Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We had a fun weekend and took quite a few pictures!

Charlotte had fun with Grandma and Grandpa Russell. Here she is watching a video of herself. At what age is Narcissism no longer cute?

AHHHHH!!!! (says Charlotte the dinosaur)

Hanging with Daddy.

We got outside for a few minutes, but Charlotte was not a fan. Pretty sure she just didn't like being bundled up.

She couldn't even sit up! Here she is closing her eyes just hoping it'll be over soon. Maybe next time will be more fun!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 23, 2010

Charlotte's glasses arrived today! She seems to have adjusted to wearing them pretty quickly. Here she is outside the vision clinic with Patrick.

As you can see, winter arrived in Houghton last night!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

November 22, 2010

What a fabulous weekend! Patrick had a great trip to the JFK 50 mile in Maryland with his friend Andy. I knew he was feeling good when he called me to let me know he'd slept from 12:30 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. the first night. He then rewarded his well-rested body with a punishing 50 mile run, which I'm sure he'll post about in detail on his running blog: In short, he finished in 6 hours 26 minutes for 9th place - go Pat!

While Patrick was off partying it up at places like IHOP and historical Gettysburg, I was enjoying every second of my first extended weekend of single parenthood. Charlotte and I started off the weekend with Friday morning appointments at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin before heading off to Grandma and Grandpa's house in Minnesota.

Charlotte's developmental appointment brought only good news. No concerns, and her report card is below. In italics on each line is how this visit compared to her last visit in May.

Age from birth date: 15 months, 9 days; 9 months 4 days
Age from due date: 12 months, 10 days; 5 months 21 days (One thing I love about CHW is that they are not afraid to use her adjusted age for developmental milestones. You may notice the growth information from her pediatrician appointment a couple of posts ago is comparing her to other 15 month olds which just doesn't make sense).

Growth Progress:
Weight: 20 lbs 1 oz (45th percentile); 14 lbs 7 0z (25th percentile)
Length: 27.5" (10th percentile); 24.5" (10th percentile)
Head size: 17.75" (57th percentile); 16.5" (45th percentile)

Bayley Test Scores: Age Equivalent
Cognitive (Play skills): 15 months;
7 months
Fine Motor: 15 months; 6 months
Gross motor: 11 months (because she's not yet walking - still normal range though); 6 months
Receptive Language (Understanding): 9 months; 4 months 10 days
Expressive Language (Talking): 10 months; 6 months

Her receptive and expressive language skills are a bit behind, but the therapists were confident she'll be talking and understanding in no time and did not recommend any additional therapy. After the developmental appointment we saw GI and have started slowly transitioning Charlotte's feeds back to her G-port, so the food goes into her stomach instead of her intestines. Hopefully this goes well, but if she starts throwing up again we'll go back to the J-port. So far so good!

We had lots of fun at Grandma and Grandpas! I took a few photos:

Charlotte got to do whatever she wanted, including emptying drawers.

She's learning to help with the dishes!

Grandma introduced Charlotte to the piano, and she loved all the buttons!

And, Charlotte had a nice time playing and reading with Grandma and Grandpa. Sad to leave, but Christmas will be here before we know it!

Today we met with Charlotte's speech/feeding therapist and are going to start thickening pureed foods using rice cereal. When she took an entire container of apple sauce I was ready to pull out the feeding tube and be done, but that's just not how it works. Slow and steady.

We're all home and happy to be together again. Patrick and I don't have any separate trips planned, so hopefully we'll be able to relax a a bit with two of us to watch with Charlotte. Everyday she gets more and more fun to play with! So full of laughs and smiles. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 17, 2010 - She Eats!

Charlotte has discovered the joy of food! Today at daycare she ate an entire container of stage 1 baby food, apple sauce. Wow, what a difference not throwing up can make.

For weeks in the NICU the nurses told us that she would just start eating out of the bottle one day, and they were right (just off on the timing and we skipped the bottle).

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

Charlotte has made significant steps with her feeding. This progress correlates with a decrease in vomiting. Over the past week she has basically stopped throwing up, except for first thing in the morning when she wakes up and even then it's less than we've seen in the past.

This afternoon I met with the representative from Early On and Charlotte's teachers from Little Huskies. Early On reminded me of something I'd nearly forgotten: when we started with the practice feeds back in January we would simply touch a dry spoon to Charlotte's cheeks and lips. Now she takes water like a champ! Little Huskies has had amazing success feeding Charlotte, in large part because Charlotte is a social butterfly and loves doing what the other kids are doing. Last week they took a video of her feeding practice and we're posting it now because we just got permission from the parents of the other kids in the video. They're pretty fun to watch.

During this afternoon's meeting we developed goals for Charlotte. Over the coming months and within a year we want her to:
Walk independently
Start babbling more consonants than the "la" and "da" we hear regularly now
By next November develop a vocabulary of 10-20 words
Eat a cracker (within 3 months)

I'll definitely talk with the specialists in Milwaukee about these goals, but it was fun to set them. During the meeting I was reminded about how lucky we are to have Charlotte at Little Huskies. Not only has the social aspect been great for her development and happiness, the staff are phenomenal.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 14, 2010

Last year this time we were adjusting to having a baby at home, and believe it or not an entire year has passed. Charlotte came home from the hospital on November 11, 2009 and while some parents remember taking their baby home from the hospital as a time of anxiety/nervousness, we recall a sense of liberation and joy. The pictures on this post were taken the morning of November 11 shortly after she woke up.

She had her 15 month pediatric appointment on 11/11 and everything went fine.
Height: 28.5"; 7th percentile
Weight: 19.95 lbs; 10th percentile
Head: 45 cm; 25th percentile

About a week ago Charlotte had a developmental follow-up with Early On, Michigan's birth to three program. They didn't have any concerns outside of her not eating. We go around and around with this conversation, but they want her to see a speech therapist in the UP. We are fine with this and would love her to have some additional help, but we also insist they communicate with her therapist in Milwaukee to ensure some consistency. We'll be seeing Early On again tomorrow, so I'll see if they followed up with Dr. Arvedson.

Last weekend was a trying one for Patrick and Charlotte. I traveled to a conference in St Louis Saturday through Tuesday. Late Saturday night Charlotte started throwing up bile and stomach juices constantly - every 10 minutes all night long. Finally about 5 a.m. Patrick turned off her feed and she settled for a few hours, allowing him to get a couple hours of sleep. Of course he woke up to happy playing sounds coming from the crib only to find Charlotte thoroughly enjoying playing in her own diarrhea and throw-up.

Later that morning Patrick took her to the ER at Portage Health since the throwing up had resumed with her feeds and her cheeks had broken out in a rash. She was diagnosed with Fifth Disease, also called "Slap-cheeked Syndrome". There wasn't much treatment besides letting her rest and trying to get her fluids through her tube. Charlotte started to recover slowly throughout the day on Monday, but about mid-morning Patrick started to feel the effects of a stomach bug coming on. While Charlotte was at daycare he spent the afternoon sleeping and throwing up. Luckily Charlotte was starting to feel better and slept most of the night, although she still couldn't be fed on her regular schedule.

And just so I didn't feel left out I managed to spend Sunday night sick as well and had a relapse later in the week after I got back. Hopefully we're done with the "sick" thing for a little while. Of course, with Charlotte in daycare it shouldn't be too long until we all get the illness-du-jour.

The weekend has been great. Pat's sister, Kelly, visited from Minneapolis and we hope she enjoyed her visit because we sure did.

Tomorrow we're back to work for a three-day week until we head off to Milwaukee on Thursday. Thursday evening Patrick will fly to Maryland for the JFK 50 miler - his first time away from Charlotte since she came home (a well-deserved break). Charlotte and I will have a busy weekend with 2 appointments on Friday and then a trip to see Grandma and Grandpa Distad in Minnesota.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 2, 2010

We had a great weekend in Eau Claire celebrating Pat's mom's retirement and birthday! Charlotte loved seeing family and playing with them. Charlotte even dressed up for Halloween (against her wishes) as Tinker Bell. It took her a few minutes to adjust to her costume, but she eventually stopped trying to pull it off.

There is a possibility that Charlotte uttered her first word tonight! When Patrick came into the room she pointed at him and said "da da". Now, she babbles pretty regularly and da da da da da is one of her favorites, but this time just seemed different. We'll see if she does it again!



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