Thursday, October 18, 2007

Busy Busy Busy

So much going on that I never feel like I have time to sit down and adequately get all my thoughts together for the blog. I'm starting this on a Thursday morning...will be interesting to see when it finally gets published :)

P&E had to miss PDO 2 weeks in a row due to sickness. Perry had diarrhea and Ella had a sniffly nose the first week...then Luca ended up with diarrhea too. When I got it, my first thought was that I had been glutened but when Ella got it too, we realized it was the stomach bug. So we stayed home a 2nd week. They've been back at PDO for 3 weeks now and have cried every time I drop them off. They settle down pretty easily but it's heart wrenching to see them upset. They are always very happy when I pick them up so I'm sure they're having a good time.

By the way, if you're keeping track, this is the THIRD TIME we've had the stomach bug this year. Ugh.

Luca is doing well. He is about 5.5 months old now and close to 20 pounds, 28 inches (according to our measurements at home). He is in the 90th percentiles for both...he's a big guy. We started giving him rice cereal once/day now (sometimes at breakfast, sometimes at dinner) because he had a few nights where he was waking up 1-2 times. We thought maybe his little belly wasn't getting full enough from the formula. Sure enough, it worked. He has gone back to sleeping through the night the last 4 nights. Yay! And he is also drinking much less formula which is a good thing.

He's rolling over...only to the right side. He *almost* rolled to the left the other day, but didn't quite get all the way over. He's also sitting up pretty well...can sit for a few minutes before toppling over. He's a happy baby, not much seems to upset him. Hopefully that doesn't make for a difficult toddler ;)

P&E have changed so much in the last few months. They both have grown a ton of hair, Perry's is slowly but surely filling in and growing out. They are also talking a lot more now. I made a list of the words they can say about 3 weeks ago and there were 50 words on it! Of course some of those aren't very clear (ga ga for grandma, ba for bath) but we know what they mean and that makes it easier to communicate with them. Ella has recently started saying "no" and "um hm" for yes...very cute. They are also working on using utensils with dinner and have been using "big girl" plates (Backyardigans) for awhile now. They use a spork to eat their veggies and pasta and a spoon to eat applesauce and yogurt. Ella is pretty good with it but Perry still turns it upside down right before she gets it to her mouth. They still LOVE The a matter of fact that is going to be their birthday party theme. The countdown is on...less than 3 weeks until they are 2!

We've been to the Zoo, Grant's Farm, and Gymboree lately. We need to get to the pumpkin patch soon but this warm weather kind of puts a damper on fall activities. Maybe this weekend.

Speaking of Halloween, we have our costumes all figured out. We originally bought P&E a scarecrow and lion costume from BRU with the hopes of finding Luca a tinman outfit. No luck. So back to the store went the scarecrow and lion in exchange for a pea pod costume for Luca. We were given princess outfits by our neighbors when the girls were born and even though the dresses are 6-12 months, they still fit the girls pretty well. So they will be princesses and Luca will be the pea. Dave doesn't know this fairy tale so he was a bit confused :)

We're having the kitchen and laundry room floors tiled next week so we'll be without a washer/dryer and kitchen for about 3 days. Not looking forward to that, but we'll manage. Guess if we have an emergency (i.e. Luca poop explosion), we can always use the neighbors washer/dryer.

Speaking of our neighbors, a new family moved in behind us this past January. They have 3 children...Dylan (11), Lindsay (8), and Brady (5). Our next door neighbors have 2 children...Riley (8) and Leighton (5). The 4 youngest ones have been playing with P&E out in the backyards and P&E just love the attention and playing with the "big kids". The 2 boys actually came knocking on our back door one night asking if the "babies" could come out and play. I smiled to myself thinking, "this started soon...the boys have come knocking on the door already". Another family behind us is moving so hopefully we will get some new neighbors with young kids. And hopefully they don't put a fence up. We have thought several times about fencing in our yard but having such a big open space with 4 yards to run around in is pretty nice.

Well, it's actually still Thursday morning and I'm about to publish this post. Guess I underestimated my ability to blog ;) Till next time!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Perry & Ella Go To School!

I mentioned P&E going to school on the website and have gotten a lot of questions about it, so here are some answers: They are in a Parents Day Out (PDO) program at First Baptist Church of Harvester off of 94. It is every Tuesday and I drop them off at 9 AM and pick them up at 2:30 PM. We're calling it "school", but it's not a formal preschool program. Most preschools don't start until age 3 so P&E will not be old enough until August 2009 since you have to be 3 by August 1st. So we plan to do a year of PDO one day a week then move to 2 days a week next year, then they'll start preschool. They will be old for their class through school because they'll be some of the first kids turning 6 in their class. I guess that's good though since they were preemies.

We were enrolled in a Mother's Day Out (MDO) program with a new church out in Foristell (Calvary Christian Church), but 10 days before it was supposed to start, they called us to cancel it. Apparently they didn't meet some of the new building daycare codes. Silly things like not having an outdoor playground, etc. So after many phone calls and being put on the waitlist for several programs, I finally found this one. They started the week of August 27th, but we didn't get signed up unti the 29th, so P&E started a week later than most kids. Apparently the 2nd week is harder for some kids because they know what's going on and get upset when mom or dad leaves.

Dave went with me to drop them off the first he could see where it was and to help me carry everything in (P&E had to bring "supplies" as well as their backpacks and lunches). We got them interested in some toys, spent some time talking with the teachers (Miss Anita and Miss Jamie), and then left. There were 2 kids there that were crying pretty bad so Perry and Ella were just staring at them. Dave and I kept peeking around the corner to see what they were doing and they were still just staring. I tell ya, it was weird to walk out of there knowing we were leaving our kiddos with strangers and wondering if they would even know who was who. What if Perry was called Ella all day long and vice versa??? Luckily Miss Jamie has teenage twin boys, so she is used to the twin thing :)

When I picked them up, all the kids were sitting on the ground, lined up against the wall. Ha! I couldn't believe P&E were just sitting there. Ella got up right away and ran over to hug me and then went over to Luca saying "baby" over and over again. Perry was still just sitting there like she was afraid to move. I'm thinking they had to tell her to sit there more than once :) She finally came over and hugged me and I picked her up and she was all smiley. I figured it had all gone okay, but when I asked the teachers, they made it sound like they had been a little upset in the beginning. They didn't say they cried and they made it sound like it was probably because of the cry-ers that they were sad. But of course P&E perked up when they went downstairs to the playground (inside, because it was hot that day). They love those slides! They eat lunch at 12 and then lay down for a nap at 12:30. The teachers said Perry laid down and went to sleep pretty well, but Ella was wandering around but she finally laid down and slept for a little bit. I'd love to be a fly on the wall there for lunch and naptime. They nap on little mats on the floor, all of the kids in one room together!

P&E didn't seem upset with me at all, but they kept saying "fishy" on the way home so I'm guessing they were hungry. I sent grapes, cheese, veggie chips, fig newtons, and fruit snacks with them for lunch (they don't warm anything up for them so we had to omit our usual chicken, meatballs, or fish). There were still 4 fig newtons and both fruit snacks left in their I guess they didn't eat much. I have a feeling that P&E probably eat better than most other toddlers their age, so they might be influenced a bit if the other kids aren't eating as much. Who knows. They also had little paintings that they did. Red was the color of the day so they painted with red. Of course their artwork is hanging on our fridge door :)

They went for their second time this week. I dropped them off by myself and it was pretty easy to get them involved with some toys and "sneak out", but there were more cry-ers this week. In the midst of all the cry-ers, Perry managed to walk out the door so I walked her back in. The mom of one of the cry-ers and I were talking in the hallway and the teachers finally shut the door so I felt it was okay to leave. I didn't realize my kids were escape artists.

At pick up they were lined up against the wall again. Ella immediately got up and ran right past me to Luca. I see who rates highly with her! Perry got up and came to me and was all smiley again. I can tell the girls are having a good time there. The teachers just went on and on with stories about P&E so I'm sure they're getting loved on and cared for. It probably doesn't hurt that they are twins, which makes them *special*. Not that they're not each special on their own, but you know what I mean ;)

They had some more arts and crafts...this week was a lesson about Jesus blessing the children. They rotate colors with religious lessons. It's nice that P&E are getting introduced to that. Our only issue at this point is the napping situation. They don't lay down until 12:30 and I have a feeling it's probably close to 1 by the time my 2 fall asleep and then they wake them up at 2 to change all their diapers and get them ready to go it's not much of a nap at all. And P&E seemed super cranky/tired yesterday. I think I'll try to put them to bed when we get home next week and see what happens. Maybe they'll lay down for another hour or so? If not, I might start picking them up around 12:30, after lunch, and just bring them home for nap. We'll see. Hopefully it works out so they can stay the whole day.

Meanwhile, Luca is getting exhausted from all the one on one mommy attention! The first day we went to Chesterfield Mall and walked around until the stores opened. Did some shopping, came home for lunch and Luca took a short nap, and then headed out to pick up the girls. Yesterday we ran errands all over the place. And unfortunately Luca is in the convertible carseat now so I had to constantly take him out of his seat and put him back in. Poor guy. We went to Babies R Us first and then he fell asleep in the car for the 1 minute it took us to drive down to Lowes. I carried him in and he stayed asleep while we walked around and I put him back in the car to drive to Home Depot. He was still asleep when we got to Wal-Mart and we went to Bread Co for lunch. YES I BRAVED BREAD CO with my celiac disease. I had read on my message board that most of their salads and some soups are okay, so I double checked with the cashier and I was able to have their new orchard salad. Very good! Anyway, Luca fell asleep again on the way to go pick up the girls and again on the way home from getting them. Poor little sleeping guy :) When he turns 6 months, we will hopefully sign up for a swim class.

That's all for now! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Goodbye Summer

Hello! Been awhile since I blogged. A lot going on...and summer is quickly slipping away :(

Celiac Update:

We went to the pediatric GI last week and she only tested P&E (Luca will be tested at 1 year). Dave took Ella in first at the lab and she was not happy about getting her blood drawn and he basically had to restrain her. So he volunteered to take Perry in as well...but she was a trooper! She didn't cry at all, except when the nurse switched vials (they needed 2 vials) and the tube clotted, so some other nurses came in the room as well. Other than that, she did great! Anyway, we found out on Monday morning that they are NEGATIVE...they do not currently have Celiac. They could still end up with it later in life, like me...but at this point, we just need to watch out for symptoms. The GI doc did not want to do DNA testing because that could lead to issues with our insurance if they do carry the genes for it. I would like to know...but I guess we'll cross that bridge IF we come to it.

As for me, I hit the 1 month mark of living gluten-free. We celebrated with some Taco Bell :) It served double duty though because we wanted to see how sensitive I was to the gluten at this point. I didn't get sick, but my tummy was definitely upset. I'm guessing I really did have Celiac for the last 6 years that I thought I had IBS because it was the same kind of feeling that I've had all those years. My bone density screening came back fine. I'm supposed to be taking all kinds of B12, Calcium, and Iron supplements but have been slacking. My next GI appointment is October 2, so I really should get those levels back up. I hate pills.

Perry & Ella News:

P&E are talking up a storm lately. I wish I could list out all the words they say, but I know I'll forget some. I'll do my best...ball, fishy, sissy, da-da, ga-ga (grandma/grandpa), baby, cup, car, pretty, purple, dog, ba-ba, thank you, hi, bye, balloon (Ella says ball and Perry says something that sounds like goon), slide, seat/chair. See, I know there's more than that and I'm forgetting them. I really should write them all down...bad mommy. Oh and notice "ma-ma" is still not on the list. Oy.

Ella has returned to the nursery. On vacation, they slept pretty well together in the same room so we decided to move them back in together. They do pretty well. I think it's even helpful for Ella to see Perry lay down and go to sleep. Although sometimes you can hear quite a bit of laughter coming through the monitor. Who knows what they are up to in there. We can't quite get both cribs in the video monitor to see what's going on. Nothing but trouble, I'm sure.

Mother's Day Out (MDO) starts the Tuesday after Labor Day. P&E will be going to "school" once a week from 9 AM to 3 PM. They will get to meet and play with other kiddos their age, take art and music classes, and learn all kinds of fun things. It will also give me and Luca some good one on one time. Open House is Tuesday night (the 28th) so that should be fun. I already bought all their school supplies and added some Clorox spray and wipes in their bags as well ;)

They got weighed and measured at the GI's office. Perry is 25 pounds 3 ounces (25-50th%) and 34.5 inches (75th%). Ella is 24 pounds 10 ounces (25-50th%) and 32.5 inches (25th%). We knew Perry was taller than Ella, but didn't know it was by 2 whole inches!! I'm sure those measurements aren't *exact* though.

Luca News:

Luca is getting SO BIG! He was also weighed and measured at the appointment. He is 16 pounds 5 ounces (95th%) and 25.25 inches (90th%)!! I might think there was a mix up at the hospital if he didn't look so much like Dave...and the fact that he was the only baby while we were there! He is growing out of almost all his newborn and 0-3 month clothing already and is in a size 2 diaper, almost ready to move up to a 3.

He is also sleeping through the night more consistently. He sleeps about 8-10 hours at night and is taking 3 naps during the day. Still not on a rigid schedule yet, but we're getting there. He also LOVES to stand. He has been bearing weight on his legs for quite some time now and will even stand on his own up against the couch for awhile. He has also rolled over twice (from back to belly). And he loves to smile, coo, and laugh. I think he's one of the happiest babies I've ever met :)

Other News:

David and I had our 5 year anniversary last Friday. This also marks the 5 year anniversary of living in our house. Hard to believe it's been that long already. This will be our 6th Christmas here and our mantel went from 2 little stockings to SIX (if you count Riesy's). Wow.

Not much else going on. Trying to plan a vacation for Christmas...probably skiing. Although P&E won't be old enough for classes, like we had hoped. Maybe we'll take them tubing or sledding though.

Hope everyone is doing well and thanks for checking in on us!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Celiac Update

Hi all! Just wanted to update on the Celiac (CD) and how we've been managing. I've been gluten-free (GF) for 10 days now! It's really not as hard as I thought it would be. We've (I've) been cooking a lot more, which is probably a good thing. Healthier and cheaper. I did get a chance to go out to eat at PF Chang's yesterday because they have a GF menu. It was very nice! And so were the 2 martinis I had ;)

The labels and ingredients are still kind of tricky, but once we figure out which brands are okay, it will be much easier. Unfortunately, I've come across a lot of items that are "manufactured in the same facility as wheat products" which seems like a CYA (cover your *butt*) statement to me. My dietician said I should avoid those products, but we did use some frozen veggies that said that and I was fine.

My appointment with my GI doc was Monday. He had my iron, vitamins B & D, and liver enzymes tested. The iron and vitamin B are low and the liver enzymes are still elevated but have come down (still waiting on the vitamin D results). I also have to have a bone density screening done (August 8th) and am taking Viactiv calcium chews. I can't believe I need all these supplements (iron, vitamins, and calcium). And would you believe my GI doc had the nerve to tell me I'm "undernourished" and need to gain weight? Oy. Believe me, I'm NOT undernourished...but secretly, I took it as a compliment after just having had a baby less than 3 months ago ;) Sick, I know.

Anyway, so that's that. I'm feeling's NOT the end of the world like I once thought it was. We leave for vacation on Saturday morning (BEFORE the crack of dawn) and I'm hoping to manage okay while we're there. I'm sure there will be lots of cross-contamination glutening, but hopefully it won't make me *too* sick.

Thanks for all the kind words, well wishes, emails, phone calls, etc. You all are fantastic!

We'll update with pictures and stories when we get back! Take care!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gluten-Free is the way to be (a post about me)

After the colonoscopy/endoscopy on Monday, the GI was fairly certain it was Celiac Disease (CD) and the biopsies came in on Wednesday to confirm it.

A little background on CD, if you're not familiar...

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small bowel caused by a reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Upon exposure to gluten, the enzyme TTG modifies the protein, and the immune system cross-reacts with the bowel tissue, causing an inflammatory reaction. This leads to flattening of the lining of the small intestine, which interferes with the absorption of nutrients (specifically iron, in my case, causing the anemia). The only effective treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet. Long-term effects of untreated CD include lymphoma and adenocarcinoma (cancers that can develop in the intestine), osteoporosis, miscarriage and congenital malformation of the baby, and short stature.

The GI doc told us on Monday to go ahead and start the gluten-free (GF) diet. Of course I spent Monday and most of Tuesday mourning the loss of my junkfood diet. And an FYI to the population...saying "it could be worse" to someone is NOT exactly the empathy they're looking for. I know it could be worse, trust me...however, it's still a HUGE deal to me and a huge lifestyle please don't minimize anyone's situation with those dreaded words. But I will admit that fortunately there are lots of resources for CD and many stores have added GF items to their shelves. So I am lucky in that respect.

I took my first trip ever to Trader Joe's on Tuesday night but was very overwhelmed at the experience. Much to my surprise, they did not have all the GF items grouped together in one section but were spread throughout the store (like a normal grocery store). The cashier gave me a nice 5 page list of their GF foods, but it only made it harder. After about an hour (and the store is NOT that big), I left with 2 bags and $30 worth of groceries. Nothing too impressive, except a very good cashew cookie Lara Bar.

I then visited Dierberg's on Wednesday and they are kind enough to put the GF specialty food items together in one location. VERY nice! I found GF cereals, pasta noodles, bread, tortillas, bagels, pizza, cereal bars, and lots of flours and mixes.

Right now, we're going through tons of lists from the internet to figure out what "mainstream" foods I can still eat (i.e. Tostitos chips, Daisy sour cream, cheese, etc). We have to switch brands on some Kikkoman to LaChoy soy sauce. Becoming a label reader is a new experience too. Some companies are really nice and put specific allergies (soy, milk, wheat, nuts) right on there in bold print, while others make it a bit more difficult. And unfortunately there's more than just wheat, barley, rye, and oats to look for. Malt is a no-no as well, b/c it is usually made with barley. G'bye Bartles & James wine coolers. And the most frustrating ingredient of all is "modifed food starch". My dietician told me that the FDA requires companies to specifically state if it is wheat, but I guess they don't really have to. So in MOST cases, modified food starch = corn...but not always. When in doubt, don't eat it.

Then there's the cross-contamination issue. My dietician told me to get a new toaster (one for my GF stuff only), get rid of wooden spoons, wash hands after feeding the girls something with gluten, etc. And of course...restaurants. Sure, I can order a steak, steamed veggies, and a baked potato...but whose to say my steak didn't just get grilled where a breaded chicken once was? Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible to be 100% GF, but luckily it doesn't seem like I'm *that* sensitive to it. And there are a couple restaurants that offer GF menus...Outback and PF Changs. Guess we'll be eating there a lot!

And I know some of you (who know me well enough) are wondering if I can still eat my beloved Taco Bell. While a taco is essentially GF (corn shell, meat, lettuce, cheese), Taco Bell's ingredient statement says that oats are used in the shells and meat. However, the tostada shells are listed as well as the rice and pintos n cheese. The chips are GF, but are fried in the same oil as other non-GF foods. And of course the cross-contamination issues. We'll be having taco/Mexican night at home a lot more now ;)

So, it's a HUGE lifestyle change. I'm out of my sulking phase and into the "game" phase where I'm enjoying the challenge of figuring out what mainstream foods are still okay, how to substitute for those that are not, and tasting the GF specialty foods. And of course this has opened up a whole new group of message boards for me (I already belong to 2 mommy buddy groups, 1 toddler board, and 1 multiples board). Can we say "internet junkie"? I'm sure the excitement of this phase will wear off soon though ;)

The next step is getting the kids tested since this is a genetic disease. We have an appointment with a pediatric GI on August 15th. Unfortunately if the blood test is positive, they would have to undergo an endoscopy for the official diagnosis and we're not sure we want to do that, but we'll cross that bridge IF we come to it. If you have room in your prayers, add one for Perry, Ella, and Luca to be negative on the CD test.

I've been feeling better. Actually I was on Bentyl (for IBS) for about 2 weeks before the colonoscopy, so I hadn't been sick in awhile...but now with the GF diet, hopefully my small intestine is on its way to being repaired. They say it can be fully healed in 3-6 months in younger people (does 29 still count as "younger"?), but the GF diet is for life. I have a follow up appointment with my GI doc on Monday and I think he'll want to set up some tests to make sure I'm healing and the iron is being absorbed okay.

We'll update if anything changes. Thanks for your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes!

Friday, July 13, 2007

What's new?

Where do I begin?

Luca is a dream! We really have been blessed with good babies. P&E were no trouble (I remember we actually had to *wake them up* to feed them when they were newborns) and Luca is doing pretty well regulating himself (he's still on *his own* schedule). Now, the question it genetics, is it environment, or is it luck? Maybe all 3? Anyway, we can only pray that #4 fits into our family as easily as Luca has. Ha ha, NO, I'm not pregnant! #4 is slated for 2009, at the earliest!

P&E have adapted well to Luca's arrival. The first few days back at home from the hospital were a little rough, but all is well for the most part. They are both working on canines and molars right now, as well as bottom lateral incisors for Perry. Like I said in a previous blog entry, take out stock in whatever company produces Tylenol and Motrin! So the teething makes for some crabby tantrum moments, but those are un-related to Luca and his arrival.

Ella has become our "little Mommy". She loves to help...patting his back to burp him, getting his bottle and burprag, hugging and kissing on him, anything to be near him. Perry is a little more standoff-ish, but you can tell she loves him too. We can see Luca taking mental notes of all the times he gets roughed up by his sisters though. At 75th percentile in height and weight, he'll be bigger than them in no time!

I have to share a story from our first outing with all 3 kids. We went to the furniture store to look for a new kitchen table (had to upgrade from 4 to 6 chairs) and I was pushing Luca in his stroller and Dave had the girls in the double stroller. The saleslady stopped us and asked "Are these all *your* kids?". Uh, no, we found these 2 out in the parking lot. Very funny! I'm sure we have lots more strange comments in our future. ;)

We had the verbal explosion here in the past few weeks. The girls are both picking up on so many words and trying to repeat them. It's very exciting. I feel like they can communicate with us fairly well now. "Bah" is universal for ball, bottle, and that one can be a little confusing, but with context clues, it's pretty easy to figure out. "Cah" is car. "Guh" is cup. "Bay bay" is baby. "Mah" is more. "Ishy" is fishy (for our pet fish and for goldfish crackers). "Ishy" can sometimes be confused for "sissy" though. It all kind of sounds the same. "Sue" is shoe. I'm sure I'm forgetting some...but you get the gist.

They have also mastered many body parts and know where their hair, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, belly buttons (bee bo), and toes are. And they often try to repeat those words as well..."ah" for eye and ear, "ha" for hair. They are doing very well on the steps now...going up and down by themselves. They love to jump, dance, run, climb on the couches, play with their toys, and of course get into trouble. :)

We've been going up to the pool a lot lately so they have been playing with some of the neighborhood kids in the kiddie pool. They also have cute little swimsuit tanlines (despite the slathering of SPF 50). Luca is too young for sunscreen (6 months) but he keeps cool in his stroller under an umbrella...with the occasional toe dip in the pool.

Unfortunately, right after I stopped nursing and pumping for Luca, I got sick. It's been about 5 weeks now, but a blood test has revealed that it may be Celiac Disease, an allergy or intolerance of gluten/wheat. I'm having a colonoscopy (my 2nd...yeah, I'm not even 30 and I'll have had 2 colonoscopies) on Monday, along with an endoscopy. So with the biopsy results, we'll know for sure what it is. I've had low iron for awhile now (with both pregnancies) and have finally been labeled anemic...a common symptom of CD.

And also, we'll be heading on our first vacation with all 3 kiddos on the 28th of this month. We're going to The Atlantis in the Bahamas with my mom's family. We're looking forward to it and hope the girls enjoy themselves (with 19 pools to choose from, how could they not?).

Hope everyone is having a good summer!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Better late than never

So it's been quite awhile since I've blogged...I'm sure you can all understand why ;) Luca Matthew entered our lives on May 2nd, just one day (actually just 2 hours and 4 minutes) before his due date. The birth story on the website doesn't give much detail, so I'll give some more here. Those of you who know me know that I have a tendency to give too much detail sometimes, so feel free to skip this blog entry if birth/delivery stuff makes you go "ewww". I'll try to keep it vague though ;)

Grandma Deb came to play with the girls for the afternoon, so I went to pick up Luca's curtains in St. Charles. I stopped at Mackers (Australian for McDonald's) for a chicken sandwich and some fries and headed down 94. I felt a pain in my stomach area (enough to bear down on the steering wheel), but attributed it to the spicy sandwich and my lovely IBS. While I was at the lady's house getting the curtains (she was telling me some awfully long story about her daughter serving in the Peace Corps and losing her arm to a crocodile in Africa somewhere), I felt another pain. Now I start thinking that perhaps these are contractions...but they are still pretty far apart. No worries.

So I finally leave the curtain lady's house and head to Old Navy in the hopes of exchanging some shorts for P&E (they were mislabeled, so instead of size 18-24, we ended up with size 6-12). No luck. On to JCPenney's to return an extra valance from our kitchen. While I'm waiting for the incredibly dumb cashier to figure out how to do a return, I feel a few more pains. On the way out you walk right by the kids' clothing section, so of course I stopped to look at some clothes for the girls. While I'm trying to decide if I should get matching or coordinating, I have to sit down on the floor while I have some more pains. As I'm paying, the cashier asks me when I'm due, I say "tomorrow, but I think I'm having contractions right now". She looks at me as if I'm crazy and I head next door to Target. I called Dave (3 PM) and told him that I was having some pains but didn't think I was in labor, but I would call him if they got make sure to answer the phone. Shopping at Target has never been so unpleasurable in my life. I had to stop and bear down on the cart a few times.

I head home, still convinced I am not in labor, have a conversation with MIL (mother-in-law), and she heads home. By 4:30 the pains are so bad that I call Dave. I still didn't think I was in labor, but I knew something wasn't right and I needed to be checked out (I was actually thinking...there's no way I can sit and watch American Idol tonight through these pains). I get the girls up from their nap, get them dressed, finish packing my hospital bag, and pack up some snacks/dinner for the girls. Dave gets home and changes clothes and we are off to the hospital a bit before 6. Our neighbor is outside and yells "Are you going to the hospital?". I am mortified at this point because I was POSITIVE we were going to be sent back home due to false labor. So now the whole neighborhood will know I'm the dumb girl that doesn't know real contractions from fake ones. Oy.

We go the ER and I tell the receptionist that I think I'm in labor. She looks at me like "yeah right". I said "well, I don't look like it now, but in a few minutes I'll have a contraction and then it'll look like I'm in labor." She gets a wheelchair (totally unneccessary, but whatever) and wheels me while Dave wheels the girls in the double stroller upstairs. The nurses are sitting there twiddling their thumbs as they have only delivered 15 babies in over 2 months. They take me into the triage room and tell me to change into a robe but once they learn that Dr. Kuebel is my doctor, they decide to admit me to an L&D room. Apparently Dr. Kuebel has a reputation for not sending very pregnant women who are having contractions man.

The nurses and receptionist from the ER have a very long conversation about if I am registered with the hospital or not (I pre-registered through the internet)...but apparently the receptionist did not check me in properly. Whatever ladies, I'm in labor here, can we discuss this later? The nurse checks me and says, "She's a 5, but I could stretch her to an 8". Um, what? Please don't do that, there's no doctor here! They start the IV and apparently you have to get 2 bags of fluids in you before they can start the epidural...nice. Mental note, don't wait so darn long to go to the hospital next time (yes, there might be a next time).

Meanwhile, Dave is feeding the girls some snacks and the nurses are blowing up gloves as balloons and drawing faces on them for P&E to play with. Good thing we picked Progress West :) Unfortunately, I also had strep B this time around. It's normally not a big deal, they just give you 2 doses of antibiotics (penicillin I believe) before the baby is born to make sure it isn't passed to him. Well, due to the quick labor I was only given 1 dose of penicillin which meant Luca had to be checked on quite a bit that first night. For more scary details on strep b, visit

Grandma Deb and Aunt Angela are the first on the scene and take P&E out to the waiting room. Grandpa Steve and Uncle Andrew arrive next, as well as Grandma Kim and Grandpa John. Around 7:30 the epidural lady (anasthesiologist) comes in. I am ready to bow down and kiss her feet. She gets everything set up, I'm sitting on the side of the bed, and Dave is kneeling down in front of me to hold my hands (and the nurse/dr said for him not to look at the need to have a passed out husband during labor). I'm not positive of the procedure, but I do know that she has to get this needle into a pretty exact cannot be too much to the right or too much to the left. The first time she stuck it in she asked if I felt anything. By this time, my left foot had gone a little numb from dangling it over the edge of the bed, so I tell her that. She decides to try again with the needle. This time I feel a shooting pain through my right leg (I've never been struck by lightning, but I imagine that's what it would feel like). So now I'm thinking that the first time, she probably had it in the right place...whoops. Not entirely my fault though since she didn't tell me how intense of a feeling it would be. So the needle comes back out and back in again, maybe about 5-6 more times. Not kidding. Each time, I have the struck by lightning feeling in one of my legs.

Meanwhile, I'm having contractions through all of this. So every 5 minutes or so, we have to stop so I can scream/breathe my way through the contraction. After about 45 minutes, I'm yelling that I don't want the epidural anymore. The nurse looks me dead in the eye and says "Are you sure?". Hell no lady, I'm not sure. I want the damn epidural, I just don't want to go through this ordeal anymore. I ask the anasthesiologist how much longer she thinks it will take, just so I can get in the right mental mindset and she pretty much yells at me that my nerves are in the wrong place or something. Um, hello? Did you not take anatomy in med school? I'm pretty sure everyone has the same nerves. Anyway, about an hour later, at 8:30 PM, the epidural is in and I'm on my way to happy land. I push that "extra juice" button a couple times, just for good measure.

I should also mention at this point that when we got to the hospital, the nurses paged the on call doctor from my practice. It was Dr. Snowden, the doctor who delivered the girls. Now, he did a fine job delivering them...they are healthy, happy, etc. However, the experience with him wasn't an extremely pleasurable one...our personalities don't exactly mesh. Or maybe he wasn't so happy to be called out on a Saturday night in the rain? So when I find out he'll be delivering Luca, I'm a little disappointed, but rationalize it by the fact that all 3 of my kids will have been delivered by the same doctor. When the nurse left the room, Dave and I had a discussion about whether or not to page Dr. Kuebel (he had given us his pager number at my 37 week appointment and we *should* have paged him on our way to the hospital...but because I was stubborn and didn't think I was really in labor, we didn't. I didn't want to bother him at that point since he obviously wasn't on call, but then I started thinking that I'd end up at my 6 week post partum appointment and he'd say "Why didn't you page me? I would have come". So Dave takes his cell phone and goes out into the hall and pages Dr. Kuebel. I am SOOOO happy we called him. It just made the entire experience so much better, especially after the epidural drama.

So it's 9 PM, I'm dilated 10 cm, and Dr. Kuebel is on the scene. I warn him that I've been whiny for the last hour or so, but immediately I am in a better mood just knowing he's there. My contractions were the exact same as they were with the girls...about 3-4 minutes apart, but LONG. So we sit there twiddling our thumbs in between contractions, but I can get a good 4-5 pushes in during one. Not too much exciting stuff happening at this point. Dr. Kuebel asked if we had a name and I say "Oh God". He and the nurse say "That's an interesting name". :) We had a name of course, we had decided on Luca back in January. However, we did not have a middle name. We had 4 choices but never chose one. Paul, for my mom's dad...Jonathan, for my dad's dad...Matthew, because we liked it...and Thomas, so his initials could be LT. The nurse tells us we don't have to make a decision right away, which is comforting...but I still cannot believe that my child didn't have a middle name for the first 36 hours of his life. This is me we're talking about. I make checklists for people to take care of my kids. It's not like me to not have my child's name picked out before he is born.

Somewhere during the pushing, Dr. Kuebel informs us that Luca is "sunny side up". I ask if that's bad for the baby and he says "No, but it'll be harder for you". Great. Already this kid is causing me problems. Around 9:50 I suppose, Luca is starting to make his entrance into the world. Of course the nurses and doctor tell me to look at his head coming out. Uh, no thanks. However, I do catch a glimpse and Mr. Luca is coming out with his arm up in the air, waving hello to everyone. Such a social boy.

9:56 PM - Luca Matthew is born.

The girls were placed on my chest for maybe 1 minute before being whisked off to the NICU. Luca was allowed to lay on my chest for what seemed like hours. I actually had to ask the nurses to go get him cleaned up and measured so we would know how big he was. Having a healthy full-term baby was certainly a different experience for us.

After the doctor finishes working on me, Luca is cleaned up, we take some pictures, etc...our families come in to meet Luca. Perry and Ella are still awake at 11 PM! More pictures, "oohs" and "ahhs", and then everyone heads home around midnight. Dave and I are left alone with our new son. He actually gets to sleep in the room with us instead of down the hall in a specialized nursery with breathing tubes hooked up to his face.

The pediatrician on call at the hospital comes in to talk to us about the strep B issues and I believe they ran some blood tests on Luca as well. Everyone was very informative and I felt like we were in great hands.

Most of you know that I am not the crunchy/granola type of mom and I wasn't that *into* the thought of breastfeeding, however, I was willing to give it a try if Luca figured it out in the first minute or so. Of course he did! Very smart boy. That first night he ate about every 2-3 hours and slept the rest of the time. Of course I was so excited and high on adrenaline, so I sent out a mass email about Luca's arrival at 4:30 AM. Still getting made fun of for that.

Anyway, I'm sure there is much much more I could write about...but this blog entry is already very very long and it has taken me several days to write it. So I will end it here. In all, the experience was a good one. After the girls were born I wondered how people ever had more than 1 kid...who would go through that awful experience more than once? But I realize now that their birth was tainted by many things...prematurity, high blood pressure/magnesium, the NICU. Luca's birth couldn't have been more perfect. And that's how I'll leave this blog entry. He's perfect.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Pregnancy thoughts...and a bit about P&E too

So, this blog is mostly about Perry & Ella, but I thought it only fair to share a bit about the pregnancy with Junior since he will soon be getting blogged about as well...

I'm 38 weeks pregnant!

Who'd have thunk it? I certainly didn't. With the early dilation issues with the girls, I thought this baby would be lucky to be a 35/36 weeker, another preemie for sure. And here we are, almost at the end. I have to say that I am quite proud of myself (and my uterus) for gestating this baby so long, with a VERY normal pregnancy. Besides a few swelling episodes in my legs when we do too much in a day (or eat too much salty Mexican food) and a bit of finger swelling (had to say goodbye to the wedding rings about a month or so ago), everything has been great. Of course I'm tired (maybe I should take those iron pills, eh?) and feel quite large...bending over to pick something up and feeling your tummy on your thighs is kind of gross...but otherwise in great condition.

My anal retentive/control freak personality has a little bit of issue with the fact that I have no idea when Junior might arrive. I tried my hardest to plan for Tuesday, the 17th but it did not work out. We have the hospital bags packed (for the most part) and try to keep the fridge stocked with ready-to-go meals for P&E, but there are still so many unknowns. Will it happen in the middle of the night, will it happen while Dave is at work, will it happen while we're at Wal-Mart? Will my water break, will I feel the contractions, will I get sent to L&D from a doctor's appointment? Oy.

At any rate, I am SO anxious to meet our baby boy. Anxious to see if he will resemble one of the girls or be his own little person, anxious to see what bringing home a full-term baby from the hospital is like, anxious to see how the girls will interact with him, anxious to see if the dog will pack up his belongings and leave after bringing home a 3rd baby in less than 18 months.

Our house that we once thought was SO huge, and neither one of us ever dreamed of filling up all the bedrooms while we lived here, is now busting at the seams. I cleaned 3 little bedrooms and a playroom this morning...certainly not what we would have done on a Saturday morning just 3 years ago, before babies entered our minds. But, I know neither of us would have it any other way :)

Anyway, hopefully that rambling made a bit of sense. Mommy brain and pregnancy brain are bad enough separately, but combine them and you're left with mashed potatoes. Mmm, mashed potatoes sound good!

On to P&E...

*The stomach bug is gone. Please please please let it never return to this house ever again. I hate seeing my babies sick and I hate the smell of puke. On a good note though, Dave and I never caught it this time around, which made it a bit easier to deal with.

*As far as teeth go, I want to say that Ella has all her central and lateral incisors and I *think* all of her 1st molars...which would be 12 teeth. Perry though, only has her top central/lateral insicors, her bottom central incisors, and one 1st molar...7 teeth. Don't quote me on that because it's really hard to get a look in their mouths, but I'm fairly sure that's right. I guess all babies really do develop differently ;)

*, not so much. Both girls have reverted back to "uh oh". It gets used properly at least, but sometimes I think they purposely do things just so they can say "uh oh". For example, Ella takes a handful of graham crackers and throws them on the floor to the dog and says "uh oh". I'm pretty sure Ella says "sissy" and knows that it is Perry. When I said, "Let's go get sissy up from her nap" yesterday, Ella immediately ran to Perry's door. Perry still says "ey yah" for Ella...very cute.

*Dancing has reached an all time high around here. ANYTHING resembling music gets both girls on their feet. Ella introduced foot stomping while watching country week on American Idol. We started recording The Backyardigans (it's on during naptime) because it's full of music and the girls LOVE it. Still big Doodlebop fans too.

*Tantrums have started. Someone told me that "terrible 2s" actually refers to the 2nd year of life, not the age of 2...and I'd believe it. I know it has to be frustrating for them since they can't talk or tell us what's wrong. Both of them like to throw themselves down on the floor and's all for drama though. We have some future Academy Award winners on our hands. Daddy also started time-outs with the girls (standing with their arms against the wall for 10 seconds). We've come to realize that they *know* the word "no" but are testing us. We only use "no" when they are in danger (standing up on the toybox) or touching something they shouldn't (gross dirty diaper champ or toilet), so it's not like it gets overused.

Well, this has taken quite a long time to type out, so it's time for me to close. Thanks for reading through it if you made it to the end. Until next time!

Monday, April 02, 2007

March-In like a lion, out like a lion?

So we end the month with another round of the stomach bug. Perry threw up and had a bit of diarrhea on Wednesday, ran a fever on Thursday, but was fine Friday. Then Saturday came. It was Puke Fest 2007. One right after the other, at least they took turns for the most part. Grandma and Grandpa Bast were here visiting and helped out with the cleaning and keeping the dog out of the messes. The last puke ended around 7 PM and both girls slept in on Sunday until 9 AM. They also took a 4 hour nap Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately this bug caused us to miss the opening game for the Cardinals, although it doesn't look like we missed much.

We thought after a day of no pukes that we'd try half Lactaid and half water this morning, but it didn't sit well with Ella. Neither did lunch. Both girls are getting tired of the BRAT diet and water, but anything else will "re-activate" the bug. Dave left for work this morning not feeling well either. Looks like it might get him next. I gratefully decline a visit from the bug this time around...but I'm sure it'll find me.

The odd thing is that we haven't even been out of the house much lately. We were at Babies R Us on Saturday, IHOP on Sunday, and had the contractor and cable guys here on Tuesday. So who is the culprit of passing us this lovely stomach bug once again? Oh and sorry in advance to anyone we might have given it to.

The teeth monster is back in town as well. Both girls are cutting molars, which doesn't help the sickness situation. Ella constantly has her hands in her mouth and keeps chewing up food and then spitting it out. Both of them are cranky and clingy. Buy stock in Tylenol, Motrin, and Orajel because we surely help keep those companies in the green.

Still not much talking going on. We think Perry repeats "flower" when we say it to her as she's getting her diaper changed and staring up at a big purple daisy on the wall...and she definitely says "Ella". Ella still says "dog"...A LOT. I'm going to invent a machine that deciphers baby babble because I know they're saying some meaningful stuff to one another, but I just can't understand it. Some secret baby language I guess.

They still love music and dancing. Ella has gotten more "rhythmic" lately. She spins now too, probably copied it from her big sister. She is quite the copy cat. I thought it would be the other way around, but for the most part, Ella follows her big sister around and does what she does.

Spring, April, and baseball season have arrived...and I'm still pregnant. It's kind of odd knowing I have a baby bigger than Perry and Ella were when they were born inside me. He's measuring around 5.5 pounds now. That's like a 2 month old to us! I'm hoping he comes at the end of April, but I'm guessing I don't get much say in it. His ultrasound pictures today showed some very large lips (a daddy trait) so I'm guessing he's going to favor Perry.

Well, the nappers have awoken from their slumbers and it's time to think about dinner. It's getting hard to be creative with Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. Until next time!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Is it really the middle of March already!?

Well, I spoke too soon on the stomach bug. Ella and I had another short round of it on Thursday night and then Perry again on Friday. But that was it. We've been bug-free for 10 days now! The girls are back on whole milk, yogurt, cheese, whatever they'll eat.

We've added some new teeth too. Ella has her bottom molars and is working on the top 2, which caused us all to miss out on some sleep 2 nights ago. Perry is working on one of her bottom molars but hasn't been too fussy about it...knock on wood. Ella has a mouthful of teeth and Perry's top front 2 just seem to get bigger and bigger :)

Words of the week: Ella - dog, Perry - gak. Ella calls EVERYTHING a dog. We were at the park yesterday and of course the geese were dogs. When asked what a dog says, she responds with "oof". What I first mistook for "wak" is really "gak"...translation - quack. Perry will "gak" at her stuffed duck that quacks and also "gak'ed" at the geese yesterday. Both of them have mastered "da da" and definitely know that it is Dave. When they hear the garage door open in the evenings, they both yell "da da" and run to the top of the steps to wait for him.

Cartoons have become a favorite morning activity. We play for about an hour and then turn on the 'toons while we eat breakfast. We used to watch Blues Clues and The Backyardigans, but now we're on an earlier schedule so we watch The Doodlebops and Blues Clues. Mommy's favorite is Handy Manny which is on right before The Doodlebops, so occasionally we turn on the TV a bit earlier ;) The girls both love the music and "dance" in their booster seats.

Speaking of music and dancing, Perry love to spin. Makes me a bit nervous after all the puke episodes with the stomach bug, but she has only spit up a couple times so far. She spins and spins and spins, while giggling and smiliing. Occasionally she'll stop to dance a bit (which looks a lot like Irish jig dancing). Ella likes the music too, but just kind of sways back and spinning or jigging.

We took them swimming at the rec center this past weekend and I think they were a bit overwhelmed. We hadn't been since right before their birthday...and it was also a much calmer setting when we had swim class vs. a free for all with kiddos everywhere. We played in the fountains, swam in the not-so-lazy river and pool, and played with the toys we brought. I think if we went a bit more often, they would really enjoy themselves. Not sure how much longer that maternity swimsuit will fit though ;)

Things change every day it seems. Always a new skill, word, favorite toy, or activity. Never a dull moment.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Stomach Bug Cometh

Oh man, I don't wish this upon anyone. Not sure where we got it, but I am not sorry to see it leave.

We found poor Perry covered in puke Sunday morning. I heard her babbling during the middle of the night, but she went right back to sleep so we didn't check on her. After a bath and running her PJs and sheets through the washer 3 times with bleach, we thought it might have just been a fluke. But then she puked up her breakfast. Back into the bath and now we had stinky smelling carpet in the playroom. We put her on Pedialyte and water and stuck with bland foods and after one more puke in the afternoon, she was done. No fever, no crankiness.

24 hours later, Dave came home from work feeling ill. He was physically sick for about 6 hours, but that's all the time he was allowed because Ella got sick that night too. The smell was wafting out of the guest bedroom (where she was sleeping while we worked on Junior's nursery) and sure enough, she was covered in puke but asleep. What is it with these girls? They don't mind sleeping in vomit? A bath and more cleaning...then more puking and another bath. She puked a couple more times that night and was running a small fever the next morning. Pedialyte and water for her too.

Dave stayed home from work Tuesday because he felt achy and had a fever and the chills, but the girls were in relatively good spirits. However, that night after dinner, Ella threw up again. FYI - baking soda works wonders on getting the puke smell out of carpet. At this point, I knew it was just a matter of time before it got me too. I disinfected all the girls' toys that night and woke up around 4 AM with a sour stomach.

Dave stayed home again Wednesday to take care of the girls while I was sick. Not only the many trips to the bathroom, but the fever and achiness really took a toll on me. My fever broke around 10:30 PM and I am feeling better today.

Dave is back at work and we are hoping that's the last we'll see of the stomach bug. Luckily it was short-lived in each of us and kind of took us 1 by 1 instead of all at the same time.

Friday, February 23, 2007

When did they become toddlers?

"Hey babies!" is something I find myself saying a lot, but today I realized that they're not really babies anymore. They're toddlers. They toddle around, they understand things, they "talk", they feed themselves, they play well together and independently...they are big girls now! Almost 16 months old and almost big sisters :)

One of their new favorite things to do is to *go beyond* the gate in the hallway and toddle around between their room and Junior's room...taking each and every stuffed animal off the shelf, opening and closing all the doors, and climbing up on anything and everything (the toybox, the step ladder, the crib when it was in a box on the floor). They have a blast doing this...I suppose because it is something different than the playroom. And because of this, we are headed to Babies R Us this weekend for some baby-proofing necessities (door stoppers that don't have plastic tips that come off and end up in Ella's mouth, door guards so little fingers don't get smashed, and some drawer and cabinet locks for the changing table).

The talking is getting more and more exciting. I try my hardest to make out what they are saying because I *know* they are saying real words. I believe Perry has added "wak" (quack) and "All-lah" (Ella) to her vocabulary. Ella continues to say "bad dog" and I know she means it because it is always after I yell at Riesy. I'm sure there is more, but I just can't make it out right now. Ella certainly has the point and grunt thing figured out at mealtimes. :)

Watching them play is also very fascinating. Ella lined up 3-4 Little People on the windowsill yesterday and had a full on conversation with them. Perry can sit and play for hours with one thing, usually the shape sorter bucket or a book. They've also become much more interested in the toys that make music...Perry LOVES to dance and twirl around. Yesterday she twirled and twirled until her yogurt drink came back up. up puke when you're 30 weeks pregnant is not a pleasant activity. :)

Another new thing we have is "baby jail". We got one of those big playard gates that makes a 20 square foot area for them to play in and we set it up in the living room. It is nice to have a place to put them when taking them in and out of the car and after dinner while I clean up, without having to worry about them hurting themselves in our very un-baby-proofed downstairs. And, it's like the toys we put in there to play with are brand new!

Our gymnastics class is over and I think we'll "lay low" on the classes until Junior is here. We plan to take them swimming at the rec center every once in long as my maternity swimsuit fits I suppose. It will be a whole different experience now that they can walk. The zero entry kiddie area will be very interesting for them with the fountains and such.

We have not done a very good job with our MoD fundraising this year...only at $130 so far. We are hoping to be able to do a fundraiser through Krispy Kreme, so we'll keep you posted. Also, don't forget about the t-shirts!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

February already!?!?

Wow! This year is flying by! Only 3 more months until Junior's arrival and we still haven't started the nursery. Today we are lucky to have grandpa John and uncles Julio and Andrew help us move the giant desk out of Junior's soon-to-be nursery though, so progress is being made ;) Hopefully we'll get some paint up soon. We already have his crib, dresser, and changing table...just need to put them together.

Perry and Ella are doing very well. They are both in the process of getting more teeth (Ella's working on some molars I think) which is making them a bit moody. But other than that, they have been learning machines lately.

*On the walking front, we pretty much have 2 walkers now. Ella is doing very well with it and has learned to be more balanced. She still prefers to crawl if she's in a hurry though.

*Ella holds almost anything that resembles a phone up to her ear (well, it's more like her shoulder) to "talk" into it.

*Perry is feeding herself now! This makes mealtimes so much easier. We've been experimenting with different kinds of foods for breakfast and lunch...pancakes, French toast sticks, chicken tenders, Subway sandwiches, etc. I think they still favor the Cheerios though.

*We're officially done with formula! Woo hoo! Our grocery bills have taken a huge cut. Now they drink a little tiny bit of apple juice mixed with water and Perry enjoys a Danibles yogurt drink mixed with milk as an afternoon snack. Ella is not a fan.

*We are starting to make out more words from their little mouths. Ella definitely says "bad dog" and they both say "duck" and "dog". I swear they both said "sissy" the other day too.

*They both love mimicing everything...coughs, sneezes, nose blowing, burps, anything. I guess it's getting to be close to sensoring what we say around here ;)

*We have been going to a gymnastics class at the YMCA and the teacher taught us "ta da" where we raise our hands up over our heads after we do something. At first we had to trick the girls into doing it by asking "How big is Perry/Ella?", but now they do it by just hearing "Ta da" and Perry even kind of mumbles something that resembles "ta da".

Please don't forget about our March of Dimes fundraising. If you are interested in a t-shirt please email me to let me know. Otherwise you can make a donation on our team site. Thanks so much!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The New Year

Well, just since my last post, the new year has brought many changes...

*Perry can definitely be considered a walker now. She walks across the room on her own all day long. Ella is getting better with taking steps between us...she's always in a hurry though and needs to remember her balance. It won't be long before we have 2 full-time walkers in the house!

*Perry got not only 1, but 2 new teeth! Both of her top teeth came in and it looks like a 3rd one is trying to break through as well. We still haven't found any new ones in Ella's mouth though.

*Dinnertime goes from being easy to hard with Ella's pickiness. She's back to eating 4-5 bites of something and then she'll either take it out of her mouth with her hand or spit it out. Riesy is in heaven though as she usually throws it on the ground at him. We keep offering and trying new foods. Last night was pizza. They both seemed to like it, but again, after 4-5 bites Ella began to play with hers instead of eating it.

*Luckily they both LOVE whole milk. We are still working on weaning off the formula in the afternoons, but we have definitely seen a dramatic decrease in our shopping bills by not having to buy 2-3 cans of formula/week :)

*The only identifiable words are still Da-da, Ma-ma, Ba-ba, and Uh-oh. Occasionally we think we hear "bad dog". Perry has taken an interest in animals and will repeat "woof" and "moo". Ella has become quite the babbler. She seems to have an awful lot to say, we just can't understand any of it.

*Bathtime and diaper changes have become quite a challenge lately, especially at 24 weeks pregnant. Both girls are very squirmy on the changing table and want to stand up in the tub. Hopefully this is just a phase.

We will soon begin working on Junior's new room, which means we have to move the office downstairs, but we are anxious to see it all come together. Sometime in the next 4 months, we need to see if Perry & Ella can live/sleep in the same room together before Junior makes his arrival. Fingers crossed on that one!

Speaking of Junior, we think we have decided on a name for him. You can take our poll on his page of the website and make a guess as to what you think it is ;)

Well, it's breakfast time in the Rogan house. Tickle Me Elmo has had enough tickling and needs to be rescued. Until next time!