Sunday, August 28, 2011

Adventures with Hurricane Irene

We made it through that sucker!  Judith experienced her first tropical system, and a rare tropical storm warning for our area - we normally get hit by depressions or the remains of a tropical system, but occasionally a full-blown tropical storm affects our area.  She did well, and slept through the worst of it.  The dogs also did fairly well, except for the whole not going out in the rain thing.

Our adventures started way before the rain bands arrived here.  We started seeing clouds from the system on Friday, and Saturday started off pretty cloudy and humid as heck.  I was sitting at my computer (with the fan and Man vs. Food on), ready to make a post on Facebook when everything went dark and a slight boom was heard.

Apparently our electric wiring on our entire street decided to beat the rush for Irene-related power outages, and went out between 10:30 and 11:00 yesterday.  I called the emergency line, and was given an estimated time for the power to be back on, which was approximately 1:30.  I didn't get a chance to turn the air conditioners on to try to get some of the humidity out of the air, and I was starting to charge all of my electronics in preparation for the storm.  So I thought, "Ok, 1:30 isn't too bad."  I was hoping it would come on sooner so I could cool down the house for Judith.

Fast forward to around 1:30, and John gets a call from Met-Ed: they had a new estimated time for the return of the power, and that was...9:30 PM.  You have got to be kidding me!  I was not a happy camper at all, and I was already going nuts without any internet access, my computer, the TV, lights in general (it got pretty stinking dark when some of the earliest bands were moving through), or my Kindle or DS.  Plus I had just transferred a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, and I knew there was no way it was remotely dry yet.  Top all of that off with a cranky baby that refused to sleep because of the humidity, and frustrations were running high.

Oh, and did I mention that every time I walked into a bathroom, I tried to turn the lights on?  I lost track of how many times I did this, but I think I set a new personal record for doing it 5 times in a row in the downstairs bathroom when I was getting a new load of laundry ready to go for when the power came back.  Brilliant, I know.

After we decided that my big MagLite flashlight was officially MIA, I decided to go to Target and get a new one in case we needed it...and in case the power did come back and went out again.  Another brilliant idea on my part.  They barely had any flashlights, but I was able to get a smaller MagLite to have as a backup.  I also picked up a case of water, which they miraculously still had on the shelf.  Holy cow, that place was a three ring circus, complete with some very...interesting characters walking around - I saw a pair of Uggs that were knee high and looked like Chewbacca with tinsel in his fur.  I was very glad to get out of that place, and I swear next hurricane I will make sure we know where all of our stuff is in advance so I don't have to do something like that again!

I beat the main rain bands home, and by 6:00 we were starting to get some really heavy rains. Met-Ed was on our street earlier in the evening for 10 minutes, drove off, and returned around the 6:00 hour.  By 6:30, they FINALLY got power restored to our street!

After 8 hours without power, we were able to turn the a/c on, cool the house down, and get weather forecasts/coverage of the storm - not having access to The Weather Channel was the worst part of the whole thing!

We started getting heavier rains and lots of wind by about 7:30, and were pounded all night long.  Between the a/c's and the fan, we didn't hear a lot of the rain and wind, but we got up a couple times to check things out.  Unfortunately our roof leaked again, and now there's a bigger water damage spot in the nursery.  So now we get to deal with our lovely (not) HOA, and will have to wait to get the roofers out to repair the patch.  It would be easier for them to replace the stinkin' roof like they're supposed to (especially since they know it needs it), but as long as they refuse to do that, I'll continue to be an annoying pest about the leak in the nursery.

I must say that we lucked out with the amount of damage in our immediate neighborhood - I can't speak for the rest of the town because I didn't leave the house today in case there was a lot of damage and/or flooding.  We have a ton of leaves and some branches down, but that's about it.  Our adorable little pine tree out back survived, and is standing strong!  We didn't have a lot of street flooding - well, maybe slightly more than what we normally get with heavy rains, but nothing serious.  The best part today was being able to open the windows after the rains ended to get the cool breeze in the house!

So now the sun is setting, and the winds are pretty calm.  We feel lucky that we didn't have any major damage around here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Since everyone and their uncle on the east coast is more than likely blogging about this, I may as well jump on the bandwagon and write my own post haha!

I went for another get together/play date with Meg, Amy, and their absolutely adorable kiddos - we met up at Long's Park.  We had a very nice picnic lunch, and were sitting on the ground with the babies when we felt a slight rumbling/shaking.  We all thought we were going nuts, and figured it was a large truck driving by that caused the ground to shake a bit.  None of the kids really reacted to it.

As I was leaving, John called me, and during our conversation he said they thought they felt a "tremor" at the bank.  I got excited and said, "No way!  We felt it here too at the park!  That was definitely an earthquake!"  I just kind of assumed the fault that runs through our county ruptured again and it could be felt in our immediate area.

A little later, I found out that the quake was a 5.8 and happened in Virginia.  Not what I was expecting, and I was surprised that we felt it all the way up here.  I was even more surprised when I heard it was felt as far north as the New England states, and as far west as Detroit and Chicago.  Some of the ladies I talk to that are from Canada (and live in the Toronto area) said that it was felt all the way up there.  Wow!

There is zero damage, but PennDOT is inspecting a bridge in the city - there's a crack in it, but they're not convinced it's from the earthquake.  Nevertheless, they have to check it out and fix it to make it safe for travel again.

My mom's work building was actually evacuated.  She told me that there was a cracking/creaking sound heard, they were moving around, the building was swaying, and her windows were moving (she's on the 3rd floor of the building).  Crazy!

The dogs were with my dad this afternoon, and they definitely sensed it coming.  Lady was the biggest clue something was up - she was plastered to my dad, and was climbing all over him begging to be held.  Lady never does this with him, and is extremely selective with whom she will be held by/whose lap she will sit on - it's usually me, and even that's a rare occurrence.  Mr. Sensitive Buster was the least fazed by the event, and even got down off of my dad's lap while the shaking was happening.  Lady's still acting weird, and won't get too far away from me.

What a day, and I know I'm not going to forget this get together for a long time!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We're getting close!

PT is really paying off for Judith, because she's super close to crawling!  She can now get up on all fours and rock back and forth!  WOOT!

She's still using the bassinet part of the travel crib (on level 2), and is having such a blast getting up on her hands and knees that she'll position herself in there perpendicular to the way she should be laying, and rock back and forth, causing the bassinet to swing like crazy.  She spent a good 5 minutes or more doing that this morning, laughing at herself the entire time.

Be prepared, dogs - this means someone's going to be chasing after you two very, very soon!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Knoebels and Teething

Friday we went to Knoebels Groves for the first time in years.  It's been a good 15 years since my family and I have been there, and probably close to 15 since John and his family went there.

For those of you who are not familiar with Knoebels, it's a medium-sized amusement park located in Central PA that also has a campground.  It's not nearly as large as Hersheypark, but still has a great variety of rides for everyone in the family.

We had quite an adventure, and despite an unexpected event with my grandfather, still had a relatively enjoyable time.  We were a bit bummed that Judith didn't get to ride the carousel or the trains like we had planned - she fell asleep in her stroller, and there was no way I was going to wake her up to go on the rides!  Hopefully we can get her on them some other time.

In the land of teething, we don't have a ton of progress happening - those suckers aren't showing themselves anytime soon, but we have lots of gnawing on anything and everything, plus a nice, "runny" nose to go with it.  I use the term runny loosely (haha), because we're having great adventures with the world of CF.  I know that the CF makes the mucous thicker, and I'm realizing this every time I have to suction Judith's nose.  This has got to be one of the worst tasks I've done - Judith hates every sucker I use (we have a bulb sucker we got from the NICU, plus I have a Graco electric sucker), and it is so hard to get the crud out.  Thank goodness it's clear, otherwise I'd be sitting here typing while having a small panic attack over an infection or something.

NICU Follow-Up Clinic

A lot has happened since my last post, and I'll break it up into 2 separate posts to keep the length down.

Last Thursday we had an appointment with the NICU follow-up clinic.  Judith met with Maureen (the NICU PT) and with Dr. Unger.  It was great to see both of them again, and it was fun to show off how far Judith has come!

For the most part, things are looking good: her current weight is around 14 lbs 9 oz, and her length remains the same (they measured her around 24.5", but we got pretty consistent 25" before clinic, so I'm going with that and attributing the 1/2" less to the difference in measuring devices).

Judith was put through the developmental tests, and is measuring on target or ahead for most things: Expressive is at an 8 month level (on target for her actual age - yay!), Gross motor is at a 6 month level (on target for adjusted age), and there were 1 or 2 other things that are on target for her adjusted age but I can't remember what they are anymore.  We found out that she has a pretty significant delay in fine motor, and I'm honestly not surprised - I've been watching Judith interact with things in the environment and noticing some small things that she should be doing but isn't yet, like holding her bottle on her own.  She scored at a 3-3.5 month level in fine motor, so that means Maureen will contact Judith's early intervention service coordinator and arrange for an occupational therapy eval and services.  Maureen noticed that Judith doesn't like to pick up certain things, and she said she is seeing some tactile defensiveness (I think that was the term...) and we have to get Judith to work through that.  Hence the OT services.  I don't doubt that the services will help her catch up to where she needs to be - PT has been doing wonders for her, and I'm sure OT will do the same!

Monday, August 8, 2011


We have officially entered the stage many parents dread.  We have a teether - the lower teeth are very visible under the gums, and are starting to push up against the surface.  Judith has been absolutely miserable all day, and I'm about ready to pull my hair out.  It didn't help matters that I put her in her adorable Carter's crab romper (it has a smiling red crab on the butt), because every time I put her in this outfit she immediately decides to emotionally imitate the depicted shellfish.  Add that to a teething baby, and fun times ensue.

The day wasn't completely insane - Judith had a weigh-in with her pediatrician today.  She had developed some congestion and a bit of a runny nose yesterday, and her pedi said it doesn't look like it's concerning, and is more than likely a part of teething.  Knock on wood it stays that way.  Everything else checked out good - lungs are clear, and she gained 2 lbs. since her 6 month appointment (she now weighs 14 lbs 4 oz).  I scheduled her 9 month well baby visit (and next round of shots), and if the flu shots are in Judith will get her first one at that time.  Her name's also been submitted for the next series of Synagis shots - she'll get the full course this year, starting mid-fall with the last shot being given in April.  That means 6 or 7 monthly visits to the pedi this year, dependent on when the first shot is given (I'm figuring mid to late October).  I don't know if we'll have to go back under lockdown this year or not, and that's something we'll have to discuss closer to time.  Granted the kid's going to get sick at some point, and will more than likely get a cold this winter, but we'll still be as proactive as possible to keep the bugs away that could cause even worse problems for her.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

8 Months!

Judith, you are 8 months old today!

Here are some of the highlights from the last month:

* You had a follow-up eye appointment for your ROP, and everything is still normal.  We found out that you're far sighted, and we'll have to take you to regular eye checkups.  You will definitely need glasses someday (we figured that you would even if you had been born at term), and it will probably be earlier than what we expected.  No biggie though!

* You & I went to Park City to meet up with 2 awesome ladies Mommy talks to online.  You got to play with their babies, and we all had a blast!  I realize how much of a peanut you really are when you're around babies close to your own age, because they are so much bigger than you.  You'll catch up to them quickly though!

* You got to go to your first VBS at Grandma & Grandpa's church!  Panda Mania was a great theme to introduce you to VBS, because of all the black, white, and other bold colors for you to explore.  You had fun, and you really liked the stories!  I can't wait to take you again next year, and maybe we can go to VBS at our church for a night or 2 as well!

* You're teething a little more, and I can see them under your gums.  They're nowhere close to cutting, though, and I think we have a while before they do rupture.

Judith's 8 Month Stats:
Adjusted Age: 5 months, 2 weeks, 4 days

Weight: 13 lbs 14 oz (as of 7/27/11)

Length: 25" (as of 7/27/11)

Hair Color: Brown.  It's changed it's hue again, and is starting to grow in a bit more!

Eye Color: Still bluish gray, with some brown flecks in them.

Clothing Size: 0-3 month rompers, dresses, & bubbles; 3-6 month footed sleepers

Diaper Size: Size 2

Feedings: We finally had to switch you to the bigger bottle size!  You take anywhere from 20-24 oz of Neosure each day, and you get 2 solid meals (lunch & dinner).  We tried some finger foods, but you're not ready for them yet, so you get purees with cereal mixed in.

Developmental Milestones: You added some new milestones this past month!  You giggle more consistently, you can scoot and almost army crawl, you log roll to get to places, you can spin yourself around on your tummy, and you discovered your toes!  You are much more interactive with the dogs, touching them and feeling their fur.

Happy 8 months, Judith!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Buster! And A Recap of the Week

Today is Buster's birthday - he's 6 years old!  He decided to celebrate today by napping, chewing his rawhide, demanding lots of scratches and belly rubs, using Judith as a salt lick, barking at a small animal under the trees near the railroad tracks (and getting scared and charging back to the house), and humping Lady while she played.  He wasn't too thrilled when I sang "happy birthday" to him this morning (he has this aversion to being sung to - long story), but other than that he seems pretty happy.  :D

Last week was pretty busy!  Judith got to go to her first VBS.  I took her to my parents' church for Panda Mania, and she enjoyed herself!  We went Monday night and heard the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal (she was less than thrilled when a large sized Hershey bar was the sacrifice), and we went Thursday night for the closing, hearing the story of Hannah.  She got to watch the Chadder videos, and "talked" to my dad while the crews were discussing (that was pretty darn cute if you ask me!).  We had a huge meltdown on the way home Thursday, and it's mostly my fault - Judith was way overstimulated, she was tired, and it was super dark outside because it was cloudy and rainy.  I should've left earlier, but she seemed to be doing fine, and I thought she'd fall asleep during the closing.  I left before the program was over though, and got maybe a mile away from the church before having to pull over and try to console her.  She kept crying and screaming, and in the end my parents had to follow me home, with my dad riding in the back seat with Judith to keep her calm.  She was perfectly fine once she fell asleep, and was fine once we got home.

We had an appointment at the CF clinic last Wednesday.  She had a good appointment, and her pancreas is still functioning normally (yay!).  We did get a new weight and length, but I'm going to wait to post that until Wednesday (hah - I'm forcing you to come back and read her 8 month post)!