be there with an allergy). All this time I've been weighing her once a week. I normally weigh her on Mondays, but I cheated I put her on the scale last Friday. She's lost weight (2.5oz in the last week). That is definitely not normal. So, we called the doctor and scheduled an appointment for this morning.

Over the weekend, I did a 24 hour pre- and post-feed weight. That means I weighed her before and after every nursing and the difference tells me approximately how much milk she got. Average total daily intake for a breastfed baby at this age is 25oz and she took 27.5oz. So, she's getting enough. I emailed the milk bank and got the numbers from when they analyzed my donated milk--calorie and protein content were normal.

At the doctor this morning, he wasn't thrilled that she has slowed on her growth (averaged 2oz gain per week over last 3 weeks...3-5oz is normal), so she will be going back in two weeks to check on that. There is no more blood in her stool, which is good, but makes me think this isn't a food thing since I have not been avoiding things recently. Due to my family history of CF, he is ordering a cystic fibrosis test for her. We will go to Texas Children's Hospital for that and have a sweat test done.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Saga Continues

We took Sedona to an allergist on Thursday. We won't discuss the plethora of non-evidence based advice he gave. While I was busy trying to pick my jaw up off the floor, Josh talked to him about RAST testing. We ended up deciding to redo the total IgE incase something went wrong with that and testing for allergies to: chocolate, corn, wheat, baker's yeast, strawberry, dairy, soy, almond, peanut, rice. Since she's so little, we had to go over to the lab for the blood draw and there was only one tech there (takes two plus a parent to draw from a baby), so we got to go Friday

Then, Friday afternoon I had the chance to talk to a pediatrician I work with about it all. She had spoken with a GI friend of hers down at Texas Children's about this specific set of symptoms and she wanted to know if I had tested for blood in my milk. Well, no, I can't see any blood and haven't had any sort of damage. She pushed more...but had I tested for it? Well, no, why would I? She wanted me to test. So we did a heme-occult on my milk. Sonofa.....there's blood in my milk. Sedona's pediatrician had discussed this too and pushed the issue, but I've never seen any blood and we didn't test for it. Apparently, ingestion of blood speeds transit time, which means her small intestine doesn't have time to digest all the lactose. The extra lactose dumps into the large intestine, where the bacteria have a field day with it. All of this started out looking just like foremilk/hindmilk imbalance (where the same thing is happening for a different reason). Then I got the head's up from a well known lactation consultant that there is research out that was done in rat pups (hey, you take what you can get) that shows this lactose overload depletes their vitamin E, which makes the intestinal lining friable. That in turn would cause some temporary food intolerances. This scenario fits really well with what we've seen. It would explain why taking the offending foods out of my diet would help her get better, but not completely healed (the vitamin E shortage would keep her from healing). This LC says she's been having her clients with this set of symptoms avoid dairy/soy and take a vitamin E supplement to replenish the baby's supply of it. It's just a theory and who knows if it's really what's going on with her, but I'm so relieved to have *something* to go on, that I'm giving it a try.

In other news.....
My two girls! We still have very very little jealousy from Sierra. The worst we've had was "put sister down and play with me" on a day when Sedona was particularly needy:

Courtesy of Sierra, a picture of Sedona in the homemade moby wrap. I LOVE this wrap. Sedona spends about 6 hours a day in it at work with me. Now she's getting to the point where she doesn't want to just be held at home, she wants to be wrapped up. If she's fussy, she will immediatly calm down and start cooing when she sees me start to tie the wrap on. She's asleep in this picture, she's likes to tuck her face under one side during naps:

Check out the crayon roll Sierra is getting for Christmas! Someone in my moms group was making these and it looked like a cool idea and a good use of fabric scraps. It was really really quick to sew up too. Way cooler than a ziploc bag for crayons ;-)

And look how big Sierra's getting! She's not even a toddler anymore, she's a little girl now! :-( Yes, she's sweeping her playhouse, she LOVES to sweep.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


We heard back about Sedona's IgE yesterday. It's negative. That means she does not (as of now) have a life long atopic allergy (yay!). That also means we don't know what's wrong with the kid (boo!!!!!). The options that are left: an IgG temporary sensitivity and something completely unrelated that's not yet medically bad enough to warrant a diagnosis. A temporary sensitivity is a good thing, everything I've read says kids who avoid exposure for 3-6 months and are challenged with the offending food(s) at 1 year no longer show a reaction. Great. Now if someone could just tell me what I need to avoid exposing her to, that would be awesome. We can do a RAST test, but we need to know what we're testing for and my food log is a big giant question mark to me at this point. The plan for now is to keep weighing her, delay for who knows how long her vaccines, delay solids, keep exclusively breastfeeding and redo the CBC at 6 months to see how her iron is. If she gets worse, that all changes.

As the breastfeeder in the family, my options are to either keep trying to figure out what's in my diet that's bothering her (incredibly frustrating), or to say, "hey, her iron's good, her weight gain's okay, I'll just eat whatever I dang well please". I really really wish I was the lactation consultant instead of the "patient" in this case. It'd be so much easier to tell someone "well, these are your two options and neither one is really wrong, it's a personal choice". I hate that no one can just tell me what to do. My frustrated tummy is leaning towards eating whatever I want, but we had an accidental exposure (I believe that apple cider I mentioned had traces of soy---it was made in the soy pitcher, but they washed it first for me, I saw them) last week that was horrendous. She cried all night, didn't want to nurse, and then had the most FOUL diaper the next morning. I think eating whatever I want might give me a very temporary satisfaction that I would pay for big time the next day. Then there's that whole thing about outgrowing the sensitivity----if you avoid exposure. And since she is bleeding, she could possibly be sensitized to allergens. GAH!!!!!! But, I've gotten her into a case of giggle fits a few times now and then I just look at her and say, "you are SOOOO worth it!"

Got the christmas tree up today---I mispoke, the thing's 7.5 feet tall, which makes it 5.5 feet diameter at the base. I'm glad we moved into a bigger house. We will be hosting the family at our house for Christmas this year---I can't tell you how glad I am that I don't have to find a place to board the dog, load up the presents and kids for a drive, only to load up the presents and kids again to come back home. Very very glad we will just be here and that we now have the space to have everyone here. Bonus: it's getting Josh and I off our duffs about house projects we've been putting off or slowly working on.
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