Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008 - Update

My daddy's home!

I was thrilled to go pick my husband up at the airport yesterday. Ryan had been out of town since Sunday and was anxious to come home to his girls. He couldn't wait to see Olivia. . .all 14 lbs of her. (Yes, she is now over 14 lbs!) I was going to write about it last night, but just wasn't in the mood as I heard about the death of Haley Palmer. I had just recently found out about this little girl with cystic fibrosis and like many of you, was just getting to know her. Everytime I hear about the death of another child, I feel my heart breaking all over again. Before Logan's death, I think I was somewhat unaware of the amount of pain in this world. I mistakenly believed that if you prayed long enough and believed strong enough that God would heal those that needed it. I had trust in that. I had trust that the medical community always knew how to help those that were sick. Sometimes there are things beyond our control. I have learned that God never promises to heal us physically. He only promises to heal us spiritually.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008 - Update

My grandma and I were color coordinated.
What to do. . .what to do. . .
Thanks to everyone for their comments and emails. I feel incredibly blessed to have so many people willing to lend a hand or give a suggestion when needed. I have many things to try (and toys to buy.) I think Kerry had a really good point in suggesting that her arms were her security blanket. She comforts herself by sucking on her hands. Why wouldn't she want to keep them as close as possible? Aunt Kim also had a great suggestion about rolling up a blanket under Olivia's chest. She still gets a little fussy with it at times, but it helps keep her arms out in front. She was even reaching for toys. I think, too, that music is one of her favorite things and that's just something that she can't reach out and grab. Plus, she would rather play with people than alone with her toys. I'm sure that she'll do things in her own time. I just feel incredibly blessed to watch such an amazing little girl grow up each day.

Ryan's mom came over today and I had a long list of places I needed to go, things I needed to clean, organize and such. So, what did I do? I laid down in bed and took a long nap. Not too productive, but boy was it marvelous. I have had a headache every day this week and I just can't seem to shake them. I had to resort to Excedrin (which still hasn't helped) but I'm sure it will keep me up for hours tonight. I still find it ironic that my 9 month old daughter sleeps better than I do.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008 - Update

I absolutely adore Kerry!

I recently told you about Olivia's modified crab walk that she does. Basically, while on her back, she'll lift her bottom off the floor and crawl backwards with her legs. Her physical therapist told me that I need to discourage her from doing that, but it's hard because Olivia loves it. She can basically get anywhere she wants to go and she's so proud of herself. One reason I believe she does this is because it allows her to get around without putting pressure on her arms. I'm not sure why she is always so hesitant about using her arms. She doesn't want to extend her arms (especially her left.) She doesn't want to support her upper body with her arms, reach for toys with her arms, bang on a table, etc. Any ideas about this or how to help her increase strength in her upper body? I also have a few questions that I'm hoping somebody will help me with.

1) What is the best thermometer to have for babies? I just have the under-arm one and it takes forever. It's hard to keep Olivia still for that long. She had a slight temperature of about 99.1 the other night and I want a thermometer that I can trust a little more.

2) Any idea where I can buy Sali-Wipes? I've looked and looked with no luck. We used them with Olivia in the NICU. They are basically individually wrapped saline wipes to help keep her eyes clean. At home I use saline solution and cotton balls, but that's kind of inconvenient to take in a diaper bag.

3) Any advice on how to increase strength in Olivia's arms. Her PT just said to position them under her during tummy time, but she doesn't want to keep them that way.

Thanks to all my loyal blog readers. You're the best!

Thirty Things You Ought To Know By The Time You're Thirty

Since many of my friends and I have turned 30 this year, I thought this would be fun to post. I have highlighted (in yellow) the ones that I have done or know how to do.

Here's a creative twist on a life "to-do" list: 30 things to know or do by the time you're 30:

1. To take your hat off while eating. I don't wear many hats, though.
2. To bring a hostess gift. I don't go to many parties.
3. Have a valid passport.
4. How to make small talk.
5. Your credit score.
6. And your blood type.
7. How to do laundry.
8. And scramble eggs.
9. Your parents' birthdays.
10. How to drive a stick shift.
11. And order a bottle of wine.
12. How to set up, and check, bank and credit card balances online.
13. How to wrap a gift. - Does it have to look really pretty?
14. Own a suitcase.
15. Have a local florist, not 1-800 FLOWERS. - Does the grocery store count?
16. How to negotiate. - I'm not a very good negotiator.
17. And compromise.
18. How to jump a car/change a tire.
19. Have a retirement plan. - My husband does. Does that count?
20. When to stop drinking.
21. How to file a complaint.
22. How to make a bed -- complete with hospital corners. - Does it have to look really pretty?
23. Own a pair of jeans you can wear out to dinner.
24. How to play a sport (excelling not required).
25. How much cologne is too much.
26. When you need a dinner reservation.
27. To tip the maid in a hotel.
28. To make exceptions for children, and seniors.
29. How to apologize.
30. How to give a good hug.

I have 23/30. . .not bad. It looks like I need to learn more about cars. Maybe I should have also learned how to NOT back into my father-in-law's generator with my car. (I did that last week.)

In other news, Olivia did well at her neurologist appt today. So far, they still do not see any signs of cerebral palsy. At her next appt in 6 months, they should be able to rule it out definitively. And, at the next appt (when she's 15 months) they only expect her to be at a 8-10 month level. Olivia is doing a lot of things great, such as smiling, laughing, eating, sleeping through the night. I'm sure that soon she'll start rolling over (although I learned today that this is not a developmental milestone) and reaching for toys. The doctor pulled out her car keys and dangled them in front of Olivia to see if she would reach for them. She didn't and I secretly applauded her. We don't know where those keys have been! Maybe that's the problem. . .Olivia takes too much after her parents.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - Update

What an awful, awful day. Olivia had an eye appointment today with her new doctor. Her previous one is leaving town and the new doctor is the only one here. I liked him okay. . .it wasn't that. Olivia just cannot stand to have her eyes messed with. . .she freaks out. It started with the ROP exams in the NICU. Shots, blood draws and such aren't a big deal at all to her, but shine a light and mess with her eyes and she can't handle it. It was awful. They had to hold her legs, arms and head down as she thrashed and yelled and cried. Afterwards, I couldn't get her calmed down and the doctor was trying to talk to me. I could tell that he was getting impatient with her. . I was getting impatient with her and I've never lost my patience with her before. Then I was mad at myself for getting impatient with her. . .it's not her fault. I will never go to another eye appt by myself. On top of everything, it was really hot in the room and I started getting a really bad migraine. She left crying, I was in tears. . . .I got home and couldn't get a hold of my husband or my mom. Olivia's Rainbows teacher left a message on the answering machine about how her eye appt went. Poor lady. I left a blubbering message for her because she's the first person I had to talk to.

Anyway, the patching starts again although now we are alternating eyes every day. If he doesn't see improvement next month when we go in, he's going to try her with glasses. That makes me sad as I can't even imagine that there are glasses small enough to fit her. She will probably also have to have strabismus surgery in a few months, but that can be combined with the surgery to unblock her tear ducts. He also prescribed eye drops to help with the matting of her eyes. I've been wanting some for months!

Olivia is calmed down now that we're home. I almost called to cancel her neurologist appt tomorrow morning because I think we've had enough for this week, but there's a $25 cancellation charge if it's less than 24 hours. Hopefully, I can get Olivia to take a good, long nap and I can get rid of this pounding headache.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Gang's All Here

Some of the gang
All of the wild animals. . . .

Olivia and I went to the zoo today. All of the cousins (on Ryan's side of the family) were there. It got a little warmer than I anticipated, but we had a good time. Olivia especially liked all of the songs that the kids accessed with their zoo keys.

Monday, June 9, 2008 - Update

This morning, her teacher and physical therapist came out to evaluate Olivia. Overall, she was very impressed with what she saw. The only concern was that Olivia is not yet reaching for toys. They believe this may be related to her vision, so I have a list of questions to ask her eye doctor at tomorrow's appointment.

I have a few exercises to do with her to get her arms straightened underneath her. When she pushes up on her arms, she seems to roll right over. I am also supposed to sit up with her and place a toy on each of my legs and allow her body to twist (right arm reaches for toy on the left, left arm reaches for toy on the right) Of course, she needs to show an interest in reaching for those toys. She LOVES her Elmo and likes to look and laugh at him, but she doesn't seem to want to grab him. She loves to put her hands in her mouth and I was actually told that it's even a good thing when she tries to gag herself. This type of experimentation is good and will help move that gag reflex farther back in her mouth.

I'm happy to have so many exercises to work with her on. I always figured that if you gave your child tummy time, they would just naturally do all of these things and progress from one stage to the next. In this instance, I think because of her prematurity, she just needs a little more direction. I think because she is doing so well, we sometimes forget that she was born 17 weeks early and expect her to be doing more. She's had to overcome so much more than most babies and I am so very proud of her.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008 - Update

Did my mom tell you?
I weigh about 13 lbs 10 oz!

For a child that is not yet rolling over, Olivia sure can get around. She scoots around and when on her back she can do a sort of crab walk. I've never met a child so close to rolling over who isn't rolling over. That has to be some sort of developmental milestone in and of itself.

I've also started strapping her into her bouncy seat. I feel like I'm always strapping her into something. . .her car seat, her stroller, her swing, etc. So, I haven't been using the straps on her bouncy seat. She is usually only in it while I'm getting ready in the morning and I can see her at all times. Well, today she was on her way to scooting herself out of it, so I had to use the straps. You'd think I was trying to cage a wild animal. . .she was not happy about it at all. She's going to be mobile before I know it. . .rolling or not.

Olivia's cousins

Shelley and Izzy
Izzy napping with her friends.

I promise. . .I will get pictures of Olivia posted soon. I've been slacking, I know. In the meantime, I've included some pictures of Olivia's adorable cousin, Izzy. Also, visit my sister-in-law, Kim's blog and enjoy pictures of the rest of Olivia's cousins.