Friday, January 28, 2011

Kool-Aid Play Dough

I found this awesome play dough recipe over at Heidi’s Recipes a few weeks ago.  Now that we’re on house arrest and have PLENTY of spare time on our hands, I was able to whip up a batch.


This recipe was REALLY easy!  I’m talking 10-month-old-hanging-on-your-legs-because-she’s-not-taking-a-nap easy!

Trenton loved playing with the play dough.  His favorite thing to do was to cut out shapes, and then put them back in the holes – like a puzzle!  Charlotte wanted to be up at the table too.  The only thing she was interested in though was trying to eat the play dough!  I have to give it to her – the stuff did smell pretty good!



Kool-Aid Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 package Kool-Aid (.13 ounce, any flavor)
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, cream of tartar, and Kool-Aid powder) together in a saucepan.

Add water and oil.

Stir the mixture together over medium heat until it thickens and a ball begins to form.  Turn off heat.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead, adding flour to hands and surface as needed.

Cool dough completely and store in a zip-lock bag or other air-tight container. 


This post is linked to:

Best toys for toddlers
Mommy’s Kitchen Photobucket

Friday Funnies: Mistaken Identity

Both Jarrod and I wear contacts, and it seems that Trenton may have gotten some vision problems from us.

His first case of mistaken identity happened on Tuesday when we had to go to the pharmacy to pick up Charlotte’s antibiotics.  This was a little family owned place, and they didn’t have a drive thru.  As we were walking out of the pharmacy, a car pulled up and parked in the back of the parking lot, near the house behind the pharmacy.  An older lady with short curly gray hair got out of the car.  “Nanny!  Nanny car!  Nanny!  Inside house!  WaWa house!  Inside!  WaWa house!  Nanny!”  I had to hold on to Trenton’s hand really tight because he was convinced that the lady was his Nanny.  And since she parked near a house, that house just HAD to be WaWa’s house!

The second case of mistaken identity happened on Wednesday.  Trenton has started calling DVDs “books.”  I guess the cases look like books to him.  Anyway, he had just gotten up from his afternoon nap when he went over to the TV stand and started peering through the glass to find a “book.”  He was looking and then got really excited, exclaiming, “Mimi book!”  He was pointing to The Sound of Music.  Although this is Mimi’s favorite movie and could be called “Mimi book” for that reason, that wasn’t the reason Trenton thought it was “Mimi book.”  He truly thought that Julie Andrews was Mimi!  And he sat and watched the whole movie!

DSC_4724-1 julie-andrews-the-sound-of-music

Maybe we should have this kid’s eyes checked!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Charlotte’s Medical Mystery– C-Diff Results

We got Charlotte’s C-Diff results in today.  All three tests came back negative!  This is great news!  We still have to stay around the house until Charlotte has finished up all of her antibiotics, but at least the kiddos can bathe together again!  They were VERY excited about this tonight!

Charlotte is still dealing with diarrhea, but hopefully that will start getting better soon…before the diaper rash that the diarrhea is causing get any worse.

Charlotte goes back down to CHKD next Thursday for a VCUG.  She will have contrast dye put into her bladder through a catheter (not looking forward to putting her through that again).  X-Ray photos will be able to see if the dye backs up into her kidneys or if it makes its way out of her the correct way.  If the dye backs up, it is called Vesicoureteral Reflux.  From what we’ve been told, this is treated with antibiotics.

We will also be meeting with a renal doctor sometime in the next few weeks. 

Charlotte is pretty much back to her old self and even has a few new tricks up her sleeve.  She started waving while we were in the hospital, but she hasn’t done that trick since we left.  She always waved with her IV arm, so maybe it was just bothering her.  A new trick that she started yesterday is clapping.  She claps while I change her diaper.  I guess she’s happy that she doesn’t have to stay in a dirty diaper!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Charlotte’s Medical Mystery–Day Eight–Tuesday, January 25

After calling around to at least 10 different pharmacies this morning, I finally found one that carried Cipro in the dosage that Charlotte needed!

Charlotte’s pediatrician wanted to see her this afternoon for a follow-up.  Trenton went across the street to stay with some of our neighbors. 

To test for C-Diff, stool samples are taken from three different days.  Dr. Altman took the last sample today.  The first sample from Sunday came back negative, so that is a good sign.  But until we get the results from all three samples, we have to be really careful.  We’re not supposed to get Charlotte out unless absolutely necessary, and we all have to make sure to wash our hands with soap and water (hand sanitizer does not kill C-Diff) often. 

Charlotte will be going back down to the children’s hospital hopefully sometime next week for a VCUG.  She will have dye put into her bladder and then x-rays will be used to see if her urine is backing up into her kidneys.  If she does, then she may have to go on a low dose of antibiotics to prevent recurrent infections.

Charlotte is still not eating as good as she normally does, but hopefully she’ll fall back into a routine soon.

Trenton is very happy about having his sister home.  He followed her all morning saying, “Baby hug!” while giving her huge bear hugs.  Because we have to be very careful about spreading possible C-Diff germs, I have to bathe the kids separately.  Trenton did not like this, and actually tried to pull his sister into the tub tonight!

We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family.  We have received many calls, texts, emails, and facebook messages from so many people letting us know that our whole family was in thoughts and prayers.  Our friends here locally have been wonderful too.  We never had to worry about if Trenton would have a place to hang out so that Jarrod and I could spend time together with Charlotte at the hospital.  We had more people volunteer to keep him than we had days in the hospital.  We also had meals and snacks delivered to us at the hospital.  The company and conversation was much more important to us though.  Thank you all for everything you did for us.  We couldn’t have made it through this without your help, warm words, thoughts, and prayers. 


Monday, January 24, 2011

Charlotte’s Medical Mystery–Day Seven–Monday, January 24

Charlotte had a pretty good night again last night, but was woke up at 5am to have blood drawn for some tests.  It took the nurses a while to get it, but she was a trooper.  She went right back to sleep after they were finished.

At 7am a resident came in to take a listen to Charlotte.  She told me that the blood that was drawn at 5:00 clotted and wasn’t any good.  The same this happened yesterday morning.  They would be sending a vascular specialist in to draw her blood a little later.  I also asked the resident to take a look in Charlotte’s mouth because I wanted to know if she might have some yeast growing.  The resident thought that it looked like Charlotte might have a little coating, but she would have Dr. Poff look at it a little later.

The vascular specialist came in around 8:30.  She couldn’t find a good spot on her arms to try to get blood, so she moved to Charlotte’s feet.  She started in her right ankle, and after what seemed like at least 5 minutes of digging around, gave up on that spot.  She moved on to a little vein in the top of Charlotte’s left foot.  She got about 1 1/2 cc’s before the vein collapsed, and she needed at least 3 cc’s.  The vascular specialist moved to Charlotte’s left ankle, and hit the vein pretty easily.  She got some more blood but then hit a bubble.  Thankfully, she had already gotten enough for the tubes.

One of the residents came in the room and asked me to come out in the hall around 10:30.  She said I would be meeting the whole team.  Charlotte and I walked out in the hall, and holy moly, there were at least 15 people!  Dr. Poff was there, as were all of her residents and interns.  One of the residents took the reins and told the rest of the team about Charlotte (just like in Grey’s Anatomy).  We really didn’t discuss much since it was such a large group of people.  Dr. Poff tried to take a quick look in Charlotte’s mouth, but couldn’t get a good look without laying her down.  I told Dr. Poff that Dr. Altman wanted to talk to her, and she said that after she finished making rounds with the team, she would get in touch with Dr. Altman and then come and talk to us.  One other thing that we learned during rounds was that Charlotte’s CRP (C-Reactive Protein) is at 1.5 which is a little high, but is a lot better than 9.2 which is where it was at on Thursday.  There are still more blood results that we are waiting on, but hopefully we’ll get some info on them shortly.

UPDATE (3:40pm):

Charlotte’s CRP is down to 1.1 which is almost normal.  Her SED rate is at 30.  <20 is normal, but she is on the right track.  Her SED rate was 51 on Thursday.

Charlotte had a busy early afternoon.  We were playing, and Charlotte started getting fussy.  I thought she may want a bottle so I made one and put it in her mouth.  She immediately started gagging.  I pulled the bottle out just in time for her to throw up on the both of us.  Jarrod got her out of her gown, and I was holding her while we were waiting for the nurse to bring her a clean one.  My hip started feeling warm, and I figured that Charlotte’s diaper was leaking urine on me.  I pulled her away only to find out that it was a blowout diaper….yuck!  We got that diaper changed, and Charlotte immediately had another dirty diaper (thankfully not as bad as the first one).  She was then perfectly happy!

Charlotte and Daddy enjoyed a nice long nap together this afternoon.



We’ve had the option for a few days now to switch Charlotte over the the oral Cipro and go home.  After talking with Charlotte’s pediatrician, we decided to stay a few more days in the hospital to lessen the number of days that she needed to be on Cipro.  We all decided that the less amount of days she was on the Cipro, the less of a chance she would have any side effects.  We also knew that we didn’t want to stay in the hospital 10 days if we didn’t have to since there’s always the risk of picking something else up in the hospital…especially since we were in a shared room.

All of our plans went out the window when Jarrod got a call around 6:30pm that he was being called back out to the ship and would be flying out first thing in the morning.  We elected to switch over to the Cipro a little earlier than planned and have Charlotte discharged so that I wouldn’t have to worry about setting up extended child care for Trenton.  There was some drama going on with our roommates that the nurses were tending to, so it was after 10:30pm by the time we got discharged, but we were out. 

On our way home, we stopped at the 24-hour Walgreens to have Charlotte’s prescription filled.  They didn’t carry the liquid Cipro though.  The pharmacist called around to all of the other 24-hour pharmacies in town, and none of them had it either.  I would just have to call around in the morning to see if anyone else had it. 

It was almost midnight by the time we got home.  Charlotte was wide awake, and I didn’t really want to stay up all night fighting to get her down in her bed, so I decided to let her sleep with me and Jarrod.  Jarrod was already in bed, so I turned down the covers to lay Charlotte next to him while I got ready.  I saw a jewelry box under the covers, and had a little chuckle.  Trenton had been playing around in my jewelry chest again and had hidden jewelry under the covers.  I picked the box up and was getting ready to put it away when I realized that it didn’t look very familiar.  I opened it up, and inside were a pair of diamond stud earrings!  Jarrod said that they were supposed to be a gift for our 5th anniversary next month, but he thought that I deserved them now!  What a nice surprise to come home to!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Charlotte’s Medical Mystery–Day Six–Sunday, January 23

Charlotte slept pretty good again last night.  The nurse came in at 4am to get some blood to check Charlotte’s electrolytes since she is on IV fluids.  Thankfully, I didn’t have any trouble getting Charlotte back down after the nurse left.

I ordered a tray breakfast for Charlotte this morning, and actually got her to eat a little bit of toast and waffle.  So far today, she’s taking her formula pretty good too.

A nurse came back in a little after breakfast and said that they were going to have to draw blood.  The toe prick blood they got in the early morning clotted and wasn’t a good sample.  The new blood sample went well, and Charlotte’s electrolytes look fine.

Dr. Poff came in this morning, and the urine culture Charlotte had done on Friday didn’t grow anything.  Dr. Poff said that this doesn’t mean that there is no pseudomonas in Charlotte.  A urine sample only gets urine out of the bladder.  So there is was no pseudomonas in the bladder on Friday morning, but it still could be in her kidneys and therefore still needs to be treated. 

Dr. Poff talked to a few more doctors about the oral cipro medication.  She said that the reason it is not approved is because to get a drug approved by the FDA, a large sample group has to use the drug.  Since it is so rare for children under the age of one to get this strain of bacteria and therefore need cipro for the treatment of it, they don’t have enough people for a large enough sample group.  Since Charlotte’s been on IV fluids, the earliest she could be released is tomorrow, so Jarrod and I still have some time to make our decision on whether we want to go with the 10 day IV antibiotics or take Charlotte home and use the ciprofloxacin.  I am hoping to be able to talk to Dr. Altman tomorrow to get her opinion on a course of action.

That’s where we stand so far today.  I will update this post later on if we get any new information. 

PM Update:

I was able to go back home this afternoon to get a shower and spend time with Trenton while Jarrod hung out with Charlotte.

Dr. Poff came by and talked with Jarrod a little more about Cipro.  Jarrod asked if home health was an option if we decided on the IV antibiotics.  Dr. Poff said she would check into it.

Charlotte has had diarrhea since soon after she started on antibiotics for her ear infection a week and a half ago.  Today she had two diarrhea diapers that were very different from her “normal” diarrhea.  They are now worried that Charlotte might have C-Diff, a bacteria that can be a problem when good bacteria have been killed off by prolonged antibiotic use.  The nurses now all come in wearing gowns and gloves when they touch Charlotte.  We haven’t seen a doctor since this came up, so I don’t know if it will change any of the courses of action we’ve talked about.  I guess we’ll find out more in the morning.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Charlotte’s Medical Mystery–Day Five–Saturday, January 22

We got great news this morning.  Charlotte had been fever free since we got to the hospital, and if she could go all day today without a fever, we could go home tomorrow with follow-on oral antibiotics!

Jarrod and Trenton came by to visit this morning too.  The plan was that I would take Trenton back home and get a few things done (like a shower), and Jarrod would stay with Charlotte for a while.  Charlotte did not like that plan.  And since she pretty much rules the roost right now, I stayed and Jarrod took Trenton back home.  This did not make for a happy little boy.  Every time I called Jarrod today, I could hear Trenton in the background saying, “Mama, help!”  Already breaking Mommy’s heart!

Since I couldn’t go home to take a shower, I called Child Life Services to get someone to take Charlotte upstairs to the playroom while I grabbed a quick shower and then went downstairs to pick some lunch up from the cafeteria.  What a nice service to have available!

As I was coming back to the room from downstairs, Dr. Poff caught up with me and walked me back to the room.  She told me that there is only one oral antibiotic known to treat pseudomonas bacteria – ciprofloxacin.  She told me that this antibiotic has not been approved for use on children under a year old.  Also, cipro has been known to cause, on very rare occasion, tendon problems such as ruptured Achilles tendons.  Our only other option is IV antibiotics in the hospital for 10 days.  Dr. Poff said that she would do more research and see what else she could find out.

Jarrod took Trenton to the neighbor’s this evening so that he could be here for evening rounds.  Dr. Poff didn’t come by tonight though.  Throwing another monkey wrench in this whole thing is that the urine culture from yesterday morning hasn’t grown anything – no pseudomonas.  They give cultures 48 hours to grow something before they call them clean.  The weird thing is that Charlotte didn’t have any of the pseudomonas fighting antibiotic before yesterday’s culture, so they aren’t sure why it’s not growing yet.  Dr. Poff is supposed to be coming by in the morning once the culture has had 48 hours.

Charlotte hasn’t run a fever all day, but she hasn’t been eating.  She’s only taken a little over half of her normal formula intake.  She’s eaten maybe ten bites total all day of baby food, a couple gerber yogurt puffs, and a little bit of bread.  They currently have her hooked up to IV fluids for the night.

Charlotte’s Medical Mystery–Day Four–Friday, January 21

When it rains, it pours.  Sometime Thursday night while I was on the phone, I heard Trenton crying.  I turned the video screen of our monitor on, and saw Trenton stand up and then immediately lay back down and go to sleep.  I didn’t think anything of it, and since Charlotte gave me such a fight about going to sleep and then would only sleep with me holding her, I never went back in to check on Trenton.  After getting everything ready to leave – car packed with everything but the kids and warming up – I go upstairs to wake Trenton up, change his diaper and get him dressed before heading out the door.  I walk in his room and he greets me with a big smile – the same way he does every morning.  I go to pick him up out of bed, and see that there is vomit everywhere.  Apparently he threw up when I heard him on the monitor and then slept in it.  Wow, I felt like mother of the year material!  I got him cleaned up, and called to change childcare arrangements for him.  He was going to stay with a friend with two young kids, but I didn’t want him to get them sick.  Instead I took him to a wife off the ship who was nice enough to take him on short notice.

Dr. Altman called while we were on our way to the hospital.  The specimen on the second urine culture also showed pseudomonas. 

Charlotte and I got to CHKD around 9:30am.  Dr. Altman had already talking to the attending ER doctor, so they were expecting us.  After a resident got Charlotte’s history, the ER staff cathed her (AGAIN) and got an IV line set.  Charlotte was started on her first dose of IV antibiotics to treat pseudomonas. 

*See how I’m talking about residents, attendings, etc.?  CHKD is a learning hospital.  A Seattle Grace but for kids.  And without a McDreamy (darn it!)

The hospital was pretty full, so we didn’t actually get taken up to a room until a little after lunch.  We got our first visitor soon after we got in the room – the CO’s wife from the ship.  Ellen is so nice, and I’m so glad she came to sit with us for a while.  We went down to x-ray a little after 3:00 for a renal ultrasound to check for abnormalities in Charlotte’s kidneys.  Jarrod got to the hospital just as the ultrasound was starting.  Charlotte was happy to see her Daddy again!


Charlotte’s doctor, Dr. Poff, came by later in the evening.  She said that Charlotte’s ultrasound looked great – no abnormalities in the make up of the kidneys.  She said Charlotte would be in the hospital on IV antibiotics for at least a couple of days.

After talking to Dr. Poff, Jarrod left to go pick Trenton up, and Charlotte and I hit the hay.  The baby bed they have in here is one of their older beds, and really looks more like a cage.  Charlotte wouldn’t go down in there, and I really didn’t blame her.  She slept next to me and pretty much slept through her vitals being taken every two hours and getting a round of IV antibiotics.

Charlotte’s Medical Mystery–Day Three–Thursday, January 20

Charlotte’s temperature was a little over 102 in the early morning hours, but by the time we left the house to go drop Trenton off with a friend and then head to the doctor, it was down to a little over 100. 

Dr. Altman didn’t have any test results from the previous day back yet, but she had a few more tests she wanted to run.  Thankfully they didn’t involve needing a urine specimen!  The nurse had an easy time drawing blood again for the tests.

Preliminary results today showed that Charlotte’s white count was at 19,800 – down from the previous day, but a little higher than Tuesday’s levels.

Charlotte got another antibiotic shot, and then we were free to go pick Trenton up and go home.

Charlotte took a nice nap at home and then was up and around playing, laughing, and having a lot of fun.  Her temperature was virtually non-existent, so I thought the antibiotics had wiped out whatever was wrong with Charlotte.

Soon after I got Trenton down for the night, I received a call from Dr. Altman.  Some of the test results for Charlotte were back.  A couple of the blood tests were concerning Dr. Altman.  The urine culture results weren’t completely finished, but they did show that something was growing.  Even though Charlotte outwardly looked better, something was going on in her body, and Dr. Altman wasn’t quite sure what it was.  She called and consulted with an infectious disease doctor at CHKD (Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters) in Norfolk.  Together they decided that it looked like a probable kidney infection (upper UTI).  Dr. Altman called me back and told me that I needed to take Charlotte to the CHKD emergency room first thing in the morning, and that Charlotte would probably admitted for IV antibiotics if this was a kidney infection.

I got hold of Jarrod (who was out to sea) through the command to let him know what was going on.  After giving him all of the info I had, he called me back to let me know he was going to be able to catch a flight off the ship.

I finally got Charlotte to sleep and got a little sleep myself around 1am.

Charlotte’s Medical Mystery–Day Two–Wednesday, January 19

Charlotte spiked a 105+ fever in the early morning hours on Wednesday.  The pediatrician’s office was able to work Charlotte in pretty early.  Since the ER thought she had a virus, I didn’t want to leave Trenton with any of my friends in case he had it too.  So, he tagged along with Charlotte and me.

Dr. Altman initially thought Charlotte may have had a virus too, but while we were in her office, Charlotte’s urine culture results popped up.  Her culture had grown a bacteria called pseudomonas - a pretty uncommon bacteria for a UTI, and especially rare for children.  Dr. Altman thought Charlotte’s specimen had been contaminated since this result didn’t make much sense.  She decided to do another work up.

A nurse came in to cath Charlotte to collect another urine specimen.  I lost count of how many times she tried, but she couldn’t get it.  She taped a clean catch bag on Charlotte and then moved on to her arm to draw blood for a full blood panel.  Thankfully she got a vein on the first try.  Charlotte hadn’t peed by the time the blood was drawn, so we waited.  Dr. Altman came back in with preliminary blood results showing that Charlotte’s white count was up to 25,000.  Charlotte still hadn’t peed, so the nurse came back in to try to cath her again.  And again, she couldn’t get it.  Dr. Altman came back in to give it a try.  Charlotte had me, two nurses, and Dr. Altman all hovered around her while she was screaming her head off.  Trenton was pretty freaked out by this and he started crying too.  It took Dr. Altman a few tries, but she finally got Charlotte cathed and the urine sample that she needed.  She also ordered an antibiotic shot so that it could start working on whatever what going on with Charlotte and told us to come back in the morning for a follow up. 

Charlotte’s Medical Mystery–Day 1–Tuesday, January 18

I said in my last posting that I had to take Charlotte to urgent care and the ER on Tuesday.  Well, this is how Charlotte’s medical mystery all got started….

Around 11am Tuesday morning, I noticed that Charlotte felt hot.  I took her temperature, and it was up above 102.  She was still on antibiotics for an ear infection, so this was a little alarming to me.  I called her pediatrician’s office and got a call back from the nurse.  She was going to talk to the doctor and give me a call back.  Since it was almost lunch time, I didn’t expect to hear anything back until the afternoon. 

Charlotte was pretty lethargic and didn’t even want to eat lunch (she normally doesn’t skip meals as you can probably tell from her pictures).  I laid Charlotte down in the swing around 1pm while I went to put Trenton upstairs for a nap.  When I came back down and went to pick Charlotte up, she was burning up.  As soon as I picked her up, she threw up everywhere.  I laid her down to take her temperature again, and it was up to 104.2.  She threw up again when I picked her up.  I called the pediatrician’s office back, and Charlotte’s doctor had been called to the hospital.  The nurse told me to take Charlotte to an urgent care clinic.  I woke Trenton up, walked him across the street to our neighbors, and headed to urgent care with Charlotte.

At the urgent care clinic, I was expecting the doctor to look at Charlotte’s ears, tell me they had gotten worse, give her a shot of a stronger antibiotic, and then send us home.  Instead, the doctor looked at her ears and said they looked pretty good.  What?  He then did a flu swab because even people who have been immunized can wind up with the flu virus.  That came back negative, so he ordered a complete blood count.  It came back that Charlotte’s white blood cell count was at 18,000 (4,000-10,000 is normal range), so the doctor sent us to the ER for some more testing.

In addition to a lot of waiting at the ER, Charlotte got a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia and got a urine sample taken to check for a urinary tract infection.  The x-ray was normal, and the dip stick test in the urine didn’t show anything alarming.  The ER doctor sent us back home assuming Charlotte had a virus and told us to follow up with her pediatrician.

Look Who’s Two!

Trenton is two!  Not that he was very happy about it though!  When I went into his room Tuesday morning, I said, “Happy Birthday, Trenton!  You’re two!”  A few minutes later, I asked him how old he was, and he told me he was one.  I explained to him that no, today was his birthday, and that meant he was two now.  He was not very happy and said, “NO, ONE!”  It was Thursday before Trenton finally decided that he was indeed two.

We started the birthday festivities a bit early.  Since Jarrod was going to be leaving out to sea, Trenton got his birthday present on Sunday – a pre-bike (also called a balance bike or running bike) – so that he would have plenty of time to play with it with Daddy home to help.  This is essentially a bike without pedals.  Right now, Trenton walks with it, but once he is comfortable and learns to balance, he can put his feet up on the foot rests to glide.  The hope is that once he’s ready for a regular bike, he won’t need training wheels because he’ll already know how to balance.  The new bike has been a HUGE hit!





On Monday, we met up with some of our MOMS Club friends for a mini birthday celebration at Krispy Kreme.  Trenton loved seeing his buddies, and loved his number two candle, but he wouldn’t even try his donut!


I was planning on letting Trenton help me make a birthday cake on Tuesday, but I wound up having to take a sick Charlotte to urgent care and then to the ER (more to come on that in another post).  Daddy was nice enough to pick up a blizzard cake from Dairy Queen.  Jarrod took pictures of Trenton and the cake with his phone, but I don’t have them on this computer.  Trenton might not have had the best birthDAY, but he had a lot of fun leading up to it.  Thankfully he’s too young to remember his actual birthday.

So what’s Trenton up to?

Speech therapy has been a HUGE help for Trenton!  He is talking so much more now, and it’s amazing what he comes up with!

Trenton still sleeps with his paci at naptime and at night.  With Charlotte being sick so much lately, we haven’t tried too hard to take it away yet. 

Trenton has gotten to where he normally tells us if he needs to have his diaper changed, and has even asked to sit on the potty a few times.  I think he is pretty ready to start potty training, but with Charlotte sick, it’s been hard to devote my time to potty training.

Since Trenton is such a big boy, he refuses to sit in the high chair anymore.  He can crawl up into our counter height chairs all by himself, so he eats all of his meals at the “big people table.”


Our 10 Month Old Princess

Charlotte turned 10 months old on Monday!  And boy does she have a personality!  She has a wonderful smile that other are always commenting about. 

  • We’ve got a second tooth!  Charlotte’s bottom middle right tooth popped out on January 7th.  
  • Trenton was over a year old before he started dancing.  Charlotte’s getting her groove on at 10 months!
  • We’ve heard “Dada” come out of Charlotte’s mouth a few times.  That sure makes Daddy happy!
  • Charlotte likes repeating a lot of sounds.  She repeats “uh-oh” and has even said it on her own a few times when she purposefully throws something down for me to pick up. 
  • Little Missy picked up another double ear infection soon after we got back from Texas.  Even though her ears were just as nasty as they were with her last infection, she seemed to tolerate this infection without as much fussiness. 
  • Charlotte thinks that she is a big girl.  She rarely wants to be fed baby food anymore.  Instead she thinks she can eat anything the rest of her family is eating.  She really likes it when her brother doesn’t want his food since it gives her more to eat!


Charlotte got a special 10-month birthday treat…her very first Krispy Kreme donut!  She LOVED it and ate the whole thing!


Only two months left to plan Miss Charlotte’s 1st birthday party!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Feed the Birds

We took a note from the Mary Poppins movie this week and decided to feed the birds! 


I found this wonderful tutorial for bird treats here.  My kitchen helper and I had a blast putting these together. 

Trenton and I halved the original poster’s recipe.  This is what we used:

2 cups bird seed
6 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup water
4 1/2 tsp. corn syrup


1.  Pour bird seed into large bowl.

2.  Mix flour, water, and syrup together in large measuring cup.


3.  Pour flour mixture into bird seed.


4. Mix well, coating all of the bird seed.


5.  Press bird seed mixture into cookie cutters on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. 

6.  Use a straw to make a hole to hang the treat.  Remove straw.

7.  Carefully lift up the cookie cutter.  This step is made easier by spraying your cookie cutter with Pam before filling it with bird seed.

8.  You can either let your treats air dry for at least 6 hours (flipping once), or you can bake them at 170 degrees for 1 hour (flipping at the 30 minute point).

9.  Run a ribbon or string through the hole and hang your treats out for the birds to enjoy!



We started out using fish and dolphin cookie cutters, but it was a little hard for Trenton to press the seed mixture into the tight spaces.  We wound up switching over to a biscuit cutter.

These turned out really cute and weren’t hard to make at all.  I’m sure we’ll be making these again once Charlotte is a little older and able to help in some way other than finding all of the little pieces of bird seed that fall on the floor! 

This post is linked to:

Mommy’s Kitchen

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Funnies: Literally Speaking

Talking to a toddler is a lot like talking to a foreigner  new to the English language – they take everything literally.

Tuesday, January 11 – I was changing Charlotte’s diaper downstairs when I heard some banging around upstairs.  I immediately wondered what Bailey was getting into.  I finished changing Charlotte, and then she and I walked over to the stairs to investigate what Bailey was doing.  As we were walking down the hall, I noticed that Trenton was nowhere around.  Uh-oh, Bailey must not be the only one upstairs!  I yell for Trenton, and he walks over to the top of the stairs just as Charlotte and I are getting to the bottom.  I tell Trenton that he is NOT supposed to be going upstairs by himself.  He looks over, points at his sidekick, and exclaims, “Bay!!!”.  Okay, the kid got me; he was not by himself!

Wednesday, January 12 – CAUTION: If your toddler smears oatmeal all over his hands, do not tell him to wipe up.  He will take you literally and wipe the oatmeal up into his hair!

Definitely not a dull moment in this house!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Road Tripping with Kids

After spending over 48 hours in a on the road with two kids under the age of two (and one who’s 30), I’m happy to still have my sanity (or what little I began with)!

Our trip from Virginia to Texas began around naptime on the 29th.  We rolled into my parents’ driveway 24 hours and 45 minutes later.  Driving straight through went really well considering that our kids are so young.  The only downside was that Trenton, normally a very heavy sleeper, woke up every time we stopped to get gas or switch drivers. 

We split our trip back to Virginia up into two days.  We left my parents’ house around 9am on the 7th, and stopped for the night just north of Mobile, Alabama.  We stopped early – 1) for the Aggie football game, and 2) because I seriously would have ended up in the looney bin had we not stopped.  Charlotte cried unless I held her hand the entire time she was awake.  I was in the passenger seat, and she was directly behind the driver’s seat.  An Inspector Gadget arm would have really come in handy.  Trenton did pretty good until he woke up from his afternoon nap.  It was all downhill from there.  He wanted his movies changed out every 5 minutes, wanted milk, wanted water, wanted a snack and was cranky about all of it.

We were all very happy to be at the hotel!  We ordered pizza, turned on the TV, and were good to go.  The hotel didn’t have cribs, so we put Charlotte down in one of the beds with pillows all around her.  We made Trenton a pallet on the floor.  We turned off the lights and put the TV on mute to get him to go to sleep.  No such luck.  I turned the TV totally off, got into bed, and tried to get him to lay down with me.  Even less luck.  Our luck turned even worse when all of Trenton’s antics woke Charlotte up.  Now we had two screaming babies.  I’m sure all of the other hotel guests LOVE us at this point!  The kids finally fell asleep.  There was no way we were going to risk waking the kids up by putting the game back on, so Jarrod and I went to sleep too – Jarrod with Charlotte and me with Trenton.

We got on the road Saturday morning around 8:30am.  The kids were MUCH better on the second half of the return trip.  We pulled into our driveway a little after midnight very happy to be home!

Here are my “sanity-saving” tips for road tripping with young kids:

  • If you don’t have a DVD player in your car, bring a portable one.  And get ready to have your child’s favorite movie memorized.  We brought a wide assortment of DVDs, but Trenton watched the same two almost the whole trip.
  • If at all possible, make your pit stops at truck stops.  We really like Pilot, but I’m sure that they are all pretty good.  In our experience, all of the truck stops we’ve been to have had changing tables – in both the men and women’s restrooms.  This is really a time saver when you have two diapers to change.  Another advantage of truck stops is that they almost always have at least one fast food restaurant attached saving more time. 
  • If you’re not in a huge hurry, stop for a meal at a restaurant with an indoor play area.  Your kids will have some major energy to burn off!
  • For kids in diapers – Desitin is your friend.  Put on a thick layer with each diaper change.  Sitting for so long can do some really nasty things to your little one’s bum, and you DON’T want to go there!
  • Keep toys and books handy where your kids can reach them.  We put a basket full of toys and books between our car seats.
  • If your child uses a pacifier, be sure you have a clip to attach it to the car seat strap.
  • We will be using these Road Trip Printables for Kids that I found over at Delicious Ambiguity on our next road trip.  They look great!

Feel free to post any of your tips as a comment below!


This post is has been linked to:

Tot Tuesday @ My Delicious Ambiguity

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Funnies - Fire!

As I’ve said in previous postings, Trenton is in love with anything on wheels.  Ever since we toured a fire station this past summer, the fire truck has been one of his favorites.


Now that Trenton is talking more, he loves to name each of his favorite vehicles whenever he sees them (or in the case of the choo-choos that are down the road from Mimi and Pops’ house, whenever he hears them). 

On Tuesday evening, Mom, Trenton, Charlotte, and I were on our way to El Campo to meet Dad and Jarrod for dinner.  As we were coming into town, Trenton started yelling, “Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire!” at the window.  At first I thought he saw an actual fire.  Then I thought that maybe he saw a fire truck that we hadn’t spotted yet.  Then I realized that all of the bright red trucks lined up in the parking lot at Coca-Cola Bottling Co. look a lot like fire trucks to a little boy!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Trenton’s 2nd Birthday Party

Although Trenton doesn’t actually turn two for a couple more weeks, we celebrated with a birthday party on Sunday at Nanny & WaWa’s house with our close family.  Trenton is really big into anything with wheels, so we went with a construction theme for the party.  The cake table turned out SUPER cute! 


Trenton can’t seem to come to Hillje without getting a souvenir. 


I wonder if we’ll ever have a trip back home where Trenton doesn’t have a goose egg on his head in all of the pictures!

Trenton seemed pretty excited when everyone sang to him.  He tried to blow his candle out, but he needed a little help from Mommy and Daddy.



Trenton also had a helper opening gifts.  Weldon had a great time checking out all of Trenton’s toys! 



Charlotte was sleeping while Trenton was opening gifts, but she had fun playing with big brother’s toys after everyone left the party!


Thanks to Aunt Carol, Daddy, Mimi & Pops, Nanny & WaWa, Nana & Paw Paw, and Uncle Randy for helping with the food, set up, clean up, etc.  Thanks to everyone who came out for the party.  All of you made Trenton’s 2nd birthday party a memorable one!

*Trenton’s awesome construction themed birthday shirt came from Stefanie over at Babies, Tots ‘n Dots.  I’ve known Stefanie since I was a baby (her parents are my Godparents and my parents are her Godparents), and I was so excited to have her make this shirt for me!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 2011!

We rang in the new year in Texas this year!  We drove straight through to Texas on Wednesday/Thursday.  With pit stops, it took us a total of 24 hours, 45 minutes.  Jarrod and I made it through the trip without needing to stop at an insane asylum, so I guess the drive wasn't too bad.

We started off New Year's Eve by celebrating Christmas with my family.  Before a yummy Christmas meal that my mom made, we opened gifts.  Trenton wasn't interested in opening any gifts once he opened his tractor from Uncle Bradley and Auntie Courtney.

Friday evening after mass, we celebrated New Year's Eve early with the kids by popping fire crackers.  Trenton LOVED them!  I was sure that the black cats would scare both kids, but Charlotte didn't seem to mind, and Trenton asked for more!  I think that boys must have some sort of "fire bug" gene, and Trenton's seems to have made its debut on New Year's Eve.  He wanted to help with everything. 


So, do I have any resolutions for 2011?  Does not having a baby this year count???  ;)  Seriously though, I'd like to start keeping better track of all of the funny things that the kids do so that I can remember everything in the years to come.  I am going to start a weekly column on the blog called Friday Funnies.  Stay tuned for the first edition on the 7th!