Sunday, June 28, 2009

Redneck Hottub

The other day Francie came over and was playing with Tony outside while I made zucchini bread. One thing led to another and before long they were on the porch playing in a bucket of water. Remember the Euro Spa tub I bought for bathing Bella? Well apparently it provides hours and hours of entertainment for a toddler in addition to being an excellent way to bathe a baby. He has a sandbox and a bucket on the front porch and between the two, he is happy as a clam out there. Today he played out there all morning, from the time he got up till his nap time, then we left and went swimming in a real pool for the afternoon. When we came home, he was back on the porch again playing. I wonder what people think when they drive by and see him in a bucket on the porch. Todd thinks we look like hillbillies, I say who cares, he's having a blast. I don't know how long it will last, but so far, I'm lovin it. This morning I was able to sit out there with Bella and drink my coffee and relax with no whining.
Someday I really would like to have a real pool at my house, but since I don't see that happening any time soon, I guess this will work for now.

I brought the old baby bathtub out too for double the fun. He likes to transfer the water from one tub to the other, then pick the bucket up and dump it on himself.He loves his cousin "KK" he sqeals in delight when he sees her. It's so cute.Every once in a while we go to a real pool so I can swim too. Bella and Tony both seem to really like the water. It helps that the water is 90 degrees.
And I have to add this picture just because it's so sweet. Tony is giving his little sis a kiss.To see more adorable pictures that Francie took on her camera that day go see her blog HERE

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sleeping arrangements

In our house babies sleep in the most unusual places. When Tony was a baby he slept in our room initially, then the hallway just outside of our room, then a little farther away into the bathroom. The fan in the bathroom did wonders for his sleep, so there he slept until he outgrew his bassinet and we were forced to put him in his room in his crib. I thought about moving the crib into the bathroom, but it would have been a bit of a squeeze so I didn't. I went online and bought a CD that played the sound of a bathroom ceiling fan for 1 hour straight, and I put it on repeat play all night. It took about 6 months before we were able to get rid of the fan CD.
Bella is a much better sleeper than Tony was, by 6 weeks she was sleeping through the night, I think Tony was 8 or 9 months before he was. I was afraid it wouldn't last, but so far so good. She usually goes to bed around 10pm and sleeps until 6 or 7am, then I feed her and she goes back to sleep til 9 or 10. I am so lucky she is such a good sleeper. She sleeps in the kitchen, on the counter in her bouncy seat, with the stove fan on. When she was first born I put the bouncy seat up on the counter so Tony couldn't get to her and hurt her accidentally, and it just sort of stayed there. It's close to the fan, so she sleeps really well there. We have tried putting her in the bathroom, but after sleeping in the kitchen for so long with the stove fan, the bathroom fan just doesn't do the trick, I guess it isn't loud enough.
Now that she is 3 months old, I feel like I need to put her in her crib to sleep before someone calls CPS on me. I have given her a couple naps and a few nights in her crib. She actually does pretty good, as long as I let her fall asleep in the kitchen and then carry her to the crib after she's really good asleep. The problem is, when one of them wakes up, the other one wakes up. Tony still wakes up from time to time due to loss of paci, tooth ache or some other unknown reason, and when he cries it wakes Bella up. When Bella wakes up at 6am to eat, it wakes up Tony, and with it being so close to morning, I risk him not going back to sleep.
So I have decided that they need their own rooms, at least for a little while until they are on the same sleep schedule. Problem is we don't have another bedroom, so I have decided to give up our office and turn it into a little girl room for Bella. I have a lot of stuff in the office, but I rarely use it as an office, it's more of a catch all room to temporarily stash stuff I don't know what to do with. So finding a new place to put all the stuff is going to be a real challenge for me.
But that is my plan over the next week, to clear out the office and make a room for Bella. If I get it done properly and in a timely manner, you can expect some before and after pictures soon. If you don't get them, please feel free to harass me about it, I may need the encouragement to get it done.

Here is how my little Bell-Bell sleepsOnly when she is really sleeping she is swaddled up super tight like this...

And here are a few more pictures just because they're cute.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bloody Murder

I know it's hard to believe, especially for those of you who know my son well, but Tony has got a temper and it is starting to show. Here is what happened today. My friend Jodi came over with her dog and I put the two kids in my new double stroller (which I don't use nearly enough) and we went for a walk. Tony loves the outdoors, I swear he'd live outside if I let him. Rain, shine, hot or cold he could care less, just let him be outside and he is happy. So he was perfectly content on the walk, but as soon as we got home he started fussing like he usually does. I made a joke to Jodi, how it was kind of funny the fit he throws when I make him come inside. Today however it was not funny at all. I sat down on the couch to nurse Bella and he was fussing a little, and then it progressed into full on screaming. With tears running down his beat red face, his fists were clenched and shaking, except for when he was pinching my legs, and he was screaming bloody murder. There was nothing I could say or do to make him stop, and he was making Bella upset too. She started crying, so now both kids were full on crying and my housekeeper just arrived. Great! She was a little shocked to say the least. She offered to leave and come back Thursday, I agreed that was probably a good idea. My original plan was to nurse Bella then drop her off at Grandma's and then take Tony swimming at my friends house. Since Anthony showed no signs of letting up with his little fit he was throwing I decided to pack them both up (kicking and screaming) and go to Grandma's to feed Bella. Before my housekeeper left she offered to help me out of the house. As soon as she said to Tony, "lets go outside", he quit crying and started smiling as if nothing was wrong.
I felt like I shouldn't let him go swimming after that production, but then decided that was punishing me too, and I really wanted to go. So we went, and he was a perfect angel the whole time, because we were outside of course.
He is only 18 months, so I have to wonder, are the terrible two's starting early, or is this just a small taste of what's to come?
Any suggestions for how to respond to this behavior?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

My Grandma Annie finally made it home last evening. When Natalie and I arrived to the hospital in the morning they told us she would be going home. We offered to take her home around lunch time, which they said was the time she could leave, but she wanted to wait for Donnie (her son) to get off work and take her home. So we just helped her pack her stuff (she is kind of a pack rat, so in the 3 weeks she was there she had accumulated a lot of stuff, including all the postal packaging from all her mailed care packages). The whole time she was there she kept saying she couldn't wait to get home so she could sleep in her own bed that "bends in all the right places" as opposed to the hospital bed that "just doesn't bend right". Although I found it to be rather comfortable, and spend a lot of time in it, since Grandma was usually in her wheelchair.
Our last day with her was happy and sad, we were sad to be going home, but happy that she was. And knowing that we will be coming back in just 4 weeks made it easier to say good bye. We continued to ask her if she would come back with us to MI for a visit and she kept saying NO! We finally decided to let it go, and just let her stay in OK where she wants to be. I know she would have a good time if she came here for a visit, but we just can't convince her. I think she thinks we are going to trick her or something and not take her back.
The staff at the Rehab hospital all seemed genuinely happy for Annie to be going home, they all wished her well, as did the patients. Grandma Annie is such a kind person, everyone there seemed to like her and one man there asked her to pray for him. She said, "okay, what's your name?" I told that man that she would be eating cold lunches now thanks to him, she already prays for 2 minutes before each meal (we timed her) and now that she had to pray for him it'd be even longer, but that's a promise I am sure she will keep.
I am sure they are going to miss her there, as well as little Isabella. For the past 5 days we have spent everyday all day at the hospital from around 9am to 9pm, and surprisingly never got bored like I thought we would. Bella was doted on by patients, family and staff, and no one seemed to mind her when she cried. I think a baby makes everyone happy. Unless your on an airplane, but that's a whole nother story.
I called Grandma Annie this morning to make sure she made it home safe, she did, but not before making a stop at her favorite store... can you guess? Walmart of course.
She assured me that her bed was just as comfortable as she remembered it.
Speaking of happy to be home, I am happy to be home too and sleep in my own bed that bends in all the right places. I missed my husband and my little boy. Anthony got a sore throat and spiked a fever of 102.6 while I was gone, so now he is on ABX. Thankfully he loves medicine so it's not a battle to get him to take it. He is napping now, so I better get off the computer and get some stuff done, cause when he is awake we have some mommy/son play time to catch up on.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Performance Day

Grandma is not allowed to go on a pass, they say it could interfere with insurance reimbursement. I guess they could say if she is well enough to go out on a pass, why does she need to be in the hospital. So we figured we wouldn't worry about it, it's so close to her going home anyway. Our cousin Francie is going to bring dinner to us instead.

Grandma passed all of her therapy sessions, she was given an overall grade of 89 when she had a practice test on 6/4. When she was admitted to rehab she had a score of 48. They set a goal of 81 for her before discharge, so getting an 89 was performance beyond their expectations. Way to go Grandma! I'm not for sure what her score was today, but they said she did great on everything, so probably even higher than 89 today. If I find out what it was I will let you know.

We got all the thank you cards done, that was a job. We went to the cafeteria and got ice cream and then went outside to sit in the courtyard and eat it. It is really humid and overcast today, like it's going to rain or something. Bella is taking a nap now and Natalie is packing up Grandma's stuff so it wont be so much work tomorrow.

Everyone here knows us by now, they even know Bella's name. Whenever they see her they talk to her like they know her. It's pretty cute. Even though she cries a lot they all seem to like her. When we eat in the lunch room I take the dog (bouncey seat) and put her in it, so everyone gets to listen to the song B I N G O during lunch. So far no one has complained, but they are probably glad that we will be leaving tomorrow.


Today is Grandma Annie's performance day since the plan is for her to go home tomorrow. They gave her a sticker so everyone knows. She has to be graded in every area, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. She is given a grade on each with a 7 being the best. So far this morning she has had her occupational therapy session where she had to shower and dress herself independently and she got a grade of 6.9 out of 7. So far so good. Only 2 more to go. She was given a grade when she came in too, so I am going to try and find out what they were so we can see how much progress she has made.

Natalie and I are thinking of getting a cake for her to share with all the other patients in rehab to celebrate her progress.

Today we are going to try and help her write her thank you cards for everyone who sent her flowers and gifts and cards, and then we have been invited over to her niece Francie's house for dinner tonight. We are trying to see if Grandma is willing to go out on a pass for it, otherwise we will eat here in her room.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More adventures in OKC

Last night Natalie convinced Grandma Annie to let her comb her hair, which then led to washing and cutting her hair. How we talked her into it, I don't know, she hasn't cut her hair in over 5 years, so this was quit amazing that she allowed such a thing. I think when it was all over with the she was actually quite happy, but she'd never admit it. She kept saying, "I'll never be the same." You can see they had to shave half of her head for the surgery. Natalie and I thought a little scarf tied around her head would hide the scar and be rather stylish. This morning we stopped to buy one at Wal-mart after dropping Rachael off at the airport. When we got to the hospital to try it out, it didn't look quite like we thought it would. Grandma says she doesn't want it and we should take it back, which we agreed, but not before taking a few good pictures.

Rachael gave Bella a faux mohawk style of her own. Her hair is always sticking up anyway, so she decided to play up the attribute. I bought her some little hair clips and they look so cute don't you think?I decided instead of trying to give Bella a sponge bath at the hotel I would just do it at the hospital since we had all day to think of things to entertain us. We also thought Annie would get a kick out of it, which she did. We rolled her into the bathroom in her wheelchair to supervise. Bella didn't cry at all, she really seemed to like it. Almost as much as her bucket baths in the kitchen sink she gets at home.
Oh and this is just half the stuff we have to haul into the hospital everyday, along with the baby in the car seat, and the bouncy seat. Yes mom we put it all on the hospital floor. There is no place else for it, so don't be mad.

Sorry for the sloppiness of the post with really no story, just a little of this and that, but that's all I have time for. All the free time I anticipated I would have is just not there. Between Bella and Grandma Annie, I don't have much free time at all.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We made it to OKC

My sisters Rachael and Natalie and I along with Bella arrived in Oklahoma City yesterday to visit my grandma Annie. She is doing so well after her car accident. It's hard to believe she was so close to dying, cause she seems so good now. Still not 100%, but after talking with the staff at the Rehab hospital it sounds like the plan is for her to go home on Tuesday and then will start outpatient therapy 3 time a week. Which will be quite a break from the 3+ hours a day she gets here in the hospital. She keeps saying she can't wait to go home and rest, she doesn't want to do anything and doesn't want any company, she just wants to be alone and do what she wants to do, which sounds like nothing. I think this rehab is wearing her out, but it certainly has done her good.
Yesterday when we arrived she was eating lunch, she had a grilled cheese sandwich, mashed potatoes, a few pickles and an Ensure*. Mom you will be happy to know that she ate almost the whole thing. She eats all her meals in the dining room, and she has made some friends here in rehab. They all seemed to know we were coming and were asking her all kinds of questions about us. We brought her some Panera Sweet Bread to eat, bad idea, because she didn't want it, and so we just ended up snacking on it all day. I guess she doesn't have much of a sweet tooth these days. My mom also made some homemade Homatoush, a poppyseed pastry favorite of my grandma's, and it arrived in the mail yesterday. It seemed as if it was straight from the oven cause it was still warm when we took it out of the UPS box, that's how hot it is down here. A heat that is overwhelming to my sisters and I, but no one here seems fazed by 90 degree heat, I guess this is nothing compared to what they have coming in a month or so.
We left the hospital around 9pm last night and still had not had any dinner, so since Bella was fast asleep in her carseat, we decided to stop and get a quick bit to eat. We had a bit of trouble deciding where and what to eat, we wanted Mexican food, but being so late decided we shouldn't. So many choices (we are not used to that in our small town) Natalie wanted fast food, Rach wanted real food, and I didn't really care, so I let them figure it out. The drove around in circles it seemed to me for about a half hour until we finally ended up at a Mexican Restaurant. At the restaurant Rach and Natalie were saying how they were worried they wouldn't be able to fall asleep because why I don't know, we were all exhausted, but Natalie pulled out some tylenol PM and took 2 and offered some to Rach. Rach declined saying she would take it at the hotel since she was driving. Natalie convinced her that they would not kick in that fast and to just take it so she doesn't have to look for it again later. 10:30 we get back in the car to head to the hotel that is 10 minutes away. I was in the back seat with Bella, Rach was driving and Natalie was in charge of Navigating with the GPS. Somehow we ended up on the Turnpike with no exits for 22 miles. Are you kidding me??? We were all so tired after getting up at 3am for our early morning flights, and now they were both worried about the sleeping pills they just took kicking in. We were all so annoyed, so despite the "NO U-Turn - strictly enforced" sign, we did it anyway, cause we were not going to take a 45 minute wrong turn detour. I think today I will drive.
We want to take Grandma Annie to church today, but she doesn't seem to want to. We got it cleared with the doctor to let her have a pass, but she says it's humiliating to go in a wheelchair or use a walker. Isn't that sad? We tried to convince her no one would think anything badly of her but would all be happy to see her and how well she has come from where she was a few weeks ago. So far my stubborn Grandma isn't budging though. We will go up there again this AM and try again to convince her. We think it would be a good trial run to see how she does out in the world, since she goes home Tuesday.
Well I should wrap this up, thanks to Bella you all get this little update. She woke up at 6am and to be kind to my sisters, I brought her out in the lobby so they could sleep a little longer. I will try to upload some more pictures later today, I am using the lobby computer so I don't have access to them right now.
I miss my baby boy terribly, this is the first time I have been away from him. It's going to be a long 5 days without him. He is in very good hands with Grandma and Daddy, so I am not worried about him, I just miss him.

*The daily food report is for my mom. When she was here with my Grandma a few weeks ago she would give us daily blog updates on her progress and she always included what Grandma was eating at each of her meals. I'd say she's come a long way from a "few bites of grits with butter and salt for breakfast", and "a little lemon pudding for lunch."

Natalie posted a video of Grandma Annie and Bella on her blog, go HERE to see it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Look Alike?

Everyone tells me they look so much alike, but I'm not so sure they are that much alike. So I decided to get a picture of each of them taken at 2 months of age and put them side by side and compare. So now that I've done that, I still think they don't look that much alike, but for sure enough to pass for siblings.
I hate to say it, but Anthony is more photogenic than Bella. I think they are both beautiful babies, but almost every picture I have of Anthony he looks great in it, Bella's on the other hand I have to sort through a little more and pick out the good ones.

Okay, so what do you think now that you have a picture of the two at the same age side by side? Do you still think Bella looks just like her brother? (which I must have heard a hundred times this past Sunday at Todd's cousin's graduation party.)