Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Today we said goodbye to an incredible woman, Austin's grandmother, the girl's great-grandmother, Ren-Ren. We spent the weekend with Austin's family, and I got to learn so much about his grandmother. Even though the stories I heard were probably only a fraction of who she was, I in awe at how amazing she was and only wish I could have gotten to know her more. I'm grateful Naomi was able to visit with her a couple of times and only wish Mikaela could have met her as well. We're extremely thankful to have been given the opportunity to say goodbye and for all that she has done in her life to influence all of our lives.

Mikaela 1 yr stats

Here are Mikaela's 1yr stats from her most recent doctor's appointment:

Weight: 16lbs 9 oz (7%)
Length: 27 3/4 inches (8%)
Head: 45.5cm (64%)

Naomi's 1yr stats

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mikaela - 1 year

Mikaela is one. Looking back on the year, it’s been quite a ride. From the beginning, Mikaela has wanted to do things her own way. She’s little, but she’s strong and knows what she wants. Even at this young age, I can see her determination. But yes, it’s been quite a year. With Mikaela, I was on bedrest for 3 weeks and was eventually scheduled for an inducement because she wasn’t growing enough. On the day we were scheduled to check into the hospital, there weren’t enough beds when we called in at our scheduled 5am time. It wasn’t until later the evening of the 13th that we finally got checked into the hospital. After one failed epidural, an episode of rapidly dropping blood pressure, near fainting and then finally vomiting from the low blood pressure shock, a second epidural, bleeding at the site of the anesthia needle, which lead to the epidural being removed, Mikaela refused to budge. Only after the epidural had had enough time to wear off, and once midnight had passed, ensuring that she wouldn’t spend her first birthday on Friday the 13th, did Mikaela suddenly decide it was time to make her grand entrance. At 1:23am, she greeted the world in a hurry.
From day 1, Mikaela had a tougher introduction to the outside world. She immediately had to have her kidneys checked and had to be seen by a cardiologist due to issues discovered while I was pregnant. Thankfully everything checked out fine. However, despite my round the clock nursing, she still wasn’t gaining enough weight, and she was getting jaundice, so we started supplementing with formula. She continued to lose weight and turned even more yellow as her bilirubin levels increased. On the day we were supposed to check out of the hospital, her jaundice had not improved and we had to stay for extra testing. Thankfully we were allowed to go home later that day, but had to bring Mikaela back to the labs for bloodwork several more times. The jaundice eventually went away, but Mikaela didn’t get any easier to care for. She wanted to be held all the time, only sleeping when she was in my arms, tucked tightly against my body. And she suffered from bad gas which kept her, and me, completely miserable as she cried and cried at night. And her peak periods of wakefulness were always between 2-4am. Thankfully, Austin took those hours to give me a chance to get some sleep. But that too passed, and now, she’s the easiest baby ever when it comes to sleeping. For nap times, I can leave her in crib wide awake, she’ll roll onto her belly, stick her butt straight up in the air, grab her bunny and then look at me as if to say, ok you can leave, I’m ready to sleep. And so I leave, while she’s wide awake, and she doesn’t even cry. She just puts her self to sleep. Amazing really. Night time is the same thing. I try to rock her and sing her a lullabye as part of her night time ritual. But on some nights, when she sees her crib, she strains to get into it not wanting to be rocked anymore.
Mikaela’s health “non” issues didn’t cease with jaundice. By 6 months, her pediatrician detected a murmur, so we had to see a cardiologist yet again, thankfully it was nothing serious, and she should grow out of it. By 9 months, she was diagnosed as being anemic and had to be given iron supplements. At 12 months, despite the iron supplements, her red blood cell count has decreased, so we need to take her for more blood work to determine if she a genetic disorder called Thalassemia, nothing serious, but still just one more thing to have to check.
Between the two girls, if our pediatrician had a points system, we would be diamond members. In December, in a span of 14 days, we went to the pediatricians office 5 times. But all in all, these are really “non” issues. Non issues because if anything, we’re just dealing with minor annoyances. Overall, MIkaela, (both my girls really) are completely healthy. It really is miraculous to think about how much has to go right in order for a person to be completely healthy.
Health issues aside. Mikaela has become our easy child. When she’s upset, she’s easily pacified, just pick her up, or give her food. Either option is sure to calm her down.
She loves to eat, everything except baby food that is. She is done with baby food. She wants what we’re eating, and if you don’t give it to her, she starts screaming at you. She knows how to sign for more, and all done, but she’s found that screaming is much more effective. She points at food that she wants, and then opens her mouth wide and says, “AHH”. She’ll give you one or two tries to get the food to her before she starts shrieking at you. She loves sweets, chocolate, ice cream, cake, you name it. She practically jumped out of her highchair in excitement when she saw me eating a cupcake the other day. Her favorite toy to play with right now is a wooden spoon and a toy pot, which she likes to stir, and then feed you with. She’ll hold out the spoon to you and say, “ahh” Then when you take a pretend bite, she cracks up laughing. I’ve decided she’s either going to become a chef, or just obese.
She still loves to snuggle and cuddle. Even if she’s content, playing on the floor, if you come by and pick her up, she’ll tuck her head right under your chin and snuggle up. This is why she doesn’t have any desire to walk though. She is literally always being carried, because everyone loves cuddling with her.
She loves music, she’ll sing and dance with you at the first signs of a beat.
She’ll imitate people around her, she’ll stick her tongue out at you if you ask her to, she’ll cough if she hears someone cough.
She loves Naomi and is starting to want to play with her, and play with whatever toys Naomi is playing with. We’re starting to get into some minor fights over toys..Mikaela usually ends up the victor. She has an iron grip, and Naomi lives in fear of being punished if she hurts the baby. Which by the way, she calls Mikaela “Sweetheart” and can’t talk to her in a normal voice, when she talks to Mikaeala, her voice goes up squeaky high as she says, “sweet heart….” Mikaela is mischevious though. Naomi is pretty good about sharing her toys with Mikaela, but the one thing she generally wont share is her “mimi” her lambie, security toy. (describing mimi in this post doesn’t do mimi justice, one of these days she’ll have her own post. That’s how important she is). But Naomi is always putting Mimi down, leaving her on the floor, the table, the shelf etc. And Mikaela is obsessed with Mimi. As soon as she sees that Naomi has put Mimi down, Mikaela will giggle, smile, cackle whatever you want to call it, and crawl like lightning mcqueen, and grab Mimi. She doesn’t just pick Mimi up though. She’ll grab Mimi by the head, clutch it to her body and squeal with delight. Which then of course causes Naomi to look up, realize what has happened, and snatch Mimi back.
As much as she loves Naomi though, Mikaela’s new favorite is Daddy. She’s a daddy’s girl through and through. Don’t try to take her away from Daddy or she’ll scream at you.
Mikaela is so incredibly little, still fitting 3 month clothes despite her 1yr of age. Everyone looks at her and can’t believe she’s already 1. But don’t let her tininess fool you. I expect big things from Mikaela. She’s already proven to us how much she can overcome, and how big of a personality she has. Happy Birthday Mikaela, thank you for making our family complete.

view full image

"Birthday girl"

Saturday, January 14, 2012


12 months ago my baby was born. Where does the time go.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Back to reality

Talk about mega sunday blues. Tomorrow is my first day of work in 2012. Thanks to the girls being sick, then me getting sick, I ended up staying home all last week. Naomi went to daycare on Thursday and Friday, and Mikaela stayed home with me the entire week. While it was rough having everyone being sick, it definitely was a treat to be home with the girls. It's always a treat to drop Naomi off at daycare. Since it's early in the morning, she has a ton of energy, is excited to go, and isn't overly tired like she is when i pick her up. I get to see her in an environment with friends and teachers. I get to talk to her teachers a bit more, and talk and joke around with her classmates.

And being home alone with Mikaela was the biggest treat of all. It really is rare that I get that much one on one time with her. Not that I'm complaining, but usually when I'm not at work, we're all hanging out as a family, or I'm busy taking Naomi to dance class, or other random errands, and it's easier to leave Mikaela at home with Austin. Unsurprisngly, she has become quite the daddy's girl and totally prefers Austin more than me. Naomi went through the same stage as well (although now everyone can attest to the fact that she's a momma's girl all the way =P ). I'm used to it this time and it doesn't hurt as much as it did with Naomi. I remember crying when she would see me and turn away only to reach out to Austin. Anyway, having a week home with just Mikaela was so nice. I got to see her personality even more. I got to teach her some new tricks, like grabbing her head when you say, "Oh my goodness", puckering her lips and kissing you when you ask for a kiss, blowing out candles, (in preparation for her birthday next week). I also got to witness some of her "firsts", like when she stood up unassisted for the first time, or her first time trying out new foods (scrambled eggs and spaghetti are some of her favorites). We got on such a great schedule with 2 long naps each day, she is SO easy. I can put her down for a nap while she's wide awake, and she wont' even cry or protest, and when she wakes up and calls out for me, I go in to be greeted by a smiling baby who says "Hi" at the sight of me.

Anyway, I digress. I have the sunday blues and I really should be going to bed. Instead I'm blogging because I already miss my girls. We have a full week too. Five whole work days!!! It's been awhile since I've had one of those =). But at least the end of this week is something to look forward to. On Friday, our daycare has a "parent's night out" night where the daycare stays open til 9:30. Austin and I have a date night planned with dinner in the city. We haven't picked a restaurant yet but we're definitely picking something completely not-child friendly.
And then on Saturday, the big birthday. Mikaela turns 1!!! Her birthday party will be the following week (mainly due to lazy, unorganized parents) but we'll definitely make it a special family day. I can't believe my baby is 1!!! sob.

Ugh ok, things to look forward to. A week of work not so fun. But things could be worse right?

Friday, January 6, 2012

This is how we tea party

Look ma, no hands!

While I was picking Naomi up from daycare today, I leaned Mikaela up against one of the tables so I could have my hands free to gather Naomi's stuff, and Mikaela could get a chance to look around. When I glanced down at her, she had let go of the table and was standing up all on her own!! She did it several more times before we left and was screaming with excitement when Naomi's pre-school teachers, classmates, and Naomi were all cheering for her.
We tried to have her stand up again when we got home so I could take a quick snapshot, but she didn't want to, so Naomi helped her out a little. Love this shot of my girls.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A winter dance recital

Naomi is in a dance class at her daycare. The Thursday before Christmas, her class held a dance recital at daycare. My brother Fritz, and good friends Dan and Kathy were all in town, so we invited them along to the show.
Most of the kids in Naomi's daycare class were in the show, and it was so cute to see how excited they were. They danced to several songs in the middle rec room of the daycare. It was much more casual than the previous dance recital we just attended, and personally, I thought much more fun. It never fails to amaze me how focused Naomi is when she's dancing. She followed the teacher to a t, and constantly checked to make sure she was in her spot on the stage. At one point she had been moved over to the opposite side of the room, and she hilariously, yet discreetly, scooted over across the room, through the stage of dancers, back to the spot she had been assigned to for the first half of the show. It was a good laugh.
After the show, the dance teacher came up to me and asked me if Naomi was in a different dance class outside of school because she was so precise with all of her moves, and can do all the dance positions after being taught just one time. She said Naomi was the only in the class that could do that. Totally an ego boost that every parent would love to get. I could hear my own mom telling me the story of my preschool days of a similar situation where my daycare teacher told her that I could sing every song after being taught just one time. It's funny how you grow up hearing these stories from your parents as a kid only to have this story mirrored in your own child's life. Anyway here are some pictures from the show. Since we've been on break for a week, Naomi has literally been dancing nonstop. She puts on pretend dance recitals for Austin and I and sometimes for no one at all. She even danced at the new years eve party and in the waiting room of the doctor's office. It's amazing how she can forget to be shy when she's dancing!

When did our place become and infirmary?

Happy New Years and a belated Merry Christmas everyone!!

We've had the week off for the holidays, and while it has been nice to be out of work and at home with the family, I can't say it was very relaxing! We started Christmas Eve off with Mikaela getting a fever of 102, so we skipped Christmas eve service and Christmas Day service and relaxed at home. Both my brother's were in town, so we had a great time hanging out, opening presents (real ones, not baby food), playing with presents, eating, and sleeping =)
On Monday evening, Austin came down with a stomach bug and was in bed for two days. Then Naomi caught the bug, and even managed to be "THAT" kid that pukes her guts out at a bouncy house in front of everyone. She was sick til about Thursday afternoon, so we cancelled all of our plans that we had for those couple of days, including going to see Angelina Ballerina. Even though the tickets were free, thanks to a great friend, it was still sad since I know how much Naomi would have loved it this year, given how into Ballet she is. Mikaela caught the bug too and had an upset stomach for pretty much the entire week.
Then just when things looked like they were getting better, Mikaela came down with another fever on New Year's eve, 102 again. On Sunday it spiked up to 103, and we took her to the pediatrician's. Her white blood cells were elevated to over 2x the normal level, but after some tests, including a urinalysis, which for a baby is horrendous...think catheter, the doctors decided that she most likely just has a bad virus and we should just keep her on tylenol and monitor her closely. If by Tuesday she's not better, we have to take her back to the pediatricians. Just in time for work!

Despite all the sickness, we did have a great week, and didn't miss out on everything. We got to spend time with my brothers, we had a play date with some out of town friends, I got to go out for drinks with some girlfriends, we went to a new years eve party where Naomi made it to midnight and beyond, and Austin and I even had an entire "date day" and date night thanks to the best babysitters....daycare and my brother chris.

Fun fact of the day - the Wei's went to the pediatricians 2 times during the week between Christmas and New Year's, one time in 2012 (and we're only one day in), and 5 times for the month of December..and all of them were sick visits!! Here's to hoping for a healthier 2012.

Happy new years everyone.

So sick she fell asleep for a nap at 9:30am

Waiting unhappily at the Doctor's office
Naomi trying to make Mikaela feel better and keep her warm by covering her with her sweater.
Fell asleep at the doctor's office