Sunday, February 21, 2010

Photo Update

Just got around to going through some photos from the past week and a half.  Here they are...

Took this to show how big she's getting in comparison to her bouncy seat.  It's still her chair of choice for drinking her formula, and she still loves to bouncy away while she drinks.

Her first ride on a rocking "horse" (aka dog) toy.

She thought this was pretty amazing and held herself up all alone while daddy rocked her.

 Her first time driving.  She was pretty good!

I love this little girl!

Showing of her first pair of shoes!  She's not super thrilled with them but tolerates having them on.  We got them so that her feet will keep warmer when we're out and about.

We had to wake her from a nap to go to a doctor's appointment so I snapped a quick sleeping photo since it's something we don't normally see.

Showing off her toothy grin after a bath.

Attempting to stand up at her dresser.



Saturday, February 20, 2010

An Afternoon Park Visit

The weather here has been (mostly) gorgeous for the past week or so.  We've been wanting to take Ellie to the park ever since seeing this post of her NICU buddy Anthony.  But we've been busy with preparing the house for the baby, chasing Ellie around and doing our part to help out with a remodel Kit's dad's been working on in our family room (tearing out our indoor brick barbecue and putting in a large pantry in its place).

Today Kit, Ellie and I all had some free time at the same time so we walked to a nearby park.  Here are photos and a video of our trip.

At first she thought swinging was boring.  She just sort of sat in the swing staring around as if to say, "This is it?  What's all the hype about?"

 But then her daddy started to swing her higher and higher.

 And she fell in love with swinging.

Sorry this is sideways, but it shows the fun she had.  Enter swing02202010 to watch.
Ellie's First Swing from Lindy Kurtz on Vimeo.

She liked the see-saw but thought eating it sounded more fun than riding it.

Before we left, daddy took advantage of the lack of ceilings.

And tossed Ellie into the air a few times.

If that isn't sheer bliss, I don't know what is.

Daddy's little girl enjoyed her time and was nice and sleepy when we got home.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pregnancy Update

I keep thinking of things to post in a pregnancy update but then never get around to actually posting.  Being pregnant and have a baby is difficult and exhausting!  Especially now that Ellie is pulling herself up to standing because she's constantly wanting to pull up on mommy and then to have me hold her hands while she dances and bounces.  Here are some questions and answers for you

Was this baby a surprise?
Yep, she sure was!  We had always talked about spacing our kids about two years apart since we had heard good things about that spacing.  Then when Ellie was born prematurely, we talked about waiting until she was closer to being three when our next child was born in case I got put on bedrest or we had another preemie who would need to spend time in the NICU (requiring us to have someone watch Elise if we wanted to go together).

The Lord had other plans.  I will say that we were being purposeful in trying not to get pregnant so it wasn't a situation where we didn't understand that we could get pregnant and weren't attempting to prevent it.  But as I said, the Lord had other plans.  And we're thrilled and feel blessed to be having another baby!

How are you feeling?
I'm actually feeling much better in general this time around than with Ellie.  As I think I mentioned before, when I was pregnant with Ellie I had to get up at 5:00 every morning for work so I was always operating on very little sleep.  Since Ellie lets me sleep in until 7:00-7:45 these days (later in my first trimester), I feel much better simply because I get more sleep!

My belly is growing more quickly this time around so I'm more uncomfortable now than I was at 22 weeks with Ellie.  I'm also having numbness and tingles in my left ankle and part of my left foot.  I don't remember having that with Ellie, but it's a common occurrence and nothing to worry about.

I'm also not swelling as much this time as I did with Ellie, which is because I'm eating a lot less processed food.  Since I was working full time and had stronger food aversions (which I think were heavily related to always being exhausted and feeling crummy due to lack of sleep) with Ellie, I tended to eat more fast food for lunch because I couldn't ever think of anything that sounded good the night before or in the morning to pack for lunch (and didn't want to eat my lunch when I packed it).  Although I looked at restaurant websites to find the items with the least amount of sodium, my intake was still higher than it is this time.  I'm enjoying not having puffy ankles quite yet!

Do you have any food cravings?
Yes, apples and Cheese-Its.  The Cheese-Its have been more of something that generally always sounds tasty and fills me up nicely rather than an actual craving.  But the apples have been a complete craving.  For many weeks, I would crave an apple the moment I crawled into bed and have to get up (or make Kit get up) to cut one for me to eat in bed before falling asleep.  Now I'm a bit better at remembering before I crawl into bed (aka when I'm standing at the side of the bed about to get in), and I eat an apple most nights and some days.

Are you nervous about possible complications now that you are getting further along?
I wish I could say no.  But I'm definitely processing through anxieties with the Lord.  I'm not nervous in the sense that I don't trust the Lord and want His will.  But I am nervous about the unknown and all of the variables, especially since we have Ellie now so it won't be quite as easy to manage things if we do run into any complications.

A fellow preemie mom who is a couple of years further down the road in parenting a preemie mentioned to me last summer that she found herself finally being able to breath and process through all that had happened with the birth of her daughter when her daughter turned one.  I'm definitely experiencing some of that same processing going on for me, but then I also have all these thoughts about the new baby and will be very close to the same distance along in my pregnancy when Ellie's birthday arrives.

I could write a whole post on this (and may at some point), but for the time being suffice it to say that I'm working through a lot of thoughts and emotions.  And the Lord is faithful to listen and provide me with peace.

Would you please post another picture of your baby bump?

Yes, but not because I think I'm super photogenic when I'm pregnant.  What's with those people who look ridiculously gorgeous when they take these bump photos?  I can never get a flattering angle.  And my husband will roll his eyes when he reads this because he thinks I'm beautiful.  And I'm thankful for such an adoring husband...even if his eyesight is going.  Hehe.

(Just read this to Kit and he said that he hates taking 50 photos of me when he always thinks the first one turns out great.  In my defense, I've never had him take 50 and this photo was taken by me so that he wouldn't have to put up with my continuously walking to look at the camera to see if I liked the photo he took only to have him take a few more.  At least when I take them I can be annoyed at the fact that I can't get a good photo and not mentally blame it on Kit's camera skills.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vocal Cord Update

On Thursday we went to the pediatric ENT to check on Elise's left vocal cord that was damaged in July when she had the coil placed in her heart.  Kit took a mini-vacation Thursday through Monday and was able to go to the appointment with us.  I wasn't sure what all the appointment would entail, but this is the same doctor's office where Elise had a huge spit up in my cupped hands while we were waiting for the doctor to come back into the exam room with his scope.  And where he put a scope through her nostril and down her throat to be able to check on her vocal cord, which left her with burst blood vessels in her face from crying so hard.  Not a fun appointment to relive.

Although her voice sounds fine now, the doctor did need to scope again to be able to see if the vocal cord had in fact healed.  He said that it was actually good to get it done now because she's getting close to the age where she'd have to go to the hospital and be given anesthesia for the procedure.  As is, she just needed a topical freezing agent to help keep it from hurting too much.  She didn't spit up this time; however, she did sob and burst blood vessels in her face again from crying so hard.

The good news is that everything looked good!  We hadn't been concerned because he said even in the case of permanent damage that the right vocal cord would make up for the deficit.  But it was good to hear that the left vocal cord is working normally.

And if anyone is looking for a pediatric ENT in the Portland area (his office is downtown in NW), let me know because this guy is fabulous.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Play Pals

Ellie had her NICU buddy Anthony over to play yesterday.  Anthony will be one in just a couple of weeks, and it's so fun to see how much they've grown and developed.  Susan and I went a little crazy with our cameras.  Here are some of the pictures I took.












For fun, this is a picture of the two of them during their first play date last June.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Eleven Month Birthday, Elise!!

Elise is officially 11 months old!!  Times flies, and she's getting bigger and developing more every day.  Here's what she's up to...

  • Weighs 17 pounds, 7 ounces!
  • Wears size 3 diapers.
  • Wears clothes than range from 3-9 months.
  • Is long in the torso but lean so onesies are a bit of a challenge now, and we're moving more toward regular shirts.  Pants are difficult as well because she's too skinny for 9-month pants but too long for 6-month pants.  On days when she's not in the mood to wear her high-waters, she enjoys wearing 12-month tight-legged leggings from Target (although their flared-leg leggings in the same size are way too big in the waist).
  • Has nearly 4-inch feet.
  • Is army crawling everywhere, including from one side of our house to the other.  And our house is a ranch-style so it's long and narrowish.
  • Is sitting much better now that we've started doing her daily sitting exercises.
  • Has been getting up on her knees and crawling a couple of "steps" before switching back to army crawling.
  • Enjoys spending time in what can best be described as the plank position in yoga - up on her hands and toes.
  • Started pulling herself up on her daddy Friday and trying to stand.  She's been doing it more and more ever since.
  • Is getting more hair.  And it seems to be similar to Kit's wavy/curly/coarse texture.
  • Loves to eat solids, including all sorts of baby foods, whole black beans and--as of yesterday--cheerios!!
  • Normally drinks about 26 ounces of formula per day.  (Can't remember if I mentioned that we switched to formula, but I stopped pumping at the beginning of this month to give me a little break in between babies.) 
  • Got the go ahead from the pediatrician to begin eating more solids and tapering back formula gradually.  We don't plan to actually start that process fully until after her birthday but have started feeding her a second meal of solids each day.
  • Loves being outdoors and smiles often when the wind blows on her face and the rain hits her little cheeks or head.
  • Thinks dogs are just great!
  • Seems to like other kids more when in a group setting rather than one on one.
  • Gets very serious about learning new things and then gets very excited when she figures it out.
  • Says da, ba, bob, la, ga, ma, mom, fa, hi, and maybe a couple of other sounds.  Da and ba combos are definitely her favorite. And she pulls out ma and mom most when she's upset.
  • Appears to be getting two more teeth on the bottom and is very fussy and drooly as a result, but they haven't broken through yet.
  • Just today has been getting really close to going from the crawling position to sitting.  She can do the opposite like a champ and has been doing a side-lying position for a few months but hadn't coordinated everything.  At this point she just needs to figure out that she should to keep her arm next to her and not stretched out and then she'll definitely start putting herself back in the sitting position. 

It's getting harder and harder to take her picture because she crawls over to you and tries to grab the camera.

 This is a good shot of her cute teeth.

Trying to pull herself up using mom's skirt.

Crawling into the kitchen while chewing on her tongue (something she likes to do when teething).

Still working on that tongue.  Coco, on the other hand, appears to be pining away at the refrigerator hoping for some food.

Trying to take a picture of ourselves.

This is the best one that we got.  Ellie appears to be trying to communicate to you that her mommy is crazy.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Playing on the Back Patio

Lately Ellie has been loving any time she spends outside.  So last Saturday afternoon I took her out on the back patio with a blanket and a basket of toys to play with.  She had a great time playing on the blanket until she rolled her little cookie jar shape toy off of the blanket.  After that, she enjoyed crawling all over the dirty patio exploring.  Here are photos and videos of her exploits...











Showing off her dirty coat.  And this was after I pulled off what I could.  I tried to get a picture of her dirty socks but she was too wiggly.

Enter 01patio01302010 to watch.

Enter 02patio01302010 to watch.