Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thumb sucking 101

Addy kind of managed to suck her thumb this evening, with somewhat disastrous results.  Allow me to assist you with the demonstration:

1) First and most importantly, use an emery board to file all of the fingernails on your left hand to sharp, jagged points.  In spite of my attempts to keep them trimmed, Addy is quite adept at maintaining a full set of wickedly sharp daggers on the ends of her fingers.

2) Open your left hand in front of your face with your palm facing toward you

3) Rotate your left thumb so that it is now pointing toward your face, keeping your palm facing you

4) Open your mouth

5) Bring your left hand toward your face, inserting your thumb into your mouth

6) Close your mouth around your thumb.  Commence sucking.

7) Slowly curl your fingers down until your claws fingernails are digging into your face.  Attempt to make a fist.

8) Ignore the thumb in your mouth and scream as you draw blood

Other than the aforementioned thumb sucking debacle, Addy continues to do very, very well.  She is definitely getting bigger and is starting to outgrow some of her newborn sized outfits.  Not that I put a whole lot of faith in its accuracy, but according to our bathroom scale she weighed just under 9lb yesterday!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I'm dreaming of a ...

Well, holy hotdogs, Batman: Huntsville had a white Christmas this year!  Don't think this is a big deal?  Check out the history from the NWS.  (My favorite part is the official definition of white Christmas.)  It's a good thing it's a holiday weekend and 99% of businesses are closed, since the roads in the area are pretty much shut down.

Addy's first Christmas has been spent as any good Christmas should: spending every waking minute eating.  Seriously.  I think she's working on a growth spurt.

Hope that all of you have a Merry and blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Out on the town

We finally decided to take Addy out for some adventures outside the house.  Last night we went to the annual Yuletide Bassoon Concert at church.  The concert was awesome as usual, though I was hoping to hear the arrangement of "Mama Mia" that they played last year (yes, the song by Abba as played by ~20 bassoons).  Miss Sunshine let out quite a belch following the applause after the first song which no one around us seemed to notice, but Derek and I just kind of looked at each other and snickered. 

Today we went out to lunch with some of Derek's coworkers and then stopped by his office to say hi to people there.  The tricky part of taking her out right now is actually what to do with her once we're at our destination since she's still riding in the car bed and getting that thing wrangled in and out of the car is so difficult as to be impossible.  So today we brought the regular car seat in to the restaurant for her to rest in while we ate.  It may not be the best solution, but it worked for a short outing.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sibling Rivalry

So far, things between Addy and her feline "siblings" seems to be settling down.  There was an initial hiccup the day we brought Addy home: she was fussy because she needed a diaper change and the cats were fussy because we'd been gone for 2 and a half weeks, so Merry decided to introduce herself with her teeth.  So far no additional encounters of the sharp and pointy kind. 

Until this morning.

Merry feels pretty strongly that babies should only maybe be seen and definitely not be heard.  During this morning's diaper change + cath, our soon-to-be-outdoor cat decided that Addy's fussing might be quieted by a swift chomp on the head.  She was quite wrong.  Fortunately, there was no bloodshed and Addy calmed down pretty quickly when I picked her up.  Unfortunately, I had diaper cream all over my fingers when Merry had this horribly wrong idea, which only added to the wrongness of the situation.

In other news, we had our first "problem cath" last night.  Marching orders when we were discharged from the NICU were to call the urologist if she has a residual of more than 40mL.  Generally it's been less than 20mL and often less than 10mL, but last night's 10PM cath was well over the 40mL limit.  My opinion is that Addy just hadn't had time to spontaneously void because she was Starvin' Marvin at 8:30 so she ate earlier than normal.  But I went ahead and called the doctor's office anyway just to be safe.  Since they haven't called back with any different instructions, I'm assuming this is a "keep an eye on it and call back if it happens again" situation.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Maybe the crib isn't such a bad place afterall...

We seem to be making progress on the whole "sleep at night in the crib" situation.  Two nights in a row now she has slept in the crib between 10pm and 2am care time, and last night she also slept in the crib from 2am to 6am.  Now if only we can get the urologist to say that a 2am cath isn't needed...

Addy continues to be a spunky, strong-willed little girl.  The plastic surgeon told us last week that we need to work on having her sleep on the back of her head (instead of having her head turned to the side when she's on her back).  Unless you actually stand over her and keep her head in the right position, she always turns it to her left.  Hand-eye coordination is also coming along, which makes feeding her just a little more interesting.  Bottles aren't so messy, but vitamin drops quickly look like war paint.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Missed Marketing Opportunity

Dear Makers of "Fruit-Like" Flavored Rx Choice Poly-Vitamin Drops With Iron:

I believe you have missed a wonderful marketing opportunity for your infant vitamin supplements.  Please consider renaming your vitamin drops "Goth Drops."  This is not only a clever and entertaining rebranding of your product, but also a more accurate description of the after-effects of feeding it to a child.  My daughter's lips remain stained black and her breath has a slight putrid stench for nearly 24 hours after consuming her vitamins.  I would be happy to consider letting her be your new spokes-baby for this marketing campaign.

Thank you for your consideration.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

End of Shunt Pattern Baldness

Addy's hair is starting to grow back where the shunt was placed--yay!  It's long enough to actually be seen instead of just being that soft peach fuzz that can only be felt.  It's kind of hard to tell right now, but it looks like her hair may have a little red to it.

Cross your fingers:  Addy spent quite a bit of time today being awake and alert.  Hopefully she'll sleep like the baby that she is tonight :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Longest. Road. Trip. Ever.

We had Addy's follow up appointment with the plastic surgeon this morning.  The appointment itself was fine--the surgeon is happy with how things are healing and said we just need to keep up the bandage dressings for another week or so.  GETTING to the appointment was a different story.  Traffic was crazy backed up on the interstate due to the inch of snow that fell in Nashville overnight.  It took 2 hours to cover 2.5 miles on I-40 this morning.  Oy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What do you mean there's no catheter supplies in the order?

I got a call yesterday afternoon from the medical supply company to confirm the order for wound care supplies yesterday, but they didn't have any info on the (equally important) catheter supplies.  So I had to call the urologist to find out where the clog in the system was at.  Not a big deal, but I hadn't expected to need to remind them that if they want us to keep cathing her then we need more than the 2 weeks worth of supplies that we got from the NICU at discharge.

Other than that, things are still going great.  Addy is incredibly patient with us as we become more adept at her care routine. The big accomplishment this afternoon was to get the remaining non-baby things moved out of the nursery so that Aunt Katie and Grandma can finish painting for us!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Addy continues to do really well at home, in spite of the annoying restrictions from the plastic surgeons and the neonatologists (she can be on her back and sides, but for no more than 2 hours at a time, and she can't sleep on her tummy at home because of the risk of SIDS, and she doesn't like to lay on her right side at all due to the shunt but she needs to lay on that side at least some so that her skull doesn't get all misshapen and her neck muscles don't get uneven).  Hopefully after next week's appointment with plastics we'll be able to let her sleep for longer without turning her. 

We're still perfecting the care routine, but we have each managed to do the diaper + cath thing solo at least once now.  Addy definitely enjoys having a second person there to entertain her, but it isn't a requirement anymore.  We have to continue with cathing every 4 hours until at least her first SB clinic appointment in January, but so far she's been having more wet diapers than she was having in the NICU.  I'm hoping for a bit of a reprieve on the cath schedule, but we'll keep doing what ever needs to be done to keep her healthy.

BUT she has started acting like she's teething!  She chews on her bottles and paci (and your finger if you let her), drools a fair bit of her milk down her chin when she eats, and Aunt Katie swears that she could feel a tooth getting ready to pop through when Addy was chewing on her finger.  I know that's not all of the symptoms of a teething baby and that she's about 5 months ahead of schedule on that milestone, but it has made for a couple of pretty messy days of feeding!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Last time I checked, tar was not a fruit

Addy has 2 medications that she has to take.  One is amoxicillin (to prevent UTI's) and the other is a multivitamin.  The amoxacillin is bubblegum flavored and Addy loves it.  The vitamin drops claim to be fruit flavored, but they look, smell, and stain more like tar than any fruit I've ever come across, and Addy is not at all a fan of them.

If only we had a "scratch 'n sniff" blog and then you, too, could enjoy the eau de tar...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Very Merry Unbirthday, Addy

Today was supposed to be Addy's birthday, but instead it's her almost-3-weeks-old-day!  To celebrate, she had her first pediatrician's appointment and got a thumbs up from the doctor.

We're still working on getting all of our routines worked out to where they're both faster and can be done by one person (instead of the current team of 3!) and we're also working on this whole needing to snuggle during the day time vs night time thing.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day time is for sleeping, Night time is for being awake

We did pretty well yesterday, especially thanks to Aunt Katie who got in last night.  So far Addy seems to be confused as to when sleeping vs. awake time is supposed to be, but we're going to work on that :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

This little baby went "wee wee wee wee" all the way home!

Addy got to come home yesterday afternoon--hooray!  (For the record, she was actually pretty quiet for the car ride.)  Updates are a little more challenging to write while snuggling a small baby, but we'll manage somehow.

A big "Thank you" shout out goes to our saintly neighbors who took care of our 3 crazy cats and their many issues while we were gone, and to the welcome committee for the balloons and cake!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Addy gets a big girl bed

Today was more good news from Addy's nurse--"soon" is almost here!  We spent the day going through lots of pre-discharge teaching things, including how to install the car bed car seat so that Addy can come home with us.  She wasn't real happy with testing out the car bed in her NICU room, but I think that was mostly because she was hungry.

And since she's almost graduating from the NICU, Addy gets to move up from a Giraffe Bed to an actual (rather institutional looking) crib.  Scary side note: the warning on the bed claims that the max weight limit for the crib is 350lb, so no fat babies allowed!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Girls' Day In

Today was special Mommy + Addy bonding day because poor Daddy's allergies were acting up.  Mostly it means that I got to do care time all by myself (and that I didn't have to share snuggle time!)  It also means that Daddy had time to upload some more pictures :)

Addy's feeding was less than stellar most of the day so we're waiting on that to rebound before we start pestering the doctors about when we get to go home.  She does eat, but not as much as the doctors would like and not as much as she was eating a few days ago.  Hopefully we don't have to go back to the NG tube, but we'll do what needs to be done to get her back to the voracious eating machine that she was before her shunt went in.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Could someone please define "soon" for me??

Addy continues to do awesome post-surgery.  She was completely off the pain meds this morning, but mostly because her IV in her foot had gone kaput and they had trouble finding another vein to stick.  The nurse got an order for some oral pain meds in case they're needed, but to my knowledge they weren't needed all day.  Food is still a pretty high priority for Miss Sunshine and fortunately she's back to her "on demand" feeding schedule!  She slept through most of a visit from Grandma and Grandpa Gottlieb this afternoon.  Thankfully she's super cute, so they didn't mind watching her saw logs while snuggling with Mommy.

Derek had a chance today to meet a family with a 1-year old daughter who was also born with Spina Bifida.  They are also from the Huntsville area, so we're looking forward to getting to know them better in the future.  Interestingly, when the doctor was introducing everyone, he made an off-handed comment that we would be discharged "soon," which is the closest we've been able to get to an actual ETD (estimated time of departure) since the false alarm on Monday.  If only we could get someone to actually define "soon" for us...