Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wait, you want what?!!

Something monumental happened today. Something I never thought I would ever hear in my entire life.

The Chubs ASKED for her bottle today before nap time. Yes, my daughter, you know the one that hates eating and for months loathed her bottle with a passion.

For the last few months I have been very careful with her bottle. We used to offer it to her all the time because she wouldn't eat more than an ounce at each feeding. We also administered medicine with it. Bad, bad things to do. The problem with constantly offering the bottle is that she never had a chance to want it. It was something she hated so much and it was being put in her face constantly. The problem with giving medicine from the bottle is that we HAD to make her take all of her medicine or else her reflux wouldn't be controlled which would cause further issues so we had to continually shove the bottle in her mouth until she took all of it. This always ended in tears on both of our parts. At the time she wouldn't open her mouth for a dropper or anything for that matter. Finally I decided (once we found out her reflux was being controlled by her medication) that we would only offer the bottle every 3-4 hours and no more medicine given by bottle (unless it's hidden in her milk and we know she'll drink all of it). Things improved drastically after that.

Lately Lexi has been in a lot of discomfort. She got her second top tooth along with another tooth on the bottom at the same time. She is now getting tooth 6 and 7, so she has been a teething mess. Because of this, the spoon has been her nemesis. It's clear that she is hungry when I try to feed her solids but it hurts too much so she refuses and simply licks her lips.

Before nap time today I was changing her and she kept opening her mouth wide and saying "baba" which is what we always refer to her bottle as when we offer it to her. She babbles all the time so I didn't think much of it at first. But she continued to repeat this over and over again and open her mouth wide like she was hungry. I continued to shrug it off, but after I had put her down I started wondering... what if she really was asking for her bottle? I don't want to ignore that or brush it aside. I want to encourage her to ask for food. Something I never thought I would ever witness her doing. So I made a few oz of formula and brought it up to her. She drank it down immediately. She clearly wanted her bottle.

I cannot believe that MY child is finally showing some interest in eating. She has never been one to be comforted by food. She's never been one to be excited by food or to even really anticipate food. But if this is the beginning of an interest and eagerness to eat, I am going to do cartwheels and stand on my head because only in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this could happen.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Birthday Bash Recap

I know this is extremely late. I have been meaning to post pics for awhile now.

We had a wonderful first birthday party for The Chubs on November 19th. Her birthday was the 18th but this date worked better for the party.

My mother and I spent all week getting things prepped including a trial run with our ladybug cupcakes. We wanted to make sure that we were going to be able to achieve the look we wanted. Getting frosting to turn red is not the easiest task. I also wasn't sure I would have steady enough hands to decorate them.

It's true that we only invited family but if you know my mom and I, you know that we have the tendency to go above and beyond with pretty much anything. It was so much fun for us to put together the favors, plan the birthday fare, and decorate the room for the main event.






The party itself couldn't have gone more smoothly. Lexi was in a wonderful mood and soaked up all the attention. I was worried about how she would do since she started cutting her second top tooth on her birthday. It didn't seem to effect her and she was all smiles the entire day. She never even fussed once. I couldn't believe it. She loved all the toys she got (especially the books) and even though she didn't eat any of her cake, she had fun playing in it.

We spent the afternoon after the part at the Aquarium and she just loved looking at all the fish and the huge tanks and lights. It really couldn't have been a better day. It was so fun spending it with all the family that has supported us this entire year. This truly was a very special birthday.



Thursday, November 25, 2010

I am Thankful Today

I am thankful today.

I feel so lucky to be at home spending this day with our family and our daughter who is thriving and happy (despite what the doctors and growth chart says). This time last year we were spending the day in the Children's Hospital NICU. It was also the first day we found a bottle that The Chubs would eat from and made that critical step toward getting her to gain weight before they would allow us to go home. This time last year we didn't know how long we would be in the NICU. It was all about the numbers. She needed to eat a certain amount every day, her diapers had to weigh a certain amount and she needed to gain a certain amount. I learned to hate the scale and all of the numbers they used. Thankfully this year, the only numbers I'm concerned about are the numbers of delicious sides we'll have around our dining table. (Ok, so I would be lying if I didn't say I still am obsessed with counting how many calories The Chubs eats every day, but I'm getting better).

I am so Thankful for the support we've had over this last year. The family, friends, doctors and of course my amazing husband and best friend who have all played an intricate roll in where we are today. I'm thankful for a healthy daughter who despite her food refusal at times, is still growing and thriving and enjoying life. I'm so thankful that God gave her to us. There were times I never knew if I could be a mother or if I ever would. God gave me the greatest gift when he entrusted Lexi's life into our hands. I am forever thankful for the gift of motherhood. I will never forget the long road to get to this place and no matter how hard things might get, I would never in my life trade any of the trials of this year to go back to how things were before.

Thank you God for the precious gifts you have given me. My amazing husband that despite my craziness and sometimes borderline obsessive personality, has stuck by my side and loved me through the hardest and most painful times of life. My daughter whose name means "strength" that has truly demonstrated what it means to persevere in the midst of adversity. Although she is not aware of all the things she has endured in her short time on Earth, one day she will look back and see what a tough little cookie she actually is. Our families, who have shown great understanding, love, support and encouragement through out all of this. Our friends who loved us through the hard times and have always been there to offer a helping hand or get us out of the house to experience some normalcy.

I am thankful today. And tomorrow, and forever.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Lexi!

We love you so much.


November 18, 2009

8:39pm

5 lbs. 17.25 inches

video

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Unmotivated (updates)

I don't know why I've been dragging my feet to post. I have many things that I could talk about and have contemplated posting about but for some reason I just don't have the motivation. This is kind of a forced post because I don't want to make this blog something that fades into the background where I lose precious memories of my daughter's life because I was too lazy to log on and type something out. So here it goes; a mishmash of updates:

Therapy - Things have been going well. I can't pretend that 3 therapy sessions a week doesn't get old because it definitely does. I also can't pretend that having a bunch of exercises with each type of therapy isn't a hassle to say the least BUT the exciting news is that they are working. The Chubs has made fantastic strides in every area and it's really made me realize just how important these sessions are for her. I had no idea the extent of her sensory issues until we started therapy. Thank God that we did. As a result of therapy The Chubs is now feeling much more comfortable reaching for things no matter what their texture, size or shape, putting things up to her mouth (I never thought I would see the day), putting her hands on the floor regardless of the surface, and she is willingly opening her mouth for the spoon, dropper, and vibrating teether (major feat). Again, anyone with a normally developing child would think these things are nothing and most have children that were doing this at 4 months old, but for The Chubs, being the sensitive little girl that she is, these are huge steps. Ones I would never have dreamed we would take because of her defensiveness to her environment. In fact she has finally found a few things that she really trusts near her mouth:


Yes, that is a tampon. Her feeding therapist will be so proud.

Feeding - This kind of goes along with therapy but overall feedings have become much easier. Eating is still not her favorite thing. I'm not sure it ever will be. But bottle feedings have improved and solids are coming along. Teething doesn't seem to effect her eating nearly as much as it used to. She is learning to eat through the pain and I'm so proud of her. We weighed her ourselves the other day and she was almost 15 lbs. Our target is 15 lbs or more at her 1 year mark. That means she will have tripled her weight since birth. Definitely something worth celebrating. We are still doing stage 2 purees. Moving slowly is key with her. We don't want to give her something that freaks her out and regress in that department. Our next step will be mashed table food. I will probably start introducing this next week. The challenge is finding food items that are milk and soy free. It would be easy to just mash up whatever we're having for dinner but since she has the milk and soy intolerance we'll have to figure out a few things to offer that she can handle. Did I mention she loves sweet potatoes?


Growth - According to our own measurements, The Chubs is now on the growth chart for height! She is right at the 3rd percentile. I am nothing short of thrilled about this. I wish I could post her growth pattern since birth. She was on her own growth curve (less than 1%ile) until about 8 months and then she just started to shoot up. Of course this makes her weight for height less because she's taller now but I'm sure it will eventually catch up.

Birthday Girl - My little girl will be 1 year old next week. We have so much to celebrate. This has been the most challenging year of my life but so rewarding. When I think back to last Thanksgiving, eating our turkey meal in the cafeteria of Children's Hospital, I realize just how far we've come. I remember feeling so much uncertainty, not knowing what was going on with her, or when we would be able to bring her home, what the long term effects would be, and if she would ever thrive like a normal child. Here we are almost one year later and my little girl is laying in her crib babbling away and happy as can be (with the exception of teething). It has been so much more work than I ever imagined. I knew having a child would be challenging, exhausting, and at times frustrating, but I never imagined that I would have a child that needed so much extra care. I thank God that He entrusted her life with us. That He knew we could handle this and give her the care she needed. Although at times I have wished I just had a "normal" child, I wouldn't trade this experience or The Chubs for any other child in the world. Every frustrating feeding, every grueling procedure, every long appointment, every sleepless night, they were all worth it. And though it is sad to say goodbye to the first year of my baby's life, I welcome this next one with open arms. I am ready to move forward and have great hopes for the coming year.

2 Days Old

Almost 1 year

Friday, November 5, 2010

WINNER!

Just a quick post to announce the winner of the Blog2Print Giveaway. The way I did this was took the number of participants and used a random number generator. The number that came up was "3" which means the 3rd person to enter which was Katie!

Congratulations Katie! I've sent Blog2Print your information. They will be contacting you with a promotion code to use on their site for your free 40 pages. You can add as many more to this as you like, you'll just have to pay for the additional pages.

Thanks everyone who entered!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Something I've never done before: UPDATED

**I will announce the winner on Friday, so you have until then to enter. **

You're probably expecting me to bust out saying I kissed a donkey, or rode on an endangered elephant while playing the bagpipes (which would actually be pretty awesome). It's actually a little bit better than that... if you can imagine.

The intention of this blog from the beginning was and always has been simply to document and share what's going on in my life as a first time parent to my little Chub Muffin. Nothing in this area has changed. I'm not out to make money, get recognition or become a blogging mama superstar (plus I don't think that goal is really attainable even if I WAS trying :)). I am first and foremost a mother and I don't think blogging should ever take away time from that or become all-consuming.

So what I'm about to do is completely new, but still relevant. I am doing a giveaway. Yes, you heard that correctly.

I was contacted regarding a company that turns blogs into printed books. This really peaked my interest because I have always kind of considered my blog to be in a sense, a more detailed baby book for The Chubs, documenting our everyday life, milestones, frustrations, adventures etc. Plus I'm not very scrap-booky so the idea is even more appealing. The company I speak of is Blog2Print.


I ordered a book and it came really quickly*. They have a bunch of different patterns and styles you can choose for the outside of the book and you get to choose a photo for the front and back of it. You can also decide to print the entire blog, or just from one date to another. The site is extremely easy to use and it generates your book within minutes. You can then go through it online to preview it before you order. In a word, it's awesome.

Not that anything would probably ever happen to my blog, but it makes me feel so much better knowing everything is printed and in a hard copy. Not only is it nice to have for myself but my parents and other family members that take interest in The Chub Muffin have also expressed interest in having a hard copy for themselves so it would make a great Christmas or birthday gift.

So here's the deal. If you would like your own free printed 40-page copy of your blog enter to win by 1) Leaving me a comment about why you want your blog in print. 2) Follow Blog2Print on Twitter or Facebook. 3) Bribe me with chocolate and potato chips**. I will select a winner at random, or whoever does the best bribing**.

* I was given a complimentary book from Blog2Print in exchange for reviewing their product.

** Just kidding. Bribing won't actually help you win, but it will make you my BFF and I'll totally give you an honorable mention, which is almost as good as actually winning.