Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mommy report: Good reports all around

Here's a quick rundown of all the recent appointments and such...

Dietician--Miss Tara was great. We're working on a plan to do continuous feeding overnight via the NG and then take it out during the day to work on spoonfeeding, trying the bottle, etc. We'll also be adding olive oil to her spoonfed foods to bulk up the calories as well as continuing to concentrate the breastmilk by adding powder formula to it for extra cals. And she gets to try some avocado as well...we'll see how that goes. The goal is to avoid needing to go to G-tube, since she's been on the NG for about 5 of her 6 months.

DS specialist--Dr. G felt she was doing very well. She said that considering the surgery at 3 months, she was progressing very well. They drew labs for thyroid, but we don't have them back yet. I really liked this dr and was pleased with her attention to a thorough exam. She gave us a script for stool softener for Braska to see if that helps with her 5-6 days "off." She recommended we see ENT at one year. That's when we'll follow up with cardiology and the DS center again too.

Ophthalmology--The dr said her refractions were right where they should be. She does have the mild nystagmus (wiggly eye) which we knew, but she said she's not sure yet if it will affect her vision later. All other aspects of her eye exam, including dilation, were very good. We return at one year for recheck of the eyes.

Pediatrician, Dr. Y--He is pleased that we're finally hooked up with everyone and have the input we need from the specialists. We have a plan in place and all of us are glad about that. He said she looks good overall, so we'll watch the weight when it's time to make the diet changes, but for now we keep doing what we're doing. She got her 6 mo shots, and barely made a whine. What a champ.

So we actually don't have to go to an out-of-town appointment for 6 months, unless something changes, so that's awesome!! We see Dr. Y next for her 9-month check. I would never have believed 3 months ago that it would be possible to not see a dr for that long! God is SO good!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Good scale report

After we came home from St. Louis, I went to see Dr. Y today and Miss Laurie put me on the scale. I'm up some more!

(11 lbs 11.2 oz)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Lots of docs

I guess not everyone that we saw today was a doctor, but they were all pretty smart, so I can't tell. Mommy is going to tell you the important details when she can, but for now I'll just tell you my side and show you some of what we did.

Here's today's fashion show pictures....from very early this morning before we left.

Guess where we parked today?

First we saw a nice lady who told Mommy she was a social worker. She checks in with everyone, and she was friendly, but we have already got lots of help, so she didn't stay very long. Then we saw Miss Tara, the dietician, and she and Mommy talked a long time about how to get me to gain some weight and get rid of this tube. They have some new ideas, so Mommy will probably tell you about them....I was busy with a new toy they had there on the table for me.

If you'd rather see me in action, see the post below from Mommy.

(If that's not enough, here's a little more.)

Then we saw Dr. G. She was very nice. She talked to Mommy for a long time then she checked me out. Mommy said she was really good.

After Dr. G was done, she sent us to the place where they poke me and it hurts. Miss Towanda was very quick about it though, so I didn't cry very long at all. It was alot better than they usually are.

Then we went over to see the doctors who look at eyes. They looked at me a little, then they put some stuff in my eyes and we went back to wait some more. I took a little nap and then they brought us back to see the doctor again. They shined alot of little lights, so that was fun. I like to look at lights, but things didn't look quite right when I woke up. Those drops must be fuzzy drops. Mommy took this picture of me when I was seeing fuzzy stuff. The middle part of my eye is really big!!!

Tonight we came to Grandma C and Grandpa J's house to see them before we go home in the morning. Auntie April, Uncle Levi, Uncle Ethon, and Miss Karen Sue were all here too. It's nice to play with everyone again. I think they were impressed with my new moves.

Mommy report: Dancing in Table Paper

Here's how Braska kept herself busy between appointments today... details to come.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Weekend

We didn't do much this weekend...Pop called it hot, lazy, and TV-filled. (He was bored alot, I think.) Mommy said this is the first Memorial Day that we haven't had a big pool party to kick off the summer, but everyone we know is moving or out of town, it seems. So we just stayed home and did nothing much.

I did get to wear a few new things this weekend, so Mommy took some fashion show pics.

I wore this pretty dress to church Sunday...My friend Olivia let me borrow it since it's too small for her.

This is a neat outfit that shows that I'm Pop's girl.

Then today I got to wear my first real summer outfit that Mommy's been saving for me. I put it on for a quick trip to the store and then a stop at a place where Mommy and Pop had some dinner tonight.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mommy life: Musing about Happy Feet

A couple of days ago, we watched Happy Feet, the movie we thought was all about dancing penguins. I'll spare you the details of our discussion about the actual story of the movie. (Way to hijack a cute little movie with a social statement...not what we were looking for in the flick...but I digress. The promos just showed the fun and dancing.)

At the beginning, Baby Mumble is hatched, a little later than the others...and he initially looks like the other baby penguins. But it doesn't take too long to realize he is a little different. His feet move kinda funny. His parents are embarassed and try to keep him from showing this to others. A little later, all the baby penguins go to learn how to find their heartsongs. All the penguins have a heartsong and can sing beautifully. They just have to look deep inside their hearts and let it out. Mumble doesn't find a song, he finds a dance. His feet start to move, and he is very happy about it. He is ridiculed for being different, and his parents are even ashamed that he is "not a real penguin."

The questions that were asked of the parents struck me, as well. Were there any problems with the incubation? Problems with the hatching? The parents were afraid that they had done something wrong during incubation. They were concerned about how Mumble would function in the penguin community. Could he contribute? Should he go to school or just learn how to work and help the family? They love him, but they're torn. They didn't expect this. The elder penguins think they should just send him away.

Anything seem familiar?? Maybe it's just me....

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dirty Saturday

That's what Mommy called it today. I think it's because Mommy and Pop just stayed in their PJs all day around the house. Mommy and I took a nap this morning since I got her up kind of early again. Pop was sneaky and took a picture when we didn't know it. It's fun to nap in their big soft bed.

We didn't do a whole lot today. I got to play in a nice warm bath for a while because Mommy thought it might help my tummy ache that I had. Mommy made some biscuits this morning, and that's kind of a big deal, because she doesn't really cook stuff like that. Since Pop doesn't eat much stuff, she says she forgot how to cook real food. But this morning she did biscuits because she said she just felt like it.

It looked like fun because she played with her hands in the sticky stuff. Someday I'll get to help her do that, but I think I have to get a little bigger.

I did practice my head-up exercises with Mommy, and the rolling over ones too. We've got to get ready for Miss Robin next week. I kind of decided it was nice to just rest a while, though. It's hard work, you know!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Who is that?

There is a neat shiny thing that hangs over my chair. It has pictures in it that move and change. Mommy calls it the mirror ball. I have always thought it was neat, but the last couple days I've noticed that I can see a baby in there! So I have been looking for her alot. She smiles sometimes, too.
It's time for bed now, so I'll see ya later.

Mommy report: 9000+

This morning, we hit the 9000 visit mark!! And that's in just over 3 months! So I wanted to just say thanks to all of you who check in on us, whether it's sporadically, daily, or several times a day. It's fun for me to do this, and it will be a great way to show Braska what things were like for her and her parents at the beginning.

So keep coming back, we'll keep trying to be creative and interesting. And for heaven sake...leave a comment! :o) (If you missed it, the instructions are above. We've tried to cover all the bases!)

A special note to all of you who have contributed to Braska's Benefit Fund... you have made the world of difference in our lives. The simple thank you's fall far short of expressing how grateful we are for all the support-- monetary, emotional, and sometimes tangible. In the midst of all this, we could have been in big financial trouble, and you have helped to save us, whether your gift was large or seemingly small. We consider absolutely every penny to be sacrificial on your part, and again, we thank you, thank you, thank you. We have a long way to go, physically and financially, but we will make it, and we could not have done it without every one of you!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Family picture day

This morning we went to our friend Miss Allyson's house where she has a special place to take pictures of people. She does lots of neat pictures, especially of babies, and it's called Sweet Pea Photography. This was the first time I had pictures taken that wasn't just by Mommy or Pop. It was alot of fun, and sometimes it was like when Miss Robin comes to play. They wanted me to hold my head up and everything. Mostly, I got to just play on the floor or on a pillow, and Mommy and Pop held me the rest of the time. Mommy changed my clothes three times, and they even took pictures of me in my diaper and with nothing on at all. That seemed silly, but it was fun to play and kick like that. Pop thought I was going to wet on him, but I didn't.

In a few days, the pictures will be up for us to see them all and pick out what we want to get. But here's some shots from the fun we had today that Mommy and Pop took.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dangerous gym!

Mommy and I pretty much stayed home today, so I played alot while she worked. We also napped, which made Mommy very happy.

After Pop got home from work, he found me playing in my gym, and thought this was funny.

I was just kickin' around being happy, and all the sudden my leg was stuck. Pop helped me out, but he had to take a picture first.

Mommy life: "Retarded by association"

I was doing the "follow the link" game I do sometimes where I just pick a blog on the blogroll of a site I visit often, then pick one from there, and it continues. I end up at some neat places, and sometimes see things that I think were put there for me to find.

Most of you know that I don't do forwards, I don't generally send articles or such, and I'm rarely one to read any type of news item. The same goes for blogs, and I usually don't pass things on, even if I like them...just a thing of mine, I guess.

Today I found an article posted by Jessica over at Raising Joey that I felt was important to share. Maybe it's because it illustrates things I've thought about or things I've been afraid of. Maybe it's because it just hits home. Either way, I highly recommend that you take the time to read it. Thanks for posting it, Jess.

Retarded by association: When you make fun of my sister, it hurts me

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's Tuesday again

At my house, Tuesday means some regular things happen. Today we had some regular things and some other stuff, too.

Regular thing: Miss Robin comes to play with me. Today we played with a toy that had a funny face and made noise when I moved it around. I liked holding it, but Miss Robin kept wanting me to put it in my other hand. I don't know why it matters to her which hand, but she seemed to think it was important.

She also told Mommy that she wanted me to practice playing with things in front of me so I have to reach for them. She left me this neat toy that lights up and makes music, my favorite things, so Mommy and I have been playing with it. I always reach with one hand, and Mommy reminds me to use the other one. I guess she thinks it's important too.

Other stuff: Mommy and I went to the store again. She said it was time to get healthy food for her and Pop. She didn't seem very happy about it though. I slept most of the time, because I was tired from working hard with Miss Robin. But I woke up when there was alot of beeping right before we left.

Other stuff: I found out that these hands that I have been having fun with so much actually taste yummy too! Who knew?!

Regular thing: Pop goes to play his card game with some friends on Tuesday nights. So while he was gone, Mommy and I met up with Miss Sue and had a nice visit. Then we went to Mr. Brian and Miss Ruthie's house, where Pop and his friends always go, and we visited with them a bit too. We did say hi to Pop, but he was busy. I played with Miss Ruthie, David, and Megan for a bit though. David was especially nice to me. Hi David!

Other stuff: Miss Meshi sent me a present today, two bibs that will keep me from making messes, Mommy says. And she likes that alot. Thanks Miss Meshi!!!

Mommy report: OT session 2

Miss Robin came this morning for Braska's weekly OT session. We've been working on head/neck strength, rolling over, and trying to get her to be as fascinated by her left hand as she is her right. Braska was in a very good mood, even though she'd been up for close to three hours by the time we got started at 8:30 a.m.

She did extremely well tracking the toys with a consistent gaze, which is great. She wasn't nearly as interested in rolling as she was last week, but that's kind of typical for her. If she doesn't want to do something, it's just not going to happen. Robin made the statement that she is "an all or nothing kind of girl," which is probably no surprise at all to those of you who know her father to be just exactly that kind of guy. I was just saying that I've yet to identify any of her traits that seem to come from me... she's all daddy's girl at this point, for sure.

When she did get the whim, she rolled over to her side, both of them, quickly, but she generally just rolled right back onto her back in short order. She was way more interested in that astounding right hand of hers than she was in any toy that we attempted to distract her with.

She did some good tummy-time head-up action, but that's alot of work. She doesn't care for having her arms put under her for support. She prefers to push them out to the side and try to use her back muscles to hold her head up and fly like Superman. We're excited that she wants to show off her super powers at a young age, but we'll be working on the more traditional manifestations of neck strength for now.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A good half-birthday

Today was pretty nice. Me and Mommy just worked around the house and played. That's my kind of day! We worked on the pool this morning, getting it all clear and pretty. Mommy says it's more fun to swim in when it's all clear. Now we just have to wait for it to heat up some. I heard Mommy say that we'll put a blanket on the pool to help it get warm. That's what I use blankets for, too! I wonder if I have one like the one it has, a solar blanket. I'll ask Mommy...

Here's what it looks like from where I sit outside while Mommy works.

I spent some time with my music gym and Mommy got pretty excited when she saw I was playing with Mr. Zebra with both hands. I guess she likes when I play with my toys, so we'll get along just fine.

And this afternoon, it was pretty warm, so Mommy told me I could wear only a shirt with my diaper. Isn't that fun! I can kick and squirm so much better without pants! So I got to wear my neato Montana shirt that Grandma C and Miss Karen Sue brought back from there. Whatta ya think, Grandma C? I think it's comfy.

Mommy got a little excited this afternoon because she gave me some juice in a bottle and I drank a little. Juice is pretty good. Mommy says she's been giving it to me in my tube, but I don't really know when she does that since it goes straight to my tummy. She says it helps me make messy diapers, which seems like a bad thing, but she says it's good. Mommy's weird sometimes. Since I drank it so fast, she gave me some milk too, and I drank a little, but that's not the way I like to drink milk, so I told her I didn't want any more of that. I thought she would have given up by now!

Happy 6 months to me!

I'm 6 months old today. seems like a lifetime!!

Mommy helped me put together a neat thing to share with you, but you should know that it's really for my dad. He's the best Pop a girl could have. Just remember, girls, he's mine and Mommy's, and we're keeping him!

Hey Pop, thanks for hanging in there with us for six whole months!
Go Team Woods!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

It's all about the hands

This morning I got up early, and when Mommy came to get me from my room, I handed her my tube. She didn't seem so surprised this time, but I guess that's because I have been having it ready to give to her almost every day lately. She took me back to her bed and after I got some food, I went back to sleep for a while. Mommy said that made me her favorite girl today. It's a good thing that Mommy and Pop have such a big bed, because it would be crowded with four of us in a small one. (Belle sleeps with Mommy and Pop all the time.)

At church this morning, Mr. JP told some good stories, but I was much more interested in my hands. I hope he didn't notice that I wasn't paying close attention all the time. I did try to say hi to him once, but Pop told me I had to wait til afterward to talk to him. I guess it's not nice to talk while someone else is talking and a whole bunch of people are listening. Here's what it looks like from where we sit. (Mommy said she forgot her camera, so these are taken with her phone. I wonder... why does a phone take pictures?!?)

Mr. Rick and Miss Jeannine were sitting behind us, and I showed them what I found at the end of my arm. I think they were impressed.

I played on Pop's lap for a while at the end, enjoying the hands once again. I also got a few good kicks in, too, since he was trying to tickle me.

After church, Miss Andrea played with me for a while. I didn't mean to be rude, but I was just having a ball with my hands. Have I told you how much I like these toys of mine?!

This afternoon, Mommy and Pop are working on the pool again. While we were waiting for something, I took a little nap with Mommy in the big chair while she did some working. It was kind of cozy, but she told me that I kept typing weird things when I would get fidgety in my sleep.

We went back outside to finish getting the pool ready. I just watch, but I don't think I can help very much. Belle hangs out on the patio with me.

We went back to Toro tonight with Miss Mindy, Mr. Tim, and Mia. Mia was trying to tell me how good chips were while her mommy was holding me, but Miss Mindy said I don't have teeth. Hmmmmm...I'll have to ask Mommy about that and see if it's a good thing or a bad thing.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Kickin' on the couch

We didn't take any pictures today. I think Mommy and Pop just forgot about it since they were busy. And we didn't do much interesting, so you're not missing out really.

I spent alot of time this afternoon with Pop while Mommy went to a bunch of stores to try to find some pieces that they needed for the pool. It was fun to just lay on the couch and kick alot. I'm not sure why it's so fun, but I could do it for hours! I also found out that my hands can reach my feet sometimes, so that was neat to try. Pop took my clothes off except for my diaper and then I found out it was so much easier to kick and wiggle... I guess he already knew that, though. My Pop is really smart!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Weight and flight

I'm tired and Mommy says it's time for bed, but here's a quick one...

~Grammy went home this morning. Thanks for all your help, Grammy!!

~I went to see Miss Amiee and Miss Laurie this morning, and it was silly scale time again. Good news everyone! I'm up a little bit!

(11 lbs 8 oz!!! 5.22 kg...up from 11 lbs 0 oz)

~We took Mr. Brent to the place where an airplane was going to pick him up. He's going to North Carolina to see friends. I'm not sure where that is, but I think he will have fun.

~We went to do the bank run today. That's where we get money from one bank and we take it to another. The girls at BB-S were so nice to me. They all wanted to say hi. They know Pop because they call him when they need their computers fixed. Hi girls!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hangin' with Grammy and Miss Ruth

I spent most of today with Grammy while Mommy went to do things and had meetings. I watched her work on cleaning carpets and cooking Mommy's favorite food. This afternoon we went to see Grammy's friend, Miss Ruth at a place called a nursing home. I heard Grammy say that the doctors are making her stay there to take special medicine so she can get better. She gets to go home in a couple weeks, so that's good.

I got to sit with Miss Ruth for a while, and I showed her how I can pull my tube out, but Grammy caught me before I finished.

We hope you feel better soon, Miss Ruth!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Napping buddy

Grammy Jan and Mommy did more work today. There was alot of stuff going on at our house, but I just played most of the day. My nose kind of tickled alot today with new smells because Grammy was cleaning our house real good, so she took me out for a little walk while Mommy was gone. It was a good day to be outside, so that was fun.

I cuddled up with Mr. Pink Bear today and took a long nap. He is a good one for that napping stuff!

After Pop got home from work, Mr. Michael came over to visit. Mommy and Grammy fixed dinner, and then Mr. Tim, Miss Mindy, and Mia came over too. They're gonna live in a new place soon, and Mommy says it's called Belgium. It's far away, so that's kind of sad. But it's only for one year, Mommy says. I think a year is forever!!! When they come back, they'll live in Kansas, but at least they'll be a little closer than Belgium. I'll miss my friend Mia.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More playtime

Miss Robin came this morning to see me. She brought some neat toys with her too. This is kind of fun having people come play with me. They call it "therapy" but it seems like playtime to me. I did hear her tell Mommy that I was doing alot better than the last time she came and that she thought I was going to be a quick learner, which I think is good.

She brought a really neat shiny thing that I liked alot. She kept moving it but I was not letting it out of my sight.

Sometimes I did get tired and took a little rest, like this.

But when I got my strength up, I was lookin' around and everything. There's alot of stuff to see in my house!

Grammy and Mommy spent the day moving stuff around in the house, and I just watched. I don't think they needed my help, but I did try to tell them how I thought they should do it. Tonight I sat with Grammy while she worked on her computer. She was making me feel happy.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Coming and going

Miss Judy came to see me this morning and brought toys to play with. Mommy says she's going to help me to get stronger so I can play more. She's helping me learn to roll over and how to hold my head up better so I can see around me. It's hard, but it's kind of fun too.

Here's a little bit of my lesson if you want to watch.

Tonight Mommy and Pop went to see Mr. Matt, Miss Nico, and Connor, but I stayed home with Grammy Jan, because she came to visit me today and she's going to help us for a few days. Connor told Mommy to tell me hello and she took a picture to show me.

Hi Connor! I'll see you next time!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mommy's Day!

Hope you all had a very nice day.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Two big days

I've been so busy I didn't even get to put up stories for you last night. Sorry!

Here's some of what we did for Pop's birthday.

Mommy and I went to get him a tripod for the camera because he said a while back that he wanted one.

Then we went to 4 more stores to get stuff to make Pop some cool things. We made him a neat picture thing for his desk at work, and I wrote a poem for him on it. We also got him a very special bunch of had the cards that he likes alot in the bunch too. We took those to his work to surprise him.

Then we made some T-shirts for Pop and some of his friends that play cards. Mommy says that usually she does a great big party for Pop's birthday called MunchCon, and lots of people come every year. But this year there's no big party, so we tried to make a little party. Mr. Brent helped us get something neat ready for the shirts.

(I don't really understand, but it's about the cards... and it's kind of a joke on Pop, too, I think.)

Mr. Tim and Miss Mindy had a party Friday night for some graduation/going away and they threw Pop's birthday in there too. So we went over there for a while. Some of our friends came over too, like Ali P.

After the party, Pop and Mr. Brent left to go play Friday night cards. Mommy and I went over a little later and picked up a bunch of pizzas and took them and the shirts to the game shop to surprise Pop again with his little party for everyone there. We worked hard all day, so I hope he liked it.


We mostly worked around the house today. We took Mommy's car to some guys who are gonna do some fixing on it for her. Then we had to go get another car for her to drive since the guys have to keep it for a few days.

Mr. Tim, Miss Mindy, and Mia came over to help us open the pool. It is a big job, Mommy says.

Miss Mindy and Mia took a little nap in the afternoon, and me and Mommy did too. Mia's grandma and grandpa came over to say hello to me too.

Mia helped me play with my Mr. Zebra toy.

Then we all went to dinner at our favorite place, El Toro. We took some pictures of me and Mia to take to Miss Martha at Toro, but she wasn't there tonight.

After dinner, Mommy, Pop, and I went back out to work on the pool some more. Mommy was washing off some stuff while I was sitting in my chair. I started getting wet, and it was cold water! It just kept spraying on me, but I didn't know how to tell Mommy to look over to see it. The place where she was getting the water from on the house was shooting water the wrong direction, but she didn't see it. So I finally started yelling at her, and she turned the water off real quick. She said she was sorry over and over, but I was just glad to be wrapped up in a blanket and warmed. Me and Mommy went in the house then, and that was all the pool work for us. Pop and Mr. Tim worked on it til bedtime, but there's still more to do tomorrow. This pool thing sure better be fun for all the time it's taking from my playtime.