Sunday, December 28, 2008

9 Months Old

Oh gee. Nine months old. Is that as hard for everyone else to believe as it is for me?

  • Caleb weighs 19 pounds, 8 ounces. (Well, he did at the hospital 2 weeks ago)
  • He is now officially weaned. He drinks either rice milk or Pediasure from a bottle and he's doing wonderfully with it. That means I have my freedom back as far as food is concerned! I'm really excited to be able to have cheese and ice cream again. I had my first Starbucks drink in 4 months this past Saturday. It was divine! I have not had my Papa John's cheese pizza yet. You'll know when I do. :o)
  • He has three teeth: two on bottom and one on top.
  • He's still not crawling, although I think it may be soon. He's constantly leaning way forward onto his hands when he's in a sitting position. His little bottom comes off the ground and then he either falls over or sits back up again.
  • He's completely over his sickness from a couple weeks ago. He's even done taking medicine so we're all thankful for that.
  • He loves to wave at people when we're out and about. He's not nearly as shy around strangers as Laura Anne was.
  • He gets so excited when Daddy comes home from work. And he loves playing with Laura Anne.
  • He still loves only one kind of pacifier. I got him a couple new ones because it's been a while and I thought he might be open to trying a new kind. But no. They are more of a toy than a soother. Oh well! He knows what he likes, I guess.

Christmas At Our House

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Although we were unable to go home to Florida for Christmas this year due to our sickness a couple weeks ago, we had a nice day. Well, mostly anyway. It started off fun. We read the Christmas story from the Bible and then let the kids open presents. Then I went to the kitchen and began cooking.

Around 11 AM, at Caleb's feeding time, we discovered that we were completely out of rice milk AND Pediasure! Of all the days to run out of something crucial, Christmas day is not the day to do it, as almost all stores are closed! I tried not to panic. In the meantime, Chris' glasses were misplaced and we couldn't find them anywhere! The tension in the house was a little high for a while. Thankfully, we learned that a local CVS was open 24 hours. So we all piled in the car and went to CVS to buy some Pediasure for Caleb. Chris' glasses were still nowhere to be found.

We went ahead with our dinner plans at Jerry and Ellen's house. We all had a nice time there and stayed until the kids' bedtime. Right before we went to bed, my eyes just happened to locate the missing glasses sitting on top of the magazine rack in the bathroom. How they got there, we have no idea, but at least they were found and my husband could see once again.

So that was our Christmas this year! Anyone have any funny stories to share?

Reading the Christmas story:

One of Laura Anne's gifts was a singing cow:

Caleb wasn't too sure of the gifts thing at first:

Then he figured out it was pretty fun:
The kids playing with their toys in our disaster area:
At Jerry and Ellen's house, having a ticklin' good time: He's a pro at opening gifts now:
He got a tool bag toy!
Laura Anne got a grocery game where she can scan all the food and put it in her shopping basket:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

3 Years Ago...

...we got out surprise GIRL!! What a wonderful day that was.
7 pounds, 15 ounces of girl! We called her Laura Anne Noelle.What a sweet baby she was, too. She brought so much joy into our home.
Before we knew it, we were celebrating her first birthday. She changed and grew so fast. That first birthday party was so much fun for all of us.
And then she turned two! She's so smart and can talk so well, most people think she's older. She's growing up before our eyes and getting more beautiful each day!

Now our baby is THREE!! I can hardly believe it. As you can tell by her cake, she loves Wonder Pets. She also loves Barbie and will be having a Barbie party with her friends in January.

Here's some things about Laura Anne that you may not know:

  • She loves books
  • She is day-time potty trained! Woo-hoo!
  • She loves her little brother and if you call him "Buddy" she will quickly correct you. "His name is Buddy-boy!"
  • She calls Santa Claus "Ho Ho"
  • She is tall, measuring 39 inches! That's 3 1/2 inches taller since she was last measured in January.
  • She enjoys cooking with me in the kitchen
  • Mac N Cheese is her favorite food!
  • She loves to have her fingernails and toenails painted.
  • She loves to sing and can match the pitch of whatever song she's listening to.
  • She has a few nicknames: LaLa, Lollie, and Sweets are among the most common.

Happy Birthday Laura Anne!!! We love you very much!

Love, Daddy, Mommy and Caleb

Birthday Fun

Our little girl turned three years old yesterday! We had a fun weekend celebrating her birthday. Since we were all feeling better, on Saturday we had dinner at Red Robin and then went to Frankie's to play! Jerry and Ellen were with us and we all had a fun time.

Here I am teaching Laura Anne how to bowl:

At the horse races:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Are You Ready For This?

Last week, when I posted about Caleb being sick, I had it in my head that that was it and we were on our way to recovery. Boy, was I ever wrong! Here is what has happened in the Castleberry household within the last week.
So, the doctor thought Caleb had strep throat and that was the cause of the sores on his face and hands. After being on an antibiotic for two days and Caleb wasn't yet showing signs of improving, I started to wonder what was going on. We were told by both a doctor and a nurse to give him until Saturday morning to show signs of improving; definitely by Sunday. With that in mind, when Caleb woke up Saturday morning with one of his eyes stuck closed and his rash worse than ever, Chris and I decided that he still needed medical attention. We made an appointment with the urgent care and headed out.
It was there that our world was shaken up a bit. We were told that Caleb had herpes. WHAT?!?! Herpes??? Where in the world could he have gotten that from?! He had Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (or HSV-type 1). There are 8 versions of herpes out there, so apparently it's not unusual for children to get exposed to it. Caleb had a bad reaction because it infected his eczema. You see, herpes is passed by contact with open sores. So, somehow he came into contact with someone who had it (have no idea who!!) and it got into his eczema. Total bummer. So after the doctor figured out what he had, she informed us that Caleb needed to be hospitalized. Hospitalized?! My baby had to go to the hospital?! I was heartbroken. This poor child didn't need another ailment! He's had nothing but ailments since he's been born!!!! First, his congestion that lasted 2-3 months, then his eczema and allergies, which has been an ongoing battle. Good thing he won't remember this first year. :o(
We checked into the hospital that afternoon. Around 3:30 they took Caleb to try to get an IV in. I left to get Laura Anne an overnight bag, as she was going to stay the night at her friend, Jessie's house. I found out after arriving at the hospital later, that they poked Caleb 5 times and could not find a vein. That meant that he had to receive all his meds orally. One of the medicines was a pain killer that hyped him up! He was so fidgety and squirmy all evening! Then they gave him Benadryl for itchiness which put him to sleep!

Sleeping in that hospital room was lots of fun. Chris and I tried to share the one fold-out bed they had and between that and Caleb waking up every 30 minutes to an hour, I did not sleep. At 3, I told Chris (who had gotten some rest) that I needed him to take over. So I went to bed. Apparently Chris had the magic touch because he rocked Caleb right to sleep and Caleb slept most of the rest of the night.
Sunday morning, we were waiting for a visit from the eye doctor. Because Caleb's rash had gotten on his eyelids, right next to his eyes, they wanted to check his eyes and make sure the infection hadn't reached his eyes. We received good news: no infection in his eyes! That meant that we could go home sometime that day because Caleb could be treated from home!! Yay! By 3, we were checked out and headed home.

On a side note, without going into too many details, I noticed on Sunday morning that it was getting uncomfortable to nurse Caleb. As it turns out, he passed on this delightful disease to me! When I mentioned it to the doctor, he suggested that maybe I put off nursing for a few days. Well, since I've been wanting to wean him anyway, I decided that this would be the start of the weaning process. More on that to come.

Okay, so we're home and Caleb has his (very expensive) medicine. Today (Thursday), he's doing much better and his rash is almost gone. Although he is still contagious and will be until his sores are all gone.

But that's not the end of my story. Monday, Laura Anne started acting weird. She started crying for no obvious reason and when I tried to comfort her I noticed that she had a fever. When we were at Caleb's check-up with the pediatrician that afternoon, he looked at Laura Anne's throat and determined that she had a sore throat. Nothing too serious. It just needed to run it's course. Well, I had a sore throat too and throughout the rest of the day, my health started to go downhill. By that evening, I had chills, body aches and a fever as well.

Tuesday was more of the same. Laura Anne and I spent the whole day laying on the couch feeling pitiful. Laura Anne's temperature got as high as 1o2 degrees. I also learned something about her. She talks in her sleep when she's sick. I'm not sure if it's the medicine or the fever, but it's very interesting.

Wednesday, I started off feeling better. No more aches and chills. But that only lasted long enough for me to put a load of laundry in the washing machine and clean up the dishes. Then all my symptoms rushed back. So for the rest of the day I was either in bed, or on the couch!

But today, I think I'm finally on my way to feeling relatively normal. My throat still hurts, but the fever has not come back. Laura Anne is also feeling pretty good. The good news in all of this is that Caleb is doing an excellent job drinking rice milk from a bottle! His pediatrician told us that he can have that since he won't drink formula. Yesterday, I didn't nurse Caleb all day. So right now, he's still comfort nursing during the night a couple times. When he's all better, we'll be weaning him from that as well, and hopefully he'll start sleeping through the night! Fingers crossed! I can almost smell the cheese pizza!!

Here's a few more pictures from the hospital:

This is his excited face! He was feeling pretty good with the pain medicine! He had the cutest little hospital gown that even had little ties in the back. Adorable!

Caleb is playing kick ball with Daddy and Uncle Jerry:

Daddy is trying to get some rest while Laura Anne is watching "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!"

There was a big xylophone made out of wood outside the main entrance of the hospital. We tried it out before we left:

Friday, December 12, 2008

'Tis The Season

...for sick babies! My kids always seem to get sick sometime around Christmas. Well, in the past it's just been Laura Anne, but Caleb wanted to join in on the action this year.

It all started Monday morning when Caleb woke up with some red spots on his forehead. At first I thought he had scratched himself (he does that a lot), so I didn't think too much about it. Tuesday, there were a few more red spots, now getting closer to his eyes. Also, on his hands where he has had eczema, he had some rashes that were looking almost purple and puffy. Not good at all. He was mildly fussy, but not too bad. That night before bed, though, I noticed he felt warm and took his temperature to discover a fever of 101. The following morning he still had a fever of 101 and he was pretty cranky so I called the pediatrician and got him an appointment for that afternoon.

At the doctor, we learned that Caleb has strep. This sounds confusing but the doctor said that the bacteria from the strep was going to different parts of his body. This is the reason for the rash on his hands and face. He said it's pretty easy to fix. Caleb needed an antibiotic for the strep and some cream for his skin and he should be good to go. Sounds easy enough.

Wednesday night, though was not fun. Caleb could not sleep longer than an hour stretch and at times, he was inconsolable. He decided at 4 AM that he wanted to be awake and he didn't fall asleep again until 6. So yesterday started out not so great. It continued to be not so great when he wouldn't all. In the afternoon, he took a short nap that lasted all of 30 minutes, but that was it. All day! The poor guy had to be exhausted! In the meantime, I was not having good feelings about his rash. If anything, it looked a little worse than the day before, and it was all I could do to keep him from scratching at it. So we had to bandage his hands up which broke my heart. We got in touch directly to our pediatrician, Dr. Mike last night and he explained to us that they used to hospitalize kids as sick as Caleb. It was important for us to keep him hydrated, which for me meant nursing him more often. Over the past couple days, that has been the key to calming Caleb down. The ONLY thing to calm him down! Also, Dr. Mike told us to up the dose of Tylenol a little bit. If that didn't help Caleb sleep, then he would prescribe a medicine that would help with pain and make Caleb sleep for 5-6 hours.

Last night, the only way Caleb slept was in my arms until 2 AM. And even then, he wasn't completely comfortable or happy the whole time. Chris took over at 2 and somehow got Caleb to fall asleep again.

This morning, Caleb was relatively happy for awhile and even played on the floor with Laura Anne. The only change I noticed was that his left eye was a little swollen. It could be from him rubbing it alot, but I'm not sure so when I called the doctor this morning to update them on Caleb's situation, I mentioned that too. So we'll see what they say when they call back.

Thankfully, Caleb is sleeping right now and has been for about an hour and a half, I think. So that's really good. He needs rest! Oh, I forgot to mention that yesterday afternoon I noticed that he's getting another tooth! This one's on top. I couldn't believe it! If the strep wasn't enough to keep him miserable, let's add a tooth too! Poor kid! My heart breaks for all his little ailments.

This picture was taken this morning. I took others of just Caleb, but he looked so pitiful in them. I decided not to post those because it made me want to cry just looking at them.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not Me! Monday

It is Monday and time for the addicting free therapy courtesy of MckMama, known as Not Me! Monday. So here we go; a list of what I did not do:

It did not take us 4 days to put our Christmas tree up and get it decorated. We were way too excited about decorating for Christmas to let our stuff sit in boxes inside the house for 4 days before doing anything with them.

I was not awake from 2-4 this morning with my infant son who decided he wasn't going to sleep, due to the fact that he went to bed last night at 6:30. Nope. Not me! But you can rest assured that he will never go to bed that early ever again, if I have anything to say in the matter.

I was not excited that MckMama decided to share with her readers how to do the strikethrough! My life is far too interesting for me to take such joy in such a little thing! Nope. Not me!

I am not looking forward to that very scrumptious piece of cheese pizza I am going to eat the day my baby is weaned. (For those who are unaware of my diet issues, read this post.)

And finally, it was not me that let my 8 month old baby suck on a piece of bacon this morning. (Actually, in all honesty, I didn't let him. He was sitting in my lap and while I was helping his big sister with her plate he reached over and grabbed a piece of bacon off my plate and was happily tasting it when I finally noticed him! Oops.)

Thanks for reading! If you want to enjoy reading some more Not Me! lists, head over to MckMama's blog. It's highly entertaining. Happy Monday!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Visit With Friends

Sunday evening we had the lovely opportunity to have dinner with a group of friends we haven't seen in a while. It was so nice to visit and catch up with them. Thankfully, I remembered to bring my camera so we could snap some photos.
Laura Anne and Graham peeking through the window:

Jackie and Caleb:
The boys were "hugging":
A group shot:
Brantley, Brianna and Jackie:

Thanks for the fun time guys! Don't be strangers! :o)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Smoky Mountain Thanksgiving

I put together a slideshow of pictures from our trip to Tennessee for Thanksgiving. We all had a great time! Despite the traffic right in the middle of the mountains with a baby that didn't want to be in his car seat, the drive west was pretty uneventful. We had a crowd of 17 people, 4 dogs and 2 cats for Thanksgiving dinner!

Friday morning we all went to a quaint little restaurant for breakfast. A few of us ordered a short stack of pancakes, which was 2 pancakes. We were in for a surprise! The waitress brought out a stack of two pancakes, but they were about the size of a pizza box!! HUGE!! It was so funny. I didn't get any pictures with my camera, but my mom got some, so I'll see if I can snitch a couple.

Friday night, most of us went to the Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge. LOVE that place! I only wish we could've stayed for dinner and some apple fritters! Mmm! But I brought home some apple butter and Chris bought me some recipe cards, one of which is the recipe for apple fritters! Yay!

Saturday, most of my family went home, but my brother, Brandon and his wife Alana and their twin boys stayed. So our two families spent the first part of the day at the Deer Farm petting zoo! The kids had lots of fun feeding goats, camels, donkeys, horses, and deer.
After that, we had lunch at Chick-fil-A and drove in the heavy traffic to The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. It was so crowded, I didn't have the patience to maneuver our double stroller through it. So we went back to my aunt's house for an evening of playing video games!

Sunday, we drove home and thankfully didn't have any traffic issues. That's my story so now I'll share the slideshow!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

8 Months Old!

Caleb turned 8 months old the day before Thanksgiving and since we went out of town that day, I am only now getting the opportunity to post his 8 month pictures and such. I have plenty of pictures from our trip so those will be coming soon.

Here's what our little man can do now:

  • He is just starting to show signs of learning to crawl. He can lean forward while sitting up and pull his bum off the ground, but then he topples over. He enjoys it though, showing a smile each time. I believe he just may be crawling by Christmas! How fun!
  • He sprouted two teeth within the last couple weeks! They are both on the bottom. It wasn't too fun for him while they were coming through, but once they were out he was a happy camper. We just may have captured them on camera, too, when we took him to get 8 month portraits last week. Can you see them?

  • Caleb enjoys eating solids. His diet now includes: rice cereal, oatmeal, bananas, peaches, sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, carrots, corn, and pears.

  • He still has eczema. Still is on an antihistamine medication, steroid creams and itch relief creams. He still does not sleep well. The best he's done in a while was actually on our trip over the weekend when he slept for 6 hours straight. That was a blessing.

  • Everything goes into his mouth. I mean, EVERYTHING!

  • He can wave! First he learned how to wave his whole arm. Now he's working on opening and closing his hand. It's so cute!
  • I'm not sure of his height and weight, but he is wearing size 3 diapers now and mostly 9 month size clothes.

And now for some pictures!

If you couldn't see his teeth before, you can see them in this one:

Here Mommy, let me help you!