Monday, October 31, 2011

Combination ninga and penguin

The pattern for the penguin costume included a little body suit, which I did make almost completely per the instructions. (Someone really should have actually tried the instructions before they printed them. There's no way my sewing machine was going to deal with the wrist cuffs the way they wanted.)

Flying Tiger Punch GO!

While an awesome ninja costume, it is really a poor design for an infant/toddler sized outfit because the stupid thing has hook-and-loop fastener up the back. How exactly are you supposed to change a diaper with an outfit that fastens up the back? Fortunately, we have black yoga pants and a t-shirt.

In only slightly related news, Miss Sunshine seems to finally be cutting her 3rd tooth (top right for those in charge of the office pool).

Addy's teething face

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Operation "Cutest Penguin Ever" Update (10-30)

I spent Friday in Birmingham at a Spina Bifida conference. I learned a lot and re-learned quite a bit, but I just wish I hadn't been coming down with a sinus infection. Not the end of the world, and at least I have a big ol' binder with the presenters' slides and some articles that I can go back to later.

I finished up the penguin costume yesterday morning (no thanks to the big, freaking "Q"; I'd forgotten how much that stuff makes the universe turn fuzzy). I know I'm biased, but I have to say I think Addy's going to be the cutest penguin ever tomorrow for Halloween! Now I just have to convince her to leave the hat on and not try to eat it...


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gimme an "A", gimme an "F", gimme an "O"

Addy had another set of clinic appointments at Vandy yesterday; she got great reports from all the doctors and therapists that she saw this time. We didn't end up going to the zoo like we had thought about doing--there just wasn't enough time in the morning to get a good visit with the animals and get everyone lunch and get all the diapers changed and get back across town in time for the appointments. We'll just have to do that next time.

The big thing we wanted to make sure to ask about at this clinic visit was to see if the orthopedist thought that AFOs (ankle foot orthotics, a.k.a., ankle braces) would be a good idea. We ended up with not just a prescription for the AFOs, but actually got the casts made while we were there. They should be ready in a couple of weeks--yay! They should help keep Addy's legs extra stable while she's in her stander, which will help make sure she has good posture and develops the strength in both her legs.

AND we got the big, tall wheels for the stander last night, too. Addy is still figuring them out, but she'll be a pro in no time.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Operation "Cutest Penguin Ever" Update (10-22)

Today was footies day in Operation "Cutest Penguin Ever." The pattern came with the pieces and instructions for footies for the penguin (a.k.a., duck in formal wear).

Foot pattern pieces (original)

Yesterday when I started pinning the pieces to the fabric, I realized that I couldn't find the instructions for how to actually make the footies. And since I was planning on modifying the footies so that they would sit on top of shoes instead of going all the way around shoes, I was kind of hoping to have the instructions so I could figure out where I was starting from and how to get from there to where I wanted to end up.

In a random fit of inspiration, I remembered where I had put the instructions. Away. I had put the instructions away. So I pulled them out. Then I read them. Then I scratched my head. Say what? These pieces do what? And make what? These are going to be enormous! Why is this so complicated? Ugh.

Well, I decided to go ahead and give it a shot and follow the instructions as-is (but still without the sole on the bottom of the footie). Fortunately, I had 2 things going for me: 1) I only cut out the pieces for 1 footie this time, and 2) I had bought LOTS of extra fabric. Sure enough, the footie was big, bad, and bulky and looked like it might try to eat Addy's shoe if I left it unsupervised.

Completed footie (original)

Ugh. Yuck. NOT CUTE! First off, it is, in fact, enormous. Gigantic, even. Second off, apparently the sole on the footie was a key structural element because that thing is just a big, orange, web-toed blob. Again I say: Ugh. Yuck. NOT CUTE!

Okay, I can do this. Start with the shoe. Use the shoe to come up with a dainty little slipper pattern. Then figure out how to get the penguin toes added on. Okay, but I'm not really wanting a slipper per se. I just want something that looks like an aquatic bird's foot and will fit over Addy's shoes, all while being more "bootie" than "sole-less moon boot." Here's what I came up with:

Revised pattern piece

Yup. That's it. One piece. Way easier than the 3 piece monstrous robo-footie from the original pattern. It definitely appeals to my sense of streamlined, simplicity. But did it work? Well, I happen to think so, but you can decide for yourself:

Finished footie (revised)

Standing is hard work

Addy has been using her stander every day since we got it. She's supposed to do no more than 30 minutes at a time and aim for a total of 60 throughout the day. So far we've gotten all 60 minutes in each day (we do 15-20 minute sessions for now). It seems to be quite a workout for Addy because she is definitely eating and sleeping more than she did a week ago.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

First impressions

Addy loves, Loves, LOVES her stander--yay! I'm really excited and feel really hopeful that she'll be able to build up the strength in both legs (especially her left one) so she can walk independently one day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stander is here!

Addy's new stander arrived around 5 this evening. It's kind of a 2 person operation getting her strapped in at this point, so we had to wait until after I got home from hand bells to really take it for a spin. Addy seems to really like it, though her belly was still a little full from dinner so she didn't stay in it for very long this time.

Just wait 'til the big tires get here and she can wheel herself around the house. Hopefully the cats will be smart enough to steer clear of her when she does!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

That goat looks a lot bigger in person

We took Addy to a petting zoo at the botanical garden this morning.  She wasn't quite as excited as I had hoped, but she didn't totally freak out either.  We're thinking about taking her to the Nashville zoo in a couple of weeks before her next Spina Bifida clinic appointment, so we were using this morning's adventure at the petting zoo as kind of a test run for that.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Taking one out for a test drive

Addy's physical therapist brought by a loaner stander so I could learn how to get the Red-Headed Wonder strapped into hers correctly once it arrives.  It's a good thing she did, because I'm not so sure I would have done it the right way on my own!

Tuesday's the big day

The stander should be here on Tuesday--hooray!  I'm just a little excited, in case you can't tell :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dinner followed by a brief musical interlude

Addy successfully ate her whole dinner tonight with only a couple of gag threats (and no follow-through barfs). Tonights menu was 1 Ritz cracker nibbled into "little bite-bites" (with a fair bit of help), about 3 oz of applesauce mixed with apple+carrot+mango hippie food, anout 1 oz of sweet potato+chicken, and about 3 oz of formula from a sippy cup. MAJOR improvement over her eating habits from a month ago.

After dinner, Addy and I sat down at the real piano to see what she might think of that. It turns out that Addy's firm belief that all books are "touch & feel" books extends to music books.

Just a typical week at the Gottlieb house

Addy had a follow-up hearing screening yesterday--she passed with flying colors (as we knew she would).  She's been scooting around the house, causing all kinds of trouble trying to get into cabinets and finding every little bit of ick that gets caught in her play rug.  Food things continue to get better, but we're still not quite at a normal diet yet.  And we're looking forward to getting her stander soon (hopefully in the next couple of weeks or so).  If you're curious, the stander looks like the one pictured here, just sized for Addy: (link).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Operation "Cutest Penguin Ever" Update (10-4)

One fish done, one more to go:

Not surprisingly, Addy seems to like her very shiny, somewhat Dr. Seuss-esque fish: