Friday, September 23, 2011

First Day of Fall!

Happy fall, everyone!

This is one of my favorite seasons - I love sweater weather, and it always takes me back to my high school days of marching band and football games in the crisp weather.  Plus I'm excited for Judith to experience the changing and falling leaves for the first time!

I can't wait for the leaves to change and come down so I can let her explore.  Of course that probably means they'll end up in her mouth (gross), so we'll have to keep a close eye on her.

It's a shame that it doesn't really feel like fall today.  It's very rainy, and while the air temps are comfortable, the humidity is ridiculous.  Who would've thought that Judith would be in a summer romper and I would be wearing shorts today?  She has some adorable onesies and pants that I want to keep dressing her in (we got an early start last week when it was so cool out, and she looked adorable!).  Plus I'm regretting taking the air conditioners out last weekend; if we had left them in, I wouldn't be as concerned about Judith losing more salt than she would be otherwise.  I'm hoping the humidity goes away after this weekend and the cooler temperatures come back!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We have teeth!

How exciting!  Judith's 2 bottom teeth cut through a couple weeks ago, but I waited to say anything until they were much more visible.  I'm still trying to get a picture of them though - any time you stick your finger in there to check them out she either gnaws on it or sticks her tongue out to taste it.

As soon as I get a picture, I promise I'll post it!

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Discovery

Judith is not a fan of having chunky things in her purees.  She'll eat puffs, Mum Mums, and arrowroot cookies, but give her something that has real substance, and she flips out.

Case in point: Since she's been showing an interest in what we're eating, and enjoys the above mentioned finger foods, I thought she would like to try some purees with chunks of the real thing in it.  So I got some Gerber 3rd foods (a couple fruits and veggies, and some "complete" dinners like spaghetti in meat sauce and chicken & noodles), and the fruits are a hit - they're thicker, and don't have the chunks in them, so she loves them.  I haven't tried the veggies yet.

Spaghetti and meat sauce was a fail.  I thought it was because of the tomatoes, and stupid me didn't think about the high acid content in tomatoes when I bought it - I probably irritated Judith's poor system with the natural acid, and she was miserable after eating it.  I tried a chicken and noodles dinner, and got the same results as the spaghetti.  Now I think it has to do with the small chunks of food, and she doesn't like the sensation in her mouth.

I feel like I should mention something to her PT/OT, and see what he thinks.  I don't think it's a true oral aversion to foods, because she'll take thick purees and will put dissolvable foods in her mouth.  We can forget about anything else at this point.

::sigh::  This feels like such a slow, tedious process.  Many term babies at this age are eating table foods for most (if not all) of their meals.  At this rate, Judith's going to be eating purees in kindergarten...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eye Appointment and A General Blog Announcement

Today we saw a pediatric ophthalmologist to see what's up with Judith's eyes.  Our exam was a bit more comprehensive than the previous one this summer, and I definitely had much better vibes from the staff and doctor at this office!

Basically what we're monitoring her for is something called strabismus.  In a nutshell, strabismus is a condition where the eyes are misaligned, and they can drift inward, outward, upward, or downward.  This is potentially what I have been seeing over the last few months, and what the OT wanted us to have checked.  If this is the case, it could be contributing to Judith's fine motor delays (per the OT).

Judith had her eyes dilated again, and I do feel bad for her; I hate having my eyes dilated, and I know it sucks, but in some ways I'm glad we had an evening appointment because she can hang out in the dark tonight (and sleep of course!).  We know a little more about her farsightedness.  My hunch is more than likely correct: the doctor said that many preemies who have vision problems (especially due to ROP) are nearsighted, so Judith's farsightedness is more than likely genetic, coming from my mom's side of the family.  If she follows our genetic tendencies, she'll probably have an astigmatism (like my mom and I do) and be nearsighted once she gets older.

Anyway.  She's not showing any signs of regression or lingering problems from the ROP.  The little stinker also decided not to let her eyes shift like they were just a few hours before her appointment - they were straight throughout the exam, so the doctor gave me a brochure with some pictures explaining what strabismus and pseudostrabismus look like.  I will have to look at some of her pictures again and see if I can figure out what's up; I'll also have to remember to load some of her recent pictures to my iPod so I can show them to the doctor at our next visit.

As it stands right now, Judith's kind of at an in-between point: she will definitely need glasses in the near future, but right now she can get away without them.  We have another appointment in 6 weeks, and it's possible we could be talking about getting her some glasses to help her out.  Really, it's not a big deal; however, I'm trying to figure out how the heck we're going to keep glasses on her at this age.

I have a general blog announcement.  As you may have noticed, there is a new badge/banner at the very top of my side column.  We are now listed on the site Top Mommy Blogs under the Special Needs section!  It would be awesome if you would vote for us - simply click on the badge, and it will take you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page.  All you need to do is click, and the banner will track your vote.  Pretty simple, right?  I would love to see our blog near the top of the list so we can help raise awareness for prematurity and cystic fibrosis, and to accomplish that we need you to vote!  Thank you so much!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New 9 month Stats

Judith had her 9 month well-baby appointment today, and things are looking good!

Weight: 15 lbs
Length: 24 3/4" (I know that's less than what I posted in her 9 month post, but that's what they got today haha).

Her head is in the 10th percentile, her length still isn't on the charts, and her weight is in the 3rd percentile - all of these are based off of her actual age.  If we went by her adjusted age, her percentiles would've been 25-10-25 respectively.  Her pediatrician and I are happy with her growth, because it's been steady and consistent so far.

She got her last Hepatitis B vaccine, and got her flu shot.  She goes back in a month to get the 2nd dose - she must have 2 doses this year because it's the first time she received it.  She was flat out pissed about being stuck with needles today, but thankfully she got over it quickly and is now sleeping.

We discussed Judith's vision, and her pediatrician noticed right away that something's up.  I got a referral to 3 different opthamologists, so now I need to call and see if they take our insurance and can set up an appointment soon.

Her pediatrician has this year's round of Synagis ordered, and apparently Judith's at the top of their list this year.  Our insurance should cover it (she has to have it because of the CF), and I'm hoping that the MA will pick up any copays from the primary so our out-of-pocket costs will be minimal (if anything at all).

Unless she gets sick, and with the exception of the shots, we don't have to go back until her 1 year well-baby exam.  I'm happy and sad at the same time, because that means I won't have to drag her out in the cold as much, but I'll also have a toddler at that appointment.  She's growing up way too fast!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

9 Month Pictures & an Update

As promised, here are some pictures from our 9 month shoot this afternoon, and as a bonus, a couple from this morning!

Judith at 9 months

She LOVES to play the organ! (pardon the blurriness from my moving child)

Proud Daddy!

We may have a future organist on our hands!

As you can see from the pictures, Judith started sticking her tongue out at everyone...again.  And now we have the added benefit of raspberries being blown at us constantly!  I know it's not a real milestone, but I find it humorous, and I'm glad she's mimicking us!

I also learned very quickly how difficult it may be to take pictures of Judith, especially if I would like her to sit still.  This is stemming from one of our newest milestones: Judith is very quickly becoming a mobile baby!  She is creeping all over the place, and is oh-so-close to crawling - she just needs to figure out how to coordinate the movement of her arms and legs, then she'll be off!  She's already taking a big interest in the dogs, and I can't wait to see what will happen once she can crawl after them.  Of course we're starting to teach her how to be gentle with them, and monitor all of them closely while they interact.  I am very grateful that our pups have been through the baby stages before - they had young children in their former home, so they are remembering what it's like.

Lady is very tolerant of Judith, and really loves her!  I am shocked, because Lady is so active and doesn't like to sit still to receive attention from most people.  She wants the attention, but is usually moving while receiving it.  I took this picture the other day when both Judith and Lady were interacting with each other:

Naturally, about a minute later, Lady decided Judith needed some kisses:

I can always tell when Judith's sweating and losing more salt, because the dogs lick her more.

We had our Occupational Therapy (OT) evaluation on Thursday, and overall things are looking good.  We are going to start OT services because Judith is a bit delayed with her fine motor skills, but the therapist didn't see anything overly significant or anything that's going to take a long time to correct.  Basically we're staying on top of things and nipping anything in the bud before it does become a serious problem.

We may have a bigger problem to deal with, though: during the evaluation, the OT confirmed my concern about Judith's eyes.  If you look closely at the first picture of Judith and Lady, you can kind of see what I'm concerned about.  She is crossing them more often, and has to constantly reposition them to focus on something.  If the muscles around the eye are functioning normally, the eyes will follow your movements and readjust themselves without us having to think about it.  What the therapist saw with Judith is her muscles aren't doing this properly, and there's a lag with their movement - she's working and thinking to refocus them herself.  I believe I posted before that we know she's far-sighted; however, since we're concerned and the therapist noticed something's up, we are not going to wait a year to have her checked.  I am going to talk to her pediatrician at her 9 month well-baby check and ask for a referral to a pediatric opthamologist to see (haha) what's up.  I wouldn't think this is caused by the ROP, but I could be wrong.  I'm not even sure if this is a normal preemie thing, or if this is caused by the crappy vision history in our family, and I'm hoping the eye doc can give us some answers.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

9 Months!

Note to my readers: I will post pictures sometime this weekend once we have our photo shoot!

Judith, you are 9 months old today - only 3 months until your first birthday!

Here are some of the things that happened in the last month:

* You began teething in full-force.  Your teeth don't look like they're nearly ready to cut yet, but they're definitely under the surface, waiting to pop out.

* You got to swing for the first time in a big-girl swing at Long's Park in Lancaster!  You and mommy went to 2 more get-togethers, and you had fun each time!

* You experienced your first earthquake and first tropical storm.  Both natural disasters are on the rare side for the area we live in (we do get hit by tropical systems, but not usually by an actual tropical storm).

* We took you for another appointment at the developmental clinic - things are looking good, but we did note that you have some fine motor delays (normal for a preemie peanut like you!).

* You went to Knoebels Groves for the first time!  You didn't get a chance to go on any rides because you decided to take a nap by the time we got to the trains and carousel.  We're hoping to take you on some rides on our next trip there.

* You got to meet Grandpa H.'s cousin, his wife, and their three children!  They were praying for you while you were in the NICU, and were very excited to finally meet you!

Judith's 9 Month Stats:
Adjusted Age: 6 months, 2 weeks, 4 days

Weight: 14 lbs 9 oz

Length: 25"

Hair Color: Brown.  There's a little more than last month, but you still don't have a lot (just like mommy when she was your age).

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

Clothing Size: 3-6 month for everything!  There are some things that are big on you (rompers, bubbles, dresses, and onesies), but it was time to start moving you up to the next size.

Diaper Size: Size 3

Feedings: You get 2 solids with cereal mixed in, plus anywhere from 18-24 oz of Neosure.  You are beginning to take some finger foods, mostly puffs and mum-mums, and every time you eat them you swallow them easier with less gagging episodes.

Developmental Milestones: You are doing a lot of things now!  You love to grab your toes, and will occasionally suck on them.  You are creeping all over the place, and are in the early stages of crawling - you can move forward a "step" or 2, but you haven't quite mastered moving your arms with your legs so you compensate by stretching out on your belly.  You love to blow raspberries and stick your tongue out at people!  You get excited when they do it back!  You are very vocal and social!  You are so curious about everything, and want to explore as much as you can.  You are interacting with the dogs much more than ever before, and we're starting to teach you how to be gentle with them.  They still love to use you as a salt lick, but you don't seem to mind!  When they play, you love to laugh at them!

Happy 9 months, Judith!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pardon our mess!

I'm currently working on some updates/changes to the blog, so if things look a little goofy, that's why.  Please bear with me, as I will be working on stuff throughout the weekend.  :D