Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More Laughs

Yesterday Claire started laughing when I repeated "ha" over and over. I think this is the first time she's laughed without being tickled or jiggled. She did it again for me this morning. Very fun.

Haven't had any more of those nice 90 minute naps the past few days. Shucks. She has been napping in her crib which is a change...She used to nap in the swing. We also instituted a bedtime routine:
1.dim lights and turn on soft music
2. change diaper, moisturize and put on PJ's
3. offer cereal
4. read a bedtime story
5. read evening prayers
6. Swaddle and rock if necessary then put in crib
So far (As of last Thursday) it works like a charm. It is nice to have her falling asleep in her crib. We read that this was possible, but in the past I tried it without success. Swaddling seems to be a necessity because of her itchiness.

She sat up without any support for about 5 seconds yesterday. This was her longest stint of sitting without help. She has also been enjoying standing on my lap.

She has also been getting up on her knees while on her tummy.

She has been playing with Cheerios and new blocksthe past few days and seems to be enjoying manipulating them. She hasn't figured out how to get any Joe's O's into her mouth yet. I'm interested in a less salty alternative to Cheerios/Trader Joes O's. Any ideas?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

NICU follow up

We went to Claire's first NICU followup clinic appointment this week. The Doctor and Nurse were both pleased to see how much progress Claire has made since her discharge from the NICU. The Ocupational Therapist who assessed her suggested getting some OT on a regular basis to make sure Claire keeps up with development of fine motor skills.

Claire has been taking bigger meals (4-6 oz) and having some longer naps (up to 90 mins). She also only eats twice during the night now instead of 3 times. We've had to swaddle her snugly to get her to sleep recently because she is restless from itchiness.

Green Clean came today. I didn't reach the goals I had set for myself two weeks ago for organization of the house. We did make some progress. We still haven't finished with the kitchen cabinet project, so we have a few boxes of kitchen items in the dining room and living room.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Claire's new meds seem to be helping. Her skin looks and feels much smoother. She is still itchy though. (She is not as bad as she was the other day but she did give herself a new scratch on the side of the head whenI turned my back while she was gloveless.)

We are all over our colds of last weekend.

Claire likes grabbing her toes and has mastered rolling from tummy to back. I think the physical therapy is helping her to develop these skills faster than she would on her own. I've been having fun with her on the big hot pink exercize ball between therapy sessions. She really like it too.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I decided to be brave and take Claire out in the car today as per her dad's suggestion. We were going to visit her dad for a cuppa in the afternoon and buy some supplies at the Pump Station but halfway there Claire was scratching and screaming so I pulled off the freeway, got her out of her carseat and soothed her. Next I readjusted the carseat straps and covered them and the buckle with an extra long-sleeved onesie, covered the carseat with a receiving blanket, cranked up the A/C, opened a window and drove back home. She fell asleep soon after I started up again. Whew!

We did go to the doctor yesterday for her RSV shot, and he also prescribed two things for her itchy skin: one oral and one topical which are already starting to help. But she is still itchy part of the time. A few days ago she rubbed one of her arms raw. It is starting to heal now. I just feel so bad for her. I've been wearing myself out tyring to keep her hands and head covered, her skin well-moisturized etc. I take off her mitts for playtime while I'm watching her and can distract her from scratching by handing her a toy. The Doctor said she may be allergic to something and asked if we changed laundry detergent or soap or my diet. I can't figure out what it might be.

We finally heard from Lanterman Regional Center about respite care again. Our coordinator re-refered us to an agency. (Last time the agency didn't have anyone available to work in our area and we were left out in the cold, so to speak.) It will be nice to have a few hours a week to take care of myself. I hope the scheduling will be flexible.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Claire Likes...

Claire likes...
baths, toys that make noise, mirrors, sitting up, solid foods of every vairety, being face to face, riding in the sling or stroller, music especially if her parent are singing it, swinging, sucking and gumming her fingers, fist or thumb, looking at books, holding onto straps/saftey belts, looking at her hands, grabbing her feet, making all kinds of noises...gurgling is the latest.

Claire and I did go to the La Leche meeting on Thursday and got there late and the meeting ended early. I'm still glad I went. I almost didn't go because right when I started packing Claire up she pooped and I had to change her and she threw a huge fit...this due to her itchy skin which feels worse when exposed to the air. Then I put her back in her car seat and she threw another screaming fit. I soothed her and put her back in and managed to finally pack up and leave with only minor fussing on her part, then on the way she was screaming again and scratching her arms agains the car-seat straps. I almost turned around and came home. I pulled over and thought about it and cried. I've been tring for months to go and here I was finally on my way to a meeting. In the end she fell asleep on the way...whew. The Ladies at the meeting were very encouraging. And I tried Claire at the breast whe we got home and she nursed for a minute or so. I've tried since and she only chomps and pulls. Oh well.

Mark, Claire and I all got colds so we stayed home and chilled out this weekend.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Productive Day

Besides having Claire's usual Wednesday appointments, I started sewing another diaper cover, loaded and ran the dishwasher, did two loads of laundry, took a short nap, washed dishes, put together a drawer for a cabinet we got at Ikea and made dinner. Whew! Now I'm exhausted. As soon as I'm done pumping, I'm going to bed. I hope to be asleep by 9:45.

Claire figured out how to roll from her tummy to her back. She did it multiple times today. She sometimes gets stuck because she forgets to move her arm out of the way and she'll push and push so I try to help her move her arm up out of the way. The Physical therapist gave her a real workout today working on sitting and rolling. Claire seemed to enjoy the challenge.

Claire was still a little runny nosed today and took one extra nap, but she seems okay otherwise...Oh, and she gnawed on her tongue so much that she made the tip raw.

Tomorrow morning is the La Leche meeting that I keep missing. Hopefully I'll remember to go.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Cardiologist Today

We went to the Cardiologist today. We got him to print out a couple ultra sound Photos and to give us an EKG print out too. (One for you, Nina.)
He still says surgury to correct the valve and hole between the upper chambers will probably be necessary around age 2 or 3. He said the lower right chamber is larger than normal because it is handling nearly twice as much blood as it would in a normal heart. He also said her lungs have to work extra hard to compensate. Claire is six and a half months adjusted age, 12 and a half pounds, 24.25 inches. The Doctor says she's on track with weight gain and maybe a little ahead of the game with interactiveness/social development. She tried to help him with the stethescope and the ultrasound wand...very cute. I really like Dr. Burke, he seems to really love what he does and has a great rapport with Claire and us.

Prayer requests:
1. We are praying for God to close up the gap in her heart and fix her valve so she doesn't have to undergo surgery.
2. Claire has been extremely itchy the past couple days and mad about it. Her arms and ankles bother her the most and sometimes her ears and scalp. Her skin seems like it is doing a little better than a few days ago when it seemed to flare up. It especially bothers her when changing clothes or diapers and when she is in her carseat.
3. Claire has a stuffy nose and may be coming down with a cold. She's never had one before.
4. Wisdom for me managing pumping and knowing how long to continue. I believe Claire has been so healthy due in part to the breastmilk.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Great Grandma

Claire enjoyed visiting with her great grandma from Oklahoma this weekend. We drove up to Lompoc and Buelton had a nice visit with various family members.
I slept 5 hours straight on Saturday night...boy did that feel good. I woke up and pumped at 2:00 but slept the rest of the night while Nanna Pennie and Martin had their adventures with Claire downstairs.

On Sunday we drove Grandma down to LA and took her to Union Station where whe caught the train to go back home. We were glad we got to stop by our house and have lunch before she had to leave.

Speaking of our house...It is in a state of chaos because of the various projects we have going on. Mark took out a section of cabinets to install our dishwasher and the contents of these cabinets and the old cabinets are sitting in the dining room. Yesterday evening we purchased some replacement cabinets. it will be nice to get the Kitchen organized and hopefully a bit more user friendly.

Every day I'm home I struggle with time management. I think to myself, I need to have lunch but then I start puttering, I discover chicken in the fridge that needs to be cooked today so I make a marinade for it then I am torn between throwing the clothes in the dryer or feeding the cats.(I decide to do neither: I get involved unloading the dishwasher and rinsing dirty dishes..by this time I'm realy hungry and finally throw a noodle salad together and gobble it down. Claire has fallen asleep and I decide to try and nap...can't fall asleep so I get up and start the dryer...still haven't fed the cats... that's next. I used a seam ripper to take some defunct velcro off a bib soIi can replace it with some new iron-on velcro later. Now I want to catch up on reading blogs. (Last night I didn't sleep more than an hour at a time. I think Claire napped too much during the day so she kept waking up every hour or so during the night.)