Friday, August 31, 2012

Aven Visits a "Castle"

Lately Aven has been very interested in buildings that have castle-like characteristics such as steeply pitched roofs, towers, spires, and large windows. She even refers to rather small churches as castles as long as they have the right physical characteristics.

We drove past the Cathedral of the Madeline last week and she was very taken with it and has been wanting to visit ever since, so this afternoon we drove downtown and she got to visit her very first "castle".

She was very good at being quiet inside and loved the stained glass windows, the arches, the frescoes, and the candles. She also enjoyed sitting in the pews and kneeling on the kneelers. I have to say that I'm really glad there weren't any homeless people passed out in there since that really would have killed the whole magical-castle vibe we had going. For the record I have seen more than a few down-and-out people sleeping one off on the pews before.

Aven loved visiting a "castle", now we need to take her to visit some real castles in Europe. I'm sure we'll be on the next plane out.

Standing on the front steps.
Aven with the organ, rose window, and arches behind her.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Here We Go Again

So, you may remember that when Aven was a baby she had an allergy to dairy protein called Allergic Colitis. We saw blood in her diaper when she was about 6 weeks old, took her to the doctor, and I was told to go dairy free. Over the next couple months I also discovered that she was sensitive to corn protein and removed that from my diet as well.

The day after Etta was born our pediatrician came to the hospital to check on her and I asked him what the likelihood of Etta developing the Allergic Colitis was. He said that her chance was much greater since Aven had it- it's probably a genetic thing. So I started watching for symptoms right from the start. A month ago, when Etta was three weeks old, I saw blood in her diaper. We took her to the doctor to rule out other potential causes and I jumped right on the diet I was on with Aven. After a week and a half she was symptom free- yay!!!

I was pretty upset at first because it was such a traumatic experience with Aven. Her symptoms were greatly reduced by the diet but they persisted until she was about six months old. Because the symptoms persisted we had to do blood work, stool samples, and a scan at Primary Children's plus two trials of hypoallergenic formula- those just ended in tears (mine and Aven's).

So, here we are again, but this time I already know exactly what I can eat and which restaurants have things that are friendly to this very restricted diet. It might not sound like a big deal, but just try to find basic things like crackers, cereal, and bread that are free of both dairy AND corn ingredients. The upside is that I am just about the healthiest eater I know. About 90% of my food is prepared at home from fresh ingredients with little or no preservatives. Another upside is that babies tend to grow out of this allergy by the time they are about 9 months old. To be safe I'll stay on the diet until she turns one. So here's to another year of reading labels and losing ridiculous amounts of weight!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I love baby fuzz. So precious.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

One Month

Etta is one month old. I have to say that this month went by faster than Aven's first month. We're holding up okay so far. I'm not gonna lie, it's definitely much more stressful with two kids. Aven has much more screen time than I'd prefer, but putting a movie on for her has saved my sanity more than once. Etta is very alert at certain times of the day and loves looking around. She's developing lots of cute facial expressions. Here are some recent pictures:
For some reason I have a lot of pictures of Etta yawning.
Super cute baby toes.
Aven painting some rocks she found on a nature walk.
Call the fashion police, Aven's playing dress-up again!

Friday, August 3, 2012

New Name

Now that we have more than just Aven our blog title needed an update. The name was inspired by the 10,000 Maniacs song "These Are Days". I've always loved the song, especially the lyrics, since they cast such a positive outlook on life. As a chronic worrier I need that. I also love how the words match up so well with what it's like to have kids- on the good days, anyway.

These are the days
These are days you’ll remember
Never before and never since, I promise
Will the whole world be warm as this
And as you feel it,
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you
Are touched by something
That will grow and bloom in you

These are days that you’ll remember
When May is rushing over you
With desire to be part of the miracles
You see in every hour
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you are touched
By something that will grow and bloom in you

These are days
These are the days you might fill
With laughter until you break
These days you might feel
A shaft of light
Make its way across your face
And when you do
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
See the signs and know their meaning
It's true
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
Hear the signs and know they’re speaking
To you, to you

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Same and Different

I've been thinking a lot about what is the same and what is different with Etta versus Aven. I figured that I would have the baby thing down pat since I'd done it before and my main challenge would be helping Aven adapt. It turns out that in many respects I feel just as helpless and unknowing about Etta as I did with Aven- it's amazing the amount of stuff I've forgotten. As I asked questions at Etta's two week appointment I found that as our pediatrician answered bells were ringing like crazy. I realized that I had asked the same exact questions about Aven and he was giving me the exact same answers. As far as Aven goes, she has had her moments over the last few weeks, but she has adapted like a champ and I'm really proud of her.

Here are a few things that stand out:


  • The newborn stage, while very cute and cuddly, is extremely nerve wracking and stressful.
  • I worry about something to do with the baby constantly. The minute I stop worrying about one thing my mind finds another thing to latch on to- blerg.
  • It's hard to get ready to go anywhere. Just leaving the house feels like a monumental accomplishment.
  • That whole "sleep when the baby sleeps" logic goes out the window completely when you've got an energetic three-year-old bouncing around the house.
  • Having to divide my attention between two kids is hard and tiring. It's physically tiring, but also mentally tiring.
  • I just want to be busy. With Aven I took any down time I could get, with this one I'm always looking for something to do- I'm not sure why.

A lovely picture of my girls: