My Renovation Blog

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


After her walk with Owen this morning, Ella spent some time with another little boy at her second Gymboree class.  She really likes it, and they do a lot of developmental exercises that I don't even know about or ever do at home so it's a good thing we go!

We did a little tummy time on the bed when we got home, and Rylee decided this was a comfortable position for her...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Bunny!

We went to South Coast Plaza today with grandma, and Ella met the Easter Bunny!  The picture above is actually at Crystal Court because for some reason they have this tiny animated bunny at the SCP location, and I wanted a picture with the 'real' Easter Bunny so we had to walk over to Crystal Court for the picture.  We planned on going to Fashion Island, but it was practically sprinkling this morning so we decided to stay indoors.

SCP has the cutest little Easter area by the carousel.  Pictures don't really do it justice, but here is a shot of the general area...
A closeup of one of the 'hills'...
They have a hole with a bunny going down it like in Alice in Wonderland...
Planter boxes with flowers and white picket fences...
Beautiful real flowers in the bench planters (which you sort of see behind us in this picture)...
And they put the rabbits on the carousel which are so cute...
I'm sure this will be the best time we'll have with the Easter Bunny for awhile since she'll probably be scared of him next year! ;)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Auntie and Cousin

Today Auntie Katie and cousin Brett came to visit from San Diego.  It was great to see them!  Brett was so sweet giving Ella kisses!  Katie is almost 30 weeks pregnant with another baby boy, and she looks great!  Just a little basketball under her shirt that you can kind of see in the picture below...
Ella wore one of her cute new headbands.  Here is a close up...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Busy Weekend...

We had Lindley, Steve and Logan over for dinner on Saturday was so much fun!  It was gorgeous outside so we ate in the backyard, and Logan was so happy and adorable running all over the yard.  Lindley made a delicious chocolate cake that seriously tastes like restaurant cake...yum!  What could be better than friends, wine and chocolate? ;)

On Sunday morning, I met up with some of the girls from my mom's group for breakfast at Champagne Bakery.  I love love love the mommy and me events we do, but it's also so nice to meet up without the kiddos!  We had such great conversation.  We're going to plan some couples events and happy hours, and I think we're going to do a pool day at our pool.  So many of the girls live really close to us, and it's so fun to meet new friends!

 In the afternoon, Gary, Ella and I went to Irvine Regional Park to meet up with our "Parents with Cameras" group.  I cannot believe that we have never been there before!  It's only about 5 minutes from our house, and it's awesome!  There are acres and acres of park, a lake, a zoo, a train, pony rides, hay rides and for Easter, the Easter Bunny, an egg hunt, cookie decorating, etc.  Ella is going to LOVE this place when she gets a little bigger!  I took tons of photos and realized how desperately I need to practice.

Ella saw her first pony...

And sat on a tree...

And turned into a chocolate bunny...

And was generally very happy to be at the park on a beautiful day!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Solid Food

 I think I've mentioned that Ella was not doing too well with rice cereal.  She was getting a little better at it, but then at the beginning of this week, she started screaming and crying when I tried to feed her rice cereal and pushing all of it out of her mouth.

A few people suggested mixing in fruits or vegetables with the rice cereal, but I didn't want to start her on other foods until she mastered eating rice cereal.  I gave her 2 days off, and then gave in yesterday and bought some organic carrot baby food- she loved it!  Then, I completely forgot you're supposed to wait a few days before introducing another new food, and I gave her avocado mixed with banana, which she also loved!  Now I feel like an idiot for introducing more than one food in a day, but hopefully we won't have any allergic reaction, and I'll do that for the rest of the new foods.  It's been 24 hours and still no reaction, so hopefully we're in the clear.

Here's a tip...don't feed your baby carrots RIGHT before nap time because then when she inevitably puts her hands in her mouth thereby getting food all over her hands, she also gets food in her eyes and in her nose from rubbing them due to being tired.  Way to go mommy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Everyday is Something New

This morning we went to a baby music class with the mommy group we recently joined.  It was so fun, and the moms are wonderful!  There were three babies around 4 months old and three around a year old so Ella was right in the middle.  It probably isn't a class I'd sign up for, but Ella seemed to enjoy it, and I had a great time meeting the other mommies.  I can't wait to participate in more of the activities and events with the group. 

Ella just started doing "raspberries" with her mouth, and blowing/spitting's so cute!  She kept doing it at music class...I think she was trying to show off to her new friends. ;)

I hate to even say it out loud, but Ella has slept through the night THREE nights in a row!  I have no idea what is going on with this crazy girl.  We're so used to waking up at 3 or 4 a.m., that it just feels weird!

Our nanny is coming this afternoon so I can get some stuff done around the house.  We have a very busy weekend planned so I'm crossing my fingers that there are no meltdowns!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ella Had a Big Day!

First, we went to Owen's house for a little playdate (and mommy chat) in the morning.  I can't wait until Ella moves around like Owen.  I know everyone says enjoy it while they aren't mobile, but it's so cute when they are crawling around and playing with toys.

Second, we went to our first Gymboree class!  I was surprised because she tends to get overstimulated, but Ella really liked it (and so did I)!  We met another great mom and baby boy, who is only 15 days older than Ella, and they live right by us so we're going to try and get together soon.

Finally, Ella sat up once at Owen's house and twice at Gymboree!! 

After all that, Ella is pooped so even though I usually don't let her sleep past 4:30, I'm going to let her "sleep in" if she wants to. ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Things We've Learned About Ella

In only 5.5 months, we've learned...

(1) Ella LOVES the camera...she is a total ham.  She can be cracking up laughing at daddy, and as soon as I turn the camera on, she stares right at it endlessly (see video above).

(2) She loves to have you stick your tongue out at her (she will laugh and laugh), and she loves sticking her tongue out at you (see video above).

(3) She constantly turns over from her back to front but then gets PI$$ED because she can't turn back over!  I find this funny since she started rolling from tummy to back, but now she absolutely will not do it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patty's Day and Updates


Three updates:

(1) The bad news is that Ella is still not really getting the concept of solid food and tends to push most of it out with her tongue (although she is getting much better).  The good news is that the dog LOVES rice cereal so none of it goes to waste. [insert eye roll here].

(2) Ella is mimicking us more and more, and daddy taught her to stick her tongue out at us yesterday...she's giving us attitude already! ;)

(3) She is now putting everything in her's begun!  I'm also amazed by the size of toy she fits entirely into her mouth...see picture above...scary.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

First Dinner Out

Well, we finally got up the nerve to take Ella out to dinner, and it went great!  Pre-Ella, we would go to RA Sushi all the time for happy hour (which I highly recommend- really inexpensive and delicious- make sure to try the chicken yakitori), but we haven't been since before she was born.  We thought it would be perfect for her first time out to dinner because it's loud, and you have to go early for happy hour anyway.  We left right after she woke up from her nap around 5 p.m., and she was a complete angel the entire time.  Now we feel more confident and can take her out more often...yippee!

Monday, March 8, 2010

5 Months Old

Ella is 5 months old today!  She is such a happy baby and a joy to be around.  She smiles all the time, and now she cracks up laughing as well.  She has a big personality always smiling, yelling, talking, squealing with delight and repeating the sounds we make.  She rarely cries, and only fusses when she is very hungry or tired.

She is a great napper.  She takes three naps a day, typically 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.  She goes down easily and either talks to herself or cries for only a few minutes.  She goes to bed between 6:30 and 7 p.m. and usually falls right to sleep (so it's not true that if you rock them to sleep when they are newborns you'll have to do it forever!).  She still gets a dream feed at 11 p.m., and then vacillates between sleeping through the night to 6 or 7 a.m. and waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. for a little food.

She is eating all formula now- we just give her regular kind.  She eats about 6 ounces each bottle about 5 times a day...sometimes she eats much less.  We've tried feeding her rice cereal a few times, but she can't quite get the concept of swallowing when you aren't sucking!  

She is still pretty true to size in clothes.  She typically wears 3-6 month or 6 month sizes, except in Gymboree, which runs really big so she can still wear 0-3 months!  We are just starting to phase out Pampers size 1 diapers and move her to size 2.

Her favorite "toy" is her Baby Einstein exersaucer.  She likes to grab, hit, push, but she still doesn't hold onto rattles or toys by herself very well.  She can roll from front to back and back to front, but she doesn't do either very often.  Baths are still her favorite thing in the world.

ETA: She is 14 pounds and 24 3/4 inches.  She is in the 75th percentile for height (adjusted) and weight and 50th percentile for head (adjusted).  The doctor didn't tell us her percentiles for actual age, but I found a calculator online, and it said she's in the 22nd percentile for weight and 27th percentile for height.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Playdate with Peyton and Logan

Ella had a playdate with sisters Logan and Peyton today. They are so cute and were both so good! Ella loved watching them too, which is nice for me because she'll sit there mesmerized for over an hour! I had my playdate with M, who is a very close friend that I lost touch with so it was so great to spend time together...I missed her! Now for a night of Oscar fashions...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ella Cracks Up :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Why Don't You Just Adopt?

That's one of the many comments that people suffering with infertility get that is maddening.  It's on my mind today because it spurred quite a debate on a board that I frequent.  

I didn't like to talk much about my struggles when I was going through it because it was too painful, but now that I have my perfect baby girl, I like to shout it from the roof.  I will mention as many times as I can that I had to endure 8 painful and expensive treatment cycles to achieve my dream because I want people to know that I'm comfortable talking about it now, and I hope that anyone suffering will feel comfortable talking to me, asking for advice, venting, whatever they need from someone who's been there.  You feel SO isolated when you are dealing with infertility because often no one in your real life can truly understand.

People make insensitive comments all the time.  For the most part, they don't mean to, they just don't "get it."  And I always understood that no one got it so I tried to give the benefit of the doubt, even though I would often lay in bed sobbing because of something someone did or said.

First of all, yes, every single infertile person has considered adoption.  Heck, I had tons of paperwork from both the state and private agencies.  What "fertile" people don't understand is that giving up your dream of having a biological child or even just being pregnant is a huge loss, almost like a death.  Even if you can get past that hurdle, adoption can be very expensive and is always VERY uncertain.  I can't tell you the number of people I know who either had to give a foster to adopt child back or who went 10 months thinking they would finally be blessed with their precious child only to have the 16 year old birth mother change her mind.  Personally, I could not have handled that.  I would have lost it.  I have so much respect for people that are able to adopt.  They are clearly stronger than me.

People think you are selfish because you can't bring yourself to attend another baby shower or child's birthday party.  It's not selfishness, it's self preservation.  I hated that I couldn't be happy when someone announced that they were pregnant.  I hated that I would cry for 2 days after every single pregnancy announcement and be depressed for at least a week.  It killed me to barely see my friends and have to miss showers and birthday parties because I knew I would breakdown in front of everyone if I was there.  And it's a double edged sword because it would hurt so bad when friends stopped inviting you to things, but yet, you wouldn't have gone anyway so can you blame them for forgetting about you when you're never around?  You feel like such a jerk for never asking how they are feeling when they are pregnant or how the baby is after coming home.

You become desperate.  I spoke with the doctor in India, who runs the surrogacy program that has been featured on many news programs.  I researched and obtained information on multiple clinics in Europe because it's much cheaper to cycle there.  I researched state adoption, private adoption, international adoption.  I consulted with doctors in Colorado and New York, which have the best clinics in the nation.  I would have gone anywhere for a chance to have a baby.  A chance.  That's all it ever is.

I did acupuncture, which I hated.  I took herbs.  I drank tea.  I cut out dairy.  I ate more dairy.  I cut out gluten.  I ate more gluten.  I ate more vegetables.  I ate less vegetables.  I ate more meat.  I ate less meat.  I worked out more.  I worked out less.  I cut out sugar, caffeine, alcohol.  I gained weight.

Every month you get a negative pregnancy test, you cry.  When it was a treatment cycle, you cry harder.  As much as it should not be about money, can you imagine what it feels like to not only get another BFN, but also feel like you just wasted another $10,000 - $20,000?  For NOTHING.

Even when you are lucky enough to become pregnant with a sticky baby (as we like to call it), you live in fear for 10 months.

Many many infertiles have suffered through one or more miscarriages.  You can't imagine what it's like to FINALLY get pregnant after thousands of dollars and multiple treatment cycles, see your beautiful baby's little heart flickering away so that you finally let your walls down a bit, only to miscarry the next week.  It's devastating.  I NEVER talk about my miscarriage.  It's something I like to block out.  But it affected my pregnancy with Ella extensively.  I had a fetal heart monitor at my house so I could make sure there was a heartbeat everyday.  I hated every single minute of being pregnant because I was sure she was going to be taken away from me like the last baby.  Even if I heard her h/b that morning, I couldn't be sure that it was still there an hour later.  I was basically panicked for 33 weeks 5 days.

Infertility is a disease.  Just like any other disease.  No one chooses to be infertile.  Would you make a comment to someone that is sick that "it's God's will" or "why can't you just get over it?"  Of course not. 

But I don't write this for myself.  I have never been happier or more content, and I feel BEYOND fortunate and blessed to be one of the lucky ones.  It doesn't happen for everyone.  If I never have another child, my life will still be complete.  I write this for all the people still struggling, who have no idea whether or not they will ever be blessed with even one child.  My story is not unique.  It hurts my heart every time I hear of another person going through infertility.  I want to hug them, listen to them, love them.  I know the pain and desperation they feel, and it's debilitating.  I just ask that even if you can't understand, please don't judge their actions.  They are doing everything they can to just get by each day.  And it's tough.  When they don't call or attend a gathering, it is NOT because they don't love you.  It's because they have to so that they can make it to the next day in one piece.  If they need space for a day or a month or a year, please understand and welcome them back with open arms when they are ready. 

I will never forget the pain of infertility.  Heck, I'm still envious when I receive a pregnancy announcement from someone who is able to get pregnant the old fashioned way and for FREE.  The difference is that now I can be happy and excited for them.

Sorry for the serious post (I'm so infrequently serious!), but the discussion on the board I read really got to me, and if I can reach just one person who knows someone suffering from infertility, it will make me feel like I've accomplished something.

Despite everything I've gone through...IUIs, IVFs, miscarriage, chemical, horrible pregnancy, not so great birth, baby in the NICU, pneumothorax, I feel so incredibly lucky every single day, and I am so grateful for the wonderful friends and family (and husband!) that stood by me when it wasn't so easy to do. :)

Now back to recipes and baby pictures and home renovation...