Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Two Months with Grace


Our sweet little Grace is an absolute doll.  She's taken her seat on our wild journey of life and has handled it so well.  Grace is an excellent eater and sleeper (considering she is two months old, that is) and goes along with our hectic daily schedule.
I'm currently working on trying to slow down our life.  I'm guilty of keeping things way too busy and packing our days way too full.  I'm trying to move at a slower pace so that we can protect Grace's newly forming naps and try to do what's best for her in addition to her brother.

It's a daily balance, but we are learning how to handle the ropes better all the time.

Right, Grace?
New skills:  
*cooing and smiling
*rolling from front to back
*batting at toys on her play mat or bouncy chair
video
*sitting in a Bumbo

Struggles:
We are trying to get a handle on a case of cradle cap (flaky scalp skin) and acid reflux.

Loves:
*Anyone who will smile and talk to her (poor second child!)
*Watching her brother act crazy
video

Two month stats:
Length: 23 inches (50-75%)
Weight: 11 lb, 3 oz (50%)
Head: 38.5 cm (25-50%)


6 weeks:
 8 weeks:
 Two Months:
We love you, sweet Gracie Grace.

-Bethany

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Face Doesn't Work

As if growing and having a child isn't enough for one's body, I've developed some super awesome conditions postpartum.

First, I noticed I couldn't taste things properly.  I kept describing foods as "metallic" on one side and "a dull sweet" on the other side.  Even water was "wrong".  My taste buds simply weren't working.

A few days later, I had to take out my contacts because my vision was blurry on one side and my right eye was dry.

The next day, I realized I was having problems moving my face and started self-diagnosing on the internet.  I decided I was 95% sure I had Bell's Palsy.  Bell's Palsy is a condition where half of the face is partially paralyzed.  I can't even close my eye and have to blink my eyes manually with my fingers (hence the dry eye).

This is one of the tests I did before I went to the doctor.  In this video, I am trying my hardest to puff out both cheeks.  As you can see, I failed:
video
There is a lot unknown about Bell's, but the short is that it is usually temporary and more annoying than serious.  The cause is uncertain, but can be caused by pregnancy/postpartum.

The treatment is aided by steroids for inflammation and anti-viral medicine, which may or may not work.  Conditions can last weeks or months or even a year.  Simply, there is a lot uncertainty about Bell's Palsy.

Of course, I was pretty concerned going into the neurologist for the official diagnosis.

The main reason for my concern: I had classic Bell's symptoms except one factor, my hands and arms have been going numb and falling asleep as of late.  Bell's is only supposed to affect the face.

I went into the neurologist worried about much greater problems and was thrilled to get an official diagnosis of Bell's coupled with carpal tunnel syndrome (also likely a postpartum condition).  Good times.

Check me out.  Hello, Grandma Bethany at the drugstore with my wrist braces and eye patch.
Add my night guard to the crooked smile at night and I am super cute:
-Bethany

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Amusements

Some of my favorite memories as a kid are from an annual summer trip to Six Flags with my dad.  I love how Palmer is also a thrill seeker and likes roller coasters and water attractions as much as I do.
We went to Hawaiian Falls with Aunt Amy and Coleton.
Although Palmer wasn't tall enough for the "big slides", he had fun in the kiddie area, on the children's slides, and in the lazy river.
On a very hot day, we went to Six Flags with Paw Paw, Aunt Amy, and Coleton.  Two weeks later, Palmer is still wearing his "36 inches tall" bracelet that indicated which rides he was tall enough to do.
Surpisingly, 36 inches gets you into a lot of rides: a ton of kiddie rides, the Conquistador, the log ride, Splashwater Falls, Roaring Rapids, the Mini Mine Train, and the tea cups.
Palmer is hopeful he will meet 42" next summer and tackle more of the bigger rides.  That's my boy.
Meanwhile, we will wait and see if Miss Grace is a fellow thrill seeker.  She took her first dip in the pool the other night.  It's a start...
-Bethany

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Newborn Photo Shoot

I am so happy with the photos from our newborn shoot.

Enjoy (endure) some of my favorite snaps:
Below is my absolute favorite picture of Palmer.

I matched the photo for Grace's session so we can hang them side by side in the house:
 Sweet sibling shots:
And family shots:
-Bethany

Friday, July 18, 2014

Urban Hiking

Rick and I have had an itch lately to get out into greener pastures, literally.  Sometimes the city can be stifling and we recently explored an urban gem in our backyard, the Trinity River Audubon Center.

We packed up Palmer and Grace and had a great weekend hike:
Every boy needs a hiking stick:

At 6,000 acres, the space is the nation's largest urban hardwood forest.  Rick and I were so ashamed to have this destination at arm's reach and never even know about it until recently.
See my review on Dallas Moms Blog here.

-Bethany



Friday, July 11, 2014

4th of July Weekend

Palmer was super excited to go to "America's Birthday Party" complete with a parade in the morning and fireworks and swimming in the evening.

We've come to love our 4th of July traditions and look forward to the summer celebration every year.

First up, the Lakewood parade:
Palmer was a little disappointed that he wasn't IN the parade, unlike his go-cart entry earlier this year for our neighborhood Easter parade.  But, he happily went with the flow when he realized candy and popsicles would be thrown to his curbside perch.
Grace checked out the scene at her first July 4th parade...
...then she slept during the main attraction.
Later in the evening, we headed out to the club for swimming, eating, and a great fireworks display.
Our wonderful friends, the Farrells and the Hulls, joined us for the evening.

Palmer showing his friends the "big slides" (both blow-up and water):
Sweet Henry and Shannon.
 Pre-fireworks fun with Charlotte and Brooks.
 Cuddles during the fireworks.  Amazing Grace slept thru the entire show.  I mean, that girl did. not. even. flinch.  Love her.
Bright and early, we left for the lake on the following morning.

Palmer has been itching to get the jet ski up and running and after several weekends of work, he finally got a ride out on the lake.
Meanwhile Grace got plenty of love with Aunt Amanda and Elle:
Grace squared:
 S'mores (or just "mores" and Palmer likes to say) by the fire ended a wonderful holiday weekend:
Happy 4th.

-Bethany