Monday, April 25, 2016

Ten Months

I'm writing this in tiny pieces, taking breaks quite often to chase after a newly-mobile and slightly-punchy-because-it's-almost-bedtime baby as she chases the cat, grabs handfuls of fur off the dog, tries to stick her fingers in the back of the fan (it sounds more dangerous than it is), pulls herself up on the coffee table to grab hard drives, and crawls down the hall in search of the vacuum cleaner cord. 

Yep, our lives have changed pretty drastically in the last couple of months! When I think back on parenting in general, so far, I think about phases like this:

1. Leaving the baby on the couch to do things in the other room, many hours to do my own thing while she sleeps
2. Leaving the baby lying on the floor to do things in the other room ('cause she'd roll off the couch if she could), some time to do my own thing
3. Leaving the baby sitting on the floor playing, not as much time to do my own thing as she's clingy
4. Chase after a mischievous crawler

I'm sure #5 will be RUN AFTER A MISCHIEVOUS TODDLER! We have a little time before that happens though.

We had quite the week last week. I was terribly sick the weekend after we got home from Florida, and Ivy followed suit pretty quickly. I felt like I was racing against time, because right before I got sick I'd called her surgeon for a checkup, which was scheduled for that Thursday. I wanted to ask about a couple of episodes Ivy'd had, where she'd swallowed a bit of food and had thrown it back up a few minutes later. I was concerned she might have a stricture and need a dilation. 

Luckily, she was mostly better by Tuesday, so on Thursday we made the trek up to the hospital and had a quick meeting with the surgeon. She recommended an esophagram, which they scheduled for the following day, to see if there was a stricture. (They also doubled her omeprazole dose - it's an anti-reflux medication that protects the surgery site against developing too much scar tissue.) And then on Thursday night, her fever came back, so on the way up to the esophagram appointment I made an appointment with her pediatrician for the afternoon.


This was her third esophagram. The first two times she did really well, but this time she was hungry and did NOT want to stay still and drink the barium. I don't blame her. Luckily, the technician got the x-rays he wanted, and the doctor said everything looks great - in fact it looks better than last time! So that made me feel better. It still didn't tell me why she's getting food stuck, but now I think it probably has more to do with the motility of the esophageal muscles - they stop and start up again at the stricture site, rather than move the food down in one fluid motion. So we continue to watch and stay careful when we feed her pieces of food.

After the esophagram, we stopped in at the pediatrician. I had mentioned that she had those episodes of food being stuck, and then the nurse tried to get a blood oxygen level and ended up with a measurement of 75. So the resident came flying in, thinking she had aspiration pneumonia, but once they saw that I wasn't worried about her they did another O2 check and it was normal. Sorry for the heart attack, doctor. Turned out she had croup! I feel awful, because now I realize I can't tell the difference between her floppy trachea barky cough and croup. Anyway, she got some steroids and felt better the next day. Boy, it's amazing the difference in her demeanor when she's not feeling well - she's always such a happy girl that when she's not feeling well it's super obvious.

Let's see, what else... she is waving like crazy, to everything. It takes her a little bit of time to warm up when she's in a new place or around new people, but she's not afraid of being held by people she doesn't know. She's starting to do the "I'm shy" head-on-mama's-shoulder thing sometimes when new people (or people she doesn't remember) say hello to her. She's definitely teething; I can feel her left lower front tooth right under the surface, and she's been biting my nipple quite often the last week or so. I was going to say that she's sleeping great - all the way through the night, like 9 hours - but that was short-lived, heh. Last week it started taking her upwards of an hour to fall asleep, and she was pretty bitey. It's probably a combination of teething and going through another mental leap (and learning how to crawl and stuff changing her brain). She's constantly babbling, but no "mama" yet. She can't stand hats; they come off within seconds of being put on. This is unfortunate because it means I can't take her out in the sun for very long - but it's OK 'cause I don't like being in the sun either; we can stick to the shade together.

Lettuce Head
My lettuce wrap worked well as a hat too, but I couldn't get a photo of it before she started ripping it off her head!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

To Orlando and Back

We are back from Florida!

A week ago Friday, we flew over five hours to Orlando. We had a short layover in Kansas City, but our first flight was slightly late so we walked off one plane and onto the next, leaving no time for Ivy to play before having to get back into a cramped little seat. Mom, Cory and I took up a row, and it worked pretty well; Ivy could switch back and forth among us. I'm always a little antsy about getting through security and making it to the gate on time, and having to figure out how to do it with a baby made me that much more worried, but we did it. The last half hour of the last flight, she got a little punchy, but the rest of the time she was great.

And then we spent the next week running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Ivy's nap schedule was shot, and we were working such long hours that it was hard to stop for a few minutes. Burt in the ballroom I was working, they left a little room open for me to nurse, and it was awesome. Mom walked all through the hotel dozens of times, and brought Ivy to me when she was hungry, and it all worked out really well. Ivy met so many people and did so well - lots of our members knew she was coming, and they all gave her lots of attention. I thought she would have a hard time with all those strangers, but she really was so good. It wasn't until the last day that she was done and needed her mama a ton. She learned to wave, and would reach her arm towards the third-floor balcony and when we would go out there she would wave at the people down below. She also started standing on her hands and feet and almost figured out how to pull up on the furniture. (She has since figured it out!) I can't remember if I mentioned that she learned to crawl about a week before we went, but she had a blast in those big empty ballrooms at the hotel as we started to unpack, and she also spent lots of time searching out little crumbs and pieces of dirt and pebbles and trying to eat them.

And then it was time to come home! She was not excited about being in the plane on the first leg, and we ended up being so late (a plastic clip from an oxygen tank had broken and they had to do paperwork) that they held our connection in Denver and we were the very last people on that plane. One very nice lady moved so that Cory and I could sit together, but mom was out of luck and had to sit with strangers. Ivy slept almost the whole of that flight, and as we we waiting to deplane she flirted with the lady next to us who said she looked exactly like her son at that age.

And then we were home! I feel so lucky that my mom agreed to come; she was such a lifesaver. We couldn't have done it without her.

Now cross your fingers with me that Ivy and Cory don't get this sickness that I brought back with me. I had a 24-hour fever that finally broke in the wee hours this morning, and I still feel like I was run over by a truck. And I had such grand plans to clean and mow and stuff this weekend. :(