Friday, January 28, 2011

Olivia is FOUR

January 19, 2007 - the day we met our precious Olivia for the first time - will remain etched in my heart for all time.  Four years later, she has blossomed into the funniest little girl I have ever known.  She really is hilarious.  She makes me laugh all day.  On her actual birthday, I wanted to make her day extra special.  Before school, I made her chocolate chip pancakes. 


fancy girl!

Dennis and I surprised her after lunch with balloons and Hello Kitty cupcakes for her class!  That was my favorite part of the day - the look on her face when we showed up was amazing! 


A few days later, we had her Hello Kitty party with her little friends.  It was at Doc Burnstein's which was awesome in so many ways, but space was limited so I had to make the difficult decision to only invite kids (and their parents) this year.  I think the kids had a great time!  Here are a few party pics... 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

miracle blanket

Seriously, I almost gave up on this blanket.  My cousin recommended it because her baby a baby in this blanket.  I didn't think Penelope liked it until last night!  She slept for 6 hours straight in this blanket last night and right now she was freaking out and I swaddled her up tight in it and she instantly calmed down.  We all know the benefit of swaddling, but this blanket makes it so the baby cannot get their little arms out.  

kinda like a straight jacket...but cooler!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


col·ic definition

Pronunciation:  /ˈkäl-ik/
Function: n
1 :  an attack of acute abdominal pain localized in a hollow organ or part (as the small intestine, ureter, or bile duct) and often caused by spasm, obstruction, or twisting
2 :  a condition marked by recurrent episodes of prolonged and uncontrollable crying and irritability in an otherwise healthy infant that is of unknown cause and usually subsides after three to four months of age

Penelope has colic.  Until I had her I had no idea what colic even was.  Sure, I had heard people talk about their babies being colicky but I never really truly understood what that meant.  I thought colicky babies were cranky, grumpy, crotchety babies all day, all of the time.  Well, this really isn't true.  A baby who has colic really only cries inconsolably for a few hours every day or almost every day and usually at the same time every day.  There will be large chunks of time during the day when colicky babies are perfectly happy.

I noticed Penelope started having these crying jags at around 3 weeks old.  At night, at around 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. she would just cry and cry sometimes until 11:00 p.m. or midnight.  I was totally freaked out.  Of course after researching for about 5 minutes I realized she has colic.  The pediatrician confirmed this for me.  Apparently, her belly was a little enlarged which is a symptom of colic.  Unfortunately, you cannot do much about this condition.  The doctor did recommend I purchase the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD which has some helpful soothing techniques.  She also recommended I administer infant probiotics since studies have shown they can help decrease crying in colicky babies by 70%.  I purchased both the very next day.  

DVD...not the book.
this tiny bottle costs $40!

The DVD was amazing.  Dr. Karp shows some pretty awesome soothing techniques which I've been using when Penelope's crying gets out of control.  The techniques, while extremely interesting and helpful, do not always work.  The probiotic drops are maybe helping?  I'm not sure...  I have been trying to eliminate dairy and spicy foods from my diet to see if that will help.  So far I don't think it's helping.

Colic is such a frustrating thing mostly because no one really knows what causes it.  Experts assume it is due to the fact that for the first 3 months of a baby's life they have a really underdeveloped digestive tract.  Dr. Karp even calls this first 3 months the "fourth trimester" because so much more development happens during this time.  
Olivia was always such a calm and happy baby so it's so weird to have the opposite disposition in my second child.  It's been 5 weeks so far.  My nights are still really hard.  They consist of a lot of crying, pacing, swaddling, shooshing, jiggling, praying she will just take the dang pacifier (she hates it.)  But when she finally calms down and God willing goes to sleep her little angelic expression makes everything worthwhile.  I can never stay mad at such an innocent creature.  It's so easy to get caught up in the moment and question why this is happening to me...what am I doing wrong?  But I take solice in the fact that this challenging chapter in Penelope's life will soon be coming to an end (hopefully.)   

Monday, January 17, 2011


Two months later and I am just now getting around to writing about Penelope's birth! I guess I've been busy!

Little Miss Penelope came into this world on November 14, 2010 - nine days before my scheduled c-section. I actually went into labor! I had never felt that feeling before so it was so foreign to me. I was out to dinner with friends the night of the 13th, started feeling cramp-like pains but told myself they were nothing and went to bed. Around 3 a.m. I couldn't sleep through the pain any longer. I started writing down and timing my contractions and finally called Dr. Monroy at around 4 a.m. after I lost my mucous plug. I went to the hospital where I was expecting them to tell me I was having false labor pains and turn me away. They hooked me up to the monitors while Dennis went to fill out insurance paperwork. Literally five minutes after both him and the nurse left the room my water broke. What a weird weird weird feeling! I was so completely terrified and alone in that moment but thank God the nurse came in a second later. Contractions came on like crazy from that moment on...I was holding onto the bed rail for dear life...the nurses were impressed at the size of my contractions...but unfortunately I never dilated. It was the craziest experience to go into full blown labor only to have them inject me with drugs to stop my contractions. My body is like a freak of nature. I literally do not dilate during childbirth. It's very bizarre. So a repeat c-section it was! Earlier than I had planned...which I was perfectly ok with.

Our newest addition to our family, Penelope Melissa, was born on November 14th at 8:11 a.m. She weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces and was 19 inches long.

She's two months old now and already weighs over 10 pounds. She reminds me of Olivia sometimes but I think I see more of myself in her. Speaking of Olivia, she is the most amazing big sister. All she wants to do is hug and kiss her little sister. It is so sweet.

I'm enjoying my time as a stay-at-home mom so far even though it comes with challenges. For instance, Penelope has colic. She does a lot of crying in the evenings and is sometimes inconsolable but I'm trying out this infant probiotic that her doctor recommended which I think is helping. Other than that she is a really feisty baby! She is constantly moving her arms and legs. She smiles a lot and is trying to coo. I just adore her! She is such a little sweetie.