It's been so fun to see our boys (Cal + MJ) start to play and interact with each other a little more! When Cal was first born, MJ wasn't too sure about him (or maybe it was the idea of sharing his grandparents and aunts + uncles with another baby - he was the only grandchild on both sides of his family before Cal was born! haha).
But now that Cal is crawling around (YAY!!!) and more interactive, the two boys have become buddies! MJ is such a nice cousin to "baby Cal" and Cal loves watching and learning from MJ.
Both boys love bath time, and it's fun to watch them play and splash around in the tub together.
We've been using Dr. Brown's products since Cal and MJ were tiny babies. We use several of their products every night during bedtime routines.
We start with brushing their teeth with Dr. Brown's toothbrush + toothpaste. Their toothpaste is all natural and safe to swallow.
MJ loves using his own toothbrush (and is so cute when he does it, haha). They also have a little finger toothbrush that's perfect for smaller babes getting new teeth in!
We bathe the boys using Dr. Brown's Foaming Bath Wash
. We love that this cleans skin + hair without drying it out, and that it's made of all natural ingredients! It contains natural essential oils, organic aloe vera, calendula and chamomile. It's hypoallergenic, gluten, phthalate, sulfate, petroleum and paraben free. It smells delicious and our boys love the foamy bubbles :)
The last thing we include in our nightly routines with our boys is the Dr. Brown's Daily Diaper Cream. Regan has been putting this on Cal every. single. night. since he was brand new, and he has never had a diaper rash! Just saying ;) This stuff is good.
We highly recommend all of Dr. Brown's baby care products. We feel confident using them on our babies, knowing they are safe for their delicate little bodies.
Thank you Dr. Brown's Baby for sponsoring this post. All opinions are our own.
Last Saturday we threw Cal a puppy party for his first birthday! My husband and I have been debating getting Cal an actual puppy, but haven't been able to pull the trigger yet. He loves puppies and so we decided to go all out with the puppy theme for his birthday.
In Utah, there is a business called Puppies for Rent that used to actually let you rent a puppy for a day, or rent several puppies for a party. My plan was to do that, but the company either shut down, or just stopped renting puppies temporarily right before Cal's party! I was desperately looking for at least one puppy to have at the party (haha), so I put an add on KSL (similar to Craigslist) asking if anyone would lend us their puppy for my cute son's birthday party. I got a ton of responses and decided to borrow a family's cute little boxer puppy for the day. It was perfect!
If you search "puppy party" on Pinterest, there are a ton of really cute decoration ideas, invitations, and food, but I thought I'd share all my favorites and what we ended up using for the party.
First of all, I knew I wanted Cal's cake to be from Sweet Tooth Fairy. Their cakes taste amazing, and they will customize any of their cakes to go with any party theme! I just told them we were doing a black and white puppy theme, then gave them free reign, and they created the CUTEST puppy cake and mini cake for Cal's "cake smash" (you know that's a must at any first birthday party).
I honestly couldn't be happier with how cute (and yummy) the cakes turned out!
Pictures of all the details of the party are below, and at the very bottom of the post I'll share our menu, the recipe for the puppy chow (which was a huge hit and super easy), and a couple of how-to's!
- ordered from Dominos haha but who doesn't love pizza?!
"Dogs in a Blanket"
- the kids LOVED these
- we did watermelon and cantaloupe balls, strawberries, raspberries, and grapes
- easiest recipe ever (below)
- made sugar cookies using these cookie cutters
- self explanatory ;)
Then we just had a basket of mini water bottles and juice boxes for the kids for drinks
Puppy Chow Recipe:
9 Cups of Corn Chex
1/2 Cup of Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup of Butter or Margarine
1 Cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 tsp of Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups of Powdered Sugar
1. In a large bowl place your 9 cups of Chex cereal and set aside.
2. In a medium size saucepan, melt the chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter on low heat until completely melted and smooth. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
3. Pour the chocolate mixture over the dry cereal and stir carefully until it is completely coated.
4. In a large ziplock bag pour the cereal mixture inside and then slowly add the powdered sugar. Seal the bag and shake well until all of the cereal is coated.
5. Spread the mixture out on waxed paper until the Puppy Chow is completely cool and dry. Seal in an airtight container and place it in the fridge (if it lasts that long!)
Paw print balloons -
Tassel banners on table & high chair found at
Signs for the food were just printed on regular paper, and we used leftover invitations to glue the paper with the menu item to the puppy print on the back.
The mini stuffed animal dogs I found at Target! It was a lucky find and I can't even find them online. They were like $4 each and the perfect little party favors for the kids to take home.
Mini Party Hats
- I made these using this tutorial. I used the print on the back of the invitations and printed it on to cardstock, then used the template to make the little hats. They were so cute and pretty easy. The kids all looked so cute in them!
All in all this party was pretty simple to put together (thank you Pinterest) and turned out so cute! Happy Birthday Cal! You are such a joy and bring light in to my life!
As I mentioned in this post a few months ago, Cal is still heavily relying on being fed through his g-tube. HOWEVER, he does eat a little bit of "solid" food. We feed him mostly pureed baby foods, and also try giving him bites of softer foods that we eat. I feel like when my husband and I eat in front of him, he loses interest with whatever baby food mush we're trying to give him and wants what we're eating. Which I'm totally okay with! Yesterday I was eating one of those chicken wraps that I made (blog post on those here), and he was acting like he wanted a bite. So I gave him a black bean after mushing it a little in my fingers. The chipotle dressing on the wrap is a little spicy so I thought he might hate it. But he kept acting like he wanted more and probably ate 5 or 6 beans! Haha. Seems like nothing, but I was so happy. #itsthelittlethings
When I do feed him baby food, I have Dr. Brown's Baby products to thank again for making Cal's meal time go as easy and smooth as possible. I'm sure I've mentioned many times that I'm a bit of a clean freak. I love the non stick base on their bowls to keep them in place, but my favorite solid feeding product they carry is their spatula spoons. I use those suckers to wipe Cal's mouth clean after every bite and they work like a charm. I wish I had the will power to just let Cal go crazy with his food and make a mess. But I don't.
I can't believe my baby is almost one! I really thought Cal's g-tube would be much more temporary. I thought we'd have it out by the time he turned 6 months for sure! My hope is that as he gets older and we are able to reason with him a little more to a point where he can really understand, that he'll realize he doesn't need it and will start to eat more on his own.
On a bit of a side note, we had our first scary gtube experience two nights ago and I want to document it real quick. We went to the Murray hospital to see my grandpa, who just had emergency heart surgery, and as I was getting Cal out of the car, I accidentally yanked his gtube completed out of his stomach! He was in the middle of being fed. So I had his little backpack with the pump in one hand, but as I was pulling him out I felt something get stuck. I thought it was his shoe since that’s happened before so I just tugged and continued pulling him out, not knowing the tubing was caught around the bottom of the car seat. I wasn’t even pulling that hard, but he started screaming and Daniel saw the gtube was completely out. Since he was in the middle of eating his milk and stomach contents spilled out all over him. He calmed down pretty quickly and went back to his happy self. Since we were at the hospital we rushed him over to the ER with my emergency gtube kit I had in he car (that I had never had to use and I was panicking a little). The hole in his stomach can close in as little as an hour if it’s not held open! Anyways, to shorten the story, we put in a Foley catheter at Murray to hold it open, but ended up being transferred to primary children’s to get a new tube put in since Murray didn’t have his size. He was such a brave boy, I know it hurt him and I felt like the worst mom on the planet. It was one of those thing where you’re like, did that really just happen?! Can I PLEASE go back 30 seconds and redo that?!
ANYWAYS, luckily Cal is quick to forgive and forget. Love that boy so much!
One more thanks to Dr. Brown's for not only helping me feed my baby, but also for feeding MY OCD with their matching bowl and spoon combos ;)
Thank you Dr. Brown's Baby for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
Hi guys! It's been a while since I've posted an update on Cal. He's 9 months now (SO crazy to think he'll be ONE in less than 3 months!?!). He is such a little love. So full of joy and he has the sweetest, easy-tempered personality.
His followups with doctors and specialists have slowed down, which is good! We were able to cross off a couple of things we were worried about when he was born, and are now just following up with those doctors every 6 months to a year (his kidneys, and blood counts look good!). He still sees cardiology every couple of months, but things with his little heart have stayed stable. When he was born his cardiologist thought he would for sure need a valve replacement within the first year of his life. Now he's saying he thinks we may be able to wait a couple more years because things are looking okay. More time for Cal to get bigger and stronger and that's what we want!
We still work with a physical therapist quite often since Cal is definitely behind in hitting a lot of his milestones. He just barely learned to sit up on his own, and we are SO proud of his progress, but still have a long way to go.
He also has an occupational therapist come work with him because he still has his g-tube. Getting him off the g-tube is currently our biggest goal for him. He is such a happy, content little boy, but his g-tube seems to be the one thing that bothers him and even causes him pain, I think, sometimes. If it accidentally gets pulled or rubbed the wrong way, or even when I clean around it sometimes, he gets upset and I just so badly wish he could get it out. On the bright side, it's helping him get all of the nutrients he needs to grow and develop, and for that, I am grateful.
When he was in the NICU we was only taking about 30% of his full feedings by mouth (bottles with my pumped milk), and the rest was given through his ng tube. We worked with some amazing occupational therapists in the hospital on his feeding. Both of the therapists we worked with swore by Dr. Brown's Baby bottles. Not only are Dr. Brown's bottles known for reducing colic, spit-up, burping and gas, they also have different sized nipples for different baby stages to control the flow of the milk. We started Cal out with a premie sized nipple, and moved up to a level two.
Cal never progressed to the point where he was drinking enough to come home from the NICU, so after two months living in a hospital, he ended up getting the g-tube placed so he could come home.
We've been able to work on feeding him in the comfort of our own home, and still supplement what he needs through his g-tube. He never really learned to master drinking his full feedings from the bottle, but Dr. Brown's also has some great transitional products for going from bottle to a cup, and also products for solid food feeding. Cal has done much better with smooth pureed food than he did with a drinking a bottle, and has learned to drink from the Dr. Brown's Soft Spout Cup.
We are so blessed to have so many amazing baby products out there to help with Cal's feeding journey. Now Cal just needs to learn to love food as much as his mama does so he can get that dang tube out ;)
Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you have any questions on Dr. Brown's baby products or if you have or know anyone who has a baby with a g-tube and have questions about that.
Thanks you Dr. Brown's Baby for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
Cal is SUCH a happy baby, which just makes everything so much better and so fun! He will smile at anyone and smiles all. the. time.
His eating has gotten better. He still has his G-tube, but will usually drink 1-3 ounces from a bottle each time he eats, then we give him the rest through his tube.
About a month after we brought him home from the NICU we had his followup appointment with his cardiologist. We were expecting to have seen improvements, or no changes since we left the NICU, but unfortunately there were a few new developments that were a little worrisome. His heart echo showed some mitral valve stenosis, as well as pulmonary hypertension.
The cardiologist recommended we do a sleep study to see if Cal has obstructive sleep apnea, which he guessed was contributing to the hypertension. Cal has a smaller jaw that is a little bit recessed, and the doctors thought maybe his airway was getting blocked because of it.
We did the sleep study, and it turned out Cal does have severe sleep apnea. His oxygen was frequently dropping and coming back up and they gave us all kinds of numbers that I don't really know the meaning of. I just know they said it's bad.
(Side note...yes I did have his Owlet monitor on every night and it was never going off, but the doctors said it may just be that his oxygen was dropping and coming back up so quickly that it wasn't picking up.)
So now Cal is on oxygen to help with this. He is supposed to be on it 24/7 because of the hypertension, but we give him breaks every once in a while during the day (doctor approved). And actually, California is now Cal's favorite place (not surprised) because his cardiologist said we could keep his oxygen off for the most part during the day when we are down there since it's easier to breath at sea level. Maybe we need to move ;)
P.S. Cal's beach outfit from Lulu + Roo is too much for me to handle (heart eyes, heart eyes)
About a week and a half ago Cal underwent a little procedure where they put him under so that they could scope out his airway while he was asleep, and see what was causing the obstruction. They did a procedure called Supra Glotto Plasty where they trimmed up some extra/floppy tissue inside the airway. The ENT thinks this will help him a little, but when they were scoping out his airway, they determined it's Cal's tongue falling back into his throat that's causing most of the airway obstruction. Which is a bummer :(
The ENT we've been seeing (who did the procedure) says this is something Cal could possibly grow out of in the future, but we also may consider doing a jaw distraction surgery where they will bring the jaw forward, helping the tongue to come forward as well. This is a pretty invasive surgery and the ENT just isn't sure if it's right for Cal yet.
Throughout all of this Cal has been such a champ. He smiles through it all, and continues to surprise us all with how well he's growing and developing in other areas.
He is also followed by a Hematologist, Urologist, and Neurologist, and has monthly visits to our home from an Occupational and Physical Therapist. We are so grateful for amazing doctors and therapists who have been following Cal closely and making sure he has all of the help he needs to continue growing and developing.
There are still a lot of unknowns for what the future hold for our sweet Cal. It would be very unlikely (we've been told) that he won't have at least some degree of mental and physical delays, and we know it's going to be a long road ahead of doctors visits and followups, but we are going to give him every opportunity in the world to reach his full potential. He has already shown us his strong will to push through every obstacle thrown his way, and we know he'll continue on that same path.
Happy 5 Months buddy, we couldn't love you any more!
Hi! Regan again :)
If you read my Newborn Baby Essentials post, you know that one of things I think every parent needs to invest in is photos of/with your new little love. I wasn't able to get Cal's pictures done as a brand new baby since he was in the hospital for the first 8 weeks, but I'm so glad I still decided to get them taken once he came home.
We did them with FotoFly at their SLC City location and I am so in love with how the photos turned out. I will truly cherish them forever!
We had such a great experience with the photographer there, Max. Cal was such a good boy and was smiling right on cue and slept through the first images, which was perfect. Max had some great tricks to get him to wake up and open his eyes when we needed him to and to look right at the camera.
One of the best parts about working with Fotofly is that they guaruntee you'll have your edited photos back within 24 hours! Also, their prices are pretty unbeatable. You can do a 60 minute session for $125 and that includes all the edited images emailed to you.
Thank you FotoFly!
Putting together Cal's nursery was one of the things I was most excited about and eager to get started on when I found out I was pregnant with him. I wanted his room to be boy-ish but not too baby-ish to make it easier to transition as he grows and gets older. I love how it came together. It's my favorite room in the house!
I got almost everything from Target! One of my favorite things is this dresser/changing table that looks to me like it could be from Restoration Hardware. Such a great price and really good quality!
Scroll to the end of this post for all the linked details from Cal's nursery as well as the latest update on him.
Cutest and tiniest pair of moccs from Freshly Picked
I'm so excited to get Cal home and show him his room!
The number one question I get is, "When do they think you'll be able to bring him home?" I SO wish I had the answer to that question, but it's so hard to say. One thing we've learned from Cal being in the NICU is that it's just a huge waiting game and requires a lot of patience and faith.
We've gone through ups and downs during the last four weeks in the NICU, and we've learned that we just need to trust Cal's doctors and give him the time he needs to get better. We learned the hard way that we just need to take things slow with him and not push him too hard.
Right now Cal is still getting respiratory support. They have slowly started to wean him off a machine called NIPPV. Once he's on a low enough flow of oxygen we are hoping we'll be able to start feeding him again. Right now he's getting my breastmilk through his feeding tube (so sad thinking about him having a constant tube down his throat and not being able to taste or eat anything orally!).
So at this point we will just continue to pray and have have faith that he will continue to get stronger and better. Thank you again for all of the kind words, thoughts and prayers for our family, and especially for Cal. Each time we pray for him we also thank God for all the wonderful people we have supporting and praying for us. I will update again soon!
On January 11th at 8:15am we welcomed our sweet baby Cal into the world! He decided to come a few weeks early and it's such a miracle how it all happened.
As I mentioned in a previous post when I announced I was pregnant with Cal, we knew there was a chance he'd be born with some chromosome abnormalities. We knew it was out of our hands and just felt so blessed that we were even pregnant with him, so every day we just prayed that he would continue to grow and develop into a healthy baby boy.
After a fairly normal and easy labor and delivery, Cal made his debut! He wasn't breathing well on his own and needed respiratory support. Because we knew he might be born with some abnormalities, we had lots of doctors ready to care for him right when he was born. A heart echo was one of the things they did right away, and the results came back showing quite a few defects with his little heart. At that point it was pretty clear he had the unbalanced chromosome translocation, but the microarray test results confirming this would take over a week to get back.
Over the next few days Cal was showing a lot of improvements and after a follow up heart echo, his cardiologist told us we could pretty much rule out a heart surgery at that point because his heart was functioning normally and doing its job, despite all of the little defects it showed. What a blessing it was to hear that!
During the next week as we waited for the chromosome test results we started to get a little bit hopeful that maybe he didn't have the chromosome translocation after all. He was looking so good and healthy, it was hard to believe there could be anything wrong with our perfect baby boy.
Well, the test results came back and did confirm his unbalanced translocation - a partial trisomy of chromosome 15 and a partial deletion of chromosome 16.
Because this is so uncommon and there really aren't any known cases of people with this exact genetic condition, we really don't know what this means for Cal or what effects it will have on him in the future. What we do know is that we love him so much and that he is the perfect baby for us. We know he was meant to come be part of our family and fulfill his purpose here on earth.
Today marks day 23 in the NICU with Cal. It's been tough but we are so grateful for the care he's receiving from incredible doctors and nurses and are continuing to pray for his body to heal so that he can come home with us soon.
Thank you for all the love, prayers and support. I will be posting another update soon!
P.S. The nurses all tell me Cal's the best dressed baby in the NICU so I thought I'd share a few of his outfit details below ;)