Friday, December 31, 2010

H-appy New Year!

I'm writing this in between two of Kyle's fever induced crying fits tonight so I'll keep it short, but as we once again celebrated New Year's Eve with a spread of delicious Trader Joe's snacks and appetizers, it seems only apropriate to wish everyone a very h-appy new year!

Enjoy 2011 everyone (and please let it be less stressful and expensive than 2010!)!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Here is Caitlin eating her first Christmas lunch.

 
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And here is Kyle.



Looking back at those photos I can hardly tell them apart, it's hilarious!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ah yes, thanksgiving. A lot of people wonder why we as Brits celebrate thanksgiving. Well know we have an bona fide American in the family wonder no more!

My turkey is in the crock pot, and my dessert is made. All is good.

Now I just have to try and keep John from buying a house full of junk tomorrow...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

6 months and it's been a ride!

So - I know I've been really bad at posting. The thing is I post on Facebook so often, and on Twitter too - I wonder who really reads this that doesn't see my Facebook/Twitter posts too.

Anywho...

It's been a busy few weeks as always! Kyle turned 6 months and started solid food. He also has two teeth so far which has certainly been interesting!

Halloween also came and went (and yes I turned another year older), although Caitlin almost didn't make it to go trick or treating since she was fighting a cold all week.

Here they are in their costumes - I couldn't get one of them together!





I've also been trying to use my cloth diapers more. In addition to the ones I already use, I decided to try and make some of my own. I got this fabric online and couldn't resist, even though it was only enough to make two diapers. These are my favorite!



I don't think I have much of a future in it but it's certainly cheaper than buying the real thing. I'll probably make a few more as he gets bigger and outgrows the ones he has.

And speaking of getting bigger - yes Kyle is still way above that 97th percentile line for both height and weight. We go in there and I'm sure that this is going to be the time where finally he's not put on as much weight, but no, he continues to pack it on. He's currently wearing 18-24 month pajamas which has taken some getting used to!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kyle at 4 months

Ok he's going to be 5 months next week but he had his official 4 month check up this week.

So at almost 5 months he weighs just under 21 pounds and is 27.5 inches tall. Still well above the 97th percentile line on the little chart!

He also started solid foods this week, beginning with rice cereal. He is a born natural at the solid eating game, he took to slurping off a spoon right away. I was quite surprised but happy too, because Caitlin hated spoons for the longest time. Next up - apples!

He will have a follow up MRI in December to check on the progress of his surgery, but for now he's doing great. And he's allowed his first bath in 3 weeks tomorrow!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why Aetna is my new best friend

The bill for Kyle's surgery came today.

Drum roll please...

Wait for it...

$43,000. Actually it's $43,218.77.

No word on how much of that we have to pay yet.

Ouch.

Now where did Jeff leave that $1 bill?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bonus!

One bonus of Kyle's surgery is that he now loves lying on his tummy, something he hated until as recently as a few days ago. He rolled onto his front for the first time on that very morning, great timing there buddy! But since we brought him home he has been busy practicing and now refuses to lie any other way! Unfortunately that means he even wants to sleep that way which scares me so much I can't sleep at night...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My new obsession - broccoli cheese soup!

I've recently ventured back into the world of soup, with one of my favorites being broccoli cheese soup. Unfortunately this flavor is usually one of the most fattening, so I improvised my own lower fat version of it, which I thought I'd share.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 an onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups fat free half and half
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup shredded 2% sharp cheddar
Grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Sauté the onions and carrots in the olive oil until soft and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, mix in the flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring to avoid burning. Slowly add the half and half, then add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer then leave simmering for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli and the sautéed vegetables and continue to simmer until broccoli is soft.

Blend using an immersion blender, or in batches in the blender, and return to the pot. Stir in the cheddar and add salt and pepper to taste.

Voilà! Serve with some nice crusty white bread.

I haven't found a low fat alternative to the butter yet, as I don't like using products that are filled with chemicals, but it's not that much divided over 4 portions.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Side effects

A rather unfortunate side effect of spending so much time in Lincoln Park over the last week has been my new found determination to find a way to move back to the city. I can't help it, I just love being there. I don't know how, or when, but I'm going to do it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Homeward bound - hopefully

Its Sunday morning and it's been a long few days.

Today Kyle should hopefully get to come home, so long as he tolerates being held to feed this morning, which we will be starting shortly.

I'm looking forward to being back in my own bed, with my own shower! And eating a meal that isn't McDonalds - what is up with a childrens hospital that only has food available from McDonalds the majority of the time?!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

To Disneyworld and beyond!

As a last minute treat before Catie goes back to school, we decided to hotfoot it down to Disneyworld in Orlando last weekend. We had a great time, as you can see in the photos below. We also spent an afternoon at SeaWorld and a day at Animal Kingdom.







Kyle also went on his first ride, which was a Buzz Lightyear themed indoor ride, I got into trouble for taking this photo (they stopped the ride!).



While we were at SeaWorld we saw the Shamu show, which was pretty cool. We had quite good seats, but I took more video than photos. Here's one of 'Shamu' though!



We also went on a 'safari' at the Animal Kingdom, and saw some pretty cool animals including elephants and giraffes.



Catie starts 1st grade on Monday so there should be new shots to come. And Kyle has his surgery scheduled for September 9th so stay tuned for updates on that.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

And a quick apology...

To all who have commented recently, I didn't realise! I will rectify that immediately!

Busy days!

Kyle's had a busy week - he started off Monday having some tests done in preparation for his upcoming surgery.

He was a complete champ while having his bladder and bowel functions tested, especially compared to how he fared in a similar test a couple of months back. He also behaved excellently during his muscle test, which he passed mostly with flying colors, with the exception of some left leg laziness, and some mommy/tummy time laziness...oops!

The rest of the week didn't go so well, both Kyle and I have been laid up with a cold, which has become bronchiolitis for Kyle. He's doing much better today, thanks to the insanely noisy nebuliser I had to have delivered yesterday and treat him with every 4-6 hours. He only had to be on it for a day and I had to buy this honking great thing! What a waste! But he's doing better which is all that matters. He's also weighing in a whopping 17lbs 9oz, which while still massive, has put him a little lower on the percentile chart. He's at 97 rather than above it, but it's a start!

So it should only be a week or two before we have the untethering surgery scheduled. I will be glad when it's all over.

And Kiki starts school in 3 short weeks! Where has the time gone! School supply shopping will be starting as soon as the sales tax holiday starts next week. The hunt for weird named pencils begins once again...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Kyle gets a workout!

 


Kyle has been busy on the super cute baby gym that Auntie Erin gave him. He loves it!

We had to pare down all the attachments as he gets easily over-stimulated but he's enjoying what's on there right now. Of course his favorite piece is the trusty old 'baby in the mirror'. He has been caught more than a few times in recent days flirting with himself in his carseat mirror!
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Friday, July 9, 2010

And speaking of gestational diabetes...

Look at this monster - no wonder he was 10lbs!

97th percentile? Eek!

Kyle had his 2 month checkup this week.

Drum roll please...16lbs 3oz, and 25 inches long! Which puts him squarely in the 97th percentile for both height and weight. Frankly I'm shocked. I understood when he was born big with the gestational diabetes and all, but he isn't showing any signs of slowing down! If he continues on the same track, he'll be a good 23lbs by 6 months, and as many as 29 inches. Yikes!

Which isn't exactly why we did this, but on Monday we bought a bigger car. We traded in my beautiful Escape and John's cursed Fusion and got a fabulous Ford Edge. It's glittery and everything! Here she is...



Going to one car is a bit of a sacrifice, but all of the medical bills we've had this year have done a bit of a number on our savings so having one less car to pay for is going to be a big help. So far we've managed fine, and it should get easier once Kiki is back in school in the fall.

But I do miss my Escape...here he is for old time's sake...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Kyle update

Last week we met with Kyle's neurosurgeon who scheduled a bunch of tests that he needs to have done before we can schedule his surgery. It should be sometime in August, so I will keep you updated on that. He's still not showing any signs of any problems so we're hoping that the surgery will be more preventative than anything.

Kiki has been enjoying her first week of summer camp, she has been swimming everyday which meant I had to go buy her a bunch more swimsuits! They have a field trip to the Wheeling Waterpark this week which will be interesting...

In other news, we are signing another year's lease this week so we will be staying put for another year at the minimum. We're a little sad to not be going to Texas but it just didn't work out. With all the work Kyle needs it's probably for the best anyway. So here's to next year!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The not so good news...

Last night the doctor called me to say that Kyle does have tethered cord syndrome. So now we have to move onto the next step, which is meeting with the neurosurgeons and then having the eventual surgery done.

Tethered cord syndrome basically is where the spinal cord is attached to the spine, instead of being 'free-floating' as it should be. At this age there shouldn't be any side-effects but as he grows older the attachment of the spine could cause several irreversible problems so it's good that it was caught at this early age, giving us a chance to correct it before any damage is done.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tethered_spinal_cord_syndrome

It's been quite a stressful few weeks. I'm still a little in shock about it all to be honest, especially since it didn't show up on any of the endless tests I had done while pregnant. The thought of having to put your baby through surgery, and neurosurgery at that, is not a nice one.

On the bright side, Kiki started summer break today! Although it is raining, so it's going to be summer break, English-style, which basically means being stuck inside all day. Boo! I'm still debating whether to enroll her in the park district day camp which starts next week, but I'm leaning towards yes right now!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A few things...

So it's been a busy couple of weeks.

Kyle had his 1 month check up, where the doctor decided he probably has reflux (which explains all the feeding issues), and he weighed in at a healthy 12lbs 12.5oz. He went for his MRI today, which he handled like a champ. He also got weighed again for the anesthesia, and is now 13lbs 4oz. We won't have any results on the MRI for a few days.

Here he is resting up at home. He's pretty conked out right now!



Today is also Kiki's last day of kindergarten. It's quite amazing to see how much she has grown in the last year, I knew school would have a big effect on her socially and intellectually, but I didn't realise she'd change so much physically too!

Here she is on her first and last days of school.



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quick 4 week update

OK it's only been 2 days since my last post but it's been a busy 2 days.

Kiki's field day was cancelled for rain yesterday, and today she has been diagnosed with strep throat. So she is going to be home for the next couple of days, and will miss her first ever field day which is really a shame. But she's feeling better already since she got to stay in bed and watch movies for a few hours.

On top of which, Kyle's spinal ultrasound came back showing some areas of concern so he has to go for an MRI now, for possible tethered cord syndrome. And of course, I am having a major ordeal trying to get Children's Memorial to sort their stupid referral department out, as I seem to do every time I have to get something scheduled. Why do doctors have to make everything so difficult sometimes? Hopefully the MRI (when I eventually get an appointment) will come back fine, or we will have at least caught it early enough for it to not be a problem.

On the bright side, all the kidney tests that the two of them had done last week all came back great, and Kyle does not have urinary reflux! Woot!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

3 week update - a little bit late!

My apologies for the delay in posting Kyle's 3 week update, it's been busy around here!

No doctor's visit last week so there aren't any official stats, but I'm certain that our little monkey is well into the 11lb range by now. On the eating front, he's doing a lot better, and on the sleeping front too. He's only waking at around 1am and 4am now, since daddy discovered the wonder of the swaddle.

Now we started out with the Kiddapotamus swaddles, the ones with the velcro on them, I saw my friend Erin using them for her daughter and they looked awesome. In fact they were awesome, until Little Dude figured out how to kick his way out of one, and kick his way into being very upset. I ended up buying these amazing swaddle cloths from www.adenandanais.com, they are basically big muslin squares not unlike the 'diaper cloths' we used back in Europe for everything but diapering. John has become the master swaddler, he can pack this baby so tight in this blanket, it's like a magic spell. It literally is like a spell because the moment it goes on, Kyle falls asleep! I took a photo tonight of Kyle in his swaddle but it's not very clear. I'll try to take a better one once he's having a daytime nap in one.



In other news, we took Kyle to the beach for the first time this weekend. We have an amazing beach here in our village, here is a photo I took last summer of Kiki on our first trip there.



I didn't get any photos this weekend as it was a bit cooler down there than we anticipated so I was too busy trying to keep Kyle warm! Hopefully we will be back down there soon enough.

Tomorrow Kiki has her first 'field day' at school so me and my Flip camera will be in action down there, stay tuned for that. And of course Kyle's 1 month birthday is almost here...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kyle's 2 week birthday update

Kyle had his 2 week checkup yesterday, and amazingly he has put on almost a pound and half in the last 9 days, to weigh in at a colossal 10lbs and 11 oz! He is outgrowing everything we have, from clothes, to swaddles, to bottles. It has been quite an adventure having a baby that weighs the same at 2 weeks as your other child did at 2 months but we're getting used to it!

This week has been quite difficult, as we struggled with breastfeeding and sleeping. But the pediatrician had some great ideas on how we can get the sleeping down, and the switch to formula is getting better as the week progresses.

On Wednesday Erin and Sonia took the long drive up to come and visit, which was great. It's so nice to have someone other than John or a medical professional to talk to! Sonia has just celebrated her first birthday (which was also Kyle's official due date!), and it reminded me of how quickly they grow up. It's been a long time since I did all of this with Kiki, so being around a one year old is good practice! Sonia is so well-behaved, I love spending time with her. She was smiling and goofing around for all the other customers while we were at lunch, it was a lot of fun. I'm hoping to post some photos this weekend from their visit so check back later.

I also got my driving privileges back yesterday which has been awesome! I have had to make sure I didn't get too ahead of myself and overdo it, just sticking to the supermarket and a quick run to Babies R Us today.

My flip video camera came this week so hopefully I will be able to get some video to post in the next few days too.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kyle's 1 week birthday update!

Today Kyle is a whole week old - it's hard to believe that just one week ago I was tied to a hospital bed with weird socks pumping the circulation around my legs and trying my hardest to keep a piece of white toast inside my stomach. I think the weirdest part of a c-section is the immediate recovery period, where you are basically incapacitated and reliant on strangers, who are witnessing you in your most undignified state!

Since we brought him home on Sunday we've been to the pediatrician, where he passed with flying colors, having already gained 2.5 oz since being discharged, taken him for his first Olive Garden lunch and picked up his birth certificate.

He's still breastfeeding well, and is doing a great job of holding his head up for a few seconds here and there. He's even got the beginnings of a roll going when he lays on his playmat!

Here he is enjoying his first bath...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Welcome!

Last week we welcomed baby Kyle to our family, and today we are welcoming our new blog!

We hope to make more of an effort to keep a record of what Kiki and Kyle are up to as they figure out how to be brother and sister, so stay tuned for news and fun stuff that they will hopefully get up to in the coming months!

First stop - Kyle's first doctor's appointment tomorrow...when we'll find out exactly how well breastfeeding has been going!

Friday, January 15, 2010