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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Colic


Isabelle, otherwise my easiest baby of the three, has both acid reflux and colic. The acid reflux is easily controlled with a medicine called Ranitidine. What a blessing.
Colic however, is a different story. It took us a while to figure out that she had colic because of the acid reflux issues. Then the colic seemed to have gone away for a little while once Isabelle starting her acid reflux meds. After a week on the acid reflux medication, she started to scream again at night. Not a fussing cry or even an upset cry, this is the "I'm in a lot of pain" cry. She'd curl up into a little ball, fists and legs tightly pulled to her body and her skin being purple from crying so hard. Nothing could soothe her. It was heartbreaking. She'd do this at the same time every night, starting somewhere after 6 or 7pm and lasting until 10pm. The only thing that would make her stop, was to put her in a warm bath. Sadly babies cannot stay in the bathtub for 3 or 4 hours. So the screaming would resume once the bath was over. We returned to the pediatrician and got our official diagnosis. My mom found a wonderful article by a German professor (Prof. Dr. Manfred Götz) on the internet that explained colic and gave helpful advice on how to lesson the pain for the babies. It's in German, so there is not link here.
No one truly knows what causes colic or what exactly it is. The most common theory is that colic are severe cramps mostly in the stomach area that 10-15% of babies get. The real cause of these cramps is also a mystery. The way the baby feeds seems to be why these babies get colic. It should be noted that there is a big difference between a babies normal fussiness in the evening hours (accompanied by a lot of crying) and the distinctive screaming cries of colic (a sure sign is the curling up of fists in pain and drawing legs into the tummy).
Once diagnosed with colic, the first step is to change the mother's diet. Here again, are just theories as to what foods cause the colic. Most often gas-enducing foods like members of the cabbage family and anything spicy are eliminated. Dairy is often eliminated as well but thankfully, that didn't seem to bother Isabelle. Coffee, chocolate and any teas (even herb teas) seem to bother colic babies. (You know that giving up chocolate and my beloved chair tea lattes was a true sacrifice.) Usually you go to a bland diet until baby feels better. You can slowly add one food item back in, usually for 4-5 days, to see how baby reacts. After a few failed attempts, you then eliminate that food item. For me personally, I no longer want to add anything to my diet. It's just heartbreaking to have those nights when you find a pain-causing food and I'd much rather have a bland and boring diet. So what am I eating? Think most things white and clear. Basically the same foods you'd eat if you were sick. Vanilla yogurt, Swiss cheese, cream cheese, white or whole wheat bread (don't go crazy with grains though), chicken, broth, rice, noodles, ham, bananas, crackers, pancakes, waffles, honey (no raw honey for nursing moms). When I was still trying to add healthy foods to my diet, the following worked well and I've kept them: Spinach, watermelon, avocado, apples. Other things that didn't work: peanut butter (I thought this was bland but man was I wrong!), strawberries, raspberries (I think), celery, soy and/or almond milk.
As I already mentioned, a bath was very soothing to Isabelle. The other thing that truly seemed to help was the Moby wrap. This is such a great tool for moms to have. Click here to see what I'm talking about. My sister-in-law was so gracious to let me borrow hers and both Isabelle and I love it. My body heat on her hurting tummy and being so close to mommy seemed to help Isabelle. They are all bundled up in those beautiful wraps. Keeps them tight and cozy.
As far as feedings go, the above mentioned article said that it helps to feed baby in a more upright position and to burp them more frequently and longer. A nurse at our pediatrician's office also said that a towel or blanket warmed in the dryer and wrapped around their bellies would be comforting. (Be sure not to put this on their naked skin as the dryer still warms the fabric quite a bit.) Tummy massages and monotone sounds (such as a vacuum cleaner) seem to calm some colic babies. The professor's advice was to try different suggestions and to see what works for your baby.
Isabelle seems to be growing out of her colic. She still has a colic night here and there but thankfully all babies grow out of colic. At the most, they will have it until the end of the third month of life from what I read. Colic seems to have made a mark on her little life. Although she is a great sleeper and prefers to go to sleep by herself in the daytime, she seems to panic when nighttime comes around. She will not go to sleep in her usual manner and will not calm down until mommy holds her, walking around with her or rocking her. And that's just fine with me. Even though my back hurts some nights from carrying her so much, I love to carry her around and know that she is able to fall asleep in my arms. I keep talking and/or singing to her while she cries and try my best to calm her. And once peaceful sleep falls over my little girl, I cherish her resting against my chest, being able to kiss her little fuzzy head, rubbing her chubby little feet, caressing her plump cheeks and smelling her baby smell.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Funnies


Abigail lied and got a time-out.
Mama: "...and that's why you have a punishment."
Abigail: "But Jesus took my punishment." (Don't you hate it when they are smarter than you???"

Abigail: "What day is it?"
Mama: "Thursday."
Abigail: "No, it's Sunday. The sun is out."

Abigail trying to use a newly learned word: "....in the meanwhile..."

Nathan, talking to someone at Fred Meyer about how he broke his arm jumping off a bar stool, pretending to be Green Lantern.
Person: "You'll think twice about flying like Green Lantern."
Nathan: "Yes! Next time I'll jump off the couch instead."

Abigail: "Mama! I went without attitude."

Abigail: "My oatmeal is not putting smoke out of it." (Back off. I can cook oatmeal, ok!)

Abigail: "Then we will run the bad guys over with the car."
Mama: "No, we won't run them over with the car."
Abigail: "Why, mama?"
Nathan: "Because the Bible says we should love our villains."

Nathan teaching Abigail about life: "Some things look like fun but they aren't. Like when I jumped off the chair and broke my arm."

Nathan while watching a documentary on Mt. St. Helens eruption: "They saved 698 people from tons & tons of death."

Abigail after she returned from the beach: "Mama! I touched a sea enemy!" (Sea Anemone)

Abigail explaining a newfound truth to me: "If you're asleep and you wanna be awake, you're gonna throw attitude."

Nathan: "Dada! Is that Frozen Land?"
David: "Huh?"
Nathan: "Where we got the ice cream?"
David: "Cold Stone?"
Nathan: "Yes."

David: "Check the UPS." (He meant GPS.)

Nathan after Isabelle was born: "Why do we have so many girls?"

Nathan injured his foot and came to me to show me.
Nathan: "That is blood, not ketchup."

Abigail using the potty.
Mama: "Don't dip down in the toilet."
Abigail: "Yes, 'cause then I'll flush down."

Abigail after hearing the Doppler at my midwife appointment: "Now the baby comes out!"

I hate to admit it, but during my pregnancy the kids watched wayyyyyy too much TV. Wanna know how I know?

Abigail while playing with Strawberry Shortcake: "We'll return back to our regularly scheduled program, right here at the HUB."

AND

Nathan: "Ok, mama, you are the Chef and I'm the Iron. (Iron Chef on Food Network) You burned the shrimp a little. (I did NOT!) Try not to do that anymore. But the corn is really good and the rice is delicious."

Abigail after I served lunch: "Mama, you are chopped." (Chopped, also on Food Network) (Guess they didn't like my food...)



Friday, July 8, 2011

The Fun Days Are With Olive

This is a long overdue post. To make up for it, you'll get lots of pictures. :-)
Recently our family started what we hope will become a tradition: A yearly family beach trip. It was awesome. The weather was great 2 out of 3 days. The rental was AMAZING. The company was great. All the kids did really good. And I don't think anyone ever turned the TV on.
It was just a great time for the whole family to enjoy the beach and each other's company. The kids really liked being around each other. So Nathan coined the phrase: "The fun days are always with Olive." Olive, you see, is his little cousin. His only cousin so far. The two have a definite attraction to each other. And I must say, with Olive and her little family, we always have fun. We heard this phrase quite frequently and Abigail adopted it as well. I believe you can imagine how many times we heard it in stereo. :-)


Nathan, Olive and Abigail. By the way, if you've ever been to the Oregon Coast, this is most likely what your swim trunks and swim suits looked like. :-) These are not your California beaches where it's super warm all the time. Most days of the year are probably spent in gear like this.


Oma and Mousie.

If you ever need to be reminded of God's creative power, just visit the Oregon or Washington Coast. Beautiful and breath-taking. It will also instantly relax you when you hear the soft waves and the sound of the seagulls.

Oma enjoying the little gazebo on our rental property. That view is just priceless.


Most everyone outside watching the sunset and soaking up the last sunshine of the day.

Uncle Mike.

Uncle Chris.

Oma and Grandma in the gazebo.

Our little girl taking it all in. Must be related to her dad. He adores sunsets at the beach.

Here is the little guy relaxing.

My man, my littlest girl and I in front of the sunset.

Can you say "oooohhh"

Uncle Rusty and aunt Megan.

We spent nice family time together. There were quite a few "Apples to Apples" games played. That game is really fun. David and I had never played it before but heard about it from Kevin. Rusty and Megan, who always bring these great games, introduced all of us to it. It's really fun and you'll laugh a lot. Unfortunately for us, you need multiple players who can read. Maybe in a few years this can be a family favorite for us five.

Isabelle doing what she does best: Sleeping, eating and being cute.

Olive crawled up the stairs for the first time. And most of the family was there to see it.
Olive waking the tired boy up. He loved it.

Morning walks at the beach. The second day the weather wasn't that great, so Isabelle and myself stayed behind. We tried it at first but Isabelle started crying. So we went back to the rental and watched from our window. Here they spotted me on the balcony taking pictures of them.

Isabelle waving back. :-)

Gorgeous views.

On our last day, uncle Rusty and aunt Megan showed us their favorite jetty. It was the perfect place for the kids to take a swim. Nathan, without letting anyone know, took a dead sprint and jumped head-first into the water. Clothes and shoes still on. Needless to say that Abigail followed right behind.

Photographer mama. Megan takes amazing pictures. Olive likes to stay close to her mom.

Yep, she's lying in the water. That made me laugh.


Still just lying in the water....

Dad loves to walk in the water as well. It's hard to keep him out of the ocean. The beach just soothes his soul.

Water babies and their proud dad.

Grandma loves to sit in the sand and watch everyone.

Splash time!


Olive having fun in the shallow water.


Nothing like making sand angels (like snow angels) AFTER getting soaking wet. Makes for fantastic laundry days... :-)

It was just a great 3 days and we are so looking forward to doing this again hopefully.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happiness Is.....

....having a house full of these:

Isabelle with her waking up "whistling" face. :-)

Exhausted children and a hubby always willing to carry them.

My favorite time with Isabelle. At night when it's just the three of us. I love how she looks in the dim light when she sleeps.

My dress-up girl. She just loves her nightgown that dada bought her. Summer nightgown with winter hand warmer....

Pretty little Isabelle in her knitted shrug and headband. Love knitted things.

Dada and his littlest girl for a morning snuggle.

Dada fixes everything. Abigail has a splinter in her foot which dad is removing. She's in her "little prairie dress". My mom and I call it the "little house on the prairie" dress and she can't remember the whole phrase.

Fun at a local park. Heartfelt laughter of my children warms my heart.

Hat mishap. :-)

Isabelle was not fond of tummy time until her siblings joined her. This is a daily family event now. :-) The kids will constantly ask: "Is it tummy time?"


Heaven....

Abigail and her work of art. Did you guess what it is? Yep, it's a rainbow cake!

I think I can, I think I can.

Don't mess with me. I'm a fierce warrior. Just look at my cast.

I will protect this beauty.


I love my life. Happiness to me is being home with my family. As Kenny Chesney quotes an old man in one his songs, I'm trying not to blink.