Friday, July 22, 2011

New place to call home...

Hi there...well, it's been a while. I feel like I start every post off like that. I have an excuse though! My last post explained that we were putting our house on the market and hoping to move to Littleton. Well, in the last 5 months we listed our house, bought a new one, and moved....all with a baby and a toddler in tow. It's been a fun ride! We are thrilled with our new digs....a great house on the golf course in Littleton, golf cart driving distance from the country club we joined. It was bank-owned and an unbelievable deal, so we just couldn't resist. Plus we just loved it - it *feels* like the type of home you see your kids growing up in. We are trying to get settled and still figure out the sleeping arrangements (Kenzie & Brandt are sharing rooms until we get the basement finished), but it still is just wonderful. One of the highlights is a great firepit out back where we can roast hot dogs and s'mores and just hang out. We also have a great family next door (the Kneppers) with kids similar ages, and that is wonderful to have friends for the kids to play with. Now we just need to sell our old house!

Kenzie is enjoying having the summer off from school and doing a lot of camps. She has done 2 church camps and is going to do a theater camp and zoo camp in the next couple weeks. She also has been doing swim team and taken a couple vacations. What a lucky girl! She heads back to school on August 15 - it is amazing how it flies by.

Brandt has been still struggling with weight gain, so we went to an endocrinologist to see if it is growth hormone related. That was negative, so next was a GI specialist. She did find signs of a possible problem called EoE, which is basically an allergic reaction of the esophagus to some sort of food which causes irritation and difficulty swallowing. He has to go under anesthesia on August 11th to do an endoscopy of his esophagus and stomach to fully diagnose the condition, and if it is diagnosed, he will have to have full allergy tests to determine what is causing it. Poor little guy! Like he hasn't been through enough already. The good news is that he has not had any trouble with breathing and he is fully off of the steroids for the summer. Now that we have found a home for Saxon and moved into a completely dog-free house (he's allergic), we will decide if he needs to do steroids again in the fall or not. We might just try it without and see how he does.

Colton is growing like a little weed and is 16lbs now at 8 months. That's only 7lbs less than his older brother! Colton's in the 5th percentile though so he's not huge, but he's growing and doing more and more every day. His favorite things are rolling around on the floor and "walking" in his excer-saucer that lets him go around the center table in a circle. He seems to be trying to crawl - getting on his stomach and trying to "ooch" where he wants to go. It won't be long! He's an extremely chill little baby....we are always getting comments from people who say, "Wow, I didn't hear a peep out of your baby the entire time!" He's eating solid foods and loving all of it - there really hasn't been much but turkey in a jar that he didn't like. We'll start him on soft finger foods soon - I think he's ready.

Next week we are headed to California for Jason's 40th. We are going to Pebble Beach for him to play on his actual birthday, and then to Napa for the weekend to explore as many wineries as we can possibly fit in. We are looking forward to a little rest and relaxation....not to mention a little (or a lot of) wine! Happy birthday, baby!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Colton's first Walt Disney World trip!

Yes, I know....we might seem crazy! We took Colton (11 weeks), Brandt (almost 2), and Kenzie (8) to Disney World for 4 nights last week. They were actually great! Colton was a little high-stress just in all the "stuff" we needed to have with us, but other than that....he was a totally chill little guy and completely "went with the flow" the entire time. Brandt, on the other hand, was a little handful. He is definitely in his "terrible two's" - wanting to charge off and do everything his sister does, but does not comprehend any explanation as to why he can't do something. He sure did enjoy the rides so much more though - there was a lot of finger pointing and "ooh's" and "ahh's" coming from him. Kenzie, of course, had an AWESOME time as usual....she's our fearless roller coaster queen. She and I enjoyed some quality time together one night when Epcot was open late and Jason took the boys back to the room. This was my first time to not be pregnant at WDW in a few years, so I was definitely enjoying having my energy back there! I also enjoyed being able to have a margarita. :-) We had a great trip and took some cute pictures, and we think we'll go back in November 2012 when Colton's 2, Brandt will be almost 4, and Kenzie will be 10. As long as Brandt has outgrown his crying on the plane stage.....last night's flight was miserable. Of course, at that point, it will be Colton in that stage. Lucky us!

We just enjoyed a nice visit with Jason's mom, who the kids call "Grandmary". She came to visit for a long weekend and see Colton for the first time. Her husband Dorsey requires a lot of assistance, so she doesn't make it up here often. It was nice to spend time with her and watch her enjoy the kiddos.

We also are putting our house back up on the market soon. We just rented a storage unit and moved a bunch of stuff out of the house to "de-clutter" it, and we're hoping to sell it and move by end of summer so Kenzie can start at her new elementary in Littleton. We officially joined the country club there, so we're truly committed to moving to that area. Now we just need to make it happen!

Not much else going on around here - just getting through life with 3 kids now! It's been a definite change, but I'm enjoying it, and so thankful that they're pretty easy kids. I have to keep reminding myself to enjoy these stages, although sometimes difficult, because we'll never have them at this age again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wow, time has been flying by. Colton hit 8 weeks this week and had his 2 month appointment. He weighed barely over 11 lbs and was 23.5 inches long. Woo hoo, big boy! It is so nice to finally have a baby who is in the higher percentiles on weight....45th% to be exact. The little guy eats like a champ and is an awesome sleeper. He sleeps solidly from his 10pm feeding to 7 or 8am every day. The only "hiccup" we've had with him so far is we have him on the Enfamil "Gentlease" formula that is a lower lactose version, as he was having some problems with the regular formula after I switched from breastmilk. He was just noticeably fussy and irritable after his feedings with a hard tummy, so it was probably gas. he's been much better with this formula, so we're sticking to it. It's just a little bit more expensive - is the only downside. Other than that, he's an extremely easy-going baby and smiles a lot now. His older siblings dote on him, and I have to admit I can't wait until he's a little older and can really play with them.

Brandt also went to the pediatrician with us this week, as they have been following his weight gain closely. Unfortunately he lost weight from the last visit 6 weeks ago. UGH! Poor little guy is still only 20 lbs. at almost 2. We are trying to "fatten" him up, and put a renewed emphasis on fatty foods. I went last night and bought him cheesecake, high-fat ice cream, and cinnamon rolls that are made by Cinnabon. It seems so wrong to be purposely searching out the highest fat options, but at the same time, we hope it works. We've tried the adding butter and cheese to everything strategy, but we are hoping the fatty desserts will do the trick, as they have that magic ingredient called SUGAR that every kid loves. We'll see how it goes. Brandt also has a double-whammy in that the allergy test that the pulmonary specialist did on him came back positive for an allergy to dogs. Allergies and asthma are closely linked, and it's somewhat likely that is what has been causing his breathing problems. We'll know more when we go to the specialist again on Feb. 10th, but it's looking like we may have to have a dog-free environment for Brandt growing least while he's a child. We're hoping he outgrows it some day.

Mackenzie has been awesome as usual. She got a really cool electric guitar that she's totally into now, and is about to start taking guitar lessons. What a cutie! I keep thinking she'll be my little Taylor Swift singer-songwriter. We just had someone else the other day comment on how she should be in voice lessons because she has a great voice. She obviously didn't get it from me! She really does love to sing and entertain, and so far she's really picking up guitar quickly. Who knows - this could be one of those defining moments that we look back on...."Well she got her first guitar when she was 8, and the rest was history..."

Jason and I are looking forward to a few upcoming trips we'll have this year. I accomplished enough sales at my company in 2010 to win a trip to St. Maarten in April. We'll be staying at the Westin there, which happens to be on the same little bay as the hotel that Jason and I stayed at in 2006 when we went before. We're hoping to be able to explore the island more this time, as last time we spent most of the time scuba diving, as I was getting my open water certification there. We are also going to stay a few extra days in St. Barths, as we haven't been there before and it's a ferry ride away from St. Maarten. We figure since my company is paying to get us there, might as well take advantage of it and extend the trip a little. In addition to that trip, we're going to take a long weekend at the end of July for Jason's 40th birthday. I just booked the hotels for us to go to Pebble Beach and then Napa Valley. He'll play the famed Pebble Beach golf course on his actual birthday (which he's always wanted to do), and then we'll go to Napa for a few days and stay at an awesome resort there and visit wineries. It's going to be wonderful. You only turn 40 once!

Well I better run, as we are going to celebrate our 3 year anniversary tonight. It's a bit early (12 days), but our old nanny Mary is in town to visit and has offered to let us have a night to ourselves. We're going to stay at the Brown Palace where we had our wedding reception, and enjoy a romantic dinner there together. It'll be our first night away from Colton, but I know he'll be OK, especially since he's become such a good sleeper. 3 years sure has flown by, but at the same time, with 2 kids since then....a lot sure has happened. :-) I've loved every minute of it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Welcome Colton Swift Wagner!

Well, Colton is almost 3 weeks old and I'm just now getting to the post announcing his arrival. Welcome baby Colton! He was born on November 16 at 7:57pm, which I though was funny because all of my kids were born in the evening....Mackenzie around 6:30, Brandt at 5:45, and now Colton took his sweet time and almost came past 8pm. Here is the story of his delivery....

We arrived at the hospital around 7:30am with Brandt in tow, and checked in downstairs in the lobby. We headed upstairs where they checked us into room 317 (we thought was funny because it's like St. Patrick's Day 3/17 and we had an Irish nurse!). Soon Karah, our nanny, came by to get Brandt for the day, and they got me set up in bed. They got me on an IV with Pitocin and broke my water around 8:30am, and then I had my first contraction around 9:40am. The contractions were getting stronger and about 2-3 minutes apart, so I got an epidural around 1pm. They kept checking my cervix and it seemed I was staying around 2-3cm dilated FOREVER. Finally around 6pm I was at 5cm dilated, so I knew that was when things would start moving, as that's how it was the 2 times before. Our Irish nurse, Anne-Marie, promised we'd have the baby by the end of her shift at 7pm, so we were getting close. No such luck! It wasn't until about 7:30pm that they checked my cervix, and WHOA, I was 10cm dilated! It's amazing how fast it moves along when it decides to. We got ready to start pushing....

Colton was "sunny side up", which means he was heads down but facing upwards instead of downwards. This is also referred to as having "back labor" because it's so much harder to push a baby out when they are facing the wrong way - our pelvis is not designed as well for that. Mackenzie started off this way too but I got up on all 4's and she ended up turning. Well, the doctor (Roy Bergstrom) also said Colton had turned as I was starting to push, but it turns out he ended up flipping back and did indeed emerge "sunny side up". However, I did have to push harder than with Brandt, although it was till only for 8 minutes.

Colton emerged with Daddy ready to pull him out, as Dr. Bergstrom had let him before with Brandt, and suddenly I hear something about the cord being wrapped around his neck. They abruptly told me to stop pushing, and I couldn't see but could hear them calmly talking about cutting the cord that was wrapped around my precious baby boy's neck. No one seemed panicked, but I still couldn't help but get a little scared that something was wrong. It seemed like no time at all and they said that Daddy could pull him out the rest of the way, and they laid him on my chest. He was purple! My little squirmer inside me had gotten that cord wrapped around TWICE. He was perfectly OK though and pinked up in no time. The doctor and the nurses were commenting how big he was....which I was not used to with my typical small babies. When they finally got the scale in the room, we could officially announce that Colton Swift Wagner was born at 8 lbs 4 oz and 20.5 inches long. Wow! He was a big boy.

Everything post-delivery went smoothly and Colton seemed calm and laid back right from the start. He slept pretty well and also seemed to latch on breast-feeding better than my previous 2. Big sister Mackenzie and big brother Brandt came to visit with Aunt Erin the following evening, and it was super-cute to see Brandt's reaction. He kissed his baby brother and then seemed to move on, checking out all the cool buttons and cords in our hospital room. Mackenzie, of course, was sweet as can be - she has such a huge heart for babies. We were able to leave the hospital around noon on the 18th and head home with our new little boy to join the rest of our family we were dying to see.

Colton went that Friday (3 days old) to the doctor because he was looking a little yellow (jaundice). He wasn't too bad though, but he was weighing only 7 lbs 10oz at this point. They wanted me to start supplementing at this point over the weekend and come back Monday. He was back up to 8lbs 1 oz by Monday and doing great! By 2 weeks he was at 8lbs 8oz (50% on weight, height, and head). I decided to switch to pumping and feeding (instead of breastfeeding), as I was doing both and seemed he was not getting much from breastfeeding, and at least with pumping I could tell what he was eating. He is now almost 3 weeks old and he's eating about 24 oz a day, which is great! He doesn't go back to the doctor until he is 2 months old.

Speaking of doctors, Brandt is doing great and finally gaining weight! He has been doing the nebulizer twice a day for his breathing problems, and we see a pulmonary specialist next week to hopefully diagnose what has been going on. We are thinking asthma.

Mackenzie had her 8 year old well visit last week as well, and she's doing great - in the 35th percentile for weight, so she's growing great! She's always been in the 10-15% range, so I was happy to hear how well she's doing.

We're gearing up for the holidays now and looking forward to my dad coming this weekend, my brother next week, and my mom at Christmas. I head back to work on January 4th. It'll be here before you know it.

That's it for now....signing off....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Get this baby out of me!

Visited the doctor yesterday for my now weekly appointments, and there was very little change in my cervix. UGH! I am just so miserable with the heartburn and my intense hip pain....I asked Jason if it would be alright for me to inquire about a Nov. 15th induction. My doctor said that I could induce anytime after 39 weeks, and that would only be 3 days early. I thought Monday would be good because we'd have Karah, our nanny, to help us during the day with Brandt that week, we'd have the weekend before to get final preparations in place, and the 15th is special because that's also Mackenzie's birthday (in October). I'm going to talk about it on Monday with my doctor and see if we can do that. The only thing that would potentially change it is if Dr. Bergstrom is not on call that day. He delivered Mackenzie and Brandt, and I'd like him to deliver this little guy too if at all possible. He's so nice and fun during the delivery, and he let Jason pull Brandt out last time, which Jason is just dying to do again. I really didn't want to induce if possible, but I feel like I'm at such a point of misery that having an end date to really focus on can help me get through this. And who knows, little little man could decide to join us earlier on his own! Wouldn't that be nice....

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Brandt, Children's Hospital, and Bronchiolitis

No, nothing to do with our little guy that is awaiting his debut in this world! This week were were focused on our precious 19-month-old Brandt who had to spend 2 nights at Children's Hospital for Bronchialitis.

We started on Wednesday when he had been up all night the night before with horrible coughing, so I called the pediatrician the next morning to make an appointment. I honestly thought we were just going in to see if there was something he could take to help him sleep. When we got there at 3pm, they were way more concerned with his "labored" breathing than his cough, as he was making a grunting noise with every breath. I had heard it that day but really thought it was because he wasn't feeling well and he was making a groaning sound to express that. They watched his tummy and his ribs, and said that he was working too hard to breathe and they didn't like that. His oxygen levels in his blood were good though, so it wasn't an immediate scare, but they didn't understand why he was working so hard. One lung was bringing in more air than the other, but overall they sounded clear. They sent us next door to get a chest x-ray, and verified it wasn't pneumonia. We did 2 rounds on a nebulizer, and then he took a steroid. Nothing was helping - he was still laboring to breathe. After about 3 hours at the pediatrician, they finally decided they wanted him to go to the ER so that he could be watched, as they said the problem is they can only keep up that kind of labored breathing for so long before their body doesn't have the energy to do it anymore. When I asked what happens at that point, they said he would turn grey and his oxygen levels would drop. That scared me plenty! Off we went to Children's....our 3rd time to go in 3 months. Keep in mind I had never been there before 3 months ago.....just had a rough go recently with the kiddos.

Children's also didn't like his labored breathing, but said the same things as the pediatrician in that everything else looked good (oxygen levels in blood, clear sounding lungs), so they were perplexed. They started to scare us a bit more as they said that sometimes other things, non-respiratory, can cause this kind of breathing, such as Diabetes. What???? So they did blood and urine tests on him (which was awful), and it came back that his glucose levels in his urine were about 210 when they like to see it around 100. They said the steroid that he took at the pediatrician could have caused that, but they wanted to do further verification. They sent the lab results off to endocrinology, and took more blood to do an even deeper test that would tell us how long the glucose had been high. They still thought that it wasn't Diabetes, but wanted to rule it out.

By this time it was getting late, and the doctor said that he was just not comfortable with letting us go home, as he's seen cases before where breathing like this can take a turn for the worse or turn into something else. He gave an example of one kid that it turned out to be appendicitis and his labored breathing was caused by his pain. So Jason stayed with Brandt in the ER and I took Kenzie home, who had happily been watching free Disney movies in the room. We got home and in bed about midnight.

I called Jason first thing in the AM to see how it was going, fully expecting him to say they were about to get discharged. Not so lucky. Brandt's oxygen levels had dropped down to 85% during the night (they had been at around 94%), so they admitted him and put him on oxygen. They were now in a room upstairs at the hospital and they wanted to watch him that day as well. They still didn't know what it was, and he was still breathing harder than he should. As soon as our nanny arrived, I raced over and took care of Brandt throughout the day. The NP that was looking after him came in to talk to me late morning and said that they think it is Bronchiolitis, which is the child's form of Bronchitis. The difference is that Bronchitis affects the large airways in your lungs, and the latter affects the smaller "branches" of your airways. It is a common result from certain viruses such as RSV, Parainfluenza (not the regular flu) and others. Brandt had been sick with some sort of cold/virus the week before, so that is probably where it came from. So his lungs were inflamed and having trouble breathing. The reason they came to that was that asthma or croup would have been cleared up by the nebulizer or the steroid, and the chest x-ray ruled out pneumonia, so because none of the treatments had worked, they suspected that was it. I read up on Bronchiolitis and it is common in under 2-year-olds but can be very severe and often times causes hospitalization.

The NP wanted to keep him throughout the day and wean him off of the oxygen to see how he did. By early afternoon, they took him off of it all together, and he seemed to be doing fine. That was great news! That evening we tried to convince them to let us go home, as Brandt had only gotten 2 hours of sleep the night before there, and a 45-minute nap that day, so we thought he'd sleep a lot better at home. The nurse tried to convince the medical team attending to him, but they wanted to watch him one more night, as it is typically at night while they are sleeping that oxygen levels drop. So I left my poor baby and husband one more night to go home, as there was only one bed in the room and sweet Jason insisted his 37-week-pregnant wife sleep at home. Brandt slept better that night, although I wouldn't call it "well", and I arrived early in the morning to let Jason go to an all-day partner retreat he had for work. He was exhausted after 2 nights of little sleep! Finally around 9am they said we'd be getting discharged soon, and we took off around 9:30am. Brandt held my hand and walked the entire way out of the hospital, which was a perfect pace for me as I don't walk quickly these days. :-)

I'm happy they took his condition seriously and were so concerned about him, but it sure was a stressful time, especially when they were still saying they didn't know what it was and they wanted to keep him. No parent likes to hear that. I'm relieved it was something that he could bounce back from relatively easily and not something more serious. He's back at home now and acting like his normal crazy self. I'm doing some bouncing back myself, as I think I was running on adrenaline for those 2 days just taking care of my baby. Now that I'm home, my body, that has just been exhausted normally lately, is saying "ok, time to take it easy again." I'm just so tired. 19 days to go until our little little guy arrives, so we're getting close!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Where does the time go?

I am just terrible about posting on this thing! I am not even sure what is motivating me tonight, but for some reason, the time seems right. We just got home from a retirement party for one of Jason's co-workers and I'm exhausted, but here goes.....

7 weeks to go! This little guy reminds me every day how anxious he is to get out and move around. He is quite the mover and shaker inside me. Somehow I have a feeling he is going to live up to his name we have decided to give him, which sounds athletic to me.....Colton Swift Wagner. Jason and I just liked Colton, and Swift for my brother, dad, and grandfather who all had that as a middle name. Jason and I finally decided last week that Colton was the name that would fit our soon-to-be-son, and we are just thrilled and relieved to have figured that out. Now if we could just hurry up these last 7 weeks, I'd be ecstatic!

Well, I hope the 7 weeks don't hurry up too much - my doctor told me I'm having too many Braxton-Hicks contractions and that she might put me on bedrest if they keep up. I know it's because I push myself all the time, and of course I'm chasing around 2 kids I already have! I find that I don't have BH contractions if I just relax and lay down, but how often do I have time to do that? I'm trying to pay attention to it though because I really don't want to (and really can't) go on bedrest. How the heck would I do that?

Mackenzie and Brandt are great! Kenzie just started 2nd grade and has Mrs. Williams this year, who informed us she also runs a middle eastern restaurant outside of teaching. Interesting combo.... Brandt is 18 months and running around like a crazy boy - you just can't slow him down. He's finally starting to say a few words and really mimic a lot of what we say - I can see his vocabulary is going to pick up here dramatically in the near future. We're about to celebrate Kenzie's 8th birthday in 2 weeks (can you believe it??), and she's having a slumber party. What fun! (Well, hopefully I'm saying that as I'm taking care of 6 8-year-olds all squealing and playing at all hours of the night while I'm 8 months pregnant!) I just love my kids so much and they are so much fun at their different ages....I'm just so anxious to see what our new little guy adds to the mix in a few weeks.

Jason and I just took a trip to Santa Barbara a couple weeks ago sans nice to get away. We rented a convertible and drove along the coast, went whale watching (only saw 1 from far away), explored the cute town, drove through the wine country nearby, and ate some good seafood. It was a great relaxing weekend, and a perfect retreat before I can't really travel anymore. No more plans for us until after the holidays, and then we talked about maybe going up to the mountains for our 3 year anniversary in January. We'll play it by ear...make sure our new little man is ready for us to take a weekend away.

Other than that....not a whole lot going on at this point. We have our house for sale in Denver to try to move down to Littleton. A little more space and a little more kid-friendly is our goal. We bought a minivan to accommodate 3 kids, and we're also in the process of hiring a new nanny. Our current nanny, Mary, who has been with us for a year and a half, is moving back to Illinois to be close to her family. So there are a few things changing around here, but we're rolling with the punches and just seeing what happens.

I can't commit I'll be posting again anytime soon! With a little one on the way, somehow I find it less likely I'll be posting more, but who knows. Maybe maternity leave will be inspirational for me to start blogging more. We'll see..... ;-)