Monday, August 23, 2010

Week 20

Another busy week! Emmaline had surgery to insert ear tubes on Tuesday. After the surgery, the doctor told us the left ear was infected which was the 4th infection this summer. She seemed to recover quickly. She was a super happy baby for about 2 days after the surgery and slept great. Then the sleep issues returned. She woke up 6 times last night that required us to go in and put her back to sleep and a couple times where we heard her, but she put herself back out. We're trying to convince ourselves that it's a teething issue. I've been able to see her bottom tooth (#8) for a week or so, but don't feel anything yet. I'm also wondering if she's working on a molar. Unfortunately, I also have a fear that it's something with her ears still. I've been holding off on taking her to the doctor b/c I don't like taking her in all the time (she's gone at least every other week the entire summer). Of course, if something is wrong and I don't take her I will feel horrible. Her follow-up with the specialist isn't until mid-October (a few days after her 12 month well-baby appointment).

The lack of sleep has pretty much consumed our week and I can't think of much else. We had swim lessons and went to the pool one other time. The weather was grey and rainy most of the week. We also went to Olive Garden with a friend from back home. I allowed Emma to eat a bunch of stuff that I normally wouldn't. I wouldn't feel horrible about giving her parts from the salad, but I know they are doused in dressing. We also gave her about 1/3 of a breadstick. She definitely enjoyed it. I am very happy to report that her tummy handled it fine! Perhaps we will allow more breads. I think I might start giving her some toast with puree on it so I can use up what we have left of purees.

Emmaline got her first haircut (I did it). I'm not happy about her bangs, but the rest turned out okay. She's been standing on her own for longer periods of time and is taking a lot of steps! I think I'm willing to officially say that she is walking (although she still crawls most of the time). A new development that I'm enjoying is that she can now put things away! She loves putting her blocks and toys back in the box and tennis balls back in the container. She has also become a complete chatterbox since her surgery! It's adorable. The only problem is that the little stinker still does not say ma-ma.

We go back to work Thursday and daycare hours will be back to normal. I'm really going to miss the extra time during the day with her. I know we'll really have to take advantage of weekends and holidays.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weeks 18 and 19

I had every intention of posting a blog after we returned from Vegas, unfortunately we were too exhausted. It has been a long 2 weeks to say the least.

Last weekend, before the trip, Emmaline starting taking a few steps on her own! We've counted up to 6 before she falls or sits down. We didn't mention it to family, because we didn't want pressure for her to "perform" there. That was a good thing since she was pretty overwhelmed by the whole experience anyway (although her cousins got to watch her take 2 steps).

We woke up about 3:30am on Thursday morning. Got Emma out of her crib by 4 and hit the road. Our flight didn't leave until 7am so we thought we'd have plenty of time. We didn't. We had to run to get to our plane before they closed the gate and we didn't have a chance to get breakfast. Luckily, Emma slept on the flight to Dallas and then she was able to crawl/cruise around during our layover. She slept a little bit more on the connecting flight to Las Vegas. Once we landed, we called Dan's parents to see if they could come pick us up. They said sure, but then had trouble finding the arrival pick-up so we were standing outside in a sweltering parking garage for about 45 minutes. I thought I was going to pass out and can only imagine how miserable Emma was! We had no problem checking in early and then it was time to sit around and wait... wait for my family to arrive and wait for the hotel to actually bring us the pack'n'play. By the time both of those arrived, it was way past bedtime and we were all very cranky.

We spent the entire trip there at the hotel (luckily there was a Denny's on the property that we frequented). The only time Emma left the hotel was when we went across the street to wander the outlet mall and took her on the carousel. Dan and I did sneak out one night to go to the Mystere (Cirque du Soleil) at Treasure Island. We put Emma down for bed and our moms came over and stayed in the room to keep an eye on her. She woke up once and they had to spend about 45 minutes getting her back down. Other than that, we spent the day at the lazy river or the pool and going to/from the grandparents rooms. Emma is definitely experiencing separation & stranger anxiety. She did not want to be held by anyone else and didn't even want people getting close to her if she wasn't right there with mommy or daddy. I think it made for some disappointed family members. By the last day, she did warm up a little. The trip back was a bit disastrous. We made it out of Vegas fine, but the stop in Denver sucked. Out of the 4 airports we were at during the trip, Denver was the one where we didn't feel comfortable letting her crawl around. The floor was absolutely filthy! We got down and picked up the bigger things we could find before letting her out of the stroller, but within 10 minutes she still found a variety of nuts, raisins, fingernails, etc. We finally boarded the plane and then sat there for over an hour! There was bad weather and we had to be re-routed before takeoff. Emmaline slept for that hour, but then refused to sleep for most of the flight. It was an evening flight and we were counting on her sleeping since it was bedtime. She finally feel asleep around 11:30 (bedtime is 7) and slept for the last 45 minutes of the flight. She woke up after the flight but zonked out once we got to the car. The icing on the cake was hitting a deer at 2:30 in the morning when we were finally about 10 minutes from home! We were fortunate that it only damaged the driver's side door and no one was injured (Emma didn't even wake up).

On another note, we took Emma to the ear specialist Wednesday morning for a consultation. We decided to go ahead with tubes since she has been on 3 different antibiotics this summer alone and still has fluid in her ear. We are scheduled for surgery Tuesday morning. Dan and I are very nervous, but hoping that it really helps her!

Yesterday morning we took Emmaline to the Little Gym for a free-trial class. She absolutely loved it! We were nervous that she would just sit and stare the whole time while clinging to me, but she took off and tried things out. She didn't throw a fit when we took things away to transition to the next activity and she didn't cry when the instructor helped hold her to do different things (like the front roll and flipping on the bars). We went ahead and signed up for the fall semester which starts in 2 weeks and runs through January. With her being so close to walking, I think it's the perfect time.

After the class, I decided it was time to start letting her crawl up the stairs. I didn't think she'd be ready for it because our stairs are pretty narrow, but she took off! She's also been doing a lot of cute things that are new: giving kisses, starting to "share" things (actually letting go and not just holding it in our direction), taking naps in her crib instead of the swing, playing chase (we crawl after her down the hall and she laughs the whole way), and she also started taking her toy cellphone (Christmas gift from grandparents) and holding it up to her ear making a "hello" kind of sound. Yesterday I was also able to see tooth #8, but it hasn't broke through yet. I'm thinking that (along with the ears and still adjusting from vacation) is probably the reason for her waking up constantly throughout the night and not wanting to go back to sleep.

Emma had her first meal at daycare this week. We were running late, so we took her cereal in and let her have it at lunch time. She did very well and didn't make a huge mess. That was good to hear since she'll be having breakfast there everyday once we start back to school. In about a month we will also start sending lunch. (Right now she still just has breakfast and dinner.) I need to start looking up info about transitioning to cow's milk since we will begin that process in just under 2 months! My plan is to phase out the daytime nursings first so I can eliminate the need to pump at work. If we can continue the nighttime/morning nursings we will for at least a few months beyond her birthday.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week 17

It's been a busy week and I can only imagine what next week will be like!

Monday night, Emmaline slept horribly so we figured something was up. Took her back to the doctor on Tuesday and sure enough, ear infection had flared up in the right ear again. She's now on her 3rd different antibiotic in 2 months (amoxicillan, zithromax, and now omnicef). She started taking the Omnicef Tuesday night and still doesn't seem to be feeling much better (although sleep has improved some). She started pulling on the left ear last night too. Diarrhea started Friday and seems to be okay for now but only because we completely changed her diet. We're taking advantage of this side-effect and letting her eat all the foods that were previously banned because of the constipation. She even got to try pancakes yesterday morning. I found an egg-free recipe and replaced the milk with breastmilk. They were very fluffy and she ate an entire one for breakfast (the leftovers are in the freezer now). We are scheduled to go to a specialist on Aug. 11th to discuss tubes. I'm terrified of this process, but if it helps than I guess it'd be worth it. I narrowly avoided tubes as a toddler when mom finally weaned me from the bottle, but Dan had tubes. We've known from the beginning that she could have a lot of problems with her ears, but we were hopeful that breastfeeding would help. I don't feel like it has helped any, but whose to say that it wouldn't be a lot worse if she was a formula baby.Oh yeah, she had a fever this morning so we'll probably be calling the doctor in the morning.

Tuesday was her first night of swim lessons. She did fantastic! (And no, swimming is not related to her ear problems. People keep implying this and it's starting to irritate me. There's a difference between swimmer's ear and a middle ear infection. Plus, we don't even put her ears underwater in the bathtub!) She dunked her face in the water a couple times and didn't seem to mind too much. The class is in the evening, so she was getting cold by the end and then it pushed bedtime back by 30 minutes which made for a cranky baby.

We had the final Baby Signs class Saturday. We've enjoyed going to that even though it was an hour drive in each direction. (This week's picture is with Beebo the Baby Signs bear holding a flower - which was one of the signs we learned.) I realized that I've never really been with her around another baby so it was good to get that experience. She is so outgoing at daycare, but we've discovered that in other settings she is very shy and stays close to me. When we take her to the nursery at church, she cries for a minute but then does fine as long as the ladies hold her constantly. A coworker told us about The Little Gym and so we checked that out this week. We're going to try to take her to a free class when we get back from Vegas. I like that it works on developing motor skills and cooperative learning. This would be on Saturdays again, but only 25 minutes each way! (In a way that seems like a lot to travel for these activities, but if we hadn't moved out here it would have been 2-3 hours each way to have any opportunities for her.)

Dan and I have decided that before we leave for Vegas on Thursday we need to actually get some sleep. Here's the plan: I am going to sleep in the downstairs guest room tonight and let Dan get up with Emma on his own. I'll leave a couple bottles ready since she's been nursing twice during the night this week (growth spurt?!?). I'll keep the pump downstairs if I need it, but the goal is for me to actually get a full, uninterrupted night's sleep for the first time in about 18 months! Then tomorrow night, Dan will sleep in the guest room and I will get up with Emma on my own (currently we take turns going in there and since she has been sick that is anywhere between 3 and 7 times a night).

I'm going to start packing for our trip this afternoon. Have to go in to work for a bit on Monday and will be at a conference all day Tuesday. That will leave Wednesday for last minute stuff and Thursday morning we head to the airport. We will get back late Monday night. I'm definitely nervous about this trip b/c I don't know how she's going to be feeling. And there's a 3 hour time difference. Not sure how that will work out. We would love to keep her on her schedule, but that would mean putting her town at 4pm and getting up at 3am. Dan is working hard to stay positive. Perhaps it will rub off on me at some point.

Looks like I get to wake a sleeping baby now since it's time to leave for church.

Almost forgot our horrible eating experience this week! I think this happened because we had just commented about how it had been forever since she even gagged on her food. Dan was eating some apple slices downstairs and gave her a peeled slice. She was doing fine until she leaned over and started crawling towards him to get more (still having a piece in her mouth). She started choking. :( Dan responded quickly and calmly. We were able to clear it, but it involved a lot of vomiting. She puked up a ton of mucus along with the apple bits. She cried for a while, but once we calmed her down she was off to playing like nothing had ever happened. Lesson learned: eating will only be done in her high chair where she can sit up straight! *We don't normally feed her anywhere else, Dan just wanted to share with her and felt absolutely guilty.