Sunday, February 5, 2012

Long time no see....


Wow, it's been awhile.  Hope you all are doing well.  We are doing great here!  I am reminded daily how blessed we are to have Annelise in our lives.  She's touched so many people, even people we don't know.  She is truly a miracle.

So, Annelise is now 6 months old, almost 7 months.  I put her 5 month and 6 month pictures below.  What a cutie pie, right?!?

I had to include that 6 month old picture, even though you can't read the sign.  It's just a perfect representation of Annelise at 6 months.  She puts everything in her mouth, wants to grab everything.  And rolling side to side.

Here's the one where you can read the sign.  There's a typo though - should say 11 lb. 4 oz.  NOT 12 lb. 4 oz.  Oops!

We took 6 month pictures with my sister Denise again, and they turned out gorgeous.  My favorite is below....

Look at that drool!  :-)

Annelise had a great check up at CHOP with Dr. Flake this past week.  She is 12 lbs. 1.5 oz and 23.5 inches tall.  She's had 3 shots of Synagis (the RSV vaccine) so far and her first flu shot!  We get the next (and last) flu shot the beginning of March.

Annelise is an official roller!  She rolled from belly to back last Sunday  (Jan 29th) for the first time.  She's done it at least once a day since then!  Friday night she rolled from back to belly to back again.  She couldn't make up her mind.  I can't wait to tell  Kathleen (her physical therapist) on Tuesday morning.  She'll be just as proud as we are!

I spent a day last week changing out Annelise's clothes.  She now fits into 3-6 month and some 6 month clothes.

Annelise turned 6 months old on a Sunday.  Monday afternoon she tried rice cereal for the first time.  This was her reaction....

But then she started having fun with it!

And this continues almost every day.  My sweet girl loves cereal time.  I'm trying to make it as fun as possible for her so eating is a positive experience.  So far so good.  We're sticking with rice cereal right now until she starts to consume more of it and dribbles less.  

Well, we have to say goodbye for now.  However, I promise to update again soon.  Annelise is growing by leaps and bounds these days.  Here are some recent photos!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Officially moved!

No news is good news, right?!?  Things have been going so well and NORMAL that I forget to blog about them!  Normal is such a nice state to be in.....

Annelise turned 4 months old, and is approaching 5 months old.  Oops!  Forgot to post this cute picture of her on 11/8/11 - her 4 month birthday!

Annelise has been steadily improving with her eating since we switched formulas.  She's doing very well.  And she's getting bigger.  Haven't weighed her in awhile since we've backed off of breastfeeding.  But she's starting to fill out those 3 month clothes!  She's almost rolled from her back to front.  She gets onto her side and then stops there.  So sometime soon she'll be making a 180 degree roll!  Can't wait!

Aunt Adrienne got her a tummy time mat for Christmas and gave it to her at Thanksgiving.  She won't be in NJ for Christmas, so Annelise got it early!  Lucky girl!  She really does not like tummy time.  However, she tolerates the mat really well!

Annelise is really starting to "talk" also....she babbles constantly.  Loves eating her hands.  Gramma thinks she should go on the David Letterman show since she can almost fit her whole fist in her mouth!   Mom Mom showed her how to put her feet in her mouth when she was watching her on Saturday during the move.  I haven't seen her actually get them in her mouth yet, but she's been pulling her feet up and doing baby crunches it seems. 

Annelise met Honey recently also.  Honey is Matt's grandmother, so Annelise's great-grandmother.  Honey was at Gramma & Pop's visiting for Thanksgiving.  We will see her again before she goes back to Houston, Texas right before Christmas.  They got along really well.  Here's a picture of 4 generations of Hallinans.

We are officially moved into Annelise's new house.  It's closer to all of her grandparents and her room is much bigger.  Maybe someday she'll actually sleep in her own room!  Haha! 

Please make sure you email me if you'd like our new address.  I sent out an email, but might have missed people.  We did forward our mail, but sometimes things slip through the cracks!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ch- Ch- Changes!

We are doing a lot of changing here in the Hallinan Household!  Let me list them for you....

Change #1
The BIGGEST change is that we are MOVING!  We bought a house in Washington Township and close on November 30th!  So we will be moving out of this house into the new house the first weekend in December.  Then hopefully selling this house quickly soon after.

We are moving because....

a) We need a bigger small as Annelise is, we are overrun with baby stuff.  The swing, the pack-n-play, the bouncy seat, the bassinet, the crib, the changing table, it takes up so much room.  And she playing in the living room on the floor in the middle of where people need to walk. 

b) It's an awesome time to buy and we found a house that we love at a great price. 

c) We'll be closer to Gramma AND Mom Mom!  So lucky them, I can now drop little A off in a moments notice.  Hehe!

Change #2
Annelise is now in 3 month old clothes!  We had 2 doctor's appointments this week.  She weighed in a 9 lbs 6 oz at each!  Wow, what a big girl!  The doctors are all pleased with her weight gain.  So despite her reflux and spitting up, she's gaining well.

Change #3
We are trying a new formula to supplement with.  Annelise has a lot of gas and is fussy from it.  The nutritionist (and her parents!) think there's no reason for her to be so fussy.  It's usually only once a day, but you can tell she's in pain!  We just switched as of today to Similac Alimentum.  We're going to give it about 2 weeks.  If it doesn't resolve her issues, then we're going to try Enfamil Nutramigen.  All a little more expensive then the common formulas, but we may be able to get insurance to cover part of the cost.  If not, I don't care.  I'll pay whatever to make this little girl happy ALL the time!

As always, here are some cute pictures of little A!

This is Mom Mom and Annelise both asleep at Mom Mom's house.  Our heater broke during the recent snow storm!  Of course.  So we camped out at Mom Mom's house for the weekend.

Here's little A bundled up before we headed over to Mom Mom's. 
Little Hokie Girl!

Annelise's Halloween outfit.  She loved helping Mommy hand out candy to trick-or-treaters!

Then it got warm, and Mommy used the opportunity to dress Annelise in a cute dress for her appointment with her surgeon, Dr. Flake.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Settling into a routine

Annelise and I are getting settled into a routine now that she's been home almost a month.  The first few weeks were difficult.  She is medically complex, and her reflux is pretty severe.  She was doing well at first, and then the surgeon tried to wean her off of one of her medications.  That made her reflux A LOT worse.  We were having alarms on her heart rate monitor, and she was spitting up several meals a day.  We went back up on her medication, and she's doing a lot better.  Only a little bit of spit up each day, and our happy baby is back!

She's gained a lot of weight already!  At last doctor's visit, she was up to 8 lbs. 9 oz!  I think she's gained more since then, but we don't have an official weight check until next week.  I'll let you know!  I have to change out her clothes though.  All of her newborn clothes are getting small on her.  3 month outfits here we come!  :-)

We're being evaluated by Early Intervention Services.  Because Annelise spent so much time in the NICU, and was premature, she's a little behind on her milestones.  She's almost 4 months old, but should be hitting the milestones of a 2 month old due to her prematurity.  However, she spent almost 3 months laying in a hospital bed.  So we have some time to make up!  Early Intervention will be sending an Occupational Therapist to our house to work with Annelise and teach me how to play with her so she develops and hits those milestones (rolling over, lifting up her head, grabbing for stuff, etc.)  They say that she's going to do very well with therapy because she's trying to do things now, just doesn't have the strength.  We meet with everyone on November 7th to decide our ultimate goals and small goals along the way.  They will also tell me how many times per month they're coming to work with her.

As always, here are some recent pictures of our cutie pie!  She's getting so big so fast!

 I know, I know....babies shouldn't watch TV. 
BUT, Annelise loves watching NFL RedZone on Sundays with Daddy.  She really likes football!

Aunt Adrienne made a surprise visit home last weekend.  Annelise loved hanging out with her!

Just the other day, Annelise fell asleep while looking at herself in the mirror!  Haha!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Times flies when you're....

......Home with an infant!

......Feeding, pumping, changing diapers, sleeping, feeding, pumping, changing diapers, sleeping!

Insert either of the above phrases and you may understand why this blog hasn't been updated in a bit.  Being home with Annelise is a full-time job!  My schedule revolves around her schedule.

We had a follow-up visit with her surgeon, Dr. Flake on Thursday.  She's gained some weight!  Yay!  8 lbs even now - so she's doubled her birth weight finally. 

Aunt Denise came over last weekend and took really nice pictures of Annelise.  She is an excellent photographer.  I'll share my favorites....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cold Season Rules at the Hallinan House

The doctor's office is working on getting Annelise approved (insurance) for the shots to prevent RSV.  She is too young to get the flu shot, as it's only effective from 6 months and older.

Some information on RSV and why we're being vigilant to protect little A from it:

Nearly every child has had the RSV virus at least once by age two. For babies born full-term and without complications, it is typically a bad cold. But, the highest risk factors for contracting RSV and developing complications like pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and other sometimes fatal complications are: being born premature, being born with a lung condition, or being born with a heart condition.  Annelise is at a high risk!  Preventing the spread of RSV is very difficult. Thus, we must be vigilant about keeping Annelise safe during RSV season (October through April). The virus is spread through physical contact, in the air via a cough or sneeze, or by touching an infected object. The virus can live as long as six hours on hands, and up to twelve hours on objects. If Annelise contracts RSV she will likely be hospitalized since she does not have the necessary immunities to fight off infection like the rest of us. Last year alone, over 125,000 infants in the US were hospitalized due to complications from contracting RSV.

At our house, please be prepared to take off your shoes and wash your hands upon entering our home.  Use the antibacterial hand gel frequently also.  Please refrain from coming over if you are currently experiencing any illness symptoms, or have been in close contact with anyone showing symptoms.  If you haven't had a flu shot, please refrain from visiting. (I mean, it just makes sense to get a flu shot.  Who wants to be sick?!?!)

Please do not let these precautions frighten you or stop you from making contact with our family. They are simple precautions that every loving parent with a fighter like ours must take during this season. 


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

First week home

Well, it's been a little over a week at home.  Things have been going well.  Annelise is very happy and adjusting well to life at 8 Ray Smith!

I just got back from a visit to Annelise's pediatrician.  While she's home and  happy, she is not gaining weight like they would like her to.  She has only gained 1 ounce in her first week at home.  They'd like to see her gaining 1 oz per day!  Only time in her life she'll be advised to eat more!  haha!  She's currently 7 lb. 10 oz.  Little peanut!
The doctor advised us to keep her away from big groups until the Spring.  No Target, church, etc.  Doctor's visits only.  Boo.  Good thing I took the year off to be home with her!  We're allowed to do walks out in the fresh air, so you can bet that stroller is going to get some use.  We do not want to end up back in the NICU at CHOP!

Here are some recent pictures of our happy girl!
Family pic!
Taken at Mom Mom's house on our way home from CHOP

You wouldn't believe how happy she gets at her activity mat!
She coo's and smiles at the turtle who lights up and plays music!
I've got to try to catch a video of her.  It's just too cute.

Watching the Phillies win the first game of the NLDS.  The bib is the size of her body!

Watching the Eagles with Daddy this past Sunday