Monday, January 31, 2011

Total dork post

So if you are afraid to know how much of a dork I am...stop reading!

I am entirely, completely excited about this:



Yup. A new car seat.

You see...Elisa has been making do with a safe car seat, but one that causes Andrew and I to curse regularly. Well, not curse it literally, but every time we have to put the poor child in this car seat, it is world war 3. The buckle is hideously difficult to work and takes some very strong, coordinated hands to work. It feels "tight" on her when you are buckling her in but it's not quite as bad as it seems. You have to lift the handle JUST right when attaching it to the base, or else it doesn't latch properly. And you can't just leave it in the base to avoid that because trying to buckle Elisa in while in the car doesn't give you the necessary angle you need to buckle the dumb thing. And not only that but it takes someone with a degree in car seat buckling to get it buckled into the car properly. We had to take it to the fire station, have them attach it and it HAS NOT MOVED since. Piece of junk. If I ever figure out the name of the thing, I will write a scathing review to the manufacturer.

So yes. I HATE the old car seat. It was purchased in a rush due to being told the morning Elisa was released from the NICU that the seat we had would not work for her since she was so small. Never EVER again. Do you feel my disdain for this seat?

So when we embarked on our purchase of a new car seat, I asked around and asked my other mommy friends what one they recommended. And the most recommended car seat was this Britax one and I found what seemed to be a great price.




So enjoy my 'Tinker! This one ought to do you until you no longer need car seats. And for the price I paid for it, it darn well better!! :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My first masterpiece

Daddy and I went to toddler time at the library today and this is what I brought home to mommy! It has it's special place right on the fridge for all to see. My mommy thinks it's pretty neat!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Elisa, meet Bess. Bess, meet Elisa.



Seriously. This fish is 5 times her size. But she thought it was the best thing ever! Bess is the 103 lb catfish at the Bass Pro Shop. While I'm not a hunter of any kind (and no offense to the hunters out there) and have a rather, well, dislike for it all, the Bass Pro Shop is a great place to take a youngster and allow her to explore. Within reason, of course. She had a great time walking around to the different animal displays and really liked the elevator. She didn't want to get off! We had to go back and pick her up because someone else wanted on. Overall, it was a great way to spend an hour or so on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Of course...spending some quality time with her daddy never hurts.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Preparing for a preemie

***Disclaimer. This post is being written right before I am heading to bed. It is being written for the simple fact that I can't get this out of my head and if I don't write it, I will suffer through hours of going over it over and over again. I thought I'd just do a pre-emptive strike and write it now so, hopefully, I can get some rest.

The question was posed in my preemie parenting support group about how do you prepare for a preemie. This was, unfortunately, being asked by a mom who was currently experiencing pre-term labor at the extremely early time of 25 weeks. You just know the fear that prompted her to write that question.

And I wanted to help. She asked a few other questions that I was able to easily answer. But the answer to how to prepare for a preemie? I was stumped. How DO you prepare for a preemie?

I thought back to those first days on bed rest at the scary time of 26 weeks. At first, I asked questions. I researched. I thought about what it would be like. I googled. And I was scared to DEATH. Everything I found, everything I heard, everything I read told me that my baby, if it survived, would have nothing but challenges. Significant challenges. I could not find one story of a baby who survived with no lasting problems that was born as early as we feared mine would come. There was no comfort, no hope, no solace in researching and preparing myself for what could be.

So eventually, I stopped. I chose blissful ignorance. I told myself, I would make it to term. I would make it out of this hospital. I knew I wouldn't leave Phoenix but I would leave that hospital with my baby still in my belly and I would return to be induced. Because I wasn't having a preemie. As we all know, very well by now, that didn't happen.

So I guess the answer to the question of how do you prepare for a preemie is...you don't. Nothing can prepare you for the sudden end to your pregnancy. Nothing can prepare you for seeing your baby hooked up to machines. Nothing can prepare you for seeing your baby outside your body well before it was supposed to be and know it was still supposed to be in you. Floating in fluid. Kicking the crap out of your bladder, lungs, ribs, whatever. Nothing can prepare you for seeing your baby in that first moment and knowing beyond a doubt that you FAILED. (Of course that last part is an absolute LIE but I'm fairly certain there is not one preemie mom out there who hasn't told herself that on many occasions.)

I hope if you take anything from Elisa's story, if you are reading this, I hope that you find HOPE. That if you are one that is searching for that comfort and solace because you are sitting in a bed in a hospital in imminent danger of delivering your baby too early, that you see my baby and see that yes, your baby can survive. And it can thrive. And it can prove those doctors and those statistics wrong and thumb her nose at them as she leaves them in the dust.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shoulda been birthday party

One year ago today, shoulda been our birthday.

As you know, it wasn't. But this date will always be a date I'll remember. I really don't think I'll ever "forget" it even though it really has no special event to it.

But, thanks to a comment from a friend, that said Elisa has two birthdays..and were we making her a cake...I thought, why not? She couldn't have cake at her birthday party or on her birthday...so let's give her a "shoulda been birthday" cake.

So we did!









We remained remarkably clean! I was expecting all out chaos and messiness. I guess she inherited my odd compulsion to NOT get myself messy.

We did, however, enjoy the cake. Even if it did mean a very cranky, non-afternoon napping baby.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How Preemie Moms are Chosen

I've seen this before, but saw it again today on my preemie parenting board and just thought I'd share.

~*~How Preemie Moms Are Chosen~*~
(Erma Bombeck)

Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen? Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger. "Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia. Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."

Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles.

"Give her a preemie." The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."

"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."

"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."

"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."

God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect She has just the right amount of selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see--ignorance, cruelty, prejudice--and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

Word diary and more snow

Since I tend to use this as a virtual baby book, this is going to be just a standard "what is Elisa saying at 14 months old."

She has a list of a few words:

Dada
Mama
Dog
Ball
Ba-ba (bottle)
Uh-oh
No
Up
Mouth
Ow
Baby

That's about all she'll say regularly. Sometimes she'll sign "more" but not consistently.

And just to leave you with this:





Monday, January 10, 2011

Directing

From the day she was conceived, Elisa has been immersed in music. I love music, so listen to it a lot. And at the time, I was actively participating in our church praise band. So when I wasn't listening to it....I was singing.

And then, after she was born and even while she was still in the NICU, Grandma would play for her. Grandma even went so far as to purchase a cheap guitar in Arizona, just so she could have one to play.

The results are that Elisa now delights in music. She asks for us to sing to her. A lot of our playtime is singing silly songs to her, based off of her babbling. One of her favorites is "Barbara Ann" since one of her favorite words is "ba-ba."

video

Actually, Elisa has been "directing" things long before this. In fact, she "directed" her own life and determined her birthday. We couldn't POSSIBLY do things in a way that made sense or even followed a pre-determined schedule. She had to do it her own way.

Which leads to me...I am a director of sorts. A strong, type A personality who likes things ordered and structured. Who likes to know when she gets up in the morning that they day will follow a predictable pattern. Which led me to my career...that as an event organizer. And now, thanks to my rather unpredictable daughter, led me to use those skills to help organize an event of a much different scale.

I'm rather excited about this, helping out with the March of Dime's March for Babies this April. And in a much greater capacity than just walking, and hopefully raising some funds.

And speaking of fundraising...I've already been promised TWO company matches! So all I need to do is raise $100! And with that $100, I'll get one company who will match that, and another company who will match the $200!! So I'm really hoping I'll be able to raise a total of $400 between the help of these company matches.

If you want to donate, just click on the badge on the right hand side of the page.

Just because I've been lucky, and have a preemie, who for all intensive purposes never acted or felt she was a preemie, doesn't mean that others out there have been as lucky.

I hope you can help, either financially or by sharing Elisa's story. I hope that some day, the March of Dimes mission will no longer be needed. Because all babies will be born healthy. And term.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Year in review

Yeah. I'm jumping into this trend. How unoriginal. But I'm not in an original mood right now. :)




January we became "official" with the passing of our original due date, January 12.





February, we slept a lot. Not really much happened. We were still in quarantine and therefore not leaving the house. But we did get the nursery finished!





In March, Mommy went back to work and we began trying to hit our milestones.



In April, we just grew bigger. It was a slow month.





In May, we marched for babies, tried cereal and carrots and rolled over for the first time!




In June, we went swimming a LOT, drove to Iowa a LOT and mommy went away on another trip and Grandma got to have fun feeding me.



July saw the beginning of my scooting phase.




August was when we finally sat unassisted.



September, we crawled!




October we turned one and visited DC!




Thanksgiving was at home and we took our first tottering steps in November. We also traveled to Iowa to spend some time with the King side of the family.




By December, we were a full fledged walker. We traveled to Springfield to see our Uncle Mike and Elvis, Iowa to see our uncles and other extended family there and spent some good quality time as a family.

We look forward to 2011 with lots of excitement for the new adventures it will bring. I hope all of you have had a great 2010, a great holiday season and that you always remember the reason for the season..Jesus Christ.