20 Months


Mr. Jack is 20 months old today. I can’t believe it. I have had blog ideas running through my head for the past month. I have started and stopped several entries. But, since Jack is 20 months today, I thought it was time for a post! Jack finally weighs well over 18lbs. I’m not sure on his length, but he is looking longer to me. He really had stalled out at 16-17 lbs over the last 6 months. So, we were thrilled to see the number 18! Speaking of weights and measures, Kendrick had his 5 year old checkup last week. He weighed 39 pounds and was 42 inches tall. He landed right in the 50th percentile for height and weight as well as height to weight ratio and BMI. He impressed Dr. Emery with his skills and personality of course. Our pediatrician’s office implemented new software in the last year. Now, with each well child visit, we receive an actual copy of the growth chart. When Kendrick was born, he was at or below the 5th percentile. We knew he was going to be small as he was also diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction. My OB was actually surprised at his size, at 5lb 14oz she said she thought he was going to be much smaller! Anyhow, back to the story. KP remained at or below the 5th percentile through his toddler years. Looking back, we did not stress much. He was a good eater and he gained weight steadily. So, here we are at his 5 year appointment and we are handed his growth chart. At 2 years old, KP was around 30 inches and not even on the growth chart! I don’t even think I realized it at the time. Probably, because our pediatrician was so reassuring and he was healthy and happy. The moral of the story is, Jack is close to 30 inches at 20 months and I’m thrilled! I have short kids and there is hope that one day Jack too will make it on the chart!
Now, back to Jack. He is still not walking, but getting more brave. He will stand unassisted for a few seconds at a time. In PT last week, he took some steps holding on to a makeshift cane. We used a long Swiffer handle as a cane or walking stick. It was quite comical, but it worked! He had taken a few steps and was really working hard when Kendrick turned the corner and screamed in excitement. Then, Jack sat down and refused to try again. I have gotten the Swiffer stick out again to try and he tells me “NO”. So, that is where we are. Jack has the ability to walk, but he is also exerting his independence and toddler attitude and doesn’t want to try sometimes.
He is learning new words every day. He will repeat about anything you ask him to. He is still not putting a lot of words together, but I am starting to notice it more. He sure is polite and loves to say Thank You! He thinks water means yellow and is constantly asking for a drink of yellow. I’m not sure where he got that one…
We are still working with feeding issues as well. We have made great progress with trying new foods. Our issue now is swallowing. Sometimes Jack swallows his food, sometimes he does not. Today, Jack ate very well at school. Apparently he ate a second helping of sausage with his waffles. He loves really healthy foods like chicken nuggets and oatmeal cream pies too! Jack still drinks 3-4 bottles a day of high calorie formula. He will not drink much of anything other than water from a sippy cup or straw, so the bottle is our main means of nutrition still. An almost two year old still taking a bottle? He eats chicken nuggets, sausage and oatmeal cream pies? Hold your gasps… I think because so many people have different parenting beliefs on bottles, diapers, first foods, breastfeeding and the list goes on, I really have to step back and think. How much does it really matter? Please just be thankful that your child is healthy and has the ability to eat and poop. I move on…
A few weeks ago I was thinking about two goals for Jack before he turns two. I would like for him to weigh 20 pounds and be walking. But, if he doesn’t reach those goals it’s okay. This past week has been tough. A former student lost her 14 year old daughter in an ATV accident. Another friend’s infant son has been hospitalized at Riley in the PICU with pneumonia and feeding issues. This special little guy has been through a lot the past few months. He had a new G-Tube placed and is going through a lot of genetic and neurological testing. He has two older sisters who are around Kendrick’s age and I just really feel for this family. We would love for you to keep both of these families in your prayers! We were blessed with so much love and support during Jack’s trying times. So, I’m asking “Jack’s Pack” to please keep these families in your prayers as well. Seeing these struggles made me so thankful for Jack and Kendrick. We are very blessed to have them both. If Jack isn’t walking and still drinks from a bottle at 2, it’s okay. We know he does things at his own pace….



Happy 5th Birthday, Kendrick Nelson!

It’s hard to believe Kendrick is 5 years old today! He came in to this world at 2:08pm on August 2nd (also his Aunt TT’s birthday). He weighed a whopping 5lbs 14oz and was 18 inches long. Everyone thought he was so tiny! We obviously now think he looks huge after Jack!  Here’s a look at Kendrick’s birthdays over the last 4 years..

I asked Kendrick these same questions almost 8 months ago. Some of his answers have changed, some have not! At least he has moved on from the stinky animals!

So Kendrick, How old are you? 5!!!!!

What’s your favorite color? Blue AND Red

What’s your favorite food? Orange Chicken and Broccoli (That would be orange chicken from Trader Joes)

What’s your least favorite food? Mashed Potatoes

What’s your favorite snack? Goldfish

What’s your favorite movie? Cars 2 AND Transformers

What’s your favorite toy? Cars

What’s your favorite animal? My dog, Leela

What’s your favorite thing to do? Go to Orange Leaf

Where do you go to school? High School

Who is your favorite teacher? Miss Deborah

What do you want to be when you grow up? Baseball Player

What’s your favorite book? Thomas and the Big Big Bridge

Where’s your favorite place to go? Pappy’s House

If you had a lot of money, what would you do with it? Buy Clutchgoneski (This is a car on Cars 2 that is not sold)

Happy Birthday, Kendrick. We are very proud of the little man you are becoming. You are a terrific big brother and a joy to be around. If you know Kendrick, he has never met a stranger. When we are out shopping or out riding bikes in the neighborhood he talks to EVERYONE. I told him tonight that not everyone wants to talk to him. He replied with “Well, why not?”  Seriously, the kid talks to everyone. I can’t wait to see him continue to grow and learn! We love you, KP!

Blog? What Blog?

I apologize for the blogging hiatus! I think I forgot I even had a blog!. Okay, maybe not. I thought when I finished school I would have ample time to update our blog, but apparently that has not been the case.

Here are the Peña Family highlights since April 10.

-April 28 was Lafayette March for Babies. It was a cold, wet and rainy day. But we had a great turnout of family and friends and celebrated with a great party after!

-May 5 I graduated from Ball Sate with my MSN!  It’s been a crazy last two years and I’m ecstatic to have a break from school!

-May 19 I took a trip to Pittsburgh with my good friends Andrea and Tonya to visit Maggi. We had a great time and I enjoyed a relaxing and fun weekend!

-Kendrick has been playing T-Ball in a local league. It has been so fun to watch him and his teammates play. He only has four more games! The season flew by so quickly!

We have also taken a trip to the Indianapolis Zoo, spend many hours playing outside, and purchased new bikes! And… It’s only June! We are looking forward to a fun summer!

We hope you are enjoying summer too!

We’re still here!

I hoped to post a weekend in review post like Kendra and Misha, but our weekend was not so fun or exciting. The stomach flu made it’s rounds through the Peña home. I starting getting sick late Thursday night. Jack started on Friday, Kendrick on Sunday and Henry is in bed now not feeling so well. So, if I did post any pictures it might be of puke buckets, loads of laundry and Lysol. Unfortunately, I did not have time to snap any of those pics and you’re probably glad! Luckily, the bug didn’t last too long although it was a little different for each of us. I’ll spare you all the details, but things are looking up. We are just hoping Henry feels better in the morning!

I did want to give an update on Jack. Things were going great before this bug. We were running his feeding pump for around 12 hours each night and he was taking bottles fairly well during the day. He also started back at daycare last week and that was another adjustment. However, with the stomach bug we stopped bottles for a bit and were running Pedialyte through his feeding tube.  It has been a slow process getting him back to tolerating his normal rate on the feeding pump, but we are pretty much there tonight. He also finally took a whole bottle this evening. Hopefully we will continue to progress this week. Once Jack is tolerating bottles well through the day again, we will be able to increase the amount of formula in each  bottle and decrease his time on the pump. I feel very inpatient sometimes and wish we could move more quickly. But, I have to remind myself it’s only been a little over a month since the tube was placed. We have made excellent progress to this point. I stay in close contact with Dr. Engum’s nurse and they also agree things are going very well. Jack will go back to see Dr. Engum in February and at that point we will switch his G-J tube to just a G-tube. Even when he is tolerating bottles and off the pump, the g-tube will stay in a few months just to be safe. Adding to all the fun are some new teeth coming in. Jack has his bottom two teeth, and his top right tooth has popped through and now the top left is also coming in. I know this also leads to some of his feeding issues. Kendrick was such a happy baby, we never knew when he was teething. Jack is a different story for sure! This picture is not the best quality, but it does show off his new teeth!

That’s all for now! I’m still working on Jack’s month by month growth post. The weekend of sickness has set us back. Today also marked the start of a new semester. I am entering my final semester in my master’s program. During this semester I am completing my practicum at Purdue School of Nursing. This means I am teaching at both St E and Purdue which makes for a busy semester. Henry is also taking an online course this semester. So, maybe by May we will be able to accomplish the post!

All About Kendrick

Over the past year, we have focused a lot of our energy on Jack.  It was hard not to when he was in the hospital for over twelve weeks of his first year. We tried very hard to keep things normal for Kendrick. We had wonderful help from friends and family. We kept him in his routine as much as we could. Through it all, he has been such a strong and amazing four-year-old. A lot of people would ask how Kendrick was dealing with Jack being in the hospital. For Kendrick, I think it was normal for him. Jack spent eight weeks in the hospital right after he was born, it was our normal.  Kendrick loved visiting the NICU and it never seemed to bother him. When Jack was at Riley, Kendrick was never afraid of the hospital room or the wires and IV lines. He did not hesitate to climb up and give Jack a kiss. Just the other day I was dressing Jack after his bath. Kendrick looked at Jack’s big scar on his belly and said “Oh no! What happened?” I explained the scar was from Jack’s surgery. Kendrick then said “Oh Jack, I’m so proud of you. You are so brave!” He then said “Just like me!”  Kendrick has been brave as a big brother. It’s so fun to watch the two of them as Jack is getting older. I know they will be the best of friends! Though I am a bit worried Jack will be beating him up before we know it!

So, this post is all about Kendrick, or KP as we call him. I conducted an informal interview as he was zooming through the living room with his cars yesterday.

So Kendrick, How old are you? 4

What’s your favorite color? Blue

What’s your favorite food? Chicken Nuggets and Fries

What’s your least favorite food? Mashed Potatoes and Macaroni and Cheese

What’s your favorite snack? Fruit

What’s your favorite movie? Cars 2

What’s your favorite toy? Cars 2 Cars

What’s your favorite animal? Ones that don’t stink

What’s your favorite thing to do? Play with you (mom) and Jack

Where do you go to school? High School

Who is your favorite teacher? Miss Deborah

What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor

What’s your favorite book? Goodnight Moon

Where’s your favorite place to go? Pappy’s House

If you had a lot of money, what would you do with it? Pay for a lot of things at the store

That concludes our interview. I was especially surprised at the animal answer. He keeps us laughing on a daily basis. Thanks for being a great big brother Kendrick!