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Well, of course…I didn’t escape the nasty sickness. This one was a nasty bug, too. I ran a high fever for twenty-four hours, and am still having a hard time with my sinuses…Thank goodness – Audrey hasn’t gotten it…yet.

So…where did I leave off…after I came back from Texas, things were a bit crazy around our house. 10 days is the longest that I had ever been away from Bella, throw that into the mix of a new little sister who requires lot of my attention, a little cold she was fighting, and a bunch of sleep deprivation on my part as well leaving me pretty impatient…Bellaroo understandably had a very hard time adjusting. I think for a few weeks she really just questioned whether I loved her (which breaks my heart) – and felt super abandoned…hard emotions for a 3 year old to deal with.  She spent a lot of time throwing tantrums and testing our (especially my) limits for a few weeks. Throughout that time, she never showed any negative behavior towards Audrey – she has always been really gentle and loving towards her. (She is a really sweet big sister.) Once we got back into our regular routine, and me and her had some time to catch up, things started to turn around and we have gotten back in to our new “normal”.

Bella is getting so big. So big is such a crappy description – but I really can’t think of another way to say it. She is smart enough to know how to test us, can do SO much for herself, comes up with really creative thoughts – she amazes me daily. I look at her and I can’t even believe that she was my little bitty baby just three short years ago. She knows how to dress herself (and picks out some really awesome outfits – she loves a frilly skirt so she can twirl – but continues to be covered in dirt  by the end of most days and ruin every piece of clothing she owns). She can help around the house with chores (and she really is helpful!) – she can clear plates, sort laundry, unload parts of the dishwasher, load a few things, pick up her own toys, and just help me in general. She enjoys helping – and  I love that she will! She LOVES it when we tell her stories. Today, we asked her to tell us a story (because we had ran out of stories ourselves). She told a story about a goldfish family that found some magic seaweed and were able to make a wish, so they wished for a honey tree – and right then, their wish came true. I love hearing her come up with something like that. I could go on and on about Bella and goofy things she does. She is at a really fun age.

Now on to Audrey. My little peanut. She loves to be talked to…she gives you this huge smile when she finds your eyes. She is getting pretty strong, and can hold her head up no problem. She likes to hang out on the playmat and kick and grab at toys right now. She is SO close to laughing – and currently squeals and makes funny loud sounds while “playing” with her toys. She is a really easy going, happy baby. She falls asleep fairly easily – only she still is not sleeping through the night and is on zero schedule and is pretty unpredictable in that way. (I will be SOOOOOOO happy when she starts to sleep at night!) She nurses ok, and takes a bottle very easily. I worry, because she is really small, that she is not getting enough milk…I can’t wait for her next appointment to see where she is on the growth charts – it is a bit ridiculous of me. I can’t believe three months have already gone by. She is growing so fast, that I realize before I know it she will be sitting, walking, talking. I try to take a moment each day to just look at her and enjoy her because I don’t want to feel like I missed any of it when I look back on this a year from now. Having a second child has changed alot of my perspective on parenting (especially setting limits and letting go when things aren’t exactly as I’d like…), but one thing that has only been reinforced for me is that my family is the most important thing and these children are so precious and a gift I feel so blessed to have. I’m so darn lucky.

Jeremy was out of town most of last week, and it is really nice to have him back. (He is a HUGE help.) We decided to do something out of the ordinary for the day today. We hiked the botanical trail at The Elfin Forest. Was so fun to have a family day out and about. Bella hiked the whole mile (lots of ups and downs too!) – and Audrey slept in the Ergo the whole time. At the end of the hike, Audrey woke and I nursed her while Bella waded in the little creek and played with the mud (of course…the child LOVES to be dirty!) It was an absolutley lovely day…

Catch up time…

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I can’t sleep. (Yes, I am trying to go to sleep before 10pm on a Saturday night – I am lame I know.) Today has just been one of those nothing days. Nothing was done. Jeremy is sick. Bella is sick. Audrey was up all the night before. It was gorgeous outside – but we stayed in the house. I figured I should cut my losses, and just go to bed and have a better day tomorrow. But I really just feel the need to get one thing done before I go to sleep…so updating the blog is big on my list of to dos and I am going to knock it out, and then I know I will be able to fall asleep with a clear head.

Three months…wow, have three months really gone by since little Audrey was born. She is precious by the way. I had no idea what to expect having a second child, and was so busy during the pregnancy with Bella’s growth, that I gave little thought to it. But she is absolutely precious, and I can’t imagine our lives without her.

Where to start…hmmm…I guess I’ll just go back to Christmas. Our Christmas was very low key. It was the first time Jeremy and I have ever stayed in Cali for the holiday. It was weird to be without family, but I actually really enjoyed skipping all of the craziness that traveling during the holidays causes. It was very serene, even with a newborn. Christi and Jason sent us this lovely smoked turkey from Tyler (which we now plan to order each year, cause it was delish), and that took care of our dinner plans. Mom was supposed to be here, but (My) MeMe was in the hospital in critical condition, so she had to cancel her trip. We took it very easy and made the best of it. We went to Bella’s preschool’s church service on Christmas Eve, and got to put cookies out for Santa in our own house and write him a note. Christmas day was hilarious. Bella is at  such a fun (and challenging) age. This was the first year she really “got” the idea of Santa bringing Christmas presents. She woke up at 7 SUPER excited, and we all headed downstairs to check out what he brought. One of the things I love about Bella is how she savors each and every moment and gets so excited about new things. She would open a present, and then feel the need to completely explore it before moving on to the next. This meant, if it was clothes, she would try it on…toys were played with, crafts were completed. Each present was at least a 30 minute process if not more. (The stocking filled with 99 cent store junk took over an hour…) We actually opened presents from 7am to 7 pm – as we would have to take up to an hour break between each one so that she could play with it before she was ready to open another. We kept trying to explain she would be able to play with this stuff later, but she just wasn’t interested in moving forward until each item was explored a bit. It was the longest day of present opening that I could ever remember. Jeremy and I actually took some of the presents and put them in the garage for a later day, because she seemed happy with what she had, and we wanted to move on with bedtime. Audrey slept and nursed most of the day, just as a two week old should…

I know this blog is normally about the girls growth and development and other anecdotal stuff, but so much has happened in our lives the last few months, I feel the need to write it down.

Just a few short weeks later, my grandma, MeMe, passed away. Living in California – far from family is the hardest when something like this happens. It breaks my heart to be so far away when major events are going on that I care so deeply about. The last I spoke to her was just a week or so before her fall – and all was good. We were talking about me going off to the hospital to have the baby, and how much I would miss seeing all the family during the holidays, but how I hoped to introduce Audrey to everybody in the spring or summer this year. MeMe was always easy to talk to, especially about motherhood. She had great stories about raising mom, Pam and Rick. She and Big Don are this beautiful love story, and these adventurous souls who I’ve always looked up to. They have traveled the world – and I loved hearing and seeing the photos from their adventures. Some of my fondest memories as a child (and adult) are of Christmas at their home. She and Big Don rode up to Austin with us for a couple of years during the holidays, and I love hearing the stories of how they met and their younger years of marriage. I want to keep those stories with me and pass them on to my children. They should know their roots, and what wonderful people they come from. Since Audrey was so young and not yet vaccinated, we decided not to fly in for the funeral. It broke my heart to not be there with my family – and I still feel as if I haven’t really processed that she is gone and I did not get to say good bye.

My mom got really sick during the funeral. She had fever and went to CVS minute clinic and was diagnosed with a UTI and given Bactrim to treat it. She started the course of antibiotics and took some Tylenol for the fever and headed back to Austin. Anxious for some fun and to meet her newest granddaughter, she had planned to come out to visit us later in the week. That never happened. The next week was one of the scariest weeks I’ve ever experienced.

Mom suffered from acute kidney and liver failure brought on by a bad reaction to the combo of antibiotics and tylenol. As one of the nurses in the hospital said to me, it could have happened to any one in a million unlucky people. It is very rare to have the type of reaction she had – and it was insanely awful. We received a call saying that she was going to need a liver transplant within 48 hours in order to survive, and realized we needed to get to TX quick. Luckily, Dianne was here – and she offered to stay and care for Bella. We debated about bringing Audrey – as she was still not vaccinated and I was freaking out about the “what if”s if she got some debilitating disease on the plane and how I would never forgive myself, but since she was nursing every two-three hours still, and I felt strongly about continuing nursing her – and didn’t know how long we would be there – plus, was just not ready to leave my newborn, I decided to risk it. We got to San Antonio – mom was in horrible condition in ICU. She was not coherent, had labored breathing (like my dad had the last time that I saw him) and the Doctors weren’t very reassuring. It was literally my worst nightmare. Just writing this right now, actually puts tears in my eyes as I think about how scary the whole situation was. Her kidney enzyme and liver enzyme levels were off the charts, they didn’t know exactly why yet, and had decided to treat it like a drug toxicity giving her something called Mucomist…They started all the rigorous testing to try to get her a transplant. We are very lucky, that within 48 hours, her levels started trending in a better direction. They decided to see if her liver would regenerate on it’s own and if her levels would correct themselves, but her body had been through hell. She had fluid in her lungs, and they feared pneumonia….Long story short, she finally got out of ICU and moved into the hospital for a while and then by the grace of God has been home and recovering pretty well since. I am not ready to lose my mom. I really can’t imagine my life without her. I can’t even put into words my thoughts on that subject – so I won’t.

My brother’s girlfriend, Shawna, (now fiance – yea!) was kind enough to stay in San Antonio while we were there, and Jeremy headed back to CA to take care of Bella. Shawna took care of Audrey for me during the day and would bring her to the parking lot every few hours to nurse. Audrey is a really easy going baby…this ordeal really proved it. She would snuggle up in the car and nurse and then head back to the hotel to kick and sleep the day away.

Uh Oh…as I type this, I hear Bella in the other room starting to cough like crazy. She has an ear infection – as well as a major amount of snot filling her poor little head. I think I better go check her for fever and get her some ibuprofen as 7 hours have passed since her last dose…Guess I will finish my recap on the last few months tomorrow or the next day…

Good night.