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Monday, March 30, 2015

Random Monday - March 30, 2015

I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but I've finally figured out a way to make the bedtime routine go smoother.  Bedtime has been an issue since Little Dude was born because he's so needy.  Granted, he has gotten much easier to care for, but he still requires a lot of attention.  I've always had the three older kids get ready for bed at the same time which involves going to the bathroom, getting a drink, and brushing their teeth.  As you can guess, sending three kids into the bathroom at the same time to brush their teeth is chaotic to say the least.  Last night, I had each of the kids pick out a book to look at while they sat on the floor next to me as I fed Little Dude.  Then, I had them take turns going into the bathroom to do their bedtime routine before returning to finish looking at their books.  When they were all done, I set Little Dude down for a minute to tuck them all into their beds and rub their backs.  SOOOOOO much easier!!  Now, if I can just figure out a way to keep Star from getting out of bed 874 times before she finally falls asleep... 

Have you heard of Target's subscription service?  I use my Target redcard to get free shipping and 5% off on all my orders from Target which means that I shop online there a lot.  I recently discovered that Target has subscriptions to just about any household item that gets used up (toilet paper, paper towels, feminine products, office supplies, etc), and that the subscription service covers diapers and wipes!  Plus, I save an additional 5% on all subscription items I order.  So now, I have diapers and wipes shipped to my house every month and even save money on them!  Disclaimer: This rave review was not sponsored in any way, shape, or form.  I just wanted to share something really cool with my readers :)

When people ask me what's wrong with Little Dude, I usually say that he's medically complex or special needs because it's too hard to explain his issues any other way since we don't have an actual diagnosis.  My sister, however, called him special edition the other day.  I like that way better than special needs :)

I recently opened an Instagram account for my boutique (@annaliesbabyboutique) and will be posting special deals, flash sales, Instagram-exclusive products, and giveaways over there!  My first giveaway is actually running now so make sure you head over there to enter.

Follow me on Instagram at @annaliesbabyboutique to enter my giveaway!
Due to being pregnant or having a small baby for the past 3 years straight, I kind of dropped out of the craft show circuit for a while.  This past Saturday, I was able to set up a table as a vendor at a craft show again!  Princess and my younger sister came along to help out.  My mother-in-law babysat Little Man and Star at her house, but couldn't watch Little Dude because they're remodeling their house, and his lungs can't handle the dust and paint smells, so I got to take him along as well.  It was a lot of fun, and I realized how much I'd missed doing craft shows.  Princess was very courteous and informative to everyone who stopped at our table.  She also took it upon herself to make sure that everyone had my business cards "because it's free."  She was adorable and definitely an entrepreneur in training!

Me and my two kiddos at the craft show

Princess manning the table

Yes, we even tube feed at craft shows!

Monday, March 23, 2015

If Only Someone Had Told Me...

Being a parent is hard.  When I got pregnant with my first child, I read all the pregnancy books and a ton of parenting books.  None of them even remotely prepared me for the reality of being a mom.  Sure, friends and family try to warn you what it's going to be like to have a baby, but until you are there in the trenches, there's no way you can actually know.   

No one told me just how much poop, vomit, and other body fluids I would deal with as a parent, a lot of it with my bare hands and a few baby wipes.

No one told me that I would learn to survive on 3 hours of interrupted sleep and still get up and keep the kids alive the next day.  And no one warned me that I would live like that for 6 months straight after my youngest child was born. 

No one told me that the constant demands from four kids all needing something from me at the same time would be enough to make me want to hide, rocking, in a corner somewhere while my blood pressure skyrocketed.

No one told me that I would cry when my babies got shots or how much my heart would ache when my kindergartner tearfully told me that kids on the playground were making fun of her because of her hair.

No one told me that there would be days when I would sit down to eat supper with Hubby after the kids went to bed and realize that it was the first time I'd eaten or sat down all day.

And seriously...if someone had told me that I would have a baby with a feeding tube, a list of 12 diagnoses, and a possible genetic syndrome who screamed for his first 6 months of life, I would've run crying from the room.

When you read all of that, being a mom sounds awful.

But here's the secret...no one tells you how your heart nearly explodes with love when that tiny baby is placed in your arms.  No one tells you that one ounce of the good stuff in parenting is so amazing that it cancels out 2 tons of the bad stuff.  No one tells you that no matter how hard it gets, you'll just keep on going and know in your soul that it's worth it. 

Honestly, no one could have told me because until I became a mom, there's no way I could've understood. 

Thank you for stopping by my blog! I appreciate each of my readers and would love to connect with you on Facebook and Instagram!

Saturday, March 14, 2015


So last week was a bit of an eye opener...

I woke up on Tuesday morning with a slight cold and some asthma issues.  Not a big deal, I just declared the day to be "Watch as Much TV As You Want While Mom Sits on the Couch and Does Nothing" Day.  Except that, a few hours later, I realized that my asthma was getting worse.  Fast.  I called my mom and asked her if she could come help with the kids because just keeping them alive that day was obviously going to be more than I could handle.  She quickly arrived and despite a nebtreatment and over a dozen puffs of my inhaler, my breathing was quickly deteriorating.  At one point, while sitting on the floor, I tried to stand up and was immediately very dizzy, to the point where I couldn't even keep my head up.  At that point, my mom called 911.  The kids thought it was cool when the ambulance came to our house and took mommy away.  I ended up staying the night in the hospital and my mom babysat for us until Hubby came home for the night.

So the point of that kind of boring saga was that I realized how unprepared I really am.  As I sat on the floor with an oxygen mask on my face while the EMTs got ready to take me to the hospital, all I could think of was how much I needed to tell my mom about taking care of Little Dude.  Thankfully, I had an outline of his feeding schedule written up already so I could just hand that over to her, but when it came to his tube care, his skin care, his breathing issues...that's all stuff that I do everyday and I know exactly what works and what doesn't work with him.  I know what to watch for and when to change something in his routines.  I know what therapies he needs to work on that day and how much he can handle.  I realized that I'm the only person who knows how to fully take care of him. 

Also, the thought that I could've been alone with the kids when I nearly passed out and was unable to even reach for my phone is a terrifying thought.  Thank God my mom was there when that happened.

Because of my severe asthma, I've often had to rely on others to help me out.  I hate having to be dependent on others and constantly ask for help, but I don't have a choice.  And now that I have four kids, one of whom is medically complex, it bothers me even more.  My asthma has nearly killed me on several occasions, and I've always been very aware that I have a potentially fatal disease.

If something were to happen to me, I need to have the peace of mind that Little Dude will continue to receive all the care he needs, but his care is complicated and I'm the only person who knows all of the details.  Over the next week, I'm going to put together a word document detailing everything I can possibly think of regarding his medical conditions, his feeding, the storage of his supplies, etc and print it off so anyone who needs to take care of him can do so.  I already have a binder with an overview of his medical history and the names and contact info of all of his specialists, but I definitely need more information on the day-to-day part of his care.  Every month or so, I'll need to update the word document, but will be able to easily do so and then print off an updated copy. 

And just to end things on a good note, I put new batteries in our ball popper and Little Dude was a huge fan :)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Little Dude - 12 Months

Age: 12 months

Weight and height: 17 pounds, 6 ounces and 28 inches long.  For comparison, at a year old, Princess was 17 pounds, 13 ounces and 29 inches long, Little Man was 20 pounds and 31 1/2 inches long, and Star was 17 pounds and 29 inches long. 

Wearing size: Size 3 diapers and 9-12 month clothes. 

My little monkeys wearing matching shirts!

Likes: He loves attention and pretends to be shy now by ducking his head into my shoulder when someone smiles back at him.  He likes to put things in something and take them back out again (for example, putting toys in a bucket).  He loves army crawling all over the house, and we have to be super vigilant about things on the floor because he puts EVERYTHING in his mouth and chokes easily.  At least several times a day, you can find me hurdling furniture to sweep his mouth with my finger and pound on his back.  I've been very close to calling 911 because he was starting to turn blue, but thankfully, I've always gotten him breathing again before it gets to that point. 

Dislikes: He doesn't like having things taken away from him and will scream and cry.  For example, here's his face after I took a crayon away from him:

A photo posted by Hannah (@supermommyornot) on

Eating habits: BIG news here!  For the last several weeks, Little Dude has been trying to catch up after not growing since November due to being sick so much.  When he was sick, his motility slowed down so much that I had to vent him at every feeding because of the extra air in his stomach (which happens when food sits in the stomach longer).  When I would vent him, the entire last feeding would still be in his stomach, even several hours later.  His GI doctor diagnosed him with illness-induced gastroparesis (paralysis of the stomach) which has since resolved itself. Now, he's actually been HUNGRY and asking for food, and then more food.  It still blows my mind that he cries because he wants food.  I actually had to increase the amount of his feeds because he was finishing them and crying for more.  I've hardly had to tube feed him at all since he started this.  I know that it may not last, but we'll take what we can get!  
We're in a transition phase of trying to lessen the amount of formula he takes in lieu of solid foods.  Right now, I'm still tweaking his feedings, but the goal is 4 solid food feedings (baby food) a day with several opportunities to practice eating table foods as well and then however much formula he wants to drink after that.  It's slow going since he has such a strong gag reflex and chokes easily, but I know he'll get there eventually.  He likes eating solid foods, but hasn't been very happy about getting less bottles.
Because we don't know for sure if he has any food allergies or Celiac's Disease (we were told that a test showed a strong possibility of it), for the time being, we are not giving him gluten, dairy, or soy.  He'll be having more testing done soon to determine what foods are safe for him to eat.   

Sleeping habits: He takes a morning nap from about 9:30 am to 10:30 and an afternoon nap from about 1 pm to 3 or 4 pm.  He sleeps okay at night, but does still wake up several times.  He usually goes right back to sleep when I give him his pacifier.

Milestones: No new milestones this month, but he's been getting better at sitting unsupported.  We're currently working on getting him to crawl on his hands and knees instead of army crawling on his tummy because being on his tummy that much is irritating his G Tube site and causing breakdown of skin.  He wears a special belt when he's on the floor now and that seems to be helping to protect his G Tube, but we still need to get him up off of it.  
Miscellaneous: His therapist has put his development at an 8-9 month level which seems very appropriate to me.  He may be a little behind, but he's making progress and that's what's important.  Every once in a while, I get a little sad that he's so far from where my other kids were at this age, but my best friend helped me get some perspective on that that's really helped.  She pointed out that he's my last baby, and I get to keep him as a baby a little bit longer.  

I tallied up Little Dude's first year, medically speaking.  Some of the numbers, I wasn't 100% sure on since I didn't start marking everything down in my day planner until we were several months in to his medical journey.

Procedures (included 1 surgery and 2 sedations): somewhere between 15-20
Blood draws: somewhere between 10-15
Hospital stays: 5 (14 days total)
ER visits: 8
Doctor appointments and therapies: 80

That's more than my other three kids combined and that's just in his first year!

Don't forget to check out the first annual Little Dude's Birthday Blessings Bash that takes place the whole month of March!  

Thank you for stopping by my blog! I appreciate each of my readers and would love to connect with you on Facebook and Instagram!
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