Friday, May 31, 2013

Froggie is Four Months Old!

     Froggie is four months old!
     She chats away with herself, her toys, anyone in a fifty foot radius really... She constantly has her hands in her mouth, or her blankie. She has the best smile and her hair is starting to curl. I think she's starting to cut her bottom front teeth so she's a little moody in the morning and evening and we bought a few teethers tonight to see if they help. Here are some pictures of Froggie:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Feeding Froggie

** Froggie is breastfed so today is mostly about nursing in the harness. She does occasionally take a bottle so I'll talk about that some too.**
***** There are pictures in this entry but everything is covered I promise!*****

     The biggest struggle we have faced so far is feeding. It began on day one of having the harness and only now, a month into wearing it, am I confident we have figured it out.
     Day one was a mess! We couldn't get comfortable. I think Froggie ate just enough to make it to her next feeding and it didn't seem to matter whether she was nursing or taking a bottle. At one point during the day, while a co-worker of mine tried to give her a bottle, I had to undo the leg straps so she could stretch out and eat in peace.
     Day one included a lot of learning all around, I'll tell you all about diapering some time soon, but she and I figured out how feeding worked best for us and stuck with it.
     She seems to do best laying down, either across her Boppy or in bed so that her legs aren't squished together. Unfortunately, this is not always an available option. I am blessed to be able to have her and Big Brother at work with me so I mostly nurse her there in a rather comfy glider but I don't take our Boppy to and from work every day.
     So I typically sit with my right leg crossed over my left (regardless of which side I'm nursing on) and prop her up on my arm with her belly facing me. This usually leaves her top leg hanging in the air. If I were her I'd be horribly uncomfortable but she seems happy with it so that's what we stick with.

     At home with the Boppy I just lay her on her back and she turns her head to eat. She's laid flat with her legs spread out and having her turn her head helps to prevent issues with her neck. I can't remember the name of it right now but babies in harness' can be at a higher risk of Flat Head Syndrome and favoring turning their head to one side over another. Froggie also eats this way at night and we just lay in bed.

     One mom on Facebook said that she just had her child sit in her lap facing her to eat that way. I suppose this would work for an older child who could support themselves better and it's similar to how Froggie eats when she's in a carrier.
     Well that's feeding Froggie in a nutshell.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rashes, Bruises and a Harness - Oh My!

     Yesterday I watched as one thing after another turned "weird" with Froggie.
     After several cooler days the temperatures crept back up into the 70's and are expected to keep rising. I noticed some red marks on Froggie's neck. Then they were on the back of her head and I could see them through her hair. Then they were EVERYWHERE.

     Heat rash...
     We had dealt with it last week when it was hot by sticking her in the tub and, simple as that, it was gone. Well at work there was no tub to put her in and it wasn't even that hot! I fed her to make sure she was well hydrated and she fell asleep nursing so I put her in her crib. She slept for awhile and woke up pretty happy but started to fuss shortly after waking. When I checked on her she yawned and I noticed a mark on her tongue!

The mark

     She had a legitimate bruise on her tongue! She doesn't even have any teeth yet! Don't get me wrong, my son cut teeth a few days after he turned 4 months old and Froggie is clearly working on at least one considering the amount of chewing and drool that I notice but there aren't any in there yet.
     The heat rash faded as she cooled off with a bath and some baby powder. I  haven't tried cornstarch yet, which was a recommendation from a Facebook group about Wheaton-Pavlik Harness. "The mark" faded as well, by this morning it was only a slight discoloration. It seems as though she clamped her tongue between her gums and bruised it. This apparently is very common though I don't recall it ever happening with Big Brother.
     I'm sure these are just the beginning of the bumps, bruises, marks and issues we will experience with Froggie but everything seems compounded by the harness. Especially the heat rash and we're in for some hot days for the remainder of the week!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Birthday Celebration & Dealing with the Public

     Today is my birthday. I am officially closer to 30 than 20; I can't even try to say I'm half way between anymore either! I don't mind birthdays nor am I one of those women who lie about their age (intentionally anyway, there have been days I have legitimately forgotten how old I am). I also don't typically do much for my birthday.
     I woke up to Froggie smiles and got myself ready. My voice decided to make an appearance after being pretty much absent for the last four days. The day started off great, aside from the rain.
     It rained all morning but we packed up and headed to work/school. Like I said I work in a day care/Preschool and the kids come with me. A few hours after I got to work my friend text me and asked when I was done. She showed up about 15 minutes later with a Carmel Macchiato for me (my son would say "carmel mack-e-o-toe is coffee mommy!") at the perfect time to watch all of the kids at work and my co-workers sing me happy birthday. Check out the delicious cake my boss baked!

My boss made me cake!

Being sung to at work (with Froggie and Big Brother)
     Hubby, Big Brother, Froggie and I went to Cracker Barrel for dinner and it was lovely. The food was good and Big Brother was well behaved despite deciding "I want chicken nuggets instead" after getting his macaroni and cheese. We don't go out often and it was nice to spend dinner time as a family at a restaurant while it wasn't super busy.

Froggie blowing spit bubbles at dinner.

     This is where the harness comes in... 
     When you have a child who is different going out in public means you get certain looks. Whether you have a child in a harness, cast, helmet, etc. or you have a child who looks differently than other children or behaves differently from other children you get a look. If you've been there you know what it is. It says "what's wrong with your baby" or "you poor woman" it casts judgement that your child looks or does what they do because of you or that they have to wear a harness/cast/helmet/etc. because of something you did. I don't know if the look is given on purpose or on impulse.
     Occasionally you will come into contact with the brave person who will say "What's on her legs?" or "What's wrong with baby?" sometimes while giving you that look. I've taken to saying "She has hop dysplasia" which typically just gets me a blank stare and "oh ok". I take this as my invitation to explain Froggie's specific case and sometimes people will change the subject but they usually ask more questions. I'm ok with this because "how long does she have to wear it?" and "she must have had a rough entry into this world." give me more to talk about. I can tell them after 3 months she'll be re-evaluated and may need more invasive treatment if there is no improvement. I can tell them the factors for hip dysplasia are 1.) being a first born child, 2.) being female, 3.) being breech, 4.) being delivered via c-section.
     Long story short, I don't mind the looks and the questions because I can spread the information I've gathered about a cause that is now very dear to me. Something that, until a month ago, I didn't know much about either.
     After we got home from dinner we sat and watched the weather man interrupt normal broadcasting in order to alert us that there was a tornado warning. I opened my cards and thanks to my family and co-workers I will be well caffeinated for  the foreseeable future. After being sucked in to the broadcast on TV and watching the storm pass east of us we sliced up my ice cream cake and dug in. 

My cake.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hoppy Memorial Day

     Happy Memorial Day! Today we honor and remember our Veterans who are no longer with us. Those who fought to keep us safe and paid with their lives to do so. I hope that if you thank a Veteran today they will politely remind you that today is not for them, but for their brothers and sisters in uniform who were unable to return home to their family and friends. Today we remember.

My cousin's memorial @ Ft. Bragg

     It is my belief that those who have gone before us wouldn't want us to stop living. Our Memorial Day was pretty low key, no picnic or parties but we did decide to head to the zoo for the afternoon. Froggie was great and spent 90% of our time at the zoo in the carrier. I'm not going to write much more but here are some pictures from our day.

Hubby and Big Brother

Froggie and I at the zoo

Big Brother showing off his penny

Big Brother making music

Froggie wanted to check everything out

Tired Big Brother and his icee treat

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Travel and the Harness

     I mentioned travel in yesterday's blog and thought I'd say a little more about it.
     Right now Froggie is still in an infant carrier that snaps into a base in the car. between her harness and cloth diapers the straps can be a little tight if she's not sat back in the  seat the right way. Because of this we keep tossing around the idea of moving Froggie into a rear-facing car seat that has a wider seat.
     The International Hip Dysplasia Institute has a whole page about car seat and carrier recommendations. They advise the use of equipment that allows a baby's hips to spread appropriately and not be pushed together or placed at unnatural angles.

     Today we ventured out to see family and friends and there's one day left of our long weekend. Tomorrow's a wild card though since everyone is off but we made no plans.

A little Froggie during tummy time this afternoon.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Wedding Bells

     Memorial Day weekend has kicked off and ours is jammed full of running around.
     Travel is pretty easy with Froggie since she's still so little; however, it's becoming a little tricky to get her straps on appropriately. We may be upgrading Big Brother to a high back booster and then moving Froggie into Big Brother's big kid carseats since they're wider.
     Hubby was part of a wedding this afternoon and the kids and I went. Big Brother was chatty through the entire service! Luckily everyone seems to be entertained by him and most of the attendees had children of their own. Actually, Big Brother is a typical 2 year-old and talks most of the time and moves ALL of the time so this afternoon wasn't out of character at all.

A sleepy little wedding guest

     Froggie slept through the service and was passed around between the bride and groom (who are her Godparents) and then into the Ergobaby during the picnic reception that followed. She is so content and happy and doesn't seem to care who holds her as long as she can either see what's going on or lay her head on you (depending on how sleepy she is).

Happy Memorial Day weekend from Froggie
     Well we're off to bed so that we can move on to our next busy day for the weekend.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hot Weather and a Wheaton-Pavlik Harness

     Life continues on for us. The heat is finally gone for a few days and I could not be happier!
     We attempted to spend time in the pool and out wandering the mall where it was cooler but there's only so much you can do before battling the heat becomes inevitable. Bed time was probably toughest for us. At first we tried fans but that just gave everyone sore throats, coughs and sniffles and made the heat seem worse.
     We pushed lots of liquids for everyone, though I must admit that sometimes I forget to make sure I get enough. Especially when I have a sore throat from sleeping under our fan! Despite our efforts to keep the kids cool, Froggie still ended up with heat rash on her back which we fought off with a cool bath last night. This prompted me to explore Hip Dysplasia Support boards and pages on Facebook. I posted requesting input as to how to keep a child in a harness cool when air conditioning may not be an option. I got one response.

    "Corn starch helps keep them dry when they sweat...."

     This did not answer my question... The information was helpful and I will probably use it at some point considering Froggie wont even be having x-rays to evaluate the effectiveness of the harness until August. So here is what I've come up with in our last 3 days of nearly 90 degree weather:

    * Spend as much time in Air Conditioning as possible in order to stay cool.
    * If that's not an option, open windows and run fans.
    * If that doesn't work, invest in a kiddie pool/go to the beach/find a creek (this only really works if you can have out of harness time).
    * Aside from the harness put baby in a few clothes as possible
    * Cool baths at night before bed!
My blogging partner

Free feet and blog writing 

Hanging out on the couch during free leg time

Monday, May 20, 2013

Beat the heat

We caved and broke out the bathing suits for the kids and put some water in our "kiddie pool". Here are some pictures of Froggie beating the heat during out of harness time.

Fundraising Idea

     June is Hip Dysplasia Awareness month.
     To show support for Froggie and raise some funds for the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) I was thinking about ordering wrist bands. This idea came after finding out that IHDI discontinued their distribution of wristbands to individuals for the foreseeable future due to an inability to meet demand because of funding.
     They would be Blue & light yellow swirled (the IHDI colors) and say "I love a Hip Baby" possibly with the IHDI website on the opposite side and would cost $5 per band. This would cover the cost of production and shipping as well as allow for a portion of the cost to be donated to IHDI.

     Please contact me if you would like to purchase a wristband. The more we order the bigger the donation for a cause that's become very close to my heart.

Hopping into the week

     Happy Monday from a very sleepy Froggie! I think all of our weekend activities caught up with her.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Another Day in the Life of a Froggie

     Today was another beautiful day and we spent most of the day outside. Froggie got her harness dirty during a morning feeding session and spent the rest of the morning harness free while it was cleaned and dried. While she was out of her harness she got to do some tummy time and rolled over a handful of times while having a stare down with the dog!
     We spent some time outside rinsing off the cars and playing around both before and after nap time. It never amazes me how quickly infants heal. One of our dogs ran towards the door while Froggie was on the floor and scratched her cheek and the scratch is almost completely gone now only a few hours after it happened. After nap time we decided to try Froggie in a stroller again. Her first experience in the stroller (our double stroller) was not so great and she ended up being carried during that walk. I decided to see if she would be content in our jogging stroller with the seat reclined.

     She seemed pretty happy for a little bit but quickly became bored with the stroller. This may also have been due to the fact that Big Brother kept poking and pushing her.

I think I've got my hands full...

     We decided to conclude the weekend with some S'mores for dessert. This was not the first S'more he had ever had but it was the first time that Big Brother had made a S'more on his own (with Hubby's assistance).

What a marshmallow SHOULD look like


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sweet Saturday

     Today started off pretty slowly. I had taken for granted the value of a second set of hands while dealing with Froggie and Big Brother. Hubby took Big Brother when he woke up and dressed and entertained him while Froggie ate and fell back to sleep. Big Brother got to have breakfast with Hubby and I while Froggie slept and got the undivided attention of both of us at once, which rarely happens anymore.
     Once everyone was up and dressed we decided to hit up some yard sales. There weren't many today but we made out pretty well. At our first stop we picked up a set of Step2 chairs for $8 and a bag full of matchbox cars for Big Brother. At our next stop we got a Step2 lego table that matched the chairs PERFECTLY for $5 as well as a dress for Froggie and an old school Ninja Turtle.

Big Brother and our yard sale finds
     While Big Brother was supposed to be sleeping under the watchful eye of my mother, Hubby, Froggie and I went to run other errands. I got my new drivers license photo taken and it looks awful, though I think that's pretty standard for license photos. We stopped at Target and wandered the aisles for awhile, picked up some Starbucks and headed for home.
     We arrived to see my mother and Big Brother outside, needless to say he hadn't napped. We spent the rest of the evening outside in the beautiful weather we had today.

Froggie enjoying the warm weather.

Froggie and I hanging out.
Hubby and Big Brother working on the lawn mower. 

15 Weeks old!

Froggie is 15 weeks old (as of yesterday) so here are some of her weekly snapshots.

Admiring daddy


All dressed up

Isn't she cool?