My Baby Pianist

Monday, May 31, 2010

Here are a few other random pictures that I took while I had the camera out. I was really trying to get some good shots of those baby blue eyes!!

My Crazy Baby

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Well, despite everything that has been going on lately with the VUR, Emma has still been keeping us on our toes and continues to make us laugh everyday. Yesterday she developed a little bit of a heat rash that was worse today, so she spent the majority of the day playing in just her diaper. She has been sleeping in the funniest positions lately too, and today's nap was no different. I couldn't help but snap a quick picture of her and Daddy right when she woke up.

Check out that hair!! Even the little tiny bit that she does have can get messed up haha!!

Since Emma has been through so much lately and has had a couple really rough days, I bought her a little treat last week...cupcakes!! She wasn't quite sure what to think of them the first time, and I don't think she liked having the icing all over her hands, but she sure got the hang of it!

We are heading out tomorrow to do our little family photo session, so hopefully we will have some great pictures to share in a few weeks!!

One Year Ago Today...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ironically enough, one year ago today, I posted about waking up pretty miserable in the morning, not being able to get out of bed and just hoping to make it through the work day.

It's funny how so many things can change in one year, but yet so many things are still the same.

Reflux 'R' Us

We found out yesterday that Emma does in fact have VesicoUreteral Reflux (VUR). It was a long day, and it's a long story, but I will try to summarize it as much as I can here.

We headed off to Johns Hopkins Hospital bright and early yesterday morning for Emma's renal sonogram and VCUG procedures. I really can't say enough about how amazing all the doctors and nurses were and how they did whatever they could to make both Emma and Mommy and Daddy as comfortable as possible. The renal sonogram went really well. They dimmed the lights and allowed me to sit on the bed so that Emma could just recline (and climb all over) Mommy during the test to make her more comfortable. They even had Finding Nemo playing for her to watch, although she was more interested in all the buttons on the sonogram machine haha.

The sonogram showed that Emma did have two kidneys, they were the right size and shape and in the right position (apparently they move up higher in the abdomen after birth). Then it was off to the VCUG procedure and this one was a little tougher, partly because of our little stinker of a daughter. We had to strip her down and lay her on a table while they inserted a catheter to check her urine and to insert a clear dye that would help identify any reflux. The goal is to fill up the bladder so that the pressure inside the bladder is increased and take pictures as it fills to see if any urine travels back up the ureters towards the kidneys. Well, our little stink-pot kept urinating after they inserted the catheter so they kept having to start over! She did it three times! I guess because it was really the only thing should could do since we had to hold her down pretty still so the doctor could watch and manipulate the machine, so she was showing those doctors and nurses how happy she was about having this done! Finally they got the bladder full enough (we will get back to this in a minute) and we were off to go meet with the pediatric urologist. Overall, Emma did really well and was able to calm down immediately after the procedure. Although she did not want any of the nurses to walk within 5 feet of her after that.

While talking to Dr. "M" (the pediatric urologist) we were shown the pictures and got a great explanation of what VUR really was, how it is caused and our path forward. Dr M guesstimated Emma has having Grade 1 VUR which is the lowest kind, but he couldn't say for sure that it wasn't higher because of the little stinker urinating during the test so much. They weren't able to fill her bladder to the extent that would show the maximum reflux, so she was a minimum of a Grade 1 (on a scale of 1 - 5). For Grade 1 VUR, 90% of the children grow out of it within 5 years, that's the good news. The not-so-good news is that Dr. M thought that because she had a major UTI and because it took us three full days on antibiotics to crack that fever, that it actually caused a kidney infection as well. There are some other reasons as well that would take 3 pages to describe (based on antibiotics that were tested against the infection and the kind that she was given, etc) but he seemed pretty confident that she had a kidney infection as well.

So, Emma will be on antibiotics (more on that in a minute too) for a minimum of 2 years and will be scheduled for a DMSA scan probably next week. A DMSA renal scan is a nuclear medicine test that shows pictures of the kidneys and how they are working. Its a pretty non-invasive procedure but does involve an IV and sedation. It's similar to the VCUG where they will inject a radio-active material into her (her blood this time though) and it will attach itself to her urine and travel to her kidneys. Then it takes about an hour to take a lot of pictures of her kidneys to look for potential scarring. She will be sedated because she will need to lay perfectly still for an hour, and that just isn't going to happen if she is awake. The whole thing takes about 5 - 6 hours.

Assuming that Emma will not have any more UTIs, in 2 years, we will go through another round of VCUG testing and DMSA tests to see if she has grown out of the VUR yet and to see if there has been any additional damage to her kidneys (so this first DMSA will be our baseline to start from). If she has any other UTIs, I think things may change, but we are crossing that bridge if we get to it. This will have an affect on a couple of things as well, like how Emma is potty trained. We will have some more-strict instructions from Dr. M on how we need to do this when we get to that point, and we have to be more aware of things like constipation, which now could be bad for Emma (because it can cause UTIs which could then cause more kidney damage, etc). Any future children that Wes and I have will have a 40% chance of also having VUR, and Emma's children will have a 70% chance of having VUR as well. We talked with Dr. M for over an hour so I am sure there is a lot that I am missing, but that's really the gist of it.

Now onto the study. Johns Hopkins is involved, along with the US Government, in a study that is trying to find the best method of treating VUR. Children with VUR usually take a low dose of antibiotic once a day to prevent UTIs (which is called prophylactic antibiotic treatment). This doesn't stop the backflow of urine, but kills germs in the infected urine that does backflow to the kidney. New research suggests that if a child with VUR has close follow up with the doctor for every illness with a fever, a UTI can be treated early and kidney scarring can be prevented without the use of daily prophylactic antibiotics, and that's what this study is looking at, whether or not children with VUR need to take antibiotics or not. Dr M is leading this study and is one of the Top 5 pediatric urologist in the country so we jumped on the chance to have Emma participate in this study for a couple of reasons. We now have 24 hours, 7 days a week access to a pediatric urologist/nurse, we have additional screening and follow up visits every 6 months to more closely monitor Emma and her VUR and we have someone to call at 3:00AM when she wakes up with a fever and we don't know what to do and if it is VUR related or just something random that we picked up. If we ever go to the pediatrician or hospital for fevers, we now have someone calling ahead, explaining VUR and discussing the path forward with the doctors before we even arrive. We also have the hope that we can help find the best path forward for children with VUR and that means a lot to us given the percentages of our future children and grandchildren having VUR. The study will also cover the costs of VCUGs and DMSA scans, and Emma will get a check for $25 every 6 months haha. That's going right in the piggy bank and she is going to be able to spend that money on whatever her little heart desires!!

I think that is probably enough rambling on for now! Mommy had her freak out day yesterday, so my head is now back on my shoulders straight and we are moving forward with whatever we have to do to help keep our peanut healthy. More to come later when we find out the date and results of the DMSA scan, so stay tuned!!

Dreading Thursday

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We finally have Emma's follow up appointments from her UTI scheduled and it looks like Thursday of this week is the big day. We are scheduled for a Renal Sonogram at Johns Hopkins Hospital starting bright and early at 8:00AM, with her voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) test scheduled to begin at 9:00AM. Immediately after her VCUG procedure is complete, we head down the street to meet with a pediatric urologist to talk about the results. Luckily, there isn't any waiting involved and before we leave that day we will know (with 80% certainty) whether or not Emma has renal reflux, or anything else that may have caused her UTI.

The VCUG test is only about 80% accurate because it has a lot to do with timing. They need to have Emma do exactly what they need her to do within that hour that the test is happening. Based on the statistics from the hospital, about 6 - 8% of the general population has renal reflux, and we have about a 30% chance that Emma has it, which could be worse (at least that's what I am telling myself). She has a higher chance because of having the UTI so young. There are a lot of reasons why someone that is 5 or 6 can get a UTI, but those reasons don't typically apply to someone at this age, which is why the percentage is higher and additional testing needs to be done.

If it ends up that Emma does in fact does have reflux, it will be graded on a 1 to 5 scale; where 1 is slight and 5 is basically severe reflux that overfills the kidneys (I'm pretty sure it's not this serious). There isn't any sedation involved with is both good and bad because it's not really necessary, but it means that we are going to have one angry baby because of all the tests she has been put through lately. The sonogram takes about 45 minutes, and the VCUG test will take about an hour.

Please keep Emma in your thoughts on Thursday morning since she is going to have quite a rough morning.

On a side note, we did find out something interesting throughout this whole process. We were told that Emma is resistant to the antibiotic Ampicillin, which belongs to the penicillin group. This was pretty surprising given the fact that she has NEVER been on antibiotics until this UTI event.

Two More Teeth!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

We had a great weekend and Emma had a little surprise in store for us today, she had two more teeth pop through!! One on the top, on the left side of her two front teeth, and one on the bottom, on the right side of her two bottom teeth! I will have to get an updated picture once they grow in a bit!!

On Friday, Mommy and Baby spent the morning and evening together because Daddy had to go in early and stay late for work. Although we missed Daddy, I kind of enjoyed having my baby all to myself! It probably helped that it was a Friday!! She was so funny that night because she was in a really good mood!! I ended up putting a little bow in her hair for daycare that day because we (okay...I) got so bummed just seeing all these cute bows in her dresser!

Now I think we are hooked because she has had a bow in her hair ever since haha! I think she now knows that the bow adds an entire extra layer of cuteness, so she can get away with even more because Mommy is distracted by the cuteness overload. :)

As you can tell, we haven't quite finished baby proofing yet. :)

Updated Pictures!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

We had such a fun night tonight, that I couldn't help but take a few more pictures (because I don't have enough already haha). Since Emma has become SO incredibly picky about what she eats, we have basically been trying anything to get her to eat. When she is over this UTI, I think our actions will change and we will be a little less forgiving since she is old enough to now know that dinner is dinner, and Mommy isn't cooking 10 different meals until we find one that she will eat. But, until that day, we are doing what we can to find whatever it is that she will eat at any given meal.

One of the things we have tried is to have Emma feed herself more often. Tonight, we tried to just fill the spoon with her garden veggies, and let her have at it. It was pretty funny and wouldn't you know, she ate the whole bowl. :) We also have a video that I will try to post a little later. What you can't see, is the streak of garden veggies along the side of her head, on mommy's pants and all over Shamus.

Then I decided that since we were already a ginormous mess, why not go outside and get even dirtier!! :) Last time we tried to introduce Emma to grass, she wasn't a big fan, but this time, she conquered her fear! That's my girl!
I plopped her down on the ground and she immediately honed in on one of Shamus's toys (sometimes I wonder why we even buy her baby toys because she just wants to play with dog toys). She reached over, and touched the grass as if she was testing the water in the pool to see if it was cold or not.

I guess it was okay, because she gave it a go!

Then she decided that maybe it wasn't such a good idea, but boy did she want to get that Shamus toy!

So she gave it another go!

Still going....and going strong! Once she started, there was no turning back, no pausing, just shear determination!

After she got to the toy, she realized that it wasn't as exciting as she thought. So Emma charged over to the dirtiest spot she could find.

We thought "Oh look, she is playing in cute!" In reality, she just found a rock and put it right in her mouth! This coming from a girl who will refuse peach yogurt and strawberries, but darn it if she won't eat a dirty rock! Luckily Daddy was right there to save the day!

We decided that was enough excitement for the evening, so we were off to clean up my dirty little baby!

Ahh....there she is.

One Year Ago Today...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

With Emma's first Birthday rapidly approaching, I find myself thinking more and more about where we were in our lives one year ago. Just out of curiosity, I looked back through the blog and exactly one year ago today, was the first day I felt Emma have the hiccups!

Sitting at the same desk that I was exactly one year ago, I can still vividly remember exactly how those hiccups felt and how excited I was that morning. It seems so long ago. Those first set of hiccups, still make my day. :)

My baby...

  • My baby is turning 11 months next week.
  • My baby is getting bigger by the day.
  • My baby LOVES to stand.
  • My baby took a few steps last night from the ottoman over to the couch.
  • My baby has a cold.
  • My baby is very stubborn.
  • My baby laughs, a lot.
  • My baby has a temper!
  • My baby loves to refuse food.
  • My baby refused formula this morning but drank 4 ounces of water instead.
  • My baby is beautiful.
  • My baby is bald. :)
  • My baby is smart.
  • My baby LOVES her Daddy.
  • My baby LOVES her Shamus.
  • My baby LOVES to chase after Arby.
  • My baby still loves My Friends, Tigger and Pooh.
  • My baby is turning ONE in less that two months.
  • My baby's favorite stuffed animals are her pink bear and her little doggie "Oscar".
  • My baby points at everything.
  • My baby can say mama, dada, nana, duck and bye bye.
  • My baby is my angel.
  • My baby is my world.

Sleepy Baby + UTI = Priceless

Monday, May 17, 2010

My camera battery ran out just as I was heading upstairs to take a picture of Emma while she was sleeping. I have posted before about how she loves to sleep folded over, but this time was even better. She of course was folded over, but then tried to stretch out and ended up like this!

Swagger Wagon

Since this past weekend was such an emotional drain, it feels really good to laugh at things again. This was one of those things!

Never a Dull Moment

One thing that I have learned as a Mom, is that there is NEVER a dull moment after having a baby. We have been extremely lucky that Emma has yet to have even one ear infection, but boy has she had her share of illnesses! Between the H1N1, RSV, and the stomach virus, we have seen our fair share of her pediatrician's office and hospitals. This weekend was no different! I'll start from the beginning and will try to keep it short.

On Thursday morning, Emma was off to daycare like any other day. She was a little cranky in the morning but that really isn't anything new considering she is about to cut another tooth. Out of the blue, I get a call from daycare that she has a fever of 102.3. That's pretty high for Emma. So of course I call the Pediatrician and because we were heading into the weekend, they thought it was a good idea to come in and have her checked out, boy were they right. We had an appointment at 3:45. When I got to daycare I got really scared. Normally when I walk in the room to pick Emma up, her face lights up, she waves her arms in the air and then bursts into tears until I come pick her up. This time, she was cuddled in the corner, asleep in one of her teachers arms. She woke up as I was packing up her things and didn't move an inch. She never sat up, she never uttered a sound, cracked a smile, or even cried. She just laid there. Off to the doctors we went.

When we got to her Pediatricians her temperature was over 103. After talking to one of the doctors there (her doctor was out of the office all week) they really couldn't find what the problem was. Her throat was red, but not very red. Her right ear was a little red, but not red enough to be an ear infection. She had no runny nose. No diarrhea. She ate fine that day. Words were mentioned like meningitis, urinary track infection, roseola, etc. But nothing was conclusive and Emma could barely hold her head up. After about 2 hours and consultations with other doctors they decided to run some tests because if we ended up at the hospital that night, they would just do the same. Emma did not appreciate it and Mommy was almost in tears because of having to the person to hold her down. She first got a catheter (again) to check her urine. After waiting for the short dip test (which again showed that things weren't right, but not off enough to make a diagnosis), we were off to the lab downstairs for a CBC and blood test. When we got back to the room, Emma then got two shots of a general/broad antibiotic because there was something going on. We left after about 3 hours, and had very little answers. That night, Emma spiked a fever up to 104.8. Insert panic here. The only reason why we didn't run off to the hospital was because Emma was very alert and somehow, in a good mood at 2:00AM. After about an hour of Motrin, cold pedialyte and cool bath, we got her temperature back to a low 102. Yikes.

The next day, we were off to a follow up appointment, with a follow up two shots of antibiotics. Ouch. We didn't have much more information the next day but they again confirmed that it wasn't an ear infection or strep throat or anything respitory. I was really hoping that after her 2nd dose of antibiotics that this thing was kicked. Not. So. Much. We did get a call that evening though when it was confirmed that Emma has a Urinary Track Infection (UTI). Come again? That night, Emma once again spiked her fever up to 103.8.
The path forward was this. If Emma still had a fever by 6:00PM on Saturday evening we were told to go to the ER because at that point it would have been 48 hours since receiving antibiotics which should have brought the fever down. Luckily, we beat that requirement by the skin of our teeth, and Emma ended up kicking her fever that night, and hasn't had one since.

So now we are on 10 days of two doses of antibiotics per day. After that, we need to find out, or rule out, any reasons how she may have gotten the UTI. Until that time, Emma will be on a smaller dose of antibiotics daily. Next week, we will be taking her for a renal sonogram and a voiding cystourethrogram (sis-toe-you-REE-throw-gram), or a VCUG. The renal sonogram will show any kind of kidney abnormalities, like an extra kidney, a missing kidney, a swollen kidney, or a misshapen kidney, etc. The VCUG tests for something called vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) which is a condition where urine actually flows up from the bladder into the ureters. VUR is found in about 30% - 50% of children who have had a UTI, and is thought to increase the risk of kidney damage. Mild cases of VUR are treated by a small dose of antibiotics taken for several years, as children can eventually outgrow it. Severe cases are treated with surgery. So, I am waiting to freak out about those tests until next week. Right now, I am just happy to have my normal temperature-ed baby back.

I am sure there is a lot that I am missing in this story, despite being the longest post ever, but frankly I haven't slept well since last Wednesday and I feel very run down and am getting another cold. The only thing that I keep trying to remember is that Emma will not remember any of this. She will thankfully not remember screaming at the top of her lungs while Mommy was forced to hold her down on the doctors table. Unfortunately though, Mommy will always remember having to put Emma through this, and sobbing after it was all done because of the look on Emma's face that just wanted to know why Mommy wasn't taking away the pain.

My Poor Baby

Friday, May 14, 2010

This is going to be a very short post as both Mommy and Baby are completely exhausted. Emma is in bed but needs another dose of Motrin for the night and I don't know how much longer I can keep my eyes open. :)

There will be more to come on this, but basically we found out today, after two very long days and many hours at the doctors office, that Emma has a UTI. We aren't sure where she got it from yet, but after she is better Emma will be going through a few more tests to hopefully find out. My poor baby is miserable and is still having a high fever despite two strong doses (four shots) of antibiotics. I am really hoping that tonight will be the night that she kicks the fever, but the diaper bag is packed and ready to go just in case. Last night, Emma spiked a fever of 104.6. So we were 0.4 degrees and 2 minutes away from heading to the ER, but luckily the fever broke. Hopefully there won't be any repeats tonight, but just in case there are, I am heading off to bed, and yes, it is still light outside. :)

Trying Out The New Flip!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Here is an example of one of the videos I took of Emma on our old Sony digital camera (5 years old)...

And here is an example of a video that I took today with my new Flip!

My First Mother's Day

What an incredible day! I had so much fun celebrating my first ever Mother's Day today! Sometimes, I still can't believe that I am a MOTHER! It's kind of like the feeling on your wedding day, when you are looking around for your groom at the crowded reception and you say "Has anyone seen my husband?" Then you quickly realize that you have a husband. The same thing happens when you are a mother. It still somewhat feels strange for me to use the words my daughter, because I just can't seem to believe it some days. It's hard to imagine our lives without Emma. It just feels like (get ready for this) my entire childhood and adolescences was all preparation for this, being a mother.

Today was incredible in for two different reasons; it not only makes me reflect on what it means for me to be a mother, but also what my own mother means to me (get out the tissues mom!). There are so many things that we should say to our mothers, and we don't, like thank you. Thank you for those sleepless nights, thank you for the support in everything that I did, thank you for going to the soccer and lacrosse games, thank you for the summer vacations that I will never forget, thank you for drying my tears over the years, thank you for teaching me how to be a good mother, thank you for being my best friend and thank you for being an amazing person, you have made me what I am today. I am by far not a perfect mother, but my child is happy and thriving and learning something new everyday, so I must be doing something right? Well, non of that would have happened without my mother.

I also think of all the amazing mom's out there like my mother-in-law. Without her, I would not have the amazing life that I do now married to my wonderful husband, and Emma's amazing father. My sister-in-law Mary, that is truly my sister and an inspiration when it comes to being a mother who can handle it all, and raise three amazing children at the same time. My sister-in-law Adrienne, who despite living across the country, has been an amazing help to Wes and I as we continue to pass through uncharted territory as new parents. There are many more mothers out there that come to mind, but to try to make a complete list would go on for days! So I hope that all of my family members and friends out there who are mothers, and for those that are wishing and praying for that day to come, you are amazing.

My Mother's Day was supposed to start out with sleeping in a bit, but I couldn't resist running into Emma's room when she woke up this morning. Sometimes I wonder if it is actually possible to miss someone while you are asleep, because that's how I feel in the mornings sometimes. Like I haven't seen her for days. Our plan was to have a homemade brunch which was a great idea from Wes, so bright and early, he was off to the grocery store for all the goodies. When he got home, I was pleasantly surprised by two bouquets of tulips.

I also got an amazing gift of a Flip Video! I have been wanting something better then our 5 year old digital camera for videos of Emma for months now, and I finally have something!!

The day was a lot like a regular Sunday, filled with some house cleaning and errands but we took our time today, we weren't in a hurry, what got done was good, and if it didn't get done, too bad! After a delicious brunch, with some hot coffee, turkey bacon and homemade omelets, I think Wes and I were too stuffed to move anyway haha! Emma had a bit of a rough day as I think she is cutting what will be her 5th tooth! It's hard to tell but she had all of the classic symptoms, chewing on her fingers (and everything else in site), cranky, excessive drooling, you name it! So that was another reason why we kept it loy-key today.

Tonight for dinner, my amazing chef of a husband, made me one of my favorite recipes by Giada De Laurentiis. Yum!

I also couldn't resist and NOT post a picture of my baby on Mother's Day! Even though I am a wife, a coworker, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a student and other things, being a mother is the most rewarding but the hardest job that I have ever had. I wouldn't change it for the world, and I would do anything for my daughter, Emma Kathryn.

Look What I Can Do!

When I picked up Emma from daycare on Friday afternoon she was in her crib but not quite asleep yet, so she saw me come in and start packing up all her goodies for the week. As I was packing up the things under her crib, I looked up and to my surprise, the little peanut was standing in her crib! From that moment on, it has been all about standing! So of course, we were curious as to what was going to happen during naps from now on...and sure enough, I walked into her room on Saturday during her first nap of the day to find this...

So needless to say...her mobile came down, and many more baby gates went up this weekend. :)

Thank You!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Thank you to everyone that has either left a comment or emailed me about tips and tricks to hopefully help Emma do a little better with her formula! Sometimes it's just nice to know that other mom's are going through the same thing (or opposite in Dylan's case :) )!

Emma did pretty good yesterday with her eating. Instead of coming home with two of the three bottles we send to daycare, she only came home with one! Woo hoo! So she had about 15 ounces total yesterday which was a pretty big thing for her! She also ate lots of her breakfast and lunch, but of course came home and refused all of her dinner. That stink pot! Fingers are crossed that she will have another good eating and drinking today too!

We haven't yet tried switching formula but I think we may give that a shot this weekend. We are also going to try straws as well. We have tried cups and "big people" cereal made with cheerios and formula, sippy cups, dipping her toast in formula, mixing it in food, giving it to her before her meal, or waiting longer after. We have also tried every different temperature known to man...super cold, cold, room temperature, and warm. She does love water so she will drink that until the cows comes home, but isn't a big fan of juices really.

Megan also asked me in one of the comments for baby food sources. A lot of what I have tried so far came from talking to other mom's at Emma's daycare or talking to friends with little ones. This is also one of my favorite websites though for homemade baby food: That has everything from how to cook it, to how to store it and good combinations from infant to toddler. I hope that helps Megan, good luck!

Down For The Count!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I wonder how Emma gets into positions like this when falling asleep, but, at least tonight she looked a little more comfortable than last night! I can't say the same for her Bear though!

In case you are curious...Emma had a total of about 10 ounces of formula today, which compared to yesterday was very good. Still not enough and she also refused most of dinner tonight, but overall ate a good breakfast and lunch.

To Eat...or Not To Eat...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

...that is the question! Some days, Emma decides that she doesn't need to eat, other days, she totally makes up for it. :)

I had a very different vision for this on Sunday, and was planning this great post (complete with lots of pictures) of all the good and new food that Emma was eating, but turns out we, Emma had a change of heart.

About three weeks ago, Emma decided to get really picky with eating and drinking. Pretty much since about 5 weeks old, she has been on a soy formula and never had any issues. She has never been picky about her baby fruits, veggies or formula (warm vs. cold, etc) until now. She decided a little while ago that she no longer needed to drink her formula, despite putting it in sippy cups, regular cups, using straws, trying to wait after waking up in the mornings, drinking formula before regular meals, you name it! Basically anything that I could think of and try...she thwarted. The little stinker knows when it's formula and doesn't want any part of it. After some wishful thinking and a few phone calls to her pediatrician, I found out that it's still a little too early to switch to until she is 12 months, formula it is.

Remember this post about the good days and bad days I tend to have as a working mom. Yeah...couple the fact that Emma was drinking maybe 8 ounces of formula a day with a bad working mom day.

Emma has never been a big formula drinker. She has never been one of those babies that has consistently polished off 8, 10, or 12 ounces of formula. Ever. On very good days, she maybe had two bottles that were 6 ounces, and the rest were 3-4 ounce each. So, when she would drink even less, it would worry us a lot. For example, during Emma's 9 month appointment, her pediatrician said that at around 12 months, she would automatically start to wean herself down on formula and want more solid foods. Cool....count me in. However, he said that at about 12 months she would probably only be taking about 25 ounces a day. Come again? Emma RARELY has ever had 25 ounces in one day. So by the time she is 12 months, she will be completely weaned off of formula at the rate she is going. I say all of this basically to point out that since she has always been under the "typical" or "recommended" daily ounces, dropping even lower tends to send us into a first-time parent panic.

Up until about a week ago, it only seemed to be formula that she was picky about. Unfortunately, that has all changed now. My incredibly easy going, non picky baby has turned and ran for the hills, and I now have an extremely picky baby who wastes no time in telling you how she feels about what is on her plate or in her cup. I originally thought that the more "real people" food that she got was spoiling her and she didn't want her baby food anymore. I couldn't blame her...the thought of those chicken and vegetable purees are enough to gross anyone out. But now, you never know what is going to happen and what she is going to eat or not eat at any given meal!
After two weeks of trying to figure out what she wanted to eat, and without much luck I might add, I decided to try some new "real people" food to see what happens. So I spent a good amount of the day on Sunday trying to figure out what I could feed her and making some new goodies. Hence, my excitement of the new post with yummy pictures.

First, I decided to try "real" green beans, so the steamer was in full effect on Sunday afternoon.

Then I thought, that if Emma loved sweet potatoes so much, why not try real potatoes? So I boiled up some red potatoes until they were really soft for something a little different.

A couple weeks ago we gave Emma some plain chicken breasts to try since she really isn't much of a fan of the pureed-canned meats (can you blame her?!?!) Yuck! She wasn't a fan at the time, and about 20 minutes after the first bite went it, I ended up fishing out the rest of the chicken out of her mouth because it wasn't going anywhere. So, how about some ground chicken meatballs?! Emma had been slowly starting to refuse the apples that we steamed for her earlier that week so we had a couple of containers left over, so I threw those into the mix as well. A few spices, some egg yolk and wheat bread and voila! I also ended up cooking them in a little vegetable broth to make them as soft as I could, so we didn't have to revisit the Chicken-Fishing Incident of 2010 again. :)

Voila!! I think Emma's dinner looked better then ours did that night!

At first, she was not impressed...

Even though I made a giant mess of our kitchen....

But then she thought about it...


That was until the next day and she refused everything that she had just scarfed down the night before. UGH! Defeated by a 10 month-old! Once again!
What I don't understand is that it is not one food consistently or a group of foods that she doesn't like. It depends on the day, and maybe even hour, on what she wants to eat. For example...she has started refusing bananas lately. Okay, I get it, let's move on. Last night, she completely refused sweet potatoes (among several other things). Today at daycare, she refused her meatballs, green beans, pasta AND formula but scarfed down her sweet potatoes and banana. Um....what? Tonight for dinner, she polished off two meatballs, potatoes, and some pasta even though she had completely refused those not 4 hours before. It's to the point where I basically just pack whatever I have in the house for lunch because I don't know what she will eat and what she won't! She had about an ounce and a half this morning of formula, another ounce and a half 2 hours after breakfast, and one half of an ounce in the afternoon, and maybe two ounces before bedtime.
So please, I am pretty much at my wits end here. If you have any suggestions on what we can do to get some more formula in her or any ideas for new foods to try...please leave a comment. I am running out of ideas!!

Folded in Half

Now that Emma is much more mobile and usually plays for about 20 minutes every night in her crib (remember this...shishy on...shishy off...) she ends up falling asleep in really odd positions. This usually happens both at daycare and at home. This is one of Emma's favorite positions to fall asleep in...

I love how she uses her Bear as a pillow. :)

Emma's Trip to the Zoo!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

We decided to take Emma to the Maryland Zoo for the first time this weekend because it was going to be such a nice day out on Saturday. Our plan was to go right when it opened at 10:00AM but as we now know, any schedules are pretty much overthrown by Emma's napping! She was pretty tired in the morning and went down for what is usually her 20 - 45 minute morning nap, and a little over two hours later we were ready to go to the zoo ha!

We had a great time and Emma did really well despite Mommy coating her from head to toe in sunscreen and making her wear her bucket hat all day haha. We did a little animal watching for about an hour and then stopped under a nice shady area for lunch. Emma loved seeing the animals but I think spent more time watching all of the children running around.

After heading home, Emma took a good long nap again and was ready to play for the rest of the night at home. These are the kind of days that I love taking my camera along because although I may not get the best pictures (I am still learning the manual settings and especially outdoors) but I love being able to capture these little moments. Because our time and activities with Emma is somewhat limited during the week because of working, I really look forward to little trips like these, spending time with just the three of us, our little family.

Here are some pictures from our fun day!

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