Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Our Squeaky Little Lady

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me "does she always make that noise?" could possibly pay off my student loans and be a stay at home mom. Charlotte have always been a noisy baby, but I guess that I don't really even pay much attention any more. I asked about it once while she was in the hospital, and no one really seemed to be very concerned.

WELL, yesterday Charlotte had an appointment with Dr. Sami and everyone seemed to take notice to our squeaky little lady. Mind you, I've been to Dr. Sami's office quite a few times, and I'm pretty sure that she was just as squeaky then as she was today!

Apparently Charlotte has something called laryngomalacia.

Laryngomalacia ("soft larynx") is a very common condition of infancy, in which the soft cartilage of the upper larynx collapses inward during inhalation, causing an airway obstruction.

Just like they said in the hospital, its nothing to be concerned about and most kiddos will grow out of it by the time they hit the 6 month mark. Charlotte is a pretty good example as she gets louder when she is excited/stimulated and quiets down when she is rolled to her tummy. Who knew!

I have a little video so that you can hear her little noise...but am still trying to figure out how to get it loaded here. Hopefully it will work and I'll get it posted soon!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yay Maybe!

Today we are celebrating a VERY special day in the Ritchie house! July 27th is our first baby's birthday!

You are a WONDERFUL dog (even though you like to bark from time to time) and we are so happy that you came to be a part of our family. Thank you for being such a good big sister to Charley and Stella! We all love you VERY MUCH!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Musils come to visit

Not a lot of time to post today, but I wanted to share a few pictures from this weekend! Aunt Jill, Uncle Jay and the crazy cousins Jack and Owen came up and spent part of the weekend with us. Since you had to be a certain age to visit patients at Children's, Jack and Owen had only known little Charlotte through pictures and stories. This weekend they finally got to meet her and even got to hold her! It was a great weekend with great weather and a good time was had by all.

Our red-headed beauty...there's no denying it!
I love her scrunched up little face in this one!
Owen was so excited to hold "Baby Chuck"
Jack and Charlotte
Is that a little grin I see??

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Meet our son, Chuck

Ahhhh the weekend. Its nice to have a little break and a helping hand here during the day so that I can get a few things done uninterrupted! Friday night I got a full 7 hours of sleep and woke up refreshed and ready to go. I got up, showered and decided that I was going to run a few errands without baby in tow. I went and got some gorgeous flowers at the farmers market, hit up a roadside produce stand and stocked us up on groceries. About an hour and a half later I came home to find this....

In less than 12 hours our little Charlotte was transformed from a girlie girl with a dress and barrette, to a tom boy that I have been calling Chuck. She's sporting the official daddy spiked hairdo, a football shirt and yellow shorts to make her an official Packer fan. Nothing like a little Daddy-Charlotte time to start off the weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Calm after the storm

So two days ago when I posted I was exhausted, both mentally and physically. I learned that when you normally have a happy baby, the not-so-happy days seem like the world is crumbling around you! Well, I feel like I need to update on the second half of the day to serve as a reminder that while there will be rough days, its all worth it in the end.

My last post ended with little Charlotte sleeping soundly on the couch. Well, approximately 5 seconds after I posted it, she was up and ready to go again! NOT A GOOD ENOUGH NAP. So we were back at it, tears and all until I finally got her settled again and back to sleep. All it took was mommy to snuggle up with her and take a much needed nap of her own!

After about an hour nap and a successful bottle, things were finally turning around for our little lady. We were sitting on the couch enjoying our happy time when it happened. Little Charlotte decided to reward me with her first REAL smile! At that moment, I forgot about how tired I was. I forgot about how I had wanted to pull my hair out earlier in the day. All that I cared about in that moment was that gummy grin and squinty eyes. Then I cried. It was a tired, happy, I'm so thrilled to be a mommy to this little girl cry. Its amazing how something as little as a smile can totally turn a day around. I think that she knew I needed one at that moment because since then she's only given us little smirks.

Thank you Charlotte for making your 2 month birthday one that I will never forget.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy 2 month birthday, crabby pants!

So today I found myself wondering, can the terrible 2's possibly be referring to 2 months rather than 2 years?!? I was all excited to have a Mommy-Charley 2 month birthday party today, but someone wanted nothing to do with it. The first eight hours of our day were filled with crying, screaming, a blueberry baby, fighting with bottles, spitting up what she did eat and MAYBE an hour of sleep. This is totally not my little Charley who usually only cries when she is sleepy! We've been trying to add formula into her all breast milk diet, and after being doused with projectile spit-up for the second time today, I'm convinced that she's just not having it. Maybe we need to ease her into it a little more slowly? I'm hoping thats the case any way.

So, rather than a cute 2 month picture with her all dolled up in the clothes that she can FINALLY fit into, we get a picture of her cashed out on the couch...finally asleep.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Words of wisdom #1

What better use for this blog than to pass on stories and advice to our little girl. We are planning to have made into a book at some point so that we can go back and tell Charlotte her "story" when she's old enough to understand. I hope that by reading our words and the comments left by others, that she will realize how special and loved she is.

Up to this point I have just used this site to share my thoughts and to update everyone on the happenings in our lives. Today, however, I've decided to use it as a place to leave little words of wisdom for Charlotte as she grows. Some may be silly, but I thought that it would be fun.

Words of Wisdom #1: Always make time to dance in the kitchen.

Ever since Matt and I got our first apartment together 4 years ago, we have been kitchen dancing. It usually starts out with a hug while making dinner, and the dance part just kind of happens. Sometimes we sing. Sometimes we hum. Sometimes we just dance in silence. Like I said, its kind of silly, but a kitchen dance can always lift my spirits. Charlotte and I had our first kitchen dance this weekend and I took the opportunity to give her some advice...I let her know that if she ever meets a man that won't dance in the kitchen with her, he probably isn't worth her time!

Here is a new picture of Charlotte. We had a pediatrician appointment yesterday. She topped the scales at 7 pounds 11 ounces (3%) and was 21 inches (10%). Dr. Elliott is pleased with how she is doing and doesn't want to see her back until her 4 month well visit!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our "One-month-aversary"

Today is a good day. A day to be thankful. A day to feel extremely blessed. Today officially marks 4 weeks...ONE WHOLE MONTH...since Charlotte and I got to come home to Sioux Falls. I can't believe how quickly time is passing! It has certainly been a busy month for us, but life is good and Charlotte is doing better than I could have ever expected. She is eating like a champ, officially crossing the 7 1/2 pound mark, and sleeps now for 4 hours stretches at night. We are still getting her up to eat, but most nights she's already wide eyed by the time my alarm goes off. She is doing so well that if it weren't for the medication, daily weights and O2 sats, I would probably forget that there was anything wrong with her! Like I said, life is good. We are thankful. We are blessed.

While our little Charlotte continues to amaze us with her strength on a daily basis, there are kiddos and families out there currently struggling through their heart journey. I follow a number of these families through blogs like our own or through Care Pages and this past week I came upon a particularly hard one. Its about a little boy named Luke who was born with hypoplastic left heart. His short life has been a roller coaster thus far and its been said that he needs a miracle to pull through. As I read the words of his parents I am amazed by their strength and unwaivering faith. The following is a little blurb from their blog that I could totally relate to and I couldn't have put it any better...

"He is the most perfect little baby. I keep picturing what he would look like with all of those tubes and wires off of him and what it would be like to be at home with him right now. I think of his nursery and bassinet sitting beside our bed and sitting at home on the couch with him in my arms. I think of how things should be - and it breaks my heart. He is everything I ever dreamed of and I would give anything in this world for him to be a perfect, healthy little boy. I know that we are going through this for a reason and that God is in control but when you sit where we sit every minute of the day watching nurses do everything they can to save your baby's life - it really begins to wear you down. I wish that I could be the mom that I always dreamed of being to Luke right now. I wish I could change his diapers and sit up all night and rock him to sleep. I wish I could just hold him and tell him its all going to be okay. I know God chose us for this and I have a real peace inside, but that doesn't mean that our hearts don't hurt."

Please keep this family, and all families out there with sick children in your prayers. We hope and pray that some day soon, they too will be celebrating their "One-Month-Aversary" at home.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 4th, 2010


Our day started out with a bath. Charlotte was having very special visitors later in the day and wanted to look (and smell) her best! She just recently started to "like" baths, so it has made it a much more enjoyable process for Matt and I as well. Thanks for the bath sling Aunt Angie!

Nam-Nam and Pop-Pop (names given to Grandma and Grandpa Ritchie by my oh so creative husband) and Uncle Abe came to visit in the afternoon. They hadn't seen Charlotte since we came home 3 weeks ago, so there was a lot of catching up to do, and as always, lots of pictures to take. It was great to spend the day with them and a nice relaxing way to spend the holiday. Charlotte decided to skip the fireworks this year and opted for a night in and a movie with mom and dad. It was a good day none the less!

I realized that we didn't have any family pictures since the one we took the day before Charlotte's very first heart surgery. IT WAS ABOUT TIME!

Charlotte got a new hat and was obviously exhausted by the day!!

We hope that you all had a happy and safe 4th as well. Summer is going WAY too quickly!