Sunday, January 30, 2011

Feeling Much Better

Claire's third round of antibiotics finally did the trick and I have my crazy, smiling girl back again!  I think all that down time when she was sick gave her an amazing energy boost.  She seems to be transitioning to one nap, and there are days that one nap is only an hour long.  Most of the time she does ok with this, but sometimes she is CRABBY by dinner time.  Her milk consumption is still way down still too.  I'm not sure if there is still from being a little congested, or if she just doesn't need as much milk with all the food she eats.

We are going to the ENT in a couple of days just to get her checked out, but until then, this is Claire's new favorite face to make.  Part silliness, part smile!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fighting Germs

For the past couple of weeks Claire has been fighting a battle with germs, and with a score of germs 2, antibiotics 0, the germs have been winning.  Claire has a sinus infection that just won't go away.  We just started round 3 of antibiotics, and she is finally feeling better.  To rule out any weird stuff we are going to the ENT next week.

I'm way behind on blog writing and blog reading, but today I'm glad to have something other than a sick baby to tend to!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Twins

One of our heifers decided to give Claire an awesome first birthday present.  She's now well on her way to a herd of her own!

Monday, January 17, 2011

ONEderful Updates!

It was just about a month ago that I last posted about Claire's accomplishments, and I already have so many new updates to share for her ONE year birthday.

12 month stats: 17 lbs and 27 inches.  Both right about 50th percentile on her chart.

Teeth:  Holy cow is pretty much what sums up this update.  One month ago Claire's first tooth was just making its appearance, and now I can see SIX teeth. 
1: bottom left center
2: upper left molar
3: upper right molar (this one still isn't all the way in and seems to bother her the most)
4: bottom right center
5: upper right second tooth
6: upper right center (the last 2 were just discovered in the past week (5) and yesterday (6), so they aren't through yet either)

Feeding:  Claire has been completely off purees for about 4 months now.  She just hated them so we moved to table food.  She is a great eater and will try almost anything.  Sweet potato and yogurt top the list of favorites, but I will feed her pretty much anything off our plate, as long as it isn't too spicy.

She self feeds things like puffs very well, but has a little trouble with food if it is much smaller (like corn) or too soft (like sweet potato or green beans), because then it's fun to squish it, rather than eat it.

She has been drinking out of her straw for a little over a month and does well with it.  Except that she gives us a very strange look when we give her milk, instead of the water she is used to, with the straw.  I am planning to start the transition from the bottle to the cup this week.  I still have about 3 months worth of breast milk in the freezer, so we won't transition to cows milk for a while still.

Gross Motor:  We have a crawler!!  A full on hands and knees crawler!  Which means I need to officially baby proof.  Around Christmas, Claire would crawl forward a time or two, then drop to her belly and army crawl/stretch to get what she wanted.  About a week after that she started crawling on hands and knees when she wanted something specific.  In just the last few days she's figured out that she can crawl just to crawl.  She will usually start out with a destination in mind, but I love to see her get distracted and discover new things.  She's also figured out she can crawl after us, and has made it from the living room to the kitchen.

Claire is also pulling to stand from the ground.  She can do it on the ottoman with the lip to hang onto, or in her crib.  She hasn't figured out how to reposition her feet once she pulls up, so she winds up in some pretty precarious positions if you aren't watching closely.  We have another PT session with Pat Winders tomorrow, and I'm excited to have her answer some questions.

Speech and Signing:  Claire does a lot of babbling and is using more and more consonant sounds.  We get a lot of ma, ba, da and la sounds.  She has used dada for Darren a few times when he walks into a room, but it's not consistent yet.  I think she also has her first sign.  We use milk, all done, more, mama, dada and few other with her constantly.  Recently, there have a few times we've asked her if she's all done, and have gotten a very emphatic hand shaking in return!

Fun Stuff:  Claire is the master of peekaboo and patty cake.  If she even hears the words patty cake the clapping starts.  It makes me laugh though, because the won't clap through the whole song.  She seems to stop and wait for help with the 'patting and rolling'.  The 'throw it in the oven' part is a little hit and miss too.  Sometimes she'll do it on her own, and sometimes she won't.  Her ring stacker and toys where she can push the buttons are hits these days too.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Birthday Cake

was a hit!  You know how some kids won't touch their cake?  That wasn't Claire!  She jumped right in with both hands.  When it was over and done with, I was surprised with how little mess there was...I think more of the cupcake made it IN her rather than ON her.

Claire has a thing for my camera strap, so this blurry, lunging baby is in a lot of my pictures.

We had a little drama near the end of the cupcake experience.  Claire managed to get about half the cupcake in her mouth at once, and she protested once we removed the huge bite...

I'm thinking that the fact it was past her bedtime could have contributed some!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Claire!!

Sweet girl, where has the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday I was still pregnant and we were anxiously awaiting your arrival. 

Your first few days were a blur of doctors, sleepless nights, and your first heart surgery.  Things calmed down once we got home and we quickly settled into our new roles.  Kisses in the morning and books at bedtime.

We celebrated rolling, sitting, and most recently, crawling.  Teeth have appeared, your hair has grown into the cutest pigtails, and your smile lights up the room.

Your first year has been an amazing adventure, and I can only imagine all of the fun we have ahead of us.  

Happy First Birthday Beautiful Claire!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I felt bad...

Recently a friend used the r word.  It caught me off guard coming from her, and I wasn't ready with a request not to use the word.  The social situation we were in didn't offer me an opportunity to pull her aside, so I let the moment pass.  This was a good friend, though, who I see frequently, and since I needed to address the issue I sent her an email. 

I cried as I wrote the email.  I felt bad because I know 'she didn't mean it that way'.  She would never do anything to intentionally hurt me or Claire, and yet she did.  I explained to her that when someone says 'don't act like a retard', what I hear is 'don't act like Claire.'  The word is never used as a compliment, it's always an insult.  And I felt bad that I had to send the email.

And then I felt bad for feeling bad because I stood up for my daughter.

Last night we talked.  She apologized for using the word, that she didn't mean it that way, and that she didn't even know she'd said it until I pointed it out.  She said that she cried herself to sleep the night she got the email.  And I felt even worse.

Then she thanked me.

She thanked me for the humbling and eye opening experience.  She said that as she cried herself to sleep that one night she thought about all the times, in the years ahead, that I would cry.  All the times that people would, intentionally or not, hurt me or hurt Claire.

And I felt so much better.

Not because she cried, but because she thought about what I'd said, and she got it.  This is someone who will not only consider the words she uses, but it wouldn't surprise me if she doesn't correct others for using the word also.  Her eyes are open, and even though we both felt bad, it was worth it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thank you, thank you!

Now that year end craziness has subsided, the totals have been calculated.  This year, from Nov 1 to Dec 31, Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree raised over $305,000!!!  This is QUADRUPLE what was raised in 2009. So, thank you! Thank you for donating to Celine, Olga, or any of the kids on Reece's Rainbow.  Every donation helps bring children home. 

During this year's Angel Tree, 30 children had families commit to them.  In 2010, 153 children came home to their forever families, and already 2011 looks like it will surpass that figure. 

While the big fundraising push of the Angel Tree is over, there are still many children that need help getting home.  If you can, please consider donating to a child who is still waiting for a family, or to a family who is doing the final fundraising before they travel to bring home their child.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wordy Wednesday: Little Cowgirl

In our neck of the woods, Stock Show is a big deal.  Before kids, going to stock show really meant a couple of hours actually at stock show, with the rest of the night getting caught up with friends at the bar.  These days, most of our friends go to the rodeo, do a little shopping, and rarely make it to the bar.  Even though we won't be going this year, Claire couldn't resist showing off her cowgirl attire.

And yes, that is dust all over Darren's hat and food all over Claire's shirt.  :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

The First Big Change of the New Year... Claire's! 

Today she started her new daycare.  For the past 8 months or so we've had a sweet Grandma type gal watching her and one other little guy.  It has been a perfect situation.  The other mom and I have been friends for years, and the kids are 1 week apart in age.  Since it's always been just the 2 kids they've gotten lots of love and snuggle time.

This winter our daycare Grandma decided to take a 2 month vacation.  Which meant that we needed to find someplace new for the kids.  Living in a small town means that there aren't too many choices for daycare, and all the in-home day cares where I would want her to be, were full.  There is one daycare center in town that has both an infant and toddler room.  And it just happened to work out that they had 2 infant openings right at the time we needed them.  So, the kids were able to stay together!

There are some benefits to the new center that I'm really excited about.  Claire hasn't eaten any baby food for about 3 months, and it's been hard to send table food to the old daycare for her.  Since the new place serves lunch she is able to eat with the toddler room.  While she's been growing well, I think this will help put a little more weight on her as we transition her off the bottle.

I'm also excited about the interaction with the new kids and the staff.  While I loved our daycare Grandma, she didn't spend a lot of time on the floor playing with the kids.  There are a couple of kids who are just learning to crawl too, and I think having kids at, as well as above, her gross motor level will be beneficial.

This morning when I dropped Claire off, she did perfect.  She doesn't have any separation or stranger anxiety, so I know for sure I was more nervous than she was!  I talked to the director just a few minutes ago, and all is well, just as I knew it would be!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


First of all Happy New Year!    We had a quiet New Year's Eve at home last night.  Winter finally made it to Colorado.  We had snow, wind and bitterly cold temperatures.  We had planned an evening with friends, but Claire came down with an awful sounding cough Thursday night, and we didn't want to take her out.  We spent the evening curled up on the couch, staying warm, and just enjoying our time together. 

And 2010?  Wow, what a year!

This time last year I was 8 months pregnant.  We were getting so close to meeting our baby, and while there was excitement, there was also fear.  Fear of the known and the unknown.  We knew she had a heart defect.  We knew she would need open heart surgery before she was 6 months old.  The unknown was Down syndrome.

And to top it all off, I was nervous about having a baby, ANY baby.  Growing up, I'd always said I didn't want kids. And now, here I was, just weeks away from having a baby.  The first time mom nerves went into high gear...what was I going to do with a baby?  what if I was a terrible mom?  what if I wasn't ready?  what was I going to do if my baby really did have Ds?

When I got pregnant, my constant, never ending prayer was for my baby to be healthy, happy and whole.  I didn't think that was too much to ask for.  People have healthy kids all the time.  Instead, my child had health issues and a disability.  I felt cheated.  Surely there was someone else more qualified to have a child with special needs.

And then she was born.  And I was in love.  Totally, completely in love.  She was here, beautiful and perfect.  My fears were calmed.  I could do this.

Just doing this, turned into loving this. 

Loving each and every accomplishment, celebrating every milestone.  Cherishing the tight hugs and the open-mouthed, slobbery kisses.  Laughing with my daredevil as we fly through the house, and hang upside down.  Loving every bedtime book.  Setting up the tower of blocks, just to happily knock them over again and again.  Each smile brightening my day.

The last year has had some challenges.  Days have been busy, the house has gone uncleaned.  Therapy and doctors appointments pile up.  Finding balance between work and home has been hard at times.

But through it all, I wouldn't change a thing.  I wouldn't change the friends I've met, the things I've learned.  Most importantly, I wouldn't change Claire.