The weekends have been jam packed. Two weekends ago we took advantage of the free Sunday at the Minnesota Children's Museum. Katie and I had never been, but we had heard good things and the museum didn't disappoint. We were salivating at the four floors of activities and open space for next winter especially. No more cooped up feeling. Charlotte started out squealing and running over over the place. It's almost like she didn't know where to start. Eventually she wore down and by the time we got to "Our World" she was sporting a zombie stare.
After a long nap Charlotte was recharged and put on a little fashion show of the new swimsuits she received from Katie's cousin Karen. We hope that her eagerness and insistence in wearing them will translate to actually taking a dip this summer. We'll start with the wading pool at Minnehaha Park, but hopefully we can eventually take some swim lessons.
We're also working on increasing her comfort level with her bike helmet. We're up to about two minutes.
This past weekend we not only celebrated Easter, but also my sister Kelly's impending nuptials at her wedding shower in Sheboygan, WI. Daycare was closed Friday, something that we failed to realize until that week. So Thursday night we brought Charlotte to Grandma and Grandpa Russell's in Eau Claire, drove back to work Friday morning and then back to Eau Claire Friday night. Saturday we woke up early and we all drove over to Sheboygan for the shower and then back to the Twin Cities that evening. Since being back in St Paul we become a bit unpracticed at the long-haul trips that were so common when we lived in Houghton. I can't say we miss them and Charlotte concurs.
Friday evening Charlotte made her first attempt at dying Easter eggs. And by first attempt I mean sticking her hands in the dye and staining her hands so that she looked jaundice for the next two days.
On the health front, we've continued to try to massage Charlotte's daily feeding plan to not only promote her growth, but to also encourage some hunger cues so she might make more serious attempts at eating. And we've had some success. She seems more comfortable eating small amounts of food. The other day she actually came into the kitchen and pointed earnestly at a box of blueberry granola. The blueberries are freeze dried and it seems to be the food/texture she is having the most success with. Overall we're still dealing with very small amounts of food and sometimes she goes a little far and throws up, but the overall trend is better.
We met with the specialists at the Fairview Feeding clinic for the first time a couple weeks ago. It started off a little slow with the occupational therapist as Charlotte is a little shy around strangers at first. But by the end of the appointment she was running around the room and acting silly. It doesn't appear that we will have to see the occupational therapist at the feeding clinic anymore because Charlotte doesn't really have any sensitivities to textures. But the new speech therapist had a lot of good information and we look forward to continuing to work with him. Right now our goal is that within the next six months we will replace a portion of her tube feeds with oral feeds. It seems like a tall order, but if we can get Charlotte's vomiting under control and continue on working with her every meal anything's possible. If there is anything we've learned over the past couple of years is that things can turn quickly, both for the better and the worse.
A couple days after the feeding clinic Charlotte had a GI appointment with Dr. Erickson. Since we're still seeing some vomiting and some other possible signs of a milk allergy, we're going to try a different formula that is more "elemental" with the milk proteins partially broken down. There really isn't a downside to trying it outside of the smell which will probably get old pretty fast if she continues to throw up.
Other than that, Charlotte continues to enjoy her time at daycare. The nights are getting better gradually. She'll sleep in her bed for at least a portion of the overnight, but we still usually end up bringing her into bed around 2-3a.m. Katie and I each get sleep on about six inches of the bed as Charlotte tends claim a lot of territory. I tend to get kicked in the face a lot. Her feet are cute, but that's not usually my first thought at 3a.m.
Charlotte in her Easter dress.