29 April 2009

I Don't Even Know What to Say...

Daphne's Aunt Rebecca went on a European excursion over Spring Break and brought home a gift for David. He really likes it, but I think he has used it in the wrong way:

It's a letter opener shaped as a sword, which is a very fitting gift for him. What is not so fitting is giving it to your 4 month old to play with. Scary.

I can vouch for him in saying that the letter opener is not sharp at all, and he was closely watching her (and taking pictures of her) the entire time it was in her hands. It does seem like a David thing to do, doesn't it?

Anyways, she seems to carry her (fake) weaponry well.

27 April 2009

Happy, Happy, Happy

**Chick update: sadly, she passed away during the night. This is why we bought 5 chicks when we really only want 3.

Daphne is not having surgery right now!

Her doctor decided to fit her with some custom-made braces, have her wear them for 6 months, and then decide about surgery once those 6 months are up. The braces will be sort of like the shoes, except made specifically for her so that they won't fall off. I'm just happy to be staying out of the hospital for now.

We got Daphne some new friends today. We went down to Grandpa Roth's work and got her 5 little chicks.

She's looking forward to gathering eggs every morning.

One of the chicks was running around and ran into the side of their container. Now she's walking kind of funny and won't open her eyes. Do you think that's bad?

24 April 2009

She Just Keeps Getting Older

Daphne is 4 months old today.

I've decided that so far out of her 4 months of life, I've liked this past month the best. Not that I didn't like the first ones. I did. But they were full of lots and lots of crying and very little sleep. The memory of that period must start to fade over time or somehow bring on a serious case of nostalgia, otherwise it seems like no one would ever go on to have child #2.

Those first couple of months led me to think that Daphne was a very grouchy baby. I think now that most of her grouchiness could be attributed to that 6-8ish weeks of crazy crying that new babies do. If they're not asleep, they are awake and really exercising those lungs. She's so over that now. It's really quite amazing how much the crying starts to disappear and you start to see a very joyful side to your baby.

Now that she's smiling all the time, laughing occasionally, and entertained by her toys or the dogs or us, I've decided she's not very grouchy at all. As long as she gets some good sleep and some food in her belly, she is quite chipper. And on a side note about her sleep habits...Daphne has gone down for all her naps and bedtimes without a fuss for the past two days. Is it possible that we have turned a very delightful corner?

So if you want to see a very darling side of Daphne, come hang out with her right after her nap and after she's had her milk, because then you'll get to see her new-found sunny disposition in action. She might even send a giggle or two your way.

No Shoes :(

We kind of knew this could happen. Last week Daphne's tendons were still pretty tight, especially on the right foot. So her wise doctors decided not to try to force the little shoes on her. You know how babies tend to have shoes and socks fall off easily? It would be the same with these brace shoes, and they don't want us to be trying to force her feet to stay in them all the time.

This means another tenotomy (heel releasing surgery), probably this Wednesday or the next. Then her doctors have a few other tricks up their sleeves if the shoes aren't going to work. We'll have to see what they decide.

As David said, we're just moving in inches instead of leaps and bounds, but it's not altogether unusual. Daphne's tiny, pudgy little baby feet just want to follow their own timetable. And tiny, pudgy baby feet don't always like wearing shoes.

She's footloose and free until her surgery. Casts aren't necessary right now, plus it's good to let her legs breath for awhile. So we bought a baby bathtub today! It's pink.

This morning I was trying more hats on her.

David put his hat on her while we were waiting at the doctor's.

I think she's really starting to like wearing hats.

23 April 2009

Two of a Kind

Everyone - my friends, David's friends, strangers we meet on the street - says Daphne looks just like David. This makes me very sad, so I had to pull out all the stops and share these two pictures. Surely someone sees the one common bond between Daphne and I?!

And this one is just because:

22 April 2009

Vitamin D Fix

Here's just some proof of how nice and sunny our weather has been the past few days. I hear from Daphne's Ohio family that their weather people are still talking about snow. I think her Alaska family is having the same problem. Sorry, guys, I guess you should just move to Oregon!

21 April 2009

Happy Day

Daphne laughed last night. Actually, she chuckled a couple of times, and then she laughed.

Her timing was slightly off, though. Yesterday morning our community health nurse came by (this is a service offered to NICU parents; it's kind of like having a pediatrician appointment in our home). The nurse did Daphne's 4 month screen, making sure she is meeting all the developmental milestones for her age group. I am not a fan of these screens, but we did it anyways. Daphne scored above and beyond in all categories, her highest score being in the gross motor skill section. Her lowest score, although still within the range of normal, was in communication. The reason for her low score was because we had to answer "no" to two questions (as opposed to "yes" or "sometimes"). She had never laughed or chuckled.

Our nurse said that I should be talking to her more to encourage her communication skills. I wanted to tell her that the reason Daphne had probably never laughed was because I talked to her so much that she was most likely doing her best to ignore me in order to get some peace and quiet. When I'm home with her while David is at work, I have to talk to someone. I used to talk to the dogs, and even occasionally my hydrangea plants, but now I have a living and breathing person to talk to.

Anyways, the reason I don't like these screens is because the screener finds the little things that your baby might not be doing quite yet, and then tells you how to make sure to bring her up to speed. No matter that it's completely normal to achieve some skills earlier than others. No matter that it's perfectly OK that Daphne hadn't found anything worth laughing at yet. They just tell us to "get to work" on it. It kind of irritates me.

But last night we decided to go to Dairy Queen for ice cream to celebrate our 80 degree weather. David had Daphne half on his lap, half on the table in front of him. Dairy Queen had a TV onto the news, and David was making fun of the music they were playing. Daphne thought this was hilarious and gave her little laugh. Both David and I were staring at her saying, "what is she doing?" I didn't know it would be so hard to recognize your baby's first laugh. But once we figured out what she was doing, we realized it was the cutest little sound we had ever heard. Too bad it hadn't been about 8 hours earlier, because then I wouldn't have been told to make sure I'm talking to Daphne enough.

Despite this bad screening incident, Daphne has officially let us know that she's happy here. And she really likes warm, sunny days. And tulips.

17 April 2009

Pretty in Purple

We went to get Daphne some new casts today. We thought we were just going in to get fitted for her little shoes and get her last set of casts put on. But once we got there, it was decided to go straight to the shoes.

Very long story short, the shoe people seemed a little unorganized and slow. After several hours of waiting around, they didn't have the right stuff for her shoes, so we ended up getting casts anyways. We're hoping she'll be ready for shoes on Tuesday.

A few positives...

*Her casts are purple. How beautiful is that?

*I was noticing that Daphne's legs looked larger than usual. Then I remembered that I haven't seen her legs in a month! I just got a small taste of what people see when they haven't seen her in awhile and say how much she's grown and I think, "she looks the same to me." Her legs are very beefy. Probably a by-product of her wild leg-waving exercises.

*They did put the little shoes on for a bit, and they do a good job of making them kind of cute. And she will get to wear socks with them! It's possible that the only reason I think the shoes are kind of cute is because I have never seen Daphne's feet in socks and shoes, and it's such a welcome change from casts! Other people might more readily notice the fact that these shoes will never make it into an issue of In Style magazine.

*The shoe guy told us babies will do their best to get the shoes off. He said that they can usually get one off, but don't have the leverage to get the second one off. So, he got one shoe on, he was working on the second one, and what does she do? Kick off the first shoe.

*I'll have more information about her shoes when we actually have them, but they are removable. Daphne will get regular baths! They seem difficult to get on, but I'm sure it will get easier as we practice.

*Usually we're in and out of the office within the hour, but today we were there (mostly waiting around) for about 5 hours. Since we were there for so long, we very randomly ran into our friends Ty and Michelle who were having an ultrasound for their baby girl. It was so fun to see them! The perinatology unit where we had all our ultrasounds with Daphne, and where Ty and Michelle were visiting, is right next door to the orthopedic unit where we now get her casts.

*Dr. Renwick likes Daphne a lot. He said he's had a baby come in lately that is a screamer (Daphne is also well known for her powerful lungs) but he didn't even remember this other baby when she came back because he was just reminded of Daphne. Also, he asked if he can come to Daphne's high school graduation. Isn't that nice?

*Mike the Cast Guy said we're back door visitors, as he literally let us in through the back door. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but it's nice to be treated more like friends than patients.

*Daphne's feeling a lot better. It's been rough just since she's been at the doctor for most of the day, but she definitely has some of her spunk back.

16 April 2009

She's Not a Happy Camper

She actually looks pretty good in this picture. You can't see the red, watery eyes or leaking nose here.

We just got back from the doctor, and it looks like she just might have a small case of pneumonia. Her temp is back up, but if it's not normal by tomorrow we're supposed to go back in.

I don't know how she got it, but it's very sad. =( She wants to go play outside with the other kids.

ER, Season 1, Episode 1

Yup, it's true. We got to take Daphne on her first ER trip.

Her fever was much better Wednesday morning, although she was still super lethargic and grouchy. And definitely not sleeping long hours anymore. In the evening I decided to take her temperature because she had been crying for an hour or so and seemed hot again. Her temp was 96.5. I thought maybe something was wrong with the thermometer, so I took it again a few minutes later. 95.5. "This can't be good," I thought to myself, and for the first time ever I called David's work number. (He can easily ignore his personal cell, but he has to answer his work phone. I guess he was being stealthy trying to catch a bad guy when I called. Oops.)

Usually for things like this we can call the advice nurse available through our insurance. I had called her the night before because of Daphne's high fever and because she hadn't kept any of her milk down for about 9 hours, and I was on hold for almost an hour before I got to speak to her. I didn't feel like going that route again. Good thing G.G. Brenneman is our own personal advice nurse.

Apparently, a temperature in the 95's is something that warrants a trip to the doctor. Since it was 9:30PM, off we went to the ER. I don't think the admitting nurse believed me when I said Daphne's temp was 95.5. They took it again, and not that I wanted her to have that low of a temp, it was good to let them (and myself) know that I wasn't completely crazy when they came up with 95.2.

She got a chest x-ray that showed pneumonia, and they took blood to check for other infections. We'll find out in a day or two if she has anything other than the pneumonia.

There are no pictures of this fun trip because who thinks to pack a camera at a time like this? Just imagine a fussy baby with red eyes and dried snot on her face, bundled up like she was visiting the Arctic, and you've got it covered.

14 April 2009

Taking a Sick Day

She's wheezing like an old man. Coughing like a smoker. There's a rattling in her lungs. A temp of over 101.

Baby Daphne is sick.

I'm very sad for her. Last night I fed her at 10:30, and settled in for what I was sure to be a very long night. But next thing I know, she's making cute little baby noises and it's 6:00 AM. Little baby gets sick and sleeps for 7 1/2 hours straight! Then she went on to sleep for 3 more hours. What kind of a horrible person am I that actually enjoyed this?!

She whimpered for awhile, and now it looks like she's drifting back off to dream land.

What a baby.

13 April 2009

Baby's First Easter

Daphne was surprised and happy to learn that she really liked Easter.

She's also happy to have a hat that looks really good on her.

10 April 2009

This One Goes Out to Levi

Levi was generous enough to give Daphne a hat for Christmas. He needed to see a picture of her in it, so I took a few this afternoon. I was just going to email it up to him in AK, but these pictures are so hilarious I just had to share them with the entire internet world (or at least with the 14 people who read this blog).

Daphne actually has a gigantic head (my doula was kind enough to tell me that Daphne's head at birth was the same size as her daughter's at birth; except Daphne weighed 6lbs 11oz and her daughter was about 2 lbs more.) So I love that this hat is too big for her right now because it makes her look down right tiny.

This other sun hat that I love actually fits her, but note how it accentuates the fact that she's chubby:

It hardly even looks like the same baby. I guess this is a good lesson in knowing the styles that work well with our shape. Apparently Daphne's shape works well with bear hats that are really supposed to fit her next winter.

09 April 2009

America's Next Top Model

We've gotten into a pretty good daily rhythm with Daphne. She gets up at about 7AM every day and goes to bed at 7PM. She eats every 3 hours. She has 3 naps a day, one in the morning, one at mid-day and one in the afternoon. She gets up once at night to eat, usually between 2-4AM. I am no longer walking around in a fog of exhaustion. Of course as soon as we get it down and I think "finally this is all working!" things change and we have to re-figure it all out again.

We've always struggled with getting her to go to sleep and stay asleep. It's hard to know if it's a reflection on our parenting or on her personality. Is Daphne just naturally not a good sleeper, or are we developing bad habits in her that are keeping her from sleeping? Is her bed uncomfortable? Do her feet hurt? Is she too hot? Too cold? Is she allergic to sleep? (She does sneeze a lot.) If she would just use her words and tell me what's going on...

When Daphne does get a good nap in and she's had a good night's sleep, she can be quite delightful. My favorite part of the day with her is after she's gotten up and eaten and she's having her awake time. She will lay on the floor and chatter up a storm, or sit in your lap and smile and talk. She likes reading books and staring at the pictures. She likes it when you sing to her or just talk to her. She loves being social. I love working in the kitchen (or where ever) and hearing her coo and squeal in the next room. Baby noises are such nice noises to have around the house.

Her awake time is when it's my chance to try outfits on her and take her picture. It's a real fun activity for me, although she only lets me do it for a short amount of time before she starts giving mad looks.

I love this elephant onesie. I've been waiting and waiting for her to grow into it, and I think I will actually cry a little when she outgrows it.

Great-Grandmother Roth knitted this little outfit for her before she was born. I was so hoping I would have a girl baby so that she could wear this. But with my history of people not being able to tell a girl baby from a boy baby, I probably could have put this on a boy and no one would have even noticed.

For this particular photo shoot we only got to two outfits (note the mad look). As her patience level grows I'm sure we can add in a few more clothing changes.

08 April 2009

Say Hello to the Easter Bunny

Auntie Becca got Daphne a new headband.

It will go quite nicely with the Easter dress we bought her yesterday.

06 April 2009

We Saw the Sun Today!

Spring is a great time of the year because of the flowers, days getting longer, it's sunnier, etc, etc, etc. Here's what I don't like about Spring: it's such a teaser. I'm so ready for warm weather, so I see a sunny day, head outside and then immediately turn around and come back in because it's actually about 37 degrees out. Or I see some sun, bundle up the baby in her stroller so we can go for a walk, and 5 minutes into the walk it's pouring down rain on us. I'm sure neighbors are peeking out their windows judging me for having a baby out in a rainstorm, but I know she's snug and warm in her stroller...until I peek in at her and see there is an open spot in her stroller roof and it's actually raining directly onto her face.

Yes, Spring is a great time of year.

But today...today was one of those perfect Spring days. The sun actually meant warmth! The true definition of a warm day in my opinion is when you don't have to wear a sweatshirt in the shade, but 75 degrees (maybe even closer to 80?) is perfectly acceptable for getting the warm season started.

We started off the day by walking to Starbucks and getting our first iced coffee of the year.

Daphne had some lunch while we were there, but decided on the way home that she needed more. It takes great talent to walk and work her bottle at the same time.

David did a bunch of yard work in the afternoon. I pulled about 7 weeds in the middle of taking pictures of Daphne. I think she likes it outside. Here she is mid-sneeze:

I'm so glad tomorrow will be even more of the same!

03 April 2009

A New Baby Gadget

Sophie is loaning us a fabulous baby item! I am singing it's praises!

I had heard about Moses Baskets, but had heard some people say they didn't love them because the time period before your baby grows out of them is rather short. Well let me tell you, that short period of time is quite worth the fabulousness of this piece of baby gear.

I have Daphne in this thing all the time now because I can set her down wherever I am, and then scoop her up when it's time to move on. I can stash items around her that I'm carrying upstairs from downstairs. I can set her in the kitchen and save her from laying on the cold, hard floor. I think I can do anything with this basket. Talk about convenient.

She gets a wild-eyed, semi-freaked out look when I pick her up and zip around the house, but she doesn't complain.

And no, David, you do not use it to float your baby down a river.

01 April 2009

Daphne is a GIRL Baby

We got to leave this morning at about 11. We could have gone earlier, but Daphne was sleeping so soundly I didn't have the heart to wake her. We visited Lincoln (where 3 different nurses told me what a cute little boy I have) then came home. She's eating a ton and is happy as a clam.

Her casts will be on for two weeks, then I think her doctor said he'll do one more set of casts, then move on to the shoes. Her next cast replacement will just be like the old days when we went to his office to hang out with Mike the Cast Guy. Her casts go so high on her legs her cloth diapers don't fit quite as well as they usually do. Dr R. has to do whatever he can to keep those things on her, so they are super high and fitted as closely to her legs as they can be. Who wants to place bets on whether or not she can keep these things on for two weeks? David says they'll be off by Friday.

So...I need someone to explain to me why people keep thinking Daphne is a boy. Today she was wearing a onesie with purple and teal polka dots, had pink and white receiving blankets tucked around her in her seat, and had a purple and white blanket over her lap. What more can I do, people?! If people can't catch the whole pink and purple theme, I'm not sure there is any more to do aside from glueing a huge bow to her head.

Here We Are Again

David is pacing the halls making Daphne happy, since she came out of surgery mad, mad, mad! She was super happy again early this morning, but now she's a grouch. I guess that's OK. She has a good excuse.

Pre-surgery, happy and alert:

And now:

David is happier than he looks in this picture, I promise.

If her tummy does fine we should be released in the next couple of hours. Then Daphne gets to make a trip back to her first home, St. Vincent's, to meet her new friend Lincoln who was born yesterday.