Friday, December 31, 2010

December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010 was our first full year as parents and it was full of joy! Charlotte is quite the crawler, she giggles regularly, and loves to snuggle. I am grateful she's our baby girl.

She was a good sport at Christmas and happily wore her Santa hat.

Gift opening was more fascinating than exciting, but still fun!

Cousin Blake and Charlotte at Christmas. Look at those cute smiles!

It seems we take 2 steps forward only to take one backward. Charlotte's ear infection has returned, so she's back on antibiotics. She is throwing up regularly again as of about 2 weeks ago. We think (hope!) this is related to her cold and that once she shakes that the throwing up will subside again. The worst part is that any progress we'd made with her feeds has been lost. She's barely interested in water these days.

For now, though, I'm focused on ringing in the new year! We opted to stay in rather than celebrate with friends to allow Charlotte to rest (she hasn't had a good nights sleep in over a week, so let's hope tonight is it). However, it looks like I'll be the only one awake in our household when midnight rolls around. I'm looking forward to our last New Years in the eastern time zone. Next year we'll be back to watching the ball drop at 11 p.m...I really don't mind going to bed at 11 p.m.! :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas! Our holiday vacation had a rough start, but things are already looking up.

Charlotte went home sick from daycare last Friday after she threw up, and she then developed a fever and bad cough over the weekend. On Monday Charlotte's pediatrician prescribed nebulizer treatments twice daily for 2-3 months. At first Charlotte was very resistant to the nebulizer (screaming, pushing), but she's pretty ok with it now. We've noticed that she falls asleep much more easily, so it's definitely helping her breathe more easily.

Last winter Charlotte received Synagis shots to prevent RSV. This winter we weren't able to get them for her because our insurance would only cover them if she was being treated for her Chronic Lung Disease. Well, the nebulizer counts as treatment, so Charlotte will once again be protected from RSV.

Then, we made what we hope is our final trip to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee on Tuesday! Let's back up a bit...In late November we decided to remove Charlotte's GJ Tube (because she'd stopped throwing up - yay!), and put in the Mic-Key Button G-Tube again. We were able to do this ourselves at home, but we've been concerned because the tube itself (the hardware) has been leaking. We tried putting in our spare Mic-Key button, but it also leaked. We finally called CHW on Monday and Charlotte's nurse wanted to see her right away, so we drove down first thing Tuesday morning. Here's a picture of Charlotte barricaded on our bed while we finished getting ready to go:

Nurse Amanda had never seen a G-Tube leak like this before, so she deduced we must have received a faulty batch of Mic-Key buttons. She ordered up a new button and we haven't had any problems since. After leaving CHW we did a little shopping at the mall and as we left the mall we decided to drive to Eau Claire Tuesday night instead of waiting until Wednesday morning. The trip went smoothly except for a stretch of icy roads from Wisconsin Dells to Mauston, WI along which we saw 20+ cars and 3 semis in the ditch. It was all worth it though to wake up and not have to drive this morning!

Let the holiday celebrations begin! Tonight Grandpa and Grandma Russell took us to have dinner with Santa at Fanny Hill. Patrick went to this when he was a kid, so it was extra special to bring Charlotte. Here are a few photos from the evening:

Let's Eat! Wait, why is my shoe on the table?

Santa was a bit scary,

but better at a distance.

She loved it! She met Frosty and Rudolph!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

December 18, 2010


Boxes? A UofM penant? Yes, we are returning to Minnesota! We'll be moving the weekend of January 15, so if you'd like to help us load or unload the U-Haul, please let me know. Your help would be appreciated! :) Oh, and there'll be pizza or something in it for you!

I am looking forward to joining the College of Biological Sciences in Student Services as an Academic Advisor. I interviewed on December 10, and so got to experience the 5th biggest snow storm in Minnesota history. My flight was canceled due to weather in Chicago, so Patrick and Charlotte drove down with me (two drivers is always nice), and rather than returning on Friday night or even Saturday morning we ended up staying until Sunday...and still hit blizzard conditions in the UP. Oh yeah, the interview. It went well! The Student Services staff seemed great and I'm looking forward to working with them.

Of course leaving is bittersweet - we'll be closer to family, friends, and medical care, but we're both leaving jobs we enjoy, and we'll miss all the great people we've gotten to know here. However, any doubts we had about leaving Houghton were erased when approximately 2 hours after I accepted the position Patrick received a call inviting him to interview for a position at the UofM. This is a job he says is exactly what he wants to do, so I hope it works out. If not, we both feel a bit more confident he'll be able to find something sooner rather than later.

The past couple of days we've been busy on the Internet looking for a 2-bedroom apartment and also researching our daycare options. If anyone knows of an apartment near the UofM (Highland Park, south Mpls, around the U) please let us know. Or, if you have daycare recommendations (or warnings) please send them our way!

Charlotte's language skills are developing! While she's not a big talker yet (she was saying "hi" for a while and she's pretty good with "dada"), she knows how to hug (see photo above) when we say "hug" and she blows kisses when we say "kiss". She's also learning where her (and our) noses are!

We're still trying to turn her into a winter lover, but it's going to take some time. We got another sled that supports her and helps her sit. She cried pretty much the entire time we had her in the sled.

Well, I'd better get back to packing and gift wrapping! We'll be in Wisconsin and Minnesota for Christmas, and we look forward to celebrating the holidays with family.



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