June 27, 2011

Already 8 Months?!

It doesn't seem possible that our baby girl turned 8 months old last Friday! She is growing way too fast and learning something new almost every day it seems. I'm thinking she's trying to catch up to her big brother and sister! Here's a few things that she's up to lately.....

She loves to sing and play the piano. Of course her version of singing is a bit off-key and hard to decipher any words out of, but it's definitely her way of making music! Oh, did I mention that it's too cute as well? :)

She's pulling up to stand on everything and even letting go occasionally, which often results in falling down and banging her head so she's always getting bumps and bruises. (Thankfully we have the miracle homeopathic cream, arnica, which is completely amazing in that it almost totally does away with the bruising. If you've never tried it then you should check it out!) I love seeing her stand up and then bounce up and down all excited, squealing and looking around to see who's watching. She gets so pleased with herself for doing something new, it's just fun to watch!

She finally got two teeth breaking through the gumes on the bottom! That in itself is a tremendous accomplishment since she's been teething for months now and had such a hard time with it some days. (and nights) She's still acting like there's more to come so I'm not sure if those two just aren't totally out yet or if she's gonna get several close together. Guess we'll just wait and see!

Her sleeping has gotten so much better for the most part unless something is bothering her. She's slept through the night several times now so that is a huge blessing there. She's pretty good at taking naps during the day too unlike the older kiddos were so that helps to have breaks to do other things! She's also eating more 'solid' foods, although she doesn't have a big variety yet since she's still very sensitive with her stomach. She loves eating though and of course still takes several bottles a day as well.

My biggest amazement in seeing her turn 8 months has to be in looking back over how hard we struggled with her health issues just a few short months ago. I am beyond thankful at how much better she is doing and grateful that the Lord has helped us so much in that area. Things aren't perfect and I'm sure we'll always have some problems to deal with(since we all have such severe allergies)but it's such a relief to see the improvement that we have.

Mostly Darcey is just a happy, laughing girl who fills our lives with so much joy every day. Has it been a little hard at times adding her into this (sometimes crazy) family? Well, yeah, honestly it has. But is it more than worth it? Most definitely. :)

June 26, 2011

Comparing Reflux Journeys

I don't think I ever got around to posting alot of specifics about Darcey's health issues. So I figured now was as good a time as any! I also thought that it would be nice to tell you how similiar yet different our experiences were with Dathan and Darcey...and how strongly I believe the way we handled his and her treatment is what made all the difference. This might be a long one so consider yourself forewarned! :)

Starting with Dathan's story and trying to just hit the highlights, he started having symptoms of reflux before even leaving the hospital. We didn't know it at the time because they blamed it on him swallowing fluid but it just continued getting more severe as the days went on until it was obvious it was something serious. He had problems breastfeeding(and I had problems I've always wondered what could have caused them that I won't even began to go into here!)to the point of me stopping at about 3 weeks. By this time he was crying alot and not sleeping well. One thing led to another until he was in constant pain, screaming most of the day/night, and never sleeping unless he was held by someone...and even then very little. This was all being monitered by our pediatrician of course and we had already tried more than one medicine, formula change, etc with no good results. Then when he was about 6 weeks old he had been awake crying for at least 2 days before falling asleep so soundly that we were actually able to lay him down. I kept checking on him as I got ready to visit the chiropractor and was surprised that he seemed to be going deeper and deeper asleep....since normally he'd only stay asleep for a few minutes before waking up crying again. It had been a few minutes since the last time I'd looked in on him and this time when I bent over to see if he was breathing I realized he wasn't and his face was already turning blue. Needless to say it was the scariest thing I've ever experienced. This was followed by 3 hospital stays and numerous doctors visits to specialists while they all tried to figure out why he was having the apnea spells. (through numerous horrible tests that I won't even try to go into details for on here) They never came to any conclusions and continued trying out different meds that not only didn't help but caused problems themselves. It wasn't until he was about 8 months old and we saw a naturopathic doctor and found out about his severe allergies that we realized all of his issues were stemming mostly from that. Unfortunately I think all the things we had given him combined with months of exposure to so many allergens had made him so sick that even after changing as much as possible and seeing some improvement he still was so very sick. There was hardly a night went by that he didn't wake up crying, he had reactions to something pretty much every time we went anywhere, and if he ever ate anything he was allergic to it was really bad. To be honest, he still has alot of health issues to this day, which still greatly affect his sleep, emotions, energy, etc. But I do know that being strict about what he eats, giving him homeopathics, going to the chiropractor and just trying to limit his allergy exposure helps so much.

But now let me tell you about our experience with Darcey. I think you'll be amazed at the difference! She was so like him as far as symptoms go pretty much from the start that it was scary. (literally) Before very few days had passed she was already crying alot, having trouble eating and sleeping, and just generally showing signs of being in pain. Since we'd been down this road before(mostly with Dathan as far as the reflux but in some ways Delancey as well with the severe allergies)we automatically decided to try different things other than the medical route this time. Those included homeopathics, probiotics, special formula, seeing a naturopath for acupressure treatments pertaining to the allergy/stomach issues, and basically just keeping her away from things that we knew she'd probably have an allergy to. We also saw a pediatric gastoentologist who assured us that we were doing all possible to help her and that there was technically no proven medicines to help babies with these sort of problems. And as we had already found out before...could possibly even make matters worse. She still had terrible crying spells, sleepless days and nights and had to be held most of the time for several weeks, but we gradually started seeing changes for the better. And until then we bounced countless hours on an exercise ball, used white noise almost constantly, and learned multiple ways to stack up pillows to help some or all of us to get a little rest. :)

So in review, the natural treatments didn't provide a quick fix as in healing Darcey overnight, but then again neither did the medicines we tried for Dathan. And I can honestly say that 8 months into her life there is a huge difference between how she is feeling and acting than there was with him. Not to mention that she didn't suffer any of the side effects or reactions that he had to all that time. Hands down I would definitely recommend trying any or all of the things that we did if you have a baby who is suffering with health issues after birth.

So there's our story if you're still hanging in there to read it! :) Hope you enjoyed and that maybe some of the info can be passed along and help others. I know some people think that how we choose to do things is crazy, but only you can know your own kids and what works best for them. Since we've been down both roads with the same problems and had such drastic results then I can confidently say that natural treatments are the best for us!

June 16, 2011

Easy Shortcake Recipe

If you're like us you've probably been indulging in yummy, fresh strawberries for the past few months. Since we only eat organic they're a little more challenging to find, but we've managed to get our fair share that's for sure! :) Last year I found this quick, easy recipe for shortcake and it went perfect with the fresh berries and homemade whipped cream we had on hand. (click here for that recipe!) I haven't made any in awhile and the past couple of days it's sounded so good so that's what we'll be having in the morning for breakfast I think. Thought I'd just share the recipe with you all while I was at it! Hope you enjoy......
                Sour Cream Drop Shortcake
2 cups flour (it calls for self-rising but I just add in baking powder and salt to my organic, unbleached)
3 tblsp sugar (or whatever sweetener you use)
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted (make sure you let it completely cool or it will harden when you mix it with the other ingredients)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease large cookie sheet. Combine flour and sugar; mix well. In small bowl, combine milk, sour cream, and butter;blend well. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Drop dough  by heaping large spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. (can serve warm or cool)

Split shortcakes (or leave them whole, crumble them up...they're good however!), then fill and top with whipped cream and berries. Fantastic!! :)

(recipe courtesy of Martha White....I love her cookbook that I have!)

June 6, 2011

Getting Around...

Our Darcey girl has been busy the past few weeks! It's hard to believe how fast she is growing and all the things she can already do, but the proof is impossible to deny. :)

She loves to get around. Which is why she quickly has gone from sitting up, to raising onto her hands n knees, to scoot-crawling across the floor, to perfecting the actual crawling technique, and finally just this weekend.........

....standing up in the bed by herself!! Look at how pleased she is. lol Totally thinks she's something....and so do we actually!! :) She is an absolute handful sometimes but also so much fun. I'm pretty sure it won't be too long before the pulling up turns into letting go and then full out walking. Definitely following in her big sister's footsteps it looks like as an early walker. Now if we can just somehow keep her from all that climbing Delancey likes to do...... ;)

Oh, and for the record this weekend also included going to get a bigger bed. As you can see we have used the convenience of the co-sleeper for as long as possible! ((sigh)) Although those first few months were rough and seemed impossibly long, now it seems like her baby days are just flying by. So I guess I better enjoy them while I can!