Monday, January 29, 2007

On All Fours?!! Ah, Not Quite

It was so close...Beth almost made it to a crawling position by leaning forward from a seated position. This might not seem like a big achievement but I think it certainly was cool from her perspective: this time she didn't bonk her nose or squash her face into the carpet on the way down!
You guessed it. This means she will soon be able to get into a crawling position from being seated. It has been fun to watch her brain work while she tries to grab something just past her reach. When she knows she can't grasp the coveted object, she let's out a shriek in the hopes we will save her from her frustration. But oh, no. Not us. We are rocks and we are not giving in -- yeah, right;-). She's got to figure the crawling thing out (much as we fear having her mobile) before her first birthday!!

Really though. We aren't pressuring her. We are happy with her lackadaisical developmental path because she is healthy as a horse and she has earned every relaxing day that comes her way. She will have her entire life to run around in the crazy world we now live in.
Can you believe that Beth will be one year old on January 31, just 3 days from now? I am continually awestruck at her health and usually serene demeanor. She is such a pleasant baby even if she isn't a terrific nighttime sleeper or a super-advanced, super-adjusted micro-preemie. My guess is that she will weigh about 14 and half pounds on her birthday and she won't crawl an inch. She'll sit on her bottom and play happily, she'll nurse every three hours, she'll slurp down some yummy baby food and take two or three naps during the day. Then she'll go to bed at 8:00 p.m. while we softly cry with joy and marvel at her 365-day journey.

Are we having a party?
Due to the risk of winter flu and RSV, we aren't going to have a big birthday party for her on this joyous day. However, we are having a blow-out party to celebrate her 1 year anniversary of coming home from the NICU (which is really the date to celebrate). Mark your calendars for the afternoon of Sunday, May 6th. We'll be emailing and sending invitations to hoards of people who helped bring Beth safely home including friends, colleagues, family, medical personnel, neighbors, schoolmates, and more. It will be a family-fun event at the Folsom Aquatic Center. The Aquatic Center sports a cool activity pool for kids, a 4-story water slide, and a heated therapy pool for us elders who prefer lolly gagging in the warm water. Look for more details later but we hope that everyone can join in the fun.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Will I Make it?

On February 6, I am scheduled to take a business trip to Texas. I am writing about this for two reasons. First, I am so confident in Beth's health that it doesn't alarm me to think of a two and half day trip to another state. In fact, I relish the idea of two nights in a hotel without kids to wake me up! Second and perhaps contrary to point number one, I am willing to take bets on if I'll actually get to make the trip. On my last attempt in July, Beth ended up in the hospital the night before departure with an alarmingly fast temperature increase. We found that she had an ear infection then and none of the really scary things were happening at all. However, the scare was enough that I didn't have the heart to leave and poor Mike was clearly not ready to shoulder the burden of two kids alone.

So here I will go again. If you've followed this blog you know that Elliott and I took an overnight trip to Disneyland in November leaving Daddy to take of Beth by himself (with Gramma taking over the daytime care). This will be the first time that I have left BOTH children in his care (again with Gramma taking over during the daytime). Daddy is clearly capable of handling both kids but it is awfully difficult to do so and work at a demanding job. My heart goes out to the single mommies or daddies who manage this every day of their lives.

In the fun category, enjoy this photo of Elliott who seems to be meditating. If you knew our son, you'd find this hysterical. Elliott is a blonde-haired Tasmanian Devil: cute and sweet as the dickens but oh so energetic and curious. We have tried encouraging him to meditate and take deep breaths before doing something impulsive like...pushing the big Tonka Truck down the stairs like he did last night. This picture captures the glint in his clinched eyes while he humors us with fake meditation. Ah, well. At least we are trying.

This other photo of Beth is just too cute. I have trying to capture her thumb-sucking but the camera wakes her up. This time she was sound asleep and the moment too precious to miss. I know I'll curse her thumb habit when she is six but for now, it is a real help to me because it can tide her over when she is screaming for food or trying to soothe herself to sleep.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Standing in the Crib

Yesterday, Mike and I turned around one moment from the crib and lo-and-behold, Beth had pulled herself up on the side rail! This is an important step we've been looking forward to seeing. Granted she was a little lopsided but she did get from sitting to semi-standing on her own.

She is trying to crawl but so far just kicks her legs out in sheer frustration behind her. However, she is alternating arms and legs while she struggles to move forward so she must be on the right track.
Seems Beth is more interested in mental games than physical ones. We are having a ball as she drops toys off the high chair just to hear them slam into the floor. She has even figured out which items make the most BANG! She will pick the hard plastic stacking cups, then the wooden puzzle pieces and when all other items have been ceremoniously smashed to the floor, she'll slyly drop her bib or stuffed animal. Each one gets a giggle.

The only difference between this game with Beth and when Elliott was we have Elliott to pick everything up! He thinks it is all part of the game and delights in watching Beth play. He can make her laugh like no one else can.
Yes...I'm finally feeling better. The sinus infection is still raging but the pain has subsided. I hope to never go through that again. Besides, the cup dropping thing wasn't as fun this past weekend when my head was being squeezed in a vice...

Friday, January 19, 2007

When the Household Gets Sick

Mommy is sick. Yes, this entry is a bit about me but with a point to make about kids getting sick.

I have the worst sinus infection I’ve ever experienced. What started out as a cold (making its second trip around our house) has now blossomed into a lively sinus infection. I think the bugs in my head invited their fraternity brothers who are now having street dances in various parts of my skull. Not only does my forehead ache but so do my cheeks and teeth. Last night my teeth hurt so badly I was momentarily transported to my junior high years when I wore braces. Remember the second day after your bands got tightened? I could see the rhythmic crank, crank, crank of those skilled orthodontist’s hands spinning the pliers around to tighten the wires between my teeth. It only takes one session to know that the pain that would hit on day two paled in comparison to road rash from the most recent bicycle crash.

Fortunately my mother came over yesterday and shoved me out the door to the Urgent Care Clinic. Now I have a prescription of Augmentin to fight the frat bugs partying in my head.

My points are this:
1) Thank God for my mother who has given me every Thursday since Beth came home so that I could go to myriad doctor appointments, get hair cuts, go to the grocery store, etc, etc. Since I still don’t like to take Beth out in public, it is immensely helpful to know that I can schedule everything on a Thursday and Mom -- like a champ – faithfully and CHEERFULLY takes over Beth and Elliott.

For anyone wondering how to help a mom with a preemie or special needs child, having a designated day mapped out for each week or month that you will take over the house/kids makes it very helpful to us. We know in advance when we might schedule important appointments or just get a hair cut.

2) When your kids complain of ear pain (or start to pull at their ears and cry without reason), don’t underestimate their misery. Earaches really, really hurt, shooting sharp pains down the nerve alongside your face. Earaches can also manifest in tooth pain which makes it difficult to eat or drink. Which leads to my third point...

3) Teething has got to be more painful than we adults realize. I suspect that Beth’s recent teething pains are similar to the ache in my mouth associated with this raging sinus infection. We'll do anything to relieve the pain including letting her chomp on our fingers (made more painful to us now that Beth's two teeth remind me of saber toothed tigers).

So aside from my misery, Beth handled her ear infection like a champ. Elliott is hacking again, Daddy finally got over his cold and I am a walking zombie. Ah, life is good (and a lot better than it was a year ago!).

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sitting By Herself

As I write this, Beth is sitting on a blanket, totally unaided. She is officially a "sitter" and whew, does that feel good. She has taken such a liking to my computer keyboard that I plopped her down on the floor and gave her an extra keyboard I had laying around. She promptly launched the biggest spitup I've ever seen right into the XCVD and S keys. Guess that one's toast...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

14 pounds and 3.5 ounces

Beth got yet another RSV vaccination yesterday as she will each month this winter. Poor thing. I took her in because we suspected an ear infection and sure enough, she has a doozy of an infection going. This explains our sleepless nights and her trouble nursing. As long as she sits upright she is fine...

Such a small concern for us. While we feel sorry for Beth, it is refreshing to deal with such a mundane issue as an ear infection. How lucky we are. I've been following the blogs of other preemie babies lately and am only beginning to comprehend how lucky we are that Beth's trial was relatively benign compared to some. Our prayers and thoughts are with all of those struggling babies.

On a happy note, Beth weighed 14 pounds and 3.5 ounces! She isn't gaining rapidly but gains steadily.