Friday, April 29, 2011

Crazy Weather...

We're fortunate that we did not get anything nearly as bad as the people in the South got, and I feel so bad for everyone that lost homes and loved ones in the tornadoes.  I'd like to talk a little bit about what went on here though, so here goes!

Tuesday, as mentioned before, was quite warm, and the humidity really started creeping in.  By Wednesday, it was very humid for this time of year, and was bordering on being unbearable.  I actually put my hair up in a ponytail for the first time in a very long time - that's how bad it was.  We knew the storms were coming through, and I was tracking the storms in the south via The Weather Channel.  By 3:00, the tornado watches were issued for parts of PA (we weren't in them here, and my parents' county was barely in the box).  Nothing materialized nearby, and the much waited for rain didn't come either.  We were under severe thunderstorm watches here overnight - something that's not super common, but not unheard of.  I didn't sleep well from a combination of nosiness about the storms, from worrying about what could be coming our way, and from the humidity.  Fast forward to the morning, and the first storms started arriving.  I managed to get the dogs and Judith out of the house between rounds and get down to my parents without too many problems (John's car was getting an oil change) - I hit some heavy rain, but that was about it.

Things didn't remain calm.  Around 9:00, the series of tornado warnings were being issued.  The storms were training, and were coming out of Maryland.  They would start in York county, then head to Lancaster county.  We literally had 3 (or 4 - I kind of lost count!) warnings within a 2.5 hour time span.  Nothing materialized near my parents' place except for a little bit of thunder/lightning, some wind, and lots of heavy rain.  Other places in the area didn't fare so lucky: there was a confirmed tornado in York county, and 2 confirmed tornadoes in Lebanon county.

Then the cold front moved through, things settled down, the humidity took a hike, and the temps dropped to comfortable levels.  Today has been seasonal, but it feels chilly in comparison to what we had for the bulk of the week.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

EI, PT, and 2 BTs

Hah - a title full of acronyms.  Pretty clever for my brain not functioning well from lack of sleep in the heat last night.  I finally caved around 2 am and got up for an hour.  Judith was up for a feed anyway, then decided it would be appropriate to stay awake for an extra 45 minutes.  She went back to sleep, but was up at the butt crack of dawn.  Lovely.

She was actually fairly pleasant today, and that's a good thing because we had our first physical therapy session through early intervention this afternoon.  Her therapist is great - he explained how to do some easy stretches to help her torticollis (which is very mild, and should clear up in a couple weeks - yay!).  We'll get our full goal plan next week, and I already told John we're sticking with the program for the full course.  Some parents choose to end services early, but I think that's a little silly.  If she was getting therapy as a full term baby with torticollis, I would stop once it's cleared up.  But since we know she's already delayed, and could end up even more delayed in time, I say it can't hurt one bit to give her the services for as long as possible.

The dogs were awesome the entire time today!  I'm so proud of them!  I don't really like to gate them in a room when people are here, but right now it's the only way to keep the chaos to a minimum.  They stayed in our bedroom, where their blankets and collection of assorted rawhide bones are.  Neither one made a peep, and the most noise I heard was Buster jumping off the bed (he makes a nice, meaty thud on the floor whenever he does this).  Now the guilty part: we had some leftover hot dogs from dinner last night, and I actually bribed them to be good - I told them that, if they were good this afternoon and didn't bark like a bunch of crazed maniacs, I would cut up a hot dog in each of their food bowls for dinner.  So guess who got hot dogs in their dinner tonight?  :-)

It's probably a good thing that Lady remained upstairs.  The therapist brought his therapy ball in the house, and I could just picture Lady pushing the giant ball around, playing with it and trying to figure out how to get it in her mouth.  And don't think she wouldn't try either - John had a plastic pumpkin decoration out this past year, and Lady annihilated the thing in about 10 minutes.  All it took was my dad saying, "Oh look.  A pumpkin!" and that was it.

But I'm off track.  We're going to look at therapy balls so we have one here at the house to help Judith.  The therapist recommended getting a real one instead of using a beach ball because if a therapy ball is punctured, it'll merely deflate rather than bursting.  It shouldn't come to that point, but I'd rather be prepared!

We've been winding down from the craziness of the weekend.  Easter services went well, and Judith was good the entire time!  Next on the agenda: preparing for her baptism!

I'd also like to take a moment to mention that we watched the movie "Unstoppable" tonight.  Great movie - I highly recommend it if you haven't watched it already.  Awesome part?  John's best friend was one of the rail consultants/experts that helped keep the big Hollywood folks on track.  Neat, huh?  :-D

Monday, April 18, 2011

Let the Craziness Begin!

Yes, it's that time of year again!  The time of year when everyone employed by the church turns into a hot mess from the stresses of Holy Week and Easter.  John is no exception to this.  He keeps whining about all the work that has to be done.  I unsympathetically keep reminding him that he has it pretty good, because at my parents' church they have services every night this week, and the staff is going straight from Palm Sunday right through the last service on Easter Sunday.  So take that.  :-P

I am slightly bummed (note the use of slightly) that I do not get to attend Good Friday services this year.  For me, that means I get to take a break from the craziness and spend the evening with Judith.  Of course this is the first time in literally years that I will not be at a Good Friday service, but I just can't see how taking an infant is appropriate.  I definitely won't take her to TMLC, because they do Tennebrae, and she'll probably start screaming bloody murder when John does the noisy thing on the organ.  A better option would be to take her down to my parents and go to their service, but again it's not an appropriate one for an infant - it's too quiet of a service, and with my luck Judith would decide to have an epic meltdown in the middle of the Bidding Prayers.  Either that, or she'll have the blowout of the century, and I'd have to worry about getting out for a diaper change while the kneelers are down.  No thanks - I'll stay home with her and the doggies.

There's going to be a huge event in the Brewster household, something that happens twice a year, more if we're lucky: my trombone will make an appearance into the light of day!  I'm taking bets on what will happen to it.  Here are your choices:

1. Shrivel up and disappear into thin air
2. Act like a vampire in direct sunlight and die
3. Cheer in celebration that it's finally getting used
4. Slap me silly for keeping it enclosed in the case since last October

Yes, you read that correctly - I haven't played since last October.  The ol' chops are going to be feeling it, but as long as I play at least once before Sunday I'll be fine.  But this also presents a new set of challenges.  I haven't played since Judith was born, therefore I have not played since my c-section.  I doubt this will have an impact on anything, but it sounds like a good excuse!  I don't know what Judith will think of it, but I swear if the dogs roll over onto their backs and play dead while I practice again they're not getting treats for a while.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

4 Month Well Baby

Judith had her 4 month well baby exam and shots yesterday.  She's now 8 lbs 14 oz (with a wet diaper, so really she's probably more like 8 lbs 12 oz), is 19 3/4" long, and has a head circumference of 14 1/2".

She's tolerating the shots well, and I know we're lucky after talking to others that have been through the 4 month series.  She had a very low-grade fever and was cranky, but that's about it.  No infant tylenol was needed.

We also got the final all clear to start taking her out in public, but with extra caution for a while.  John & I are already formulating plans of action for various settings, and I still might wait a week or 2 to take her to the grocery store.  It's going to be hands off at least until Easter, and then maybe longer if there are still a lot of colds out there.  It looks like the Moby's going to get a good workout!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Check That Off the List

No more cardiologist visits!  Judith's PFO is closed, and her echocardiogram came back normal.  She still has a little bit of a murmur, but it's like the one John had and doesn't interfere with function/structure of the heart.

That makes 1 less specialist that we have to see.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another Appointment

Getting sick of reading these types of entries yet?  I know I'm sick of typing them.  But to be fair, I know this is the only way a lot of family and friends get a regular update, so I will continue to entertain you with our antics (or vents - whichever the case may be).

Yesterday my mom and dad came to the house to help me take Judith for an echocardiogram.  We ventured all the way up to Bethlehem for this one.  I realized how extra confusing it can be getting around there, even though I was there every single day for 2 months.  Then again, I was also only going between the parking lot and NICU, and occasionally the cafeteria.  Anyway, once we figured out where we needed to be we were set.

The scan felt like it took forever.  I seriously question what people think when they design these tests and want to perform them on an infant: for this test, Judith had to sit completely still and not make any noise (especially cry).  Really, folks.  She's an infant.  How unrealistic can you possibly be?  The tech kept getting frustrated/half mad at me, but I know my baby and she is absolutely refusing to have anything to do with a pacifier anymore - ever since she discovered her thumb a few weeks ago, that ended the paci fascination.  The tech wanted me to give Judith a bottle to help quiet her down, and that was good for about 5 minutes until she needed to burp and her reflux started acting up.  Put that on top of the fact that I wasn't wild about giving her the bottle then because A. she was lying flat, and that would aggravate the reflux and B. she was lying flat, and recommendations are to feed a baby on an incline to help prevent ear infections.  Yes, I realize that 1 time is not going to give her an ear infection, but I was really more concerned about her spewing everywhere from the acid backup.

At one point, the tech made a comment about Judith not liking anyone poking around her belly.  No crap, lady.  Judith never liked that, so what makes anyone think she's going to start enjoying it now?  And to top it off, she decided to load her diaper with a nice, stinky poo.  The tech was gracious enough to let me change her, then tried to get more shots.

I made a comment about wondering how they did these scans with Judith in the NICU, and the tech made a snarky comment about one person pinning the baby down and another holding the pacifier in the baby's mouth.  I'm still trying to figure out how this worked based on how feisty Judith was and still is.

I almost flipped out completely when the tech sneezed into a gauze pad, but never washed her hands before touching my baby.  I'm freaking out enough right now about being able to take Judith out into public very soon, and this lady doesn't even practice good hand washing and she works in a freakin' HOSPITAL.  Oh.My.Goodness.  Really, when you know you have a preemie in the room, wash your #@%^$ hands after sneezing or coughing!

Over 80 "pictures" later, we were finally done.  I was so ready to get out of there.  We'll see what the cardiologist says tomorrow.  I'm hoping that the PFO is closed and we won't have to go back.

At least the weather was nice yesterday.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

4 Months!

(note: I was reading the blog of a fellow preemie mommy from The Bump, and I liked the formatting she used for her daughter's month birthday - so I'm going to borrow it!)

Judith, you're 4 months old today!

A lot has happened in the last month, and I want to tell you all about your life right now!

* Actual Age: 4 months.  Adjusted Age: 1 month, 2 weeks, & 4 days.

* It's 2 months since your discharge from the NICU.

* You received your final injection of Synagis for the season.  You had to have 2 shots this time, because your weight increased and you exceeded the maximum dosage for 1 leg.

* You got to meet some special people in the last month: your great-aunt and great-uncle, your 2nd cousin, and your godparents/baptismal sponsors.

* You've had quite a few appointments!  One that was especially exciting was a trip to Hershey Medical Center for the continuation of our study.  You got to meet the nurses who helped Mommy & Daddy "get" you, and we were told that you are a very healthy baby.  Such a remarkable feat for someone who had such a rocky start - we're proud of you!

* You have your 4 month well-baby visit with the next round of vaccinations this week, and then you will have the final clear to go out into public!  You will get to go to church for the first time, and Mommy can finally take you shopping whenever we need to get something!

Judith's 4 Month Stats:
Hair Color: What little hair you have (it's more like a fuzzy covering right now) is reddish brown, leaning towards red
Eye Color: still blue
Clothing Size: Newborn, with a few small 0-3 onesies thrown into the mix.  You won't be in this size much longer, though - things are starting to get a little snug!
Diaper Size: You just graduated to size 1 diapers.  They're comically huge on you for now, but you'll grow into them.
Weight (at your last Synagis shot): 8 lbs 2.5 oz
Length: 21 in
Bedtime: between 7:30 & 8 pm
Wake Up Time: You're up for a feed between 5:30 and 6 am, but fall asleep again - you're up for the day around 8:30 am
Naps: You still nap quite a bit.  You take a morning nap after your 9:00 feed, and you take an afternoon nap around 1:00
Feedings: You take anywhere from 2.5-3 oz of NeoSure at each feed.
Developmental Milestones: You are smiling at us, and we love it!  Your head control continues to improve, and you like to sit up with assistance.  You can pick your head up when you're on your tummy, and you're getting very close to rolling from your tummy to your back.  You are focusing on objects and faces, and recognize Mommy & Daddy right away.  You can track objects & toys that we place in front of you, and you like to bat at the toys on your play gym.  You practice your grasping reflex a lot - you like to hang on to our shirts.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A New State Trooper

Today I did something different and special: I had the honor of attending the graduation ceremony for the 131st Cadet class of the Pennsylvania State Police Academy.  My cousin is a new state trooper!  He's wanted this for so long, and had to wait a long time to achieve the goal - not because he couldn't get into the academy right away, but because he received his deployment orders from the Army halfway through the first round of training.  But now his dream has been made into a reality, and he will start his new career in a few days.

So congratulations, Curtis - you've achieved something great, and I know you're going to be an awesome trooper!