Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sleep Apnea?

Kayley's 3 year well check started off pretty good.  Before we walked in, I showed her a sucker in my purse and told her she could have it if she was good while we were at the doctor.  She was very well behaved while we were there.  :-)

Kayley weighed in at 29 lbs and she was 36.5 inches tall.  Those numbers put her right at the 30th percentile.  Her pediatrician was fine with those numbers because she has been on that growth curve for awhile.  I was kind of surprised that she was only in the 30th percentile for height.  She seemed taller to me.  Guess not! 

We talked a lot about her development and she seems to be right where she needs to be.  We have always been concerned about how she is developing and learning.  We are still working on some shapes and she still occasionally calls something green that is red.  If you can tell these things at age 3 and 4, Drew will be our studious child and Kayley will be the one we are always after to study and get her homework done!  And I don't mean that I think Kayley won't be smart, she just has lots of other things she would rather be doing!

Then we talked about potty training.  He asked Kayley how potty training is going and she did her famous little smirk.  She moved her head like she was going to look down at her feet and then she looked at him with her head still down and had this little grin on her face.  She knows EXACTLY what she is doing!  I am convinced Kayley has "accidents" on purpose.  Trying to get our attention?  I guess, but we give her tons of praise when she stays dry!  Her accidents occur mostly at daycare.  She went an entire week at Mom and Dad's and didn't have any accidents.  First day back at daycare, two accidents.  When you ask her about them when you pick her up, she just smiles and is very excited to show you her new shorts.  She'll say something like, "Yeah, I peed in my pants.  Look Mommy, my shorts have stars on them!!"  We have tried almost everything with this child.  She does not care.  I did get her attention when I told her that it was ok that she peed in her pants, it just means she isn't ready to be a big girl yet and we would go back to diapers.  Oh boy, she got upset and said she won't pee in her pants anymore.  We'll see.

Then he asked if I had any concerns.  We have noticed for awhile now that Kayley either snores or breathes very loudly through her mouth when she sleeps.  She slept on the floor in my parents' bedroom the week she stayed there and she was so loud that my Dad got up and slept in another room.  I have noticed when I have walked into her room at night that sometimes her breathing seems irregular.  She will have pauses where she isn't breathing.  He looked in her mouth and remarked that she has huge tonsils.  We knew that from one other time she was sick and the doctor made the comment about how large they were, but she wasn't having any problems so nobody was very concerned about it.  He also asked if she is restless in her sleep and if she moves around a lot.  Kayley is never in the same position for very long.  He thinks she has sleep apnea and referred us to an ENT to discuss a T&A and any other options.  We certainly don't want to put her through surgery unless we need to, but after reading about all the negative things associated with sleep apnea, we are more open to it. 

I have always associated sleep apnea with adults so I came home from the pediatrician and read the materials he gave us and then went to work on google to find some more information.  (Doctors have to hate that we do that!)  Anyway, we looked through the symptoms of sleep apnea in children and we could check the box next to almost each one.  One additional thing I didn't mention to the pediatrician because it has always been like this, is that Kayley's voice has always sounded nasally to me.  I have always thought they nicked her vocal cords when they intubated her in the NICU or something.  But, in my less than thorough google research, I have come across several sites that mention a nasal sounding voice as a side effect of large tonsils.  That would explain a lot if it is true. 

So the next step is to go to the ENT and see what he thinks.  Maybe she will simply outgrow it in the next few weeks! 

Here are a few pictures from a few months ago.  They show her personality perfectly though.

She has got moves!

Telling me exactly what she thinks

They do everything together!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Iowa Ladies Football Academy

Best day ever!!  Maybe not ever (wedding and birth of two kids), but this was a lot of fun!  If you are a fan of Hawkeye football and female, you need to consider participating next year!  One of my best friends from law school, Mindy, and I spent from 4pm to after 9:30pm on Saturday with Kirk Ferentz, Ken O'Keefe, Marvin McNutt, Keenan Davis, Marcus Coker, Mike Daniels and the rest of the staff and many of the players.  The purpose of the event was to raise money for the University of Iowa Children's Hospital.  Each participant had to pay a $50 participation fee and raise $300.  I thanked each of you individually, but a HUGE thank you to my family and friends who donated on my behalf!  Most of you also donated to the March of Dimes for Kayley's team so your additional support for this great cause means that much more to me!  The event raised $150,000 for the Children's Hospital!!  Surpassed all expectations and set the bar high for next year!

So, what did we do at the Iowa Ladies Football Academy?  Here was our schedule and a description of what we did:
  • 3:45 - 5:00   Check In
  • 4:00 - 5:00   Kinnick Experience (Kinnick Field)
    • Game Day Experience and Stadium Tours  - We loaded busses on the side of Kinnick and simulated the ride the team takes before every home game from Cedar Rapids to Kinnick.  Casey McMillan was our tour guide for the short bus ride around the stadium.  He told us about the bus ride from Cedar Rapids (no talking...not even whispering (this would be very hard for me)) and the arrival in front of the stadium exactly 2 hours before kick-off.  We got off the bus and were greeted by David Raih.  He took us on the walk the players take into the stadium.  Like the football players do, we all touched Nile Kinnick's helmet on our way in.  Then we went into the Hawkeyes locker room where LeVar Woods was waiting for us.  He talked to us about what it is like in the locker room on game days and we watched a short video of Coach Ferentz giving a pre-game talk (it is the opening video on  Then it was time to head out to the field.  We walked out of the locker room and saw the sign each player jumps and hits on his way out to the field ("Break the Rock").  We saw the cameras used to show the players on the jumbotron while they are coming down the tunnel.  Then we ran out to the field.  The rest of the time until 6pm we were own our own to walk around to the various stations described below. 
    • Quarterback Challenge - We tried to throw through targets.  Mindy has a future as quarterback.  I do not. 
    • Date with a Hawk - While we hoped that we would be able to sign up for dates with the players (just kidding, Andy), this was an opportunity to get posters with the 2011 schedule signed by players and Coach Ferentz. 
    • Tackling Takedown - This might have been the funniest one.  Picture women running at full speed and tackling a dummy onto a soft landing pad.  See the picture of Mindy below.  Several women fell before they even got to the dummy.
    • Hot Hands/Pat and Go - One of the best of the Kinnick Experience!  We got to run routes and catch passes from Marvin McNutt, Keenan Davis, Jordan Cotton and Brad Herman.  If I weren't so slow, I could have a future as a wide receiver...I didn't drop a pass all day (nevermind that the longest pass was maybe 20 yards)!  This station also included some running back action.  Marcus Coker, De'Andre Johnson and Jason White taught us the 5 points of contact when carrying the football and then we took handoffs from them and they had us do touchdown celebrations.   Mindy's celebrations were good...I better stick with the wide receivers.
    • Rules of the Game - I thought I knew a lot about football, but we learned a few things from some officials.  I did not know what the blue thing is that they hold in their hands (used to signal that a fumble occurred).  I also didn't know what the black band around their wrist is for (they move it to a different finger each down).  And I got the number of officials wrong.  I said 6 (and that was my second guess).  It is 7. 
    • Kicking Challenge - We attempted a field goal and a punt.  Not trying to brag, but I could have a future as a punter.  On the other hand, I will never make fun of another missed field goal.  I was terrible!  Andy will be disappointed to hear this.  Mindy could be a kicker though - she hit the crossbar so she was very close!  I didn't see her kick though - I was too busy laughing at how horrible I was. 
    • Football Dress Up - Mindy and I didn't have time to do this one, but they had a station where you could get dressed up in full pads and uniform.  We'll do it next year!
  • 6:00 - 8:30   Clinic (Kinnick Field)
    • Welcome and Introductions - Coach Ferentz greeted all the ladies and introduced all of his coaches.  The position coaches then introduced us to their players.  The ladies were going nuts!
    • Swarm - After the introductions, the players and the ladies all walked back through a tunnel toward the locker room and got ready to do the swarm.  We walked down the tunnel to Back In Black blaring in the stadium just like game days.  Then Enter Sandman started playing and, just like for games, the jumbotrons were playing the video with the Iowa equipment semi running into opposing team's logos.  Then we swarmed the field with the players.  That was one of my favorite moments!
    • Stretching and Position Drills  - We were split into 8 groups for the stetching and positioning drills.  We did some of the pregame stretches and warm-ups with the players.  Then we started with the position drills.  Mindy and I were with the defensive backs first.  Coach Parker walked us through some drills he uses with the players to teach them how to back peddle correctly and change direction quickly.  Our second station was tight ends.  Coach Johnson taught us some of the more common routes the tight ends at Iowa run.  The third station was Coach Campbell and the wide receivers.  This station was my favorite.  It didn't hurt that I was catching passes from Marvin McNutt and Mindy was catching passes from Keenan Davis.  And Marvin taught us the move the wide receivers do when they celebrate a good catch - they high five and then bump their hips.  Marvin and I did that 3 times.  What can I say, I had some good catches!  :-)  Then we moved on to the offensive line and Coach Morgan.  Adam Gettis, Woody Orne, Markus Zusevics, James Ferentz and Casey McMillan showed us how to properly line up and get off the line quickly.  Mindy played center.  If you know Mindy at all, you know she would never be the center.  She was quite good though!  Next up were the linebackers.  Coach Wilson may be my favorite coach.  He is funny and we laughed through most of this station.  But, we learned some important techniques too!  Our 6th station was Ken O'Keefe and quarterbacks.  He talked to us about the snap count (or cadence as some people call it).  Then he had A.J. Derby do a snap count to test us.  He wanted us to clap when it was time to get off the line.  This was much harder than it sounds, but Mindy and I caught on quickly.  As a group, we did not.  Lots of penalties for us!  Then we moved to running backs.  Coach Erb had us do a fun drill where we pulled on the player's jersey and tried to make them fumble while they ran.  Then on the way back they did the same to us.  Mindy had Marcus Coker and I had De'Andre Johnson.  We didn't make them fumble, but they didn't make us fumble either!  As De'Andre and I watched Mindy and Marcus, De'Andre was impressed with Mindy and called her "feisty"!  The last station was the defensive line and Coach Kaczenski.  Mike Daniels showed us how to get by opponents by slapping their arm down and then pushing them with your other hand or pushing them first and then pulling your arm up through theirs.  We had a lot of fun with this group! 
  • 8:30 - 9:00   Strength and Conditioning Instruction (Iowa Football Weight Room) - The last session was in the weight room with Coach Doyle.  He talked to us a little bit about the program and then had C.J. Fiedorowicz bench press.  He had C.J. up to about 250 pounds and some women were concerned he was going to get hurt, but Coach Doyle smiled and said this wasn't hard for C.J.!  Then he had Mike Daniels do some squats.  The weight room is HUGE!
  • 9:00 - 9:30   Closing Ceremony, Awards and Drawings (The Bubble Indoor Practice Facility) - We ended the evening in the indoor practice facility.  It was really cool to be in there, but I am not going to lie, it smelled like a sweaty boys' locker room!  They practice hard in there!  Mary Ferentz gave out awards for the top fundraisers and there was a drawing for additional prizes (one of which was a cardboard cutout of Coach Ferentz!).  Mindy didn't win anything, but I won my name tag back that I dropped at some point during the event!  As I mentioned above, we raised $150,000 for the Children's Hospital!  Wow! 
The players and coaches were very friendly and seemed to really enjoy teaching us (and I think the players enjoyed the attention!) and the volunteers put on an amazing event!  The University of Iowa has always been, and continues to be, a very special place and Coach Ferentz has an outstanding group of players and coaches! 
Getting ready to do the walk into the stadium

One area of the HUGE locker room

Mindy is excited to be on the field!

Just a few of our new friends
McNutt, Cotton, Herman and Davis

Mindy showing everyone how to tackle

Mindy with the running backs

Date with a Hawk - they were teasing us
with the title of this one!

Mindy and Marcus Coker


Me and Coach Ferentz

A few of the players getting ready for introductions

Mindy and Marvin McNutt just
hanging out before the swarm

Coach Doyle
 On our way to the weight room

Weight room

The Bubble Indoor Practice Facility

Coach Ferentz
Our swag - towel, name tag, notecards,
poncho, t-shirt, gymsack and poster

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Happy Father's Day!!

    Happy Father's Day to my Dad, my husband, my father-in-law and my brother's-in-law (and all the other great dads out there)!  We were able to see my Dad and my father-in-law last weekend in Iowa when we were celebrating Kayley's birthday.  I also had a nice chat on the phone with my Dad this morning. 
    Andy started his day early with a 6:30am tee time (YIKES!) and then came home to work in the yard.  I spoiled him a little and picked him up Jimmy John's for lunch.  :-)  My Mom and the kids arrived around 1:30pm and we spent the afternoon playing with some very wound up kids.  They had a great time at the farm this past week, but they were very excited to be home with all of their toys.  Drew wanted to take Andy to his favorite (Drew's favorite) pizza place - Mickie's Pizzeria in Dunlap.  The pizza is good, but Drew likes it because they have one of those claw games with candy in it called Candy Town.  You pay a quarter and see how much candy you can get.  The only reason the kids love that place!  Then we came home and Andy is currently taking his turn trying to get a screaming Kayley to bed.  Ah, it is good to have the kids home! 

    The kids spent the week in Iowa.  So far I have heard that they spent hours outside in Grandma's swimming pool (inflatable pool with a water slide...little different than our pool in Phoenix!), drove the golf cart all over the farm, spent 1 1/2 hours scrubbing bugs off the front of Grandma's car, mowed with Grandma, picked up sticks with Grandpa, played pool, watered everything in sight with the garden hose...sounds like a little bit of child labor mixed in with a lot of fun! 

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Kayley Turns Three!!!

    Kayley turned 3 on June 9th.  On the one hand, the NICU seems like a lifetime ago, but on the other hand, it seems like just yesterday.  Kayley has come so far since that scary day 3 years ago!  Thank you again to Phoenix Children's Hospital and all of the great doctors and nurses who cared for our 27 weeker!  I will give an update on her development next week after her 3 year check-up.  Tonight, I am focusing on my first attempt to upload videos (especially for Auntie Mo!).

    Kayley got to celebrate her birthday twice - once with Andy's family over Memorial Day weekend and this past weekend with my family and Andy's dad.  The fact that Kayley got two birthday cakes did not go unnoticed by Drew.  He was quick to point out that he only got 1 birthday cake! 

    Here are a few pictures from Kayley's birthday in Omaha:

    Here are a few pictures from Kayley's birthday on the farm:

    Finally!  A camera just like cousin JD's!
    Now for a few videos.  In the first video, we were encouraging the kids to get into the pool even though the water was FREEZING. 

    Singing Kayley Happy Birthday (please excuse the singing!).  As you will see, Kayley got a little distracted! 

    Kayley getting ready to eat her birthday cake.  She refers to her birthday cake as her "birthday" all the time.  When you ask her what she wants for her birthday, her reply is that she wants candles!

    After Kayley opened her gifts, she went around and gave everyone a hug.  Andy was videotaping and I was trying to take pictures with the camera.  I was having trouble with the camera so we kept having the kids hug and this was the result!

    Monday, June 6, 2011


    Before I had kids, I would watch parents bribe their child to get the child to do whatever it was the parent wanted.  I remember thinking they must not be good parents.  Good parents are able to tell their child to do something and the child listens.  Bad parents who can't control their children resort to bribery.  Then I had children.  And if my prior thinking is correct, I am a bad parent.  I am not above bribery.  In fact, I bribed Drew yesterday and Kayley today. 

    Today I took Kayley to the first day of her summer session of gymnastics.  She had a new teacher and I knew it was going to be rough at first because she is very shy around new people and is shy at the beginning of each class, but usually she sees the other kids participating and she joins in after warm ups (she always refuses to do warm ups).  Well, she was the only one in her class today.  I knew the minute we walked out onto the floor that today was going to be a challenge.  She refused to do any warm up with the teacher.  She sat on the floor and just looked at the teacher.  Then she put her head down and looked up at the teacher with a pout on her face.  So the teacher skipped warm ups and took her to the first circuit.  Kayley refused to do anything in the circuit.  Finally, I got her to agree to do a sommersault down the incline mat.  She walked over, jumped up on the mat, looked at the teacher, looked at me and sat down at the top of the incline.  She was having nothing to do with it. 

    I tried everything.  I tried encouraging her to do the things she loves in that circuit (sommersaults, swinging on the rope).  I tried telling her I was going to take her home if she didn't want to participate.  I even asked her to please do it for mommy.  Nothing.  I can only imagine what her teacher thought of my ability to get my daughter to listen.  Then in a moment of desperation, I went to what I knew would work at least once.  I asked her if she wanted a tootsie roll (one of her favorites) and her eyes got wide and she smiled and said, "yeah!"  So I told her that she could have a tootsie roll after class if she listened to her teacher.  She went on to do every activity with a huge smile on her face and talked nonstop to her teacher as she did all of the circuits.  When we got done, she gave her teacher a high five and we walked off the floor.  Then she looked up at me and said, "I want my tootsie roll."  Good parenting will start again tomorrow.

    Drew's bribery began on Sunday.  Drew has been sucking his thumb since he was 4 or 5 months old.  His dentist pointed out that his stuffed animal that he sleeps with is likely a trigger.  That stuffed animal was Frog.  Little Frog to be exact.    As you can see, Little Frog was definitely a trigger.

    Drew and a very new looking Little Frog

    Drew and Little Frog
    Drew always held onto the Little Frog's leg with his right hand and sucked his right thumb.  Every time.  The dentist encouraged us to get rid of Little Frog.  One day, Grandma mentioned to Drew that Little Frog was torn and not very nice anymore.  Drew agreed and threw Little Frog in the garbage.  We were so excited!  Our problem was going to be over!  But, Grandma had bought another frog for Drew a few months before, Big Frog.  Drew turned right to Big Frog. 

    Drew and Big Frog
    You can't see Big Frog very well in this picture, but he was bigger than Little Frog and it was as if Little Frog had never existed.  We did limit Drew to only having Big Frog for naps and bedtime at night (Grandma and Grandpa were sometimes more lenient as you can see from the picture above).  For the most part, he only sucked his thumb when he had Big Frog.  We were convinced that when we got rid of Big Frog, we would be done with the thumb.  We talked Drew into sending Big Frog home with Grandma to Phoenix so she could give him to a little boy or girl who didn't have any toys.  Drew agreed.

    Our plan backfired.  He started sucking his thumb every time he was in the car, every time we read him a book, every time he watched tv, etc.  We have tried encouraging him and praising him when we saw that he wasn't sucking his thumb.  I told him that babies suck their thumbs, but big boys don't.  He responded that he thinks big boys should suck their thumbs and babies shouldn't. 

    Drew went with me yesterday to buy presents for Kayley's birthday.  He saw a monster truck and said he wanted it.  I said no.  He said he REALLY wanted it like that should change my mind.  I told him I would buy the monster truck and we would leave it in the box and he could have it when he goes one week without sucking his thumb.  He readily agreed.  Then we got home and he begged me to open it!  I didn't cave and he only has 5 more days to go until he gets it.  He was very proud this morning when he got up and told me he didn't suck his thumb the night before.  He did great in the car today and when I read him his books before bed.  Fingers crossed this bribe works.  Or can we just call it a reward for good behavior? 

    Drew holding his new monster truck.  Still in the box.