Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ear Infection but Sooo Cute!

Beth has yet another ear infection. This makes the third one since July. She has the worst cough yet but as of today, it has settled down and she only coughs in the morning. Looks like we are track to get ear tubes in the next year. We loathe the idea of putting her under for this type of surgery but our guess is that as soon as she is weaned, she'll get even more.

Speaking of weaning...no way. I'm nursing her for as long as she wants! I'll never have another chance at this and she will stay so much healthier on breast milk. She is doing very well with solid foods, however. As you can see here, she is doing very well with animal crackers and soft bits of food. She can suck a pretzel down to soft chewing bits too. We have had only a few choking episodes when unexpected bits get down her throat but each day, she is more comfortable with solids. We are so lucky that the oral aversion she was starting to develop in the NICU has not taken hold. I've read a lot about babies who develop oral aversions and it can be so difficult. In the most extreme cases, these babies and toddlers will not eat solid food and have to be tube fed until they get old enough to work through this.

So, again we thank God for sparing us this difficulty and giving Beth such a strong heart, lungs and spirit!

She weighs 15 pounds and 13 ounces. We are having so much fun playing ball and learning how to really PLAY with toys. She gets the idea that blocks are great to knock down. She is trying to mimic our sounds. She can put a small toy through a hole and she loves to press buttons on toys that light up and play sounds or songs. She even tries to bee-bop to music. Oh, and that smile...I swear I've never seen anything so wonderful as her smile.
As you can see, Elliott is also gaining ground as a big 5-year old. Here he is on opening day of T-ball. He has a great swing but catching...that is another story. We are very proud of his education, too. He can count to 100, knows his 10's and can say almost every sound associated with each letter in the alphabet. We are most proud of his ability to love and share us with his sister. Elliott never seems to be jealous and shows just as much joy in Beth's development as we do. Perhaps it was that looooong wait for her arrival. Perhaps he is just a wonderful little boy.

Friday, March 23, 2007

6:00 a.m.! Do Boys Ever Sleep?

Just a short entry...why is it that whenever Beth has a horrible night, our adorable son has to wake me up at 6:00 a.m.! Most mornings he can get himself up and entertained until we awake but not this morning.

Beth has three teeth coming in and a horrible cold so I got very little sleep. Then sweet Elliott climbs into bed with me in the morning twilight when Beth had finally dozed off again. Ah...parenthood.

Where was Mike? He was relegated to the other bedroom because he was going to run 20 (yes, twenty!) miles this morning before work. He is training for a marathon and I figured he needed the sleep more than I.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Clapping and Standing

Beth is going to walk far sooner than we expected. She is already getting onto all fours. Her crawl still isn't typical either. Now that she can get onto all fours and then back to her bottom, she is taking a shortcut. See if you can imagine this...From sitting, she leans forward to her hands, props up on one leg and then folds the other one underneath her. Then she crawls by using two arms and the one upright leg. The other one that she folded up underneath herself is conveniently available to sit upon when she gets to the desired location!
It is really quite clever. Almost as if she is tired of having to get up and down to move anywhere so now she can just quickly start moving from any seated location...It also means she is one leg away from standing. I think we'll see the elephant walk before April. By my estimate, at tax time, she'll take her first steps without help from anyone!
She has also figured out how to bang two objects together. That just started today as we were sitting in my office. We have colorful plastic balls from one of Elliott's old toys. They make a nice clicking sound when banged together. She really likes this.
Oh, and teeth! We can see those two cuties at the bottom of her jaw (and she is so proud of them). Well, now she is cutting teeth at the top but not the front two, these are coming out just to the side of that. The right one is just cutting through her gums today. By next week, she'll have a little fang on that side and hopefully one to match it on the left. Kind of odd. It will look like she knocked out the top two teeth but oh well.
Speaking of teeth, Elliott went to the dentist last week. I confess that since we have been occupied with other things (trying to get pregnant and then STAY pregnant) over the last three or four years, his teeth haven't been a priority. Well we finally went and what a great boy he was! No video screen or anything. He sat there like a champ and had his mouth cleaned and x-ray'd. The dentist estimates he will lose a front tooth by his birthday (in October). All his big boy teeth are safely tucked underneath poised to make him a few dollars richer.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

15 pounds and 4 ounces

Yes, Beth packed on nearly a pound last month. She weighed 15 pounds and 4 ounces on March 1 when she had her last Synagis shot (the vaccine for RSV). We then had a little ...disagreement... with the insurance company. They didn't want to cover the vaccine for April because she had already received 5 shots (at $1300.00 a piece!). Thankfully, her doctor's office convinced them she would need to be protected until RSV season is officially closed (usually in May).

Usually our days are quite typical now. Beth eats very well and is handling chunky foods fairly well. She can gum an animal cracker to pieces and has even tried a pretzel or two. When eating small soft chunks in her pureed food, she protests the presence of lumps and has taken to pulling them out of her mouth. However, she is not choking on them and rarely gags so we are fairly certain she has not developed an oral aversion. All in all, she has tolerated a normal progression of new foods being introduced. We are very thankful for this.

Beth is trying to walk and can pull herself up onto nearly anything. Now she is trying to get onto two feet from being seated. She gets entirely frustrated with the process but if she can grab hold of anything, she makes it upright very quickly. Mike and I are taking bets about when she will walk on her own. I think it will be two months away and he is certain she'll be walking by May. In fact, it would be lots of fun if she was walking by her big bash on May 6th!

A bit about Elliott...he has started playing t-ball. He is on the Phillys and, well, I can't say he's bashing any long-balls just yet but he seems to be having fun. Correction: MIKE is having fun! Baseball is near and dear to Mike's heart. He has been waiting for this moment from second the doctor said, "It's a boy!". This photo shows Elliott in part of his team uniform. The t-shirts haven't come in yet.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Cousin Nicole Gets Sized up by Beth

When we got the family together last month to celebrate Beth's birthday, I took a lot of photos. However, these photos are especially fun.

This beautiful young lady (the other one, not the beautiful baby) is my niece, Nicole. Up until now, she has been the only girl to the 10 grandkids that Gramma currently showers with love and affection (Dad would be proud of the brood...). Nicole is quickly approaching driving age and as you can see by her stunning good looks, she has all the boys' attention. It was fun to see Beth and her interact. At one point, Nicole was feeling a bit self-conscious because Beth would not stop staring at her. You can see that in this photo where they are facing each other. I mean, she was really staring at Nicole. I wonder if she was sizing up the other adorable girl in the family or wondering if she would ever fit into Nicole's clothes.

For fun, I found an old photo of Elliott at his first Christmas in 2001 where he is sitting on
Nicole's lap. Notice how fat he was. At 3 months, he was only a few pounds less than Beth is now (at 13 months!)

We are fortunate that all of our family are loving and enjoy being together. Nicole's younger brother, Chris, is quite a bit older than Elliott but loves to play with him. In fact, Elliott spent many days with Chris while I was sick (before the hospital stay) and then again when I was in the hospital. He was so generous and patient with Elliott (who can be trying at best). Chris really helped the time pass for our little guy.