Two years old and all is well

Filed under: baby's progress,doctor — by Lauren on October 30th, 2008 @ 4:24 pm

Anya had her two year well check on Monday.  The nurse measured her at 34 3/4 inches (75th percentile) and 25 1/2 lbs (35th percentile).  Tall and thin!!!  Her weight was probably a little lower than it should have been since she had just gotten over being sick and had no appetite last week.  I was surprised that she measured as tall as she did; Anya looks smaller than several of her friends, at least to me.  She was very cooperative when the nurse measured her so we’re trusting the number as accurate.  Now we can FINALLY turn Anya’s car seat!

Anya was actually extremely cooperative throughout her whole appointment.  I’m not sure she cried at all!  We brought her toy doctor’s kit with us, and that helped keep her distracted.  The doctor said she’s healthy and thriving.  He was impressed with her verbal and cognitive skills – he said something along the lines of “We expect a lot from Anya. We expect big things from her. I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’m pretty good at knowing this – we can expect a lot from her.”  This was after she said, “I have a pretend stethoscope and Dr. Wolfe has a real one.  We’re using stethoscopes together.”  He was equally surprised to discover that she was diaper-less.

The persistent rash that Anya has around her mouth and on her cheeks wasn’t visible at her appointment, of course (probably due to the steroid injection from last week).  After looking at the pictures I brought and hearing our description, the doctor feels it is most likely a reaction to food and moisture (DROOL) on her face. It’s not a reaction to a particular food, just another part of Anya’s sensitive skin issues.  His advice was pretty much to do nothing since it doesn’t bother her.

No more well checks until Anya is THREE!  That seems eons away.  Wouldn’t it be something if we didn’t have to go back to the pediatrician for another year (for Anya, at least)?

Croup stinks; Oxiclean rules!

Filed under: doctor,the day-to-day stuff — by Lauren on October 29th, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

Last week Lex went to California for what should be the last time until Baby Girl is a few months old.  He left Tuesday morning; by Tuesday night Anya was running a fever – how does she manage so often to time getting sick with his being away?  Even on Motrin her fever wasn’t going away, just dropping from 102 degrees to 100 degrees, though as long as the medicine was working she was in a pretty good mood (watch out for her when it wore off, though!).  On Wednesday night the barking cough started (bad enough that she threw up in bed – THANK YOU MOM FOR COMING OVER AT 11 PM TO BRING ME A HUMIDIFIER AND MORE SHEETS AND PILLOWS). That’s when I was pretty sure it was croup (a friend of hers had come down with it over the weekend, so it wasn’t too hard to figure out).  The cough wasn’t too bad – manageable as long as she was upright – meaning that bedtime was a little difficult.  After I put her to sleep I’d have to go up every 30-45 minutes because she’d wake herself coughing and then start crying which would make the cough worse.   I would try to hold her up but she adamantly refused.  Poor baby was so tired, all she wanted to do was lie down and go back to sleep, and luckily if I rubbed her back for a minute or so she calmed down enough to conk out again.  When I went to sleep I moved her to my bed, and that way I was right there to help her when she woke up in the middle of the night.

Friday morning she seemed to be doing A LOT better – no more fever but still a lingering cough, as her doctor predicted when I spoke with him on Thursday.  I took her to her transition class – we both really needed out of the house after being home for 60 straight hours.  Things seemed okay until around 4:15 that afternoon, when Anya’s breathing became much more audible and chesty, and then developed a little whistle to it.  She wasn’t in distress, but I called the doctor just to check in – I did not want to end up in the ER that night if I could avoid it.  I was told I absolutely needed to bring her into the office, and they even stayed a little later just for her.  The nurse practitioner and one of the doctors examined her and both felt she needed an injection of steroids to relax her airway, and they told me if it got any worse that evening I must take her to the ER for a nebulizer treatment.  Thankfully the steroids helped, and they cleared up the persistent rash she’s had on her face as well!

Lex came home Friday night, and we spent most of the weekend homebound as Anya continued to recover.  Aside from a little residual cough and runny nose, she’s over it now and we’re slowly getting back to our regular routine.  As far as croup experiences go, this wasn’t fun but it could have been a lot worse.  The one thing that made it more difficult was that I HAD IT TOO, except without the barking cough – adults rarely get that symptom.  Today is the first day I’ve felt mostly normal again.

Since we were stuck at home I decided I wanted to do something productive, so I started re-washing Anya’s baby clothes for Baby Girl.  I was disappointed to discover that more things were stained than I had recalled, but I wasn’t going to do much about it – it’s not like SHE is going to care.  Then someone on my December 2008 Mommies board mentioned she used Oxiclean to soak some hand-me-downs she’d gotten that were stained, and everything came out practically new.  I figured I’d try it, and WOW!  I could not believe the difference it made, especially in the bibs.  There are some items that look brand new, and others that went from terribly stained to mildly discolored.  I am IN LOVE with Oxiclean.  Oxiclean, if you are listening, I want to be for you what Jared is for Subway.  I will sing your praises to anyone who will listen!

“Lex, Lauren — I want to buy gifts for Baby #2!”

Filed under: the day-to-day stuff — by Lex on @ 10:48 am

And we want to help you do so.

Obviously, we have most of our needs for a baby daughter met already. Anya helped us get our home pretty well-stocked in that regard.

There are a few things we’d like, and if you have been wanting to get us a gift, but couldn’t come up with what to purchase, we can help. Check our small Babies’R'Us/Amazon registry!

It’s not Halloween yet, but…

Filed under: baby's progress,funny,moments,photos — by Lauren on October 22nd, 2008 @ 7:07 pm

…I still had to post this picture.  I went to Babies’R'Us to exchange a few things yesterday and saw that all of their Halloween clothes were discounted 40% off.  I also had a 20% off one item coupon.  That made for a pretty good deal.  We were just going to have Anya wear her duck costume from last year since it still more or less fits, but I decided to check out what they had in the next size up.  There were two costumes I liked – a poodle and a pink monster.  I asked her which one she wanted, and she immediately went for the dog.  I tried to get her to pick the monster since I liked it better, but she was adamant.  She finally convinced me when she said, “I will wear the dog and I will say ‘Woof!’”

OOOH, just remembered this, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the post, but oh well.  This morning while I was combing her hair after her bath, she suddenly turned around, threw her arms around my belly, and shouted, “I love my baby sister!”  Let’s all hope this affection lasts once Baby Sister is actually here.  I think that aside from any normal jealousy that is bound to arise, Anya is going to be a great big sister.

Bear pics and the birthday video

Filed under: baby's progress,photos,video — by Lauren on October 21st, 2008 @ 9:22 am

It took some negotiations with an unwilling subject (Anya, not the bear!), but I was finally able to get Anya’s two year bear picture taken this afternoon.  She wasn’t particularly interested in sitting still, but I still got a few cute shots.  Look how much she’s grown:

Two years old:

One year old:

Just born:

Here is a 5 minute video of some of the highlights from her birthday.  As you can see, she had a great time!

Anya’s birthday celebration (with pictures!!!)

Filed under: baby's progress,family,friends,photos — by Lauren on October 19th, 2008 @ 11:01 pm

We had a fabulous time celebrating Anya’s birthday – and we have 209 pictures to show for it!  Here are some of the highlights:

Celebrating at school on Friday morning:

The cake I made for the party (it’s made out of cupcakes):

Our birthday girl first thing in the morning:

We started the day out by opening some presents from Lex’s family.  Anya got some wonderful gifts, including some neat puzzles from Grammy and Papa Ducky and a Dora the Explorer doll from Aunt Marnie.  She also got a Dora fleece blanket which I made for her.  Then we got dressed and headed out to the pumpkin patch.  It was very cold out, but she had a great time:

Next we stopped at the bookstore to try to replace Anya’s copy of It’s Sharing Dayit seems to have disappeared :( – but they didn’t have it in stock.  We did get her a different Dora book as a consolation prize, and then we all had lunch together at the Cheesecake Factory – yum:

About halfway through lunch, Anya begged to go on the rides outside of JC Penney, and how could we say no to the birthday girl?  She still doesn’t know that it’s possible to make them move by putting money in them, and if we’re lucky we’ll get to milk that for another two years.  For now, she’s content to climb on them:

We headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s house to take a nap before the big party after lunch. Then at 4 pm Anya’s friends and some of her cousins joined her at Gymboree to celebrate her second birthday:

After the party we went back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for pizza and presents:

Anya received many fabulous gifts from our family and her friends, and we are so appreciative!  She ended her birthday video chatting with her Grammy and Papa Ducky before going to bed.  We’re all exhausted from our busy day, but we hope that Anya enjoyed her second birthday!  Video clips will hopefully be posted soon – we’ve got about 30 minutes of footage to pare down.  I also forgot to take her bear picture today (OOPS!) so that should be up shortly as well.

To my daughter Anya on the occasion of her second birthday

Filed under: baby's progress,thoughts — by Lex on @ 7:39 am

Anya,

You’re amazing. A two-word sentence like that can’t begin to convey the joy your life brings me, and neither will the several paragraphs to follow. One of the great frustrations of parenthood that no one tells you about ahead of time is the impossibility of expressing the happiness your kids provide. Words are not enough.

Happy, happy birthday! I can’t believe it’s been just a year since your last one. It seems simultaneously like it’s been much, much longer, and much much, much less. Each day with you flies by, often too fast. But you’ve grown so much as a person over the past year that it seems like a lifetime has passed since your first birthday.

Mommy and I sometimes talk about how there’s this desire to videotape every single thing you do, and photograph every moment, every outfit, and every cute face of the day. But there’s not enough time (or hard drive space) to do that, of course. And if we somehow found enough time to tape it all, there certainly wouldn’t be time enough to watch it — because to do so, we’d be missing the live show!

Another thing Mommy and I do — as recently as last night — is look at each other in amazement at your growth and progress. You’re two, and we’re stunned. How did our little baby become such a big girl? (This is a common theme.) We look at each other when you say things that we don’t know where you learned. (This morning, Mommy asked you how old you were, and you said: “Two and a half.” Who taught you “and a half”? More importantly, who taught you math? Because you are WAY OFF! ;) )

We can’t photograph every moment, and we can’t shoot endless video. Instead, we remind ourselves to watch you and appreciate every moment as it happens. Right now, virtually your entire life fits in our own memory banks, and it is honestly a very sad revelation to recognize that our brains won’t be able to do that forever. Already, Mommy and I are able to remind ourselves about moments from your life that had slipped our minds for a while. That wouldn’t be so hard to come to terms with if you weren’t so charming every minute of every day.

We truly enjoy spending time with you. Sometimes if I’ve had to work too late one day and I don’t get to spend as much time with you as I’d like before you go to sleep, I ask Mommy whether I can go wake you up so that we can play some more. (Her answer is always “yes,” if I assume responsibility for dealing with the likely-unpleasant after effects. I still haven’t done it, but only because I’m trying to be a Good Dad and let you get your sleep.)

You are two, and that is amazing. We love you, and perhaps one of the best feelings around right now is the sense that you recognize how loved you are. (Answer: Soooooooooooooooooooooo much.)

Happy birthday, sweetheart. I am so happy that you are in my life. And I can’t wait to see how wonderful you are as a big sister.

Love,
Daddy

Anya Haley is two years old!

Filed under: baby's progress,photos — by Lauren on @ 12:25 am

Today is Anya’s second birthday.  It’s hard to believe that it’s already been two years since I spent most of the day in labor and then finally welcomed our baby girl into the world at 10:22 pm.  How does time go so quickly?

Anya brings so much joy to our lives every day.  She is just a fabulous little person to be around, and though she has her cranky and ornery moments  – after all, she is two! – they are easily drowned out by all of the wonderful and amazing things she does.

We’ve been busy, busy, busy with going to the library, seeing friends, ballerina class, and of course, school (her transition class).  Most likely because of the time she spent in day care last year, Anya is one of the few kids who doesn’t cry when it’s time for the parents to leave, and she tells me each week that she can tell the other children “Don’t cry, it’s okay.  Mommy will come back soon!”  Anya is the youngest in her class, and her teacher has mentioned to me several times that Anya is very bright.

Talking is definitely Anya’s thing.  She’s got something to say about everything and unless we’re around people she doesn’t know or she’s in a large group (she’s still pretty shy), she’s rarely quiet.  Lex and I were trying to estimate the size of her vocabulary the other day and gave up in the end.  She generally speaks in long, complete sentences and uses all kinds of words you might not expect a two-year-old to say.

Anya still loves books and reading more than anything else and generally wants to take a book (or five) with her anywhere we go.  She can entertain herself for hours by sitting with her books and “reading” to herself.  If she knows the story, she’ll repeat what she remembers, but she’s also perfectly content to make up the story for herself.  Thanks to her Letter Factory video, she knows all of her letter sounds now and is starting to understand that letters can be put together to make words, though she’s not anywhere near reading yet, of course.  After books, dolls are her next favorite play thing.  She has an extremely vivid imagination and invents elaborate pretend play situations with her dolls and other toys.  It’s fun to see her acting out things she’s seen or done, or even better, things Lex or I have done.  She loves to sing and dance, and knows the words to more songs that I can count – and she’ll call you on it if you get the words wrong to her favorite songs.  I also think it’s neat that she can recognize some songs just from their melodies, even if no one is singing.

I’m glad to report that Anya has gotten more adventurous when it comes to eating over the last year.  She’s willing to try most things and eats a pretty good variety of healthy foods (though she definitely knows what dessert is now!).  As long as she can dip it into dressing, she likes salad, which I find so funny. Actually, she’s much more motivated to eat anything if it can be dipped into something else.  She’s been practicing drinking from a big girl cup (not a sippy cup) and can handle it pretty well.  Anya can be pretty messy when she eats – she gets several reminders to keep her hands out of her hair and away from her eyes during meals – and she still eats SOOOOO slowly.  I think we might be the only parents we know who are constantly encouraging their kid to take bigger bites and eat faster, but it is painful to watch her eat each pea individually at the rate of one pea a minute!

Anya loves being a big girl and has really embraced the “I want to do it myself!” attitude (I am SO tired of hearing her say that), though she does recognize when she needs help and will accept it IF she has asked for it.  She loves her big girl room and sleeps well there during the night.  Naps are still a big struggle – she usually doesn’t cry if I leave the room anymore, but she will not go to sleep without assistance.  We’ve been thinking blackout curtains may help and will probably try them soon.  Also, as of last Saturday, Anya has been wearing underwear full-time whether at home or out and about.  We put a diaper on her whenever she sleeps, although she wakes up from naps dry 99% of the time.  She’s only had one accident since we started this last weekend – not bad!

So that’s our big girl!  Anya’s about 26 lbs and just under 34 inches, I think – we’ll get a better sense at her two-year well checkup on the 27th.  Right now she’s mostly wearing 24 months shirts which are a little too big and 18 months pants which are way too big unless they have adjustable waists and I roll the bottoms up at least one time.  She’s sporting one of her two-year molars with at least two more starting to push their way out.  We have her birthday party this afternoon at Gymboree, and then we’ll go back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for pizza and a little more cake afterwards.  More birthday posts to come soon, including party pictures and what I’m sure will be an extremely moving collection of thoughts from Lex.

Things Anya Says

Filed under: funny,moments — by Lex on October 15th, 2008 @ 7:58 am

(After she helps me put food in Charlie’s bowl, I suggest she go back to the playroom.) “No, I will stay right here and sit down and watch Charlie eat.” (She does.) “I’m helping Charlie do his work, eating his food. We’re doing it together.” 

Anya is big on collaboration.

In the morning, more than once: “I gave you a kiss; you can wake up now, Daddy!” (You can hear the semicolon when she says it.)

“Daddy’s making his nails so pretty! He can watch a video now.” (While watching me cut my nails. Anya, as you may recall, watches a video while getting her nails trimmed.)

(Discussing our recently re-painted shower ceiling.) “The man painted the shower, the– the– the– sky in the shower, just like I paint on the paper.”

“The sheep, he makes a sound like this: Baaaaaaaah!” (While singing along with Raffi.)

32 weeks pregnant

Filed under: delivery/labor,doctor,photos,symptoms — by Lauren on October 13th, 2008 @ 11:14 pm

Today I hit 32 weeks! Everything is going well, pregnancy-wise. I’m pretty big – I had a scan last week and was told that I have a good amount of amniotic fluid, which may account for my size.

Where’s the belly?

There it is!

The baby is head down but must be sitting high up still since I’m still sleeping through the night without needing to go to the bathroom. It’s getting harder to move easily, though!

We had a consult with the new OB-GYN practice last week.  We weren’t impressed by the long wait (there was an emergency with another patient) or the decor (they share office space with an odd, religious fanatic dermatologist), BUT once we met the doctor I immediately felt comfortable.  She was very open and honest with us about their philosophies about c-sections and the risks involved with a VBAC (but unlike my other doctor she gave me accurate numbers).  This practice serves a big community of orthodox Jewish women, many of whom intend to have several children, and, as the doctor explained, the human body just cannot handle ten c-sections.  That’s one of the many reasons why they work as hard as they can to make sure they don’t perform c-section unless absolutely medically indicated.  The doctor we met with has a c-section rate of 9%, which is absolutely phenomenal.  I’m not sure what the head doctor in the practice’s rate is, but I’m sure it is similar, as he is the one who owns the group and is the doctor I was referred to in the first place.  The doctor did a quick scan to check on the baby (the heart rate was 155 bpm), had me get on the scale, and got a urine sample.  Everything was great and we are definitely switching practices; I have my next appointment on the 20th.  I will also deliver at Monmouth Medical center instead of CentraState, which is a good thing, given the c-section rates at each hospital.  Lex and I have a tour of the maternity ward scheduled for November 2nd.  We also decided to hire a doula to assist with the birth after all – more on that in a different post.  None of this guarantees that I will have a successful VBAC, but I’m feeling more confident that if I do have another c-section, it won’t be because my doctor didn’t want to be up all night!

The day after my appointment, I went to my previous doctors’ office to obtain my records.  I filled out the form to give my written consent and was told I would get them within the 30 days they legally had to fulfill my request.  This morning I received a call that the records were ready to be picked up and, by the way, I knew about the charge for having my records copied if I was leaving the practice, right?  A DOLLAR per page, for a grand total of 71 DOLLARS!  I was fuming when I was told this, but apparently they have the legal right to charge me up to 25 cents per page and a “reasonable” clerical fee.  Is $53.25 a reasonable fee to copy a file?  I’m not convinced, but I needed those records so I paid the fee anyway, making sure to express politely my displeasure at not being told about the fee ahead of time.  The receptionist gave me a “break” and said, “Just give me $70 even.”  How generous of her!  Lex wants me to file a complaint with the US Department of Health and Human services, and I will, but I need to wait because I looked through my records tonight and found that they were incomplete!  They didn’t include the charts of my weight gain or blood pressure from either pregnancy or doctor’s notes from my appointments.  I don’t care about the notes as much but I think the other information is important.  I want to take care of that before I file the complaint.  I don’t understand what possible reason they could have for leaving those pieces of information out.  I’m not an expert on HIPAA, but it was my understanding that as the patient I have the right to have access to my entire file.  I did ask for a complete copy of my records, so I would think that would include everything.  Grrrr.  This only convinces me further that I have made the right decision to switch practices.  I am so annoyed about this.

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