Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baby's First Cold and a CRAZY Day!

I guess I couldn't keep her in a germ free bubble forever so unfortunately, Stella has come down with her first cold.  We noticed on Tuesday, August 23rd, that she had woken up with a snotty nose and it continued to get worse throughout the day.  Eventually she scared me by choking on some post nasal drip which made her stop breathing for a few seconds.  At that point, I called the doctor and in true first time mommy fashion, I took my baby to the doctor for a cold.  Yep...you heard that right.  I took my baby to the doctor for a cold.

When we got to the doctor, they checked her out and sure enough, she had a red nose and throat with some drainage but unfortunately, there wasn't much they could do because she is so young.  The doctor said to keep an eye on it and to come back in if it got any worse.  It was pretty obvious that she was still battling the cold through the weekend and going into the beginning of this week.  The poor thing sounds so congested and is learning how to breathe through her mouth.

For some reason, this cold has impacted her ability to go to sleep easily and our good little napper and sleeper has become a bit of a challenge.  She has begun to cry...no not cry, more like scream, before every nap for about 10-30 minutes.  And she has also lost about 1 hour off of her nightly sleep with periodic wake ups in between.  Let's just say that Matt and I are tired parents.

Well, today my little munchkin seems to have taken a turn for the worse.  First of all, she woke up multiple times last night which is very abnormal and then she cried/screamed the entire day.  The only time that she wasn't crying, she was eating or taking a very short 20 minute nap but the rest of her time was spent cry-screaming.  It was really starting to freak me out because it was so uncharacteristic of her.  So, yet again, I called the doctor and they said they wanted to see her at 3:45. 

After work, I put Stella in her car seat and got ready to go around 3:15.  I only live about 10 minutes away from the doctor so I knew I would be early but I am obsessive about being on time or early so I wasn't bothered by it.  I put Stella in the car and began to back out of the driveway when I noticed something was wrong.  I parked the car and looked down...sure enough, I had a FLAT TIRE!!!! So not only was I exhausted from not sleeping much, frazzled from a day full of screaming, I was also now going to be late to my doctor appointment because I had to change a flat on our Pilot, which I had never done before!  I am no stranger to changing flat tires but every car is different and they each have a little learning curve.  Wouldn't you know that my learning curve had to happen on a day like today!!  I called the doctor to let them know and they said if I could get there before 4pm my appointment wouldn't be canceled.  30 minutes should be plenty of time...right?? WRONG!!!

I went to the back and began unpacking the tools.  I realized I had no idea where the spare was so I went and got the owners manual.  Apparently it is under the car so I had to unwind the cord that was holding it up under the car to get it out.  Finally I finished that and got to the actual flat tire.  I followed the instructions and loosened the lug nuts and began to use the jack to lift the car.  After that, I loosened all of the lug nuts completely.  Although I was discouraged and frustrated, I thought that I might actually do this.  Once I got the last lug nut off, I went to take the tire off and guess what, it wouldn't freaking budge!! 

At this point, I begin to break down a little bit and my eyes fill up with tears.  Oh wait...pause...I forgot to mention that this ENTIRE time, my baby was cry-screaming in the back of the car and there is nothing that I could do because (1) I don't have time to do anything (2) my hands are filthy!! Anyway - back to the story...So I start to sort of cry but gather myself together and jack up the car more thinking that I just didn't have it off of the ground far enough.  Apparently that wasn't the problem because after cranking the heck out of that jack, the tire was still stuck or too heavy.  Either way, I couldn't lift it off. 

It was just then that my neighbor across the street pulls into her driveway and hollers out, "Do you need help?" and I respond, "I would actually LOVE help."  As I get up to see her, I notice that she is severely limping and was just returning from the doctor with her daughter.  She went for a back injury that she had gotten from falling while walking her dog.  She went on to tell me that there wasn't much she could do but that she would be more than happy to lend me her car.  I immediately started crying and saying thank you over and over again. 

She handed me her keys, I strapped Stella into the back of her car and we were off.  I left everything out on my driveway, car manual and all and just took off.  Finally, we were on the road.  Stella was still cry-screaming in the car but at least we were on our way and it was now 3:47.  We arrived at the doctor's office, I parked the car, got Stella out of the back and rushed into the office.  I glanced at the clock and it was 3:58.  The office staff was so sweet and told me it wasn't a problem at all and they were glad the baby and I were safe.

Once in the doctor's office, Stella decides that she is totally fine and her cry-screaming stops and she even starts to smile a little.  The doctor said it was like when you take your car to the shop for a noise it makes but then it won't make it in front of the technician.  He basically found that she did have a little red throat and a lot of congestion, slightly inflamed ears but no temperature.  He said it was most likely viral or could all be associated with the beginning of teething, either way he said there wasn't much he could do but to keep in contact if things got worse.  He reassured me that he would be the doctor on call if I needed anything in the night and to call tomorrow if things worsen through the night.  I was glad it wasn't more serious but sort of frustrated that there wasn't an answer.

So Stella and I headed home and she proceeded to cry-scream the whole way home.  I put my angel neighbor's car in the drive way and continued to thank her profusely for her blind trust and generosity.  I am so thankful for her and I am so thankful that this day is almost over.  I'm hoping and praying that tonight will be better than last night and that today was the worst day and we are now on the road to recovery but we shall see...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stella found her toys...I mean toes!

It seems like Stella has been making so many strides in the past week and I wanted to share them with you.  First, she has officially found her feet.  She no longer just looks at them but she is actually reaching and grabbing for them, which is awfully cute.  Matt still thinks I'm making it up because she hasn't done it in front of him but I'm not...she really does it all of the time and gets the biggest smile on her face like she just conquered the world.

Also since she is such a grown up little girl, we have ditched the swaddle.  It was sort of our fear that she would roll over soon and not have any arms to push up with, so in an effort to avoid that horrible scenario, we have switched from the swaddle to a sleep sack.  We were pretty nervous for that first night because she is such a great sleeper in her swaddle and we thought we were just asking for sleepless nights by making the switch but the little darling did a 6 hour stretch that first night and woke up as happy as a clam.  Here is a picture of the morning after her first night in her big girl sleep sack:



Her next big achievement for the weekend was being a good girl at her 3 month picture session with Kim Stadler.  We had such an amazing time during the session.  Stella was a good girl but refused to give a big smile and would occasionally start crying when Kim would lay her on her back.  I'm just amazed at what an amazing photographer Kim is! She has graciously allowed me to post a few sneak peek pictures of Stella.  You should definitely friend her on Facebook or visit her website to see more of her work - www.kimstadlerphotography.com




Stella's last major accomplishment of the weekend was watching the Seahawks game with her daddy.  She got a chance to sport her new Seahawks jersey and get in some good daddy, daughter cuddle time.



Who knows what surprises the next weeks have in store for us but we will be sure to keep you posted!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Stella Umbrella

We had another fun weekend in Auburn visiting family and attempting to get another renter for our home in Bonney Lake.  After a few appointments on Friday evening, my mom, dad, Stella and I went out for dinner at a little local bistro.  It was a perfect evening, so we sat outside and enjoyed the view of the mountain.  We noticed that all of the umbrellas over the outdoor tables were sponsored by the Stella Artois beer.  My mom commented on how fun it would be to have one of those for Stella and even joked about how to sneak one out.

Later, the manager came over to see Stella and asked how old she was and what her name was.  I responded by saying 3 months and Stella.  She immediately commented on how she would go look in the back to see if there were any old Stella umbrellas for us to take home.  She asked which car was ours and said if she found one, she would let us know.  My mom and I were so thrilled that she was being so sweet and so generous!

At the end of the meal, we hadn't really heard whether she had found one or not but as we were paying, she made her way over and said that we had a little surprise by the right side of the car.  Sure enough, there was a box with a Stella umbrella inside.  It actually couldn't have been better timing because Matt and I had just set up our patio set and didn't have an umbrella for it yet.  Now it isn't the typical umbrella you see in backyards but it sure is special to us.



I am simply amazed by the generosity that some people exhibit!  I am so thankful that we are so blessed to be surrounded by loving family and strangers that are making Stella's life so special!

Let me know when you are coming over for a glass of sangria under the Stella umbrella!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fun in the Sun!

Last weekend was one full of fun and adventure for the Cole family!  Our first visitors (other than family) had made it across the mountains to stay with us.  Matt's best friend, Greg, and his family came over to go to Silverwood and they stayed at our house for the weekend.  Matt, Stella and I were so excited to have company. 

They made their way over on Thursday night and left on Friday to spend the day at Silverwood.  On Saturday, we spent the day enjoying the beautiful sunshine and going on adventures.  We began by grabbing some yummy sandwiches at the High Nooner cafe and then we drove up north to visit the CatTales Zoo.  While we were there we saw a ton of Tigers, a beautiful white tiger named Zeus, several lynxes and a HUGE lion. Oh and for those of you who just said, "Lions and tigers and bears...oh my!" - yes...there were bears too :)

There were quite a few fun memories of the zoo.  There was 1 tiger named Charlie who had decided he was done being on show for everyone and he started roaring and making some very intimidating noises.  As he was roaring, several other tigers started pacing and getting agitated.  The Zoo also has a big cat adventure package you can buy where you can hand feed a tiger or lion so we got to watch several people feed the lion through a small hole in a big cage.  The lion jumped off his big throne and leisurely ate the raw meat off of the skewer through the tiny hole and then he proceeded to turn his booty towards the fence and pee on it.  Then he regally hopped back up to his throne, as the king of the jungle is expected to do.  It is hard to put in to words just how magnificent the lion really was.  While standing on all 4 legs, the top of his mane would have probably reached my chin level.  He was a pretty incredible animal.  Stella wasn't too impressed but she enjoyed getting out of the house. 

Perhaps the most interesting thing occurred when a woman walked into the zoo with her service dog.  As you can imagine, other animals are not allowed in the zoo, however they have to allow service animals by law.  Most of the cats ignored the little dog but there was 1 tiger who was extremely curious about that little creature.  He jumped out towards the cage and started pacing/hunting as the little dog passed.  Even when the dog was out of his site, he continued to jump up and down off of the rocks and pace the fence line.  I think he began picturing us all like big steaks (like in the movie Madagascar).

After we enjoyed the cats at the zoo, we went up to Green Bluff and enjoyed some ice cream and then continued on home where the kids played outside in the sprinkler.  Stella still can't really get out in the sun so we kept her in the shade but we used it as an excuse to get her in her swimsuit.  Here is a picture of Matt holding Stella in her adorable swimsuit from our friend Jenny. 



Once the kids were done playing in the sprinkler, we finished out the wonderful day with a barbecue in our backyard.  Sadly, we had to say goodbye the next morning but we thoroughly enjoyed our time with them and can't wait till they come back to visit in the fall!

I hope you all had a great weekend, as well!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy Birthday to Stella!

Ok, ok, ok...so it hasn't been 1 year but it has been 3 months!! Can you believe it?!  Stella is 3 months old today!  Time really does fly when you are having fun, waking up for midnight feedings, changing nasty poopy diapers and watching your baby grow!

Stella's latest adventures include grabbing on to anything within reach.  She prefers thin fabrics, jewelry and hair but she really doesn't discriminate too much when it comes to grab worthy items.  Today we decided that a colorful bow was a fun toy!  Who knew wrapping bows were so much fun (pictured below)!  She is also great with soft blocks that Grandma made for her (video below - sorry for being sideways!)...





In addition to her grabbing obsession, she has also become very fluent at telling very, VERY serious stories.  Here is an example of one (sorry it is sideways):



She is also a very big fan of her nightly bath, which is a great thing cause this little girl likes to make a lot (and I mean a LOT) of messy diapers...so it is important that we clean up at night...



I have to say that I am enjoying her more and more each day and it is the most amazing thing to watch her little personality develop.  She is definitely a fun loving gal but she has a very serious side to her, as well, and makes scowling look cute!  I could not feel more blessed as a parent!  God definitely knew my heart's desire and wrapped it up in a sweet Stella bow!

So...Happy 3 month birthday to Stella!