Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas and a side of RSV

Poor Lillie came down with a case of RSV and acute bronciolitis. It's relatively common in infants under 12 months. It started out as a cough here and there and quickly escalsated to coughing and choking spells. We found ourselves at St. Lukes ER on Saturday evening where she was tested and treated. Well, speaking of treatment, there really isn't anything we can do that we aren't already doing - elevated crib, humidifier, bulb suction before feedings, etc. Our instructions are to closely monitor her for rapid breathing and/or wheezing. Hopefully, we'll have our healthy Lillie back for the New Year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lillie Laughing

Just in time for the holidays, Lillie gave us her first laugh last Friday. It's not a regular thing yet and she's very unpredictable so when I got her laughing this afternoon and saw the camera on the coffee table, I knew this was my opportunity to capture it on film! Roger has yet to see it happen so this is my proof!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

4 months!

Happy 4 months Lillie! The time seems to be flying by now that I'm getting sleep at night! In the beginning, people would tell me to cherish the time when they are so small because they grow up so fast. I'm going to be real with you for a second. I'm glad she's not a newborn anymore. That is a tough time! Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise!

So onto her stats. She is weighing in at 15 lbs, 11 oz (wow!). That puts her in the 89th percetile. Being that she started out at 6 lbs, 12 oz, that means she has gained 143 ounces in 122 days!

She also grew in length, a lot. She went from 24 inches at three months to 26 1/2 inches at 4 months. That puts her in the 99th percentile. I did notice (and mentioned it to several people) that I thought she was going through a growth spurt around the 3 1/2 month point and I guess I was right!

We were given the clear to start rice cereal but I think we are going to wait a little while longer. Each baby is different and I really want to make sure her digestive track is ready for solid foods. As long as she is satisfied by nursing and the soy formula (we are alternating now), I'm not in a big rush to get her on cereal. It seems that every pediatrician has a different opinion on when to start and I have heard that starting too soon can lead to food allergies and obesity (down the road), but I've never heard anything bad about waiting it out. My "plan" is to start her on cereal around 5 1/2 - 6 months, but we'll see how long she can hold out on just liquids alone!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Second Annual Gingerbread Houses with the Girls!

In celebration of the holidays, a group of us girls get together to make our own gingerbread houses. We all met while working at PwC (and a few of us still work there) and considering that when you work in a public accounting environment, there are many weeks where you see your co-workers more than any other people in your life, you become really close!

Laying out all the pieces to cool. Lisa makes the dough ahead of time and we spend the morning rolling out the dough and cutting out all the shapes.

Karen working diligently on her house. Check out her roof! That thing is a work of art!

Pregnant lady with a knife...never a good combination!

Our own little gingerbread community!

And time for the individual pictures!

Coincidently, Diana (in looking for design ideas this year) discovered pictures of our houses from last year's blog post on Google Images! The internet is a crazy thing!
Thanks for opening your home to us Lisa! Again, the food was amazing (I swear you should open your own restaurant!) and the memories will last a lifetime!

Our attempt at holiday pictures!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Here are a couple pictures from Lillie's first Thanksgiving!

This one cracks me up every time! I can only imagine what is running through that little mind of hers :)

A little better...but I think she's still intimidated by the turkey next to her!

Next up...Christmas pictures. I tried (and I'm still trying since you'll see that I was unsuccessful) to take our own holiday pictures this year. Well, with a dog AND a baby, it's next to impossible to get a good shot. After 50 plus takes, this was our best shot...

It wasn't exactly the look I was going for!

But Lillie thought it was hilarious :)

So the process continues. Hopefully I'll get a good one before Christmas :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lots of milestones

I'm so proud of Lillie! She seems to be more alert and active with every week that goes by. I wanted to let her try her Bumbo seat for fun today thinking she might like the new perspective. She sits in my lap with my support all the time, but I thought she might actually like to see me when sitting for once!

Here she is all kicked back and smiling at her mom who is making a fool of herself!

And earlier last week, she started raising her legs and grabbing for her toes. She really needs her bottoms to be off to get the most flexibility and hence the reason she is halfway out of her sleeper.

And finally, we're making progress on tummy time. Look, she actually appears to be enjoying it now!

Happy Thanksgiving from Lillie, Roger, Harvey, and I!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another investment property

So one day before Lillie turned 12 weeks old, we closed on a foreclosure property in the Fenton suburb of St. Louis. This will be a long term flip for us. We'll do as much work as we can before we move our things into it and then we will continue tackling renovations as we live there. It's a great family home and we got a deal on it. We paid approximately 59% of what the house originally sold for three years ago!

We started work on November 1st. This truly is a cosmetic flip. There are no walls to be moved, no plumbing, electrical, or hvac to be updated, and nothing structural to repair. We've spent the past 10 days or so painting, cleaning, replacing light fixtures, and changing out faucets and bathroom hardware. Oh, and the toilet in the half bath downstairs could not be salvaged! Let's just say that the previous owners went to town on it when they found out they were being foreclosed on!

Standing in the family room looking into the breakfast room and kitchen.

The same view, only reversed. Standing in the kitchen looking into the breakfast room and family room.
A little butlers pantry or serving area in the hall between the kitchen and dining room. I can see turning this into the downstairs diaper changing area!

Close up of the cabinets, backsplash, and countertops. One of our to-do renovations is to switch out the countertops with natural stone.

Slot for the fridge and nook above.

As you enter the house from the garage, this area is on the right. I can see unloading all the groceries on here as I bring them in from the car. As it stands right now, since our garage is detached where we currently live, bringing in the groceries is a much more difficult task than it will be in the new house!

Small living room or office off the entryway
Dining room opposite the living room. There is a nice coffered ceiling in there.

Finally, the "bonus room" upstairs between all the bedrooms. Since we're coming from a house with only one living area, I have no idea what we'll put in here!
Oh, and the reason it sat on the market for as long as it did....No deck and one heck of a drop off! Thankfully, we'll be putting a deck on in the spring and the lot next door is for sale so while we won't have much of a back yard, we'll make do with a side yard.

So that's what we've been up to! My parents and sister have been a huge help! Whether it's my mom taking Lillie for the day or my sister coming over to paint after class or my dad helping us install the new ceiling fan, we couldn't have done this without their help! Everything truly does change once you have a child :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Three months!

Happy 3 months Lillie!
Her stats: 13 lbs, 7 oz and 24 inches long
She is one ounce shy of doubling her birth weight, something that usually happens at the 6 month point! I just can't believe how fast she is growing and gaining weight! She was in newborn clothes for 6 weeks and then proceeded to go through her 3 month clothes in another 6 weeks! For a baby that started out in the 20th percentile for weight, she sure is catching up fast!
We had our genetics appointment at Children's Hospital last Thursday (that's how we found out her weight and length because her next appointment with the pediatrician isn't until 4 months) and found out more about how we will proceed with her galactosemia. When she starts solid foods, she'll be able to handle rice cereal and fruits and veggies just fine. However, when she progresses to table foods, she won't be able to have anything with lactose or galactose in it. This basically includes anything made with milk or a milk by-product. I don't see it being a huge inconvenience for us. It's going to be harder to remind others (like grandparents who want to slip her a spoonful of ice cream) of her limitations.
Then at one year old, we do something called a galactose challenge. We gradually introduce milk products into her diet for two weeks and then her levels are checked. If we time it right around her birthday, she can have cake and ice cream on the big day. Most babies do just fine and are able to be on a regular diet going forward. In fact, the dietician that we work with said she sees about 20 cases a year and she's never had a baby fail the challenge.
Her blood was drawn again and we are waiting for the results. She has been on soy formula since October 23rd and they are hoping to see that the build up of galactose that was in her system has been broken down and burned off as energy. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, June 20, 2008


We're finally moving on to the next project! I'm happy to say that after 4 months of blood, sweat, and many tears, we are done with our master bathroom renovation. Below are several before and afters. Next on the agenda: baseboards in the hallway and 2 bedrooms as well as painting the nursery.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bathroom update

I wanted to wait until we were completely done with the bathroom remodel to post again, but we have made a lot of progress in the past ten days and Roger put in a request that I update our blog with that progress. This is for you Roger!

Our vanity: It's the 60" double sink vanity from the Ambella Verona collection. The faucets are Price Pfister and the light fixtures are from Delta. We went with a paint color called Lucy Blue from Valspar.

Moving on, here is our shower now with the two heads. The handshower on the left is adjustable along that rod and it can also be removed and used for giving Harvey his bath (which he experienced for the first time in the new shower a few days ago!).

We have a toilet! No more trips downstairs in the middle of the night!
Close up of the floor and the offset pinwheel pattern.
Small details like the new oil rubbed bronze vent cover and a sample piece of the baseboards that will be going down.
For as much as we have accomplished, there are still some loose ends to tie up. On the to do list still is:
Frameless shower doors installed (they're on order and should be installed within a week)
Mirrors above vanity
Towel bars, toilet paper holder, towel hook installed
Rehang door
Paint outside of clawfoot tub and install new bronze hardware
and little stuff like outlet covers, etc.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tomorrow I will take a shower

for the first time in 6 weeks.
It sounds worse than it is because in reality, we've been bathing in the bathtub since our master bathroom renovation kicked off around the middle of March. I can't tell you how excited I am to use our new shower. The only reason I'm not in there now is because I'm waiting for the tile and grout to hard cure.
Let's recap shall we....
Bathroom Before - I had actually painted part of the bathroom a very pale green and hung 2" white blinds to help make the bathroom more "liveable" while we figured out what we wanted to do and to save for the renovations. The lime green on wall next to the vanity was the previous owner's color of choice for the bathroom.
Renovations begin - we removed that half wall next to the vanity and extended the shower wall out by about 8 inches. We removed the hardwood floors which were not original to the house and served of no historical value. Under the 198o's hardwoods, we found the original hardwoods, but opted not to salvage them. You can see the plywood starting to go down to act as an additional subfloor for the travertine.
Framing out of the shower. We decided to do a corner bench to store product and to also serve as a place to sit or prop a leg up on while shaving in the shower. Projects that you don't see include the installation of 1/2" hardibacker on the shower walls, pouring of the mud shower pan, and the additional plumbing for a second shower head.
And the finished product!!! We installed 12" by 18" travertine tiles in a brick pattern along the walls with an accent tile at about eye level. Around the perimeter, we installed a bullnose travertine border. The floor is made up of 2" square tiles and the bench and shower curb use 1" tiles. We are using Delta fixtues in a bronze finish. Only one of the shower heads has been installed at this point as we are waiting for the cover to go over the diverter value that will allow us to use the second shower head. We ordered (and have sitting in the basement) the handheld shower head that will go on the other side. It has a bar that mounts to the tile which will allow you to position the shower head at a variety of heights.
Close up of the accent tile.
Shower bench and shower floor and a preview of the floor. We are using an offset pinwheel pattern which incorporates 18" square tile as well as 6" square tile. We have a frameless shower door on order so we'll be using a shower curtain for the time being.
And in other news, remember this scene from a few months ago...
Well, I spent an entire weekend back in April trimming everything back and installing about 300 square feet of weed fabric. Two yards of mulch and a flat of annuals later and things are starting to shape up!

Oh and if you need to get a hold of me and I don't seem to be answering my phone, I'm in the shower!!!