7 quick takes

1. Apparently all I’m going to post most of the time is little bullet points of our days. First up, while I was at the hospital with Beatrice a few weeks ago, Eloise was sitting with Matt, eating her dinner, when she shoved a pea in her nose. Thankfully tweezers were found and it was extracted.

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2. Remember when Greta got glue in her hair? Well her is her drawing of herself with glue in her hair (the giant blob next to her head).

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3. Both Greta and Eloise are petrified of bubbles in the bath tub. I have no idea why, maybe because we never really gave them bubble baths before a couple of months ago. We tried once and they hated it, literally screaming the whole time they were in the tub. Matt tried again a few months later and they refused to get in the water. They stood next to the tub screaming about the bubbles.

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4. We had some lovely weather for many weeks, and here are some pictures of one of the girls’ favorite activities, bouncing on the balls. Greta is apparently unable to keep her tongue in her mouth while bouncing 🙂

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5. Beatrice didn’t bounce, just laid in the grass.

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6. Worms. Boy, do these girls love hunting for worms.

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7. The baby birds have hatched! And sadly one of them has been lost. The other night Matt and Eloise walked past the tree the nest is in and one fell/flew out. We went for our walk and when we came back, it had made it to the back yard. Eventually it made it over the fence to the neighbors yard. Then a large bird came and snatched it up, while 15-20 robins tried to attack it and free the baby. A sad day.

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Bonus! A cute picture of baby B.

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sun protection

So May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and sun protection is something I take very seriously. I might be a little paranoid or over protective, but alas this is how I protect myself and my little ones from the sun.

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I grew up being pretty well protected from the sun. We always wore sunscreen and were never allowed to lay out in the sun like everyone else was. I have definitely got some sunburns in my lifetime, two in particular that I remember. One was when I was skiing (yep, you need to protect yourself from the sun year round), and the shiny surface of my sunglasses reflected and burnt my nose to a crisp, blisters and all, despite applying sunscreen. Another time I remember having blisters on my shoulders, although I don’t really remember the details. We have had several people in my family with skin cancer, thankfully none of them have been too serious, but still scary.

These days it is so much easier to protect our sensitive skin. I burn very easily, in fact I used to get sunburned during the 30 minutes of PE I had in high school that was right at noon. Thanks to the miracle of sun protective fabric, we are able to protect ourselves without sunscreen (for the most part), which is great since we don’t have to remember to reapply every two hours or less.

First up, every member of our family has one of these Sunday Afternoon sun hats. We just had to order two new ones since there were so many fights over the purple and pink hats. Now we have four that fit the big girls. Beatrice has just a generic sand colored one. I love that they have nice wide brims and long neck coverage. Matt and I also have a hat that we wear when we are outside. While the kids look super cute in their hats, I do find them a little dorky for adults, although I’m not too concerned with looks or fashion.

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We also all have sun shirts, which we wear all the time. We have a variety of different brands including Land’s End, REI, UVSkinz and maybe some others. They are all pretty much the same. The REI ones seem to be the thinnest, while the kids Land’s End one has a lining in it. There are plenty of other companies who make them as well. I always go for long sleeves so we don’t have to put sunscreen on our arms. The girls rarely complain about having to wear their shirts, although I definitely don’t really give them the option to not wear them.

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This spring I also bought something new, BabyLegs made with UPF. They have a new line called BabyCool. I bought some back when they were having a big sale, and I think they were only $4 each! I bought two pairs for each girl. They don’t wear these as often, but it is nice to have, especially when it isn’t that warm out, yet they are wearing shorts or a skirt.

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When we do need sunscreen we select something from the Environmental Working Group that is ranked somewhere in the 1-3 range. Last year we had some pretty good stuff from CVS with Zinc Oxide. I haven’t bought anything new this year, but when I do I’ll be looking at the EWG sunscreen guide as well as Safemama’s guide (the 2012 guide isn’t out just yet).

We keep all of our sun stuff in basket right by the back door so that it is easy to find and put on anytime we go outside. My general rule of thumb is that if we are going to be out for more than 10-15 minutes between the hours of 9:30 am to 5 pm, we put on hats and shirts. Sometimes the girls will wear them at other times just because they are in the habit of wearing them.

How do you protect yourself and little ones from the sun? Does anyone have non breakable kid sunglasses they would recommend?

P.S. UVSkinz is giving away a free 12-24 month sunshirt with every order during the month of May! They sell the hats we wear and lots of other stuff, plus they have some good deals in the Deep End Discounts, although the selection is definitely limited. They have no idea who I am, I just like their mission and products!

Mother’s Day

Last Thursday, Greta’s school had a little Mother’s Day Tea at school. Greta was very excited about the present she was making and other stuff they were working on. She couldn’t really keep it a surprise very well. She had to tell Eloise and Beatrice and Matt. She would start telling me and I would tell her not to tell me yet, and she would whisper it instead of yelling it, too cute. Then she insisted she had to tell Beatrice all about it, but alas Beatrice was sitting in my lap. I tried my hardest not to listen so that I would be surprised.

When we got there, they all sang a little Mother’s Day song. And yes, that is Greta singing the loudest and highest.

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She made a sweet little book and bracelet. Greta really enjoyed having me all to herself, which rarely happens around here.

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Photo on 5-10-12 at 12.15 PM

Mother’s Day itself was pretty low-key. The girls helped Matt make some yummy breakfast and then we went to mass. We mostly hung around the house and finally got a picture of all of us at the end of the day.

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I hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day. Greta got to sing her Mother’s Day song to both grandmothers as well, which was nice.

snippets

1. Three HAPPY girls!

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2. Beatrice was so happy to get to participate in playing with the scarves.

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3. When Beatrice was at the hospital, Eloise just kept saying “miss you, baby” over and over again. She joined Beatrice for a moment in the crib for some snuggles.

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4. We are watching the robin’s nest in our front yard.

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5. First strawberry from our garden! Greta and Eloise shared it, so I have no idea if it was any good or not.

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6. We have a baby bunny living in the back yard, and it is so cute! We love looking out the window for him/her in the mornings.

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7. Greta can write her name!

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8. I just like this one.

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4 months times 3

I like to look back and see what all three girls looked like at a certain age. Here they are at about 4 months. I tried to pick similar poses so it is a little easier to compare 🙂

Greta:

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Eloise:

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Beatrice:

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I think they are looking more different, although Beatrice is looking more like a combo of Greta and Eloise. What do you think?

Home

Just wanted to let everyone know we are home! Beatrice is doing just fine. Her nose is looking better each day. We are busy trying to get back into our routine. I’ll write more about the hospital when I get a chance. Thanks for all the prayers and good thoughts, everything went very smoothly.

Day 3

As of 2 pm today, Beatrice is on the highest dose the doctors wanted her on. So as long as everything goes well through the night, we are out of here tomorrow midday. Then we continue to give her the medicine three times a day for a while. We have a doctor’s appointment in two weeks, and then monthly after that. Beatrice remains happy and loves smiling at the nurses, and barely puts up a fight at all. A picture from today and a video (it won’t let me add it, so I’ll add it when I get home tomorrow, check back). Aha! I got it uploaded!

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Day 2

Beatrice receives three doses of propranolol a day, currently at 2pm, 10pm, and 6am. After the first dose they monitor the closest, then a little less with the 2nd and 3rd. Assuming she is tolerating the medicine well, which so far she has, at 2pm the dose increases. They are monitoring her heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose level, and so far all have remained pretty steady, so yay!

Today was mostly uneventful. We got some sleep last night as the nurses didn’t come in as often as I expected. Beatrice didn’t like being woken up for her medicine and blood pressure and glucose checks, but she went back to sleep fairly easily. Since we had to up for medicine at 6, there really was no hope of her going back to sleep at that point, so we were up. Got some breakfast, talked to the big girls on FaceTime and eventually took a nap, a nap that was not interrupted by having to get in the car or by her sisters screaming about something.

Matt brought Greta and Eloise over after mass. We ventured down to the cafeteria for lunch, then went to the playground for a little while. Greta, Beatrice and I went to the playroom while Matt got Eloise to take a short nap. Everyone left around 3:30. Now it is just beatrice and me here for the night.

Beatrice remains totally happy and is giving everyone lots of smiles. I think her nose is already improving, which is possible as many people report noticing changes while in the hospital. I’m not sure the superficial part of the hemangioma has shrunk, but the deep part appears to as her nose appears to be less bulbular. Here are a couple of pictures of our happy little girl today.

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