Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - I promised a video ...

I swear this was funnier it person, so funny my stomach hurt from laughing so hard.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's in the works ...

It's official. Levi is having a helmet made for him this week!

Here's the back story...

At Levi's two month check up, his pediatrician noticed the lack of rotation in his neck muscles and the prominent head tilt. Both of these movements were causing a flattening to one side of his head, which raised concern.

We decided along with Dr. Nold, to take Levi to a specialist so that measurements could be done and from those we could take any advice into consideration for the next step.

The specialist also had the same concerns that Dr. Nold had shared with us before. Although we aren't completely sure, we believe that Levi probably spent the last month or so in a "locked" position in utero. He could have been cramped for space, leaving his head tilted to the side that was more comfortable for him. After birth, it was quite evident that he was favoring the one side and wouldn't even look the other direction. Hence the diagnosis of torticollis. With his limited range of motion, it was recommended that we begin eight weeks of physical therapy.

We started physical therapy right away at the children's center at Johns Hopkins. PT has been great, Julie (our PT) has been amazing with Levi, and we have definitely noticed improvements. His rotation is much, much better and his neck muscles have strengthened a great deal for that to happen. Unfortunately, the tilt has not improved, which is still allowing him to favor one position only. Julie has helped me realize the other parts to torticollis that one may not think about. Because of his head positioning he seems to kind of "forget" that there is more to see to his left! Because of that, there was a chance that his motor skills could be delayed or even non existent on that side. Thankfully, he is using both hands equally and rolling over on both sides. There is no doubt that our little man is quite strong!

So here we are after months of therapy and the cranial specialist sees improvement and is overall happy with the results. Physical therapy has played a huge part and also the fact that Levi is now a belly sleeper and spending tons of time on his tummy strengthening those muscles!  But... with the help from a helmet, Levi could have a much rounder head shape in such a short amount of time. Since he is only four months old (five next week!) his head is still very pliable and would be quick at correcting any of the flattening concerns. :)

The big day will be September 11th. Levi will be fitted for his helmet and the specialist will make sure it's just the right fit. The appointment may take up to two hours to ensure that the helmet isn't too tight and is super comfy. After all, Levi will be wearing this thing 23 hours a day!

I'll keep y'all updated on the helmet... What it looks like, how it's going, how his heads doing... All that stuff! I had mixed emotions at first... Most of all, it was Levi's comfort that worried me. Also what other people may think... But now I am so happy to be moving forward with our decision!

And just so you know... His helmet will be baby blue with decals of some sort.  The hubs votes for decals that look like a hockey helmet. I am favoring sayings like "just fixin' my melon" or my most recent favorite, "I do my own stunts." We shall see ...

Stay tuned..... :)


Monday, August 27, 2012

Fun at the Beach

Last weekend the kids and I headed to Ocean City for a somewhat spontaneous trip to the beach.  It was a short getaway with Aunt Heather, Justin, Emily, and YaYa.  We stayed at my aunt and uncle's place, which was right on the ocean with a beautiful view!  

It just so happened to be Abby's birthday while we were there so we spent her special day on the boardwalk.  This was her first time riding "big girl" rides, other than the carousel.  Videos to come later, I promise.  Little Miss had a huge smile on her face and kept making us laugh so hard.  

We spent some time on the beach, although not as much as I had hoped.  It's a little different than it used to be, having two kids in tow.  Gone are the days of listening to music and catching up on "Fifty Shades of Gray" as the waves crash.  It's more like eyes glued on Abby running to and from the water and making sure Levi doesn't get stepped on in his mini tent.  But ... it was all worth it.  We had a great time!

While we were in Ocean City, I passed on a few traditions to Miss Abby.  Every summer when my family vacationed at the beach, it was a must to get Thrashers fries, Fishers popcorn, eat at Generals Kitchen, and have pictures (Scopes) done.  So we did it all.  We kept ourselves busy, free of our normal schedule and routine, and had such a fun time.

It was special spending Abby's birthday weekend with family.  I sure missed the hubs while we were on our mini getaway, but I know there will be lots of beach trips in our future.  :)


Friday, August 24, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Birthday to our Abigail Grace!

On the 18th it became official.  We have a 3 year old, which I am still trying to figure out where the time has gone since the day Abigail Grace was welcomed into this world.  It's gone by so fast, yet it's been full of so many wonderful milestones, events, and memories. 

Little Miss,

You are one amazing little girl.  Growing up way too fast, but developing quite the personality as time goes on.  You are smart, witty, and have a ton of questions about anything and everything.  You are full of love and want to be friends with everyone.  I love how you want to introduce yourself to new faces at the playground and you ask the kids to play with you.  You are a little social butterfly, making everyone around you smile and laugh.  The way you tattle tell on yourself makes me laugh, like this morning when you came out of my bedroom with "that look" on your face.  After asking what was wrong you replied, "nothing."  A few seconds later you added, "I put on your lip gloss Mom!"  You aren't very good at keeping secrets ... at least for now. 

Since you were a wee little baby, you have always loved music.  You are quite the entertainer now, playing your guitar along with the music, using your microphone to sing along to songs, and you dance around like you are owning a stage.  The creative side of you loves making arts and crafts.  Between entertaining, creating art, and being a little Mom, you are always keeping busy.  

You've recently started telling me you love me, at the most random times ... and there is nothing better than hearing the words, "I love you Mom."  It's those words that mean so much, in your quiet little girl voice, that make my job so rewarding.  :)

Happy 3rd birthday, Abigail Grace.  I love you bunches!

Mommy :)

Now onto the birthday party ..... 

We had Abby's birthday party (for the second year in a row) at Port Discovery.  
Abby was quite persistent that she wanted "Mickey party hats" so we had a Mickey & Minnie theme.

Lots of family.  Lots of friends.  Mostly {boy}friends. :)

Special times .... special memories!

Thanks to everyone who came!  Abby had a blast playing with her "buddies" and keeps saying "birthday party, AGAIN!"

Happy Birthday sweet girl! :)


Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Photo Dump

This week in photos ...
Levi had his first ride in the swing and absolutely loved it!  Jacob and Abby were little archeologists at the Science Center, looking for fossils and using magnifying glasses. 

 I took some much overdue "Mommy Time" and had a pedicure and my hair done.  

Abby and Levi share some kisses watching morning cartoons.  On one of our nightly walks, Abby fed the ducks.  Notice her stance, kind of looks like her Daddy pitching! 

 I also included some of Abby's pics this week ... she is really into taking pictures with my phone and is actually getting better.  She was able to snap a picture of her Daddy sleeping and a character from her favorite tv show.  So funny :)


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'm missing something ...

Do any of you Mamas out there feel like you're missing something? Control? Maybe. Mind? Probably. Sanity? Most likely. What about your superhero cape?

Have you ever stopped and thought about it? I think y'all would agree that being a Mom is like being some kind of superhero. All day long, you're required to have more than two hands, be able to multitask (in fact I'm feeding Levi as I type), and are expected to be in more than one place at one single time.

Doctors appointments, swim lessons, loads upon loads of laundry, cooking somewhat decent meals, changing diapers, feeding baby, playtime devoted to two children, keeping house somewhat tidy, catching up on phone calls, planning a third birthday party, getting crafty for a friends baby shower, walking around the city, and bed time routines. Oh yeah, a whiny toddler that should take a nap, but doesn't. Did I mention I can't even pee by myself? And don't forget I'm doing all these things on only a half nights sleep. Ugh.  Thankfully the offseason is right around the corner ...

I'm not complaining (I promise) but being a Mom is work. There is absolutely nothing in the world quite like it. I love being a Mom and wouldn't change it. for. anything. And to reward myself for getting through another day, I sit down with my cookies, milk, and book every night ... without feeling guilty.

Being a Mom is the best job in the world ... I just pray I can find my superhero cape by morning because I'm starting to go a little crazy. :)

And ... she says she is tired? Come on! 


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Healthy kids ... and for that, I am thankful.

Both Abby and Levi had routine checkups today with Dr. Nold, or as Abby so nicely calls him ... "Dr. Old." It's hard to believe that Little Miss had her 3 year checkup ... hard to believe that in just a few short weeks, I will have a three year old. Crazy! Little Man had his 4 month checkup while we were there. It's true what they say ... time passes more quickly once you have kids. I can hardly catch a breath, time is moving way too fast!

Abby did great and was helping Dr. Nold the whole time. She certainly was not shy and was ready for her checkup from the moment we walked into the office. Even after a shot, she held back the tears and just said "Ow, that hurt me!" and moved on with wanting to play doctor.

Levi was also a good sport about his checkup, although he was quite unhappy about his shots. Poor thing! We had several questions answered and are in agreement that Levi will most likely need to wear a helmet. I've been taking Levi to Johns Hopkins for physical therapy and have been extremely happy with our physical therapist. Ms. Julie has helped tremendously, giving us exercises and stretches to help with Levi's rotation and tilt of his head. I didn't realize torticollis could be such a tricky thing to correct. Levi is definitely making progress, but I'm not sure it's enough. He's at a great age for the helmet and it would help correct his flatness and ear asymmetry quicker than if we were to wait. I'll meet with the PT later this week and discuss the options we have.

So here are the stats on my lovies ...

Abby is weighing in at 34.5 pounds, putting her in the 50-75th percentile for weight. She is 37 inches tall (50th percentile) and is beautiful, sassy, and full of energy. :)

Levi is weighing in at 15 pounds 12 ounces, putting him also in the 50-75th percentile for weight. He is 27 inches long (95th percentile!!!!) and is handsome, cuddly, and full of smiles. :)

Greatest stat of all ... two happy, healthy children ... and for that, I am thankful!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Family fun :)

A couple of weeks ago, Jim's brother, wife, and their girls visited us in Baltimore. We had an action packed week that kept us quite busy. Although I must admit, they did a lot more than I could brave with just me and the two kiddos. (Jim was here but didn't have an off day while the fam was in town)

While they were here we visited the National Zoo in DC, took the water taxi all around, ate lunch at our fav spot, and the adults had a much needed night out!

Abby really enjoys spending time with her cousins. It's great catching up with them... Anytime we can! :)


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Visionary Arts Museum

We've been staring at the Visionary Arts Museum since moving into our Baltimore home earlier this season. Literally. It's our view from all windows. Luckily, the three buildings that belong to the museum are pretty to look at ... One building is covered with colored glass shapes and designs, the other two displaying the words "O Say Can You See," and "LOVE" on old, brick facades that light up at night.

So yesterday I decided it was time to walk through this museum to see inside the place we see everyday. The artwork was quite different, some really neat, others way "out there!". Definitely an experience.... The kids behaved and YaYa (my sis) joined us!

My favorite by far ... this piece of art was created out of paper plates.  

Top left: Faces created out of small styrofoam cups.  
Abby wanted to pose with the giant egg outside.  
Mommy had some fun with Abby and Levi in the crazy mirrors ... Look at those legs!
Bottom right: Hard to see but the sign reads "The house was clean yesterday, sorry you missed it."  My new motto. :)

Abby and a pony? Donkey? Who knows.
Meet "Fifi."  Huge, oversized poodle used in the big art race here in Baltimore.

And last but not least.  Abby's favorite.  She saw this and started to giggle.  She quickly observed that he "had no panties."  Gotta love it!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Happy 4 months, Levi! *a day late*

Four months old.  Already?  Seems too quick.  This is the conversation that replays in my head every day ... and it's this conversation that reminds me to enjoy every moment, even the ones that exhaust or frustrate me.  Time is too precious ... and so is this handsome little man.

Levi has excellent head control and is super strong for being just four months old.  Sometimes I can't believe the things he is doing ... way before Abby ever did.  Levi is enjoying tummy time and swatting for toys on his playmat.  He has been rolling over from tummy to back since about two weeks old.  Crazy, I know ... and he started rolling over from back to tummy about three weeks ago.  It was a random middle of the night milestone that didn't repeat itself right away.  But now he is moving all over the place and rolling over quite often!

Levi smiles, giggles, and coos all. the. time.  He's getting quite the personality, probably from watching his sister who is full of energy, imagination, and love.  Abby is doing much better with her little brother and loves to be Mommy's helper ... with everything.  Levi loves snuggling with his Mama and it makes me so feel so blessed to have such a healthy, happy, sweet boy!

With Abby, we were just starting cereal about this time ... but I went ahead and started carrots and sweet potatoes a few days ago.  Levi loves both so far and seems happy to be "eating" real foods, even though he really isn't eating a whole lot.  We're just kind of playing with it, letting him experiment!

Sleep is getting much better.  We have awesome nights where Levi sleeps straight through for eleven hours.  Other nights, like last, are not so good.  Up at 1, 1:30, 2:30, eating at 3:30 and then up at 7.  Long nights.... but I'm lucky to have the great ones in between that leave me well rested.  Naps are getting much easier and slowly getting longer.  I love that Levi now realizes that nap time is in his crib and I can put him in drowsy, but awake and he will most likely go to sleep on his own.  Makes things much easier and not such a struggle!

Levi has his four month appointment this Tuesday, so I'll update more of his stats later this week.  I'm curious to see how tall he is ... he's already wearing nine month pajamas because his feet won't fit in six month anymore!  What a big boy! :)


Friday, August 3, 2012

It's a new thing ... Friday Photo Dump :)

Bubble time with Jacob!  Me and my lovies.  Levi's first ride in the big double stroller and I think it's safe to say he loved it!  Abby holding the phone to Levi's ear to say "hi" to Daddy. 

Levi and Abby love our nightly walks through the city.  Abby and Jacob take a minute to relax.  Levi smiles nonstop at his big sister ... he adores her and it's the sweetest thing ever.  Abby being silly at the baseball game.

I ask Abby to smile and this is what I get.  Nice.  Levi loving the Olympics... he doesn't want to miss a thing!  Miss Abby posing for the camera with a smile.  Close up of Little Man, courtesy of Abby's lovely photography skills.  Ha!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Some things never change...

Some things in this life are constantly changing.  The seasons.  Gas prices.  What clothes are in style.  But then there are some things that never change.  The rising and setting of the sun.  The fact that I love sweet tea.  Special friendships.

Today I was lucky enough to catch up with some of those special friends.  Friendships that were formed in college and even though life has taken us in different directions, it's still like no time has passed.  

Even though it may not feel like it, we know time has been racing by.  Weddings, anniversaries, new homes, babies .... things surely have changed since our college days.  However the one thing ... and the most important thing that has never changed, is the friendships that we formed.  Special friends ... special times ... special memories.

Carlizzle, Lizzy, Sissy, & Linz
AKM Love :)

Look at all those cute kiddos!

Cole's facial expressions cracked me up.  Isn't he handsome?!

Nick & Drew, sweet sweet boys.  
They were so sleepy after playing with their buddies!

It was great catching up with you ladies ... 
Next time, be prepared ... no kids, AKM shirts & Cabana Boy. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Things are about to get messy.

"Mama, what is this stuff?"

"I think I like it ... if only I could learn to keep it in my mouth, instead of on my face."

"Yummy carrots! Why have you people been holding out on me?"