Friday, April 17, 2015

Easter 2015

Well I just realized that I uploaded all of our Easter pictures last week, but never actually finished the post.  We had quite the busy Easter weekend, which will probably remain the case for many years to come!

We started things off on Saturday morning with our Easter Egg hunt at church. However, things were a little different this year because...I WAS IN CHARGE!!!!  Along with another lady from church and several volunteers, I organized our hunt this year which included 4000 eggs, a couple of bounce houses, a complimentary hot dog lunch, and some various Easter games.  Along with our church family, we also specifically invited some ministries in the area that reach out to single moms.  I have to pat myself on the back just a tad and say that the event went off wonderfully! Sure...there are a few things I would have done differently, but overall it was a great success!

After the event at church was over and all cleaned up, we headed to Hubby's parents' house for a quick Easter celebration.  We had another egg hunt for the kids, and then we spent most of the afternoon just hanging out and enjoying the sunshine!  

I do have to admit that in many ways I completely failed at Easter this year. least when it came to doing Easter stuff.  With all of Nora's medical drama, March just flew by and the last thing on my mind was pulling out all of the Easter decorations and filling every day with Easter-related fun.  However, I did manage to buy a few jelly beans that I had Elyse plant...and guess what?!?  They grew into suckers!   She totally thought this was amazing and it literally took me all of 2 minutes!

I did also manage to fill the girls' Easter baskets (not new matching baskets as I'd hoped...but there's always next year).  For Nora we included a swimsuit and sun hat, a couple of new headbands, and her very first bible.  And for Elyse we included a swimsuit, new flip flops, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, a new jump rope, headbands (which she hates), and just a touch of candy.  We definitely lean towards the practical side of things for Easter baskets.

Before church we actually managed a timer-taken family photo with everyone actually looking at the camera...and I was also able to manage a couple of father/daughter & mother/daughter shots!  You might recognize the girls' Easter outfits from Nora's 3-Month photo shoot...hey, I can't waste that much cuteness on just one photo shoot!

After church we headed down to my parents' house for the annual family Easter gathering.  The weather was pretty much awful, but we did manage another group photo, some dance party shenanigans from Elyse, and even a quick Easter egg hunt outside.  However, our darling, prissy, princess was more concerned about a few raindrops that were on the plastic eggs than she was about the candy actually hiding inside.  Silly girl...we're seriously going to have a "who cares if we get a little bit wet or dirty" intervention.  It's ridiculous.  Really.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Nora Kay Love ~ 4 Months

Our little squirt is officially 4 months old, and I can't hardly believe it!  This last month has been an absolute whirlwind, but has just further confirmed how much of a laid back baby Nora is! 

Weight: Our official 4 month checkup is next Wednesday, but at her last trip to the hospital, she weighed 13 lbs.  You wouldn't know it by looking at her...but Elyse actually weighed 12 lbs 15 oz at her 4 month check, which means they are actually really close to the same size.  Nora is SOOO much chunkier than Elyse!  

Clothes: We are finishing up the last of our size 1 diapers, but we have a box of size 2s ready to be used.  We've had a few blow-outs, so it's definitely time to switch it up.  I'm starting to break out the 3-6 month clothes and it's so fun to go through all the old clothes that Elyse wore 3 years ago.  Thankfully we don't have to buy a ton of stuff since I have BOXES of clothes from Elyse...but anything new that we buy will definitely be 3-6 month.  

Food: The stress & dehydration from all of the medical issues certainly took a toll on my milk supply and I've had to consciously focus on drinking water.  Nora is taking between 5-5.5 oz at each feeding when she has a bottle so I've been trying to ramp up my supply a bit.  She is eating 5 times during the day & has added back in the overnight feeding since being in the hospital the first time.  She is still a super fast & efficient eater but has also started to get slightly distracted so I have to limit the noise and talking when she's nursing.  

Sleep:  Yeah...we're back to an overnight feeding.  Since her first hospital stay she's been waking up at all random times during the night, but I can typically feed her and she goes right back down.  I think I'll start trying to wean her from that nighttime feeding again fairly soon.  She isn't quite as good of a nap-taker as her sister was, but I still typically get one quick cat nap in the mornings and then 2 more 1.5-2 hour naps throughout the day.  I put her down for bed around 7:30 and she sleeps until 7, with that one overnight feeding.  I honestly can't complain about that!  

Activity: She is definitely an active girl and loves being down on the floor.  She frequently gets fussy if she's held for too long, but will spend loads of time on her piano play mat.  We recently hung her Lamaze princess toy for her to play with and she seems to love that.  She is SUPER close to rolling over, and I honestly expect it to happen any day.   I've also started packing some toys in the diaper bag and tossing them in her carseat because she's become really good at gripping toys and bringing them to her mouth.  

Personality: This sweet girl has the most precious disposition.  She engages and interacts with us so much more than Elyse did.  She freely gives her gummy grins away and we can get her to laugh if we tickle her belly or under her chin.  She has also started "singing" with me as I sing her Jesus Loves Me before bedtime.  It is the most precious sound in the world and I love just interacting with her and looking into her big baby blue eyes!  

Elyse--Nora LOVES her big sister...and I'm pretty positive Elyse adores her back!  

Her Hands--This girl has her hands in her mouth ALL. THE. TIME.  I really thought she might be teething, but I think she's just discovered her hands and absolutely loves having them in her mouth.  

Floor Time--She will lay on the floor for 20-30 minutes at a time just hanging out and batting at her toys.  

There really isn't much to add here...this girl is happy probably 97% of the time.  With 1% being when she's SUPER hungry, another 1% being when she's tired, and the other 1% when Elyse has invaded her personal space just a little too much!  ;o) 

Elyse & Nora: 
As I mentioned above Nora LOVES her big sister!  She follows her every move and I know these two are going to be best friends, or Best Sisters as Elyse calls them.  Elyse loves to hold her hand or pat her on the head or help out in almost any way imaginable.  It warms my heart to see their love for each other grow each day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Project 365~March

As I loaded all these pictures into this post, I seriously couldn't believe that it's only been a month.  It's been one month since our lives were turned upside down with Nora's Platelet Problem.  I have grown more and felt more love and been more scared in this month than ever before in my entire life.  But I'm so thankful for these photos, because they remind me of God's goodness, and his mercy, and they also remind me that we were able to have some pretty awesome times in the midst of all the ucky, health stuff.  

And's March in rewind...

We started off with our last big snow and Elyse loved it!  

We found ourselves being admitted into the hospital...
  And having our first round of IVIG treatment for low platelets.  
 We came home after being in the hospital for 30 hours.  30 hours too long.  
 This little girl turned 3 months the same day she was put in the hospital...
 We prayed and prayed and prayed some more...and then we planned a trip to Kansas City to Children's Mercy. 
 My grandpa celebrated his first wedding anniversary without my grandma, and I again was overwhelmed with honor to wear her ring.  
 We made an previously-scheduled road trip as a family to KC and tried to forget all the ucky medical stuff for a few hours...
 and Elyse got to see Disney on Ice, which was a great family getaway!
 This girl was the best girl through all the craziness with Nora...and we cuddled a little bit extra during our post-nap tv viewing.  
 We finalized our trip to KC for this little squirt to see a Pediatric Hematologist...
 And I cuddled her extra long during our short overnight stay at the Ronald McDonald House in KC.  
 She was an absolute super-trooper during our visit to KC and so many prayers were answered...but not without a bone marrow aspiration...
 And I couldn't have been more excited to spend a simple night at home with my family.  
 We went on a family date night and ate pasta until our belly's almost burst...
 And the weather finally warmed up enough to be outside a bit!  We grilled our first hamburgers and hot dogs of the season!
 Nora went on her first swing ride at Papa & Gigi's...and reminded us that she truly is Happy.  All. The. Time. 
 We went on family walks...or Bogey took Elyse on walks!  
 We celebrated St. Patrick's Day in pretty lame fashion...but this little Lucky Charm was absolutely adorable!
 We spent another afternoon in the hospital so Nora could get another IVIG treatment...hoping it worked this time.  
 We spent some relaxing evenings at home watching March Madness and playing games...
And Elyse got  BIG new toy when her playset arrived in the backyard!  
 We went to one of Elyse's best friends birthday parties at a local gymnastics gym and bounced and bounced and bounced...
 Elyse rode on her pirate ship...and sang YOHO!
 This precious girl started "singing" Jesus Loves Me with her momma and I melted all over...
 And momma snapped some blackmail to be used for later of the chubby, chunky thighs!  
 And Nora found her comfy spot on Daddy's chest...
 We took our oldest princess on a date to see Cinderella...
 & we planned a matchy-matchy night with one of Nora's besties!  
We finally got Nora's 3 month photos taken...
and of course, we included Elyse in some photos as well!  

This has definitely been a month for growing, and crying, and rejoicing, and praying, and taking each day as it comes...but these two little girls, and my amazing husband have managed to make it a pretty awesome month despite all the platelet problems.  Here's hoping that the month of April brings a whole lot fewer family visits to the hospital...and a TON of enjoying life with my family!