Sunday, December 27, 2009

A lot of laughter

One of my favorite parts about parenthood is the random stuff that tickles him. This particular evening, David threw Robbie's O-ball up and caught it. This was apparently the funniest thing Robbie had ever seen, and deserved applause as well.



He's definitely ticklish. I dare you to listen to him and not be tickled, too.



This is a game Grandpa plays with Robbie quite often and Robbie just eats it up. This time it was Grandma's turn and Robbie was HIGHLY amused.


In amazing news, Robbie actually took 2 unassisted steps on Christmas Eve! He took another today. He absolutely could walk if he chose. But right now he thinks our attempts to get him to stand or walk without help are hysterical. If you watch him, you can see he doesn't fall. He controls his descent. This was actually taken last week even before the steps.



Robbie loves music, even his Momma's mediocre singing. One of the biggest challenges in getting a child to talk is getting him to "turn on his voice." Music is a great way to encourage that, so we take turns "singing." (That's the "Row row row your boat" part is.)
Of course, hand motions are just plain fun. He sometimes mixes up the sign for "more", the Itsy Bitsy Spider motion and the "roll it" motion from Pat-a-cake, but usually catches himself and corrects. Sometimes he does the motion for the "spider" or "roll it" and looks at us expectantly, obviously requesting a song.



--Trish

Friday, December 25, 2009

God bless us, every one.

Christmas Eve



Christmas Day


Ho ho ho!
video

--Trish

P.S. More pictures available on a public facebook album.(It's SO much easier to upload there.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Quickie

Just a quick pop in.
The week has been crazy. I lost seniority when I took my leave of absence to stay home with Robbie. That means that I am low man on the totem pole at work so my schedule is reliant upon everyone else. Since every one likes to take the holiday weeks off, holiday weeks are always a surprise for me.

This week that means working 2 1/2 hours earlier than usual. It's been challening for me, but poor Robbie is suffering the most. He has yet another cold and ear infection (new surgery date is scheduled for the 6th. Be sure to write that on the calendar in pencil.) and the schedule change just has him all out of sorts. He has been down to 1 nap a day for probably 6 weeks now, but with getting up so early, he just can't make it until an afternoon nap. Then because he's taken a morning nap, he doesn't want his afternoon nap, so by evening he's exhausted. Tonight he fell asleep in the car on the way home (yeah, it's an 8 minute drive) and didn't wake up even when getting him out of the car and out of his coat. That's VERY unlike him, but the poor kid is just exhausted. I only let him sleep an hour, but that was enough that he wouldn't go to sleep at bedtime, which means tomorrow morning is probably going to be ugly.

My family is in town now, leaving Thursday, David's family is coming Thursday, leaving Sunday. Of course, there's still the usual Christmas stuff to do. I've lost count of how many dishes I've had to make to bring to various functions. I swear if the media reports the economy has taken an upswing, I'm taking partial credit simply for how much money I've spent at the grocery story this season.

I am a bit bemused that I did all the shopping and wrapping for both families. David was responsible for buying ONE thing. Care to guess which ONE thing is still not purchased, which because of that is also the last thing that isn't wrapped? That's a little frustrating. (And no, it's not a difficult to find thing. It's a freaking umbrella.)

Anyway, nothing exciting, mostly just regular family stuff. It's nice to have "normal" problems sometimes.

I hope everyone is surviving the holiday season. It certainly holds many different challenges depending on your current lot in life.

--Trish

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December pictures

Mmm, still loving my thumb.

My old friend Lexi and I went to our friend Gavin's baptism party.



I still say Santa looks a lot like Gavin's grandpa.



Mommy's friend and his daughter came to visit that day, too.



Let's see where this fits



I see you!



This week on mini WWE wrestling, Remarkable Robbie takes on Scrappy Santa.



Daddy's a good snuggler.


How many zeros in a million again?


Taking in the sights with Dad



The jumper is even fun when I'm not in it.



The tongue helps point the way.



Nick Nolte is my hero.



He's got eyes of the bluest skies as if they thought of rain.


--Trish

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fine*

Michelle Duggar had a preemie.

I have no idea if most of the world followed the story today, but all of my online communities are quite atwitter about it.

Now, I think the Duggars are kinda crazy. I mean, I wanted a baby really badly, but 19? That's a lot. A lot lot. Like, really, a lot. And I can't help but think anyone who wants 19 kids is insane. Of course, lots of people might think anyone who has done some of the things I have would be insane, too. I accept that. (But seriously, I haven't had a full night's sleep in 18 months. Do you think Michelle is getting any sleep? She clearly still has time to screw, so she's obviously doing better than me, but still.... wait.. where was I? Oh yeah.... so the Duggars are crazy.)

So okay, I think they're crazy. They are not my kinda people. They have a lot of kids, don't believe in birth control, homeschool their kids, publicize their lives on TV, have way more money than me and.. well..even I dress better than them, and that's saying something. I've had many a conversation about how selfish, irresponsible & misguided I think they are. Michelle seems nice enough, but really, I think she's a nut.

But all of a sudden? Michelle is part of my fold. And Jim, too, I guess, but really, Michelle. I heard the news late last night (a friend of theirs broke the news on a message board before even the media had gotten it) and was stunned. I was surprised to find tears in my eyes at even the thought of another preemie born so early. At that point, they were still saying it was gallbladder related. Today it turns out it was the dreaded preeclampsia.

Number 19 is Josie, 1 lb 6 oz, born at 25 weeks. Just an ounce smaller and a week earlier than Robbie. Right now, Michelle is probably in a hospital awake. Maybe she's pumping. Maybe she's sent Jim down to the NICU to check on Josie just one more time before she tries to rest. She might still be on mag and unable to even see straight yet. She could be hobbling around from the C section and is probably wondering what in the hell just happened. (Well, maybe not "what in the hell", I doubt she cusses... but if she ever wanted to, it would be now.) Maybe the nurse is in to check her blood pressure one more time.

Jim, if he's like David, is doing his best to help Michelle. Maybe he doesn't even know what preeclampsia is, only that the doctors acted like it was pretty bad and the baby is here now. He sees his wife in pain, fragile. He sees his daughter in a heated plastic box and she's impossibly tiny. Maybe he's afraid to touch her. Her skin looks like it will tear open any moment. She, too, is so fragile. He's still trying to take in that he could have lost both of them yesterday. What just happened?

And Josie? Well, the media says she's "doing fine" and "resting comfortably." The media lies. There is nothing restful or comfortable about the NICU. Doing fine? Perhaps. But the thing with preemies is that everything comes with an asterisk. Doing fine*. *for a 25 weeker. Even Robbie eighteen months later, still gets his asterisk. He's so big*! *compared to where he started.

"Fine" for a 25 weeks means she's intubated, but maybe doesn't require a lot of oxygen. It means they were able to find an IV and it's holding. She's in an isolette with the heat turned up, but maintaining her temperature. Maybe they haven't found her PDA yet. She certainly hasn't had her eyes or hearing checked yet. Her first head ultrasound maybe doesn't show too much bleeding. It means she's setting off the alarms on her machines, but not the really bad ones. Right now "fine" means the dozens of machines and tubes and wires are doing what we hope- they're keeping her alive. Yes, she's fine*.
*fighting to keep it together

Jim and Michelle are probably also fine*. I know I was fine* for 96 days. And sometimes, I'm still fine*. For the parents of a preemie, particularly one as early as Josie, fine means putting one foot in front of the other. Because they have to.

The message boards and comments on news stories were filled today, with comments like "well, maybe NOW they'll stop." "Well, you knew it was bound to happen." "She should have known her body couldn't have another baby!" Yes, that silly Michelle, she birthed 18 children and should have expected 19 to come impossibly early. She should have known that a disease that affects less than 10% of pregnancies, and even fewer non-first pregnancies would get her this time. God has a maximum allowance of healthy children for each family, and they had reached it. They should have known this one was doomed. And I'm certain their top priority right now is decided if they should try for number 20.

The world is full of judgement and blame. Yes, we women with failures for bodies, we are foolish. We are deluded. We should have known better. How dare we! We should be ashamed. How could we not have known we were tempting the fates? Certainly we deserve the horrors we watch our babies endure.

The sad thing is that Michelle is probably thinking very similar things right now. No matter what else she's doing, she's wondering how they got there. If she could have done something differently, if there is anything more she could do now. She's probably praying. If she's like me at all, she's praying for peace for whatever may come. She's praying for healing for her child, for strength for herself and for wisdom for the doctors.

Me? I'm going to join her. Because Michelle Duggar? She's my people.

--Trish

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Take 5

Just a quick note to say ear tube surgery is cancelled again. He has another cold (yes, ANOTHER) and started coughing a bit last night. By 3:30 this morning, his breathing was sounding thick and he was coughing pretty hard. So we started nebulizers for the 4th time this year.

I called to cancel and the surgeon himself called me back. I think they are starting to wonder what's going on, but I don't know what we can do about it. He said they can do the surgery with a head cold, but with Robbie a head cold turns into wheezing almost every time.

I never thought I'd see the day I missed quarantine, but I think I'm officially there. Say some healing prayers for Robbie!

--Trish

Updated:
Spoke w/the pediatrician and she added pulmicort to his drug cocktail, and actually wants him to stay on it for the rest of the winter. Twice a day until he gets the tubes, then once a day for the duration of germ season.

She was sure to point out that he now holds the record for most tube reschedules. My little guy is setting records everywhere he goes.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A few pictures

Just a few pictures I just posted over on Robbie's Blog. (There's also an update over there, if you're interested.)


Now that he can pull up to stand at the dishwasher, the dishes are his chore, right?



So big!



Happy Thanksgiving, Grandma!



These are my groceries. Get your own.



Here Grandpa, let me show you how it's done.




--Trish

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Brain droppings

I don't really have anything interesting to say.

Thanksgiving was nice. My MIL came and only stayed a day and was pleasant. I was a little paranoid because Robbie had been eating REALLY well for a while and of course, the day she arrived, he ate nothing. (Before she got here, not her fault. Just a crappy coincidence.) I kept waiting for a comment about it, but it didn't come.

The day after T-day, Robbie was diagnosed with yet another double ear infection. I hoped that's why he was refusing to eat. Right now ear tube surgery is scheduled for the FOURTH time on the 9th. I'll believe it when it happens.

He continued to eat like crap for several more days, and I started getting really nervous.

But Monday he ate a smidge better for me, then yesterday daycare got him to eat pretty well. They said it was difficult, but they got it into him. This morning he wouldn't eat much again, but this afternoon he did great, so I'm hoping that as his ears are feeling better, he'll continue to improve.

In amazing news, he had PT at daycare today and apparently his therapist got him to stand unassisted for about 10 seconds. Unbelievable! I'm very sad that I missed it, but I know I'll get to see it soon. He's really cruising and crawling everywhere these days. He's pulling up all over the place and even learning to take a fall a bit better. (I confess he's been a bit of a whiner in the past. If he even thinks there was a chance he could have fallen, he'll cry real tears as though he's really damaged himself. Fortunately he's doing a lot better about it. There's a little whining, but once he sees that you're not going to pick him up and say there there, he goes back to what he was doing.)

I believe he's officially broken 23 pounds. At his last doctor's appointment, he was 22 lb 15.5 oz, but that was on a full tummy. But I gave him a weigh tonight and he was 23.3, so I think he's really over it now. What this means is that he really needs to get on that walking thing because he's getting quite heavy to lug around. Though my upper body strength sure has improved.

I have an upper respiratory infection. I'm not entirely convinced I didn't have the flu last week. I had a swab done because I was concerned about passing it to Robbie. It was negative and she didn't think my fever was high enough, but Lord knows I felt crappy enough for a few days and all the other symptoms fit. And the rapid swabs aren't terribly accurate, so who knows. So far, Robbie seems okay, and I think I should be far enough out now that I wouldn't be contagious anymore, so I hope we're in the clear.

I've spent untold hours putting together a photo book of Robbie from age 6 months to 1 year. It will be part of our Christmas gifts to the family since I swear, I could hook a webcam up to Robbie's forehead and they'd still tell me I wasn't sending enough pictures. The untold hours of organizing has meant no sleep for me. I'm tired.

On top of everything else, I somehow got the most annoying rogue program infection on my laptop and spent a disgusting number of hours fixing it last night. I'm all better now, but man, that was obnoxious. I think I'd have been less annoyed had I been doing anything fun like surfing for porn, but I swear, I'd barely been off the shutterfly site for 3 days prior to that.

And really, who in the hell sits around and writes that shit? Hey, I'm a super smart computer programmer probably making a pretty damned decent living, you know what I was thinking? I was thinking I'd write a program that would make a fake virus warning pop up on people's computers approximately every 45 seconds. ::rubs hands together evilly::: Yes, yes, it will be so deliciously eeeeeevil.

Seriously, man. Get a hobby. Volunteer somewhere. Research cures for preeclampsia. Hell, write a program that lets me upload pictures to blogger in order, with captions, more than 5 at a time. DO SOMETHING FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND.

Anyway, that's all I've got. I must sleep now.


--Trish

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm not going to enumerate all the things I'm thankful for today. I think our many blessings are obvious. I give thanks every day I wake up to a full house and every night when I go to bed in a house with full beds.

I look around at my little family and feel completed. The journey here was rocky, but worth every bump & bruise.

Today I am sending my love to those whose rocky roads lead some place they didn't mean to go. To those whose journeys haven't ended.

Thanksgiving is a holiday about family. The commercials talk about togetherness and joy. I know too well the feeling of an empty seat at the table, the unwelcome questions about when you're going to get married, have a baby, try again.

To those who are surrounded by well-meaning but misguided family and friends, I send love and prayers for peace.

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and new. -- Will Carleton


Happy Thanksgiving everyone.



--Trish

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Even More

I honestly don't know what to say about the developmental explosion happening in our house. It's remarkable, just like Robbie. I can't keep up. It's something new every day.

In the last month, he's gone from 2 words (uh-oh and kitty) to probably 7 or 8. And he'll mimick a lot more sounds. A month ago I was wish he was better on all fours, now he can crawl forward and backward, and sit himself up. He had just started cruising, now he's practically dancing down the length of the couch and is pulling himself up to stand. A month ago he had four teeth, now he as 6.

He'll now say "hello" when the phone rings, and plays peek-a-boo with his hands over his face. He can do the "spider" in itsy bitsy spider, claps for almost every song and will even "conduct" with his hands (and no one can figure out where he learned that.) Yesterday he started throwing his hands in the air for "so big!"

He is eating pretty well. At least 4oz almost every day. He's even been experimenting putting finger foods in his own mouth. He doesn't generally get them down, but he's testing the waters.

In short, it's amazing.

See for yourself.


Some words. Yes, I know you probably don't know what he's saying, but we do and that counts.



Who needs to walk? Let's run!


This one is dark, but you can see him get to his feet:


Which way do I go?


And what started with fussing & just not knowing what to do with his feet:



Turned into actual crawling within a few days.


We're blown away.

--Trish

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Awareness

November is Prematurity Awareness month. November 17 is Prematurity Awareness Day.



The March of Dimes has asked that those of us who blog to write about how prematurity has affected us in honor of the day. As the MoD and their research is responsible in large part for Robbie's life, I could hardly say no.

To many people, a preemie is just a small baby. During our 96 days in the NICU, if I had a dollar for every person who asked "So when he's four pounds he can come home, right?" we'd be, well, more financially sound. Unfortunately it isn't so simple. Size is the least of the problems that face a preemie, particularly those as small and early as Robbie.

Robbie was born 14 weeks early. Those 14 weeks cheated him of time for his brain, gut, eyes and lungs to develop. When they pulled him from me, he didn't cry. His APGAR score was 3. We were incredibly blessed that he roused reasonably easily and "pinked up" meaning that oxygen was finally nourishing his body.

When they brought him to me for a brief kiss before whisking him to the NICU, he could only open one eye. I wouldn’t see Robbie again for many hours. Robbie's NICU friend Gavin, born 2 days earlier than Robbie, still had fused eyelids when he was born. He wouldn't see his mom for another few days because his eyes literally weren't ready to do so yet.

We wouldn't hold our children for days, sometimes weeks. Robbie was 5 days old before I was able to hold him. And it took two highly skilled nurses to situate him on my chest. It was the happiest day of my life. I was able to hold my son for nearly an hour, just sitting still, finally able to feel his skin on mine.

The next day his father would hold him for the first time. After spending 30 minutes on his dad's chest, Robbie started "acting funny." He was so tiny that he couldn't maintain his temperature and became ill with a condition called "cold stress." Something as simple as holding our own child could put him in peril. Fortunately the quick thinking and attention of a veteran nurse saved the situation from becoming dire.


Robbie's brain was too immature to remember to breathe all the time, his lungs too underdeveloped to process oxygen properly. His muscles were too weak to take a breath deep enough to breathe oxygen in and carbon dioxide out. He was intubated – a breathing tube threaded into his esophagus & to his lungs, delivering life saving breaths. He was hooked up to leads; three on his chest to track his respirations & heart rate. They were moved daily to try to keep his skin from breaking down under them. It was too thin and fragile to handle for long the sticky gel that kept them attached. He was given an IV in his umbilical stump. He had another lead wrapped around his foot to measure his oxygen saturation.

The oxygen saturation was the number we would come to love and hate. For many weeks, it would cycle sometimes twice per minute, alarming if it got too high and again when it got too low. We NICU parents would stare at that number all day long. In the "real world" an oxygen saturation below 95 is cause for concern. In a neonate, they'll accept 80. Many, many times it was much lower than that. We prayed his brain would be able to overcome it. His brain and his body wasn't mature enough to care for itself yet.

This dance was normal in the NICU. When we asked how Robbie was doing, we heard "normal preemie stuff." No matter how abnormal it felt, it's what every preemie experienced.

There were other things, too, of course. Infections in the lungs from the tube shoved into them, blood in the stool because his intestines weren't prepared to work yet, central lines to administer drugs & nutrition before his stomach could handle actual food.

Suffice it to say that the NICU was no picnic for a baby meant to still be floating in the dark and quiet of the womb.

Prematurity stole more than just a normal life for Robbie. It stole much from us as parents, from me as a mother. In the hours before Robbie was born, I wrote as much as I could. I was heavily drugged and afraid I wouldn’t remember things clearly, so I wrote blindly, unable to even focus my eyes on a screen. I wrote about feeling cheated. We didn't yet know Robbie was a boy and had taken to calling him Tater in honor of a particularly delicious baked potato I got from the hospital.



I feel cheated.
Yes, cheated. I haven't even made the 3rd trimester yet. I was just getting to the point of being able to identify what parts of what were jabbing me where. Just learning my Tater's habits. Tater likes icing. Prefers white butter cream. Tater is unimpressed by apple juice and won't kick for that. Tater is not a morning baby. Tater doesn't like it when mommy cries. What else would I have known in the next 3 months?

I will be cheated of the announcement; "It's a _______."

I am in a labor and delivery room, and the table where most babies are set for their welcome to the world sits in the corner taunting me. I suggested putting the flowers that came today on it. It may as well be used for something.

I am cheated of looking pregnant. The maternity clothes I finally ordered will be returned unopened.
Oddly enough, I don't feel the jinx guilt I thought I would. I think of the outfit that David brought home from Vegas and instead of thinking that we jinxed ourselves, I think of the relief I feel that at least we had bought the baby SOMETHING.

I had a melt down yesterday because we have nothing for the baby, but quickly melted a different direction because it doesn't matter that we have nothing for the baby because the baby isn't coming home for months anyway.


I am cheated of a baby laying on my chest, still covered in grossness and full of beauty.

I am cheated at true breast feeding, though I will pump for the NICU. They encourage it and I'm glad to serve some purpose.

I have been cheated of stupid things like my child birth class, and breast feeding class and hospital tour. All of which would have been wasted since I will never labor, will pump and won’t even deliver at the hospital we had planned on anyway.

I'm cheated of packing a hospital bag. Of arranging care for my animals. Of taking a shower before I went to the hospital. Of being able to lay on my side (the fetal monitor doesn't like that).

I'm cheated of holding my husband's hand as I push our baby out. Of seeing the look on his face when I finally make him a father.

It's 5am in the hospital on a day when it's entirely possible that I may give birth to our child and instead of being filled with excitement & giddy nervousness, I'm filled with dread & fear.



Robbie was born 6 hours after I typed those words.

Of course, we now know that we were blessed with so much more than we were cheated out of. And the NICU wasn't all bad. While it certainly was the scariest thing I've ever experienced, I found much support there. The parents there became some of the best friends I could know. The doctors & nurses truly rooted for our children in a way that few experience.

And along the way, miracles occurred. Within minutes of Robbie's birth, he was given a dose of surfactant. It was developed by the March of Dimes and allowed his lungs to expand. He would receive a second dose later. Both times, his lungs capacity was transformed. The medicines and procedures that tortured him also saved him. We saw babies crash and be resuscitated, only to go home a few weeks later. We saw babies wheeled out for their good-byes only to be back in their isolette homes the next day. We saw babies survive the unthinkable and not just survive, but thrive.

One of the first days that Robbie was there, I remarked to David that I could feel God's presence around me. I could angel's wings on the backs of the nurses. Miracles occurred there.

So on this day, I ask for your awareness. Please be aware that the March of Dimes saves lives. It saved Robbie's. Be aware that not every child does survive and we need to do more. Know that not every child gets to go home. If you can spare it, make a donation. There is a badge below to give in Robbie’s name. Be aware of the struggles that the neonatologists, NICU nurses, parents and premature babies go through. Be aware that miracles happen every day. I know. I live with one.








--Trish

Monday, November 16, 2009

More

Yes, another video. This one blew my mind.

Robbie really likes the "D" sound, so everything is "dadada" even words that have other sounds. Kitty, for example, is diddy.

Saturday I was trying to encourage him to say mama by saying "mamamama." Suddenly Robbie put his hands together in what looked like the sign (American Sign Language) for "more." I said as much aloud. When I said the word more, he did it again!

I was floored. So I got him up and put him in the highchair and fed him. Sure enough, he kept signing it and kept eating! He ended up eating about 4 oz of applesauce & strawberries all whilst signing more.

He also can do a little bit of "all done." He doesn't have that sign quite right (he pats his legs instead of pushing them out) but he makes up for it by saying "ah duh!"

It particularly astounds me because we we really haven't worked on "more" a lot because he rarely wants more of anything. I know they've done it at daycare a bit at the request of his developmental therapist, but she just made that request two weeks ago.

I just wasn't expecting it. What an amazing surprise!

He's really getting into mimicking now. On top of his signs, he also claps along with "if you're happy and you know it" and moves his hands a bit for "itsy bitsy spider." My favorite thing is that he'll "conduct" with his hands when you sign. I have no clue where he picked that up. I asked at daycare and they said they don't do it. But he sways his hands to the song. This weekend I even caught him doing it while he was babbling, so I'm pretty sure that he was "singing."

I'm telling you, just when I didn't think I could love the kid any more, he does something else to amaze me and I love him a little deeper.

With that, I present "MORE FOOD, PLEASE!"




--Trish

P.S. I would be remiss if I didn't also add that he is also trying to mimic David making farting noises with his hands. David does it, and Robbie will put his hands together and try to copy. God help me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Videos

Well, ask and receive!

Tuesday night Robbie managed to crawl a few inches! It is still really awkward and he fusses the entire time, but he did it on his own. He still can't quite coordinate his legs and his arms, but he made some forward progress. I tried to get it on video, but as usual, as soon as the camera came out, he was done.

So you'll have to settle for some videos of other recent accomplishments.

First up, Robbie doing a little cruising. This was one of his first days being able to move a bit, so it's not super dramatic, but he does move. You can also see him trying to clap his hands when I'm singing. We usually sing "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands" so he was trying to play along.



Next is another video of him scooting on his butt. He was trying to chase be down, so I thought I'd challenge him a bit to come get me. He's gotten a lot better at aim since this was shot, but you can see how quickly he can move on that butt.



And finally is some of his walking. Not the greatest video because I was staying right in front of him. The floors are slick and the shopping cart is light. I was afraid it would go flying out in front of him, so I didn't leave much room. But you can see him taking steps and moving along.



--Trish

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Improvement

The breathing/coughing is improving. The cough isn't gone, but it's markedly improved. I even let him sleep all night last night instead of waking him for a breathing treatment.

Of course, it's still bad enough that he can't get his tubes tomorrow. The surgeon's office was very understanding, thankfully. Right now we're rescheduled for next Wednesday. Now we just hope I can get off work. Ay yi yi.

Other than that, Robbie's doing great. I'm on vacation this week, so we're hanging out together. It's been fun. He's been eating well (for him) for the most part. Monday I got about 6oz of food into him. Pretty sure that's a record. He ate a full jar in the morning and half a jar in the afternoon. He did throw a little bit of the afternoon jar back up, but he didn't choke or freak out, so it wasn't as horrible as it could be.

Pretty sure that yesterday he started repeating "all done" when I would say it. Of course, it sounds more like "ah duh" so maybe it's wishful hearing, but I do think he's trying.

That brings his vocabulary to 3:

Uh-oh
Kitty
all done

The only one he says reliably is uh-oh, but whatever. He's getting there. He'll probably have his speech evaluation next month and then we can start work on that a month or so after that.

Movement is going great. He's cruising pretty well now and tonight was even able to use a walk-behind toy to get across the living room. He's a speed demon on his butt. It's so fascinating watching what he chooses to do now that he's in control. We've definitely had to start some baby proofing, including keeping the gate to the stairs & the door to the back (two steps down) closed. It's certainly more work as a parent, but I'm loving every minute of it.

If we could just get him a little better on all-fours, we'd be golden. Crawling would be lovely, of course. More than that, though, it would allow him to transition from laying back to sitting and relieve a lot of his frustration. You can see he wants to do it. He can even get up onto all fours, but he just can't hold it while moving so he can figure it out.

Last week in developmental therapy, his therapist was so pleased at his progress that she remarked that she wouldn't need to see him for very long. Score!

It's been amazing watching him learn new things and learning more and more about his amazingly bright personality. Truly, we could be more blessed as his parents.


--Trish

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sick again

The sniffles & slight cough of last week has turned into a big cough this week.

Thursday morning he woke up coughing pretty hard. I checked on him at day-care midday and they said he'd been doing a lot of pretty miserable coughing.

I got lucky and found a clinic I could get him an H1N1 vaccine that afternoon, so I took off work early and went to get him. When I picked him up, he really did seem uncomfortable, so I called the doctor. He didn't seem to be struggling to breathe and wasn't wheezing, so I felt okay not taking him in, but wanted to know what I should do.

Dr. P recommended albuterol (we keep it in the house at this point) for 24 hours. If he improved, keep it up until it was gone. If it didn't, bring him in.

By Thursday night he really seemed miserable. I gave him breathing treatments every few hours, and he still wasn't wheezing or retracting, but he just didn't seem right. At bedtime, he coughed and coughed until he inevitably puked all over his bed. We got him cleaned up, I got him elevated & then listened. He finally fell asleep and seemed to be breathing okay.

It was a long sleepless night for me. I kept thinking we were headed to the ER. I even did the laundry expecting to need to pack a bag for a hospital stay. But he seemed to be holding his own. By morning, he sounded a bit better.

I took him to daycare and told them about the rough night & that he seemed a bit better. I'd check on him midday again and see what they thought.

When I checked, Katie said he just didn't seem like himself. He didn't sound bad, but he was fairly lethargic and just not right. He didn't want to sit up, wouldn't play. I called the doctor right away and got an appointment for the afternoon.

When we got there, he started wheezing. When we got into the exam room I held my breath waiting for the pulse-ox to come up. I just knew the hospital was in our immediate future. Much to my pleasant surprise, he was saturating about 97%. Phew!

They gave him another breathing treatment which improved him a little, though not dramatically. She checked him over and found yet another ear infection to go along with his lung issues.

The combination won him inhaled steroids to be added to the albuterol & antibiotics for the ears.

He's scheduled for the tubes this coming Wednesday. She thought it was possible he could clear up enough by then to get them, but honestly, I would be surprised. We'll make that decision on Monday.

For now, he's doing a bit better. Still wheezing, still crusty. But not struggling and his energy seems to be a good bit better. He's been sleeping a lot, but that's probably at least partially due to the interrupted sleep from having to be up to do breathing treatments.

It's an ugly cough. I'm quite certain he's sore from the physical act of coughing as well.

We could use some prayers that his lungs clear.

--Trish

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Skills

Robbie has a few new skills these days. He still can't (won't?) crawl, but he doesn't really need to. He's figured out how to bounce across the floor on his butt. The video below was taken last week. He's got a lot faster since then. The first video also shows him transitioning from sitting to his belly. He's been working on that skill for a while. There were lots of head thumps for a bit, but he seems to have it down now.

video

He also is clapping and waving. He's been doing both for a little while now, but he's now getting much more dependable about it. These days you can say "bye bye" and he waves. Often while staring at the door wondering who's leaving. And almost any time you say "yay!" or someone on the TV cheers, he joins in.


video

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween


Happy Halloween from the world's cutest kangaroo!



Daddy couldn't resist a smooch.



I think I like my flamingo better than my joey, though.



We went to a Halloween party at my daycare.


My grandpa's even here!



Nicholas & Maddie were all born within a few weeks of me.



A dingo ate my baby!



Maddie didn't seem to want to hold hands.


Night night!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hodge Podge (pics)

Murphy's Law: The lower your checking account balance, the greater the chance your car starts making a funny noise.

Robbie's pediatrician tells me if I hadn't stayed home with Robbie for a year, she shudders to think what would have happened. He needed me. I needed him. It needed to be done. But I'm not sure we will every financially recover.

David's car is acting up. Of course.

...


My MIL definitely set Robbie's eating backward. He has spent the last week crying upon laying eyes on a sippy cup, spoon or bowl. Daycare was shocked. Fortunately they were able to make feeding fun by doing a lot of cheering, and enlisting the other kids to do the same and have made up a little of the lost ground this week.

We could use some prayers that he goes back to, not really normal I guess, but at least where he was pre-MIL visit soon. He was enjoying eating to a degree. He would open his mouth and actively participate in the feeding, at least. Now he just cries and puts his hands over his face.

...


Robbie has yet another cold. When I took him to daycare on Monday a couple of the kids had a drippy nose. Robbie's started tonight. I hate germs.

...


We still can't get H1N1 shots around here. I'm considering chaining myself to the doors of the health dept until they release one of the 500 doses my county (yes, 500 doses for the whole damned county) FINALLY got this week. They tell me they still haven't decided how to distribute them yet. SERIOUSLY? The CDC has a protocol for who should get them first. They aren't doing anyone any damned good sitting on a shelf somewhere.

Cut a stressed out high-risk-preemie mom out, here!

...


Robbie did get approved for Synagis shots this year. We were very worried he wouldn't, but with his two wheezing episodes over the summer (and who knows how much effort from his pediatrician's office) he did get approved. He gets his first shot in a couple of weeks.

...


Enough of my rambling. How freaking cute is my kid?




Mommy got the coolest ballons for her birthday!



da da da da da da da da Bat man!



You're so silly!



I eat candy?



Help! Grandma's trying to steal me!


Stairway to Heaven, anyone?



Look how long my hair is getting.




The high chair rocks. It's just that crap that put on the tray that sucks.



Just let me go, grandpa. I'm ready to take off!



When I think about you, I touch myself....



Cheeeeeese!







Friday, October 23, 2009

Hanging in there

My MIL has been here Saturday. I've managed not to be snotty, I think. Robbie isn't eating any better than he ever has, of course. Honestly, most days he's eaten a little bit less. The first day she pushed him all day long and by the end of the night, if you so much as showed him a spoon or a cup, he'd cover his face with his hands.

I made it very clear that she needed to back off. I said it nicely, but had she continued at that pace, I would have gotten ugly. She seemed to accept that and has only made a few comments here or there that have gotten to me. I did get another lecture about how we need to "be persistent" and "just keep offering." I guess she really does think we just don't give him food. Even David is bewildered.

The best parts of the week were when she forgot to feed him solids both Monday & Tuesday afternoon, despite having a written schedule on the table. All of this insinuation about not feeding him, and then she really does it. I think I should get a cookie for refraining from being my usual passive-aggressive bitch self.

Of course, having another person living in your house for a week is always strange anyway. It doesn't matter who that person is. It means having to put a robe on instead of being naked, not necessarily farting right when the urge hits. So I'm certainly ready for the week to be over.

But it certainly hasn't been all bad. She really does adore Robbie and he reciprocates. She is immensely patient when it comes to entertaining him. She'll hold his hands and walk him through the house (his favorite activity)all day long. She has done some chores around the house (laundry, dishes.) She is fun to have around as long as she's not commenting on our parenting, which really is the majority of the time. And of course, it's a week when Robbie isn't in daycare, which means we don't have to pay and he's not exposed to germs.

Of course, even though he's not at daycare that hasn't kept us from what has become our weekly visit to the pediatrician. He's had ingrown toenails for about a year now. I try to keep them properly trimmed and goop them up with neosporin when they get red, but this week, they won. Both big toes started looking really ugly on Monday. I was hoping to win the war, but last night one of them started oozing some grossness, so we headed in to the doctor this morning.

She confirmed they are infected and said he needed antibiotics. I was caring for the toes themselves properly, but he needed oral antibiotics as well. She added that she doesn't see ingrown toenails in babies very often, but she has seen it before. She said it's definitely genetic and we discussed all the members of my family who have had issues. I apologized to Robbie for the bad genes.

Then I asked her to check his ears because he's been rubbing at them again. She checked them, and sure enough- another double ear infection.

Now, I know you're thinking "wait, didn't he get tubes last week?"
Well, the answer is no. He should have gotten them on Wednesday, but early Tuesday morning I checked on him and found that he was burning hot- About 102. His doctor swabbed him for strep and the flu. Fortunately both were negative. His throat was pretty irritated, but it was declared "just a virus" and he'd just have to wait it out. It only lasted about 36 hours, but that was enough to keep him from having the surgery. It's rescheduled for November 4th.

Even Dr. P seemed exasperated today. "When does he get the tubes again?" It's certainly abundantly clear that he does need them. Hopefully this round of antibiotics will take care of both his toes and his ears and then the tubes will offer us a longer term solution. We're all sick of antibiotics.

That's the state of things at our house. Overall, it's been a tiring week, but not all bad.

--Trish

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Running

He can't walk by himself yet, but he sure wishes he could.


video


--Trish

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Remembering our Angels

October 15 is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

In honor of this day, we are asked to light a candle.

Tonight I lit a candle and thought of my two angels.

I have two pieces of jewelry commemorating them. One is a necklace I bought with what should have been their birthstones, and a forget-me-knot. I wear it when I need to feel them closer to me.

The other is a bracelet made for me by a friend. It's a name bracelet with Robbie's name on it. But included are two small angel charms. She surprised me with the bracelet. I didn't design it myself. It meant more than me than words could ever express that she included those two angels.

It is a mother's greatest hope that her child will leave a mark on this Earth before departing for Heaven. Those two charms showed me that they did- not just in my life and my husband's, but in other's as well.

We miss you sweet angels.

--Trish