Sunday, May 23, 2010

May 23, 2010

Today we beat the heat in Houghton by driving down to White City Park on the southern shore of the Keweenaw. It was nice and quiet and even a bit chilly with the breeze off Lake Superior. For a short time a bald eagle perched on the breaker wall near the lighthouse. Charlotte's first taste of the big lake (from the beach anyway).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 16, 2010


Charlotte has her first report card and it's on our fridge! We are so proud of how she's doing.

She had 3 appointments which turned into 4 at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin on Friday, May 14. The first of which was her Neonatal Developmental Follow-up appointment where she was evaluated by occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech. They gave us all sorts of information:

Age from birth date: 9 months 4 days
Age from due date: 5 months 21 days (this is the age used for all categories below)

Growth Progress:
Weight: 14 lbs 7 0z (25th percentile)
Length: 24.5" (10th percentile)
Head size: 16.5" (45th percentile)

She is growing! We learned that when a baby eats the nutrition is first distributed to the brain and head for cognitive development, then to length, and lastly to weight. It makes sense then that her head size is basically normal for other babies her age but she's still behind in length and weight.

Bayley Test Scores: Age Equivalent

Cognitive (Play skills): 7 months
Fine Motor: 6 months

Gross motor: 6 months
Receptive Language (Understanding): 4 months 10 days
Expressive Language (Talking): 6 months

She's meeting and exceeding expectations in all categories except receptive language. The therapists said, though, that at her age there are so few skills on which to judge this category it's easy to get a low evaluation. They really look for her to be responding to her name, which she doesn't. So, we're going to do our best to not call her sweetie, baby girl, etc. in an effort to teach her her name - Charlotte.

In order to make sure her receptive language deficit isn't a hearing issue, she was sent for a screening and passed with flying colors. It was very neat to see how they do the hearing screenings. Charlotte and I went into a sound booth while Patrick and the audiologist went into an attached room. She sat on my lap while sounds were played from speakers to our right and left. When she looked toward the sound a little cartoon character would light up and shake to reward her for responding to the sound.

Charlotte met with Dr. Arvedson again to evaluate her eating progress. She was impressed by how far she's come (these are tiny, tiny steps not noticeable to anyone but Dr. Arvedson we feel). We received the go ahead to introduce flavors and textures to Charlotte. While at the appointment Dr. Arvedson put some applesauce on Charlotte's lips and Charlotte wasn't too pleased. Charlotte won't be taking anything significant by mouth - if she takes a drop of water and swallows it we are delighted, but we hope she starts to enjoy different textures and tastes near her mouth. Dr. Arvedson told us about one baby who liked pickle juice of all things.

Finally, Charlotte visited the GI Clinic for a check-up on her G-tube. No big news here. They would like us to try increasing the rate at which she eats. Right now she receives 125 mls every 3 hours at a rate of 65 mls/hour. They would like to see her rate at 85 mls/hour with the goal of at some point administering her feed in under an hour. A faster rate allows us more freedom (and Charlotte as she becomes more mobile), but we need to make sure she can keep most of her feeds down.

We had some fun on this trip, too! On Thursday we traveled to Milwaukee, making 2 pit stops. We visited Mom and Pop Place in Neenah, WI. The store is owned by a high school friend of Pat's and although we missed seeing her, we had fun looking at all the baby toys and items. I was excited to find a car adapter for my breast pump - no more need for batteries while we travel! We also stopped to visit a mom and baby who were in the NICU with us. It was fun to visit and see how baby Alexya is doing.

My parents surprised us with a visit in Milwaukee! Here are some pictures of our visit with them.

All the fun wore Charlotte out! On our way back she slept solid from Milwaukee to Green Bay, the longest she's ever stayed asleep in the car!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 10, 2010


Charlotte turned 9 months old today (6 months corrected) and celebrated by showing off her rolling skills. She has been rolling over periodically over the last month, but today it seemed like every time I put her on her tummy she ended up on her back soon after. At first she seemed confused, but now she appears to like it.

We're on an every-other-day schedule around here with regard to keeping feeds down. One day Charlotte will do really well, hardly throwing up at all. The next day it seems like she doesn't keep anything down and I'm doing a load of burp clothes and scrubbing the carpet constantly. But she is gaining weight slowly but surely so some things have improved.

We all head back to Milwaukee on Thursday for another round of appointments on Friday.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5, 2010


Charlotte's first non-medical trip was busy but fun. We spent 5 days in Eau Claire visiting Pat's parents as well as a few other friends. The photo above was taken on Sunday at the Eau Claire Marathon. Patrick was a spectator for Charlotte's first marathon experience, and while it was fun to watch with him, we hope he'll be back to running very soon.

FYI: There is no large outline of the state of Minnesota at the rest area on I94. Patrick found this sign that served to mark Charlotte's first day trip to Minnesota on Monday. Charlotte met Pat's past co-workers from the UofM, got to visit Kurt at TC Running Company, went for a walk with Aunt Kelly and Cousin Tank, and had dinner with some friends from UMD. All in all, a busy day.

Walking around Lake Nokomis with Kelly and Tank.

Tim and Kelly became homeowners this year and we were excited to finally see their house!

It was fun to see friends, and hope it won't be as long this time before we're able to visit again!

Our little vacation was fun, but I think we learned about Charlotte's limits. We pushed her pretty hard and traveled like we used to before we had a baby. We'll probably take things a bit slower in the future because even Pat and I were relieved to arrive home tonight.

This trip did include a quick medical detour. On our way home we stopped by Marquette for Charlotte's eye appointment. She is near sighted and will require glasses, but not until she starts moving independently. Maybe in 6 months, we'll see! As the doctor said, all the things that "matter" (retina, etc.) look good, so that's a relief.



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