Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mary is 5 months old!

It is quiet at our house tonight as Mike is getting to be an usher at the David Crowder concert at Watermark (tough job)! I wish I had his computer cause it has all of our pictures on it, but I thought it would be a good idea to do an update on Mary! She will be 5 months old in a few days.
Here's what Mary likes and dislikes:
Playmat and Exersaucer
She loves people and someone to talk to her. She never cries when given to a new person. She loves her sisters to talk to her.
She loves to suck her two middle fingers to go to sleep or in the car. I've now had a paci girl, thumb girl, and a fingers girl!
She loves her crib and really does not sleep anywhere else besides the car. She sleeps on her stomach and moves really close to the crib rails. She's still sharing a room with Ellie. Ellie cannot sleep unless Mary is in the room with her. She sleeps through Ellie talking herself to sleep and with the lamp on cause of Ellie!
She loves her grandparents and got to spend some special time with them this month when I had surgery.
She loves to go on walks and we do this about once a day to get everyone out of the house!
She has a very strange schedule, but it is working well for us. She goes to bed between 7-7:30 and wakes up around 7 to eat. I then put her back to bed and normally wake her up around 9:30 to feed her and most days put her in the car for wherever we have to be that day. We then come home by 12:30-1 most days and she goes down for a LONG nap 3-4 hours most days. I think she's combining her morning and afternoon nap all in one! We will see how long this lasts, but I really like it right now cause it gives me time to get E and A ready in the morning while she is asleep.
She's still bottle free and it is one tough road that is for sure. She will not take one for anything, but at least she will go 3-4 hours between feedings so I can time how long I can be gone. I think maybe when we start baby food in a couple of months it might help. I'm so thankful for my milk, but there are times when it can be difficult to make it all work especially when I have to be gone.
She's starting to like the car seat more which is so nice. I think it might be cause she is spitting up a little less these days. I still get thrown up on a lot each day, but it is getting better.
She wear 3 month clothing and is pretty small like her sisters.

Mary we love you so much and your sweet smile makes my day. You are for sure the laid back baby that I needed during this stage of life and I am so excited to see what your personality will be like one day. We thank God for you every day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A cute kitty and ballerina....

I was flipping through pictures tonight and found these two cute girls from two years ago. Wow they have sure changed! There is no way Ellie would dress up as a ballerina at 4 years old and Anna would still probably enjoy being a cat. However, this years costume choice has been quite dramatic! I'd borrowed a "Dorothy" costume that was super cute and had this great idea of Ellie being Dorothy, Anna the scarecrow, and Mary as Toto! Well, Ellie has been really wanting to be a super hero with her favorite color blue and Anna is super into pink and princesses. I really didn't want a super hero and a princess? What would Mary be? So I started to think what I could do that would involve blue and pink? I'm hoping the costumes turn out okay and the girls agree with them. Ellie is going to be a Blue M&M with a red cape. Anna is going to be a pink M&M (most likely with a tutu) and Mary will be some color of M&M probably whatever solid color onesie I can find! Anyways, this years costume choice is for sure not my choice. However, I want the girls to be able to be who they are even if the current stage is super heroes and princesses! Have you had any Halloween Drama?!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Picky Eater Tips?

Ellie and Anna are total opposites when it comes to food. Anna's not eating much these days and really doesn't seem hungry. I would say it is a phase, but it's been a long phase that is for sure! Any tips out there for the girl who does not like very much at all?!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In Sickness and In Health...

Mike and I have learned a lot lately about caring for one another or our kids with the swine flu and then I was supposed to have a normal outpatient surgery last Thursday. I will try to not give you to much information and since I know I only have girl readers I really don't care to much!
I've had a fibroid (similar to a cyst) attached to my uterus for almost 2 years. However, I didn't know it until I was pregnant with Mary. It has caused much pain and drama over the past 2 years. It seemed to really act up when we traveled so I've ended up in the emergency room in Kansas and Colorado. Both times they thought I had a kidney stone or a kidney infection cause my lower back would be in horrible pain as in I vomited many times from the pain. In Colorado they thought I was vomiting from altitude ha!
The first trimester with Mary the pain came back on strong like the worst it ever was and I could now feel something on the outside of my stomach like a small ball. I ended up in the ER in Dallas. It always happens on the weekends when I can't get to my OB. They do a sono to make sure Mary is okay and she is fine. They move the wand to the spot where it hurt and there was a fibroid the size of a baseball. I was so relieved to know I was not crazy and that something was wrong with me. There is nothing they can do cause I am pregnant and it attached to the uterus. However, my dr. thought I was mostly in pain cause it was growing and it should stop once my hormones calm down near the end of the first trimester. The pain went away and I was fine the whole pregnancy.
I see my Dr. in September and he does a sono to see if the fibroid has shrunk which they tend to do after you deliver a baby. It is still large and he wants to removei as do I. We've also met our deductible this year so I really wanted him to remove it! He said it would most likely be "scope" outpatient surgery and I would be fine.
However, last Thursday he told me that things can change and that to be prepared for whatever. I was and totally trust my Dr. and am so thankful for his care. He is wonderful!
I wake up from surgery and am still a little groggy, but he tells me that everything is fine. However, the fibroid was actually a tumor and that it had moved to overtake my ovary. He ended up having to remove the tumor, ovar, and fallopian tube. I still have all the right side, but it was quite and ordeal. I stayed in the hospital for two nights and during this time my bladder would not cooperate do to the trauma of surgery. Let's just say that me and a catheter were very good friends for 5 days!
I've learned so much from this situation, but here are a few!
* I have the best husband ever as he remained calm for me during it all and has been a rock for our family.
* I forgot to mention the tumor was benign! I am so thankful and blessed to not have a malignant tumor.
* I always get regular checkups, but will continue to do so no matter what. I encourage you if you have any doubts about something go ahead and get it checked.
* You must trust, respect, and like your doctor. I moved here not knowing who to choose so I asked a few people from church and come to find out there are tons of Watermark women who go to the practice that I do. He is such a Godly man who uses his gifts to bless others not only in Dallas, but Guatemala as well.
* Family is so important and I am so grateful that Mike's parents were here to watch E and A. My mom flew in this week to help for a week or so.
* Friends are the best. I love my c.g. and playgroup friends so much for their care, prayer, and help! Remember, my sweet Mary has refused the bottle for four months. I thought it would be outpatient and I could feed her shortly after. Well, since it was not I had to wait 24 hours to feed her. My sweet friend watched her for the day cause she had compassion on me as her daughter did not take a bottler. I have another friend who is a lactation consultant at a hospital and she has a baby as well. She offered to "feed" Mary for me and I still can't believe Mary did it twice. She slept all night after as well.
* We haven't told to many people as in posted it on fbook mainly cause we did not want to explain all this to teenagers at church!

The Lord has truly been our strength as a family when things have been chaotic and scary at times. I am so grateful to be healthy and feeling so much better!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Student Ministry Swine Flu PSA

Stick with it to the end, my husband is a carrier monkey!

Friday, October 2, 2009

First Day of School....

Ellie and Anna both started preschool at the beginning of September. They are going to the school that I taught at last year. There is no way I could have taught this year especially since Miss Mary is anti-bottle. Anna is going one day a week and Ellie goes two days a week. They both love it and I love my little break. It has been such a blessing. We love our school, the teachers, and all the sweet families that go there. It is at a local church, but a lot of the students attend Watermark. Anna is in the older 2's class and Ellie is in the older 3's class rather than the 4/5 yr. old class. It has worked out well for Ellie cause she is only 1 month older than the majority of the kids in her class rather than being a full year younger than the other kids. I love my girls and am so glad they have a great preschool to attend.

Mike's Staff Picture...

Every year the student ministry team does a staff picture for the website or promotional items. I really like this years picture although Mike thinks he looks like he can't stop laughing during it. We are so thankful he is a part of such a great team. It really does make a difference that he does not have to do it all like he's had to in the past. They have a new part-time student ministry worship leader from Kentucky. He and his wife have been married for 3 months and moved here without really knowing anyone. It makes me think back to our early seminary days. I know they will end up loving it here and Jarrod is doing an awesome job!

Anna the ballerina....

Anna started "Baby Ballet" this fall at our local parks and rec. center. She was so excited and truly loves it. Her teacher is probably close to 70 years old and has taught there forever! Anna loves to pick out which ballet outfit she will wear every week. She is obsessed with the shoes and often time sleeps in them at nap time. She makes me laugh cause she is such a rule-follower (for other people) and follows every instruction the teacher makes while the other 2 yr. olds are running around! Ellie does not like ballet so much so we are switching her to gymnastics. We love our rec center cause it is close and cheap!

Anna and the potty!

I guess for Anna to go potty she has to pick her nose and hold her blankie! I started potty training Anna about a month ago. I went with the laid back approach. When we were home I let her wear undies and when we went out I put a diaper on her. It's worked really well and this week she's worn undies quite a bit when we go out. I think next week I will try sending her to school and church in undies. She's hilarious about the potty and here are a few of her funny quotes or things she does:
* She always says " I go on the potty train" when she needs to go.
* She insists on wearing underwear over her diaper.
* Her treat of choice was always a skittle.

It will be awhile before I train her at night or naps cause she drinks a ton during the day. However, it felt pretty good to buy our last box of 176 diapers at Sam's the other day in hopes that it would last us for a couple of months!

Ellie at music camp

Ellie attended a music camp at a local church in August. The theme was "Hermie the Caterpillar" and she has seen some of the movies so she was really excited. She loved every minute of it and they had a performance on Friday evening. Anna wants to go next year when she is three. We will sign up for it again next year!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Shelton Swine....

Well, it has been an eventful two weeks to say the least and I am so glad I think I am seeing a light at the end of this very long tunnel. It all started two weeks ago when I had chills, aches, and a high fever one day. I took care of the kids all day during it and just toughed it out. I went to bed really early with some tylenol p.m. and woke up with no fever and feeling much better. However, poor Mary had no milk from her mommy. Whenever, I am sick it tends to wipe out my milk supply. So I tried to feed her and it just wasn't enough. I tried so many different types of bottles, formula, etc.. I even had a friend try and give her a bottle with no success. She basically didn't eat for 7 hours. She knows what she wants that is for sure. I take her to the doctor to make sure nothing is wrong with her. The nurses try to give her a bottle with no luck. Mike just so happened to have a very busy day and leaders meeting so he could not help. We get home from the dr. and I send Ellie and Anna next door for an hour so I could try and feed her in peace. It works and I start a vitamin to help with the supply and it is all much better! It was such a scary day for me that I totally forgot about being sick. I am convinced I had a mild case of the swine flu that day and just couldn't really be sick so I just dealt with it. I go on a girls weekend that weekend and still feel kind of out of it, but had a great time. It is also intresting that none of those girls got the swine from me that weekend :)
I get home on Sunday and by Tuesday evening Mike comes home from community group and has chills, aches, fever etc... He is way worse off than I was and I tell him to go to the doctor to get a swine test. It was positive and they put him on tamiflu. He can now not go to work for 7 days and just feels awful. He was sick till Saturday and pretty much just stayed in his room.
On Friday, I see that Mary has watery eyes, red cheeks, and feels warm. Her temperature was 101.5 so off to the doctor we go. They do a test on her and it is positive. The dr. was very concerned because she is 3 months old. He tells me all the warning signs of when I would need to take her to the hospital. The main thing is that she needs to stay hydrated and avoid major congestion. It also was a little scary when I asked the doctor how old is youngest confirmed case was this year and he replied he'd seen one 11 month old, but Mary was the youngest so far.
She cannot be given tamiflu unless her fever continues for more than 3 days.
Saturday, she does not have a fever, but is incredibly fussy. She didn't want to eat or sleep which was a little scary. She was starting to resist nursing so I take her the ER on Saturday night along with tons of other flu patients. We get there and she is smiling wouldn't you know? We see a nurse in triage and I decide she is fine rather than waiting for countless hours.
Sunday, she is great and starting to see more like herself. Mike is also feeling better by this point. We decide to get out of the house and went to "Big Shucks" our favorite local catfish place. We sit on the patio for all the germaphobes out there! We are the only people on the patio at the time. Ellie and Anna are still abounding with energy and no symptoms. I am so glad that I've already had it cause if we we would have both been sick it would have been really rough.
Monday morning comes and Anna is sitting on the couch. She comes to me with vomit all over her. She is not warm, but I can tell she is a little congested. I had to take Mary back to the doctor for a follow-up visit. Also, her fever has returned along with the watery eyes etc... I'm beginning to get a little discouraged cause she was doing so much better. I figure I might as well get Anna tested as well. We get to the Dr. and we now have a "special" waiting area since they know we have the flu. Anna vomits in the waiting area and poor Mary is not feeling well. Dr. Morchower sees me and says "Oh Gosh". It was like he knew instantly what was about to occur.
He gives me a prescription for Mary of tamiflu and Anna tests positive. We head to the pharmacy with 3 prescriptions cause he goes ahead and puts Ellie on tamiflu as well as a preventative. You have to go to a compounding pharmacy to get liquid tamiflu cause they don't make it except for in pill form. We have a compounding pharmacy really close to our house so it worked out well during all of this ordeal. I give all three girls their meds and at this point Anna feels awful. Her fever is 102.7. She sleeps for 4 hours that afternoon.
I lay down with Ellie and she is a wreck. She is so upset that everyone is sick and that she can't do anything like Preschool, church, playgroup etc... I ask Ellie if she wants to do somehting fun with mommy that night and she says in this super sad voice "you take me to the pumpkin patch"? I took her to dinner that night and to do some errands. We saved the pumpkin patch for when Anna could go as well. They all take a long nap which was glorious!
Mike watches Anna and Mary that night. After, two doses of tamiflu Anna and Mary are doing great! It worked almost instantly. Anna no longer had a fever and was running around. Her swine flu ordeal lasted all of 5 hours. Mary is also doing great.
Ellie has still not gotten it and I think she is in the clear. She's been such a trooper during all of the boredom in spite of not knowing what was really going on. Here's a few things I've learned during this whole ordeal in no particular order.
* I am so glad that our pediatrician is 5 minutes away from our house and how important it is to really like and trust your doctor. He was amazing and told me to call with any questions over the weekend. He also really monitored Mary by seeing her 3 different times just to check her out.
* I've learned that for the most part the body is very resiliant and it is pretty difficult to catch the flu in most cases. Of course, it was easy when we all live together every day. However, no one at my girls weekend caught it and no one in our community group got it even though Mike and I both were contgious when we were around them.
* I am so glad that I am breastfeeding Mary. The Doctor kept reiterating how important it was for her immune system and it was the best thing I could do for her. So even though she's yet to take a bottle and it has been 4 long months of nursing her exclusively I know God had a plan for it.
* I've learned to not live in fear. There was only one point where Mike and I were pretty scared for Mary, but he told me we have to give her up and know that God has ordained her days.
* I learned that having sickness in a family for even 2 weeks is stressful. There was no one who could help us cause they would get it and it was pretty hard to not have any family in town.
* I will not stop my life. My kids will be back in the church nursery and at preschool. Of course, they are immune now except for Ellie, but she must have quite the immune system. I realized how much I missed community and friends. I cannot determine when or where they will get sickness from, but just have to trust that we can handle whatever comes our way.
* I learned that the swine flu was not that bad at all in our situation. I can see how it could get bad really fast especially if you had a cold prior to getting it to where it really went to your lungs.
*One thing that was really a bummer was that it was staggered in our situation. I kept Ellie and Anna home from preschool and church for almost 2 full preschool weeks even though they were not sick just to make sure they didn't carry any of the flu back to school. The Dr. kept telling me if they don't have a fever and are not positive for the test then send them. I just couldn't risk it for other people. Anna will get to go back next Tuesday and Ellie went back today. She was so excited and did great!
* I learned more about compassion. I had one friend who called every day during the whole time we were confined to the house. I knew no one could come see us, but just to have someone to talk to was so encouraging each day. We also had a sweet friend bring us dinner that was so yummy. I was capable of cooking, but just to have a little break and for someone to think of you was really sweet! I want to be more like that with others.

All in all I'm glad it is over and that normal life can resume on Sunday, but we did learn alot through it all. God was so faithful to us and answered many people's prayers to keep sweet Mary healthy. Thanks for all your prayers! Hoping for a healthy rest of the year!