Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentines and a missing tooth...

This week has been fun!  Dominic's tooth finally fell out while brushing his teeth! And he is SO excited to leave his tooth for the Tooth Fairy.  Dominic says he wants not just money for his tooth, but Pirate treasure.
So Tim and I look in a bowl where we keep change and find three half-dollars, a dollar coin, and a Sacagawea coin for the Tooth Fairy.  Dominic was so excited when he found the coins in his tooth pillow the next morning!  A great was to start Valentine's Day.

Dominic's Valentine's breakfast.
Dominic's lunch for Valentine's day.

Dominic's class also had a Valentine's Day party... Dominic and I created these Valentine's day butterfly cards that I found on Pinterest.... It's a craft that originated from the SheKnows website, complete with a template to print the butterflies. These were incredibly easy to make and they were also cheap... I think for 26 of them it cost total about $10.  Materials you will need:  cardstock (we did red, pink, fuscia, light blue, and light green), tape, printer, lollipops, stick-on googly eyes, pen, scissors, and stickers to embellish butterfly wings. First you print the template and for each sheet of cardstock there are two butterflies so for 26 butterflies we printed on 13 varied colors of cardstock. I cut out the butterflies and snipped where printed on the butterflies to create slits for the lollipops.  Dominic then wrote on the back of each "TO: (name) FROM: Dominic" and he embellished with stickers.  I then put the googly eyes on the lollipop and put in card.  Then secured the lollipop on the back of the card with tape.VERY EASY!
Dominic ended  up having a lot of fun at his kindergarten class' Valentine's Day party and came home with a basket full of Valentine's Day cards and goodies!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Super Bowl, baby evictions, and nostalgia...

Things have been busy in the Yep household! One of our last posts was about Dominic's loose tooth... we are still waiting.  That tooth is hanging on and both Tim and I have tried to pull it out but it's in there good! Dominic continues with soccer and he seems to enjoy it. He's probably about half way through with the class. When the weather is nice Kaylee comes with us... 
Soccer class.
Water break.
Kaylee hanging out in the carrier.
Getting ready for a Super Bowl party...  As true Raiders fans we are rooting for.... whoever is playing against the 49ers! Go RAVENS!!!  We all put on our best Ravens gear (aks Raiders gear) and went to a Super Bowl party at the Berberian's home.  

We also FINALLY bought Kaylee's crib.  I absolutely love it!  Many thanks to my parents for buying Kaylee a crib!  This was night one of Kaylee being evicted from our room and taking up residence in her brother's room... To ease the transition Tim and I draped our clothes (safely) over the sides of her crib so that she could smell us and not be so freaked out with the new smells and sounds in her new environment.  She actually did very well!
A bit of history here... my mom sent us a Valentine's Day package with gifts for the kids.  She also included a light pink crocheted sweater that used to be mine when I was Kaylee's age (36 years ago!).  Once I outgrew it as a baby my Mom kept it in a plastic bag.  Here's Kaylee in the sweater... I love it, especially with the bit of history!

Happy Chinese New Year's everyone!!!  We celebrated with family in Stockton.... I am very excited to see what the year has in store for Tim as he was born in the Year of the Snake.  This should be a good year for him!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Breastfeeding fashion, DIYs, and maternity snafus...

SO EXCITED!  Today I ordered 3 teething necklaces and I cant wait for them to arrive! Kaylee has been grabbing my necklace lately while she is nursing and I thought it would be good to get something a little softer for her to grab. I got them from Koukku (Etsy) and they are super cute.  I ordered one in black, grey, and white. The lady I bought them from was incredibly nice and the price was reasonable.  I'll post pictures once they arrive!

I know I mentioned that we've been doing sign language for milk with Kaylee... Tim and I SWEAR she's actually doing it. When you do the sign for milk it looks like you are milking an invisible cow udder. Kaylee will do this thing where she stops moving except for her hand and its making the motion for milk.  When she stops like that it seems she's concentrating REALLY hard. :) I've also started using the sign for change diaper.  For a full dictionary of baby sign language shown my My Smart Hands click here.

I also have been busy!  I saw this cute headband holder on Pinterest and decided to make it for Kaylee.  I added the link to the pin but it seems the page with the directions is no longer available.  It seemed easy enough to make.  I love repurposing things... recycle, reuse, reduce.. and this headband holder involved repurposing an oatmeal can.  I just covered the oatmeal can with paper and added some decoration.  Here are some pictures... I love how it turned out! On a side note: I am OBSESSED with headbands!

We are still working with Dominic on night time potty training and we are seeing fruits of our labor.  The other night Tim and I were watching a movie and at about midnight we hear Dominic wake himself up and go to the potty.  This is the first time he has done this by himself... without us waking him up first.  Tim and I looked at each other and were so incredibly proud.  So we made a trip to the Lego store for Friday.   Dominic ended up getting some small Lego figurines and a $7.99 small bucket of Legos.  I am ever impressed by Dominic's growth this year and are pleased with his academic experience in Kindergarten.  Every night we read a book before bedtime and a few nights ago he read to me the entire book Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss (aside from about 3 words he didn't know, such as 'skate').  The book is almost written entirely with sight words and each week at school Dominic learns a new sight word.

An update on my Disability saga... I previously posted about what a nightmare I was having with filing a Disability claim and issues with my OB's office submitting their portion of the Disability claim... well, I finally got a hold of someone and CA EDD office and the person I talked to said that he looked up my claim and it is currently with an examiner but will likely be disqualified because the medical provider submitted their portion past the 49 day deadline. I should be getting the notice in the mail in about 2 weeks.  When I explained that my OB's office reported they faxed it within the time limit I was told I could appeal and when I got the notice of the disqualification it would state how to appeal... this is ridiculous   At this rate I won't get my first Disability check until I return to work!  RIDICULOUS!

I'm still working on New Year's Resolution #2: Be less squishy and continue to walk to pick up Dominic from school.  Sometimes Tim is working when Kaylee and I walk to pick up Dominic, if he isn't Tim usually walks with us.  On Friday, Kaylee and I also went hiking with a neighbor friend and it was nice to be out.. it was a good beginner hike and the view was lovely.  It would be great to take Dominic on the weekend as the area has cows so I think D would get a kick out of that!  After the hike, however, I dropped my cell phone in the gravel parking lot and my cell phone shattered... Blech!  So now I have a loaner cell phone and Best Buy is ordering me a new one... glad we bought their protection plan.

Here are some pictures of Kaylee..

My sweet girl and her giraffe.
Nap time.  Busted out of the
See you next week... should be an exciting week... Kaylee is getting her ears pierced tomorrow so I will post pics!

Tooth Fairy pillows and baby first chuckles!

So our last post was about Dominic's pending loss of his first baby tooth... but nope, no tooth yet.  Despite that I had to prepare and finally made him a Tooth Fairy pillow.  Here's how it came out:
Here is the back.
Here is the front

I love it!  I got the idea from the At Home in the Northwest blog but changed it a little.  The instructions said to use felt and stuffing for the inside to make it a poofy pillow but I wanted to use all materials I already had in our house.  So, I used scraps from a recycled t-shirts (one white and another blue) that I had cut up to make upcycled t-shirt scarves. I also used buttons for the eyes.  I didn't have any stuffing for the pillow but had a BUNCH of matting left over from another project so I used 4 sheets of that. You can find the pattern for the tooth and pocket by clicking here.

You will need material for the tooth, filler (batting or stuffing), scissors, pattern, either buttons for the eyes or material for the eyes.  It also calls for pink material for cheeks but I elected not to do the pink and just sewed cheeks using the stitch.

I think it came out cute but more importantly Dominic loves it also!

Now we're just waiting for his tooth to fall out!

Dominic also started soccer lessons yesterday.. he was having fun until he and another boy ran into each other and face planted each other.


Are we using our listening ears?
Kaylee is still having a really hard time with teething... she's having a hard time sleeping at nap time and seems so uncomfortable.  As each day goes by you can see a teeny bit more of her little tooth.  Lucky for Tim and I though she is still sleeping well at night.  She is sleeping about 6.5 hours going to sleep at 10:00 p.m. and only wakes once at night, usually about 4:30 a.m. She then goes back to sleep until about 7:30-8:00 a.m.  She also laughed for the first time last night!  She was getting ready for bed, me holding her in the rocking chair and Tim playing peek-a-boo with her and she laughed a little short chuckle to Tim's peek-a-boo!  The days have been a little warmer here and I am looking forward to taking the kids out in the sunshine!

Monday, January 21, 2013

MLK Jr. Day and the Tooth Fairy!

Uber cute!  This morning as Kaylee and I were watching Obama's Inauguration celebration I can overhear Tim talking to Dominic about why today is a "stay-home day", who MLK Jr. was, and why he is significant.  Tim tells D that people were mean to Martin Luther King Jr. because of the color of his skin.. to which Dominic says "That's not nice" and after some thought then goes to "check the color" of his skin in a mirror.  Good conversation to have regardless of skin color... particularly as D is aware of the difference in skin color.  He once told me (this was quite a few months ago) that Mommy has a peach face and Daddy has a brown face.  *love*

On another note... my little man is growing up!  Tonight, just after dinner D came to me and said, "Mom, my tooth is loose!"  I asked him to show me and sure enough, his front bottom right tooth wiggled!  This is a first in this house.. his first loose baby tooth.  And oh, how excited am I to play the Tooth Fairy (all things magical are BIG in our house)!  So... here we go, researching (via Pinterest) some Tooth Fairy ideas... Here are some I like:

Tooth Fairy Pillow shaped like a tooth--white, teal, blue, green -girl
This is a tooth pillow from Etsy shop memeandsaysay.

This is a tooth pillow from Etsy shop BoutiqueVintage72.

Or this DIY Tooth Pillow from Making Life Whimsical.

And another DIY tooth pillow from At Home in the Northwest.

Or if you don't want to do a tooth pillow these are incredibly cute!  Repurposed (and I love repurposed stuff) altoid tins to hold the tooth.  These are by Emily Giovanni.

Take a picture of your child while they are sleeping after they lost a tooth. Then, go to this website where they'll put the "tooth fairy" in the picture with them! Very cute. I'll have to remember this one day!
There is also the website Capture the Magic where you upload your photo and add a tooth Fairy to the picture... but it costs about $10 for 3 photos.  

I also like this idea: glitter sprayed Tooth Fairy money by Ten Kids and a Dog.

A free printable letter from the Tooth Fairy from Making Life Whimsical.

Out of coincidence a couple of weeks ago we read the book Tooth Fairy by Audrey Wood... and with discovering his tooth loose tonight he asked to read the book again tonight before bedtime.  

Anyhow... I need to start preparing.. that tooth is going to come out soon and Dominic is expecting a visit from the Tooth Fairy!  I think I'm going to make him a tooth pillow, the Tooth Fairy $, and a letter from the Tooth Fairy... I love being the Tooth Fairy!

Teething Hell and Nighttime Potty Training...

This past week has been busy with milestones for both Kaylee and Dominic...

Kaylee is usually a mellow baby, hardly ever crying... but last week Thursday night Kaylee became this little hellion just crying and screaming... and while she was crying I noticed this little white tooth just below the surface of her gums!  Holy crap this is early!  I remember with Dominic he was "teething" and I put in quotes because parents who have gone through it know that "teething" is actually going through perpetual teething-symptom-hell without seeing any actual teeth for MONTHS.  Not for Kaylee, she literally started the drooling water works only about two weeks ago... and now you can already see a tooth!  I think Dominic's first tooth came when he was six months old... and Kaylee isn't even 3 months yet!  The only way I could calm her down was putting her in the Moby Wrap carrier and bouncing her.  She finally fell asleep.  So out goes Tim the next day to the store for some teething meds!  We have entered teething hell because now EVERY SINGLE NIGHT at about 6-9p the crying starts... hopefully this will pass soon! Funny thing is Tim got her some baby OraGel and that stuff is like baby crack... as soon as I rub it on her gums she's happy as a clam. Lucky for us Kaylee is still sleeping well through the night (5-7 hours stretches) despite the teething issue.

My first tooth! Front bottom left.

Kaylee has also really started talking A LOT.  She will actually have a conversation with you, responding as you respond to her.  It's funny but I kinda think she sounds like Chewbacca from Star Wars when she makes her little noises.

We've also started Dominic on a nighttime potty training program called 3 Day Potty Training that seems to be working but boy is it intensive.  For the last few nights I have been sleeping on the floor in his room (as according to the program) and checking in with him often about his need to potty.  My back and hips are killing me from sleeping on the hard floor.  But on the second night when I asked him if he had to go potty he said yes, got up, and went to the potty.  Unfortunately, in the morning he peed in the bed. Last night he got up twice to pee, once in the middle of the night and once in the early morning, but was completely dry!  The test will be when I am no longer in his room and if he actually goes on his own.

This is us at the park...

Relaxing as Mommy and brother play in the sand.

Playingin the sand.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dominic's first crush, maternity leave, and baby babbles...

This past week has been a doosey for us.  Dominic apparently has his first love crush with a girl in his class.  Yesterday his teacher sent us an email that he said in class "I hate you" and the teacher wasn't sure who he was talking to.  In Tim talking with Dominic, he told Tim he said that to another boy, Christopher (*needless to say I changed the name) in class because he hugged this particular girl, Shannon*, too long. When Tim asked Dominic if Shannon was Dominic friend Dominic responded that Shannon was his "special, special, special friend" and that he hugs Shannon a "long, long, long, long time."  Oh boy.

So we (more Tim) talked with Dominic about not saying "I hate you" but use better words like "I'm sad because..." or "I'm mad because..."  To which Dominic told me "I don't like you when you sigh when your frustrated" (which I do when I'm frustrated with Dominic, like when he's supposed to be doing homework or cleaning his toys).  He also told Tim "I don't like you when you tickle Mommy so much."  It's like a switch flipped and Dominic is more cognitive and vocal and trying to be more independent.  Add that to this "new baby in the house" purgatory that he's going through it has been... interesting.  I am actually quite impressed about the conversation Tim and Dominic had about all this.
Kaylee playing with her gym.

Kaylee has become more and more vocal... Below is a video (It's sideways... my apologies! I couldn't figure out how to turn it.. just kindly tilt your head :)  ) of Kaylee "talking" to Tim... Very cute!  Tim and I also swear we've heard Kaylee say "Mama" on a couple of occasions .. mind you it was while she was starting to cry... but I'll take it nonetheless.  :)  We've also started using sign language with Kaylee like we did with Dominic.  We've started using signs "all done," "milk" (or "nai nai" in Cantonese)", and "more."  Dominic still remembers the sign for more and he also has been signing with Kaylee.  We also think Kaylee was trying to do the sign for nai nai last night. Another FABULOUS development: for the last two nights Kaylee slept for 7 hours straight! Hopefully this is not a fluke! I have also scheduled Kaylee to get her ears pierced for Feb 2nd... and I'm nervous but the lady had good reviews and seems professional.  

Kaylee smiling and talking to her lion.
On to some sad news... I got my FMLA paperwork back and it seems my last day of maternity leave is 3/8/13 :'(   *sniff*  It feels like this maternity leave is going by SUPER fast.  I am NOT looking forward to going back to work.  

The logistics of this maternity leave have been brutal.  First, about 2 months before Kaylee's scheduled c-section on 10/22/12 I was notified by my OB's office staff that at the end of October 2012 (about 9 days after the c-section) they would no longer take my insurance. So, my options were either 2 months before the c-section find another doctor willing to take me as a new patient and do the c-section or continue with my OB and then find a new OB to do my 2 week and 6 week postpartum exams.  I opted for the later since I wanted someone I had known longer than 2 months performing major surgery on me.  I loved my OB but the office staff were horrible. They also on a couple of occasions put me down for the wrong appointment day.  While I was pregnant and still working, I had every other Monday off so one day I scheduled ALL of my remaining prenatal appointments and scheduled them for Mondays. So, when I showed up on a Monday and they said I was scheduled for Wednesday I know they goofed.. and they have continued to goof, more on that later.

Another issue has been my Disability checks... When I asked my HR folks what forms I needed to complete for my maternity leave they gave me several forms which asked about disability and my OB was required to fill out and sign. I completed this and submitted it to my HR. No one mentioned separately applying for disability with the State and since the forms my HR gave me had my OB complete a section about disability I thought I had done all I needed... except I never received any disability checks.  A friend, who is also works for the county and was on maternity leave, informed me that I needed to apply separately with the CA Disability office.  So the week of Thanksgiving I applied with the state.  I called the OB's office and they agreed to sign the form.  So I drove it to them, they said they would sign it and fax it to the Disability office the first week of December since the OB was on vacation the week of Thanksgiving.  I check online with the Disability office two weeks later and it says "pending medical provider form."  I call the OB's office and they reassure me they faxed the completed form.  Two weeks go by and it still says  "pending medical provider form." That was on 1/3/2013.

I attempt to call the State Disability office and keep getting this maddening message that says "We have reached the maximum number of callers on hold.  Please call again later." CLICK.  Every time I call I get the same maddening message.  Meanwhile, my paycheck goes down to $600.  I called my HR Disability folks to ask if they have gotten confirmation that my disability claim has been approved since they are reducing my pay.  I'm told they are simply notified a disability claim has been filed but they are not notified about whether a disability claim is approved.  They just assume the disability claim is approved and reduce pay based on an estimation.  Geez Louise that's ass backwards but whatever.

I call my OB's office to (again) check that they have completed their part and forwarded the form to the Disability office. The receptionist says that recently when they were faxing the medical provider forms patients were saying the weren't getting disability checks so it seems the Disability office was not getting the faxed forms.  So, they started doing them online and that seems to work.  I ask "If you noticed a problem with the forms being faxed but it working online did you do my form online?" Answer: Nope.  Me: Seriously?! SERIOUSLY!?!  She says she will submit the form online that afternoon and mail me a confirmation.  I just checked and the Disability office website now says "pending processing" so I see this as a positive sign toward progress. Yet, here it is three months later and no disability checks.  GROWL.

With that I will end on this beautiful note... :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ear tags, surgery, and first birthdays...

So... we had Kaylee's consultation this morning with Dr. Rosen at Children's Hospital Oakland (at the Walnut Creek Clinic). I should add this small piece of history: in November we went to the Pleasanton CHO clinic and saw a different Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor who told us the clinic would call mid-December with dates in January 2013 to surgically remove the hanging skin but recommended waiting until she was 3 years old to remove the notch because that one required her being given general anesthesia.

When we never got a call I called the Pleasanton clinic and the staff reported that the ENT Dept. is now at the Walnut Creek office and that the doctor we saw was no longer there... so, we were scheduled to meet with Dr. Rosen, the head of the ENT Dept., this morning. He is recommending waiting until she is a year old and removing both at the same time. He also suspects the notch has cartilage behind it... so, no surgery until her first birthday. We are scheduled to return next September to schedule the surgery.

I think I am OK with that... mainly I'm thinking that gives me time to accrue vacation (which will be depleted from my maternity leave) so that I can take time off while she is healing. I think my only worry is at a year old she will be able to better comprehend what is happening (and she'll probably be pissed because of scariness and pain)... and she'll probably be messing with the area once the ear tags are removed. So, it seems this journey navigating my feelings/emotions/thought about Kaylee having this ear anomaly will continue a little longer...

On another not-so-serious note: the doctor says it's OK to get Kaylee's ears pierced and that will not interfere with the surgery. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Year's Resolutions...

Dominic and Kaylee on New Year's day.
New Year... new resolutions.
So this year I have several resolutions... First, to not let this blog go the way the last two did... unceremoniously dead.  The last few months (October-December 2012) were done retrospectively, last night to be exact.  I just started updating the blog yesterday so today is only day 2.  We shall see.

My second resolution is to be less squishy.  A family friend bought us the jogging stroller that we registered for, much to my surprise, so I've been taking the stroller out and going walking.  One of the things I've really started to like is walking with Kaylee to pick up Dominic from school... since his school is right down the street.

Headed to the park with my loves, 01/02/2013.
Happy Faces!

The other big development over the last few weeks is that Kaylee is talking and cooing a lot and is a smiley girl!    Here's a great picture of her smile...
Happy faces!

Kids in our bed on Tim's birthday morning.
Tim also celebrated his 35th birthday on 01/02/2013. He had a pretty relaxing day.. but then it was back to the grind of his work, a blessing that he has been very busy with work!

Kaylee continues to do well.. I weighed her the other day and she is now 12 pounds... a chunker!  She has the cutest rolls of skin and fat on her thighs!  She is still nursing well... too well as she still won't take a bottle.  :(  I love nursing her, please don't get me wrong, but I'm terrified that when it's time for me to go back to work she'll still be refusing the bottle.  I'm also getting nervous... she has her second consultation tomorrow morning with the Children's Hospital Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist... this time it's the head of the ENT Department so that's comforting.  When I talked with the office staff on the phone they mentioned that if they can do the ear tag surgery in the Walnut Creek office they will do it likely on 1/24/2013.  I know I want to get it done but ITS . JUST . SO . NERVE . WRACKING.  I know I will be a mess that day.  What's funny is I think I've been on a journey with Kaylee's skin tag... At first I was shocked and worried, then embarrassed about the ear tag, then embarrassed about being embarrassed about my daughter.  When she was just born and probably up until last month I purposely tried to take pictures of only the right side of her face showing... and when we would go out I worried what friends and people would say/think.  Now I don't care.  She is beautiful to me. Kaylee, on the other hand has started tugging, pulling, and straight out yanking the ear tag.

Dominic is also doing well.. he has stopped (for the most part) having potty accidents at school.  We started a reward system where every day he is dry at school he gets a $1 to put in his treasure box.. then as his treasure box fund grows he can buy stuff.. so he bought a game for his LeapPad recently.  He told me what game he wanted to get, I told him how much it cost ($10), he counted out $10, gave me the money, and I bought the game.  I like this because he feels an ownership in the ability to buy stuff because he worked to get the $.  Dominic is still not the greatest listener but we are working on that.  He loves school, doing homework, and is able to read quite a few words.