Sunday, April 23, 2017

Vivian Elise is 8 Months Old

Our sweet, chunky baby sister is 8 months old!  Here's what the little lady is up to these days.

 Eating: Don't let her size fool you.  Mama likes to eat.  I nurse her in the morning and she's doing 3 bottles (6 oz) the rest of the day. We are closing the breastfeeding chapter as we speak. I actually thought I had cut the cord a couple days ago, but needed to let some air out of the tires, so I foresee a couple more random nursing sessions.  Am I sad? Not really :) I'm sad that this part of the book is done and we certainly had moments that we enjoyed. Will I miss being tied to a clock or a pump all the time? NOPE!

Viv is also a big fan of baby food. She likes everything from fruits to veggies and even the nasty pureed meats.  We're trying to give her some more chunky stuff. She only has two teeth, so we have to practice. She does love her some puffs, though!

Sleeping: She's a champ. The end.  Nothing much has changed, though I think she's settling into a 2-nap routine. She still naps all over the place at school (usually 3 shorter naps), but at home, she gives us two 90+ minute naps.  Night time is still a cinch.  She only cries in the middle of the night if she's not feeling well, and only on rare occasions do we need to get her out of the crib.

Playing: Vivian learned how to wave AND clap this month! If you see her wave, it's bound to make you smile. She waves at you like she hasn't seen you in months.  A very big and vibrant "hello!"  Her clapping is very dainty. More like a golf clap. 

Loves: This one loves her brothers. She constantly follows them around with her eyes and giggles.  Walt is a great big brother and lets her do anything she wants to him. She loves to pull his hair and smack his face.

 Hates: Being sleepy. She'll let you know. Also, hungry. Don't dare eat something in her presence without planning on sharing or at least giving her her own food. She's also not a fan of being alone for too long. I can't blame her.

We took some family pics today, so we're really excited to have some updated family portraits. The last ones we did were when Viv was a newborn and I'd say she's changed a bit since then.

Viv is such a fun, social and playful little baby.  She's happy in a stroller, outside, carseat, being held and generally where the action is. Her brothers love, love, love to make her laugh and Bentley loves to give her kisses.  We are so lucky to have our Vivian Elise!

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Happy spring, everyone! By happy, I mean terrifying.  I've lived in North Texas my entire life and have become very accustomed to the stormy spring.  I'm not above grabbing a bottle of wine and waiting it out in the bathtub.  Tornadoes and hail are our biggest threat, however despite countless tornado sirens, we've never come close enough to one to really cause damage. Thank goodness!  Don't worry, I still act like a tornado is coming anytime I see a wall cloud. And don't get me wrong, it doesn't have to be a full-fledged tornado to be damaging. Straight-line winds will take a full-grown oak tree down, no problem!

On Friday night, we had a typical storm... just kidding, this storm was the weather apocalypse.  It started out with wind and lightening and thunder. #typical.  Then the hail started.  Also, not atypical. But what started as a cute little peppering of funny little ice pellets, quickly turned into a full onslaught of frozen baseballs ALL OVER OUR NEW HOUSE.

Anyone who has experienced hail knows it's pretty short lived.  We're talking 3-4 minutes.  Much like a tornado - it comes, destroys, and leaves.  This little ambush lasted well over 10 minutes.  I just kept waiting for a window to crack.

After examining the damage this morning, we were extremely fortunate not to have a broken window. Turns out, every single house around us had one. What we do have are several cracked and shattered roof tiles, chipped stucco, beat up gutters and one patio table victim.  For your viewing pleasure:

Covered in hail

A sampling of the ammunition

Chipped stucco (and a spider friend)

Just some cracked clay tile - NBD

A direct hit!

and bye, bye conversation table
I have to say, we are SO grateful to all be safe a sound. Just a little rattled and cringing at the home insurance claim.  Until next spring....

Friday, April 7, 2017

Walt Gets Glasses

I'll be honest. I saw this day coming from a mile away. How's that for a near-sighted joke?! It seems I have passed along some pretty amazing genes to my kids. First the asthma and allergies, and now terrible eyesight!  I started wearing glasses at the age of six.  My mom and my sister's eyesight is so bad. Like, what you think is bad, but way worse than that.  My current contact prescription is a -8.00 and I think I have the best eyes in the family. It's not good!

So, when the school nurse said Walt was having trouble with the eye test, I booked him an appointment stat.  Walt was actually super excited about it. Glasses have made a pretty awesome comeback in the last several years, so the notion of having glasses was cool, rather than terrifying.  Walt did amazing at the doctor and we learned what was causing his blurred vision was a slight astigmatism (no near-sightedness yet!)

Getting super space-aged pics taken of his eyes

3-D vision test

Ready to see the doc!

Option 1 or 2.... A or B...

Here are the specs he chose! Ray Bans like daddy :)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Watch out, Breakfast. Here comes Oscar!

We are celebrating a victory in our house tonight!  Oscar not only survived an egg challenge, but passed with flying colors.  If you're wondering what an egg challenge is, read on! If you're not wondering, you should read anyways :)

Several years ago, when Walt (yes, Walt) was merely 18 months old, we discovered he has a peanut allergy.  Turns out, after confirmation from the allergist (like we needed that. I mean, look at those pics!), it was a pretty severe allergy.  Fast forward to Oscar and we were avoiding peanuts just because we were anyways.  I was always nervous about the typical allergens, but this one surprised me. He had been eating foods like waffles and even baked goods, but one day right after he was one, I gave Oscar some scrambled eggs. While not nearly as severe as Walt's peanut reaction, he definitely got rashy.  It was also at this time that Oscar was putting up a pretty hefty fight with "reactive airway disease" #asthma.  He was in and out of urgent care and even made a few trips to the hospital. Since there were lots of factors going on, we decided total egg avoidance was the way to go (if you're curious, we did a full panel blood test on Oscar. His high-risk allergens were peanuts and eggs).  The following year we did the skin test for both and they both showed high reactions.  

Over the last year, Oscar's asthma has been very well maintained. With the help of an amazing pulmonologist/allergist, we were able to find the right balance of preventative meds. Now that we had that under control, I was ready to take a second look at eggs.

And so was Oscar. We had to do a lot of coaching to undo years of programming that eggs are bad. Oscar is SO well aware of his allergies (like brother) that he'll ask if a piece of gum has eggs or peanuts.  

We must have done something right. This is his eager (anxious?) face right before his first bite
In a nutshell, here's the challenge. At the doctor's office, in a very controlled environment, Oscar would eat tiny amounts of eggs, wait some time, then try a bigger dose. We started with something like 1/16 teaspoon.  Vital signs are taken before the eggs then 30 minutes later (before the next dose). The eggs were simply scrambled eggs that we made and brought. Nothing to it.

Vital signs 
Eeeek! Eating eggs!

And waiting as patiently as possible
I don't really know what I expected. I think I figured he's at least get some hives or get a little red around his mouth. Nothing.  Not to mention he LOVED the eggs. This poor guy didn't get to eat breakfast and was teased with tiny tastes of eggs every half hour. He was a champ through it all and requested tacos for lunch, so that's what we had!
The final dose in a medicine cup
We were at the doctor's office from 8:30a until about 1p. The last dose we had to wait a full hour. He passed with flying colors. Dr. Moore suggested that we probably not serve breakfast tacos for dinner, but that he was free and clear to eat eggs. He said that the clinical reaction is 95% accurate, so I feel pretty good about this. I think what we are MOST looking forward to is enjoying cake and cupcakes at birthday parties!

And here is the little Stinks man on the way home. He was so tuckered out from his big morning!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Vivian Elise is 7 Months Old

Another month has flown by. It was an especially insane month between moving, every sickness known to man, and just general adjustments. But, we can't skip over Vivian's 7-month milestones!

Viv continues to be a pretty rockstar baby.  As it goes, her personality is shining every day. While she's pretty laid back, she definitely enjoys the company of others.  She is most happy watching her brothers goof off (or laughing while Oscar is crying) and she enjoys sweet puppy kisses from Bentley.  

Vivian's two biggest milestones this month were sitting up (which she did right after her 6-month birthday) and sprouting two teeth (which happened right at the 7-month mark).  She also has progressed into eating most stage 2 baby foods. She LOVES eating her fruits and veggies. She absolutely loves green beans and peas (are we sure she is a Bruns?), and she is getting the hang of puffs.  She also has been messing around with a sippy cup. We have some work to do there.  Vivian has stretched her bottle feedings during the day to every four hours. She only drinks 6 oz at a time (if that). This petite little appetite is so very foreign to me!

She still sleeps like a champ (bed around 6:30 or 7p and awake around 7a, but happy to hang out in her crib). She still kind of naps when she wants, but we noticed at home she can rock two good naps (90min+). Those naps are usually around 9/9:30 and 1:30/2.  At school she is more of a cat napper.

There are very little things that make this girl unhappy. She fusses if she's tired or hungry, but is easily soothed by addressing those needs or just snuggling her.  She is comfortable with new people and loves touching people's faces to get to know them and show her affection. 

How could I forget that she's babbling!?  She very distinctly says "dadadada" and does this funny little suck-in squeal when she's happy.  Here she is telling us a good story in her language:

We love our tiny, petite little girl so very much!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Home, Sweet Prosper Home!

We made it!! We managed to move our family of 5 into our beautiful new house. We are SO happy and blessed to finally be here, but God bless it -- this was not an easy week.

Luckily we had started the packing process when we staged.  This also means that we've been half packed up since October, so everything has felt a little chaotic (ok, a lot. #newborn).  Despite my major purging efforts, these tiny humans just accumulate stuff! (there are other 4-letter words for it). Once we TRULY started packing a few weeks ago, it really felt like it would never end. Little did I know that packing would be the least of my issues.

We moved during Spring Break week, which was perfect because we could send Walt to Camp Gilmer and the littles still had daycare. That meant we should have 8-9 hours each day of solid work time. There's a saying about the best laid plans...

We closed on Mon and the night before Oscar started to say he didn't feel well. We thought there was a bit of jealousy over Walt going to Gilmer so we brushed it off, like good, loving parents do.  He kept at it on Monday morning, so I took him to the doctor 2 hours before we were supposed to sign on the dotted line.  Turns out, he had strep. Ok, no big deal. Strep = antibiotics, which means he can be back to school on Tuesday when we actually move.  As we were doing a few things at our new house on Monday afternoon, we get a call from daycare. Vivy has a fever. She's been acting like she's teething for weeks, so I assumed that's what it was. For whatever reason, I decided to take her to the doc on Monday afternoon (last appointment of the day).  After powering through a strep and a flu test, we got a positive result for the flu. UGH.  No school for 2-3 days. TWO TO THREE DAYS.

So, when the movers arrived on Tues, I had an adorable infant attached to my hip and basically became a drill sergeant (those go there, these go here, take this, move that...!) The movers were amazing and had us fully in our new house by 3 p.m.  We still have many boxes to unpack, but we are here! I managed to snap some pics on Monday before the place became cluttered with cardboard.

A view from the living room, into dining, into kitchen. The front door is just to the right of this pic.
A closer view of the kitchen. Cabinets are lacking door pulls, which should come this week!

The island that will serve as our eating table most of the time!

The opposite kitchen, dining, living room (I LOVE THE BEAMS)

We had some gorgeous curtains installed by La Belle Designs. This experience was off the charts. She picked up on my style within 10 minutes and had some incredible recommendations

Pardon the box. Admire the drapes :)

The spiral staircase I never knew I wanted!

Maybe our favorite spot in the house? A front courtyard with wood-burning fireplace. We have since put all our patio furniture out here (sorry, backyard) and properly experienced the courtyard with a lovely glass of wine (or 10).
More drapery work! This is the master bedroom. I really wanted to preserve the natural light from this big bay window.  These curtains do the trick!
Master bath (my vanity is in the foreground and we're looking at Chris's)

Another Master Bath shot with the tub and walk-in shower to the left.

Finally making it our home. Dinner is on the table -- including Ms Viv who makes it all complete! 
And here's a pic of the house (not quite done), but with a gorgeous blue sky behind it.

Chris and I as proud new homeowners! Read my lips : we are never moving again. We spent a lot of time and energy making this home our own. I'm sure it will be a labor of love for many years to come, but THIS is the home the Bruns kids will grow up in :)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Vivian Elise is 6 Months Old!

Our baby sister is halfway through her first year of life. It sort of doesn't seem possible. But, I also am having a hard time remembering life before her.  It was this week last year that we found out we were having a girl.  Of course we were excited, but I was so expecting her to be a boy (and I have a LOT of experience with boys) that I spent a good amount of time trying to comprehend what raising a girl would be like.

Six months in, I can tell you it's great! Vivian continues to be such an amazing baby. It's a good thing we know we don't want any more kids, because I'll take 10 baby Vivians please.  Truthfully, all three of our kids have been really good babies, but Viv takes the cake.

Getting our check up today!

Let's start with her stats.  Poor baby girl has had two back-to-back bouts of RSV so her eating habits haven't been up to snuff.

Weight: 13lbs 12 oz (10th percentile)
Height: 24.5in (6th percentile (!!!))
Head: 17" (76th percentile)

So, she's super duper tiny.  But, we have started to try some foods. We've done oatmeal cereal, bananas and avocado.  Dr. G wants us to go full force on baby foods to try and get some weight on this little stinker.  Luckily she seems to dig the eating process and her daycare teachers love feeding her.

Viv's other big trick is she's almost a sitter!  She can sit unassisted for a good while. She's just not sure how to exit the seated position, so she just kind of leans until she rolls... or face plants.

 Yet another milestone is Viv has two teeth!!  They haven't broke the gums yet, but the other morning she was crying while eating. Poor baby has been sick for literally 4 weeks straight, so I thought she just wasn't feeling well. But even on her worst sick days, she didn't cry while eating. I did what any good mom would do and shined my iPhone flashlight in her mouth and saw the two teeth below the surface on the bottom. I made sure to have Dr. G confirm this today.

Vivian loves her feet. She typically grabs them right when you put her on the changing table.  In the pic above, she's trying to tell me something about the socks I chose.

Here are some other pics from the past month:

Vivian truly loves her brothers. She is always following them with her eyes and smiles at them all the time. She also likes laughing at Oscar when he's crying :)

Our Valentine's Day outfit.  This was the start of the second round of RSV
Breathing treatments already. She was such a champ!

After she started feeling a little better.
 Six months is one of my favorite ages. I know that the milestones start coming a mile a minute from this point out. I'm content with her staying the happy, immobile, sweet little baby, but I'm also excited to see her do a lot of really cool things! Happy Half Birthday, Vivy!