Saturday, July 30, 2011

Malibu Lagoon State Beach

We enjoyed a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Malibu. Jake even got to play in his new pea-pod tent from Grandma Carson! Thanks Grandma!!! I love holding hands with my man on the beach and watching Jake take in all the new sounds and images. Living in California can be really rough sometimes ;-)!

Sweet Dreams Little Man

Every night this week, Jake has slept like a dream. He has literally gone from waking up bunches and bunches to only waking up once to eat and then right back down until the sun rises. It's as if all of the sudden his melatonin set it and told him that nighttime is made for dreaming so he can grow healthy and strong. He wakes up so much happier (and so do we). It has been a blessing and I love singing him this sweet little lullaby called Godspeed and wish him a good night. I love seeing his peaceful sleep face. Melts my heart. Godspeed, little man. Thank you for sleeping like an angel.

"Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)"

Dragon tales and the "water is wide"
Pirate's sail and lost boys fly
Fish bite moonbeams every night
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

The rocket racer's all tuckered out
Superman's in pajamas on the couch
Goodnight moon, will find the mouse
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

God bless mommy and match box cars
God bless dad and thanks for the stars
God hears "Amen," wherever we are
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

Carmageddon BBQ

Oldest to youngest (Andrew and Eliot, Andy and Jake, Cameron and Joshua)

We love where we live! We love our friends, we love the weather, we just love it! We are grateful everyday that we can be here. We love that when the 405 freeway closes and the news predicts that LA will become nuts because the lifeline of the state has shut down, our friends, the Smiths, invited us over for a Carmageddon BBQ! We had a blast eating, playing games, and got the cutest picture of our men with their man cubs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Not Your Average Food Allergy

After visiting the doctor, we have discovered what is wrong with Jake's tummy. He has FPIES (Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome). My instincts told me it was more than colic, and a mother's intuition is always right. Always trust your gut!!! Always! Medicine is not a perfect science and it has been really touch and go as we have pried for answers. At least we know, now we can deal with it.

We will see a GI specialist and an allergy specialist to find out more, but until then here is what we know:

What is FPIES?

FPIES is a severe delayed food allergy of the gut, it is understood to be a T-cell mediated response, a Non-IgE Food Allergy, in which food is considered a foreign invader and the body “fights/attacks” it until it can violently expel it; although the exact mechanisms are still not well understood.

Symptoms include: profound vomiting (often to bile), diarrhea and/or constipation. These can lead to: lethargy, low body temp or fever, hypo-tension, and in severe cases, sepsis and shock. And still yet, many children also experience many discomforting symptoms while the body "fights" this reaction and these can include: extreme stomach pains, gas, runny stools with or without mucous or blood, persistent hiccups, acid reflux, rashes, sleep disturbance, and agitation.

FPIES is a clinical diagnosis (based on symptoms), there is currently no test for it.

Good Morning America featured a little boy just this week, who has this rare syndrome. He can only eat 10 foods. Just like Jake, his parents had to take him to the ER on several occasions when he ingested certain types of foods.

Jake's symptoms were pallor, lethargy to the point he scared me to death, limp, sleep disturbances, vomiting, throwing up blood, and constipation to name a few. So far the offending foods include rice cereal and peaches. Two hours later, our boy turns a white/grayish color, turns limp, eyes not focused on anything, then projectile vomits. It is scary and it breaks my heart, but this is his life and we will make the best of it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's in the Genes

In the last post, I mentioned Jake is a quarter hispanic. It's true. Here is a picture to prove it. He gets his lips from this man:

Andy's birth father

Andy's father-by-birth is Jose Luis Barbosa. I've never met Jose, but I see the resemblance. Andy was born as Andrew Jacob Barbosa, but was later adopted by his step-dad Fred Turner, who raised him and who we love! So there you have it, one quarter of Jake's pedigree.

Trip to Costco

Trips to Costco are so much better now that Jake can sit up in the front of the cart. I dont have to stuff his carseat inside the cart and all the foodz around him. I think it's safer this way.

He's such a big fact, in 4 days he'll be SIX months old! How did that happen? I mean really, he was just born. This baby business is some kind of time warp. We've got 6 short months before Jake turns one!

All kinds of fun things happen at Costco. I get a free lunch, Jake gets lots of attention and we leave with our bellies full and a smile on our faces.

Here are only two quotes from today's trip. I write them down because I think they are funny.

"Mmmm...Mmmm...Mmmm...that is a delicious child." said this white lady with crazy eyes. She really might have eaten him (Lady the free samples are just around the corner if your hungry!).

As we left Costco, a Hispanic meemaw started laughing at Jake and saying all kinds of interesting spanish words and flailing her arms up in the air like she was doing some kind of crazy fiesta dance for him. I was kinda nervous at first. No Hablo Espanyolio if you know what I mean. Je parle francais, Merci. (Jake IS a quarter Mexicano BTW so maybe he should learn the language of his ancestors)

"My grandma wants to know if your baby is real. She thinks he is a doll." said her grandson with his big brown eyes.

"Yes, Gracias," I said in my best Spanish accent. I even rolled the r just for her.

"But she really thinks he is a doll," he exclaimed with a smile on his face.

"No, he's pretty real," I laughed as I pinched his round cheekies.

She continued espeaking all kinds of espanish to Jake and he giggled and laughed. I too joined in the fun and kept saying Gracias as she did her joyful baby dance.

We should go to Costco more often. It is like a circus. You never know what kinds of people you will see or what kind of food you will eat! Fun all around!

Happy half birthday you little doll. You light up our days with love and laughter.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Andy Had A Birthday!

Andy turned 27 last Saturday. Shout Hurray! He woke up to a charlie horse in his calf. I told him it is because he's soo old (I should know). We made him a yummy french toast breakfast and for dinner we went to the tastiest steakhouse around, recommended to us by Katie and Cam, and about 1,000+ other people on yelp. I dont even know if tasty is the right word. Devine perhaps! It's called Mastros and it's in Beverly Hills. It's fancy pantsy. My mom watched Jakey pooh so we could go on our first date alone in 6 months. Oh how wonderful that was and we know he was with his loving grandma.

At Mastros, the steak literally falls off the bone like butter and the lobster mashed potatoes are so good, they should be a sin. They even brought out a massive piece of chocolate cake. I hope he felt like a king, cause he is seriously the best dad and husband!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shopping Buddy

Jake plays with my sandals so I can try on some shirts. He sure is cute!

Happy Bastille Day

Image via

A great day to go buy yourself une patisserie!

Jouyeux Jour de Bastille et de MTC

Lillian Dinge, Such an amazing woman!

Tahitian Night in Monpellier, France
My MTC Comps at Soeurs Conference in Toulouse!

Bastille day is special for me because 7 years ago today, I said goodbye to my family and friends for 18 months and entered the Provo Missionary Training Center to serve a mission in the south of France for our church.

I loved my mission! It was an amazing, hard, spiritual, exhausting, incredible and rewarding experience. I never planned on going on a mission, but it was so incredible! I miss the people, the food, the language, the vineyards, everything!

My MTC companions are my best friends. I cant even explain how much I love them. I know I can call them for anything, even if we live on separate coasts. I think about them and my mission everyday and especially on Bastille Day! I think I will head over to the Paris Bakery in Westwood today and buy a millefeuille to celebrate.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jake's First ER Visit

Jake went to the ER for the first time. He had the tiniest bit of rice cereal and two hours later he went limp, then projectile vomited several times, then couldn't stop gagging and dry heaving and eventually threw up a little blood. Yikes. The poor boy's stomach cant get a break. Thank the heavens that my mom was here. She was such a huge support. We packed up and went to the ER after talking with the on-call doctor at the pediatrician's office. We were there till 2 am, and after Jake emptied out pretty much everything and more., They think it was an allergic reaction to rice cereal. The only way we can know for sure is if we try it again. Great.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Strawberry Incident

Jake has taken serious interest into what we put in our mouths. We JUST started him on tiny tiny bits of soft foods, but when it comes to what we're eating, this kid isnt holding back!!! He stares at food and watches intently as it goes from plate to mouth. I think a connection is being made that there's more to eating than what he is used to.

Jake always has a seat at our table. We place his bumbo on the table and he joins us at most meals, if he's not napping.

Yesterday he nearly grabbed the pizza out of my hand. Today, he smacked my fork so hard food went flying. This evening, Andy was eating the most DELICIOUS chocolate covered strawberry that the Smiths brought over and Jacob decided it was time he gave it a try. His face went right for the strawberry. Right smack into it. Andy pulled back, but Jake stuck out his tongue and went face first into it. AGAIN! This new food discovery is becoming hilarious. I'm not sure what might happen when we try steak and potatoes!

Friday, July 1, 2011

He slept, Mom wept, and WE survived Colic!

The face of a babe who slept through the night

Jake did it! He did it! He slept* through the night!!! YipppeeeeeAHhhhhNOOOoooowayMIiiiraclesDOHappen!!!!!! He even let us sleep in until 8:30 am on Andy's day off work, which NEVER has happened, EVER. I dont want to jinx myself, but BOY does it feel good to have rested. AUHMAZING!

Now, on to a serious note. If there are ANY mothers out there struggling because your little one is not sleeping through the night, God bless you. It will get better. Wipe away those tears of frustration, anger, and despair, and know you were born to do this, as tiresome and hard as it is when your baby wakes a bazillion times at night, You WILL make it through this. Beautiful things were never meant to be easy. Remember you are both learning. I wasnt lucky enough to know what more than 2 hrs of sleep with a newborn was like, unless on a rare random occasion, but I was lucky to have Jake.

The first 4 1/2 months, Jake struggled with colic. I mean colic at it's finest. Sometimes, he would cry for more than 3 hrs straight, several times a day. He would also have his good moments, but nighttime struck hard, and it was ugly. He would writhe and double up in pain, and bite his wee little fists in anguish. He would turn all kinds of beautiful colors from red, to white, to purple when he cried. One mom, described colic as "living in Hell with an Angel." I wouldnt go THAT far, but we did everything we could to comfort him. It was really hard to watch. My doctor thought I was crazy when I would bring him in and tell her that he cried all night long. I kept thinking there has got to be something more to this that is making him so upset. She'd reply, "He has colic." "YES I KNOW YOU CRAZY DOCTOR, TELL ME HOW TO MAKE IT STOP!"

I did my research and had the support of many. I went off dairy products (that took some serious discipline). I then stopped eating my favorite organic whole wheat toast from Costco, uggg. It was not in vain because that is when things started getting slowly better. He would still struggle and I am sure, he too, was tired. At night, I prayed for a miracle. At least 2 hrs of one. They didn't come at first. He would wake up every hr screaming and doubling up and hurting. We tried so many things, techniques, medicines, and prayers (I could write a whole post/book on what we did and the sleep training techniques I invented for him because the 6 sleep books I read didn't offer much guidance into colicky babies, if you want to know EMAIL me). In the end, time is the ultimate healer and caretaker.

I could go on and on and on, but today, we have reached a milestone. If he reverts back to his old habits, well, lets just say I dont expect perfection, nor do I expect it to be easy, but TODAY we have come a million miles and the sun is shining! Hope is the word of the day.

*I have learned that when moms say their small nursing infant is "sleeping through the night", that usually means around 6 hrs straight, that is what Jake did. If you have a breastfed bebe younger than 4 months of age who sleeps through the night for more than 6 hrs, I hope you know what a blessing that is!!!