Sunday, December 23, 2012

Here comes Santa Claus

After several well-meaning people recently asked Addy "Are you looking forward to Santa coming?" and Addy gave them a look of "Are you crazy?! No, I'm not looking forward to facing Santa again! He's scary!!" I realized that maybe we had committed a parenting blunder of omission by not telling her about the whole Santa=presents aspect. Oops. So we went to the bookstore this afternoon and got a copy of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." She'll probably have the poem memorized by Tuesday.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pronouns are tricky

We're working on grammar things with Addy this week: "I" vs "you," declarative vs interrogative sentences, and using "please" to ask for things (yes, "please" technically isn't grammar, but we're working on it none the less). Of course, her tendency to say "You want to watch the Curious George movie?" (instead of "May I please watch the Curious George movie?") might just be her way of trying to convince us that watching the movie was our idea in the first place.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Growing like a weed

Nora had a check-up this morning; she's up to almost 10 pounds already! She's looking more and more like a baby instead of a newborn lately, and has started cooing (a welcome addition to the crying and grunting noises that she's been making so far).

Addy also had a doctor's appointment today: the eye doctor. Her pediatrician wanted to get a baseline exam done since she has two parents with glasses and her Spina Bifida puts her at risk for having astigmatisms. The poor dear had to have her eyes dilated for the eye exam and is still kind of a bug-eyed hot mess four hours later. But she passed the test and doesn't need glasses or anything (not yet at least).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Big day of clinic

Continuing with our month of medical visits, today was Spina Bifida clinic. Addy had great reports from all the doctors today (yay!), so we'll see them all again in another year. Nora also got high praise for being super cute, today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More walking progress

Addy took her first real forward steps in the gait trainer today--hooray!

We started with using snaps (little, plastic, 5-pronged toys that snap together) as "bait" so she would use her legs to move forward about a foot or so, and then let her toss them into an empty box. By this evening she was moving about 6 feet at a time and was throwing a small basketball into a mini hoop. So so so proud of her!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

She's on a roll

As follow-up to the lunch conversation, there were two more entertaining Addy-isms today. She told me this afternoon "I want watch George and the elephant movie. Okay. Let's do this." Then at dinner she told Derek that she needed goldfish crackers and a knife.

True southern style

I was trying to convince Addy to eat some chicken tenders for lunch.

Me: Let's have chicken and dip it in ketchup and applesauce!

Addy: [ignores me]

Me: Or maybe put some cheese on the chicken?

Addy: Mmmm, how 'bout cheese on crackers.

Me: No, how 'bout cheese on chicken with ketchup and applesauce.

Addy: Mmmm, how 'bout cheese on butter.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy second birthday

Addy had an awesome birthday celebration today. Happy birthday, kiddo!
Ariel got some icing on her

Catching up on stories

I've gotten behind in posting the stories that go with some of the pictures in the picture feed. It's been a little crazy around here (as I'm sure you can understand), so tonight I'm playing catch-up. Enjoy!

(from 11/9) I had taken Addy and her stander out on the new patio to test it out. She very happily got a good head of steam going and launched herself off the edge and into the grass. Once I helped her get unstuck from the grassy slope, she did really well rolling through the lumpy, slightly muddy yard.
Testing out the new patioSo much for staying on the patio

(from 11/10) It turns out that Nora is a paci baby. I've just been too sleep deprived until now to remember that (a) we have pacis and (b) she might suck on one instead of nursing for hours on end.
Paci time

(from 11/14) Addy is a very creative soul and is just getting into the phase where anything and everything can be a hat, including a foam floor mat piece with a number 8 cut out of the middle.

Nora has also been pretty cute lately, and is sometimes actually awake in between feedings.

(from 11/17) Addy got a Princess Ariel doll for her birthday and was sad when her AFOs didn't fit on the doll. So I made some doll-sized braces out of a wrapping paper tube. (I need to pick up some butterfly stickers to decorate them to look more like Addy's braces.)
Ariel needed a pair of AFOs

Then, Addy took the rest of the tube, put it to her lips, blew air through it, and declared herself "Makin' music in a band."
Makin' music in a band 3

Friday, November 16, 2012

Two going on thirteen

Addy and her nanny took the stander outside for a walk this afternoon. Miss C was trying to convince Addy to keep rolling the stander down the driveway toward the sidewalk: "Come on! Let's go to the sidewalk and see if we can see any flowers or doggies! Stander is fun!" "I don't care," Addy replied, with an unpleasant dose of teenage attitude.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Not quite what I said

I took Addy on a special Mommy-daughter shopping trip this afternoon (okay, we went to Walmart so it wasn't all that special of a shopping trip, but it was just the two of us). We found an adorable Christmas elf outfit for little Nora. Addy kept calling it the "baby sister elephant" outfit.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Growing girl

We took Nora in for a check-up at the pediatrician's office this morning. She's up most of a pound over her weight check appointment from last week; must be all that late night grazing she likes to do. She's also 1.5 inches longer, so she's still kind of a long, skinny baby.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Godzilla attack

Addy has been doing more gait trainer each day and continues to do a great job of marching in place and kicking over towers of blocks. She also does her version of "the running man," which is mostly just running in place. She'll be cruising around the house in no time!

Nora is still an eating and sleeping machine, but seems to have her days and nights mixed up. I'm hoping she'll let me use the extra hour we get tonight for sleeping and not eating.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween

I finished Addy's Tinkerbell costume this evening--not a moment too soon, right? She was very excited to try it on and told us all about her "Bew-few Tink-a-beyell costume"
Halloween 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Not to be outdone

Addy actually got in her gait trainer today for the first time in quite a while! I think being around some bigger kids while Nora and I were in the hospital helped motivate Addy to want to do pulling up and standing again. Whatever her reasons, I'm super excited! She scooted backwards a little bit and did a lot of "marching" (just stomping her feet without actually moving) and standing up (using the trainer only for balance). Yay, Addy!

Nora's first outing

It wasn't a super big adventure, but we did brave the cold* temps this morning to take Nora in for a weight check at the pediatrician's office. She's up one ounce from her discharge weight, and her bili count from the hospital was low enough that we didn't need to do a heel stick--yay!

*cold = mid 40's, which is unseasonably cool for this time of year, but is not truly cold according to my northern upbringing.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The wait is over

Baby sister is here! Eleanora (Nora) Cecile arrived on Wednesday evening, 6lb 2oz, 18 inches, and gobs of dark hair. She's doing great, despite being 4 weeks early. Mom is also doing really well, so with no reasons for anyone to stay in the hospital, we came home yesterday evening. No monitor alarms, no nurses to interrupt your sleep (that role now rests squarely on Nora's adorable, tiny shoulders). Ah, home sweet home!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dipping sauce

Addy has decided that chicken tenders dipped in ketchup or applesauce (or both) is quite delicious. So, head's up certain fast food chains serving chicken nuggets in your kids' meals: in addition to honey mustard and BBQ sauce, maybe you should offer an applesauce cup. Just a thought...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pesky monkeys

Addy was singing us the "5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" song in the car last night. We managed to get her to do another rendition of it this morning:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Practice makes perfect

We're in countdown mode, waiting for Baby Sister's arrival. To help warm her up to the idea, Addy's nanny had set up a bed for the baby Cinderella doll and gave her a bottle and an empty baby food container. She's pretty darned cute with the doll at least!

Feeding Baby Cinderella Baby Cinderella needs baby food

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Don't be silly, Mother

Addy usually has some toast with her breakfast. For the past couple of weeks, when she gets most of her toast eaten, she looks at the shape of what remains and tells us what she thinks it looks like. Most days it's a truck of some kind (firetruck, tow truck, etc) and some days it's an animal. This week she had kind of a long, skinny piece of toast left and she had stood it on end on her plate, so I asked her if it was a giraffe. She replied, "Uh, no. Toast."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's all in the technique

Addy specifically requested "Ritz crackers with cheese" for lunch, so I made her Ritz crackers with American cheese slightly melted on top. She proceeded to peel the cheese off with her fingers and ate the cheese first, then used her teeth to scrape off the cheese that was melted too much to be peeled off. At least she also ate the crackers.

She has also decided to explore her world without visual input: she crawls around the house with her eyes closed. I'm glad that it's apparently normal development and not shunt failure, but it kind of scares the tar out of me since she keeps bumping her head on things and I worry about her hitting her shunt.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

If only verbal communication included punctuation

Addy's new favorite phrase is "Hakuna Matata sometimes" because she heard me tell Derek, "She's been saying 'Hakuna Matata' sometimes."

Friday, September 28, 2012

Playing Dress-up

Addy saw me carrying a package of toilet paper upstairs this week and was quite insistent that she needed to have some of her own. So I gave her a roll to play with. She unrolled part of it around her arms and declared herself "Bew-few [beautiful]." Then she hugged the roll and said "I love it! So wonderful!"

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Addy has what is officially "just a cold," but is really "a 5-7 day course of misery." If the sinus drainage weren't messing with her gag reflex, it would be just a bit more tolerable. Guess the germs didn't get that memo.

On a slightly cuter note, she continues to tell us stories about scary pirates, princesses, Curious George, and skunks. The skunk stories are especially funny to hear with her poor congested nose.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Arrrrr, Matey!

Our neighbors have an RV that they seem to use for guest quarters when they have family visiting--pretty smart use for an RV if you ask me! Every time we've driven past it this weekend, though, Addy has pointed to it and said "Pirate truck." Not sure what to make of it, especially since she usually talks about pirates in terms of how scary they are.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cartoon mash-up

Addy's first and truest love, Curious George, has this pretty irritating tendency to get sprayed by skunks in his various adventures.  I think that is how she has come to know what skunks are and that they are stinky, but that only goes so far in explaining the story she told us this morning when she got up:  "Skunks smell bad, very stinky.  Poor Cinderella.  Bless her heart."  Makes me wonder just what she had dreamed about last night!

She is also super cute with things like saying ABC's and singing little songs.  She gets most of the alphabet from H on, though some of it definitely sounds a little jumbled; she even usually tacks on the "Now I sing my ABC's" at the end of it.  (The "knowing the alphabet starting with H" thing is because we usually sing the first line to her--stopping at G--and let her pick up from there.)  She also knows some of the lines for "The Itsy, Bitsy Spider" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," but you sometimes have to know what song she's singing to make sense of the words.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bless their hearts

I think there must be a few new kiddos at Addy's weekly playgroup.  For THREE days after playgroup last week, she kept saying "Kids cryin', so sad!  Bless their hearts."

In crafting updates, I did get the knee pads finished and Addy has worn them to bed a couple of times now.  I cheated a little and haven't made them attach to the leggings yet.  As long as she's already asleep when they go on, she leaves them alone, and (better yet) they seem to be working as far as keeping her knees from getting really red at night--huzzah!

I have also made the executive decision that this year's Halloween costume is going to be Tinkerbell (or "Tinka Bey-elle" as Addy says it).  Being 30 weeks pregnant is seriously cramping my crafting style as far as sitting long enough to get pattern pieces placed and cut goes, but there's a really cute, patternless, no-sew tutu that I think will work great for a Tink costume.  Add in a green leotard, tights, and some slippers, et voila!  We will have one adorable, candy-collecting, almost 2-year-old by October 31.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

PT turns into craft time (again)

Addy has excess plantar flexion (toe pointing) in her right ankle, which is causing her AFO not to fit correctly on that foot. Her PT made a splint for her to wear at night to help stretch her ankle back out, but we've been having trouble getting it to work well because Addy is a tummy sleeper. (I blame it on the fact that she spent literally the first 10 days of her life sleeping on her tummy because of her back surgery, but that could just be a coincidence.) Not only is she a tummy sleeper, she usually sleeps with her knees tucked in. Add in limited skin sensation that keeps her from knowing she needs to shift her position and a night splint that holds her ankle at a proper, 90-degree angle and it adds up to a pressure point forming on her knee.

Unfortunately, we can't just scrap the splint. She really needs to keep as much flexibility in her ankle as possible, both in general and because her AFOs need to fit right. So it's either splint or surgery to address the tightness, and I'm just not ready to jump to surgery (yet). In no particular order, we've tried:
  • Modifying the AFOs to make them work with her stiff ankle.  We've gone back 4 times now, trying different tweaks.  I'm hoping we've finally found something that works, but it still doesn't address the fact that her ankle is stiff.  The current version includes an enormous viewing window at the heel so we can verify when her ankle is seated properly.
  • Using with a longer splint (to prevent her from bending her knee).  It kept the pressure off her knee alright, but it never really fit right since gravity and her stiff joint joined forces to pull her foot out of the splint.  Plus, she slept terribly in it, probably because she couldn't tuck her knee in the way she likes.
  • Trying to train her to sleep on her back.  Even when we've been successful at getting her to fall asleep on her back--which is not often--she rolls over in her sleep and spends the rest of the night on her tummy with her knees tucked under her.
AFOs v2.4Night splint v3.1

Next up: knee pads, which can actually be found in tiny, infant/toddler sizes, but they're intended for use by kids with normal skin sensation to allow them to crawl on hard, rough surfaces (and if the reviews are at all accurate, they don't stay in place very well anyway).  My kiddo has sensitive skin with limited sensation, so hers need to be super soft, super adjustable, and super secure. 

Knee pad project (with optional cat)

I got my hands on some crazy thick felt, so that should take care of the super soft requirement and I added a Velcro strap to one side of it in order to meed the super adjustable requirement (btw, stitched by hand because the felt was too thick to go through the sewing machine).  The "secure" quality is going to come in the form of a pair of leggings, to which I will attach the actual knee pad using even more Velcro, but making sure to place it such that the Velcro doesn't create any hard edges.  It's kind of slow going--did you catch the part where most of it can't be done by machine??--but here's the current progress:

Knee pad 1

Friday, August 24, 2012

Decisions, decisions

There are less than 10 weeks to Halloween. I had thought about having Addy be a pirate this year, but she declared pirates to be scary this week (along with lions, sharks, and thunder). So no pirate. Maybe Tinkerbell or Cinderella? Then comes the real question: Make it or buy it?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Meddle not in the affairs of dragons...

Addy has a toy stethoscope that she loves to play with, and with no shortage of doctor's appointments, she sees people use stethoscopes quite a bit. Miss C, Addy's nanny, was a nurse in a former life and brought her stethoscope for Addy to get to try out. She put the ear pieces in Addy's ears and held the other end over Addy's heart.

Addy: "Sounds like..."
Miss C: "Sounds like what? What do you hear?"
Addy: "Thomas!"
Miss C: "Sounds like a train? That's your heart."

Miss C moved the stethoscope to Addy's stomach so she could hear her tummy gurgle.

Addy: "Sounds like..."
Miss C: "Sounds like what?"
Addy: "Dragons!"

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Princesses everywhere

Addy is now fully immersed in that little girl phase of princesses (specifically, those of the Disney franchise, but also princess in general). We got her a read-aloud, condensed version of Disney's "Cinderella" at the bookstore last weekend, but she doesn't like reading the first half of the book--the part before Cinderella becomes Princess Cinderella--so we have to start reading at the part where the Fairy Godmother appears. Funny kid!

Friday, August 3, 2012

So Esiketed!

Addy had her last treadmill therapy session this week--we'll probably do another round in a few months, but decided to give her a break from it for a while so she can be extra "esiketed [excited]" when she gets back into it. She came home from the appointment with a gait trainer to use at home!

Gait trainer (side view)Gait trainer (top view)Gait trainer

It's quite a bit different from her stander (and she's not quite at the point where the gait trainer is a replacement for the stander). It's kind of like a walker with a suspended seat. There are 4 swivel wheels, so she can go in any direction, and the seat keeps her (mostly) in a standing position. However, all movement comes from her pushing her feet on the floor.

Friday, July 27, 2012

New use for bubbles

Addy had PT this morning. Her therapist is a never-ending fountain of creative therapy games. This session Addy learned to work on her leg muscles by kicking bubbles. It's pretty cute to watch her, but it takes two adults to help her with it right now (1 to get the bubble and 1 to make sure Addy uses her foot instead of her hand to pop it!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I paint it! See?

Addy came home from playgroup yesterday with an awesome picture of a fish that she had painted. "I paint it, fish! Fridger! [refrigerator, as in where she would like it displayed]"
The Fish

They used something described as "sand glue," the recipe for which I estimate the recipe to be about 10 parts colored sand to 1 part glue based on its extremely crumbly behavior. We're going to enlist the help of Daddy to get a good, thick layer of spray shellac put on to stabilize it so we can actually hang the masterpiece on the fridger.

Just in case the spray fixative goes horribly awry, I took a picture of the fish painting and went ahead and cataloged some of Addy's other recent art pieces while I was at it:
StarfishBug jarHouse with fluffy cloudsBats!Patriotic stars

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sneakly little bugger

Addy's nanny is working on getting a routine set up so that Addy will learn to lay down on a blanket to take her nap instead of needing to be rocked the entire time. Yesterday, they both laid down on a blanket and Miss C closed her eyes to show Addy what she should do. Addy waited a minute until she thought Miss C was asleep, then popped up and made a mad dash for the toy bin. We'll keep working on it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Standing and yoga before dinner

Addy went to treadmill therapy this morning, and was pretty much bonkers and getting into everything all day. This evening she wanted to get in her stander, but we had to compromise and ride the dino truck instead. So she turned it into standing time! (I hooked my foot around the wheels to keep it from being "falling flat on her face time.")

All by myselfRelaxing

After standing with her truck, she decided to do some stretching. I think this pose is the "downward facing dog," but I could be wrong:

Downward facing dogDownward facing dog 2

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Double win

Successfully found some shoes to tide us over until the real ones arrive on Wednesday:


That's right. They're Disney Princess, rainbow, Velcro shoes. AND you can't tell from the picture but they light up! So Addy's a happy camper. They're the right size, Velcro shoes that were on sale 50% off, so Mommy's a happy camper, too!

Friday, June 29, 2012

New AFOs

We went and picked up Addy's new AFOs this afternoon. I had picked another butterfly pattern for this pair, but it's a blue background instead of purple this time. They're cute, but I'm not really loving it. The important part is the braces and, let's face it, the pattern is completely irrelevant to the purpose and function of the braces.

New AFOs (front)

New braces, new size, need new shoes! But we had to order the new shoes and they won't be here until Wednesday, which means either finding some el-cheap-o shoes that will get us through the next 5 days or giving the old pair one more try just to make really sure they don't fit.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A little creativity goes a long way

This morning Addy took a crayon and stuffed it in as the axle for a plastic wheel that came off a toy truck. She proceeded to call it "bubbles" and pretended to use it as a bubble wand.

Creativity 3

Saturday, June 23, 2012

These are just 2 of my favorite things

A couple of Addy's favorites:

Apples, Pears, & Parsnips (a.k.a., "armpits")
1 apple, peeled and diced
1 pear, peeled and diced
2 medium parsnips, also peeled and diced

Option 1: In a small sauce pan, simmer the diced food in about 1 cup of apple or white grape juice until the parsnips are tender (they'll take the longest). Drain the food, reserving the liquid. Measure the cooking liquid and add enough to get back to 1 cup and bring back to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of Minute Tapioca (not tapioca pudding mix!) and cook for about 20 minutes, until all the white bits have turned clear and the mixture is thick. Mill/grind/chop the apples, pears, and parsnips to an appropriate size and stir in the cooked tapioca. Refrigerate or freeze until set.

Option 2: Steam the diced food until tender. Mill/grind/chop to an appropriate size, or leave in diced form if your kiddo is old enough. Addy especially likes this version with a little brown sugar stirred in.

Cheese (with shredded chicken and green beans)
about 1/4 cup shredded chicken
about 1/4 cup soft-cooked green beans
about 2 tablespoons milk
about 4 tablespoons shredded cheese

Put the milk and cheese in a microwave safe ramekin and heat on low power to slowly melt the cheese, stirring frequently. Make sure the chicken and green beans are an appropriate size/texture and add to the cheese sauce. Serve on toast or crackers (or both). Note: the chicken and green beans will freeze just fine, but I don't recommend freezing the cheese sauce.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Socks and other things that belong on your feet

We are dealing with our first pressure sore on poor Addy's foot this week. I know exactly what it's from: I had gotten new socks that were both a little bit big (hoping the bigger size would gain us some length to cover where her AFOs come to) and also not seamless (because I wasn't thinking about it). The seam bunched up on one foot under her pinky toe and caused a very minor pressure ulcer.

The sore is healing really quickly, which is the great news. The annoying news is that, while I learned my lesson, avoiding a repeat performance is proving difficult. The orthotist's office had ordered specialty seamless AFO socks when we ordered the new braces and they were kind enough to let us pick up the socks before the new braces were ready. Unfortunately, even the smallest sized socks are TOO BIG right now, which kind of defeats the purpose of getting special socks. (Even though they're seamless, the fact that they could bunch up inside the brace means they're still able to create pressure points.) Why such dainty feet on Miss Sunshine?

On a related note, the new AFOs arrived this afternoon and we'll get to pick them up in a week--yay!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And after ten comes ...

Addy's nanny was helping her count this afternoon:

Nanny: One.
Addy: One.
Nanny: Two.
Addy: Two.
Nanny: Nine.
Addy: Nine.
Nanny: Ten.
Addy: Ten.
Nanny: Yay! Good job! We got to ten!
Addy: Eleven.
Nanny: Yes, eleven comes next!
Addy: Twelve.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Truckin' along

Addy has only been to treadmill therapy twice so far, but she's already doing better with things like pulling up, standing, and pushing her Dino truck along!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chicken: it's what's for dinner

Addy has officially declared herself a toddler and not a baby. As such, she fancies herself too big to eat baby food any more, which is apparently just the motivation she needed to eat big girl bites of chicken for dinner tonight (about half a chicken tender's worth of bites). The first bite took a little convincing, but with a goldfish cracker and some applesauce for reassurance it was all smooth sailing. The two cutest things she said at dinner tonight were "Chicken. Yummy." and "Chicken, eight, nine, ten."

Earlier today she had another big accomplishment and pulled herself up to standing from sitting on the floor. All by herself! (Because, after all, she's a toddler now and doesn't need help like a baby any more.) She also got SO mad about standing because what she really wanted to be doing was climbing and the couch is just a little too tall for her to climb up on yet.

All by myself!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Big Girl Steps

Addy had her second session of treadmill therapy this afternoon. She did great, just like last time! Most of the time the therapist needed to help guide her feet through the stepping motion, but for a few steps she was able to get her foot in front of her and almost kept up with the treadmill. Yay for Addy!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Climbin' Higher

Just to add a new challenge to the Olympic sport of "Sofa Scaling," Addy's PT suggested that we have her climb from the floor straight up to the sofa frame. It's supposed to encourage her to pull herself up to standing as well as build up her arm and leg muscles. The tricky part is convincing her to climb down again (she likes the climbing up, but really just wants to sit and play once she's at the top!)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Almost like a fish to water

Addy had her first treadmill therapy session this morning. She worked with her usual PT that she works with for EI, but this time it was at the outpatient facility instead of in home. (So glad we could get on the schedule with her PT that she's used to working with; Addy really likes her!) She spent about 17 minutes on the treadmill, suspended in a harness to help support her weight and balance her so she could concentrate on moving her feet. She did great!

This afternoon we had casts made for Addy's new ankle braces (AFOs). The current ones are a little short and starting to get a little small in the feet, too. The new ones will be a little bit different style and sound like they'll all-around work better, which is a great bonus.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Medical madness

Addy went to Spina Bifida clinic last week and saw PT, OT, and the Orthopedic Surgeon. Came home with good reports from the therapists and a new prescription for AFOs from ortho. Yes, we actually came home with the prescription so we can fill it here! It was a bit of a fight getting the Rx (excuse me, but both of the PTs who have seen her recently agree that the current AFOs are getting too small so don't try to tell me that it's okay and her shoes will catch the overhang where her toes are starting to come up past the edge of the brace). But we got the magic paper. Besides waltzing in to the office an hour late, ortho also kind of offended me by saying that we need to think about asking PT for a little cart or something for Addy to get around in. I replied to she was already a speed demon in her mobile stander and we're looking forward to a gait trainer in the next couple of months, thank you very much.

She also had a follow-up hearing screening, which she passed even though she's getting old enough (and ornery enough!) to ignore the test and look like she didn't pass. Today we were off to the pediatrician's office for her 18-month check-up. Thumbs up and a couple of stickers from that appointment. Next week we have an appointment to get the casts made for the new AFOs and, since the Orthopedic Surgeon at clinic left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, we also have an appointment with a local ortho.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all those who mother us!

Addy was very sweet and wished me a "Happy Mamma Day" (with some coaching from Daddy). We had a good day of not doing a whole heck of a lot out of the ordinary.

I was trying to get her to settle down for a nap this afternoon, which she was beyond desperately in need of. She was mad about being sleepy and mad about wanting to play and mad about being too sleepy to play and just mad about being mad. So I asked her if she wanted me to sing to her to help her sleep and she nodded "yes." "Is there a special song you want me to sing to you or just sing something?" "Someting." I thought that all 10 verses of "Sweet Adelaide is Very Sleepy" would do us, but she was still barely awake enough at the end of the song to tell me "Play." "How about if I sing another song to you, Sweetie?" Two more verses pushed her all the way into sleepy land.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I wonder what Freud would have to say

From dinner tonight, which had dragged on far longer than it really should have:

Me: Addy, please eat your apples, pears, & parsnips.

Addy: Armpits.

Me: Fine, yes. Eat the apples, pears, & armpits. Just chomp and swallow already!

Monday, April 30, 2012

I am trying to have a conversation here

This morning Addy was in her highchair, getting ready for breakfast. Daddy sat down near her to put on his shoes and get ready to leave for work. Addy looked over the tray, pointed at Daddy's shoes and said, "Shoes!" "That's right, Sweetie. Daddad is putting on his shoes." I said. She looked at me, quite serious, and I swear she said, "I tellin' Daddad" with a total attitude of "You're kind of interrupting here, Mom. Go away."

She also has a new favorite word/phrase: "Seriously?"

Yay, language development.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Whole lotta nothin' goin' on

Addy continues to be scary fast at climbing up the sofa, and asks to do climbin' at least a couple of times per day. Honestly, I'm pretty sure she thinks we're bordering on stupid for putting the cushion back on the couch when we declare climbing time to be over. Mostly because, why would climbing ever need to be over? Climbing is awesome! We're trying to work on climbing down from the "high" level (cushion where a cushion ought to be) by scooting to the edge backwards and dropping her feet down to the floor first. That's as opposed to the swan-dive head-first approach that Addy tends to prefer...

She has also been doing really well with her food things. I need to work on her with meat-type textures. So far, highly pureed is the only form she will take her meat in. It's a texture thing, but it's also the last texture thing (I think), so it would be nice to be able to graduate from the feeding therapy.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Figuring everything out

Addy is all about keys lately. Fortunately, I have a keyring with "spare" keys (i.e., keys to cars that are 3 states away and may or may not still be owned by anyone I know). Since she knows that keys are for unlocking and opening doors, Addy thought she might try her hand at getting out the back door this evening.
Escape attempt

Monday, April 16, 2012

The little mountain climber

Addy climbed all the way from the floor up to the couch cushions, chanting "I climbin'. I do it. Self!"
Mountain climber

She also did so so so good with eating big kid food this weekend (quesadilla, grilled cheese sandwich, even a few small bites of cheese pizza). At the advice of the OT, we also gave her some carbonated beverage. (It's supposed to help prepare her for surprise textures.) She made a face like she'd sucked on a lemon. Next up is PopRocks. Seriously. Same theory as the soda.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Climbin' up the mountain, Addy...

Addy's PT wants her to work on climbing. Unfortunately, PT is not able to also prescribe anti-anxiety meds (for me, not Addy). Call me crazy, but there's something about a kiddo who knows no fear + shunt + stairs that sets my nerves on edge.

As a compromise to climbing the stairs, we're working on having her climb the sofa cushions. This morning, Addy's nanny took the middle cushion off the sofa and put it on the floor right in front of where it would be on the sofa. Addy climbed from the floor to the cushion, from there to the sofa frame (where the cushion should have been), and then did laps back and forth across the length of the sofa. It all went well until she got just a little too confident and decided she would try to get down using the "swan dive" method. Fortunately, she did not succeed, but she didn't take kindly to the advice that she should be careful and not face plant her way off the sofa.

Yay, progress?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Word associations

Addy has a red elephant bath toy that she calls "Emmay." I usually pretend that's what she's named it (as opposed to being her word for "elephant") and she talks about it a lot at bath time. Over the weekend I was drinking some red juice and Addy pointed at my cup and said "Emmay" because the juice is pretty much the exact same shade of scary red that the bath toy is. So now I wonder if it's actually her word for "red" and has nothing to do with pachyderms.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"High" just isn't descriptive enough any more

I noticed on the local news recently that they have started to actually quantify how bad the "high" pollen count is expected to be. Simply calling it "high" is no longer sufficient to describe the sheer misery that pollen allergy sufferers will experience. If my sinuses weren't quite so angry, I might find it amusing. Poor Addy seems to be suffering the consequences of spring as well. Hopefully she'll be less of a drooling, congested, hot mess in time to be gorgeous in her Easter dress!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Blue! Green! Pink!

Addy dyed Easter eggs this evening. Tomorrow we'll make lots of egg salad...

In some ways, it went a lot better than I expected. None of the eggs ended up on the floor, not a whole lot of the dye ended up on Addy. But, man oh man, was she ever impatient when the eggs needed to sit in the dye to take the color (the pink especially needed an extra couple of minutes). We had to do a cool down coloring with some crayons when she ran out of eggs.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rain, rain, go away!

It's been raining here for the past several days, but the sun finally won out for a while this afternoon. Addy's big request? Go walkin'. So we took her to the park for some time on the swings.

Swings are fun

Addy's love of grilled cheese sandwiches had a slight backfire recently. She was told she would be having macaroni and cheese for lunch one day, and was very very excited about cheese and then very disappointed that it was Sprout's macaroni and cheese and squash. Once again, Sprout's implementation of stage 3 baby food is somewhat questionable. The mac & cheese (and squash) is the consistency of drywall spackle and requires a fair amount of milk to reconstitute it (and then a fair amount more to get it to a consistency that Addy will eat).

In contrast to the macaroni & cheese debacle, queso dip from the Mexican restaurant downtown is an Addy-approved form of cheese, especially when it is delivered on a goldfish cracker!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

When all else fails, try laying on the guilt

The other night at dinner time, Addy was not very interested in finishing her dinner and I was interested in having her keep working on it.

"Addy, have your apple bite please."

Addy put her arms up. "Eh.. Out."

"Not yet. Please finish your apple bite."




"Apple bite."


Well played, Addy. Well played.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Grilled cheese sandwich, where have you been all my life?

We had gone out to eat the other day and, just for kicks and giggles, ordered Addy a grilled cheese sandwich from the kids' menu. She actually ate about 1/4 of it at the restaurant with no problems (yay!). We took about half of it home with us and she ended up eating that for lunch the next day. Today I made her another grilled cheese for lunch and figured we'd call it a success if she could work her way through half of it. Instead she ate all of it. Two slices of bread with American cheese inbetween, toasted on the stove. All of it. 100%. The whole thing. Every last crumb. And she kept saying "Manummy nom. More chee!" the whole time.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Step 1: Coat

Addy pulled up to her knees at the couch this afternoon and reached as far as she could. "Coah [coat]," she said. So Derek handed her coat to her and asked, "What should we do with your coat?" Addy sat back on the floor and tried to put it on her head. "On," she declared. So Derek helped her put the coat on. "Now what?" I asked her. She pointed at her shoes and said, "Shoods." After her shoes were on we asked her, "You have your coat and shoes; now what Addy?" "Go walkin'," she said, rather matter-of-factly. So we went for a walk outside.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chomper #7

Teething is starting to pay off! Addy's 7th tooth has broken through today. She has the 4 middle teeth on the top, the 2 middle ones on the bottom, and now has the one just to the left on the bottom. They seem to come in twos, so maybe bottom right is on its way?

Also, I realized today that I had formed a false opinion in my head of what would be the most trying stage in toddlerdom. I thought for sure it would be the constant battle between "I do it!" and "I can't do it!" No, no. "Why?" is going to be the stage that requires a much higher level of patience. Care to guess what Addy's newest word is?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Outsmarted by the straw trainer

Addy keeps trying to chew on the straw if you give her a cup with your typical, run of the mill plastic straw in it. So we're continuing to practice with the straw trainer that the OT had recommended (it kind of looks like a reusable juice box, but has more of a hard spout at the end instead of the softer chewable plastic straw). Last night Addy was having some trouble with it and I (foolishly) assumed the problem was with the tot and not her cup. Nope. You have to flip the spout all the way open for it to work.

Today's straw practicing went much better.
Addy vs Straw Trainer

Friday, March 2, 2012

The First Two Didn't Really Count

Addy believes herself to be a Big Girl now, capable of throwing a temper tantrum just like a real toddler. Time to work on some more sign language so she can have a better way of expressing herself besides screeching like a vicious bird of prey.
Big girl temper tantrum

Tonight was Addy's first haircut (depending on whether you count the times she had to have her hair shaved for her shunt surgeries). Her bangs have been tickling her eyes lately, so we gave them a quick trim. She did a very good job of holding still while I had the scissors out (and she was totally laying on the charm pretty thick when Derek got the camera out!)


Monday, February 27, 2012

Go Walkin'

Addy went outside in her stander today--a couple of times, even.  She did pretty good making the stander zoom along on the sidewalk in front of our house.  Unfortunately, the airplanes flying overhead were too noisy during her second walk, so we had to cut that one short.  If I ever get into the therapy equipment design business, I'm going to figure out how to add a push bar to the mobile stander.  It's a little uncomfortable to stoop down to push the thing when Addy gets stuck (or decides that she needs UP and OUT right now!).

Sunday, February 26, 2012

More tricks (some of them cuter than others)

Addy has taken a liking to cleaning lately, so she gets to help wipe down her highchair tray after meals.  She is very excited and tells everyone about how "I wiped!"  She also wipes her nose, though it's more dabbing than real wiping.

She has also started doing different voices.  Sweet, high-pitched ones for when she's feeling cute; and this rather demonic growly voice for when she's feeling... not-so-cute.  I have a feeling this is some kind of developmental stage (I remember a certain sibling of mine scaring the little old ladies at the grocery store by growling "die die die").

Monday, February 20, 2012

Karaoke, Addy style

Second cutest trick EVER (which you're going to have to take my word for it because Addy doesn't always want to do the whole sequence): chicken says "boka boka boka", turkey says "goba goba goba", rooster says "cocka docka docka", and pig says "gonk". All of that leads me to the CUTEST trick ever, which was Addy's rendition of "Old MacDonald" from this afternoon, which was "E-O-E-O gonk!"

We're working on getting it all on video.

Friday, February 17, 2012

What's up, doc?

We took Addy in for her 15-month check-up this afternoon. She's 21.75lb and 30.5in tall--an even 50th percentile kiddo. They give us a little development survey at every check-up and I wanted soooooo badly to be able to answer "yes" to the question about "Does your child stand up without holding onto anything for more than 5 seconds at a time?" Addy is getting so close to that with her ups, but she's just not quite there yet. Next time for sure!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day! Addy spent the day doing ups, playing with George, coloring, and pointing out the eyes and ears on everyone and everything she saw. She also mastered drinking from a straw. Today was the first real day of trying the straw, but she picked it up right away. She's a quick study.

Daddy made dinner tonight with French toast and berries for dessert. Addy even had a few bites of dessert (though she was quite insistent that it was a cracker and not toast). Addy's verdict: manummy nom!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Let's go to the park and enjoy some vestibular input

Addy had both OT and PT yesterday morning. She got good reports from both therapists, and we got a list of what to keep working on: drinking through a straw, more soft-cooked finger foods, and any textures that still tickle the tongue for OT; and straighter ups and increased vestibular inputs (swings, sitting in the grocery cart, rocking on a yoga ball, etc) for PT.

Addy's Easter dress is mostly finished. It needs to be hemmed, the neck needs to be finished, and the bloomers need elastic in the legs. Super fast pattern, even with a slight detour to deal with a flaw in the fabric that I noticed too late in the project. Addy's just getting big enough to start developing her artistic side, so I think some full-coverage vinyl or nylon smocks may need to be my next project.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ups (and downs)

Addy is doing so so so good with her "ups" exercises.  I'm pretty sure she's mostly pulling herself up with her arms (as opposed to pushing herself up with her legs), but she is lightning fast and goes over to the sofa and asks to play the "ups" game.  She even stands up, supporting her weight on her legs, for a second or two before she sits back down.  Hooray!

Now, if only we could get chompers #5 and 6 and finally break through...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight

Physical therapy went soooo well this morning! Over the weekend we got Addy a little step stool to use for a bench to sit on. (Toddler sized chairs have legs that are too long for her petite legs, but the little stool is just the right size for her to sit on and have her feet resting on the floor.) For this morning's exercise routine, the therapist had the stool in front of the sofa with a couple of toys just out of reach on the sofa seat. Addy sat on her stool and pulled herself up to standing to grab her toys and then sat back down on the stool for a few seconds (actually she kept going for a small paperback book that I have sacrificed for the greater good of her entertainment/motivation). Then the book went back up on the sofa and Addy stood back up to grab it and sat back down again to read it. She did about ten "ups" before the therapist cut her off to keep her from having sore legs!

Addy also had a pretty good report this morning from play group--second week in a row for that.  She likes story and songs time, and had some snack, but doesn't care for sitting in the swing during outside time.  Apparently she even talked to the volunteers quite a bit this morning (so much so that they commented on it at pick-up time).  Now, if only I could convince her that the nursery at church is just like play group, only without the swings...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

No news is good news

It's been pretty much same old, same old at our house this week.  Addy is still completely infatuated with Curious George and she continues to pick up at least one new word every day.  She's doing a lot of pulling up to "tall kneeling" lately (kneeling with her behind up off the ground), which means that pulling up to standing should be coming in the not-too-distant future.  Watch out kitties!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First crush

Addy is absolutely IN LOVE with Curious George.  It's kind of hard to decipher, but I think she calls him "Cue Geoge" or possibly "GeoGeoge," and she thinks he lives in the TV.  (Yes, I'm a bad mommy and I let Addy watch just a little bit of TV.)  I'm kind of hoping that some power-bonding this weekend with a little baby Curious George stuffed animal will help with the high-drama separation anxiety that she's been having lately.  I'm crossing my fingers but not holding my breath on that one.

She is also picking up lots and lots of new words lately.  Like, at least 1-2 per day for the last couple of weeks.  As far as new, cute tricks goes, she knows where her eyes, ears, and tummy are (though you have to ask her about her eyes first because both ears and tummy are too distracting), and she blows kisses and sometimes waves "Hi" and/or "Bye."  Like this morning when she waved "Hi" to Daddy when he went to get her out of the back seat of the car when we got to church.  She was beyond pleased with herself and laughed and giggled about it the whole time she was getting out of the car seat!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Actually, that kind of cat is called "dog"

We had another check-up appointment at Vandy today. We got a thumbs up from the doc and we're anticipating a good report on the renal ultrasound, but the doc hadn't had a chance to review it yet (saw the doc first, then had the scan because he realized it had been most of a year since the last one was done). We got to Nashville early enough this morning to have a leisurely lunch in the cafeteria at Children's and Addy spent quite a while telling us all about the service "cat" at a table near us.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Goldfish: the new ten

We started giving Addy a new flavor of "tens" recently: goldfish crackers.  As a result, "tens" now exclusively means "goldfish crackers."  If you put puffs in front of her, she will pick them up and hand them all back to you (or try to put them back in the container).

Addy had OT on Friday as part of her feeding therapy.  She got a great report from the therapist, so we're supposed to keep on working on introducing new textures and flavors--the weirder, lumpier, and crunchier, the better.  The therapist thinks that Addy's biggest hurdle right now is a weak chew, which is a little strange because she can be an absolute bull dog when she's chewing on her socks (it's really gross and stretches out her socks really bad; she takes her them off when we change her diaper, stuffs them in her mouth, clamps down, and pulls on the end of the sock like a tug-of-war dog toy).  For some reason she doesn't want to do the same with her food; must be the repeated motion as opposed to the single-action clamp-down.  So to help with that, the therapist recommended wrapping dried fruit roll around the end of the nubby teething stick and giving it to Addy to chew on so that she'll associate chewing and eating.  Addy seems to like it, though I'm not sure it's working quite the way the therapist intended:

Since it's been a while since I've done a silly craft project, it's time to think about a new one.  I'm still pondering the color scheme, but this pattern (link) is my top pick for an Easter dress for Addy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'll have what she's having

Addy is definitely feeling a lot better today.  She still has a little bit of a cough, but her appetite and attitude are much improved.   And now that we have stopped the albuterol, the guano level of crazy seems to have subsided as well.  More importantly, with the decreased drainage also comes decreased gagging and throw-up.  Hooray!

Tonight, I had Addy snoozing on my lap for a very late afternoon nap while I was eating some cold pizza for dinner.  She woke up when I was most of the way through the slice and she started reaching for the crust.  I figured, "What the heck.  If she can get past the parmesan garlic butter on the crust, maybe she'll enjoy it."  She gummed and sucked her way through about 1/3 of the crust and then went on to have 6oz of garden veggies mixed with corn casserole.

Monday, January 2, 2012

100% Grade A Pure Bat Scat Bonkers

Last night's bedtime story (as in, a story about bedtime, not a story that will induce sweet, peaceful sleep) went a little something like this:

At 7:00 (about 90 minutes after first dinner), Addy starts smacking her lips and chanting "Tens, tens, tens. Manummy Nummy Nummy Nom." So I decided to see if she was hungry. She ate about 4 animal crackers, half a jar of peas, and drank some milk. That's after she had eaten some cooked apple bites, 4oz of turkey and rice dinner, 4 or 5 animal crackers, and some milk for first dinner.

At 7:45 we went upstairs and started bedtime routine, including doing a nebulizer treatment and giving her some Zyrtec to help dry up the congestion (and hopefully help her sleep better). By 8:30, we had the lights off and I was trying to snuggle her while singing the totally made-up mommy original song "Sweet Adelaide Is Getting Sleepy." I got through 6 or 7 verses of the song, but the last one went something like this:

Me (singing): Sweet Adelaide has 10 little toes...
Addy (popping up from a deceptively restful pose): Tens! Tens!
Me (not singing): No, sweetie, you made the tens all gone, remember? It's sleepy time right now.
Addy: Tens! Manummy Nom!
Me: Let's just snuggle.
(Addy laid her head back down to pretend to snuggle.)
Me (singing again): You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...
(Addy pops up again, this time signing "more"): Tens!
Me (not singing): Really? You had second dinner not that long ago and decided you were done.
Addy nods yes. "Tens!"

So we went back downstairs, where she coughed up a yuck-o snot wad and then proceeded to eat third dinner, which consisted of 4 more animal crackers, the other half of the jar of peas, and some more milk. At one point there were two bite-sized pieces of animal crackers sitting on the highchair tray and Addy decided to pick one of them up and share it with me. I tried to politely decline, so she decided to drop it into the jar of peas. I was not successful at thwarting her, so we ended up with animal cracker marinated in puree of peas. Yes, I have been watching way too much Food Network lately. (Supposedly that's a developmental milestone--dropping small objects into a container--but I was really not in the mood to praise her for achieving it.)

Then she wanted to play. Only, she didn't really want to play. She wanted to race with me from the living room/play area into the kitchen so she could sit in the cats' water dish, because what could possibly be more fun at 10:00 at night than to need fresh jammies and a diaper because you've decided to take a sitz bath in the cats' water dish (never mind that the cats would probably want some fresh water in that situation, too).

At this point it was almost 10:00. Not a terribly unreasonable time for me to go to bed, but way later than I was hoping for since I (a) am sick and (b) theoretically needed to get up at 2:00AM to give Addy another nebulizer treatment. And definitely too late for Miss Sunshine to be heading to bed. Fortunately, we had several episodes of "Veggie Tales" on Netflix streaming, so we had watched one of those for about 20 minutes until she finally calmed down enough to fall asleep. You see, it turns out that Albuterol has the power to take a sick kid and help them to feel some better by opening up their airways. But it also has the power to take a mostly well kid and turn the crazy dial all the way to 12. Since Addy seems to be doing so much better, we're being a little more selective in how often we use the nebulizer today.