Monday, June 27, 2011

Becca at 3

Yep, that's right!  Itty Bitty Baby Becca is now THREE YEARS OLD!  Is anyone as aghast at the fact as I am?  I mean, when I think about my pregnancy, her birth, the NICU, etc., it seems like a long time ago - that could have happened 3 years ago.  But for her to be a 3-year-old?  No way.

But she definitely is!  How do I know?  Because of the questions!  For some (blessed) reason, the "why's" haven't started yet, but all. the. time. I hear, "Wass dat noise, Mommy?"  "Where going, Mommy?"  "Who's dat, Mommy?" and (possibly the cutest), "How you today, Mommy?" 

Three can be known as a tough age among parents.  I've always particularly loved 3-year-olds.  They are just getting to the point where you can have a real conversation with them, they are inquisitive (see above), and they are starting to play pretend and be more interactive in their play. Yes, they are also amazingly defiant and tedious, but I have preferred that to the know-it-all-ness of 4-year-olds and 2-year-olds' inability to communicate.  I'll go on record at the beginning of this 3-year-old year as saying that I love having a 3-year-old.  We'll see how that affinity develops (or deteriorates) as we move through the year, eh?

I want to save all of her medical and developmental updates for another post and dedicate this post as a snapshot of Becca's personality at the moment.  (And, as we know, the 3-year-old personality can change on a dime!)  So here's Becca at 3:
  • Becca LOVES people.  Her first word was "hi!", and she remains as social as she was back then.  She is very mom-clingy right now, but once she's separated from me, she'll play and talk with anyone.  I see us introducing the concept of strangers very soon, though I kind of hate to do it. 
  • She's very polite.  Kind of.  I mean, she'll scream bloody murder if you don't do what she wants, she'll stomp and collapse on the ground and throw a fit, etc.  But she loves to say "please," "thank you," and "you're welcome."  Oh, and "fuffe me," which roughly translates to, "Excuse me."  She particularly loves to say thank you and will say it about 15 times before she moves on.  She even thanks the elevator for taking her to another floor.  Seriously.
  • She's still a water baby.  I'll have more photographic evidence of it for you later, but she loves all things water.  Bath, pool, hose, and, of course, drinking the delicious no-calorie water. 
  • She's funny.  She's got a great sense of humor and loves to laugh and to make you laugh.  Sometimes she just laughs because it feels good.  She loves to be silly, and particularly loves to be a scary monster and roar at you, and THEN erupt into a full-body laugh. 
  • Becca doesn't care about eating but loves chocolate chips.
  • She's just really gotten the hang of playing pretend, so toys like her kitchen and dress up outfits are getting some new use.  She particularly loves to sell ice cream out of the window of her playhouse that Nana and GG got her for her birthday. 
  • She's definitely in another Mommy phase but has SO MUCH FUN playing with Daddy.
  • About 65% of the time, she wants to be an astronaut.  The other 35%, she wants to be a doctor.  I did hear teacher mentioned once.
  • She's great at puzzles and like everything to be in its place.  Very John Hill there.  (Oh, and that's another question I hear a lot: "Wheres dat goes?") 
  • Becca loves music and is a dancing QUEEN.  Specifically, she is the dancing queen of  a small South American village where they drum, stomp and spin a lot.  It's quite the sight to behold. 
  • The current PBS obsession is "Sid the Science Kid."  I used to find this show annoying, but it's grown on me.  Especially when Becca walked up to the front door and said, "Science kid in the hoow-uuuuse!" 
I could go on, but I'm hungry and what you really probably want is pictures anyway.  So here you go!

At Sesame Street Live, doing what she did a lot of the show - not paying attention!

Wagon ride to the beach!  (More beach pics to come.)

Scaring the alligator!

Sporting her new dragon p.j.'s. 
She seems to prefer the boys' pajama patterns more than the girls'.  Whatever!

Pretty in pigtails!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Crazy June

Wonder what we are up to these days?  This article, written at #1 of 2 United Methodist Annual Conferences we are attending, about sums up my life these days!  (And, yes, I'm published on a REAL professional website!  It's been a while!)

Enjoy!  Thanks to Jessica at Ministry Matters for the opportunity!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Update on Mommy

Remember how I keep telling you that there is so much exciting going on in our lives and oh won't it be great when I actually tell you and wow what a creative way of sharing news and oh aren't we happy about it?  Apparently my internal hype about the amazing post I'm going to write keeps me from actually writing anything.  Which gets us nowhere.  Welcome to my life.*  So I'm just going to very mundanely tell you what's going on with me. 

First off, I am done working at the March of Dimes, which is kind of sad.  It would be really sad if I weren't going to continue to be involved with them and their wonderful staff, but of course I will be.  Remember my kid whose life they helped save?  Yeah, that one.  I'll be around.  

It would also be really sad if I were stressed out about being unemployed.  But I'm not.  'Cause I'm not.  Unemployed that is.  At least not for long...because as of July 1, I will be the Minister to Children and Families at Christ UMC!  What's that you say?  That name sounds familiar?  That's because I waxed eloquent about it in this post when SuperDad was appointed there as the Associate Pastor!  That's right; John and I will have the pleasure (mostly pleasure, at least) of working at the same church again!  And what a church it is!  Over the past year, I've come to love it more and more, so much so that when I began talking with the district superintendent about taking an appointment at another church, I cried real tears.  I'm THRILLED to be working with children again, and now that I'm a parent, I think I have an even greater understanding of the role a church can play in a child's life.  When Becca first sees the church come into view over the hill, she points at it and says, "Dere's da church!"  She's so excited every single time she sees it.  And as a double pastors' kid, she sees it a lot.  :)  My prayer is that she always sees the church as a place of welcome, love and fun, like she does now.

The downside to all of this is that the reason there is an opening for me on the staff is that our dear, dear, dear Ms. Kristin (our current children's minister, who is better known in our house as "Miss Sissen") is leaving to take another appointment as the Associate Pastor at another church in town.  So the good news is that they aren't moving moving, just moving churches.  The bad news is that we won't get to see as much of Miss Sissen and Crazy Uncle Brady, both of whom Becca adores.  I haven't actually broken the news to Becca yet.  Imagine hearing that one of your good friends is moving, and your mom is taking her place...I mean, I know Becca loves me and all, but I am no Miss Sissen.  I do have visions of playdates with Miss Sissen and her little baby, due in December!  

And speaking of babies, that's the other bit of mommy-related news.  We will soon be beginning and cycle of IUI - intrauterine insemination.   I'll be on a few meds and will go in frequently for monitoring.  The day after I ovulate, they will do the procedure and voila, 2 weeks later, I pee on a stick and get a plus sign.  Or that's the goal, at least.  Because I've been on fertility meds for so long, we're not going to get many chances at this (probably only the one), so please send any kind thoughts, prayers, well-wishes, you-can-do-its directly to my uterus.  We really want this to happen.  I really want a baby.  I know there are other ways to have another child, but I really want to have one this way.  I mean, not necessarily in this manner, but I would like to carry and birth my child.  If it doesn't happen, we'll be okay and will move on eventually, but we really, really, really want me to get pregnant.  

I think that's about it.  Sorry there are no cute pictures, but I doubt you want pictures of that last bit anyway.  We do have lots of cute pictures of Becca at the beach, but alas, they are stuck in the camera at the moment.  Someday, though, you will see photographic evidence of Becca tolerating sand on her hands without "signs of distress," as we call it in therapy-talk.  See, the beach is healing for all of us.   Not sure why I can't get I prescription for that.

* Have you heard the bit about how procrastinators are actually fairly often perfectionists?  We get so caught up in worrying about whether or not our work is going to be perfect that we avoid doing it.  And that would be me in a nutshell.  Cue Austin Powers in a nutshell.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What What??

I know, two posts in two days - insanity!  But I just looked at Becca's clinical record on, and for the first time ever -- FIRST TIME EVER! -- EVER EVER!! -- she doesn't have a < symbol in front of her weight percentile.  She's actually, genuinely on the growth chart, right on the 3rd percentile line!  Woo-damn-hoo!  

And that is all.

Oh, okay, I'll go ahead and tell you what the GI doctor said this afternoon.  Most interestingly, when I told him that she qualified for the special ed program (more on that later), he laughed and said, "We'll see how long that lasts -- she's really smart!"  She had, after all, just showed him where her liver and esophagus are.  

But he also said that he wants a new, formal feeding evaluation and another scope to check out the inflammation in her esophagus.  It's been a year since we did either of these, and he just likes to repeat them every so often, which works for me.  The scope will involve withholding the second half of the nights' feeds, but he's going to make sure she's the first case in the morning so she (hopefully) won't revisit the hypoglycemic seizures we've seen in the past.   

And speaking of feeding and evaluations and therapy, we discussed weaning from the g-tube. Becca's current feeding therapist is all about it - she wants to change her continuous feeds to bolus feeds (a lot at once instead of a slow drip) so that Becca gets hungrier and is more likely to eat.  I'm very much opposed to this plan right now - we are simply too dependent on the tube for her basic nutrition still.  I mean, it's not like she's exactly caught up in her growth and weight or anything, and we're pushing as much milk down the tube as possible in order to gain every gram possible - and it's FINALLY working.  And she's ever solids better than ever.  (Though still nowhere near getting most of her calories from solids.)  I think this therapist doesn't fully appreciate how bad her feeding issues initially were and how far she has come in the past couple of months.  My biggest goal for feeding therapy right now is for them to work on desensitizing her gag reflex so that she throws up less and keeps more food down.  Seems like that would help her grow AND make eating more pleasant.  I mean, throwing up every day doesn't exactly make food appetizing.  I guess some parents want to start weaning as soon as the tube gets put in, but, really, I'm in no hurry to get off the tube.  We got the darn thing, surgery and all, to get food into - not to immediately start treating it like the enemy we have to root out.  For us, it needs to go side by side with learning to eat solids.  

And the doctor agrees.  He REALLY doesn't want us to work on weaning or even condensing or decreasing tube feeds AT ALL yet.  For heaven's sake, today is the first time she's legitimately ON the stupid growth chart!  Give the kid some time to chunk up before taking away her main source of nutrition.  If she can learn to like McDonald's hamburgers (yes, it's true - she'll eat an entire patty!) while still getting tube feeds, surely the g-tube isn't disrupting her hunger and feeding patterns too much.  What it is doing is giving her the nutrition she needs to grow and develop into the big, strong, SMART and FUNNY girl that she is becoming!  

So there.  No weaning pressure.  I feel validated.  We're still on the "get as many calories in her as we can" plan*.  That feels better.  Now eat up, little one.  I'll take you to "Old McDonald's" whenever you want.  

*  One caveat: we really used to feed her absolutely anything she would eat because we really needed every single last calorie that we could get in her.  I'm still VERY flexible with her menu, but we are being intentional about making sure that she's offered a balanced meal each time - at least one protein, fruit or veggie an starch.  I'm fine with that protein being ridiculously processed hot dogs, etc, but we are steering away from meals that consist solely of chocolate chips and M&M's, because that's what responsible parents do AND because, ironically, Becca is actually at a very high risk of developing diabetes and becoming obese in adolescence and adulthood, so the healthy patterns we are (slowly) working on instilling in her will be even more important than for her peers.  I'm even getting used to eating a few more real meals myself.  :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday/Weekly/Bimothly Weigh In

Hey, do you guys remember me?  My name's Nancy; I've got a little girl who used to be a really, really, really, really little girl?  And she's super duper cute?  Yeah, that's me.  I'm still around.  Just gone radio silent.  For no good reason, really.  Or for lots of good reasons.  There's been so much exciting happening in our lives the past month or so that I keep avoiding the blog because it will take forever to actually catch you up.  (No, I'm not pregnant.)  But I've got to start somewhere, I guess, so let me give you your first stats update since March 19.  (Craziness, I know!)  

March 19: 10.05 kg (22 pounds, 3 ounces), 32.75 inches
Today: 11.20 kg (24 pounds, 12 ounces), 34 inches
11 Weeks' Change: 1.15 kg (2 pounds, 9 ounces), 1.75 inches
Net Change: 4500 grams (115 ounces = 7 pounds, 3 ounces), 5.5 inches

That looks great to me!  We go to the GI doc this afternoon, so we'll see what he thinks, too.  She's now gained the weight of an average-sized newborn.  :)