Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Little Comparison

I realized two days ago that in my excitement to get caught up on posting photos and Ellie's rice cereal experience I neglected to post the pictures I took over a week ago to show you how big Ellie has gotten. Without further adieu, here's Ellie with her birth measurements (the papers are cut to the correct length/circumference)...








She's sneezing here.  Her little sneezes are just adorable.




Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rice Cereal

Ellie enjoyed her first taste of "solid" food last Sunday - rice cereal. She has gone back and forth all week as to whether she really enjoys it or not but does manage to eat more than she gets on her face and bib.

Enter eliserice091309 to view video.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Photo Update

Here is a smattering of photos from the past month...

Enjoying her first outdoor play date.

Hanging out with her pug.

Relaxing in her bouncy seat.

Flirting Chilling with her boyfriend buddy, Anthony.

Showing off her serious side.

Humoring the parents' fascination with baby feet.

After her first wedding reception.

Taking advantage of the two minutes mommy left her with the pile of diapers to be loaded into the diaper bag.

Watching TV with daddy.  (Despite our futile attempts to thwart such behavior, sometimes it's handy in keeping her from moving around too much after eating in order to avoid bad reflux.)

Watching her first softball game.  Uncle Sean's team lost in the last inning but played fabulously for most of the game.

Another outdoor play date.

Not so into tummy time.

Showing off her cute tummy.

Thrilled with mom taking a photo after diaper change in the car.

My cute hubby.

Hanging out in the car seat with one of her favorite blankys.

 Looking cool.

So beautiful.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Hubby!!

Four years ago I married the perfect man for me.  The moment the doors to the church opened and my dad and I began our walk down the aisle, I said, "Shoot, dad, I lost it," and began crying.  The crying continued through most of the ceremony,  I was so happy,

We've had our good times and bad.  But the good has definitely outweighed the bad.  Not because we're such amazing people and have it all together, but because we strive to put God first in our marriage.  I say that knowing we most often fail because we're imperfect and selfish people. But we try each day to do so, and the Lord blesses us with the patience and perseverance we need.

Elise being born so early was quite a traumatic experience -- one that I know could have easily shaken our marriage during the most tough points.  However, I never once doubted that God would bring us through, and I never once wanted to be going through the experience with anyone else.

Some friends recently loaned us the movie Fireproof.  It's about marriage, and at one point the theme is studying your spouse like you did when you were dating.  When this concept was being described, I kept thinking of how Kit has never ceased to do this.  He's always learning new things about me and figuring out my idiocyncracies.  Sometimes he'll point something out about me that I've never noticed myself.  Usually it's something humorous, but I feel so treasured that Kit has taken the time to know me so deeply that he sees these little things and values them.

Kit's also great at letting me figure things out for myself.  I learn best that way rather than by having people point things out to me.  We have had many a conversation where I realize why something bothers me or why I do things a certain way to which he kindly responds, "Yep," as if he's always known and was just letting me figure it out for myself.

My stud of a husband even bought me my first pair of diamond earrings for our anniversary.  I could go on.  I am blessed.

Kit, I love you with all of my heart!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Our Little Giant

[Okay, so I actually wrote this post  last Thursday and am publishing it at that date and time even though it's now a week later.  I haven't quite taken comparison pictures of Ellie for you to see how big she's gotten, but I did measure and cut out the paper for it today.  So rather than continue with the non-sense that is failure to actually hit Publish, I'm going to go ahead and do so...]

Yesterday Elise weighed in at a whopping 11 pounds, 15 ounces!  I hadn't fed her beforehand because I didn't want her spitting up when they gave her her 6-month immunizations.  Normally I feed her right before her appointments so she definitely would have been over 12 pounds if I had.  She's so big!  She measured in at 24-1/8 inches long.  That's over 9 pounda and nearly 10 inches gained since birth!  See...

[Pictures Forthcoming]

She was a champ for her shots (four total). She cried from the first poke to the last and then stopped crying as soon as they were done and began staring at the items on the wall.  She's always very fascinated by the medical instruments they have on the wall above where she lays.  Then she got lots of loves from mommy and a good meal to fill her hungry tummy.

The pediatrician was very pleased with Elise's development and growth.  She said she's at about a 4-5 month range developmentally.  And her height is finally on the charts (for a 6 month old!!).  She also recommended going ahead and trying Elise on pureed solids--beginning with rice cereal--and seeing if maybe having something more sold in her stomach might help with her reflux, which has been getting worse and worse over the past week and a half, including beginning to lose full meals again.  We're planning to try thinned rice cereal made with breast milk as the liquid on Saturday unless the gastroenterologist (see below) recommends otherwise.

When I told her the appointment we got with the pediatric gastroenterologist wasn't until October 21st, she said to call and see if she could see a different doctor in the practice sooner or if they possibly had any cancellations.  I called this morning right as they opened and was initially told they didn't have any openings but that they could put me on the cancellation list.  As the gal was getting to that list, she got another call and put me on hold to pick up that call and place them on hold.  As it turns out, the call was a cancellation for this afternoon so we'll be able to see a GI today and maybe get some next steps.

[Appointment with GI was had.  He explained that although neutralizing stomach acid - aka taking Prevacid and the like - works for older children and adults, doctors have found that infants are actually bothered by the fluid coming up even when it's not acidic.  Most adults don't notice that they still have fluid coming up.  The doctor was amazingly understanding though at how lame it is that there's basically nothing else we can do for her.  He did say that she basically has no acid at this point so at least she's not doing any damage.  Somewhere between 6-12 gestational months we should see improvement; however, there's no guarantee that she won't have lifelong problems.]

Otherwise, Elise is making advancements every day!  This morning she was loving me singing, "She's a maniac, maniac, [insert random lines about Ellie here]," over and over again.  She just kept smiling and squealing.  She's also started what sounds to be much more like talking than cooing or squealing.  I love it!!  She says words that sound like "yeah" and "ha."  Her favorite word for us to say to her definitely seems to be, "Hi!" in very animated tones.  I think maybe it's because that's one of the main things we would say to her over and over in the NICU because we couldn't think of anything else to say.  Now she's making sounds that seem to be her version of trying to say, "Hi!" back.  Too cute.

OH, OH, OH!!!!  I almost forgot something!  Last night I realized that I could see two teeth showing on the bottom middle of Elise's mouth!!  Teeth!!!!!!!!!!  I can hardly believe it.  You really have to look to see them because they're still pretty far down in her gums, but I just love that they're starting to show!  [The teeth seem to be showing a bit more but don't seem like they're going to come through any time soon.]

We started Ellie on rice cereal Sunday.  The pictures and video are priceless and will be posted soon.  For now, you'll just have to believe me that it was adorable.  She's still not too sure how she feels about it, but we're having fun making messes every day.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Six Month Birthday, Elise!!

You read right.  Our little 2 pound, 11 ounce baby girl is now six months old!!  Her six month check up isn't until Wednesday so I don't have her updated stats yet.  Once we have them, I will take some measurement photos to compare her birth measurements to her current size.  Today we have a slideshow to share.  We can hardly believe how far our baby has come in these past six months.

First, here's what she's up to these days.  Elise...
  • Loves to "dance" (aka be twisted and turned up, down, side to side, etc.), especially to the lines "Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight" over and over again.  She smiles, giggles and coos while she dances.
  • Loves to squeal and shriek when she gets excited.  Each day she seems to pull out a new sound.  On the way home from church yesterday, she let out what sounded like a little girl shrieky scream of joy.
  • Is almost ready to sit in her BeBe Pod (a variation of the Bumbo seats but with rubber that I like better than the Bumbos).  She can sit in it briefly but has too small of a waist to have it really hold her up so she slouches to either side.  I also have to put a rolled up blanket in between her legs and the piece they have there since the seat is much deeper than her little bum.
  • Has officially rolled both from tummy to back and from back to tummy.  She almost rolls from her back to her tummy all the time, but she likes to put her legs out to the side so they keep her from actually rolling.
  • Isn't bothered a bit by her lack of rolling abilities because she's figured out how to roll from her back to her side and then back again repeatedly in order to rotate in a circle to look at whatever she might be interested in.
  • Tracks moving objects with her eyes like a champ.  That is, of course, unless they are fast moving pugs or other lightening speed items.  For those, she tries hard but always ends up a bit behind, which we find absolutely adorable.
  • Always sleeps on her side.  I think this is perhaps my favorite thing right now.  Whenever I go in to make sure she's asleep or to get her up from a nap, she's on her side with her little arms bent and her hands (often folded) near her face.  It makes her seem like such a little person that she has her preferred sleeping position and it isn't one that she lets us put her in.  If we try to lay her down on her side, she always rolls to her back and stays that way for a bit before rolling herself on her side.
  • Is starting to have more of a voice.  Although some sounds (including her cry) are still raspy, she doesn't sound nearly as bad as she used to.  I don't think anyone would confuse the vocal cord damage that remains for a sore throat, which is good now that cold/flu season is coming to town so I shouldn't get wierd looks from people who think she's sick.
  • Doesn't look at all like a preemie.  Though we get comments (always friendly) about her being small for her age (to which we respond that she was born early), no one has gasped and said, "Wow, she must have been a preemie."  I don't know if anyone actually does that, but we've heard from the doctors that there's something called the "preemie look" and that Ellie doesn't have it.
  • Loves to play hard-to-get with baby boys who pay attention to her and then to pay attention to the boys who ignore her.  Her dad has set the marrying age at 28 or older.  (Since I was young when we got married, he can't set it too high without raising suspicions).
  • Is in love with her daddy.  She loves to giggle with him and to give him lots of smiles and coos.
  • Likes to watch her pug during times when he's moving slowly around her.
  • Loves kisses from said pug.  Often he'll try to kiss her when she's crying and manages to turn her cries briefly into smiles.
  • Still enjoys hanging out in her bouncy seat and gets a little better every day at playing with her toys hanging from it.
  • Loves being on her back on her tummy time mat shaped like a leaf (thanks, Mike and Becky!!) and helping in the kitchen.
  • Enjoys swinging in her swing but only for about 30 minutes before she wants out.
  • Loves to stand on our laps while being held.
  • Tries to watch television every chance she gets.  Occasionally, when her reflux is really bothering her and we're trying to get her to calm down so she keeps down her meal, we let her watch a few minutes until she forgets that her food is trying to make the great escape.  Then it's off to other things.
  • Is starting to get too big for her sling!  She's always settled right into it and turned her head in to face me to keep warm and cuddly.  Now she can't turn her head in toward me comfortably, and she's getting a bit heavy for me in the only position the sling we have does.  I'm going to try getting fabric and making my own of a different type of sling so that we can use that when she officially outgrows this one.  We also have a front-to-back carrier than we can use and that she does well in when her reflux isn't bothering her.
  • Hasn't spit up hardly at all lately - praise the Lord!! - and was doing very well with her reflux until this past week.  She's started crying and kicking out of position during feedings again, which is much harder to remedy now that she's bigger and stronger.  We realized Saturday night that I had started having a soda each day this past week (which I had cut out for a while to save money but got a steal of a deal for last weekend).  We're not sure if soda exaserbates her reflux, but I've read it's possible so I'm cutting it out again.  I went ahead and made an appointment with the pediatric gastroenterologist (for the third week in October) since they're booked out pretty far and I want to have an appointment if cutting soda doesn't bring her back to a better state.
  • Still sleeps through the night!!  Although I still wake up quite a bit throughout the night as course of habit, she sleeps like a champ and wakes up bright-eyed and cheery each morning.  She does usually fuss a couple of times in the night but always falls back to sleep on her own.
  • Is absolutely adorable and grows more and more every day!

To watch, enter elise6month090709.

Song on Video: It's Amazing by Mindy Smith