My family

My family
My Family

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is it just me??

For Austin's entire life he has never been the greatest nap taker.  The two of us have an ongoing daily battle of taking naps.  He has come a long way in this area - at least most days he does nap for at least an hour.  I always look at the 1 hour as a success, when secretly I long for 2-3 hours of naptime. 

Several of my mommy friends inform me that their children nap for these great stretches of time.  And, I hear of how much they accomplish (laundry, dishes, mopping the floors, etc.) during this peaceful time. 

In my struggles for 18 months to get Austin to take a long nap, I have come the realization that he just doesn't take good naps.  It is just part of how he is and what makes him unique.  I love him the same regardless the length of sleep he gets during the day.  Although, I will admit, he is soo much more fun after a 2 hour nap versus a 1 hour nap.

The past several months Austin has consistently taken a 1.5 hour nap.  Unless he is visiting his Nana or Aunt Stacy.  On those days he chooses to sleep for approximately 3 hours...some days more.  I don't understand this.  He wasn't even in his own bed during these amazing naps. 

Yesterday, Austin had a traumatizing day with a lab visit to have blood drawn.  He fell asleep in the car for 20 minutes in the morning and did not nap the rest of the day.  Today I am determined to help Austin achieve a better nap.  I hung black towels in his windows behind his curtains - this made his room look soo much darker.  I am doing NOTHING during his nap to keep the house quiet for him. 

So far we are 1 hour into his nap and he is still asleep.  I am curious to see if the darker room and quiet house provide a longer nap.  Although I will not be able to continue the quiet house for much longer, I doubt his sister will understand that she can't cry while her brother naps.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Latest update on Austin's allergies

This post is just a follow up for those who have been following Austin's food allergy battles.

Since the watermelon reaction, we have witnessed reactions to banana and blueberries.  The combination of all of these reactions seem to point towards ragweed pollen - according to my research.

Last Thursday, Austin had an 18 month well check with his pediatrician.  She ordered blood allergy testing to rule out allergy to these actual fruits, she also felt Austin is not truly allergic to the fruits.  Austin is also having blood testing done for celiac's disease.  He does not exhibit every symptom indicating celiac's but enough that it is worthy of testing.  Since all of these tests can be done with a single stick, I am okay with the testing.  We just want answers so we know what to feed and what not to feed our little boy.

Somewhere between 9 and 22

I am in the final stretch of pregnancy - just 1 day shy of 36 weeks right now.  Insomnia has officially set in and I am sleeping just hours each night.  In my opinion, God is just getting me used to little sleep now so I am not a zombie after she is born.

I have an ultrasound scheduled for July 7 to check amniotic fluid levels.  Since Austin was a "dry birth" we want to be on top of this and make sure the same scenario does not occur with his sister.  My doctor informed me last week to have my bag in the car "just in case".  If baby girl's fluid levels are low, I guess she will be born on 7/7/11.  Which would be completely crazy due to the double digit birthday's my family has going...Adam 4/4, Austin 12/12, and me 8/8.  So needless to say, I am in quite a panic that I could actually have a baby in 9 days. 

But, if all is well with her fluid levels, she will most likely be born on July 20.  That is unless she would decide another date sounds like a good birthday.  We are not really ready to have her here yet.  I don't think I will be ready at any point for her arrival...much different than with my first. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Watermelon - really??

Tonight's blog is dedicated to Austin's continuing saga of food allergies.

Sunday evening Austin was being an especially picky eater - refusing his entire dinner.  We took a walk and shortly after we arrived back at home, I offered him some fresh watermelon.  He thoroughly enjoyed it!  After he consumed a small bowl full, I cleaned him up - watermelon juices dripping down his chin, neck, and chest.  Immediately when washing his face, I notice a RASH. 

I quickly ran with Austin outside to show Adam my findings.  He confirmed that yes, indeed Austin was breaking out and we needed to give him a dose of benadryl.  While waiting for the drug to kick in and stop the reaction, Adam "googled" watermelon allergic reactions.  As he read the symptoms, Austin was exhibiting them - red rash on face and neck.  Itchy throat (he was scratching at his neck). 

At this time I decided to call the after hours nurse line for our pediatrician.  The nurse and I discussed his symptoms and she felt he needed to be seen at the ER.  By the time she reached this conclusion, an hour had passed and the benadryl had completely cleared up Austin's symptoms.  Adam and I decided that going to the ER with our now perfectly healthy toddler (at 8:30pm - way past bedtime) would only result in a completely crabby little boy and an expensive diagnosis of watermelon allergy.  So we put him to bed and observed him throughout the evening to make sure he was okay.

Monday morning I talked to his pediatrician who believed that yes, Austin did have an allergic reaction.  But, it could be to the watermelon itself or ragweed pollen (which is absorbed into slow growing fruits and berries).  She added this incident to his every expanding chart and thought it was best to inform his allergist to gather further information.

I contacted Austin's allergist and they decided they wanted him to come in to be seen - Tuesday.  So yesterday we loaded up in the downpour and headed to Children's for the appointment.  Austin already had a follow up appointment scheduled for July 5, so they were just going to combine that appointment so we wouldn't need to come back. 

In a nutshell, this appointment was POINTLESS.  The allergist dismissed the reaction to the watermelon as a "contact reaction" not an allergic response.  He then informed me to "not give it to him again".  WHAT?!?!  So, he isn't allergic but don't feed it to him anyways.  This is fruit we are talking about not candy.  He also informed me to "be careful when feeding him other melons".  WHAT!?!? 

I also discussed with the doctor Austin's 6 week battle with tummy problems.  He did not feel this was an allergy related issue either.  Although my reading has suggested that consistent GI problems are related to what you are eating and allergy or intolerance to certain foods.  We discussed that Austin is allergic to eggs and peanuts (old news - been dealing with these two since October).  He did not believe it was necessary to run any further blood allergy or skin panel tests to further examine Austin's allergies.  I scheduled Austin's 6 month follow up and out the door we went.

I left the appointment more frustrated than before.  I am confused at how the pediatrician believes he had an allergic reaction but the allergist does not.  And according to Dr. Google, Austin's symptoms fit the bill to a T.  I am also becoming more and more frustrated with his daily BM's.  Possibly because I am the lucky one who gets the pleasure of changing him 4 times in an hour - or 15 times a day.  Is it seriously normal for toddlers to poo 12 times per day?  I am at war with diaper rash that makes me cry when wiping his poor bottom.

I know I am 34 weeks pregnant and completely hormonal but this momma is ready for some answers.  It is a terrifying feeling to be scared to feed your child.  To constantly be sure an epi pen is nearby in the event you must stab your child's leg to save their life.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Continuing on the topic of picky eating, my topic for today's blog is CRUST.

Why is it that kids do not eat the crust of bread? 

Until just a few weeks ago I would boast that Austin would willingly eat the crust of bread without any hesitation.  In these last few weeks, something has happened.  He now refuses to eat the crust...strange.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Picky Eating

I have mentioned previously that I am reading What's Eating Your Child? by Kelly Dorfman.  I was intrigued by the chapter on picky eating habits.  Dealing with Austin's food allergies has resulted in him having a limited diet.  Breakfast foods are the worst -- almost all breakfast foods contain eggs.  It is a challenge to feed him a well balanced diet of a variety of foods. On top of his allergies limiting his food choices, he is picky. 

Austin's diet is typically:
Breakfast - toast, fruit, yogurt, muffins, pancakes, oatmeal
Lunch/Dinner - chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese, fish, steak, vegetables, fries

Over the past few months his picky eating has progressed to the point of always requiring a separate meal prepared just for him.  After reading about picky eaters and how to reverse their habits we have embarked on a mission to undo Austin's picky diet.

The book instructs the parents to STAY CALM when introducing foods that have been previously rejected or are currently being thrown off the high chair.  This is easier said than done.  The author also tells parents that their child will not starve.  If the child refuses to eat the food presented, then do not force them to try it.  Doing so will only upset the child, therefore only making it more impossible for them to willingly eat.  (This point is one that I struggle with.  Perhaps we have gotten in the habit of preparing Austin something different when he expressed he did not "like" the 1st food presented.)

Last Friday night we had spaghetti for dinner.  At one point in Austin's life, he loved spaghetti - now not so much.  Adam and I stayed calm and placed a plate of spaghetti in front of Austin.  He began his usual whine that would have previously resulted in chicken nuggets appearing on his tray.  But not tonight - Adam and I enjoyed our dinner, ignoring the constant chatter of our unhappy son next to us.  After 20 minutes of waiting, Austin indeed took a bite --and LOVED IT!!! 

Sunday night:  Adam grilled steaks and potatoes.  Austin immediately consumed every bite of steak placed in front of him.  But, would not touch the potatoes.  Again, we stayed calm and waited.  I caved and sprinkled a little shredded cheese on top of his potatoes.  Slowly Austin began picking up the tiny shreds of cheese, being careful to not consume any potatoes along with the cheese.  As Adam and I were cleaning up from dinner, Austin began yelling "yum, yum".  Oh my, he is eating the potatoes - any loving them!

Two nights of winning the battle against the picky eater - we are in the home stretch...right...WRONG

Tonight we failed - majorly.  Adam and I both fell victim to Austin's wrath.  He wouldn't even allow his plate to be on his tray, wouldn't even look at what we were serving him.  We did not "stay calm".  We eventually (an hour later) prepared Austin another meal (after all, I didn't want him waking hungry in the middle of the night).

I am still eager to beat this picky eating phase of Austin's life.  I feel we made slight progress and perhaps just took a step backwards.  I realize that Austin knows how to manipulate me to get "his way".  I just have to regain my power as mommy and prove to Austin that I know what is best for him so it is better to do things "my way".

Friday, June 3, 2011


Do you take them??

I will confess that I do not regularly take a multi-vitamin.  During the time period in which I have been trying to conceive, pregnant, or nursing I have been fairly good about remembering to take my daily prenatal.  But it is difficult to remember.

I am currently reading the book

What's Eating Your Child?: The Hidden Connection Between Food and Your Child's Well-Being 

 I will give a full summary of the book when I finish, but so far I am learning quite a bit about nutrition.  Specifically I am convicted because I do not regularly give Austin a daily vitamin.  I know his pediatrician recommends Poly Vi Sol but I just never remember to give it to him.  

 This morning I took Austin to the doctor because he has been having tummy problems for almost a month.  At the appointment, we discovered that he has not gained any weight in the last 3 months - yikes.  He has been on and off the BRAT diet for 3 weeks and I am honestly concerned about his nutrition.  So, I am curious how many of my mommy readers are falling short in the vitamin department with me.   

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Week of Discovery

Apparently 18 months old is the age of discovery.  While I am extremely excited to discover the world with Austin - his latest two discoveries have me concerned.

Yesterday morning as we were headed out I spotted a worm on the path.  I promptly stopped and pointed to show Austin the worm - his first real life experience with one of these creatures.  He of course began pointing copying my actions.  He squatted down inches away from the worm pointing and saying I am sure "worm" in his little language.  In an instant he stood straight up, lifted his left foot, and squashed the worm with one big stomp.  This action was then followed with his eyes looking up at me in wonder as to where the worm had gone. 

This morning after he woke at 6am sharp.  (I woke at 4:30am but that is besides the point)  We sat on the couch reading some books - a favorite activity in our house.  I was reading him his favorite book "Colors" which consists of 5 simple pages containing merely 30 words....for the seventh time in a row.  Suddenly I notice he is playing with something in his fingers - something small.  As any mother does when their toddler has a small object, I immediately sprung into action - what is that, give it to mommy (before you swallow it).  To my horror it was a HUGE  bugger - GROSS!  (Austin has been slightly affected with outdoor allergies the last few days)  After I dispose of the bugger and disinfect Austin and myself - we begin reading again.  I quickly notice he is picking his nose - yes digging for more of those oh soo fun buggers.

Boys are just sooo much fun.  I do fear what his next discovery will be....

Special Thanks

I want thank Julia at Pontifications of a Twin Mom for awarding me the Stylist Blogger Award
Julia, I feel so special that you chose me for this award - Thank you.  I am thankful for our friendship and to have someone who is going through similar experiences as me in this journey of raising babies.  I enjoy reading about Brynne and Hadley's adventures and can't wait to have play dates in the future when all of our nap times coincide.

Julia and her friend Melissa are currently blogging a series of conversations about True Beauty.  These posts are wonderfully inspirational that women everywhere should read.

As part of the award, I am supposed to list seven things about myself.  I am choosing to share just random facts about me.
1.  I enjoy having a unique name - although, I get frustrated when it is spelled incorrectly.
2.  I own 2 dance studios in Southern Illinois and have since I was 18 years old.
3.  I have been involved in 6 car accidents in my life...possibly more that I have forgotten - none of which were my fault.
4.  My freshman year of high school I was involved in a horrible car accident that took the life of one of my sister's dear friends and left me with a broken collar bone.
5.  My older sister Amanda and I were married 1 month apart and then 3 years later had babies 1 week apart.
6.  One month before my wedding I learned that I had a small tumor on my pituitary gland that "could" hinder my abilities to conceive a child.
7.  After 4 years of marriage, I am still completely, ridiculously in love with my husband - I still feel we are newlyweds and am blessed to spend each day with him.

And I would like to pass on this award to:

Katie at Jake and Katies Story.  I have known Katie for several years.  She is enjoying newlywed life and reminds me of my younger days.

Gina at Losing it.  Gina is on a weight loss journey and is looking fantastic!  She is an encouragement to anyone who also is wanting to change their life to be healthier for their kids.

My sister Amanda at For Every Girl Like Me.  I love reading about my neice Brynleigh's daily life.

Thank you again Julia for this award.  I do apologize for me taking several weeks to respond.  I never realized that finding time to blog is half the battle.