Monday, July 30, 2012

10 Updates about Avery's Life (with pictures)

1. While continuing to perfect the art of rolling over, Avery has learned to hold her head up really high!





















2. Avery took a ride in her carrier for the first time. She loved it!





















3. Avery, Meg, and I took a family picture while sporting Long Beach Island Tshirts!
















4. Avery and Jack had a weekend long play date...they color coordinated, posed for pictures, played together, slept next to each other, and had an awesome time overall!




















































































5. Avery visited "Old Barney" (the lighthouse in Barnegat Light, NJ). She walked to the water and saw a sailboat. She then fell asleep in the carrier!






















































6. Jack and Avery received special onesies from Aunt Trish. Avery's said, "I'm with HIM," and had pearls! Jack's said, "I'm with HER," and had a bow tie!" The photoshoot was too cute for words!



































7. Avery tried out Jack's jumper. She was a little too short to touch the ground, so we had to put an old laptop underneath her (it was the only thing we could find). She reached for the toys and even bounced a little (I will post a video tomorrow!)





















8. Avery took a ride in her big girl stroller! She loved it! (and fell asleep!)



































9. Avery will be 3 months this Friday (can't wait for that photoshoot!)

10. We received a phone call from our lawyer stating that our adoption court date will be October 12th at 10 am. (I wish it was sooner, but it will make a pretty awesome anniversary present...our 5 year wedding anniversary is October 13th!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Success! (3rd time rolling over caught on video)

Avery woke up early again this morning. We left her to talk in her crib until it was an acceptable time to wake up.

When we went into her nursery (around 6am), we found her spun around in her crib, lying half on her side and half on her belly (still swaddled).

We changed her diaper (apparently she thinks it's fun to poop every morning and wake herself up!), ate breakfast, watched some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and set her down on her blanket.

She was only on her blanket for about a minute before she started trying to roll over...she moved to her belly fairly easy. It was the second arm that frustrated her. The fact that she was about 10 minutes away from her nap didn't make it any easier.

The best part was that the batteries in our flipcam started flashing red and died seconds after Avery rolled over!

Enjoy! (I'll post a happier video later when Avery perfects the art of rolling over!)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rolling over

This morning Meg and I were sitting on the floor talking and watching Avery play on her activity mat. All of the sudden, Avery rolled over!!! It was awesome!

She rolled over a second time while visiting our friend Taralyn and her daughter Violet.

I tried to catch it on video..(I came really close a couple of times)...BUT unfortunately I failed.

I'll try again tomorrow! Until then, feel free to waste a few minutes of your life watching Avery try to roll over! Be sure to check out Avery's new toy...we bought her the Kick and Play piano playmat. She absolutely LOVES it!

This first video is a little long (roughly 4 minutes), but Avery makes numerous attempts and the dogs are annoying (I mean humorous).


This is the special treatment one deserves on such a monumental day...too bad I was about 30 seconds too late with the camera and missed the giggle!


This is my favorite video...I love when she smiles and talks!


It's hard to believe that less than one week ago she was just starting to discover her hands. She then learned to grab and put things in her mouth. Now, she's rolling over. *Sigh*...this kid is going to be in college before we know it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What should Avery call me?

Tonight, Megan was reading the Different Dragon to Avery. In the story, the little boy has two moms. One of the moms is referred to as "Go-ma."

As Megan was reading the story I couldn't help, but laugh. (Sometimes I think I have a problem) Seriously though, I just couldn't stop thinking about all of the times people have asked Meg and I what Avery will call us.  While we fully intend to let Avery make that choice, I told Meg that I was going to start telling people the most absurd name I could think of...just to see their reactions! (As Meg continued to read, I interjected a few possibilities!)

You see, I have found that you can INSTANTLY tell whether people like/approve of the name you have chosen for your child based on how they respond. If they like it, they smile and say, "That's a great name." or "Pretty." If they're unsure or flat out hate it, they fake a smile and say, "Oh. That's different." or "I've never heard of that name before."

So...I figured the same could be said for alternative names for mom.

Here are the names I tried out tonight...

Sloth (so that when Avery's friends come over to play I can say "Hey, you guys!" Sloths are also my favorite animal so this name has an added bonus)

Bertha (I'm not really sure why I like this one, but it makes me laugh)

God (Megan said that I wasn't allowed to joke about this one because it is inappropriate.)

Dykee (My beautiful wife suggested this one. It has a lovely ring to it. Don't you think?)

YO MAMA (Not my favorite, but it did provide a few laughs as several yo mama jokes ran through my head...ah...I can see it now..."yo mama's so fat. She sat on a rainbow and skittles popped out."

Beast (I LOVE this one...imagine Avery talking to a boy and saying, "I don't know if you should come over. Beast might be home!")

As of right now, it's a toss up between Sloth and Beast.

Unless...you have a better suggestion???

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bumbo

Seeing that my most recent blog posts have been of a serious nature, I decided it would be a good idea to post some new pictures of Avery!

Today, we placed Avery in her Bumbo seat for the first time. She is still a little too little (she's still working on holding her big head up) so Meg had to hold her hand behind her neck. Still, the pictures came out really cute:

This picture should be the new advertisement for Bumbo...It's as if she's pointing to a sign that reads, "Bumbo"





















Avery is practicing for Disney World...she's waiting for the ride to start...





















"Oh, no!" The Bumbo is perfect level for Bailey to give his bad breath kisses!!





















Staring at mommy...




















Giggles...

"Look ma! No Hands!!!"

Here are two pictures from today's play time...notice the hands in the mouth! (she loves staring at herself in the mirror)



In the event that the pictures weren't enough to make you smile, I captured this video of the little monster...she's too cute.

video

Monday, July 16, 2012

Better Day

Avery had a better day today:

1. Her naps were longer. This could be due to the fact that she is learning to put herself to sleep OR it could just be the fact that I sat in her room for almost an hour during her first nap...I observed every move and I came to the conclusion that Avery desperately needs help transitioning into a deep sleep. She can't nap longer than 45 minutes-1 hour because she consistently wakes herself up (when her body jolts).

I also found that the "shh-pat" method (you know the one I attempted to master yesterday) is too distracting for Avery. It almost felt as if I was waking her up. So, instead, I applied a little pressure to her arm (kind of like when you hold a baby). It must have been just enough because she
calmed down. I removed one hand at a time and voila...she was asleep!

Avery fussed a little during her second nap (she wasn't crying...more like grunting to get out of her swaddle) but she eventually put herself to sleep and slept for over 2 hours.

2. Her burps were relatively easy to get out using the Avent bottle.

3. She did not spit up until I came up with the brilliant idea to switch back to the Dr. Brown's bottles...I had an epiphany while watching Avery sleep...I thought that maybe we just needed to switch her to a faster Dr. Brown's nipple...I figured if she was sucking too hard then she would inhale too much air, thus causing extra gas.

WRONG! Meg tried it. We don't know if the nipple was too fast (she didn't choke), but Avery was insanely difficult to burp. She legitimately cried and eventually spit up what appeared to be a gallon worth of formula.

4. She was happy. She watched some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (it's become part of her morning ritual. She has breakfast and watches 23 minutes of pure entertainment!), played on her activity mat and talked A LOT!

5. BUT, she didn't poop.

I searched several stores looking for baby probiotic drops. Several people recommended them to us...apparently they help regulate everything. I failed to deliver, so Meg had to run to Walgreens.

We're hoping the drops work soon and that Avery wakes up AFTER she poops not during (because she is pain)!

BONUS: Avery has just about discovered her hands. She's been sucking on them for a while now. She's also been holding toys and most recently putting them into her mouth. She reaches to touch our faces and to "pet" the dogs if they happen to walk by...it's fun!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Troubleshooting/Gas Update

There are millions of baby books out there suggesting ideas on how to transform demon spawn babies into angels. While some of the ideas are legit, I'm convinced that others were written so that authors can laugh knowing that somewhere a desperate mom is trying one of them.

Think I'm kidding? I wish.

Today, I almost hyperventilated (not really), but I could have! Whispering "shh shh shhh" for 7-10 minutes is ridiculous. I understand that the concept is due to the nature of a baby's sleep cycle, but come on! In the ten minutes I stood in Avery's room all I thought of was how I could skip this step in the future...I imagined recording myself, uploading it to my ipod, and pressing play once Avery's eyes closed.

As if that concept wasn't difficult enough, Meg told me that I was supposed to pat Avery's back in a tick-tock pattern while "shh shh shh-ing." Oh, ok!

I asked Meg..."So, just to clarify I am supposed to pat her back while she was lying on it?" I figured it would be easy to roll the little burrito over (just a little bit) and pat her back. Not so much!

We can't forget "wake to sleep." The idea is to help babies transition into a deep sleep by bringing them back to REM so that they don't awaken with a quick jolt (Avery is notorious for this!)

Again, I figured it would be a piece of cake. I went in and gently touched Avery's hair and whispered her name. I saw her hand flinch and she started sucking her pacifier, so I thought I did well.

I must've missed the part where I was supposed to disappear into thin air because Avery's eyes opened and she just stared at me. I went into damage control and started "shh shh shh-ing." That was, until I heard the sound of poop. TALK ABOUT A DISASTER!

So, yea. I'm convinced that babies should come equipped with a manual and a reset button. The title of the manual should read, "First and only child."

Update on the gas situation:

Last night I went to the store to purchase the Ready made Gentlease formula (I read online that it helped a woman who had a daughter suffering from the same symptoms as Avery). It worked for the first couple bottles. Avery was burping loud, clear burps and hardly spit up. BUT this morning Avery refused to drink the bottle because it was too cold (she's used to room temperature water).

Avery still hadn't pooped when she woke up, so we put a call into the Doctor on call. By the time the doctor called back (several hours later) Avery had pooped. Still, Meg talked briefly to her about our concerns. She seemed to think that Avery's problems could still stem from the rotavirus vaccine. She said to imagine when you are sick for a few days and are running to the bathroom constantly...when you finally feel better, you might not be able to go for a few days. Made sense. Regarding the coughing and spit up, she said that it could be reflux, but unless it's severe they probably wouldn't do anything about it. She also said that we could switch formulas several times only to have her outgrow it by the time we find one that works (if she even has reflux)

I purchased an Avent bottle this afternoon. The flow seems a little fast (Avery used to take 25-30 minutes and this is only taking about 15 minutes) BUT Avery's been burping and hardly spitting up. Even better, she's pooped after both feedings (could be a coincidence but I'll take it!)

We're going to keep an eye on everything and schedule a doctor's appointment for later in the week. We're also going to try and keep Avery home for the week so that she can readjust and focus on getting back to healthy sleep habits! (the gas issue seemed under control today, but Avery's naps were all thrown off)

The only other suggestion I found interesting was regarding water bottles. We use a Brita, but apparently our tap water contains iron. Add that to the iron that is already in formula and it's no wonder why babies have tummyaches! (I don't know if the Brita removes iron or not. I'd have to do some research).

I'll keep you posted...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Combating gas

Hmm..where do I even begin?

Avery has been a great baby from the very first day she was born. So great that she pretty much slept through everything in the hospital (including her hearing test, doctor check up, and some of her hospital photoshoot)

When we brought her home it was more of the same. She was a typical sleepy newborn. She rarely cried and was rather predictable. Her only problem was gas.

By the time Avery was 2 weeks old, we had switched her to Enfamil Gentlease. It seemed to work better than the Enfamil newborn, but Avery still suffers from gas on occasion.  We tried adding gripe water into her bottles. This caused Avery to develop a rash all over her body (which ultimately made her more uncomfortable). Our most recent attempt revolved around Little Tummies. While the drops do seem to calm her, they only work temporarily. Oh, and Avery despises the taste of them (despite their "berry flavor"). Seriously, I'm waiting for her to foam at the mouth one day!

Ok, so you're probably thinking..why am I telling you all of this now?

Well..our little Avery is becoming more and more complicated.

Since her 2 month checkup (last Friday), Avery has become more spit-uppy (sometimes it is chunky, but mostly it's just liquid). She coughs A LOT (It's not a cough you would associate with a cold. It's very random and sounds more like she's trying to clear her throat.) She's had a loss of appetite. Probably the most noticeable change has been the way Avery stretches out her legs and arches her back. She grunts and cries in pain. (I should mention that she's comfortable if you rock her, bounce her, do bicycle kicks, or allow her to stretch out on the ground)

Meg and I were attributing all of these symptoms to the live rotavirus vaccine that Avery received last week, BUT the doctor said the virus would be out of her system in 5-7 days.

Her appetite seems to have come back today, but with it came severe gas pains. They were so bad that Avery couldn't sleep comfortably. We called the doctor and their only suggestion was sugar water.

We tried the sugar water AND little tummies, but Avery was only able to sleep for about 30 minutes before waking up screaming.

Pooping seemed to relieve some of her discomfort. That was, until Meg fed her again.

Today was by far the worst day Avery has had. Meg and I are at a loss. Every time we call the doctor the nurse calls back and suggests sugar water. At what point should we consider switching formulas? What about pediatricians?

What do you do to combat gas pains?!

For the record, Avery is a VERY happy kid. She laughs and smiles the majority of the time!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Busy Day

I'm sure you remember how excited Meg and I were a few weeks ago when we paid the balance at our lawyer's office and signed all of our adoption paperwork. It was a huge day for us. We felt like a weight was lifted off of our shoulders. We were all set to wait for a court date.

Now, imagine our surprise when we opened our mail to find out that we still needed to schedule appointments for fingerprinting in New Jersey. Oh, and that the deadline for filing is August 1st!

Needless to say, we began our day in Ewing, New Jersey. The fingerprinting took all of 10 minutes. We then headed to North Jersey to visit Jack, Phyllis, and Kerry!

Avery was VERY cranky by the time we got to the house...she was tired and hungry, but worst of all, she was sitting in a poop. We got her cleaned up and started feeding her lunch. Fortunately, Jack had to eat too!

Afterwards, Avery handed Jack his present (she picked it out at the zoo!). Phyllis helped Jack open it and became insanely excited. So much, that most of the pictures came out blurry! Avery bought Jack a SLOTH!!!

















Jack fell in love instantly. We let him enjoy his new friend before putting him in his super intense bouncer. Avery assumed her position on the floor on Jack's playmat.





















The two played side by side while we ate lunch (organic pizza from Whole Foods!)





















It was amazing except for the fact that I embarrassed myself...I thought the electronic box in the kitchen read 104 degrees...Phyllis and Megan informed me that it was an I-home AND that it was 1:04pm! Whoops!

After lunch Avery went down for a nap. She looked pretty cozy in her pack n play in Jack's room! She only slept for an hour, but woke up ready for a photo shoot.

We took several pictures, but Phyllis thought it would be best if Jack and Avery were color coordinated. Hearing his mom's comments, Jack drooled all over his shirt and insisted on a wardrobe change.

Here are the pictures from today's playdate...I can't even put into words how amazing it is to watch Avery and Jack grow up...together!



Finally...Two smiles!!!




















Cuddling...































"I don't know how I feel about your bow, Avery"
















"Give me it!"
















Who knew Avery's dress could be used as a twister game.."Right hand blue, Jack!"





















Put your right hand up!





















"I'm hungry...Mind if I eat your dress?"

















Oh, I almost forgot...here are a few pictures that I took of Avery this morning...she looked so pretty in her new dress. I couldn't resist!




























































What a great day!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Avery's First Trip to the Zoo

Today we went to the Philadelphia Zoo. We saw a sloth! He was sleeping far away in the trees, but Avery and I both loved it. We also saw some gorillas, a mommy and baby orangutan, and a lot of different monkeys!

Our zoo trip also included visits to the lions and tigers exhibits, a quick stroll through the reptile house,  and lunch inside the rare mammals house.

As always we took A LOT of pictures! Here are some of our favorites:












 
















Despite the strong sun and odor (from the people not the animals), it was an amazing day!

Before we left, we hit the gift shop and bought Avery a sloth stuffed animal and the book Goodnight Zoo.