Sunday, January 31, 2010

Physical Therapy

On Friday Ellie had her 8-month adjusted age follow up physical therapist. It was so much fun to see her interacting in a new environment with lots of new toys. In the testing that they do, a score of anywhere from 85 to 115 is considered normal. Ellie's fine motor skills are great - 110. As are her gross motor and verbal skills - both 100.

The only area where the PT noticed Ellie isn't quite proficient is her sitting. She's gone from always over extending and arching back when in a sitting position to curling forward when she sits. She also tends to bow out her knees and curl her toes and generally use extra muscles that aren't necessary when sitting. The PT said this might be related to her past memories of refluxing badly when she sat or might be related to her remembering times when she actually did arch back and bonk her head on the carpet or maybe it's neither of those things and just some random thing she does. Regardless of the cause, the PT is going to have us work with Ellie a few times every day on her sitting so that she can get comfortable and learn to have some more focused time when she sits.

I'm actually excited about the exercises. One involves sitting with her in between my knees on the floor and dangling toys above and slightly in front or to the side of her head for her to reach for. She can grab and then play with the toy, but once she starts to lean forward with it, we pick up the toy and start again from the dangling in the air portion. The other exercise involves having her sit up to a small bench or stool to play so that she can't arch forward.

The PT also observed that Ellie has a fairly serious personality. Although she has fun (and was especially pleased with herself when she would figure out how to play with a new toy), she also took each task very seriously and concentrated on what she was doing.

And since Ellie is just too darn cute, here are some recent photos of her.

 Last weekend Ellie and I drove to my grandma and grandpa's house for my grandma's 75th birthday party.  I only took a couple of photos, but once my little brother (hint, hint - Kenny) emails me all the great pictures he took, I'll post those as well because he got some wonderful shots.

Sleeping in her stroller during a walk after going to her first concert - Mr. Ben (a local music teacher) playing for kids at Posies Cafe in North Portland.  She had a great time enjoying music with her NICU buddy, Roman, and I had a great time chatting with Roman's mommy, Lua!

Helping mommy sort a pile of extra hangers.

Enjoying some time by the sliding glass door in the family room.  She's infatuated with playing near the door, with the door, with the heating vent near the door and especially with Coco's water dish nearby.  Gross!  The other day when Kit was watching her, he said she crawled (still army crawling) over to the door and simply laid down on this little rug with her body in the sun to keep warm and looked out the window.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Any Guesses??

Just for the fun of it, I thought I'd poll any of our readers who might have a guess as to whether we're having a boy or a girl.  You can vote in the sidebar entitled "Do you think baby number two is a boy or a girl?"...genius title, I know.  We go in for the ultrasound next Friday, February 5th so the poll is open until midnight the night before.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


A couple of days ago Ellie discovered that the pony she got from her friend Ezekiel can be ridden on.  Yeehaw!

Enter yeehaw01182010 to watch.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Operation: Love Muffin

I've mentioned my friend Becca Sue before.  She's the one who made Ellie this adorable Christmas present.  And she's the one who amazes me with the fact that she's gone from living a mostly sedentary life up until last year to preparing to run a half marathon.  And now she's got another little project going on especially for Valentine's day - Operation: Love Muffin.  She has a whole slew of individual gifts and gift packages to you can order from.  We've already placed an order to get Ellie one of these adorable dinosaurs!

This isn't just an awesome business that she has going simply to earn extra cash.  She's actually a stay-at-home-mom who is finding ways to raise money to help pay for a trip for her husband, her son and herself to go to Walt Disney World so that she can run in Disney's Princess Half Marathon.  Here's what she has to say about where the money from this project go:

"10% off every dollar you pay is being given to the Core Life Church's summer missions team.  Our team will be returning to Slovenia to help host English Camps with Josiah Venture.

"The rest goes to cover materials, and every dollar that's left over is one less dollar my hubby has to earn towards our trip.  He's already working 60+ hours a week so that I can stay home with our son, and I figured it'd be a good wifey thing for me to put some work into making our trip happen.  Especially since I'm dragging him across the country to watch me run 13.1 miles. :)"

So if you're looking for something for Valentine's day that helps out a good cause as well as provides a nice gift for a loved one, check out Operation: Love Muffin.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mom-mom's Vacation

Ellie has added a new word to her repertoire in the past few days - "mom-mom."  She also says, "Mom."  Although she's currently using it primarily when she's crying and quite sad (teething isn't fun these days), yesterday she used it in a way that seemed contextual.

Kit took Thursday and Friday off of work.  And rather than have a vacation himself, he gave me one!  Yes, he is an amazing husband!  Although I didn't fully abandon my motherly duties, Kit did most of the caring for Ellie.

Thursday morning I just relaxed, caught up on various blogs online, enjoyed my coffee and had a nice chat on the phone with my wonderful sister-in-law, Kirsten.  That afternoon, I took the plunge and got my haircut.  It was fun to get out of the house, and my friend Maria is great with hair so I love my new hairdo.

Friday morning I relaxed again, a little more than Thursday as I even let myself simply sit on the couch enjoying coffee while having my near-daily chat on the phone with Kirsten.  (Normally she's running errands and I'm doing housework in my pajamas while we talk.)  That afternoon I went to Starbucks and had a nice time with my iPod, some blank paper (that wasn't blank when I left), my Bible and a green tea frappuccino.  Kit called while I was Starbucks to see if Ellie would tell me what she had been telling him sadly ever since she had woken from her nap.  Although she tried to eat the phone rather than share her message with me, Kit relayed that she had been saying, "Mom-mom," repeatedly ever since she had woken up.  So precious.

Last night Kit and I left Ellie with a non-family sitter for the first time.  Ellie slept the entire time, and Kit and I had a wonderful time being out just the two of us.

And without further adieu, here are photos of Ellie and of my new hairdo. didn't strap her in!

Trying to get into a drawer in the kitchen.

Just being cute.

Strapped to her changing pad but still rolled over and attempting to grab one of the birdies on her mobile.  Half of the birdies are sitting waiting to be reattached from past times in which she has successfully pulled them off.

Enjoying a story while out to dinner with her Aunt Laura.

Tasting her first lime with Uncle Sean.

 Showing off her cute teeth.

She's long enough for 9-month onesies but her neck and shoulders aren't wide enough to keep them up.  I found her like this after a nap.

Side shot of my hair.

Front shot of my hair.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pregnancy Update

I had my 16 week (and 4 days) appointment on Tuesday (of last week).  All went well.  We hadn't done blood work at either of my last appointments so they drew blood, which I don't mind because (a) I used to give blood every three months or so for the Red Cross and (b) I have good veins so it's also super easy.  Ellie was a champ sitting in her car seat and provided my entertainment while they drew the blood.  I used to be able to watch but have gotten more nervous about watching in the past few years.

The blood draw was actually at the end of the appointment.  At the beginning they checked my blood pressure - normal.  Then the doctor listened for the baby's heartbeat with the doppler - nice and strong.  And then he measured me - right at 16 centimeters.

So next month we'll go to the hospital for a level 2 ultrasound.  My OB was actually wondering initially why he had planned to do the level 2 ultrasound since it would be to check for abnormalities with the baby, and Ellie didn't have any abnormalities.  But he thinks it will be best to make sure that they see any issues beforehand if there are any to be seen.  And I am looking forward to getting a more detailed look as well and hoping that they'll be able to see if anything looks odd about the placenta.

I've felt the baby move off and on little bits since I was 7 weeks pregnant.  (Sounds crazy, I know.  But I could definitely feel what I call the vibrating/swooshing movements.  Not all the time but from time to time.)  In the last few days though, I've been feeling kicks.  At first they were so quick that I'd second guess myself as to whether I really felt it.  But now the little one is much more noticeably active, especially when I sit down.  Last night I could feel what must have been his/her back rubbing up against me.  I looked up his/her size, and he/she should be about 5 inches long so none of his/her other body parts would be big enough to be what I was feeling.  I also felt him/her do a flip last night.

And in another three weeks, we hope to be able to stop referring to him/her as a "him/her" and to be able to share whether we're having a boy or girl!  It's hard to believe it's only a month away!  And a month after that will be Ellie's first birthday.  So much going on...

This picture isn't all that great so I don't know why, after waiting five days to post this (I wrote everything in this on Sunday) so that I would have a bump picture, I'm posting it.  But it's hard to get good pictures at the odd angle you have to stand to show off your bump.  I got a really cute haircut yesterday (when this picture was taken) but we didn't take belly pictures after.  I made sure Kit took this before the haircut just in case I didn't like the new 'do.  But it turns out that my new hair is fantastic!  More photos soon(ish).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy 10 Month Birthday, Elise!!

Can you believe she's 10 months old already?!  Elise is truly an amazing little girl.  Soon, the fact that she was a 2 pound, 11 ounce preemie will be nothing but a memory.  She's progressing wonderfully, gaining weight like a champ and developing right on track!

We go in later this month for her 8-month (adjusted) physical therapy follow up to ensure that there aren't any areas of physical development where she needs extra work.  I'm looking forward to being able to show off all that she can do for the physical therapist.  Every day she gets a little more mobile.  It's so much fun!

Although there isn't technically a 10-month well child check up, Elise saw her pediatrician on Monday for her Synagis shot.  Her pediatrician (who is getting ready to have her first baby in a couple of months!!) was very pleased with how well Elise is doing and was the one who pointed out to me that she's getting very close to not having any signs of having been born prematurely.  When I put her on the scale, I expected to see a little gain but nothing compared to what I saw - Elise is 16 pounds, 9 ounces (with a onesie and diaper)!!  She's over 16 pounds!  In 10 months, she's gained nearly 14 pounds.  A-mazing!

Oops, I almost forgot that I normally do these with little bullet points.  Here's the rest in bullets.  Elise...
  • Still wears size 2 diapers but is getting to long for them.  I still have to strap them as tight as they can go, but soon they'll be too short.

  • Still wears predominantly 6-9 month clothes.  But again, she's getting too long for the onesies and her legs are getting too long for some of her pants.  I've taken to buying her cute leggings from Target in 12 months because, although they're a smidge loose in the area meant to hold a big belly, the elastic stays up and then the legs are just a little bit long.

  • Is getting too heavy for her pregnant mommy to carry in her car seat.  We plan to use the infant seat until she's either too tall or until the baby comes, but plans are in the works for an umbrella stroller for those errands where I can't simply put her car seat in the cart at stores or doctors' appointments.  Some places I carry just her into on my hip, but that doesn't always work.

  • Rolls like crazy.  Here she is on two different occasions having rolled over onto her belly in her bouncy seat.

  • Scoots her self in circles using her arms and tries to pull up on various objects while lying on her stomach.

  • Occasionally gets up in the crawling position for a few seconds while on soft surfaces like rugs, the couch or our bed.

  • Rolls off the rugs we've purchased to give her soft places to learn to crawl because all of the exciting (aka non-baby) stuff she wants to touch is on the hardwoods/vinyl.

  • Has her two cute teeth, as shown on the last post.

  • Loves eating her baby food in the evenings.  Applesauce is her favorite so if she's not into something new, I add a small bit of applesauce to it for a feeding or two until she gets into the flavor of the new food and will eat it on it's own.

  • Has eaten peas, carrots, applesauce, green beans, guava, sweet potatoes, squash, mango and maybe a couple of other things that aren't coming to mind.  And likes everything so far!

  • Makes lots of smacking sounds with her lips and tries to imitate us eating.

  • Thinks her pug is absolutely hilarious and fun!  The other night she was on Kit's lap in a chair and Coco was either on his lap too or on the floor right below them.  Coco would move around and Ellie would just giggle and giggle.

  • Enjoys playing with her toys but has found that her favorite three items are a small spatula that she has claimed as her own, a clean baby spoon and a clean (aka washed in the clothes washer) thick hair tie of mine (the ouchless kind without that little metal piece that she could choke on).  Here she is enjoying a noisy, musical toy her Nana bought her for Christmas.

  • Isn't too sure about people she doesn't know at places like the store and the doctor's office but loves people at church.  Although she still exhibits some fear of men with dark hair and/or dark beards, she generally loves to people watch at church.  And she thinks it's incredibly fun during the service to look around and smile and squeal at people, even those she's never seen before.

  • Enjoys riding in her jogging stroller when we go on walks around the neighborhood.  (And mommy enjoys not having the extra weight of trying to carry her in the front pack on walks.)

  • Is starting to get more hair.  It's about Kit's color and seems to have the coarse texture to it that Kit's does.

  • Still loves bouncing like crazy in her bouncy seat.  It's the only feasible place to bottle feed her most of the time because she moves so much.  To watch video, enter bouncing01022010.  (And don't mind my super congested voice.  Elise and I are on cold number two in the last 3-1/2 weeks.)

  • Giggles, coos, grunts and screeches. "Dada" and "ha"/"hi" are still her only consistent words.  And she uses "dada" as a name for her dad in addition to a word for many other things.

  • Tells herself jokes or something because she randomly cracks herself up when nothing else is happening.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Check Out These Teeth!!

I was finally able to capture a picture of Ellie's two teeth!  They're coming in, cute as can be, right in the bottom middle and show best when she gives you a big toothy grin.