Cason Crew

April 19, 2014

Future Model?

We took some family pictures this morning with an old college friend, Stephen Carter, and his wife. Before they got there, Drew got some pictures of Presley. I swear she was modeling for him. I know I'm biased, but could she be any cuter? We did bribe her that if she did good with the pictures then we'd give her a sucker. After only 5 minutes of shooting with Drew she came to me and said she needed her sucker. We obviously had to wait until after our family pictures. (which I think she did really well) I'm only sad that we didn't get any pictures of Reese because she was sound asleep. I'm hopeful that we got some good family pictures.

April 15, 2014

Tummy Trouble

I am so frustrated with trying to figure out what's going on with Reese's tummy. We can't figure out what is making her so gassy and upset. We (mainly just me) are at our wits end trying to help her. 

Reese started out on breastmilk for the first couple of weeks. Even during those few weeks she was incredibly gassy and fussy. We thought it was everything from her not getting enough milk to maybe something in my diet. We gave her gas drops and gripe water to try and help. She was pooting ALL the time and just acting really uncomfortable.
Once I stopped nursing we started her on Enfamil Gentlease. One day of that formula and we knew it wasn't good for her. She never spit up, but she acted even fussier than normal. She got super congested and her eye even got matted up. She's had a clogged tear duct since she was born and we had been doing drops. But it really hadn't been that bad for awhile until the day we started her on that formula. Maybe a coincidence but I doubt it.
 We took her to the doctor right after that and had her dirty diaper checked for a milk allergy. They can find traces of blood that show she would be allergic to milk. That was Presley's issue that we never even heard about. Reese didn't show that she had any blood in her poop but we had also only had her on the formula for one day. So the doctor advised that we start giving her Similac Alementum. It's the exact same as Nutramigen and is supposed to be good for babies with a milk allergy. If anything it could help Reese's tummy.

After about a week on the formula she is still VERY gassy and fussy. She acts like she is in such pain, arches her back, stretches her legs then poots big. It's obvious that there is a gas issue. She didn't spit any of the formula up so that was good, but it was still obvious that it didn't feel good. So we called the doctor again to see what we could do. They advised trying soy.

I hate the idea of soy milk. Presley had to be on soy milk for awhile after formula until she could handle cow's milk. But I just hate the idea of soy formula so early. Mainly because of all the talk about hormones and junk. Who knows how much of it is really true. (don't tell me!) To be honest I just hate the "Trial and Error" phase we are in right now. 
So yesterday we tried soy formula for the first time to see what would happen. She drank it fine and kept it down...for 5 hours. Then last night around 8:30 she had some awful projectile vomit. Drew said it might have just been a wet burp, but he didn't see what happened. It was definitely more than that. However, we are still not certain if maybe her tummy didn't like the change or if she might be allergic to soy as well. Who knows?!? 

So as of today she is still drinking soy formula. So far she has kept all of it down. I can't say if it's really helped her much but it has probably been too early to tell. I hate the thought that we are giving her something that could possibly be hurting her tummy even more. But I know it's the only way we are going to figure out what's wrong with her. Again, I hate this trial and error phase we are in. I'm ready to have answers and just know what formula she needs to be on. I know this phase will pass and all will be fine. Hopefully just sooner than later.

"I'm not sleepy!"

Ever since we moved Presley to her big girl bed she has done awesome. She loves it! The transition for her was so easy. (Praise the Lord) She never really fussed about it and she never got out of bed. We just told her from the beginning that she had to call for us before she could get up. And to our surprise she always has...until this week.
All of a sudden she has started to get up out of bed on her own. Thankfully it's at a pretty reasonable time in the morning (around 6:30-7:00). I think it's mainly because she hears us up. But it's always funny when she comes in to see us. Many times we are still in bed about to get up. All of a sudden we have a tiny little person coming into our room telling us, "I'm not sleepy". 
This past Sunday we were taking a family nap. Everyone was in the living room except Presley. We had been laying down for about an hour or so. Next thing I remember is waking up to a sweet little Snow White with Minni Mouse ears (not a dream) telling me, "I'm not sleepy". It was quite a shock.
One day I had gone in to check on her during her nap and she was passed out. About 10 minutes later she came into the living room telling me she wasn't sleepy. But because I knew she was awake I just laughed. So I'm sure there are times when she tells me that and it just means she's done.
We are hoping to maybe get a clock for her room and put a picture of the number the clock has to say before she can get up. I had a friend tell me about this idea and it's definitely worth a shot. We don't mind her getting out of bed on her own, but we don't want to have her start getting up at 5:30!

April 11, 2014

Reese is Three Weeks Old

Reese is 3 weeks old and we are sort of getting the hang of it. We are still learning a lot and we have a long ways to go, but we are better than we were a week ago. 

We took Reese to the doctor on Wednesday and she weighed 8 lbs 12 oz. So as far as her weight gain she is doing great. 

We switched her to Similiac Alimentum formula on Wednesday and so far so good. She is drinking about 2-4 oz every 3ish hours. We feel like she is such a little piggy since Presley was such a terrible eater. It's weird how she will wake up in the middle of the night to eat. We never experienced that with Presley. Reese is still really gassy so we've been giving her gripe water to try and help. We're not really sure what's causing the gas. I'm hoping once the formula gets in her system better it will help.

She is sleeping a lot still. She wakes up between 7:00-8:00. We are going to try and start making sure she wakes up during that time so get her on a little more of a schedule. She's been pretty consistent to wake up on her own so we feel like it's a good start time for the day. 
She isn't much of a "catnapper". She's either awake or sound asleep. She's been staying awake for much of the morning and then going down for a really long nap around 11:30ish. Though we love the long afternoon nap, it makes things a little difficult. She almost always misses an eating time during the long 4-5 hour nap and I really don't like that right now. Then once she wakes up around 4:00 or 5:00 (and normally we have to wake up) it's a long time until she can go to bed. So what she's been doing is getting REALLY sleepy and fussy and wants to crash around 8:30. We'd like for her to go to bed a little later so that she can eat later and not have to wake up so much during the night. Ideally we'd like for her to take a short nap in the morning, a later afternoon nap (that can still be long) and then maybe a late catnap in the evening so that she can stay up a little longer. But that's what WE would like. She's sort of setting her own schedule so I'm sure we'll just have to adjust what we want. 
Her favorite place to sleep is on our chest. That is a very unfortunate thing for us in the middle of the night. We've also had her sleep in her boppy in the middle of the bed. As much as I am against co-sleeping it's all about survival. We almost always try to lay her down in her pack n' play at first but she's really been choking a lot from the congestion. I don't feel comfortable letting her sleep on her boppy in her pack n' play so we just resort to putting her in our bed. Sometimes, I'd admit, that she ends up just sleeping in between us on our bed. That's going to have to change soon. Hopefully once we get the formula thing figured out it will be better. I've said it a million times already, but with the 2nd child it's all about survival. We have a 2.5 year old that doesn't quite understand that if baby sister doesn't sleep well then we need a nap.

We have been working on doing some tummy time with her this week. She doesn't like it that much at all. She actually does way better just being held in our arms and trying to hold her head up that way. But we know it's important to let her have some tummy time too.

Reese finally likes her bath time. We normally give her a bath around 8:00 while we are giving her big sister a bath. She's often so tired that she'll just chill out. Sometimes she'll even go to sleep. We've tried giving her a bath in Presley's big tub, but there just isn't quite enough room. So normally we just put the tub on the floor beside Presley and wash her there. It works. 


April 10, 2014

"You wanna swing me?"

I'm pretty sure Presley could live outside these days. First thing in the morning when she wakes up she'll say, "I'm gonna put my shoes and my socks on and go outside". Sure! Go ahead. Of course a lot of times she'll also put on her princess dress or tutu as well. That's always really funny. I always tell her to stay on the deck or on the swing set so I can see her. Really the only place I can't see her is right beside the fence. 
She loves to just be outside and do her thing. I absolutely love watching her explore and play. She is really into picking flowers right now. She'll come inside so proud and show us the beautiful flowers (weeds) that she's found. She likes to hide them behind her back to surprise us. It's really incredibly sweet. I normally keep a little container nearby so we can save her treasures. Drew loves it because she's picking weeds. I love it that she is playing by herself and is doing what she enjoys.

She also loves to swing. She's just gotten to where she will swing on the big swing by herself. She can't quite do it herself but she tries. However, she will yell to me or Drew to come and push her. Like literally YELL from the swing as if we can always hear her. Anytime we walk outside the first thing she'll ask is, "You wanna swing me?" It's always sad if I can't push her because of whatever reason. We really try to stop what we're doing and push her for at least a few minutes. She loves it! And I know it just makes her day and makes her feel special. It's not the easiest thing in the world to push a child while holding a newborn, but it is possible. Drew is much better at it than I am.
She still loves to play with her furry siblings too. She normally likes to terrorize them, but some times she can be sweet. She tries to push them in her cars or trap them in her little house, but they can sometimes be smarter than she is. For the most part they are pretty good with her. I guess they have just gotten use to it. 

She is still changing clothes and shoes many times throughout the day. She can't stand for her clothes to be wet all. So if anything gets wet outside she has to instantly change it. Sometimes she gets hot too so then we have to have a wardrobe change to be more appropriate. I'm pretty sure she goes through at least 4 pair of shoes and socks a day as well. I guess she likes variety. I might have to start making her do her own laundry if she keeps this up.
On a random note, Presley has stopped wearing pull-ups at night. She's been able to go through her entire nap without  having an accident. Right before Reese was born we started having her wear a pull-up over her panties at night "just in case". We started noticing that she was never having an accident. A couple of weeks ago we decided to just try a night without a pull-up and see what happens. To our surprise she's been doing great. We still make it a huge deal when she is dry in the mornings and really make her feel like the big girl. We hope that maybe we are done with accidents.

Presley's behavior has been tough these days. I know life has been turned upside down for her and it's to be expected, but man! We are struggling these days. There are times when she can be incredibly sweet and literally love Reese to death. And then the very next moment she is sticking out her tongue and being completely disrespectful to us. It's so tough! We are really struggling with how to discipline her in love. We feel so incredibly cautious with Reese and don't want her to get hurt. There are many times she has tried to kick Reese just because. We've tried explaining to her why she can't do that but for whatever reason she continues to do it. We love Presley so much that we don't want her to think that how she is acting is ok. We've tried so many things such as time-outs, spankings, logical conversation, excessive praising, special attention, bribing (whatever works?), taking things away...we are at a loss on what else to do. We've thought about doing a behavior chart type thing but haven't really figured out exactly what to do yet. It's just tough. I know she's just 2.5 and so we can't expect that she's just going to "get it" immediately. We know we have to be consistent and just stick with it. But there are some days I feel like the child gets so many spankings and time-outs that I wonder if it's really working. We are open to any and every suggestion so if you have any please share.
I know this is just a phase. I am really trying to enjoy this phase because I know all too soon we will be out of this phase and onto another one. This parenting thing isn't a joke. Praise the Lord he knows all the answers because we sure don't!

April 9, 2014

"I see your Boobies"

I can't tell you how many times I've heard Presley tell me this over the last few weeks. Surprisingly she hasn't cared much at all about me breastfeeding Reese. I was really worried that she would be totally mesmerized or freaked out. But to be honest it's been completely normal for her. This made it so much easier for me to keep nursing Reese. However, as of this week, I quit breastfeeding. And once again, just like with Presley, I am feeling a huge amount of guilt.
When I started nursing Reese she was a pro at latching on  and figuring things out. Since I knew what to expect this time I was much more prepared. I won't go into all the details (even though we are talking about my boobs) but I took extra "care" of myself this time. It helped so much and I had SO much more success. Even to the point where I could honestly say that I enjoyed breastfeeding. Now, don't get me wrong, it was so tough! It was incredibly inconvenient being trapped down every couple of hours. It was pretty terrible having to pump during the times when she wasn't eating....but it was an enjoyable experience having that bond with Reese. I knew that every single time she was fussing I could instantly calm her down...with my boob. Ha!
At the beginning of last week I started taking the herb Fenugreek. Supposedly it's suppose to help with the production of milk. I knew that with Presley I never felt like I produced enough milk, so I went ahead and started taking this herb to start with. Things were going great! However, pretty early on we started noticing that Reese was incredibly gassy and fussy. She was pooting all the time and just acting very uncomfortable. So I decided to start taking things out of my diet. Unfortunately, there are so many things that can cause gas. So basically I had to go a couple of days of just eating toast and water. Even doing that it wasn't helping much that we could tell. Maybe I didn't give it enough time, but it felt like I did it for an eternity.
There were also many times that we felt like Reese was still hungry even after nursing. So I started pumping bottles and letting Drew feed her. She was downing those pumped bottles like they were going out of style. So then I started worrying even more that I wasn't producing enough. This is always a constant worry of mine, but to see my baby down a bottle AFTER she just nursed got me even more worried.

After taking Fenugreek for about a week I wasn't noticing much of a difference. The only thing I did start noticing was that one breast was making much more milk than the other. This, of course, caused a problem of me being lopsided. That's a normal feeling to have one breast MUCH larger than the other (TMI?) daughter has been super gassy and fuss, she acts like she's never full, she's downing pumped bottles, we're not sure what's in my milk that's might be causing gas, I'm worried I'm not producing enough, my boobs are lopsided, I just had a baby and still don't feel totally normal, I have a toddler who doesn't understand when I'm nursing or pumping that I can't go play, I'm tired, I'm not going to breastfeed forever, I'm not anti-formula.....all that to say that in the middle of the night this week I made the decision that I was done breastfeeding. And I feel guilty.  

However, I know that in the long run I have to do what I feel is best for myself and my family. And right now I feel like it's best for me just to stop breastfeeding. We had talked about just supplementing with formula but I honestly didn't see the point. I know breastmilk is great, but if we are just supplementing it didn't make sense to me. It's a little sad how excited I was about not breastfeeding anymore. I feel so free now. I feel like Drew can help me feed. I feel like there may be nights we can now take turns sleeping all night and letting the other one get up to feed. I feel like now I can actually play with Presley more since I won't be pumping or nursing every hour. I just feel much better about life. I know it's sad, but it's true. More power to those of you who breastfeed for longer than a couple of weeks. Breastfeeding is not easy! 
So now we are starting the process of figuring out what formula to use. Since Reese is so gassy and fussy we started out with Enfamil Gentlease. Of course, in the back of my mind I am always wondering if she has a milk allergy like Presley. Last night was a very rough night. She was incredibly congested and couldn't sleep at all. She was still very gassy and acted like she was in so much pain. We made an appointment with the doctor this morning. Long story short we changed her formula to Similac Alimentum. It's basically the same kind of expensive formula like Nutramigen. It's a very broken down milk protein to be easier on her tummy. The doctor did a test to see if she had a milk allergy and it showed negative. However, since she was only on the formula for like a day it's sort of hard to tell if it's very accurate. The doctor also did a test for Whooping Cough since Presley has also been sick. She doesn't think that's what it is but wants to be safe and check. That makes me a little worried, but if that is what it is then we can do an antibiotic. We should know something in about a week. In the meantime we are hoping that the new formula solves all the problem and that Reese starts to feel a little better.
Being a mommy is tough. I have learned with Presley that we will encounter many different situations where we have to make choices. We're just doing the best we possibly can.