The Farrells

The Farrells
Matt, Nicki, Owen and Nora live in the San Francisco Bay area. Matt is a research analyst at CBRE and is loving his job. Nicki spends her time playing with Owen and Nora, reading, crafting, and taking lots of pictures. Owen loves to read, sing, throw toys, and quote movies. Nora is growing quickly and loves to be the center of attention. We have a wonderful life!

About Me


Friday, April 27, 2012

A quick update and some life lessons...

No pictures. Sorry for those of you who live far away. :) Here's a quick update: Nora's screaming is not much better. We've tried gripe water, gas drops, I tried cutting out dairy, and now she's been prescribed medicine for acid reflux. The medicine worked great for the first two days or so - she was a completely different baby. Easy to calm down, much more awake time, much more happy time... though since she's only learned to go to sleep while we're holding her, bedtime was still rough. However, the medicine has started to make her constipated. The poor little girl never really calms down - she's constantly on the edge of crying. She doesn't ever sleep very well, which means she has no schedule. She doesn't take consistent naps, she doesn't go to bed or wake up at a consistent time, etc. Last night she didn't go to bed until 1:30AM. The rest of us, as you can imagine, are pretty wiped out. And our house has been completely forgotten about. In fact, I'm pretty sure Owen currently doesn't have a single pair of pants that are not dirty. It's rough seeing Nora in so much pain all the time. She should be learning, discovering her hands and toys, making lots of sounds, and looking all around at whatever interests her. Instead, she has about 5-10 minutes of happy time in between several hours of fussiness or screaming. Owen has been such a great kid through all of this - he loves to help, he loves to kiss Nora and hold her, he is constantly giving me hugs and (my most favorite recent thing he does) picking wildflowers from outside to bring to me. He's totally willing to read or color or play by himself while I try to calm Nora down. I couldn't ask for a better little boy.

Our next plan is to go back to Nora's doctor and discuss options... we may try taking her off of everything (no gas drops, no acid reflux meds, etc.) and seeing where that gets us. He may also refer us to a pediatric gastroenterologist, to see if they can help her.

So.... what have I learned from all of this? That it's ok for someone to help out. With Owen, I never felt like I had it bad enough that I should be allowed to ask for help (does that make sense?). He was such an easy baby most of the time that when I really needed a break I felt like people would think I was crazy for asking. I also felt embarrassed that my house wasn't always clean or my dishes always done when people came over, so didn't want to ask for help with Owen and have them see my messy house. I'm a very independent person anyway, and prefer to handle things myself. This time, it seems like we have needed exponentially more help than last time. We have lots of family close, and they are totally willing to take Owen or take Nora (even when she's screaming... thank you!!) when we really need a break. We've also had lots of family over to help us clean or even just to let me take a nap for an hour. In addition, we have an awesome ward - it really is like a tight-knit family - that has been so helpful. So many people have brought us food or baby things, or offered to have Owen over for a playdate, or taken Nora from me so I didn't have to stand and bounce her all the way through church or through an activity. And so the most important thing I've learned: I still don't like to ask for help (though I'm getting much better at it). But now, when people offer, I accept. Which made me realize that instead of waiting till people ask for help, I need to offer what I can, because though they may need it, they may never ask for help.

Anyway. Sorry for the lack of pictures and the general grumpiness of this post. There may not be a whole lot of posting or pictures in the next couple of weeks. We're hoping to get Nora all sorted out, and once that happens, we really need some serious family time. Our cute little Owen boy needs to have lots of mom and dad time, since all he gets now is half of my attention while Nora is screaming in my other arm, or the 20 or so minutes when I can get her to sleep during the day, plus whatever Matt has left over after helping me in the middle of the night with a screaming baby and then going to work all day.

Thanks so much to all our family who have been helping us - we love and appreciate all of you guys, and are so grateful that we're able to live so close. We'll try to post updates when things improve.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The first six weeks...

Here's the update on our little miss. Her hair has lightened up considerably since she was born, and we think it may have a bit of red in it, but we'll just have to wait it out and see. She's got Owen's mouth and chin, and definitely looks a lot like Owen did as a baby. She has bigger cheeks and a differently shaped head than he had, but we think she's going to look a lot like him as she gets older. She's got lots of dimples, including one on her chin, just like Owen. She loves to be held and cuddled, and especially to be wrapped up and held tightly. In fact, we can hardly put her down all day long, which means we've gotten really good at doing things one-handed. :)

She's had tummy problems pretty much since day one. She has a lot of gas, and is difficult to burp. We've finally found a product that seems to work - we give her gas drops every time she eats, and it helps her get all the bubbles out of her tummy. In addition to having tummy troubles, she is not very good at soothing herself or getting herself to sleep. We've had a couple weeks of her screaming for several hours usually in the afternoon or evening, and difficulty getting her to sleep (even though she's exhausted). We're finally seeing some improvement (due to the gas drops and also to the fact that she's getting older and finally learning that it's ok to go to sleep), but we've still got a ways to go before she mellows out. I have a feeling she'll never be as mellow a baby as Owen was. We don't have nearly as many pictures of her as we do of Owen, mostly because we spend most of our time trying to sooth her.

She is beginning to smile and to make sounds. She's got a great smile that shows off all her dimples, but we're still working on getting a picture of it. She is a pretty clean baby - she doesn't spit up a whole lot, especially compared to Owen who was the spit-up king. We are really happy about that. :) Despite the major lack of sleep, we love this little girl and are so grateful for her. Owen loves her so much and is a great big brother.

Waiting for a bath. 

Skinny little legs.

Caught a smile while she was sleeping.

Funny crossover toes just like Owen's.

Check out those cheeks!

Owen making his crayons talk to each other. :)

Watching movies on the computer.

First real bath in the bathtub!

Owen in the middle of his running commentary during Nora's bath.

Love this crazy kid.

Nora's first Sunday, 10 days old. This is pretty much the only picture  she didn't scream in.

....and this is O-boy, 30 seconds after church. :)

We took a couple days off and went with my parents to Monterey.

Owen and Matt built a great sandcastle.

Nora's first trip to the beach. Hanging out with my mom.

Almost done! Decorating the castle.

All done!

No trip to Monterey would be complete without a trip to First Awakenings for breakfast. :)

My cute mom and dad.

Catching a caterpillar in the ocean house.

Exploring the "rocky beach" with Owen.

Nora's first secret hideout experience.

Love these two squishies.

This is how Owen feels about Nora's screaming.

Trying to get another cute church dress picture....

Nora is definitely fatter than Owen. We love her big cheeks and double chin. :)

She's really good at eating everything.

....and this is what the little miss looks like most of the time. :(

This cutey boy has gotten much better at Lego building in the past few weeks.

I am so grateful for my little family. These past few weeks have been tough trying to figure out Nora's tummy issues and calm her screaming, but I have the best husband in the world - he is so helpful and always willingly and cheerfully takes a screaming baby when I can't do it anymore. In fact, most days he's better at calming her than I am. He also took a day off of work this week and let me sleep as much as I could when I got so exhausted that I made myself sick. I love him so much. I'm also grateful for my sweet little Owen. He's so good at entertaining himself and he is so patient and helpful. Nora is slowly getting better, and I am excited to have a sweet happy baby rather than a sweet screaming baby. :)