Wednesday, October 31, 2012


We had a busy Halloween. At school Sanaa had a Harvest party and her teacher asked that all the kids wear western attire. I was surprised at how few kids wore anything western related in Sanaa's class. But at least Sanaa had fun. I was able to convince Sanaa to let me put two braids in her hair for something different and Layla wanted the same hair style today.

I love this picture of Sanaa and Layla hugging. They fight so much right now that to have a sweet picture like this makes my heart melt.

A shot of Layla's shirt and her braids (which are a little hard to see).

In the evening we dressed all three kids up and drove over to Newberg to trick or treat along the Main Street businesses. I did this last year with the girls and my mom and it was so nice to just walk from business to business that we decided to do it again this year. This year Nate and my dad got to tag along as well. The girls had fun and were not shy about walking up to store employees and asking for candy. They each came home with quite a bucket full!

Our butterfly, princess, and puppy dog.

After trick or treating we went to my parents house to eat pizza and hang out with uncle Ryan, aunt Karen, and cousin Ariana. Ariana sure was cute in her pumpkin outfit!

Ariana and Malakai. Malakai looks huge next to Ariana. Ariana is 10 months old and Malakai is 4 months old!

Malakai laughing at his sisters who were working behind the camera to get Ariana and Malakai to smile.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Malakai begins eating solids

I honestly did not want to start Malakai on solids yet and that was purely out of selfish reasons because I didn't want to clean up after a third child. It's so much easier to just nurse Malakai and then go on about the day. The doctor also wasn't going to push introducing solids and even told me that once Malakai turned 6 months I still didn't have to start. As long as he was getting enough when I nursed him then it was fine to wait on introducing solids. 

Well, Malakai has other ideas about that. This week he has been extremely hungry. He's literally been nursing every 2 - 2 1/2 hours and waking at least 3 times during the night. I'm plumb worn out. He's also started biting me out of frustration when nursing so I can only assume he is not getting his fill.

This evening we visited my parents and I nursed Malakai while we were there. Roughly an hour after nursing Malakai we headed home and he cried the entire way (a good 30 minutes). I nursed him again after getting home and he was satisfied for about 5 minutes and then started gnawing at his hand. So I made him some oatmeal.

Below you'll see how his first feeding went. He inhaled the oatmeal. Hopefully he'll sleep better tonight.

His first bite.

"Ooo. Hurry mom!"


"Maybe if I chomp down on the spoon I'll get more cereal."

"Here daddy. Let me guide your hand."

"I think there's a little bit on my hand I need to eat."

This isn't the best picture but I liked how he kept grabbing Nate's hand as Nate fed him.

I guess it's good that I've been slowing making baby food and storing it in the freezer. I wasn't planning on beginning solids this early and we'll probably just stick with oatmeal for a time. You'll notice the girls weren't in any pictures and that's because they were in bed when we fed Malakai for the first time. They'll have plenty of opportunity to help feed him in the months to come (and plenty of opportunity to fight over who gets to feed him!).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

And the curtains came tumbling down

Have you ever been so angry with your child that all you could do was walk away? I have. It happened yesterday. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how Layla has figured out how to climb up onto the window sill from her crib. She did it twice and then stopped (at least as far as I'm aware) until yesterday when I heard a lot of noise coming from her room during nap time. I checked on her and found that she had been sitting on her window sill (at least that's what she told me with her limited vocabulary) and the curtains came down. I was able to get the curtains back up and tucked her in bed hoping she'd fall asleep now. Nope. She continued to play. An hour later she unplugged everything in her room and then started kicking at her door while yelling for me.

This time I opened the door and discovered she had pulled the curtains down a second time. I was mad. Very mad. The curtain rod was bent and the screws had literally been pulled out of the wall. (The previous owners had installed all the the curtain rods and hadn't used those plastic screw support things that you pound into the wall before using a screw.)

I took this picture and then walked away. Layla knew I was mad and followed me out to the living room where she hugged me and said, "I sorry mommy. Sorry mommy." It's hard to stay mad for too long when you hear that.

Once I calmed down I went back to the girls room to fix things. I started by taking Layla's crib apart. It's currently in multiple pieces in our dining room awaiting a new home somewhere in our garage. Then I pulled out the trundle bed and placed Layla's crib mattress on the trundle bed. The crib mattress isn't long enough to cover the entire trundle bed and since there are slats that little arms and legs can get stuck in I used the pad from our pack 'n' play to cover the rest of the trundle bed.

Here is the view from the doorway after the room had been rearranged.

This is the view from the other side of their room (I'm standing in their closet.)

The girls think the new room setup is awesome. Sanaa thanked me for her "pretty new room." For now, the room will stay this way. I had thought about buying a second twin mattress but their room is so tiny that  to pull the trundle bed all the way out would not leave much room for walking. So at some point we'll end up purchasing bunk beds for the girls. However, I don't plan to make that purchase until next summer at the earliest. Layla has too much monkey in her and I don't need her playing on the top bunk and then falling off.

And here is a picture of Malakai hanging out in his exersaucer. I thought I'd include this just because.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sanaa goes to the hospital

One of the stories we read around here often is Curious George Goes to the Hospital. We read it a few days ago and when I was thinking about a title for this blog post Curious George popped into my head.

On Saturday I wrote about Sanaa getting sick again and unfortunately she went downhill Saturday night and Sunday. On Sunday she was unable to keep food or liquid down and threw up anything I gave her. She also stopped peeing so I called the on-call pediatrician for the weekend (it turned out to be our pediatrician!) and she said to take Sanaa to the ER to get treated for dehydration. Our pediatrician was also a little worried about Sanaa possibly having appendicitis since her vomiting had started on Wednesday, stopped, and then returned on Saturday. Sanaa's symptoms were not following a typical stomach bug. Thankfully Sanaa did not have appendicitis and it was just a stomach bug.

So Sunday evening around 6pm I headed to the ER with Sanaa. We had a long wait. She threw up twice while we waited to see the doctor and finally around 8:30pm she was seen. They started an I.V. and took some blood samples. I knew getting the needle in Sanaa was not going to be fun but they used numbing cream on Sanaa's arm so that the needle poke wouldn't hurt too much. But Sanaa screamed and let the nurses have it anyway as they tried to get the I.V. in. It looks like Sanaa might be cursed with bad veins just like me and my mom. Maybe as she grows she get lucky and her veins will develop better but the nurses did have a hard time finding a vein.

They started the fluid and gave her some Zofran through the I.V. as well. She watched some tv and dozed off and on. Her first I.V. of fluid was done around 9pm and we waited to hear what her lab results were like. Just before 10pm the doctor came back and told me that he wanted to start a second bag of fluid which finished around 10:45. He also told me she had a high acid level due to her dehydration and her white blood cell count was high. The high white blood cell count is often due to an infection but can also occur when someone is dehydrated. It was also at this point that the ER doctor mentioned it might be a good idea to keep Sanaa overnight for observation.

The ER doctor talked with our pediatrician and caught her up on everything they had done for Sanaa. Both doctors could go either way in regards to sending Sanaa home or keeping her overnight. But they seemed to be leaning towards keeping her for the night because she had been so dehydrated. I agreed to have her stay since I didn't want to take her home and have her refuse food and liquids and potentially throw up again.

We waited in the ER for another 30-45 minutes while they got a room ready for Sanaa in the pediatric unit and I met the pediatric doctor who would be taking care of Sanaa. Around 11:30pm Sanaa was wheeled upstairs and her new nurses took her vitals, showed me around the room, and helped get Sanaa situated. By midnight we were settled in our new room for the night and Sanaa was asleep.

It was not a restful night. Sanaa slept very fitfully and woke 3-4 times. She hated the I.V. in her arm, was thirsty, and just couldn't get comfortable in her bed. Around 7:30am she started to whimper and cry. Her day time nurse arrived and came in just as I was helping Sanaa to the bathroom.  Once Sanaa went to the bathroom she seemed a little better. Her doctor came in around 8am and said she wanted to keep Sanaa until the afternoon since Sanaa hadn't eaten anything and had had very little to drink. The amount of fluid coming from her I.V. was decreased so my job for the day was to encourage Sanaa to eat and drink.

Sanaa ordered a pancake and scramble eggs for breakfast. She had 3-4 bites of the pancake but did not like the eggs at the hospital. She also had some apple juice and tiny bit of milk to drink. She really liked her lunch. She ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and chocolate ice cream.

I finally got a smile from my girl and knew that the fluids from her I.V. were working their magic.

This was at the end of the day when Sanaa was tired of being in the hospital and ready to go home. She got to watch tv all day but never could get comfortable because she had a splint on her arm to keep her from bending her elbow so the I.V. wouldn't get pulled out or pinched.

Around 3:30pm the doctor returned and since Sanaa had been able to drink and eat small amounts without throwing it up she was ready to discharge Sanaa. The nurse came in to take Sanaa's I.V. out and Sanaa screamed and kicked her legs. I was not prepared for that but held her down while the nurse removed the tape and took the needle out. I think part of Sanaa's screaming was due to the fact that she was extremely tired and ready to be done with the hospital. I got her discharge papers, packed up our stuff, and Sanaa was wheeled out to our van in a wheel chair.

So what were Nate, Layla, and Malakai up to? They were stuck at home since I had left with the van and taken all the carseats. Last night I had fully intended on coming home and was not prepared to spend the night in the hospital. Thankfully I had a fair amount of milk in the freezer but Malakai was one hungry boy during the night. Around 9am Nate informed me that Malakai had gone through 12 ounces during the night and only had 4 ounces left. He woke up twice to eat during the night. I was not expecting that. I had nursed Malakai before leaving and honestly thought he would only wake up once since that was his new pattern. And if he did wake up 8 ounces for one night should have been fine but apparently not.

The hospital gave me some breast pumps so I was able to pump while at the hospital and they stored the milk in a fridge for me. Our Children's Pastor from church was kind enough to come to the hospital, pick up the milk, and take it to Nate. Then around lunch time one of the moms from Sanaa's preschool (Cole's mom) came over and watched Layla and Malakai while Nate came to the hospital to visit Sanaa and pick up more milk. All in all, Malakai ended up eating 26 ounces in approximately a 20 hour period. I have no idea if that is normal amount since I nurse but it seems like a lot to me.

I am extremely grateful for the prayers and the help we received from friends at church and friends at Sanaa's school. I hope we never have a repeat of the past 24 hours but if we do I am aware that we have many friends around us who will immediately drop what they are doing to help us.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sanaa is sick (again) and Layla doesn't stop moving

Yesterday Sanaa was nearly back to her normal self. Her appetite was coming back and she was full of energy. This morning she woke up and didn't want her breakfast. She was also complaining of her tummy hurting. She ended up having diarrhea so we skipped swimming lessons and watched a Curious George movie. She steadily went downhill all day. The poor thing tried to play but could only manage to laugh and smile while laying on the couch. She barely ate all day and ended up throwing up everything she ate late this afternoon. By dinner time she wouldn't budge from the couch and fell asleep. This was actually the second nap she took today. It looks like we'll be staying home from church tomorrow. 

Sanaa's self portrait that she drew at Bible study yesterday. I love the orange eye lashes!

And then there is Layla... She has been so full of energy lately and an appetite that doesn't stop. I caught her under the table this afternoon eating her third mini muffin and holding a lollipop she had found. If I leave the kitchen I'll come back and find her scrounging around in the fridge.

Tonight she was running around the house yelling, "Catch me mommy. Catch me!" Her vocabulary has just exploded. We are hearing 3 to 4 word sentences from her and she is literally copying everything we say. Last night when Nate arrived home she asked, "How work daddy?" Very cute!

But she does still like to be a baby and often wants a turn in the baby swing after Malakai is done. I can't believe she fits in it.

I took this picture last week. She wore two dresses that each had a tutu on. It made for a lot of fluff! I did take her to church like this. I've decided to not fight the girls on what they wear. They have fun expressing themselves and I want to them to feel accepted and loved no matter what their style of clothing is. Now as they get older I will demand that they wear clothing that is not skimpy or revealing. But as far as whether or not clothes match.... I won't fight them on that.

Malakai - 4 months old

Today Malakai is 4 months old. His personality is coming out more each day. He is starting to grab at toys and will kick his legs like crazy when I'm holding him. He giggles at his sisters and a couple of times Sanaa has gotten a big belly laugh from him. He coos a lot and sometimes will have a long "talk" with you. 

I can finally say that I think he is becoming a happier baby. His colic/reflux has not been as bad as the girls. I definitely have had some long, hard days but as I look back over the past 4 months I haven't cried nearly as much as I did when the girls were this young. So I can only take that to mean that Malakai is overall an easier baby or I've gotten much better at not letting the hard days distress me too much.

Over the past week Malakai has only woken up once during the night.  He will do an 8 hour stretch before getting up for a snack. Now if I would only go to bed when he did then I might get a good amount of sleep too! He isn't the best at taking naps. He takes short cat naps in the morning and that's probably because we're typically running around to different places. In the afternoon he'll take a good 2-3 hour nap (at least most days). Depending on when he gets up from his afternoon nap he is ready to go to bed at night somewhere between 6:30pm and 8:00pm.

He will only sleep on his tummy and started doing this shortly after he turned 2 months old. He has started to roll over more so many times I find him on his back when he wakes up. Sometimes he's not ready to wake up but he flipped himself over and that unfortunately woke him up. Unlike the girls, I can lay him down awake and most of the time he can put himself to sleep. I don't do this every time (because I really do enjoy rocking him since he is my last baby!). However, there have been many times that I knew he was tired but the girls needed me so I just laid him down. He would fuss but was often asleep by the time I had finished helping the girls.

Recently he has started to hold his own rattle and pull it up to his mouth to chew on. He is like Sanaa in that he will not take a pacifier but prefers to suck on two fingers. Currently the two fingers of choice are his middle finger and ring finger.

He is the only one lucky enough to have a baby swing. A very kind lady from our church gave us her swing that she was going to get rid of. At first I used it to help put him to sleep when he was really fussy. But now he likes to sit in it and watch what is going on around him.

He has also started to notice the toys on the swing and really concentrates at trying to get his hand to touch the toys.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Our week - sick days and rainy days

This week didn't go as planned. On Monday I really wanted to stay home and have a pj day and watch movies. But then I remembered Malakai had his 4 month check up first thing in the morning so that didn't happen. Luckily his appointment was before it started raining. 

Wednesday night (around 11pm) Sanaa woke up crying but wouldn't say why. Then she started acting like she was going to throw up. I scooped her and rushed into the bathroom where she did throw up into the toilet. Ugh. Nate rocked Malakai who had woken up because it was snack time for him while I threw blankets on the floor next to our bed to make a temporary bed for Sanaa to sleep on. I didn't want her sleeping in her room in case she threw up more. And it's a good thing I did that. She threw up one more time and then fell asleep. 

She slept all night. In the morning she was acting much better and was hungry. However, her tummy did not appreciate the small amount of food she ate and she threw up shortly after breakfast. I knew I had to keep her home from school Thursday but she was so mad at me. She repeatedly told me that she was fine and had to go to school. She said she was all done throwing up.  I tried to make the morning fun by letting the girls watch a bunch of tv and a movie. But in Sanaa's eyes that still did not make up for the fact that I had kept her home from school.... especially since it was her show and tell day. Thankfully I made up for it today by taking her to Bible study which she also enjoys.

Sanaa told me she needed to clean the deck while it was raining on Monday. She was out there for a good hour playing in the rain while Layla and Malakai napped.

Layla reading an alphabet book. She has started to recognize many letters and will correctly identify them. Malakai really wanted to see what she was talking about.

Tuesday Layla "helped" me put away groceries by stacking them nicely on the counter. She was very proud of her tower of cans and mac & cheese.

On Wednesday aunt Karen and cousin Ariana came to visit and spend a few hours with us. It was a lot of fun! When they left we walked them out to their car because Sanaa and Layla are in a phase where they need to watch people leave so that they can wave goodbye. As we walked out to the driveway I saw a piece of plastic that looked like a straw. I thought I should probably pick it up and throw it away but I was holding Malakai and didn't want to lean down. Then Sanaa took a stick to hit the plastic straw and lo and behold the straw moved!!!! It was a baby snake! The girls were fascinated. I didn't let the girls get too close because the baby snake was mad and actually curled up and would strike at things that came to close. Aunt Karen stuck her foot out towards the snake and it tried to attack her shoe. Now I've learned that out here in the Willamette Valley there are no poisonous snakes but I'm not going to let the girls know that right now because they need to learn to be very careful around snakes.

This is a picture that Sanaa took of the snake. It's the tiny squiggle in the middle of the picture. So you can see just how little this baby snake was.

Since I didn't get to have a pj day on Monday we all stayed in our pjs on Thursday when I kept Sanaa home from school. I think the girls really enjoyed the chance to play outside in their pjs.

This afternoon the girls painted their pumpkins that they picked out at the pumpkin patch last week.

Layla proudly showing off her colorful pumpkin.

Sanaa told me she was painting a rainbow on her pumpkin.

Sanaa also painted two red people, a yellow sun, some green grass and a blue sky on her pumpkin.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Malakai's 4 month check up

Yesterday morning Malakai had his 4 month check up. He won't officially be 4 months old until Saturday but we at least got his check up and shots out of the way. He received two shots and one oral vaccine. I had hoped that the visit to the doctor would wear Malakai out but he hardly napped yesterday and was quite fussy. I think his fussiness was most likely due to the shots.

Malakai is growing very well. He is currently 13lb 10oz (18th percentile), 24 inches long (25th percentile) and has a head circumference of 16 inches (48th percentile). I guess his big head is the reason why the first hat I made him didn't fit! He currently wears 6 month clothing and started wearing some 6 month stuff around 3 months of age. At this point pretty much anything that is sized 3-6 month is too small. The only items he is still able to wear that is sized 3-6 months are his pjs but I think those are getting a little small as well.

He is still on his medication for reflux and spits up a lot. But the doctor is not concerned about that since he's still gaining weight at a good rate. The doctor did ask if I had thought about when to start solids and I replied that I'm in no hurry since that would mean I have one more kid to clean up after. Ha! The pediatrician said there is no rush and recommends waiting until 6 months anyway. So for now I'm holding off on the solids. If I get to the point where he has a full feeding and is still acting hungry then I might think about beginning solids. However, I do have quite a bit of milk in the freezer that we can give him as well. 

With Sanaa and Layla I couldn't wait to start feeding them solids but this time around I'm more than happy to hold off and wait for awhile. It's honestly hard to believe that he's old enough that I could start him on solids if I wanted.

I worked hard to get him to smile one evening while Sanaa and Layla were taking a bath and he absolutely refused to smile.

Malakai does enjoy the outdoors. In the late afternoon I can sit him outside on our patio in his bouncer while I cook dinner and he will happily looked around at things and watch his sisters run around the backyard. I took this picture a week or so ago before it started raining. Now the grass is quite wet (even though today is sunny) so it might be a few months before he gets to lay in the grass again.