About Us

Marc and I have been married since October 14, 2005. We dated 4 years before taking the plunge! On December 14, 2007 we were blessed with our little girl Abigail (Abby). She weighed a healthy 8lbs 15ounces. She came a week before her due date. (I was induced) She is a sassy 4 year old and always keeps us laughing. On September 9, 2011 our sweet baby boy, Matthew, arrived weighing an even healthier 9 lbs 6 oz. We also have a dog (Layla) and a cat (Sissy). We moved into a new home in North Phoenix in May of 2007. It was so fun to watch the progress of it being built. Hard to believe we have already lived here 4 years. We are still changing paint colors on the walls! The picture above is from our trip to Kauai in 2006 for our one year wedding anniversary. Can't wait to go back again someday when the kiddos are a little older! I started this fun little blog so friends and family can stay updated on what is going on with us (since I am so horrible about making phone calls and sending e-mails). Hope you enjoy!


Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers


Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Sunday, June 10, 2012

9 Months

That's right, my baby boy is 3/4 of the way through his first year of life. So I will share a little about what Matthew, aka Matty, aka Bud Bud, aka little buddy, aka Matty boo, aka Matta, aka Sparty is up to these days. Well, for some reason our happy little guy disappeared sometime in his 6th month.  I am still trying to figure out why he seems so unhappy most days.  I just find it so hard to believe that his happy, easy going personality just disappeared basically overnight.  Don't get me wrong, he still has plenty of happy moments and I can usually get a smile out of him, they just don't last long. He really isn't content most days for more than 10 minutes at a time before he begins to fuss and then all out cry. He isn't a fan of the swing, exersaucer or jumparoo.  Most of the time he is somewhat content when we go out somewhere, so needless to say we definitely get out of the house EVERY day. I have really tried to figure out what it could be and I am at a loss.  His reflux seems to be as controlled as it is going to get and I don't notice many of the obvious signs of the reflux anymore.  Although, with "silent reflux" sometimes there are no signs other than the baby obviously being in pain.  The only sign I ever had with Abby's reflux was her refusal to eat when she wasn't taking her Zantac.  I wonder a lot if it isn't actually the Prevacid that he is on that is causing him to be so grumpy most of the time.  Not much I can do about it though until he outgrows this nasty reflux.  The other day I thought I would try to give him a bottle without thickening his formula. Yeah, not a good idea.  His "silent" reflux apparently wouldn't be so silent anymore without the thickener.  He threw up 5 times in the next two hours.  Guess the thickener really is helping to keep things down.  I just wonder if it isn't still coming up his esophagus into his throat but not all the way out. For now we have done pretty much everything we can do for him and it is just a waiting game as we pray every day that he outgrows it when he starts walking and we can put this all behind us!

Sleeping: Unfortunately sleeping hasn't improved since my last post.  It has actually gone downhill a bit.  He takes two naps now after starting to scream all the way through the third one everyday when he was 7 1/2 months.  His naps are typically anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours, which I can't complain too much about since Abby was the queen of half hour naps at this age.  However, Abby was sleeping 12-13 hours at night.  Matthew...not so much!  Things went a little downhill when I stopped swaddling him and he got his DOC band all in the same week. He is always up between 3am and 5am.  The only thing that gets him to calm down and go back to sleep is a bottle.  So he gets 5 oz during the night still, which I am sure his pediatrician will tell me is not necessary at his appointment tomorrow. The worst part is that he doesn't just go right back to sleep after his bottle.  He doesn't cry once he has had the bottle(SOOOO thankful for that) but he just can't get back to sleep.  He just rolls around his crib usually taking an hour to go back to sleep and sometimes only for a half hour.  Most days he is up for good between 6am and 6:30am.  If he doesn't wake up for his bottle before 5 am he usually does not go back to sleep at all after he has it.  Seems like a simple solution right? Just don't go in and give him a bottle when he wakes.  Only problem is I am 95% sure he would not go back to sleep at all without that bottle which means I have an even crankier baby that has been up since 4am.  He also has to have his Prevacid on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before his bottle.  He is already a cranky beast waiting to get his bottle after I get him up in the morning, I can't even imagine how much fun he would be if he hadn't at least had that 5oz a few hours before. I hope to at least try some sort of sleep training next month when Marc is home for a long weekend, as I will need his help entertaining a very angry baby who has been awake since 3 or 4 am.  I feel like I have to at least try to help him learn to sleep through that time every morning though.  He is just not getting enough sleep at night, even with a 6:15 bedtime.  (And yes, I have tried putting him to bed later and he still wakes and the same time and gets even less sleep. :( )  I just really don't want to be getting up at night still with an 18 month old, which is my fear if we don't try to change this waking habit.  Ahhhh, the joys of parenthood!  Good thing we love love love this kid to pieces! Boy, was I spoiled with Abby!

Movement:  We have some!!!!  Last month he started army crawling and is getting better at it every day.  Just this week he finally started using both sides of his body instead of just his right leg and left arm.  I am hopeful that soon he will be up on all fours crawling.  I think this will help him to stay a little more content because he can get where he wants to go much faster and won't be putting so much pressure on his belly and possibly aggravating his reflux.  I just cannot wait for him to walk for so many reasons! And no I will never wish for him to be less mobile :) When you have a baby with health concerns, it completely changes how you look at things.  When he is all over the place getting into things it means he has the health and physical ability to do so!

Eating: This little guy's digestive system continues to stump us!  He still gets very little baby food for a couple reasons.  #1) He just isn't all that interested.  He will eat a tablespoon or two and then not want anymore, yet still be willing to suck down 7 oz of formula right after.  #2) He hasn't tolerated many foods very well.  The only foods we have found that his system seems to tolerate are sweet potatoes and pears.  Our food trials also keep getting messed up by sickness and ear infections so I am never quite sure if it is the sickness, ear infection, antibiotics or food messing with him.  It has been a very slow process.  He also doesn't not handle anything other than purees.  He will gag and throw up on only a tiny little piece of a puff.  Needless to say I have learned to only try when he has an empty stomach.  So, for now, his main source of nutrition still comes from his elemental formula.

Despite all of our difficulties with this sweet boy, I feel so blessed everyday to have him.  Even with all his fussing and crying he brings a smile to my face every single day and it is fun to watch his personality emerging during his "happy" times!  He is so much different that Abby was and I am a little worried for what my future holds.  I think I am in for it with this one.  I certainly don't see him sleeping happily in his crib until he is over 3 years old like his sister.  I am willing to bet he has climbed out before his second birthday.  He is all boy and loves to make as much noise as possible and is quite destructive already!

A note about the above picture: He has been in his DOC band for 6 weeks now.  His head was somewhat flat on the back and right side so we decided that even though it wasn't severe we would rather try to fix it than regret not fixing it after it was too late.  We are hoping he only has another 4-6 weeks left to wear it. His head seems to be responding well, at least I think so.  The things on his hands that look like workout gloves are actually thumb splints.  He has had some difficulties physically and is receiving occupational and physical therapy. Once of his issues has been that he tends to keep his thumbs tucked in and has difficulty manipulating objects because his thumbs don't do what they are supposed to.  The thumb splints are intended to keep a good stretch between his thumb and finger so that the muscle doesn't tighten enough to make thumb movement even more difficult.  Between the helmet and the gloves, we get A LOT of stares when we are out in public. There have also been some discrepancies between the right and left side of his body, which has brought up suspicion of an in utero stroke with his pediatrician and therapists.  At this point we are taking a wait and see approach before we put him under sedation for an MRI.  Even if the MRI did show a stroke, it would not change anything we are doing so we don't feel it is completely necessary right now.  He is getting the therapies he needs and that is most important.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Matty is 5 Months

My sweet boy turned 5 months yesterday. He is a happy little guy most of the time and love, love, loves his big sister! He is full of smiles for her every day. He is a pretty laid back little guy, but also highly sensitive. He is very jumpy and startled easily.
He has been slow to reach milestones and still is not reaching for toys or rolling from back to belly. As much as I try not to worry and realize that all kids are on their own timeline, it is pretty much impossible for the worry wort within :).
Our sleeping has GREATLY improved since getting the reflux under control a little more. Bedtime is between 6:30pm and 7:00pm and he sleeps until 5am, when, like clockwork, he wakes every morning. He gets a diaper change and a bottle and then I put him back to bed. He is such a good little guy and goes back to sleep with no complaints until sometime between 7am and 8am. He naps 3 times a day for anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. He almost always (90 % of the time) wakes up after 30 minutes, but will sometimes go back to sleep for another 30-60 minutes.
He is wearing 12 month size clothes and size 3 diapers, drools like crazy, always has a hand in his mouth, likes to play with his feet, hates being on his tummy, likes to blow raspberries, doesn't "talk" much, HATES it when I sing to him, smiles and laughs all the time and I love him!

Our Battle

After Matthew was born, it didn't take long to realize something was not right with his digestive system. In his first 24 hours he had over 10 bowel movements. He was nursing and also getting a formula supplement. Our first thought (as well as the nurse's) was that he has a milk sensitivity. Abby is milk protein intolerant so it wasn't a total shock. He was switched to soy formula and I stopped consuming dairy. Switching to the soy formula didn't seem to do the trick completely because after I got him home he was still having bowel movements 20+ times on some days. I continued to nurse him and supplement until he was a few weeks old and then gave up nursing because his poor little bottom was so horribly covered in bright red diaper rash from all the poopy diapers. I tried pumping until I could get him figured out and get all the dairy out of my system. It just proved to be way to difficult trying to manage a preschooler, a newborn and a pump. Giving up breastfeeding was, BY FAR, the hardest decision I have made as a mother. The guilt is so incredibly overwhelming when you feel like you are failing your child. It is still difficult for me to think about 5 months later. Every time he has been sick or hard to comfort I feel that guilt racing through my veins, even knowing what I know now (no matter how long I avoided dairy, he would not have tolerated breast milk)

When he was 2 weeks old I started noticing that he was choking every time I laid him down. He also began having trouble sleeping would only sleep 5-20 minutes before he would wake up, turn bright red, choke and gag. I recognized immediately that he was suffering from acid reflux. His pediatrician noticed the reflux was so bad that his throat was red and irritated from stomach acid coming up and burning it. She put him on Zantac. To my surprise it did nothing for him. Abby also had reflux but nothing even close to as severe as Matthew and she did wonderfully on Zantac, although she did need it until she was 13 months old. We moved him to Prevacid and continued to have problems. By the time he was 6 weeks old he was refusing to eat more than an ounce or two at a time and was beginning to fall off his weight curve quickly.

I won't put you through all the painful details of what my poor little man has been through. I will do my best to summarize....5 formulas, 3 medicines, 3 thickeners (for his formula), 1 upper GI, 1 swallow study and two pediatric GI appointments later we finally have things a little more under control. He ended up on an elemental formula, or as we like to refer to it, liquid gold. It is an extremely expensive amino acid based formula that contains no protein chains for his body to break down. He is finally getting some sleep and I rarely hear him swallowing his reflux anymore. We recently tried decreasing his medicine dose and he began having problems eating again immediately. So, our magic combo seems to be the right dose of PPI medicine (decreases the amount of acid in his stomach) and the formula along with a thickener that weighs it down in his stomach. I don't see him being able to go without the medicine until sometime between 12 and 18 months.

I am so relieved to be to the point we are. It has been incredibly difficult to see my baby suffering and in pain, not knowing when we would figure out what he needed to get some relief. Many prayers have been answered and for that I am grateful.

5 Months Late

Announcing Matthew Leo Bryand....5 months late :) So, I am a little behind on my blogging. Would you expect anything else? Matthew (or Matty as he has come to be called) arrived via c-section on September 9, 2011. He weighed in at a healthy 9 lbs 6 oz and was 20 inches long.

I absolutely LOVE these pictures that my friend from high school, Natalie, took when he was a week old. She has such amazing talent and took these great shots right in the middle of my living room. I love remembering the time when Matthew would sleep like, um...well, a baby! So great that we could manipulate him for our photo pleasure for 2 hours and he slept right through it all. That kind of peaceful sleeping didn't last long, but that is a whole other post!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

1st Dentist Appointment

Abby had her very first appointment with the dentist this week. I know, I know, I put it off longer than I should have. Her pediatrician recommended her first visit to be right when she turned 3 and I am just lucky I got it in before she turned 4. Why must I put these things off? Well, I expected it to go much differently than it did, and perhaps 6 months ago it would have gone that way. However, my little sweet pea did AWESOME!!! No crying! No complaining! Did exactly what she was asked to do through the entire visit! Even the dentist made a comment about what an amazing patient she was. So proud! Oh yeah, and NO CAVITIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Getting those cute little teeth nice and clean!! Brought along her beloved blankies and kitty
All done!

Daddy's Birthday!

Marc celebrated his 39th birthday on the 14th! Next year comes the big 4-0! Such a lucky guy to look about 10 years younger than he really is. Abby and I made had fun making him a birthday cake as usual.

Blowing out the candle!Enjoying some of our hard work (none for mommy though - darn gestational diabetes!) Chocolate face!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Matthew's Room

We FINALLY finished Matthew's room! Wowsa, was it a lot of work!! Thank goodness I am pretty happy with how it turned out. Marc stained and hung hooks on this unfinished shelf I found on clearance at JoAnn's. We painted 2x2 blocks and then glued wood letters on them to make his name blocks. Then we hung the blocks from the hooks with ribbon.Stenciling.....Ahhhhhh! If I never see another stencil in my life it will be way too soon! After stenciling flowers above the chair rail in Abby's room , I swore I would never do it again. Well, I did, and I hated it even more this time around. Not sure if you have ever stenciled, but it is not like you can just run a roller over the stencil. Your brush has to be very dry and you literally have to tap the paint on to the wall so it doesn't bleed under the stencil. Each circle required about 5-10 coats of paint. I thought I would never finish! I think my total time spent stenciling was about 16 hours. Marc's biggest project for the room was this dresser I found on Craigslist for $40.00. It was a hideous beast, but I knew it had potential. Marc spent countless hours in the garage sanding all the nasty forest green paint off it and then staining it to match the crib. We finished it off with some pretty new knobs and then Marc stained the chair rail to match the crib and dresser.Here is the before picture of the hideous beast....ICK!! The sides were the most work because they were painted completely green. Lots and lots of sanding to get it all off.Although not ideal space wise, I really wanted to keep a full size bed in the room since this room used to be our guest room. Not sure how many guests will ever get to use it, but I am sure I will get a lot of use out of it until Matthew is sleeping through the night so I don't disturb Marc when he has to get up for work.These squares were originally intended to be hung as a headboard for the bed but I decided I liked the idea of using them for the whole wall instead. I took 12x12 Styrofoam squares and then covered them in this super cute dot material.
I had this comfy recliner in Abby's room for the last 3 1/2 years and it has been amazing. It was so nice for the countless hours I spent nursing her as a baby and then to read books in every night before bed ever since. She has grown quite attached to the chair and shed some tears when I told her I needed it in Matthew's room. It took some serious bribing to get the chair out of her room and she still keeps asking for it back, but I am hoping with time she will stop missing it so much :(.I love, love, love the words we put on the wall!And to finish the room off, we did a wall of stripes just like Abby's room.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

35 Weeks

Oh my....only 26 days to go before I meet my sweet little miracle boy. I have such mixed emotions.

A big part of me wants him out ASAP so I can hold him in my arms and know he is okay. For some reason that feeling of anxiety I felt during the first 20 weeks about losing him has reared its ugly head again. Maybe just because I am so close to getting what I prayed so hard for? Not sure I will ever really get over the loss of two sweet babies. I also am really starting to feel the physical toll of pregnancy. My back and hips are ready to be done carrying the extra weight and the pressure "down below" is well, INTENSE! His head is already very low and wow can I tell! Standing isn't exactly comfortable anymore. My favorite place to be? The pool! Now I see why women want water births! It is amazing how much pressure is relieved in the water. The lovely 1st trimester heartburn and nausea has also reared its ugly head again (bad but still not nearly the to the degree of what I experienced for the first 18 weeks). I also cannot wait to ditch this horrible diet I follow because of the gestational diabetes! I just want some carbs and sugar people!!!

Another part of me wishes that time would slow down its crazy passing. Knowing this will be the absolute last time I am pregnant really makes me cherish every hiccup (which the poor little guys gets about 7 times a day) and kick. It is so amazing to me that we can grow little humans inside us. I feel so blessed to have been given this gift from God that I prayed so hard for. I am so incredibly grateful that I was chosen to be Matthew's mommy. I have also started to feel that twinge of guilt already about how much Abby's life is about to change. She definitely knows she is getting a baby brother, but she has no concept of what that means for Mommy's time and attention. The other day she got very sad and told me she likes Matthew's room better than her room and I almost cried. I know these are all very real and normal emotions that all big brothers and sisters go through so I just keep reminding myself that I am giving her a friend for life, even though she may not understand that for many many years. I suppose I just have to do the best that I can to keep her involved in everything I have to do for Matthew. I know she is going to be a great big sister and will love helping take care of him.

Winnie the Pooh!

A couple weeks ago we took Abby to see her first movie in a theater. I picked Winnie the Pooh because I thought it was a safe bet to not have a villain or anything else scary in it. She has always been a super scardy cat and does not like any of the Disney movies because they all have something scary ! Welllllllll....they managed to put something scary in Winnie the Pooh! Can you believe it!? Grrrrrr! Owl invents a creature called a "backson" and they spend the majority of the movie talking about the scary "backson" and how to catch it. She asked to leave the movie a couple times, but managed to be a trooper on Mommy's lap and made it though the whole thing. However, now she says she never wants to go to a movie theater again. Oh well...I still greatly enjoyed her first movie going experience! (and dinner at Johnny Rockets afterward)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Grandpa and Grandma's Visit

Marc's parents were recently here for a visit from Minnesota. They usually make it here twice a year. This trip was filled with lots of fun for Abby! She got to do lots of fun things with them including swimming every day (sometimes twice a day), a trip to the Children's Museum, and a Lowe's kids workshop with Daddy and Grandpa! I think she really enjoyed having constant entertainment from either Grandma or Grandpa for 10 days! ( And I am not gonna lie, I also greatly enjoyed her having constant entertainment. haha!)

Here's the gang on one of the many days they spent at the pool!

Abby LOVED listening to Grandpa read to her!

As is becoming tradition, Marc put his poor dad to work while they were visiting. They painted Matthew's room, put up the chair rail, and put together the crib! A huge shout out to Marc Sr. for all his help in that room while he was here on "vacation"!

Such a great picture of Abby and her "Munga and Parkie"

Friday, July 22, 2011

32 Weeks

32 weeks today!!! Only 7 weeks to go and I feel crazy stressed that it is not nearly enough time to get stuff done. The nursery is coming along nicely, but I still have 4 projects to get done. One of those projects is stenciling and that, unfortunately, happens to be very time consuming. Yes, I know what you are thinking....this is my second baby and I should know better now than to think the nursery HAS to be completely done before the baby comes. Well, there are two reasons why it does need to be. #1) The one project I left unfinished before Abby was born, still sits in her room unfinished. #2) It will DRIVE ME NUTS if its not done :).
Next week life gets even crazier as I start going in to have the baby monitored twice a week. When you have gestational diabetes they watch the baby very closely. Part of this is twice weekly Non-Stress Tests and once weekly Biophysical Profiles. For the Non-Stress Test they will hook me up to a fetal monitor for a half hour and monitor his heart rate (which should accelerate during movement) and monitor any contractions. The Biophysical profile is essentially a high tech timed ultra sound where they check for five signs that the baby is thriving. It checks heart rate, breathing rate, muscle tone, movement, and the amount of amniotic fluid. So what that means for me is a lot of time in doctor's offices and a lot of driving time. And of course I will still have my normal OB appointments to go to which are every two weeks for the next 4 weeks and then every week after that.
Oh Boy! So much to do and so little time to do it in! Although if I didn't have a cute little 3 year old on my heels all day and I could actually find a nice burst of energy it would be a piece of cake!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

30 Weeks

Only 8 weeks to go from tomorrow! ( I am a little late posting this and will be 31 weeks tomorrow). Getting closer and closer to being cut open on that table. Yikes. I have never had a major surgery so I really have no idea what to expect. Hopefully the excitement of meeting my little boy will calm my nerves a little.
I am really starting to feel very pregnant now. I feel very large and heavy and some unknown force has magically sucked every ounce of energy right out of my body. Crazy to have such a desire to nest, nest, nest and not be able to convince my body to keep up with my mind! All in all I can't complain though. I just feel so blessed to have this little miracle in my belly regardless of the toll on my body. I seriously LOVE every minute of it and every little kick and punch. This little boy is so much more active than Abby was and I love it!

The gestational diabetes is still a huge battle. I am having so much more trouble controlling it this time around. I can eat something one day and my blood sugar is fine and then I will eat it again the next day at the exact same time and it will be super high! So frustrating for me because every time I get a high reading I just think of that sugar coursing through my baby's body. Grrrrrr! Very little carbs and NO sugar and I am still having issues. Seems there is very little I can get away with eating. I think if I ate all protein and zero carbs it might be better, but not sure I could stomach it and pretty sure I would start to lose weight. Still haven't gained a pound since 20 weeks. I need to gain a least another 4 lbs to get my total weight gain to 20 lbs, but it seems Matthew is growing just fine because my belly sure is :).

On the bright side, this last week has been sooooo exciting for me. I was so blessed to have amazing friends who threw a baby shower in celebration of my sweet boy. I am so thankful for the family and friends who were able to attend. (I will post more about this day and pictures soon). The other super exciting part of my week? Matthew's room was painted and the crib put together! It looks super cute and I will post more when it is complete!

Friday, June 3, 2011

25 Weeks

Time is really starting to pass more quickly now. I am so close to the third trimester already. Things got very real yesterday when my OB said it was time to schedule my c-section. I will be having a c-section to avoid another broken tailbone. The big day is scheduled for 9/9/11 at 1:30pm. Funny that I wasn't nervous about a c-section, but now that it is scheduled I am a wee bit freaked out. I'm not gonna lie, it makes me a little nauseous to think about it.

In other news, I am battling the the dreaded gestational diabetes again. So frustrating. I knew my chances of avoiding it were slim since my risk was highly increased after having it with Abby. I was holding out hope though. So what does it mean for me? It means that I don't get to eat anything fun. I have to eat a very high protein, low carb, NO sugar diet of very small meals in order to keep my blood sugar on target. I have been following this diet for 4 weeks now and I pretty much want to barf just looking at an egg, which happens to be about my only choice for breakfast. It also makes it difficult to gain wait because it is hard to get enough calories every day. Haven't gained even a pound in the last 4 weeks. I think the Dr. is happy as long as I gain another 5 lbs or so before the end of the pregnancy.

BUT....In a nutshell, challenges of this pregnancy and all, IT IS ALL SOOOOO WORTH IT!!!! I get to meet my little man in 14 weeks or less!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

No Regrets

I ran across this the other day and it really tugged at my heart. One of my biggest fears is that my children will be all grown up and I will look back with some type, really any type of small regret. I am really striving to enjoy all the little moments that happen every single day.

"If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self esteem first and the house later
I'd finger paint more and point the finger less
I'd do less correcting and more connecting
I'd take my eyes off my watch and watch with my eyes
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites
I'd stop playing serious and seriously play
I'd run through more fields and gaze at more stars
I'd do more hugging and less tugging"

I just love this little girl and all the joy she brings to life!