Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Better Out Than In...A Tale of Infant Constipation

So I tried to be Mother of the Year and breastfeed Bryce as long as a possibly could. It lasted 5 months. I guess I should give myself a pat on the back for that one, because using formula, no matter how expensive, is a life of luxury. Need a bottle? Instantly have one! No pumping, no lugging around breast milk everywhere you go and worrying about it spoiling, no popping out your boob in public while your baby screams and draws attention from every corner of the county. BUT, I know now why they say "breast is best". It is God's beautiful miracle that you can produce the exact thing your baby needs nutritionally. Its so easily digestible, and there is little waste. Formula on the other hand, is man-made, imperfect, and can be pretty harsh on a tiny baby's tummy. We learned that the hard way.

Bless his heart, Bryce suffered constipation from the moment I took him off breast milk. This was somewhat expected and thought it would last MAYBE a week. Every doctor said "it just takes time". No one told me it would last 3 months. And by "constipated" I mean would NOT poop for days unless I gave him suppository in which he would instantly poop out a turd that could rival a grown man. He would strain, grunt, and often scream and cry.He even took a trip to the ER because one time blood ran out after he passed a stool. In the ER they did an "internal exam" and determined there was no defect to his bowl or rectum to make pooping so difficult. I was told so many different things by so many different people that it was very frustrating.Meanwhile, my poor baby was being tortured every other day just to poop. I have decided to chronicle my experience with this is in hopes that maybe I can help some other frustrated mommy out there.

Things I was told to do to ease constipation (in order in which I was told them by medical professionals):

1. 2 oz of white grape or pear juice after every bottle. (I did this for about 2 weeks with little to no improvement so I moved on to step 2)

2. Start on solids, specifically fruits and veggies high in fiber like pears, peas, prunes, apricots, etc. (I did this for about a month with some improvement. By improvement I  mean he would actually poop a tiny mouse pellet.)

3. Once he was 6 months, they told me to give him prune juice. (This was waste of time. It literally ran right though him. Within an hour of drinking the prune juice his diaper would be filled with prune juice! No poop came with it!)

By this point, I was highly frustrated. I was being really inconsistent with his diet b/c I was so scared I was making it worse. Juice? prunes? cereal? I had no idea. So I took matters into my own hands. I decided I was just going to have to experiment and mix and match methods until I found the right combo.

The first thing I did was go back to juice every couple of hours. I also decided he was old enough to eat solids 2-3 times a day. I also decided he was old enough to eat the stage 2 size baby food(twice as much as what he was eating before). I decided to cut out as many bottles as possible from the equation. After he eats food, he should get  water or juice, not a bottle. This replaces an entire bottle. Sometimes he would refuse the juice or water so I would only give him 4 oz of formula vs 7-8. It was also around this time that his "sick pediatrician", Dr. Ostrum, (He sees Dr. Keathley for his well child visits but can never get in to see her when he is sick, so he always sees Dr. Ostrum instead) suggested to me to switch back to name brand formula. I had been using the Walmart/Target brand of Enfamil GentleEase. Whats the difference? They are the exact same thing. I guess it isn't the same thing because she insisted I switched back to the Enfamil brand. After about 48 hours on this "treatment" he pooped!!! For the first time in 3 months he pooped all on his own. My proudest moment as a mother so far! Then he did it again! And again and again and again! He is a twice a day-er now!

I have no idea what caused the somewhat sudden change. Maybe it was a simple as changing back to name brand? Maybe its because he is getting quadruple the amount of solid food than he was getting in the first round? Maybe its because he gets less formula? Maybe because I give him prunes for dinner every other night? Maybe its all of it combined. Or maybe it just took some time just like the dr's kept saying. I have no idea.

I have taken him completely off juice to see if he would get constipated again and so far he still is a pooping machine! I've let him start to eat crackers and puffs and this hasn't caused and constipation either, so I'm hoping his little tummy has finally regulated itself and we never see the suppository isle at Walgreen's again!

Sorry this was long and very descriptive, but hopefully some mommy out there can use my experience and help their little one as well!

Bryce's Christmas List!

So I know that this Christmas the most fun part for Bryce will be unwrapping the presents, not actually what he gets. So I'm not planning on buying very much. Here is what we go so far!

Fisher Price Poppity Pop Musical Dino. This is the picture on the front of the box. That is the baby which Bryce talks and waves to. Yes Bryce has already seen it, but he wont know the difference. Got it for 17.99 at Target during their Black Friday Sale.

Cosco Beep Beep Walker. I've been wanting to get him a walker but they are all so expensive. I found this one for $25 onWalmart's website.

So that's pretty much it on the buying end. I plan to wrap up some baby gifts we got eons ago that he hasn't been ready for yet (sippy cups, plates, snack holders,etc) just to let him open them. Maybe a couple outfits that are already hanging in the closet that are too big.

  Now on to his stocking....

Sunday, November 18, 2012

8 Months!

Height/Weight: 18 lbs 9 oz  plus some. No clue on the height
Clothing size: Size 9 months on most things. Pants size 6 months.

Firsts: First time feeding himself (puffs)! First weekend away from Mom and Dad! First Halloween! First time (and hopefully the last) almost drowning in the bathtub. This child refuses to sit up in the tub. He wants to lay on his belly and crawl around in the water. Which would be fine if he didn't want to put his face down in the water and play "bobbing for bath toys". I know, my baby is a weirdy.

Milestones: Ok so this section kinda gets me depressed. Most babies are crawling by 6 months. Bryce just started army crawling a couple of weeks ago. He can get up on all 4s, but falls before he can move anywhere. He isn't really pulling up much because it's really hard to pull up on things when you are on your belly. I know, a lot of babies never crawl and go straight to walking. Which is fine I guess, it just worries me. I've been overly worried about his babbling for awhile now.Most babies are saying consonants by 6 months.  He's been saying "ah" for a long time, but I never thought any consonants where gonna come. He finally started saying "ba-ba" just 2 weeks ago. I've heard "dada" and "momma" just a couple of times. He can't mimic any sounds yet either. Its really hard to not compare him to other babies his age. When I do, I get really worried and feel like I'm a bad mother. Like I should read to him more, or play with him more. I know Bryce is behind most babies his age and I'm having a hard time dealing with it and not letting worry and guilt overtake me. On a positive note, he can now bang 2 objects together. He can also pick up food with a pincher grasp and feed himself. He is still a little clumsy with feeding himself. He hasn't figured out how to let go of the food once it is in his mouth, but he can mash with his gums like a champ!

Mommy's Favorite Moments: I love watching him take notice of things. One morning I was getting him out of the car and a crow was cawing up in the tree above the car. He was turning all around to try to find it. Another time I was taking him out of the car you could here an airplane way off in the distance and he was looking up in the sky trying to figure out where that was coming from. He also knows what the dinner bell sounds like! If he is in the living room romping and playing and Dad is in the kitchen shaking up his bottle, Bryce will freeze and stare into the kitchen and start grunting for his bottle! Its like he has super power hearing or something.

Friday, November 9, 2012

First taste of parenting!

So no one told me this day would come so soon! For the past 8 months life has been so perfect and serene! Now we are trying to teach Bryce what "No" means. I know right? He's still just a baby! Oh but does he have a lot if sense and he is already testing me and Scott out!

So Scott's laptop will not work unless it is plugged in. Up until now we just sat on the couch with cord draped all across the floor. Now that Bryce is crawling he is into everything. What is so appealing about a laptop cord I have no idea, but he makes a bee line past all his toys straight for the box on the cord every time.

The first couple if times he did this we simply moved him away from the cord but he crawled right back over to it. Then we would put up the laptop. Now when he starts crawling to it, I tell him"No". The first time I told him no he just looked at me then would take a small crawl towards the cord. I would tell him no again. After a couple minutes of this he would look at me and then back at the cord then back at me then back at the cord. Notice how Scott is absent from this story? Can you tell who the disciplinarian is gonna be? Anyways. He finally made it over to the cord and I took it away from him.

The next night I was typing away on the laptop and I suddenly noticed it was real quiet. I looked down on the floor and Bryce was peeking at me from behind the Ottoman with a real guilty look on his face. He was trying to sneak to the cord and he knew he had been caught! I wanted to see what he would do so I went back to typing and didn't say anything. As soon as he was sure I wasn't looking he went for the cord. This time when I said "No" he started crying! I knew it! He knew exactly what I meant! That little booger! Then he had the nerve to look at Scott all pitiful like. I made Scott tell him no too so Bryce understood we were in this together. Then what happened next really shocked me! He turned away from the box on the cord and went for the Velcro strap a little further up the cord! Like he was like "Ok, I can't chew on the box, maybe they'll let me chew on this price of Velcro" it was so funny, cute, and so smart of him I had a hard time telling him no!

I knew this day was coming, I just had no idea it was already upon us! Lord help me!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

First Halloween + DIY Mickey Mouse costume

So ever since Bryce was born, I've been thinking about what costume I would make for Bryce. I have vivid memories of my mom sewing my Halloween costumes and I've always wanted to share that tradition with my kids. I wanted to pick something fun, cute, and most importantly easy to make! Mickey Mouse seemed like the perfect choice. 

Step 1: I looked at Walmart, Target, and Hobby Lobby for a solid black long sleeve and solid red onesie. You can buy white onesies in every size and shape, but solid colors are hard to come by. I decided to waste no more time on my feet looking and resorted to buying them online. I got them from Rock Bottom T-shirts for about $5 each plus shipping. So here is the hardest part of the whole project.....cut each onesie in half and sew together! For those sewing virgins I used a rotary cuter, rotary mat, and a ruler to make sure my cut on both the red and black onesie was straight and even. I then turned the onesies wrong side out and used straight pins to pin it together. I used a standard straight stitch and used 1/4 inch seam allowance (b/c I'm used to quilting and don't know any different). I didn't feel like hemming the edge since he was only going to be wearing it for a couple of hours so I just did a zig zag stitch around the edge and BAM! You got yourself a Mickey Mouse outfit. Less than 30 mins of work.

Step 2: I bought 1 square of white felt at Hobby Lobby for .25 cents. I found something to use as a tracer (I used Scott's Chick-Fil-A name tag) and cut out 2 ovals of white felt. I then used fabric glue to glue them onto the onesie. 5 mins of work. 

Step 3: The ears. Now here is where things got kinda complicated because I hit a road block. I looked for a standard black head band at Target. I wanted one out that didn't have any teeth and that wasn't made out of hard plastic because I didn't want it hurting his head. They had only had one that met these qualifications, but it had a big flower on top. I bought it anyways and thought I would just pull the flower off. As you may guess, the flower was a lot harder to remove than I thought and it left behind an ugly spot of glue that was an eye sore to the head band. So I improvised. I covered the head band in black felt! Luckily, there is youtube tutorial on how to do this. How to make Mickey Mouse ears I could write a whole paragraph on how I made the ears but if you really want to know I did everything in the YouTube video.

We went and trick or treated at Aunt Shelia's and saw Tristen and Breanna

We also saw Great Grandma!

Then we went and saw Lala and Papa!

And one last stop at Grandma and Grandpas!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


This past weekend Scott and I made our first weekend getaway trip to Nashville, TN! One of Scott's mission buddies was getting married, so we decided to go! I think this is the first time in 3.5 years of marriage, we have actually spent a WHOLE weekend together, just me and him. Sad right? yes. So we were more than ready to spend some much needed time together. I was very anxious about leaving Bryce behind. I know he was in good hands (grandparents) but I've never spent more than a couple hours away from him. Even at work, I go in on my lunch break to play with him. As we were leaving him at Grandma's I teared up. Pathetic, I know.

On the drive, we stopped right outside of Memphis to meet up with some friends for lunch! Ryan and Laura have a 5 month old son so we spent most of lunch swapping stories and experiences. It was crazy to see how much Alex and Bryce are alike! Next time, we will definitely take Bryce so they can play together! We ate at this local burger place called Off the Hoof. The food was amazing! Then after lunch, we went over to the town square to a antique store and looked around. I wish we could have spent more time with them, but we had to make it to Nashville!

I spent most of the drive from Memphis to Nashville checking out all there was to do in Nashville and realized we were gonna get there after most of the attractions closed. We decided to head to the mall for some shopping and to eat dinner at Dave and Busters (which is in the mall). I was so pumped about Dave and Busters! I've been wanting to eat there since forever! Scott wasn't hungry so we shopped first.When we were in the Carter's store I got real dizzy and fell into a rack of clothes. I didn't feel good. I walked to the back of the store to tell Scott I was done shopping and was ready to eat. I thought I got dizzy because I was pretty starving and chocked it up to low blood sugar. We were barely out of Carter's when my neck started itching. As I was scratching my neck, my ear drums starting itching. I can't describe what this feels like other than I felt like jamming a pencil in my ear to scratch them. This is when I knew. I was having an allergic reaction.I asked Scott if there were hives on my neck. Yep. And all down my arms. I could feel them on my back and legs and everywhere in-between. Then my tongue started itching, and the roof of my mouth, and then my lips started tingling and I could tell they were swelling. This has happened before. Sometimes this severe and quick, and other times not so much. I've always just taken some Benadryl and been fine. Problem, I didn't have any medicine and we were about 2 miles from the car. I knew this attack was different. It happened so fast and the symptoms were pretty severe. We quickly walked to guest services to see if there was a place in the mall that sold Benadryl. Before we got there, I had a pretty good pain in my chest. I was starting to panic. No pharmacy in the mall, but they said Old Navy sold medicines. Weird. All they sold was Tylenol. I was going hoarse and my chest was getting worse. We called security, surely they had first aide right? They were no help. The officer told me it was against company policy to dispense medicine. He offered to call an ambulance. At this point, I was trying to convince myself I was fine and just needed some Benadryl and I wasn't about to call an ambulance so they could bring me over the counter medication. We decided to drive to the nearest Walgreen's. As we walked to the car, Scott was stopping every single person and asking them if they had any Benadryl. We got to the car, got on the freeway, and headed 3 exits down to Walgreen's. When Walgreen's was in sight, my chest was hurting so bad I was so scared I was going to stop breathing and die right there on the side of the road. Scott ran like a mad man inside and grabbed the Benadryl while I hobbled over to get a bottle of water (oh yeah, I hurt my foot too). I took the Benadryl right there in the store and then went to sit in the car to await my fate. Within 3 mins my chest wasn't hurting near as bad and the itching had stopped. Luckily, Scott grabbed the liquid capsules. I was still starving so we went through the McDonald's drive through and then headed to the hotel where I slipped into a Benadryl coma. Well not before I broke down and cried because we didn't get to eat at Dave and Busters and I felt like I ruined our whole trip.

Scott was ready to go bright and early Sunday morning. He had already mapped out a couple of antique stores he wanted to check out. I actually found a couple of things I wanted! I finally found an old window that I've been wanting. I'm sure once I get it hung up, I'll include some pics. While we were driving around trying to find something for lunch, Scott spied a Fazolis! I love Fazoli's and was ever so upset when they closed all the ones in Arkansas. So we chowed down on some baked spaghetti and bread sticks!

After we left Fazoli's, we headed to The Hermitage ,aka Andrew Jackson's house. When we got there we were shocked at the admission price! Are you ready? $20 a person! Good Grief! I noticed there were no families there. Who could afford to take a whole family! Anyways, it was cold but pretty outside. I think we caught the peak of the leaves changing in Nashville, so the grounds were amazing beautiful. I was a little put off by Andrew Jackson's house. You couldn't take pictures inside or even touch the wallpaper or step on the hardwood floors. I didn't pay 40 for nothing! It was interesting though. Almost everything inside was original, including the wallpaper. We walked a little bit more and saw one of his slaves quarters and then to the garden where the entire Jackson lineage is buried. There was a lot more to see but my foot was really hurting from all the walking so we called it good. 

We went back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding! I must say, the wedding was beautiful. It was way out in the woods in a barn! All of the pretty little details of the wedding made it so romantic! Oh and the hillside of beautiful fall leaves! We got to ride in the "shuttle", a stretch hummer, to and from the wedding to the reception site. There was bbq at the reception that was so good! I had the best cornbread biscuits I've ever tasted! I went back for more!

Monday morning, we headed home! I was so ready to see my baby boy! When I got to my parents house, Bryce didn't even act excited to see us. He gave me a look like "aww man, party's over!"