Sunday, December 21, 2014

4 months

Nolan is 4 months old! Here is an update of what has happened this month.  He is growing like a weed! 

Weight Gain/Growth
Nolan's 4 month appointment is not until next week, but we did get him up on the scale and he is 15lbs 8oz.  Such a big boy!  He is in the 52% for weight He is getting a lot taller too, but no measurements on that.  Though he is getting taller, he is still on the shorter side (no idea where he gets that ;))  Short and stout, that is what Nolan is all about ;)

Sleep & Bedtime Routine
Nolan has been sleeping like a champ.  He will get up occasionally for a short nurse and then go back to bed.   He generally sleeps from 8pm-7:30am.  The cool think is no matter what time he wakes up to nurse (2am, 5am, 6:20) he is good to go until is 9am bottle.  He is so much more efficient with his nursing that it doesnt take long and it isnt to hard on mommy unless it is more than twice in a night....then she is a little sleepy (but still no complaints, I know we are extremely fortunate in the sleep department).

Nolan still isnt a fan of naps.  He will take a couple cat naps during the day and each person that watches him is coming up with little tricks that work to help him go down for a nap and nap longer....thought we are all still trying to figure that one out.  The only reason we are working so hard at getting him down for naps is we are worried that if his little body isnt getting at least close to the recommended 15 hours then his body cant grow and cells cant regenerate as they should.  That being said, if he is a happy boy we are happy parents.

Nolan decided last night that with being sick he likes to sleep in a swaddle again.  Who knew?!?  We only have newborn ones because once he didnt like them as a newborn I never looked at moving up in size.  We tried out the newborn one and his being short helped us out.  We got our (pretty much) 16lb boy into a 7-12 month sleep sack--and he slept like a champ after trying for 2 hours.  Swaddle Sac it is!  We are looking at borrowing the Poppe's that is larger, and if they dont have one, we are going to go purchase one.  Whatever makes you happy man.

Milestones & Likes

Nolan is doing great with his milestones.  He is super close to rolling.  Though he isnt rolling yet, it isnt because he cant.  He will do all the parts--back to side and side to stomach--but has no motivation to actually do all of them together.  I have dried putting toys just out of reach; he will reach realize he cant reach it and be entertained by something else.  On the plus side, he is a very happy baby!  We will keep working at it, but at the same time I know he will do it when he is ready.

He is really good at reaching out and grabbing things--and bringing them directly into his mouth.  Everything goes into his mouth.  His hand eye coordination is very good for his age.  

Nolan's favorite things to grab and put in his mouth are his Sophie the Giraffe, a rattle, mom's brand new teething silicone necklaces (bought just for that), his rings, and his burp rags (or any cloth).  Not sure why he loves the cloth, but Grandma always gave him one and he LOVES it!  He loves to chew it, cuddle it, and play with it.  Cheap, easy, can be found anywhere in a pinch, I like it.

Nolan LOVES to lay on the floor.  He can be under his play gym or on a plain blanket.  As long as he can lay he is singing, talking, and often yelling.  We have many important conversations while he is laying on the floor.

Nolan has been what we believe is teething. He is super drooly, all the time and not only puts everything in his mouth, but gnaws on it.  We have gotten him an amber bead necklace to help with that.  Not sure if it will help, but we also feel what can it hurt......

Nolan learned a pretty cool trick.  When sitting on the couch, he can use his abs to pull himself to sitting position, and then roll over. 

He is getting pretty good at sitting with minimal support (though it is still necessary, there is lots of tipping).
 Firsts-Big Events
Working in Catholic School I have many fun opportunities to include Nolan in my work and my daily life.  Besides an amazing staff that loves to have him come in and play with him, they are super supportive if he needs to come to staff meetings and such as well.  Nolan got to be "Sweet Baby Jesus" (Threw a Talidega Nights reference in there for Alex) for pictures of our school program.  Instead of having the little ones dress up AND try to sing, our preschool teacher that also does our program work with our 4k kids takes their pictures of them doing their parts and plays it while they are singing on Concert night. 

Nolan had his first Thanksgiving.  Before the festivities, Nolan took his first Thanksgiving pictures.
I also got a picture of all my boys-what I am most thankful for!
We got to celebrate by going to Grandma and Grandpa Gloudemans and enjoying a wonderful lunch, and then we went to aunt Deb's for dinner.  Nolan loved holding his cousin Charles' hand. Could cousins have any more different body types?!?!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is the annual Gloudemans Christmas party.  Nolan got to meet Santa, sit on his lap, and get his first gift from Santa.  With Anything Gloudemans style, it was a large event.  These are all of Alex's cousin's kids (second cousins).  All these kids are Nolans "generation" of Gloudemans.  So many already!

The first Sunday after Thanksgiving is always when we go get our Christmas Tree.  We go to Whispering Pines in Oconto and we cut down our own tree.  It was very different wearing Nolan this year, but so much fun!  I can't wait to keep this tradition up and let him tell all his friends about it when he is older!

This year, when we went to get our tree, we went with Brittany and Charles as well.  Brittany and Charles rode with Alex, Nolan, and I in our Equinox.  It was a tight fit, but Brittany was a trooper keeping the two occupied!
After cutting down our tree, we all went to dinner together.  Here is Nolan and Charles' first sleepover ;)
First time Nolan laughed while not being tickled.
St. Nick came and gave Nolan toys that he can grasp with his little fingers and chew on.  He loves them all!
We decorated the tree and we are all ready for Christmas at our house
We celebrated our third annual "Friendsgiving" this year.  It was held at our house.  There were so many little babies around it was adorable!
Found Daddy's glasses, lol
This is right about when Nolan started to not feel well.  Between the start of what we believe is teething and a cold coming on, he was kinda a grump.  Many of his pictures reflect that.  haha
A girl I went to highschool with is a photographer and she was doing photos with Santa by appointment (no lines!) and giving you the rights to your photos.  It felt like a no brainer....Then Nolan was in a mood....This is what most of our cd consisted of.....
We were able to get a couple of good ones, but this is just funny looking through how mad he is!

Nolan got to sit in his Bumbo chair all strapped in and in a chair with a back, two sides, and pushed all the way into the table to join us for dinner.  (Mommy is just a little precaution when it comes to Nolan sitting in his bumbo)

This was supposed to be a video of him rolling (I swear he was going to do it) but it turned into an adorable video of Badger playing with Nolan and Nolan beginning to notice Badger.

Santa came to the Vanden Heuvel Christmas as well!  Nolan got to sit with
Santa (and as long as he didnt have to let go of his rings he was happy to do it).  We took a family photo that he didn't cry for, and then he got a picture with all of all of Alex's cousin's kids (again).  Nolan was number 16-the one to balance Grandpa Ken's number of grand kids to great grandkids number.  Now we have Violet as well so there are 17 great
grandkids (Nolan's Generation).  The three oldest grandchildren helped out by holding the youngest three great-grandchildren. 

Sickness/ Therapies
Nolan has graduated from seeing our lactation consultant, his physical therapist, AND the speech and language therapist!!  We have a couple things to keep an eye out for and a couple things to keep working on on our own, but he did it!  Things are really going great with nursing and Nolan's use of his tongue, cheeks.  He is also looking left when he is on his back, sitting up, and on his stomach.  YAY Nolan!

Unfortunately, Nolan has his second ear infection and cold.  He was pretty miserable for 2 days and then when he got a low grade fever (100.4) I called the doctor.  They said ride it out and keep taking his temp.  If his temperature went to 101, his temperament changed or I just really wanted him looked at to call back.  When he went to bed, his temp was 100.9.  When he woke up he wouldn't stop crying and would occasionally kick out in pain.  His temp was back at 100.4.  I called the doctor at 7:59.  They automated voice came on only to be kicked off by it actually ringing as the clock struck 8 at the office.  We got him in for a normal appointment and sure enough it was an ear infection.  Antibiotics, Vitamin E for his ears (he gets a lot of wax build up and not being able to use a Q-tip makes it hard to see in his hears so the vitamin E is supposed to help break up the wax naturally.  He is on the mend.

Oh, and he has insurance for all of it.  Boy oh Boy is that a story; a long story.  You may want to save it for another day, but HERE it is.

Insurance--"Yes, we want to keep him"

Now that we have things figured out I am more comfortable talking about it.   For a few months (months 2 & 3) of Nolan's life, he didnt have health insurance.  Why did he have it for the first month and then not for 2 months after that, you ask?  Well let me explain.

 I am not going to lie, when it first happened it was so scary as well as embarrassing I chose not to share this information with a lot of people.  How could we not know what to do to insure our child?  What kind of people cant figure it out?  Us, that's who.

Before Nolan was born we looked up how to insure our child.  We were told he would be automatically enrolled when he was born by the hospital.  Great.  We wouldn't have to do anything, he was covered.  Fast forward to the day of Nolan's birth.  The hospital takes his information, we ask about insurance and they said they filed everything.  Perfect. Two days later we go to his 2 day check up in the office.  We give them our insurance, they take it, record it, and say have a great day.  He sees the doctor, he is doing great, and then we go home.  We get the bill a couple weeks later, it went through insurance.  Great.

Fast forward to Nolan being 6 weeks old.  He is suffering from a cold and is not feeling well.  We make an appointment and he goes to the doctor.  They take his insurance card, check us in, and away we go.  "Yes, he has an ear infection, where do you want his prescription sent?"  We send the prescription to Alex's work and then head there to pick it up.  15 minute drive.  Half way there we get a text from one of the pharmacy technicians--to their boss mind you--"You have no insurance on your child."  We call insurance company to find out what is going on (from the parking lot of the Walgreens). They tell us that Nolan was dropped as of September 20 (the day before he turned 1 month).  Wait, what?!?

It turns out the hospital automatically enrolls them for the first month but then you need to call and verify your child.  Apparently, you need to call the insurance company and tell them that child you had automatically enrolled, yeah you want to keep him.  Oh, and they are not going to send you any letter telling you this, telling you how to say you want to keep him or even a letter telling you they are dropping him.  I digress.

She takes all of our information (a couple times apparently she is deaf and needs everything repeated a million times) and says she got Nolan enrolled.  It may take a couple days to take effect. No big deal it's $10 for his meds;  We will pay cash for it and figure out insurance later.....

Nolan goes to his 2 month appointment just fine.  "Can we have your insurance card?"  "Sure, his name is not on it, but here you go.  We should be getting the one with his name on it soon."  This was where we decided to go see the physical therapist for Nolan's torticollis, the lactation consultant for his frequent feedings, and then the Speech & Language for his dysfunctional suck.

We called insurance to make sure that Speech and Language was covered. "Yes, our company covers those services, but we don't have record of this child you speak of.  We only have Siraya and Alex covered."  Alex explains the hiccup back 2 weeks ago-the first week of October.  They tell us, "That lady enrolled Nolan in 2015 benefits.  You have no insurance for this year."  Alex had already enrolled him online for benefits 2 weeks ago online like he was supposed to...that lady did it for a second time.  She obviously didn't know what she was doing.  Ok, we aren't going to panic.  "What do we have to do get him enrolled for THIS YEAR?" Apparently you need to file an appeal form telling them why you failed to meed the first 30 days after a life changing event deadline and why they should insure you.  Great.  "Ok, how do we get that form."  "We will mail you that form, but know after we mail the form it could take 30 days for us to make our decision." ugh.

3 weeks later, no form yet. What the heck?!? Time is ticking.  We haven't even gotten the form yet and it is going to take 30 days after that. This year is going to be over!  Call benefits center again.  Where is our form?!?!  "We send our form requests to a third party. When they get our request, they process it, and then they send us the form. There is nothing we can do to speed up the process because it is not ours to speed up."  Ugh beginning to hate you all.

2 weeks later, this is insane. Get us our dumb form!  Call again.  "oh, the form was sent to your live well benefits secure email back 5 weeks ago when you made the first call.....I have no idea why they told you it was coming in the mail.  So sorry for the mix up though."

Alex logs into his account and sure enough, there it is.  The coveted form, in his inbox for  weeks while we anxiously awaited a certified letter in our real mailbox.  OMG is it a 100* in here because I am so angry!  Ok, calm down, fill out the form, and fax it out today.  Get this process moving!

Finally, the letter comes (in paper form in our mailbox).  Your son has been accepted.  You have health insurance for your child. Phew.  Ok breathe.  Thats good because we just got the bill for a doctors appointment for an ear infection with no insurance, 2 month shots and appointment, 4 therapy sessions with the lactation consultant, 4 visits with the physical therapist, and 4 visits with S&L.

Two weeks later we get a letter from the "employment benefits dependent varification office."  Apparently they need a birth certificate to prove we were eligible to add him.  We copy the birth certificate and fax it that day.  Today, on the day that marks 4 months since Nolan's birth, we got a paper letter that everything is approved and he is for sure insured for 2014.  (It is December 21).

Why could that dependent verification department not send a simple little letter just as they did now and say, if you want to keep your child on your insurance that was automatically enrolled, please send a copy of his birth certificate.  We could have.  We would have.

Why didn't the first lady know what she was doing?  Why did we sit in that parking lot for 45 mins enrolling him in something he was already enrolled in?  If you are enrolling him in 2015, doesnt that mean we want to keep in him 2014?

Why did nobody know how this letter was coming to us TWICE?  We could have filled it out that day.  We would have.

So, moral of the long long long story time.  If you have a child and they are automatically enrolled, call your place of employment's benefit center and tell them you "...want to keep that child that just showed up on your insurance coverage; we love him, he is really ours, we really have a ton going on and we are super tired, but please let us keep him on our insurance so we can give him all the medical things he needs from therapy to vaccinations. Please and thank you."

End Rant.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pinterest Syndrome

I have what I am going to dub "Pinterest Syndrome."  I have found this "syndrome" to be rough during Nolan's first year, but I have found it to be particularly rough during his first Chirstmas/Holidays.

I look at pinterest and see all these perfect families, kid created crafts, photos, and table/party settings.  I strive to be that mom--and the perfect teacher I see as well.  I want to look like I have it all together, like I can do it all--and be back at work having it all together there too. 

Through stressing myself to tears, many phone calls to my mom, nights being held by Alex all because I felt like I was failing Nolan and myself, I have discovered I have "Pinterest syndrome."  I have the illusion of what is perfect all while knowing deep down it is unobtainable--but still feeling like a failure when I can't make it all happen in my own home.  Turns out, I am not alone. 

"Today" did a study, and found that almost half of moms have "pinterest stress."  Another article I read stated that a mom was disappointed in her kids art due to pinterest.

I hosted my first holiday party yesterday-my friends' annual "Friendsgiving." I stressed myself to the max trying to find the right table decor, coordinating places, placemats, placecards and more.  I just felt like I could not get this right.  Finally the day came and It was going to have to be "good enough."  It went incredibly well, but then, when putting Nolan to bed, I realized we never got a family picture. I was crushed to the point of tears because I couldn't show him a picture of his first "friendsgiving" when he is older.

Today, I opened facebook and found an article shared by a friend.  Mommy's First Christmas talks about how nothing else matters than this is a mommy's first Christmas and all baby needs is you-you are the best gift you can give your baby.  This article made me cry, but not the tears I have been shedding for the past few weeks. Reading this totally makes up for the lack of picture and makes me fall even deeper in love with my "best gift ever."

So I sit here while Nolan is finally napping after beginning to what we think is teeth at only 3 1/2 months  and look at my tree, look at my toy strewn living room, and realize I have it all.  I have a little boy that last Christmas (after months of sadness and a depression over taking so long to get pregnant-Story here) I had just discovered I was going to have. My little boy is healthy when we had some scares he many not be when I was pregnant.  My husband is there to hold me and support me when I am being ridiculously hard on myself, I have a mom who helps me stay sane, vent, watch Nolan, offer advice, run errands for me, and even come hold Nolan and coach me through making my first turkey.  I have a home to love my family in.  I have it all--even if I don't have it all together.  I just need to internalize all this. 

I am the perfect mom, wife, and teacher, because I am the mom, wife and teacher that everyone needs to be--not the one I picture in the picturesque world of pinterest.

If you, too, have "Pinterest Syndrome" please try to step back, look at all you do have, and maybe log off of pinterest for a short while.  You are perfect because you are you.  Keep up the good work.  Nice Job.  Thanks for all you do.  And you have a beautiful home, family, and life.  Remember that.