Friday, July 31, 2009

Brother and Sister

Both my babies love their playmats!

(Braeden May 2008....around 10 weeks old)

(Ashlyn July 2009....around 8 weeks old)

More Scrapblog Fun!

Wedding Pics

I finally got the cd of our wedding pics a couple weeks ago. Today, I decided to have some fun with them!

Did I mention that I LOVE!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ashlyn's 2 Month Checkup

Ashlyn had a couple of doctor's appointments on Tuesday. First, she got up bright and early to go see her neurosurgeon, Dr. S. We were in the examination room for 5 minutes max (gotta love those specialists)! Dr. S. looked at her incisions, felt her fontanelle, measured her head circumference, and inspected the fluid accumulation around her shunt.

He said everything looks great right now, and she is back to the 98% on her head circumference chart (she had been off the charts). He told me not to worry about the ridge along her coronal suture that it is nothing to be concerned about right now. Phew! He did mention that the fluid accumulation around her shunt is not necessarily a bad thing, but he usually sees it decreasing by this point. If the fluid continues to increase around the shunt, he mentioned he might consider a shunt revision in the future. But for now, everything is going just as it should be! We don't have to go back to see Dr. S. for 4 months. And if everything is still going so well, we will just have to have a checkup with him once a year.

Later we went to Ashlyn's 2 month checkup with her pediatrician, Dr. A. Drumroll please......

Here are her most recent stats:
Height: 22 1/4 inches (55%)
Weight: 11lbs 12oz (75%)
Head: 40.8 cm (98%)

In 3 weeks, she gained 1lb 4oz and 3/4 inches. My baby is growing up way too fast!!

The rest of the appointment went well. Dr. A did an assessment, which was completely normal. After talking with me, Dr. A decided to increase Gracie's dose of Zantac to 0.6ml twice a day. At the very end of the appointment, my sweet baby girl had to get 4 shots and 1 oral vaccine! Her reaction to the injections broke my is so sad to see your baby cry out in pain. Poor girl...but she was brave and only cried for a minute after the nurse was all done.

I cannot get over that my little angel is 2 months old.....And I cannot believe how great she is doing! I feel so blessed that everything is going so much better than I could have ever expected. Ashlyn Grace truly is my amazing little miracle. I feel so grateful that God has blessed us with her. Okay, I need to stop typing because I am already starting to get teary eyed!

Monday, July 27, 2009

2 Months Old Already?!

I cannot believe that my baby girl is 8 weeks old today!!

And It's Not Even Tax Season!

I headed to the mall last Friday because Gracie, my little boob-aholic, is growing like a weed. She has a long torso, and right now, 0-3 month size onesies fit perfectly, which means that in a week they will probably be too small.

While browsing the sale racks at Bon Ton (at least 70% off!), I came across this tacky onesie:
Some people might find this to be hilarious. I do not. I think any mother who thinks of their baby as a "tax deduction" should not be allowed to reproduce. Babies are a blessing because of their sweet innocence, the unconditional love they make a mother feel, and the joy they bring a family. Babies can make your life feel complete when all along you didn't think anything was missing.

It's no big secret that Braeden was not a planned pregnancy. I didn't imagine myself having babies for a long time, but as soon as I got pregnant with him, I could not bear to think about my life without my little guy. It's not because I get a break and don't have to pay Uncle Sam as much money each year on taxes....

It's because of how he smiles at me with his adorable dimples, how he says "mama," how he wakes up in the morning with so much life and energy, how he can carry on a whole conversation with himself in gibberish, how he pats my back during hugs....

And now we have Ashlyn Grace who continues to amaze me everyday, who has been through so much already but done so with strength and grace, who smiles at me and melts my heart, who is meeting milestones on time and making me so thankful that my prayers have been answered, who has taught me so much in such a short period of time about what is really important in life...

I could go on and on about how my babies makes me feel lucky to be alive and have a loving family. What they have to offer goes so much deeper than a couple thousand dollars more on my tax rebate check.

The sad thing is that there are mothers who keep popping out kids left and right for the benefits they can be given financially. I'm talking about mothers who abuse the welfare system. I'm talking about mothers who exploit their little ones for their own monetary gain (Jon and Kate....I'm talking about you!). I'm talking about mothers who dress their children in such attire making a mockery of what being a mother should be all about!

Phew, I think I am done venting.....Wow, it is funny how much one tacky onesie can throw me into a frenzy!

P.S. If you do actually find the onesies funny and think it is cute to dress you children up in them, I don't think you are a bad parent! I understand that sense of humors differ, and that an article of clothing does not define what kind of parent you are. But if you seriously think of your child as a tax deduction that is where I stop understanding and start judging.

Our Black Hole....AKA Playroom

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Family Planning

Found this online and thought it was too hilarious not to post:
Sorry if this offends anyone!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


So this is my 200th post....better make it good, right? Hmmmm.....How about an overabundance of pictures post? After all, that is how I blog best! Here are pictures from this past Saturday at my cousin's graduation party:

Ashlyn all dolled up in her Janie and Jack bathing suit cover up that I transformed into an adorable tunic.Such a cutie pie!

Braeden and Papa Braeden and MeMe Braeden and BuggyBraeden trying to play shuffleboard like the big boys!

Braeden, Daddy, and Travis
Ashlyn cuddles with MeMe
Braeden, Daddy, and Balloon
Braeden, MeMe, and MeMe's Keys
Braeden and Mommy
(well, technically 2nd cousins)

Bad Mommy Moment

Apparently, Braeden is trying to tell me that I do not put him down for a nap early enough. Here are pictures from today and yesterday:

So naptime will be moved up to 1:30pm tomorrow. Now WWGMD (What would good mommies do?)....move him or let a sleeping baby lie? Yesterday I actually left him on the carpet! Today, he was on hardwood so I transferred him two feet to the couch....Tomorrow, I will try to get him to nap in bed for a change!

Also, these pictures show how Braeden is not dressed nearly as cute (or completely for that matter!) when we are stuck home all day! Although, the matching t-shirt and binky in the first picture is a nice touch....even though he is sans pants!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy Baby

Ashlyn Grace showing off her big smiles!

Portrait Simple

I am usually very good about not making eye contact with those people in the mall at little kiosks trying to bait you in and sell something. However, on Wednesday, I looked up too soon and made direct eye contact with one of those people. It turned out to be some divine intervention because he wasa new photographer with Portrait Simple . He still needed to do a training session with a newborn baby and would give me two free photos when he was done!

I haven't even blogged yet about my crappy experience at JCPenny's for portraits last month.....I will rant later and post those pictures. They came out thanks to the photographer who acted like we were wasting her time or something. Unfortunately, my hope of a beautiful family portrait was unfounded.

Anyway, the Portrait Simple photographer took pose after pose of Ashlyn. I just wished he could have taken Braeden's photo too! I could not rationally buy more than the free pictures especially since we spent so much money on the JCP pics. Here are the two free portraits I choose:

I love the simple look and will definitely be returning....and hopefully get a beautiful family portrait! They are more pricey than the department stores, but for the quality it is worth it. Plus, each session is 1 1/2 hours long as opposed to 20 minutes. Yay, no more rushing to photograph a baby and toddler who are unable to follow complex directions!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Another Problem or Just Paranoid?

I don't know if I just am looking for things to be wrong with Ashlyn or what. The pediatrician's office must be getting sick and tired of my incessant phone calls with my motherly concerns. I swear I do not have Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome!

Most recently, I have noticed a ridge along Ashlyn's skull. It looks like the parietal bone is overlapping the frontal bone at the coronal sutures:

(FYI: Shunt is NOT on this side of head)

Now, I know that the sutures allow the bones to move during childbirth. But I thought the skull pretty quickly recovers after birth (most babies don't have a cone head for long!). Plus, she is over 6 weeks now, and I didn't notice this overlapping until 5 days ago. I also had a c-section so I wouldn't expect her skull to have to go through too much molding...although, it sounded like it was a tight squeeze to get her out of my transverse incision. I overheard the doctor asking for a vacuum retractor, but they never used it.

I read that when the sutures close too early (called craniosynostosis), problems can arise so I decided to call our doctor to let her know about the ridge. The nurse called back and gave me a quick response that it is "probably nothing." She told me that they would follow up on it at her next appointment unless I wanted to schedule it sooner. We go to see our neurosurgeon on July 28th so I decided I could wait to see him.

In the meantime, I have been google happy trying to find out if there is a connection with hydrocephalus/VP shunts and craniosynostosis. I can't find a great deal of information as of yet, but I should step away from the computer as over researching every little detail has driven me crazy in the past. Now, I have myself concerned that my Gracie might need to get a helmet or have another surgery in the future for cranial remodeling...Ugh, the worry never ends!

Money Well Spent (for once!)

The price tags on most baby products are ridiculous. Rarely, do I feel that anything I buy for the babies is worth the money. My son used his $40 Bumbo chair for like 2 days before he was climbing out of not worth it in my mind. The fancy crib bedding collects dust as Braeden has refused to step one foot near his crib for the last, oh I don't know...16 months! But today I am proud to say that I have splurged on a baby item and turns out it was money very well spent!

The Graco Sweetpeace Newborn Soothing Center arrived earlier than expected (thank you Site to Store!), and we picked it up yesterday. With the easy to understand instructions, I was able to put it together all by myself (much better than the double stroller assembly....I will blog about that later) in record time.

You can see all the great features (from music to motion...heck, there is even an iPod dock!) at their website. However, what is the best testament to the quality of this product is how Ashlyn responded to it. While she isn't a fussy baby at all (knock on wood!), she was soothed right to sleep.

I put her in the swing at her most alert, wide awake time in the evening:

Within five minutes, she was passed out!

One thing about this "Soothing Center" (fancy code word for swing) weirds me out. Mom is supposed to sleep with the swaddle blanket and bear headrest to transfer her scent. I get the concept....the "Soothing Center" addresses all of the senses in a way that makes baby feel like she is back in the womb. I have yet to snuggle up with the swing yet...but it is so soft and cozy, I might just "transfer my scent."

I hearby give the Graco Sweetpeace Newborn Soothing Center my stamp of approval! Totally worth the hefty price tag. Check out for the best deal and free shipping to the store of your choice!

Another BabyLeg Post

I have posted a couple other times about my obsession with BabyLegs. Throw on a onesie and pair of BabyLeg, and your little one is good to go!

Mama Must Haves is doing an Affordable Baby Organics can choose either a sling or BabyLegs. Tough decision....but I would take the BabyLegs (in the Natural Organic Cotton pictured). Even though the kiddies already have a zillion, I cannot get enough!

I also noticed that Affordable Baby Organics will give you a free pair of BabyLegs with any purchase over $60 if you use the coupon code "FreeBabyLegs60."

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Gracie Girl is sleeping.....
Such a cute belly!

What an angel!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Spray Park

I had been worrying that it was time to start consider building an ark....but alas God gave us a break from all the rain today! And even better, it was around 85 degrees and sunny.

Despite the chaos that I imagined would ensue, I decided to take Braeden to his first spray park (which I did not know even existed around here until yesterday...I was about to venture out to Geneva until I had the foresight to google "spray parks in Rochester"!).

We actually ended up going to two different spray parks. First, I made the mistake of going by myself with both a very crowded one on the "West side".....with an even more impressive playground that included barkchips that held B's attention much better.

After an hour of chasing after B and maneuvering my Graco travel system on various terrains it is not made for, we took a much needed lunch break. Afterwards, I picked up Aunt Sarah (my sister in law) to accompany us to another "East side" spray park that was just as cute but half as crowded with no ostentatious playgrounds and barkchips to distract my future ADHD diagnosed child (I am convinced I will have to make the decision whether or not to put him on Ritalin...but I digress).

Here is an excessive amount of pics from today....including some I had fun editing on