Thursday, April 24, 2014

5 months old

Dane is 5 months old. I can't even believe it, I still think of him as my newborn and the realization that he's almost 1/2 a year old is really quite devastating. He's such an angel baby that I don't want him to grow up, EVER. But since I don't have any control over that, I'll just tell you a little about him at this stage because before I know it, it'll be over and he'll be on to something new.

He's a great sleeper, and has been since the very beginning. He goes to bed at about 9:30 and sleeps until about 3:30...sometimes later. We usually go into the office where I nurse him in the recliner and then he goes right back to sleep until about 6:30 when he eats again. Usually I just nurse him in bed at that time and we snuggle/sleep for another hour or so until Brady wakes us up. His nap schedule is a little less predictable, but that's totally my fault. I hold him during a lot of naps, so he mostly catches a few 30-45 minute naps until Brady's nap time after lunch (yes, Brady is back on naps...most days). Then he'll go into the bassinet and sleep for 2-3 hours.

Speaking of the bassinet....Dane sleeps in one in our room. When we had Brady, he spent his first night in our room and then we decided he made too much noise in his sleep, so we moved him into his room and decided we weren't the room sharing type. With Dane, we didn't have a room for him (when we were in the apartment in Los Alamitos), so out of necessity he ended up in a bassinet in our room. He was pretty noisy at night too so we got a noise machine and just did our best to deal with it. Once we moved here, I kept him in our room because I was used to it and I think I actually get MORE sleep with him in there. As soon as I hear him stirring at night, I'm up and replacing a paci or patting his arms until he falls back asleep (usually takes 15 seconds...probably creating bad habits, but I don't care right now). If he was in another room, I wouldn't hear him until he was more awake and crying and then it would take much more effort to get him back to sleep, so I'd be up longer. That's my theory anyway. I'll say this, I've never really felt sleep deprived since having Dane, so I guess it's working well for us. BUT, he's starting to get too big for the bassinet, so I'm trying to lay him in his crib once in a while for naps to get him used to it. Eventually we'll transition him into the crib, but I'm not in a rush.

Dane weighs 14lbs and he is much chubbier than Brady ever was. He has these great chubby little legs with rolls and I love to squish and tickle them ALL day long. I get the greatest giggles from him when I do. I love seeing him laugh, but one of my favorite things about him at this age is that he's starting to laugh at us when we're being silly and not just when he's being tickled. Just the fact that he can recognize silliness or playfulness and laugh at it makes me really happy.

He is the happiest and most mellow little guy. People are always commenting on how "good" he is, and while I hate the "good baby" talk, I certainly know what they mean. He's just happy to be held and if you talk to him, you're almost guaranteed to get a big gummy grin from him.

He's really started to take notice of Brady. Often times while I'm holding him, he's turning his head just staring at Brady and following him (with his eyes) wherever Brady goes. He loves when Brady talks to him or sings to him. I think (hope) they'll be great buddies as they get older.

One of my favorite thing that he does right now is just a look he gives us. When we have him sitting on our laps, looking out, he'll often hear our voice and strain to turn his head and look up so he can see our face. He just stares at us as we talk. I LOVE it.

He is also rolling around, grabbing at toys, and playing with his feet now.

That about sums up little Dane at 5 months old. We ADORE him and are so glad to call him ours!

ALSO, if you read my last post about plagiocephaly, you might want to know that we had an evaluation at the hospital and it turns out Dane does not need helmet therapy. Wahoo! They recommend helmet therapy when there is a 10-12mm difference, but Dane only had a 9mm difference from one side to the other. The doctor said that as he gets stronger and moves more, his head should just round out on its own, so no helmet required. Even if they suggested one, I wasn't convinced I'd get it anyway. You really can't SEE the flat spot, I only noticed it because I'm his mom and I'm constantly rubbing his head and studying his features as I admire him. :)

SO, there you go. Everything there is to know about my lovely Dane at 5 months old.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My little Danish

Ryan doesn't like my nickname for Dane, but I think it's cute :)

ANYWAY, I just thought I'd update the blog with what's going on with this little guy. We had his 3 month check a few weeks ago and I mentioned to the doctor that his head shape seemed a little off to me. A little flat on one side in the back and there's a little bump on the front on that same side. She confirmed that it was a problem. It's called Plagiocephaly.

From day one Dane has preferred to turn his head to the left, like FAR to the left. He does it while he's awake and he does it while he's asleep. He's a REALLY great sleeper, so sleeping in that same position all night has caused a flat spot, which then makes the front protrude a little. You can't see the difference much, but you can feel it. After a few tests, the doctor determined that his neck muscles might be a little tight on one side and that's why he turns the other way. So we left with a referral to a physical therapist to loosen things up.

We went for an evaluation last week and they found that he is tighter on one side, so we have to go back every other week for some PT work, and we have some exercises to do at home every day. Plus LOTS of tummy time, which he hates! The PT then referred us to a plastic surgeon when Dane is 4 months old. It sounds extreme, but I guess all plagiocephaly patients are referred there. Once the baby is 4 months or older, they will measure the head and determine if helmet therapy is needed. I'm REALLY hoping it's not needed because it just seems burdensome. BUT, if it is needed, it's really not that big of a least his health is good!!

Our appointment is in April and they told me to plan 3-4 hours for the appointment!! There is a lot of testing and evaluating to be done. Until then, we'll keep working on our neck exercises and trying to keep him from laying on that side of his head. Things can change/improve if we do. Crossing fingers!!

He glooped

Last night Brady woke up crying at midnight. This is unusual so I ran in to check on him and he told me "I glooped". I didn't know what he was talking about so I put him back on his bed and he fell right asleep. A few hours later he was up crying again. "I glooped, I glooped".

I went and got a lamp (we don't keep a light in his room because he'll just turn it on and play at night) and could see that he had thrown up a tiny bit. Poor kid didn't know the word for throw up, so he just made one up. He was also burning up. He requested some water and then he laid down on the floor while I switched the sheets. When I was done, he had fallen asleep so I just left him there.

An hour later he was up crying again. I asked if he wanted to get in his bed and he said yes in the most irritated little voice, I laughed and I laid a towel down under his head to prevent more dirty sheets. He started to point at the wall and told me there were circles I guess my boy hallucinates when he has a fever. I think Ryan did that as a kid too. I sat there with him for a while and just as I was about to go back to bed we had to run to the bathroom...thank GOODNESS for that towel!

He woke up crying one more time at about 4am but then slept until 8:30.

Now he's watching Curious George while sitting on a towel with cup of water and a big bowl right next to him. It's going to be a quiet day around here...and with Brady, we don't have quiet very often ;)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Birthday Brady

Happy Happy (belated) Birthday to my spicy little 3 year old. He turned 3 last Wednesday. He is one of the sweetest, most tender hearted kids I know and I LOVE that about him. Hearing him talk to Dane will just melt your heart. He uses baby talk and says things like "hey little buddy, you're so tiny, don't cry, it's ok", etc. Then he usually looks at me and says "I think he likes me". 

He IS 3, so it's not all sweet and happy times, but when he's happy, EVERYONE is happy. It's hard not to smile around him. He loves to give hugs, kisses, eskimo kisses, and tickles. He's always telling us that he loves us and he still asks to cuddle with me on a daily basis, which I LOVE. 

He makes us laugh all the time because he just comes up with the funniest things to say. He thinks he's a super hero named SUPER Brady. And when he grows up, he wants to be a baseball player...whenever he's eating dinner, he says he has to eat to get big and strong like a baseball player...but he's a pretty terrible eater. He still won't try most things and even when he does eat what's served, he doesn't eat much of it. But he's growing like a weed, so he must be getting enough. At 3 years old, he's 31 lbs. 

 He has an imaginary pet dog named Dash (from a show he's watched). Dash goes with us everywhere and Brady talks about him all the time. 

He loves to do anything hands on. Right now he's obsessed with measuring things with a measuring tape. He also loves bowling and golfing and is always talking about one or the other. He got an easel for his birthday and has loved painting and writing with chalk too. Maybe we have an artist developing :)

For his birthday, we met up with Joe and Steph -- Joe is Ryan's co-worker and Steph is his fiance. Ryan and Joe started in Toyota's MT program together and quickly became friends. We were all thrilled when we found out we'd be moving out to Cincinnati together. We get together with them once in a while and they wouldn't miss Brady's birthday. We all went bowling and had a great time. Brady loved having a lane all to himself. The alley was OLD and didn't have bumpers or anything to help make the game easier for little ones, but Brady didn't mind at all. He just kept rolling the ball down the lane. He also loved watching us bowl on the lane next to his. He was such a great cheer leader and after every turn I heard "Great job mom!" Love that kid!!

We finished the night with dinner at Red Robin, some cupcakes, and some gifts. It was a really simple celebration, but it included several things that he loves and I know he had a great time because he keeps asking if it can be his birthday again. I'm so glad we were able to make it a special day for him.

Now that Brady is 3, the last thing we really needed to do to make his "big boy" transition complete was to potty train him, so that started this week. We're on day 3 and I think it's safe to say we're NOT one of those that succeeded with the 3 day potty training plan! We've definitely still got some work to do. And DANG, it is work. But we'll get there.

Anyway, we sure love this boy!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Update on my Neilson boys

Let's start with Ryan - He seems to be enjoying Cincinnati so far. He enjoys the job and said he works with a really great group of people. He loves that he came out here with his good friend Joe and can't wait for the weather to warm up so they can get out on the golf courses. He is really happy that we ended up in a town house instead of the house we originally wanted because now we don't have to shovel snow or mow a yard. We've had a few good snow storms since moving here and hearing the plow in our driveway early in the morning is a welcomed noise!

Ryan is SO helpful with the boys. He often takes Brady out of the house on Saturdays to give me and Dane some quiet time to sleep or snuggle without interruption. And, he knows that when I've had a rough day, I just need to be alone for a while, so he'll take the boys and tell me to go to Target or to the mall or something. That little bit of ME time is JUST what I need sometimes!! I sure do love him and I'm grateful at how involved he is with the boys. 


Brady...OHHHH, Brady! Where do I start with this little guy? How can one of my greatest joys also be one of my greatest frustrations?! He's definitely been having a hard time lately. We're experiencing a lot of tantrums and general disobedience. I don't know how much of it is due to the move, the age, or the new brother...I think it's all just created a perfect storm and we've definitely had a rough month or two. He also just stopped taking his nap during the day, but he's so tired by the afternoon that it makes him extra grumpy. It's been hard on me because we were so close and I've always had so much fun with him, but now I feel like I'm just frustrated with him half of the time. 

Luckily, when he's not grumpy, he is still the sweetest boy and he is very helpful and loving. He still asks to snuggle with me every day, which just melts my heart. He's such a good brother, he's always helping by grabbing diapers, replacing pacifiers, holding Dane, or singing to him. When Dane is crying, Brady usually starts singing "hush little baby" in the softest, sweetest voice. He knows all the words and it actually works, Dane usually does stop crying to listen to his older brother. It's so precious. He definitely loves being a big brother. At church the other day, someone held Dane for a few minutes and Brady got very upset and kept telling her "Don't take my baby!" 


Dane is 2.5 months old now and he is such a sweet baby. He still just sleeps through most of the day...I'd say he probably sleeps about 18 hours a day. He'll wake up for an hour here and there, but then he drifts off again. He sleeps great at night too. I usually feed him at 9:30 and we go to bed. He'll sleep for about 6 hours and wake up around 3 or 4 to eat again. Then he goes back to sleep for a few hours before he starts grunting at 5 or 6 am. He's done this since the very beginning, always waking at that time with gas. It's pretty weird. He doesn't seem bothered by gas as much throughout the day anymore though, so that's good. Anyway, he sleeps in a bassinet near our bed, so when he starts grunting, I pull him up and hold him for an hour or so and he'll sleep a little more soundly that way. He eats again at 6:30 or 7 and then we usually wake up. He's such a happy little guy, he smiles and coos a lot. I love hearing his happy little noises. 

I think we got our boys in the perfect order. Brady had really bad reflux and was colicky so he cried all the time. It was really hard but I'm SO grateful that we lived with Ryan's parents at the time because we had the extra hands to help out when we needed it. Now, with our second baby and a cross-country move, we knew we wouldn't have much it's PERFECT that Dane is a more calm, quiet, go-with-the-flow kind of baby. When we needed the help, we had it. When we wouldn't have help, we didn't need it as much. Thank goodness!

ANYWAY, that's the update on my Neilson boys. They're all doing great and adjusting to life in Ohio. I love them all so much!!

Update from Cincinnati

Hey there. We've been in Cincinnati for about a month now and we've been busy. I figured I should check in and fill you all in on our adventures in Ohio, so far.

When we got here we met up with a realtor right away. We were staying in a hotel and hoped to find a place on Saturday and be able to move in by mid-week, leaving us in the hotel for only a handful of nights...things didn't quite work out that way though. On Saturday, we checked out nearly a dozen rental properties and the last one we were scheduled to see for the day ended up being awesome. It wasn't in the city we wanted most, but it was a beautiful home with all of our checklist items. We put in our application that night, but due to the holiday weekend and some promotion the property management company was running, they got backed up on going through applications and didn't get back to us for nearly a week. They called and told us we got the place, but couldn't move in for ANOTHER week.

Meanwhile, we'd been in a hotel (luckily with 2 attached rooms) with both boys for a week and I was going crazy. I cried to Ryan and told him I COULDN'T do it for another whole week, even if that meant we had to look for another place to live. So I hopped on Craigslist and found a Town Home in Mason, OH, the city we REALLY wanted to live in. I called the realtor and explained our situation and asked if I could come see the place. She was so helpful and she was determined to help us out. She showed me 3 places and we were moving into our new place by Sunday night. Our stuff wasn't scheduled to arrive until Wednesday, so we just got blankets and slept on the floor. The realtor offered to bring us pillows, blankets, pots, pans, and anything else we needed from her own home to make us more comfortable....she was very motherly and it was just what I needed when the stress of the trip was getting to me (staying with an almost 3 year old and a newborn in a hotel for a week is HARD). We ended up getting an aerobed and a few mattresses for Brady's new bunk bed, so it wasn't as hard to sleep in the house without all of our stuff after the first night.

On wednesday the movers arrived to unload and unpack everything. Their unpacking policy is that they open the boxes and place the contents on the nearest surface (floor, counter, bed), so once they left we had a lot of putting away to do, but at least everything was out of boxes! Now, 2 weeks later, things are pretty much all in their spot and we're settling in. We love the city we live in and we really like our town home too. It's a 3 bedroom, 4 bath home with a finished basement, which is a toys around the house, they're all downstairs. When we buy a house, a finished basement is a MUST on my list!!

I went to my new ward for church last week and I'm pretty excited. There are lots of young families and people are so friendly. We've already been invited over for dinner with one family and we have a play date with another family on Friday. I also made a friend at the furniture store! We were out shopping for a couch and as I sat there trying to pick the fabric I wanted while chasing Brady around, a girl passed by mentioning that she had a boy the same age and felt for me. We started talking and found out we live minutes from each other, so we exchanged numbers and had a play date the next morning.
We also have some friends out here from Toyota. Ryan's closest friend in the training program back in Torrance interviewed for this Ohio office with Ryan and they both got the position, so he and his fiance are out here with us and it's great to have automatic friends.

All in all, things have gone pretty well here in Ohio. The first week and a half were a little rough, but now that we have a home and we are settling back in to a normal schedule, things seem pretty great. Now if only it would warm up a little!!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Are you surprised, really? We are always moving!! By the time we get this next move out of the way, within ONE year's time, we will have lived in 5 places: The house in Bennington, the apartment in Omaha (while we waited for the Toyota job offer), Balboa Island with the in-laws while we looked for an apartment, our current apartment in Los Alamitos, and then our next stop: Cincinnati, OH. 

The moving around stops there for a while, as this job (still with Toyota, just the next step for Ryan's position) keeps us there for anywhere from 8-12 years. So we're finally going somewhere to SETTLE for a bit, which is great with little kids, especially as they get into school. 

I'm a little bummed to be going so far from family and BACK to the cold, but I'm also really excited. I've heard great things about Cincinnati. It's NOT California, so we can afford to live in a home that is more suited for our families needs. I'm anxious to go out there and start hunting for a place to live...and to pay LESS for a nice house or townhouse than we pay for our cruddy apartment here in CA. We'll rent for a year or two while we get to know the area, but we plan on buying a home eventually and the prices are pretty awesome compared to here. 

So that's the next adventure for our little family. I feel like we've had so many adventures and moves in our nearly 7 years of marriage. I'm really excited for the moving to stop for a bit!