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Chunky Monkey (but not really)

Chunky Monkey (but not really)

We hit 11 pounds!  Finally!  She’s actually 11 lbs 1 oz.

If you ever want to feel like your baby is doing REALLY well and is REALLY big despite everyone telling you otherwise, go visit the nurses at the NICU.  You’ll leave thinking your baby is a giant.  We visited for the second time this past week and she got to see two more of her primaries and her OT and one of her favorite RTs and then some nurses who had her a couple times.  And she got great big gasps from everyone.

New things this week:

She has been rolling over a ton.  Sometimes when I have her on her belly and give her a little support she really tries to crawl.  She still doesn’t have the strength yet, but she really wants it.

She doesn’t seem to like to talk or laugh when there are strangers around.  Her zombie laughter is just for the regulars….and the pets.

She is still obsessed with the pets.  She wants to be friends really bad.

The pets are a little friendlier toward her.  The dog even came and gave her a little nose nudge yesterday.  She LOVED it.

She got to visit a NICU buddy yesterday.  Just down the hall from us was another little family with a cute little boy named Drew.  All the nurses had already been arranging the future marriage.  So we thought we should finally get these crazy sterile kids together.  They were precious little oxygen-wearing twins, except Drew is way bigger.  I’m gonna pretend it’s because he’s got 3 weeks on her and she’ll gain a pound and a half in that time.  I like to pretend.

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I have finally figured out a way to give her medicine and vitamins…and it makes me feel so guilty, but it totally works.  I do a sneak attack when she’s laughing and has her mouth is wide open.  It shocks her and I pretend I have no idea what might have happened to her.  She looks at me like, “What was that?” and I’m all, “What’s wrong?  Did something happen?  I was just sitting here playing with your favorite lion toy. I certainly didn’t squirt those god-awful multivitamins into your throat.  Nope.”

Her cannula has been bugging her more lately and she tries to tear it off…with a bit of strength behind it.  I’m worried about having it on much longer as she is getting more deliberate about her movements.  If she’s wearing this when she starts crawling I’m gonna be very worried.

And now for picture time:

A peaceful Sunday morning chillin' in da crib with her friends.

A peaceful Sunday morning chillin’ in da crib with her friends.

 

A chill baby

A chill baby

 

Snuggling with her Pops

Snuggling with her Pops

 

Playing in the ExerSaucer.  Obviously very excited about it.

Playing in the ExerSaucer. Obviously very excited about it.

 

And if anyone had any question about who this kid belongs to…  This is my 6 mos baby picture from 1980.

Erin Baby

 

Better Days

Better Days

This past week has been a much better one.  Coraline actually gained 4 ounces instead of the 1-2 she had been gaining for the month or two prior to that.  She is now 10 lb 14 oz.  I’m guessing if things continue she’ll finally be at least 11 pounds this next visit.  She has been eating much better (other than a slight hiccup yesterday) and has been less fussy in the evenings which is SO nice.

New stuff this week:

We went to see a nutritionist/dietician who saw Coraline weekly when she was in the NICU.  We discussed our concerns with her fortifying formula and she switched us to one that is more broken down and lactose free to see if that helps.  We started it two days ago.

While we were at the hospital we got to visit with some of her nurses in the NICU and her speech therapist!  We had a lovely visit even though she didn’t give hardly ANY smiles.  Sadly, just minutes prior she was chuckling all over the place in the dietician’s office.

She has started rolling over quite a bit.  If you put her on her belly for tummy time, it doesn’t last long cause she can roll herself right over.  If she’s on her back…she almost always ends up on her side to look at whatever is next to you.

A neighbor brought over an ExerSaucer that her daughters used.  Coraline loves it.  She’s a little short for some of the fun stuff, but she enjoys being so upright.

She loves laughing at both of the animals.  Both animals are still wary of her, especially the cat.

She has her fingers in her mouth ALL the time.  I’m worried she’s gonna start gagging herself.  She gets pretty far back there.

I got to get into her 3-6 month clothes bin to start pulling stuff out.  Her 0-3 months clothes are getting a LITTLE short.  We’re kind of at an in-between stage right now.

And now for photo shoot:

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Coraline “Drooly Pants” Nelson

 

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That’s my name! Don’t wear it out!

 

King checking out Coraline.  Never sure what to do with her.

King checking out Coraline. Never sure what to do with her.

 

Classy lady.  Rolled herself over and pulled up her dress.  Nice.

Classy lady. Rolled herself over and pulled up her dress. Nice.

Go Away, Reflux!  We Hate You!

Go Away, Reflux! We Hate You!

This week has not been the best.  In fact, it was downright nasty about this time a week ago.  I had a stomach something that was not OK.  I was useless for about 3-4 days.  Andrew hurt his back as well, so during that same time, he was also kind of useless.  We were both sort of laid out on whatever surface we could find and the baby was like, “Hellloooo….bored!!!”  Ugh.  And then her reflux came back with a vengeance.  Oh, and she hardly gained any weight.  And I’m getting really frustrated.

Last week the baby only gained two ounces in a week.  This week she only gained one.  It seems amazing to me that this could be the case because she’s starting to get too tall for her 0-3 mos clothes and she doesn’t look skinny.  Is she gaining size in Styrofoam?  I am so very confused.

She is eating way less than she should be, but understandably so.  About halfway through a feeding she starts arching her back and groaning…and when I try to feed her after that…I can’t…as she is swallowing food that is coming back up already. Poor little thing.  And this is keeping her as upright as possible.  (sigh)

We are waiting on a referral to see the dietician at Community North.  We are hoping to talk to someone about using a fortifier that maybe doesn’t have lactose and/or corn syrup.  Really?  Do they really need that?

Good things about Coraline this week:

She is really funny.  She laughs a ton.  She seems to be trying on different laughs.  Her newest laugh is kind of creepy and is reminiscent of The Exorcist.  It involves a lot of heavy breathing and guttural sounds.

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She is trying to help feed herself.  She tries to hold the bottle (and then often knocks it out of her mouth accidentally) and when I don’t let her because she is making it difficult to eat, she holds my hand which is holding the bottle.  It’s very cute.

Like I said, she’s growing out of a lot of her 0-3 mos clothes.  She’s getting too tall for them.

She thinks the dog is hilarious.

Sometimes we practice walking and she looks like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Baby.

She had a lot of visitors this week, and she enjoyed all of them.  She is very amiable and likes hanging out with everyone.  She got to see all of her grandparents (minus her great-grandparents), all in one week!  Pretty rad.

She wants to sit on her own so bad it’s driving her insane.  Here is a series of what happens when we sit….almost every time.

Oh!  I'm sitting!  But I'm not leaning forward enough!

Oh! I’m sitting! But I’m not leaning forward enough!

Oh dear, I seem to have fallen.  Shoot.

Oh dear, I seem to have fallen. Shoot.

Well...I'm just gonna keep going.  I'm not sure where...or how...but I'm moving, darn it!

Well…I’m just gonna keep going. I’m not sure where…or how…but I’m moving, darn it!

I got a Baby K’Tan wrap which she loves.  She loves being carried “Adventure baby” style.  I’ve decided those wraps are great to like…go out and do things, but just at home….not the most useful, cause it’s still pretty impossible to wash dishes when you’re carrying a baby across the front of you.  Maybe my arms are just too short.

She likes outside, but not so much the brightness of outside.

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Crossing fingers for a better week this week.

 

A new way to do hair

A new way to do hair

We didn’t do a photo shoot or anything this week, mostly because we have been trying to get stuff done around the house which has been overlooked, and photo shoots take too long…and Coraline never performs.  Next week, I promise.

We also don’t have a tons of new news.  But we do have some:

  • She only gained two ounces last week.  LAME!  The pulmonologist wants to see about 5 ounces a week.  Ugh.  I have been working on ways to get her to eat more and I think I may have come up with a solution.  We’ll see if it works next Friday and will report back.  I am attempting to only fortify her night feedings with formula.  It seems to really cause some reflux issues and she takes way more milk without the fortifier.
  • She is desperate to suck on her thumb and just cannot sort herself out.  So she sucks on her arms.  It’s pretty cute.
  • She is really fun to watch with toys these days.  She is so deliberate about trying to grab them.  It looks like she is concentrating SO hard.
  • She has really decided to hate tummy time.  It’s inconvenient because she just smashes her face into wherever she is laying till her cannula is in her mouth.

Tummy time usually starts out like this…

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Precious, happy times on her boppy.

 

And quickly devolves into this….

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Little Miss Ragey Pants shrieking and attempting to climb away.

 

Oh, and please note, in that top picture, her styling new ‘do.  She did that herself by rubbing her head on Andrew’s facial hair…a lot.

A more thorough update will come next week…with better pics.

I am not your monkey!

I am not your monkey!

So, Coraline does not like to perform for the camera.  Today was a disaster in baby photography.

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It’s fine.  I have proof of her super cute smiles on my phone.  They don’t look as good, but it’s proof.

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So we don’t have much new news this week.  We started our weekly weight checks last week and she had gained 5 oz. over 10 days.  Not horrible.  The pulmonologist says he wants to see closer to 5 oz a week.  We may have to discuss different options for her reflux with the pediatrician.  It is obvious it is making it very uncomfortable for her to eat large meals.  You can even hear her food coming back up if you’re holding her.  It’s unpleasant.  I’m sure it’s unpleasant for her.

New things: 

  • She really enjoys books!  We’re gonna hope this sticks.
  • She loves her swing.  It has been a lifesaver actually.
  • She smiles and laughs a lot, but especially in the morning.  And dad is way more funny than mom.
  • Some of her 3 mos. clothes are getting too small, while some are too big.  Baby clothes are obviously sized like women’s clothes…with no rules whatsoever.
  • She still sleeps through the night really well, but not so much with naps during the day.  (sigh)

And now… a few shots from this morning…

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Happy Race Day!!! Oh, and GO PACERS!

Happy Race Day!!! Oh, and GO PACERS!

So, it’s race day in Indianapolis.  I was hoping to get a fun, little, themed outfit together for the kid… maybe some black and white checkered get-up.  It didn’t happen.  It was too late and really…buying an outfit for one photo shoot hurts me inside.  So then I thought, “Well, what else might work for race day, if not black and white?”  Unfortunately we don’t have a baby Lynyrd Skynyrd onesie and cut-offs either.  So I gave up.  There is no theme for the photo shoot today.  I SHOULD say that we’re ignoring the existence of said race because we’re not allowed to watch it on TV here (still find this extremely lame).  Coraline is also annoyed by that.  She loves indycar racing.

So, this week in Coraline…

We did not have the best week ever.

Doctor #1

Monday was her 6 month pediatrician appointment.  I was a little nervous about getting her weighed because the prior two weeks had been rough.  She was consistently eating 3-4 ounces under what she should have been.  She seemed in a lot of pain when eating and it was hard for her to take a bottle at all.  We got her Zantac adjusted (for her reflux) and it seemed to have helped and she’s been on the upswing and is doing pretty great now.  But Monday…she had gained 0 pounds and o oz. in 2 weeks.  (sigh)

Everything else was great.  She is developing great.  When the doctor was checking out the back of her head, she was holding her flipped over with her hand holding her chest, and I kid you not, that kid tried to crawl away.  It was pretty hilarious.  She had her legs and hands going, just like they should…just not the strength to hold them both up.  We all laughed at her (I know, not nice).

So, in terms of size, she is at the 10th percentile all around (height, weight, and head size) for a kid her adjusted age, which is almost 3 months.

Coraline got 3 of her vaccinations.  We have just one more we have to go in for in a couple weeks. She took them like a champ and cried for about 10 seconds.  She had no side effects the rest of the day!  ‘

Doctor #2

Her pulmonologist appointment was also this week, on Friday.  We had high hopes for getting her turned down to 1/4 liter flow.  Sadly, it was not to be.  The doctor said that because she was gaining so slowly he didn’t want her working any harder than she had to in order to breathe, and therefore waste valuable calories.  So we’re still on 1/2 liter, but we go back in a month.  Also, on the plus side…From Monday to Friday, Coraline gained 3.5 ounces.  So it looks like since she’s been back on track, we are on our way up again.  Her pulmonologist said that we need to go into the peds office once a week to follow her weight gain.  So, we’ll do that.

We also got the speech again about how the best compliment in the world is that we are too overprotective of the baby.  And we really should be sort of quarantined until next year about this time.  Mom might lose it.  I’m already planning a vacation.

New stuff Coraline does:

We got a for-real laugh yesterday!  Turns out we can’t get rid of the dog because she is SUPER amused by him.  She shook his head with those floppy ears and she laughed!  More than once!  I spent the rest of the evening trying to get her to do it again.  Turns out I’m not a beagle with floppy ears.

She has become way less excited about tummy time.  She used to love it.  She used to love napping on dad’s chest on her tummy.  Nope.  Hates it.  She gets very very angry after about 2 minutes.  And she makes scary noises when she is angry.  Loud raptor noises.

She only wants to sit up.  Even when she is reclined in her Rock and Play sometimes she still tries to sit up.  This child’s core is so strong.  As someone suggested in an earlier comment, I see a Pilates instructor in her.  She has got great neck strength.  She loves being carried and looking around.

She is losing her excitement over snuggles in general.  This is kind of sad.

She is starting to hold toys and bring them to her mouth.  Everything goes to her mouth.  She especially loves to put her arm in her mouth.

She has been severely loving on this blanket that she got in the NICU.  Over Christmas we got a package while we were there that said, “DO NOT OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS!”  So we were good.  We waited.  And it was a gift from a family who was in the same room the previous year (maybe two years prior) and they wanted to give a gift to someone else who had to spend Christmas at the hospital.  So it was a lovely little green blanket with a satiny back.  I thought, “Well…this blanket is way too nice for a baby.”  But this is now her favorite thing.  She snuggles with that thing and rubs her face on it.  And puts it in her mouth.  LOVES it.  So shout out to that family!

This week in cuteness:

She bats at that butterfly….sometimes.  Usually when I’m not in the room.  I can hear it dinging.

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Note the large mass of hair she is acquiring on top…not so much on the sides or in the back.  It’s an interesting look.

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She is really excited for Man of Steel to be coming out soon, and did her own Supergirl pose.

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Soooo….Dad pulled out the rope light.

And now for discotheque baby…

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Vanity Smurf Lives In Our House

Vanity Smurf Lives In Our House

So I’m a little concerned that my baby loves the sight of herself so much these days.  She’s becoming quite the little narcissist.  Currently, her favorite toy is a mirror (which doubles as a rattle…so that helps); and when she wakes up in the morning she just stares at herself and smiles HUGE grins and sticks her tongue out.  She just loves it.  Needless to say, smiling has become a much more regular thing.  I’ve even heard a little half giggle from time to time.  Those are rare, but they’re popping up.

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There hasn’t been too much excitement around here this week.  We have been having a hard time keeping her feeding volumes where they are supposed to be.  Ever since she had her reflux issues 2 weeks ago, she has moved up in volume, but not where she was prior to her mini- breakdown.  Her pediatrician appointment is Tuesday so we will see if there is anything else we need to do.  We really are hoping they don’t suggest going back on the tube.  I’m pretty sure she’s still doing OK in terms of what she really needs.  We are hoping for some decent weight gain.  I’ll be happy if she’s up to 10 1/2 pounds.

Coraline is still loving bath time, even though she hates getting out of it.  Although she seems to hate it less when she’s dealing with her dad.  Not sure what THAT is all about.

She just loves her baby spa treatment.

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This coming week is a really busy one.  Andrew’s having a crazy week at work and between the 3 of us we have 4 doctors appointments.  I also have 3 social engagements (IN ONE WEEK?!  WHAT?!).  By social engagements, I mean hanging out with friends/family for less than 2-3 hours.  But I’m SO excited about it.  So wish us luck on organizing our schedule.  It will be….fun.

Maybe next week we’ll get some decent smiles out of this baby on camera.  For now, she is still holding back when she sees that big black box.

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She even got a little tummy time in during photo shoot time!

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And then the cat got involved…

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Have a good week, everyone.

OH!  This is totally off topic, but CBS Sunday Morning was amazing today, and had their whole show about design, with a big focus on architecture.  I would highly recommend it, if you can grab it online.  That is all.

 

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all those new and veteran moms out there.  I know that this was a big year for new babies (at least in my circle) and I hope that everyone is having a lovely day with their kiddos.  I’m bummed my mom couldn’t be here to meet Coraline, but at least I’m still lucky to have a great mother-in-law who fawns all over her just fine.

Today I woke up LATE (awesome) and had breakfast made for me, which consisted of a smoothie, pancakes, bacon, and eggs.  It was a feast, really.  A super tasty one.  The baby was compliant and let me and Superdad eat while she snoozed.  Then she got a bath.  Then she spit up all over dad.  And then we had our weekly photo shoot.  She was pretty amiable through the whole thing…even after getting out of the bath, which she usually hates!

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We had a rough week with the baby this week.  She has been eating very poorly and had seemed very uncomfortable a lot of the time.  But over the last couple of days she has seemed on the upswing.  She has been eating like a champ and in a much better mood.  Although you wouldn’t know if from this picture:

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This really says to me, “I will cut you.”

New things this week:

She is starting to swipe at her toys.  She can’t really grab them yet.  But she is getting excited about hitting them.  Maybe I should be worried about a propensity toward violence.  Hmmm…

She has been “chatting” a little more.  She is usually pretty quiet though.  My favorite is when she gets really excited about something and just builds up all her energy and screams just once.

She is smiling WAY more.  Although you wouldn’t know it from her pictures.  She isn’t really a huge ham for the camera yet.  Yet.

She is really trying to figure out how to suck her thumb, but she does not want our help.  She definitely is working on putting fingers in her mouth but with no rhyme or reason.  It’s pretty funny.  She seems to enjoy it, anyway.

This week is a doctor-free week.  However we have two appointments next week.  Cross your fingers for good news!

And now, Mother’s Day fashions, brought to you by Coraline Nelson.

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And check it out…  I even got a little smile for the camera!

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Crazy Strong Baby Abs

Crazy Strong Baby Abs

This week the new thing in Coraline’s life is that she doesn’t like to be reclined very much.  In fact, she dislikes it so much sometimes that she tries to sit herself up, and often succeeds.  She does this with just the strength of her core.  No arms or legs helping.  It’s extremely impressive.  I even find it hard to do!  This baby has got some very strong abs.  This is an example…she has pulled herself forward so she can try to eat her owl.  You’d think we didn’t feed her (or try to) all the time.

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This week we have gotten out of a house a couple of times.  Grandma and Grandpa Nelson have been SO helpful and come over to babysit, just to let us get out for a dinner every once in awhile.  So far she has treated her grandparents pretty well.  I think she’s a fan.

Crazy enough, we don’t have another doctor’s appointment for this lil baby for another couple of weeks!  It feels weird to not be juggling visits to the doctor with Andrew’s work schedule anymore.  We’re finally starting to get back on track again with a decent schedule.  Well, at least for Andrew.  I am not sure when I’ll be able to go back to work.  I hate not working.  I feel the more time I spend at home the lazier I get and I’m not a fan.  Coraline and I have a nice time together, but we’re kind of stuck here and I’m getting sick of the walls of my house.

Enough for me being frumpy…it’s SUNDAY!  So we had photo shoot day!  Here is Coraline, 5 1/2 months old actual, 2 months adjusted.  She’s the cutest.

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We’ve been getting some more real smiles these days, which is really nice.  Here is KIND of one.  She was about halfway there.

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Just a little note, if you’re an NPR fan you might have heard or at least heard of Radiolab.  It’s a pretty awesome show, and last week they did a show on micropreemies, specifically the moral implications of trying to save a 23/24 weeker.  It’s an amazing story of a baby born down in Florida at 23 weeks and 6 days.  She was two weeks earlier than Coraline was, but around the same size.  It’s a great description of life in the NICU and the situation that the families of very early babies are dealing with.  I love Radio Lab.  Give it a listen if you’re just hanging out:  Radiolab link

 

 

Keep on keepin’ on, little one

Keep on keepin’ on, little one

This week we had a developmental pediatric appointment and her First Steps intake at-home appointment.  Both went great.

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They looked at Coraline to see how she measures up to other 2 month olds (even though she’s actually 5 months), and turns out she is pretty on track.  She has discovered playing with her own hands.  It’s pretty cute.  She looks very nervous with the hand-wringing.  She tracks with her eyes really well, and I swear she actually smiled at one of her toys the other day.  A real smile!

Both developmental and First Steps said there was no need for any immediate follow up.  So we’re doing great!  The next big appointment in May will be pulmonologist.  This is the big one.  They have to decide whether they think she’s doing well enough to get moved down to a lower flow of oxygen.  This kid is getting really good at knocking her cannula out of her nose.  The new thing is pushing it down into her mouth!  So that’s nice.  We’re hoping her time on oxygen is short.  But hey, if she needs it, then she needs it.

Coraline has so many cute outfits and very few opportunities to wear them out.  So we have decided that once a week we will have photo shoot times in a new cute outfit.  Here are some of this week’s winners.

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And you can’t even see where she spit up her green vitamin-y milk all over herself.  Woot!