Chuck Taylor… Wednesday

In honor of Heather, I present to you Chuck Taylor Tuesday… on Wednesday!

About a month ago I won a Facebook contest for a photoshoot with Erica. We cashed in on our prize on Monday evening and had some pictures taken of Elly. Erica is absolutely fabulous and we had a wonderful time getting to know her. She also has amazing photography skills and was able to capture some of Elly’s greatest facial expressions.  We have not seen all of our photos yet, but the few sneak peeks she has posted have blown our minds and we could not be happier with the results! The above picture is the 3 of us sporting our Chucks.

This one is, by far, my favorite… so far! It’s our “family” picture from the evening and I literally got teary eyed when I first saw it.

Once she has finished editing she will share the rest with us so we can pick which ones we want prints of, so if you would be interested in purchasing any please let me know and I will forward them on to you.

As for the big announcement I was going to reveal… sorry there has been such a delay. I wanted to wait to announce it until we had everything lined up, but unfortunately things are not progressing as we had planned and there are still some kinks that need to be worked out…. BUT, here it is:

We are moving to Appleton, Wisconsin on September 5! 

We have been hoping, planning, and trying to get out of Mount Pleasant for ages and the opportunity finally arose. It was nearly impossible for us to line up jobs anywhere, but luckily things finally worked themselves out just when we had decided to stop looking. Isn’t it funny how things work out sometimes.  While the timing only left us with 3 weeks to prepare, we are very excited to start this new chapter in our lives.

In the process of trying to get things situation and ready, we actually had a chance to get Elly weighed today. She is currently 11 lbs. 15.5 oz – only 1/2 an ounce away from 12 pounds! She is also 25 3/4 inches long. Looks like our prediction of her being a tall, skinny beanpole are standing true. She is still cute as ever though and is growing up way faster than we want her too, but more on that tomorrow!

It’s been a long day of packing, so this Mama is off to bed!

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Last Single Digit Month

It’s crazy to me that Elly is 9 months old. I realize I say this every month, but I seriously cannot believe how fast time really goes. I have people asking me for details about her 1st birthday party!!

She had her 9 month check-up this morning and everything was perfect! This was spectacular news since the past 3 months have been a crazy whirlwind of specialists, blood tests, and scans. Poor girl has been through a lot, but luckily everything came back normal and her pediatrician said that she is perfectly healthy, just small. No more specialists. Great news!

She weighed in at 11 lbs. 12.6 oz. (3.5% for age) and she is 25 1/2 inches long (4.8% for age), so she is definitely small, but she is growing on her own curve and she is growing so her ped has no concerns. More great news!

He checked all of her developmental milestones and was astonished at how well she is doing and said that she is somewhat advanced at reaching some of them. For example, he stood her up to see if she could support her body and then he kind of let go of her and she just stood there on her own! I was crazy proud. He also said he was impressed at how well and how long she was sitting and that she could maneuver herself while sitting without falling over.  Even better news!

Then it was time to leave and the receptionist asked if I wanted to schedule her 1 year appointment. Gulp. I know that her birthday is getting close, but to hear other people say it out loud. To know that the next time she’s at her pediatrician’s office she will be 1 year old. I almost started crying. She’s growing up way too fast.

Food. She’s getting 3-4 5oz. bottles per day, she goes through 2 servings of fruit and 3-4 servings of veggies per day and she is starting to get more and more adventurous when it comes to our food. She took a small bite of my sandwich today and managed to eat all of it, rather than move it around in her mouth and spit it out.  Tonight we are going to try chicken and see how she does! She loves water in her sippy cup but does not really like juice, she usually just spits it out. And she still loves her Graduate Puffs.

Clothes and diapers. We finally had to sort through her clothes again. She is wearing mostly 6 month in everything. She still has a few newborn and 3 month shirts (not body suits) that fit her but otherwise she’s quickly growing through the 3-6 month stuff.  Her feet are finally fitting into size 1 shoes, she seriously has the smallest feet I have ever seen and has not actually fit into a pair of shoes until recently so we’re pretty happy about that.  She is still in a size 2 diaper, so not much has changed in that department.

She has become a moving machine. We have had to get gates to block off the stairway and the living area to keep her contained because she is rolling, scooting, and crawling everywhere! She is also improving on her pulling up and can take a few steps along the couch or while using her dinosaur, so I am guessing before her birthday she will be walking. Scary thought.

Elly’s waking up from her nap, so time to cut this off. 🙂

Back to Life

When I started this blog it was to chronicle my pregnancy and my passions for fitness and nutrition, which included work outs and recipes. After Elly was born I switched gears and it became a blog about Elly, which makes sense because she is the light of mine and Brent’s life. However, now that I rarely ever post I have decided I am ready to bring my blog back to life by going back to my roots.

There will be work outs.

There will be recipes.

There will still be [lots] of Elly pictures, which I know is why most of you come here anyway. 🙂

Health, fitness, and nutrition are very important to me. Now, more than every, because I want to be a great role model for Elly. So, now that she is almost 1 year old (what?! when did that happen?) I have decided to put a more serious effort in taking care of myself. Not necessarily diet, just change my eating habits. Watch my portion sizes. Eat more fruits and veggies. Incorporate new foods. Experiment with cooking. Exercise regularly. Become [re]obsessed with road races and training.

And scattered in with that there will be stories about toys all over the living room, peas being spit in my face, and precious stories as my baby girl reaches her milestones. You know, the fun stuff.

Everything involved in the everyday life of a mom.

Let’s Get Medical

Most of you are completely unaware of the medical issues Elly has faced since birth, and for the few who do know we thank you so much for your love, support, and prayers.

Elly measured small throughout my entire pregnancy, averaging around 2 weeks behind.  My doctor was not concerned with this until the end of my pregnancy, and then scheduled me for an ultrasound every two weeks. At 34 weeks, she was measuring 32 weeks.  At 36 weeks, she was measuring 34 weeks. At 38 weeks, she was still measuring 34 weeks. This caused immediate alarm so he scheduled a more advanced ultrasound. During this ultrasound the technician discovered that I also had very low amniotic fluid and recommended that I have the baby delivered that day. Since she was in the Frank breech position, lodged in my rib cage, and I had low fluid she would be delivered by c-section.

She was born weighing 4 lbs. 7 oz. There was a lot of speculation that the cause was Intrauterine Growth Restraint (IUGR). However, my doctor said the placenta was healthy and that was not the cause. Everyone attributed her birth weight to a family history of small people (which we have on both sides).

Over the first few weeks we noticed that Elly was projectile vomiting after every feeding, multiple times. It became ridiculous and we were concerned that she wasn’t keeping anything down. After a trip to the ER and several visits to her pediatrician later, it was guessed that she had very bad gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), but her pediatrician wanted to get a GI scan to be sure. The GI scan involved Elly drinking a 4 oz. bottle of barium, and then a doctor taking x-ray images of her intestines every 30 minutes for the next 3 hours to make sure it was being digested properly. This test came back negative – meaning there were no issues. After this, her pediatrician referred us to an Endocrinologist to have her thyroid checked. Since she was only 2 months old at the time there was very little that could be done, however these tests also came back negative.

As the months progressed, Elly steadily gained weight and she grew in length. She was never on the actual growth charts, but her pediatrician was never concerned because she was growing on her own curve. This all changed at her 6 month appointment. At 4 months, she weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz., and when she was weighed at her 8 month appointment (exactly 2 months later) she was only 8 lbs. 12 oz.  Her pediatrician was alarmed by her lack of growth and weight gain and said we needed to immediately start her on rice cereal and baby purees. Since we had been planning to use the Baby Led Weaning method for introducing solids, we were kind of crushed but wanted the best for Elly. After this appointment, her pediatrician referred us to a GI (stomach) specialist to make sure Elly is absorbing her nutrients properly.

The GI specialist ordered several blood tests, a stool sample, and a 24 hour urine collection sample. Seriously, 24 hour urine collection. For a 6 month old. This proved to be extremely messy, to say the least, but we did it (thanks to the help of our favorite nurse, who we originally met when she taught our childbirth classes).  All of these tests also came back normal, with nothing unusual or notable. They originally thought she may have iron deficiency anemia, but even that test was negative.

Now Elly is 8 months old, and weighs 10 lbs. 12 oz., which is up 2 whole pounds since her 6 month appointment. We are not sure what caused the sudden weight gain, but everyone seems less concerned now.  Unfortunately we are still not in the clear, our pediatrician wants us to see a genetics specialist to make sure her small size isn’t a genetics disorder such as dwarfism. This appointment is set for July 19, and if these tests come back negative we will be in the clear!

The whole situation has added a lot of stress, because Brent and I have believed that she was fine since the beginning but it’s hard not to worry when everyone else is so worried. We are so happy that everything so far has been normal and proves that we just have a very happy, small baby girl! We are very relieved that this issue will all be over soon, and we can start worrying about other things… like Elly’s first birthday party! 🙂

The Big 8!

Elly turned 8 months old on July 3! It is crazy to believe it’s been 8 months, and even more crazy that it’s almost time for us to start planning her 1st birthday party!

7 months was huge for Elly, she grew a lot – physically and developmentally! We are so proud of everything she is capable of doing and we love her more and more every day

Weight/Length: Elly now weighs 10lbs. 12oz. and is around 25 inches long (ETA: we have not had an official length measurement since her 6 month appointment, so we have no idea how long she currently is)… she is still long and skinny, but she’s starting to get little chubby legs and arms from her muscles building from all of her rolling, scooting, and pulling herself up!

Clothing Size: Currently, she is fitting into 3-6/6 month shirts and onesies, but her waist still fits newborn/0-3/3 month pants.

Changing Table: Elly is up to a size 2 diaper! Since introducing solids, her poops have become more solid and much more stinky! I’ve also noticed that she’s started pooping a lot more than she used to, so we are going through diapers like crazy! She has also gotten into a nasty habit of undoing her diapers and rolling out of them if we do not change them fast enough. This usually only happens after she poops, which can be quite disastrous!  We are hoping that her aversion to being in a poopy diaper will help her to potty train really quickly! 🙂

Food: Elly seriously loves food! She has eaten everything we’ve given her and always has a smile on her face. She gets excited when she sees us making her food or when we go in the kitchen and has never fussed during a meal. Besides her purees, she has tried pickles, lettuce, spinach, avocado, broccoli, ice cream, cookies, hamburger, sweet potato fries, mac & cheese, watermelon, an orange, egg (yolks only), and plain waffle. I think her favorite is the apple cinnamon Gerber Puffs, she loves those things! We are so glad she is a such a great eater. She loves her fruits and her veggies and her treats, so we are hoping she continues these eating habits once she’s a toddler.

Sleep Habits: We got really lucky with this one. Elly has been sleeping through the night since around 6-8 weeks. We usually put her down around 10pm and she wakes up between 7-8am.  She is also on a nap schedule, and is doing great with it. She gets two 2 hour naps every day.  She never fusses when we put her down so we never had to do the “cry it out” method, which is probably good because I don’t think I could just sit here and listen to her cry. She usually babbles to herself for a few minutes and then falls asleep, unless she is really tired and then she just rolls over and passes out. She does sleep with a stuffed tiger, she cuddles him into her arm. It is probably the cutest thing ever!

Milestones: I don’t even know where to start! She has been sitting unassisted for a few months now, so that is nothing new. However, she has shown us that she can crawl… she just chooses not to. I guess she thinks that rolling and scooting are much more efficient. She has learned to pull herself up to standing and can stand alone with no assistance for a very brief time (like 2-3 seconds) before toppling over. She talks all the time and comes up with new sounds everyday!  She has almost perfected feeding herself. She hasn’t quite figured out how to turn the spoon around but she’s a pro at picking up food with her fingers and taking it to her mouth.  She loves playing peek-a-boo or “hide and seek” – we cover her eyes with a blanket and say “where’s Elly?” and she pulls it off and giggles. Today she waved “bye bye” to Daddy for the first time! I also took Elly to the lake for her first time with our friend Megan and she loved it! She just splashed around and laughed the entire time. She must get this from her Daddy, because I hated the water when I was younger. 🙂

Words: She has started calling me Mama, so I couldn’t be happier. Brent is a little jealous though 🙂

Teeth: Elly cut her first tooth on June 17! She now has 2 teeth that have cut through on the bottom, and a 3rd is showing on the top!

A Quick Update

Elly is taking  a rare morning nap so I thought I would squeeze in a quick update!

So much has happened. Life is ridiculous and amazing right now. Elly is growing up and getting so big. Brent and I are also doing great.

Yesterday was a big day… March 16. First, Elly turned 19 weeks old!!! How crazy is that. But if we were to look back a year… March 16, 2010… it was the day we first found out I was pregnant with Elly! I remember it so vividly.

I had spent the weekend in Ohio with some friends. I drove home that morning so Brent and I could make it to class, but I had a feeling so I stopped and got a test on the way into town. I rushed inside and gave Brent a kiss and hurried to the bathroom. Three minutes later I was starring at two pink lines!!! Crazy to think that it’s already been a year and now we have a beautiful little girl!

Coincidently, that was also the day I smoked my last cigarette! It was a bad habit, and I was going on five years of smoking. I tried to quit multiple times previously, but as soon as those two pink lines appeared I knew that I no longer had an option.. it wasn’t only my health I had to be concerned for anymore. That was that, and I haven’t touched them since.

In other BIG news, we got a new [to us] car!!! It is a 2006 Chevy Malibu! After an extensive search, and lots of failed attempts we finally found a perfect fit. We did have to trade in Brent’s car and my truck, but it is for the best. Now we have a safe family vehicle.

I am continuing to keep those in Japan in my thoughts. Our friends wife is a Japan native, so her entire family lives over there. Luckily they are all okay. However, the situation is still devastating.

The cats are enjoying the spring weather because the birds have returned. I think they have both permanently planted themselves in a window sill, it’s actually rather cute!

Elly got a new, fun toy last night! I cannot wait for her to wake up and use it.

I have lots of pictures to add, so be looking for those later. 🙂

Lucky 13

Yesterday marked the 13th week since the greatest day of my life.

[Today is her 3 month birthday, but we haven’t had that photo shoot yet so expect those pictures later.]

I cannot believe how fast time goes by.  She is growing up so, so fast. She is already so loved, and our love grows for her everyday. She is the center of our world and I wouldn’t change anything for it.

Elly is wide awake right now and wanting some Mommy time, but I have a great post planned for later! 🙂