Friday, June 23, 2017


Last Sunday, my brand new baby who was only born a few weeks ago turned TWO!

At her check-up the other day, she was 23 pounds and 34". Skinny little string bean, like usual. She's starting to become more sure of herself, in terms of being able to traverse stairs and rocks and roots and things, and now is the time that I get to start having mini heart attacks every time I take her to the playground.

Language is also through the roof. It's so fun to be able to start having real conversations with her, ones where she can speak almost full sentences. She gets the concept of funny, which apparently doesn't usually happen this early, but knowing her parents it makes sense. She also gets frustrated quickly, which is her mama through and through.

We took our teardrop trailer out for a four-day road trip/camping trip last weekend for her birthday. We bookended two camping nights with two nights at my mom's house, because we haven't taken the trailer out much and need some practice with it. And with camping with a toddler. The first day we went to the John Day Fossil Beds and camped in a campground east of Pendleton, and it rained on us. And I forgot the propane so we had no way to make coffee in the morning. Oopsies. Then the second day we wandered around Pendleton, spent some time fixing the hatch on the trailer (it wasn't latching correctly), had a yummy lunch and spent the afternoon and night at a KOA. KOA's are not really my favorite, but we wanted something easy. It had a little playground, which was nice for part of the time, but the rest of the time older kids were throwing gravel down the slide and climbing on the roof of the play structure, so we couldn't play there.

Back at Mom's, we had a sweet little family birthday party. Mom made white cake with strawberries and whipped cream frosting, and Ivy got some great gifts, including a balance bike that she's been talking about for weeks but now refuses to ride. Heh. And an orange soprano ukulele, one that she can "tune" and bang on the floor and stretch out the strings all she wants, to save my ukes from toddler abuse.

This week we've seen some signs of sleep regression. It's a combination of the normal 2-year-old regression and not having her daycare nap routine, I think. Our daycare provider takes two weeks off in the summer and this year Cory is staying home with her the whole time (besides our extended weekend). He's had kind of a rough time getting her down for naps, but on the bright side I was able to put her down for bed over an hour ago and then come downstairs and eat ice cream in peace. And write a blog post in peace. Ahhh.

Overall - she's a pretty cool kid. I feel very lucky every day, especially around her birthday when I pull memories of her birth and details of her NICU stay and our days apart, recovering in separate hospitals; and mull them over. They always bring with them those old feelings of loss and longing that were such a big part of my life for so long. They're still there, they'll always be there, but they've got a slightly different hue now that Ivy is our world, colored with gratitude and joy every time she smiles.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Another Dilation

Miss Ivy was a trooper yet again last Friday, when she had what the surgeon called a prophylactic dilation. And after three weeks of eating everything in smoothie form, she was definitely ready for it!

We had an early call time again, 5:30am for a 7:30am procedure. Cory stayed behind because he had some kind of stomach bug, and as a little bit of insurance against catching the bug, Ivy and I slept in our little teardrop trailer out on the patio. It rained a little bit overnight, and it smelled and felt so good to be breathing in the fresh wet air. Even with a window open and the fan lid up a bit, we were still nice and warm with long sleeves and one comforter. I knew I wouldn't sleep well anyway, trying my hardest to wake up on time, so it worked out well to sleep in the trailer.

Up we got, and Cory made me some coffee for the road, and we made it to the hospital and got checked in. Ivy was more interested in the ride-in cars last time than she was this time; we still made it around the hallway loop several times but she ended up having a little tantrum because she wanted the toy pterodactyl that was hanging from the ceiling in the nurses' station. Luckily, that was towards the end of our wait, and soon the nurse came in with some Versed to help Ivy relax. Like last time, Ivy grabbed the syringe and wouldn't let go of it all the way to pre-op.

We did a little more waiting in pre-op, and we said hello to the anesthesiologist and the nurse who was assisting in the room, and the surgeon. And then they wheeled her bed away and I showed myself to the waiting area.

Tangent: I really wish there were no TVs in the waiting room. The first time we were in there, someone had turned on a news channel whose programming tends to lean the opposite of me, politically. This time was more benign - a show about cats - but it was asinine and seemed to be more commercials than programming. I found a spot at a table as far away from it as I could.

When the surgeon was finished, he came out and chatted with me for a few minutes. He said everything went easily and well, and he didn't see any reason for us to see him again (as long as we keep cutting her meat extra extra small). He told me to make an appointment for a followup in July, but to cancel it if she's doing well. That sounded good to me!

A few minutes later, a nurse led me into post-op, where another nurse was holding a rather upset Ivy. She did NOT want to be held by the strange lady. They brought me a rocking chair and we cuddled for a few minutes, during which a still-kinda-drugged Ivy lost control of her head a bit and bonked it on the foot of her bed. Oopsies. When she woke up a little more, we were escorted back down to the day surgery unit so that Ivy could have a popsicle and get her IV out. The nurse pulled the TV over to our chair and turned on Minions for Ivy, who was uninterested (and neither was I). Luckily, it wasn't much time before we were discharged.

The rest of the day consisted mainly of Ivy being tired, sleeping fitfully, and being cranky while she was awake. I stopped for lunch with my dad and sister before we headed home, and for the first time ever I had to leave a restaurant to keep Ivy from disturbing the other customers. She threw a spoon, which she never does, so I asked for a box and the two of us walked up and down the street for awhile and petted a dog while my dad and sister finished their lunches. I really think that, though some of it was that she was tired and a little sore, the rest of it was that she just REALLY wanted real food and wanted no part of the pouch I brought for her. The surgeon told us to start re-introducing chewable foods at around the week mark, but I knew how tired she was of her diet so I decided to start easing her into them the next day, and we both enjoyed a weekend of fight-free meals! Hooray! She was happy to eat what I gave her.

I hope with these dilations that we are now set up for success. As much as I appreciate our surgeon for all that he has done for Ivy (and that's an understatement - he saved her life!), I'm happy to not have to see him anymore. So that's our goal: cut the protein smaller, and get this girl eating!