Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trip to the Pumpkin Farm

This year, we went to the pumpkin farm. It's an actual working farm! It's not like those big commercialized pumpkin patches with petting zoos, corn mazes, and hay rides. They only do tours if you like them on their Facebook page and request a date.

We went last Saturday, knowing it might be busy because it was the last weekend before Halloween. Of course, the first thing Little Man found was the sandbox with dump trucks!

Surprisingly, there were some parents who told their kids NOT to get in the sandbox because they would get dirty! Um, hello! Working farm here! I didn't care if Little Man climbed in the sandbox and played. Princess got to go too, but when it came time for the tour, she had to stay with Pops because there was a lot of kids there.

The first thing we saw were the egg laying chickens. The chickens are penned in around an "egg-mobile." (A wagon where they can go lay their eggs.) The chickens actually clean up the cow paddies! So they are moved like every 2-3 days to a new section of the cow pasture to clean. All the animals are grass fed, so the only grain the chickens get are when the tours happen. Little Man also got to pick an egg out from "under" a chicken! I wasn't able to get a picture of it, but he was a little apprehensive. But the chickens were great with the kids reaching in and getting eggs.

Then we met Farmer Book and one of the milk cows, Cinnamon. Cinnamon had actually come from the local university, so she was pretty tame around kids. Farmer Book told us about milk and how he has to milk the cows for 300 days straight, so that can sometimes turn into an every day all year long job if the calves are born at slightly different times. He also said, that unlike a commercial dairy, the grass-fed cows will produce more milk for longer. So then the kids got to pet Cinnamon and we walked over to the meat chickens.

Whereas the black chickens were egg laying chickens, the white chickens were meat chickens. We explained to Little Man what was going to happen to the chickens. In fact, the chickens in the picture are already meat, or as we told Little Man, "chicken nuggets." Their "bad day" was the Monday after we visited. That day comes for those chickens at 8 weeks old.

Then we hiked over to the pigs. They had a couple of piglets. These pigs would be turned into bacon and sausage at 7-8 months old. At 7 months old they are 300 pounds!

Then the kids got to go feed the ducks and geese.

Finally, we got to ride a "bulldozer tractor" pulling a trailer out to the pumpkin patch. I didn't manage to get any pictures of Little Man looking for a pumpkin, but I did manage to get this "selfie" on the ride back!

And of course I had to get a picture of Princess with the smallest pumpkin we got before we got in the car.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Shut-In Saturday Weeks 3 & 4: Randomness

I know I missed last Saturday. It was kind of a mess of a day. Well, it was a mess of a weekend really. But that's besides the point.

Anyway, here are the two weeks of photos. These are all of Princess. We were playing "flying baby" and this is what she did:

Mom also bought her a new crib. (The reason why is a long story. Maybe I'll share it later. Maybe I won't. Either way, she has a crib now.) She was outgrowing the bassinet in the pack 'n' play and needed some place to sleep. So that meant that my room got rearranged. I was a little worried about the dresser and the crib fitting along the same wall. Well, after some measurements, we found out that there is like an inch left over with the crib and dresser on the same wall. God is Good! Anyway, here is a picture of Princess in her new crib:

Princess LOVES eating. She made some pretty cute faces while in her high chair:

Here she is just looking cute sucking her thumb:

At one point, we had her on the floor on a blanket. We went outside with her still on the floor. When I came in to check on her, this is what I found:

Yeah, she had wiggled off of the blanket, scrunched it up beside her and scooted next to the couch.

On Sunday, we had her in my favorite shirt. It says "God's Precious Gift." She certainly is a gift from God.

This is just of her sleeping:

She learned how to suck her thumb when she was still little and in the hospital. Meme taught her. Well, now she found out that she has 2 thumbs and 2 are better than one.

Today, we went to the pumpkin farm. (There will be a post on that later.) Princess got to go too because it was outside, but we didn't take her on the tour because there were a lot of kids. So she hung out with Pops while Little Man, Meme, and I went on the tour.

Okay, so that's 2 weeks of Shut-In Saturdays for you. I promise to be better next week, as long as I don't have another explosion of life. Oh, and tomorrow she is 7 months old!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Six Month Ped Visit and Regional Visit

Monday, the local Regional Center came out and evaluated Princess. I was told that she may qualify for gross motor early intervention, but they're not sure. They'll let me know when they go through the evaluation form.

Yesterday, we did the trip down the hill to town for a pediatrician visit. It started with a stop to drop off a payment. Well, of course, on the way down, there's construction, so it throws off our whole time table! We manage to make it to the cardiologists office by 10:30AM for a blood pressure check. The whole office, save for the receptionist is at the OTHER clinic (I knew this going in) so they had to track someone down to check Princess's blood pressure. Of course, she doesn't want to cooperate and we get NADA! Okay, no prob. So we head off to the pediatrician. Update the address/phone number/kid photo and then get called back.

Princess's current stats:

Weight: 14lbs
Length: 24in

When we meet with the pediatrician, I find out WE ARE ON THE CHART!!!!! Yes, we have finally hit the growth chart! Okay, so if you actually look at her from her 6mo appointment with the cardiologist 2 weeks ago (she's almost 7mo now), she is at the 2nd percentile for length (24in) and the 5th percentile for weight (13.5lbs). Now when you consider Little Man was in the 95th percentile for both length (28in) and weight (21lbs) at 6mo, I wonder how in the world I am saying Princess is heavy!

So, after the pediatrician's office, we went back over to the cardiologist's office because Dr. K had wanted us to do labs. Well, apparently he forgot to put them in! So we opted to just come home instead of waiting because she had finally fallen asleep and was going to need to eat when we got home. So it was a very long morning. Both kids got their flu shots/flu mist. And Princess got a couple others. We'll do the others in a month when we go back for the next flu shot.

Friday, October 18, 2013

What a Difference a Year Makes

One year ago this week, this happened:

I had done two tests the week before and had gotten nothing. But, after my mom insisted, I did a third one a week later. This one was positive. I was shocked! We had literally just started trying for a second baby.

When I found out, I kept my mouth shut about it for a while. My main reason was I was actually not very happy that I was pregnant. I spent many a day arguing with God about the timing. How could this be the right time for me to be pregnant? After about a week of not wanting to be pregnant again, I finally accepted the fact that we were going to have a second baby. Whatever I had planned wasn't going to happen the way I wanted it to. I realized that it wasn't my plan to begin with. This was what God wanted, so I was going to carry this baby and do the best I could.

Little did I know that 5 months later, almost to the day, my water would break. At that point, there were more urgent prayers, this time to save my little girl. I rushed off to the ER and they transferred me two hours to the hospital with a level 3 NICU, knowing that the baby was going to be born early.

Every day in the hospital, I prayed for the strength to be able to last just one more day. I had several times where I couldn't see the monitor and they couldn't turn it up really loud because I was in a shared room. Those times were so scary because I didn't know how things were going. All I could do would be to lay there and stare out the window, praying that everything would be okay.

For some reason, when I started bleeding on the 27th, I wasn't scared. When the nurses started to congregate and weigh how much blood I was losing, there was no fear. I knew then that Princess was going to be born early. The only thing I could do at that point was pray. After they took her via c-section and rushed her out of the room to stabilize her, praying was the only thing left.

When they wheeled me into the NICU to see her, I don't think I actually saw much. I remember touching her little hand and I think I told her to be strong, not that she needed telling. She was so tiny, yet in that moment I wasn't scared. I wasn't afraid that I was going to be the mom of this little one. I just knew that things were going to be okay.

As the weeks past, and she grew bigger and strong, I knew I wasn't alone,. God was with us the whole time. When she came home on prescription formula because she could no longer tolerate the breast milk, I was fine with it. It was as if God had said, "You did what you needed to do." I had never really intended to breastfeed Princess, that is, until she was born premature and I was told I should pump as long as she was in the hospital. That became my goal.

She came home still having issues with choking. Not even a week later, we were back in the hospital dealing with the last of the milk allergy. We were sent home 24 hours later. One week later, we were back at the hospital, this time in PICU because of a heart condition. At that time I didn't know how I was going to be strong enough to be a heart momma. And yet, through it all, God has given me the strength to do that.

Now, she has been diagnosed with a rare disease, PHA2. It means all kinds of things right now: blood work, adjusting meds, food restrictions. And yet at the time she was diagnosed, I didn't know how I was going to do it. Yet through it all, God has been there. It has been hard trusting Him in times when I had no clue what was going to happen.

And even now, as I traverse this chasm of divorce and single parenthood, in the moment's when I think that I can't do this on my own, I am reminded that I am not doing this on my own. God is there. He's given me the strength to overcome insurmountable odds, so there is no reason I cannot do this now. I will overcome whatever life throws at me. I won't do it alone. God is always with me.

Week in Review: Letter L

This week, we worked on letter L.

From Reading the Alphabet by This Reading Mama we did all the activities for the word "for." It worked out that this week we were doing both the word "for" and the letter L so I didn't have to download two different weeks! Little Man didn't want to do a poke page this week, so we used stickers:

This week, after we read the pocket chart book together (our pocket chart still isn't hung up yet), I let him match the words with the pictures. This really helped him for when he built the letter L book by himself.

For the rhyming activity this week, I cut the pictures out in strips and let him cut them apart. He really liked that. He so wants to cut things out and "make a puzzle." We're working on diagonal and curved cuts so we can do this.

We  also did the print awareness activity. This is a good thing for his age because he is learning where to go when he gets to the end of a line.

For math this week, we focused on graphing. I got this great idea for graphing from The Measured Mom. It was for Transportation Graphing. She got it from I Can Teach My Child. Since Little Man is so into transportation and construction vehicles, I figured this would be a good thing for him. Ironically, all three of us had the same number of boats and planes.

Since L was for leaf, I purchased a pack of leaves from the dollar store and let Little Man sort them. He started by making a pattern:

Then I directed him to put them into groups:

I was trying to find a math activity to start the week that used the letter L. That's when I remembered that 3 Dinosaurs had just recently released a Leaves Pack! So I downloaded the roll and graph. The first day we did up to 10. By Friday, I let him try it on his own to 5 and he had a ton of fun trying to get all of the icons up to the number 5. We had never done a roll and graph before, so this was a good experience for him. He had to throw his die onto the floor to get a result that wasn't the same thing every time and once he started doing that, oddly enough, his graph was pretty statistically correct!

Other Printables Used This Week:
Confessions of a Homeschooler
Letter Writing and Letter Hunt Worksheets -- From her K4 Curriculum! Wish I could buy the whole thing!

Royal Baloo
Dot the Ls and Paste the Limos -- From her Zoomin' Movin' Alphabet series! We love it!

Alphabet Mazes -- Since Little Man didn't want to do poke pages this week.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Shut-In Saturday Week 2: Outings

Last week, when we got Little Man's hair cut, we had a little time to kill, so we stopped by a new store in the mall and bought Princess a new outfit. This is her in the new outfit:

And because Little Man got his hair cut, we did this for church on Sunday:

Being shut-in doesn't mean that Princess can't go out when she needs to. This week, we had a cardiologist visit to go to. I meant to get pictures there, but I forgot. We went to the clinic that is now closest to us. Unfortunately, the equipment is old and Dr. K didn't like her blood pressures. So when we go to the pediatrician at the end of the month, he told us to stop in for a blood pressure check and labs. Okay, no problem. The day we had our cardiologist visit, she had a snotty nose. I initially thought she had caught Little Man's cold. (Trying to keep him in a mask is almost impossible!) But I think it was allergies. She was only really snotty that day and plus it was windy. So thankfully, no cold!

Anyway, Princess does need to be out and about in the sunlight. The vitamin D will help her immune system. So every day, she gets to go out in the front or back yard and soak up the sun. 

She also got to go with me to MeMe's work to pick up a paper I needed to turn in for Cal-WORKS. Thankfully, there was only a few people there and no one was sick this week, unlike last week!

This week, has been full of fun. Princess rolled over from her tummy to her back for the first time! I didn't get a picture or video, but I'm working on it! She also rediscovered her thumb. MeMe had taught her how to suck her thumb back when she was tiny in the NICU and she actually did it a few times then she became interested in the binkie. Then, poor little Princess was hospitalized and poked a bunch of times and now hates the binkie, but loves her hands! And this week, I caught her with her thumb in her mouth!

She also LOVES her toys. She especially LOVES her butterfly that hangs in her bed.

She also really loves sitting up. Here she is sitting up on the couch:

As for Little Man, we did playschool and on Friday, we got to go to Story Time at the library! Here he is listening to the Librarian read a story:

Later that day, I found him asleep on his bed at rest time like this:

That's all for this week. Next week, I get to go talk to WIC. And the week after that, we get crazy with doc appointments and home visits!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Medicating My Child

Earlier this month, I posted my Medication Woes. Well, now that we have transitioned to our new pharmacy, I think things will be easier. I love our new pharmacy. For one, they are ONLY a pharmacy and not one of these chain drug stores. So what does this mean? They actually have precise dose syringes! These are the same ones the hospitals use.

When, Princess was first put on medication and we left the hospital, they sent me home with two of these one milliliter syringes. Well, they only last so long before all the markings start wearing off. When I had picked up her medication for the first time, the pharmacist at the drug store only had a 5ml syringe and that wasn't going to be accurate enough for dosing Princess. At one point, (ex)-Hubby brought home these 1ml syringes from the drug store he works for. I hated them. They felt like they had no pressure to them, so I couldn't tell if I was drawing anything into it. So I got some 1ml syringes from Dr. K's office. The only problem with them is that they weren't "for oral use." I worked with what I had.

When Princess was placed on the diuretic for her PHA2, we had to change pharmacies to the same store that (ex)-Hubby works for. I had to renew her prescription every 14 days because it had to compounded and it would fall out of suspension. The last time I filled it there, they put one of these little toppers in it that is made for hospital-grade syringes. The only syringe I had that fit it was either the last one I had left over from the hospital or a 3ml syringe that wouldn't have given me an accurate dosage that the pharmacy had given me.

Before the next refill, we moved up to my mom's and I had to find a compounding pharmacy. The one recommended to me was a pharmacy that was ONLY a pharmacy. Like the previous pharmacy, they put one of those little toppers in, but they had 1ml syringes!

I love our new pharmacy. I don't have to refill the diuretic every 14 days. It's been 3 weeks already and we're still going strong! I hope things get worked out with the doctor's office so that when it gets called in, it's there and I don't have to call around to make sure it's taken care of.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Shut-In Saturday Week 1: Haircuts

This is my first series! I figured since Princess is shut-in for the next several months due to RSV season (read more about RSV here), I would do a weekly round-up of photos of Princess and anything else exciting that happens during the week. So these posts will hopefully be picture heavy!

Princess may be shut-in, but the rest of us aren't. As long as someone is watching Princess, things can get done, like going to the store or getting haircuts! Today we went and got Little Man's hair cut. He SO needed it! After we were done, I took him to the playground in the mall so he could play while we waited on MeMe to get her hair cut.

Princess has been playing with toys. She all of a sudden became interested in them! So she's been trying to get her ball into her mouth. It doesn't quite work for her.

She also loves the caterpillar in her bed. There are some nights that when I put her to bed, I hear her playing with it forever before she falls asleep!

She's been doing really well on her tummy time too! She's doing "baby push ups" now and picking her head and chest up off the floor. Before long she's going to be crawling all over the place!

The mornings here have been cold. It's finally fall! So I've been putting socks on her. They don't last long.

This is her official Shut-In Saturday photo for the day: offering all those who love her a hug!

Come back next Saturday for our next Shut-In Saturday photo round-up!
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