Monday, March 30, 2009

Hip to be Squared

In light of my busted camera, I thought I'd provide the backstory to Amelia's hip situation. . . since there aren't any pictures of her that would make the story more enlightening.

Amelia did not just have problems with reflux and colitis as an infant. In fact, she had a couple probs in utero. The worst of them was that she was transverse inside. That is, she was lying sideways rather than upside down. Her head rested between my ribs (ouch, severe OUCH), her little butt jutted out just below my left rib cage, and her feet were straight down where her head should have been. She was a full-grown baby with her entire upper half going across my tummy from one side to the other. She looked like this, but facing downward with feet towards the cervix. As you can see, this poor baby is folded in half very uncomfortably. Tranverse lying babies share this with breech babies and often are born with hip problems because the hips might form while baby is positioned incorrectly. Because of this, Amelia had to get an ultrasound as a newborn. She must have been 7-8 weeks or so. I remember being very nervous that I had to take her to the hospital and hold her down for the ultrasound, worried that she would launch into a screaming fit, which by that time, often lasted hours. She didn't though and was this perfectly calm, mellow baby the whole time. The tech mentioned that it looked like her hips were a little loose at that time, but nothing major. It would be up to our doctor, he said, to tell us the best treatment.
The most common treatment for babies with loose hips is casting. Casting both hips in the froggy position would keep the baby's joints together while they could grow. At the time, I just hoped for the best and rather pushed it aside. Amelia had other pressing problems that were already encompassing our lives. The thought of adding something else to the list was too much to really consider. When we went to see our pedi at the next appointment, I had on my list of concerns the hip ultrasound. However, we all got wrapped up in discussing Amelia's other problems and forgot. We all forgot, including the doctor. Once home, I remembered about the hips, but figured that no news was good news. That if there was treatment needed, we would have been contacted right away. This is where I messed up.
A little over a week ago, the doc called with bad news---the ultrasound had never been reviewed. It got tossed into the pile with everything else and forgotten. Where I thought it must have meant good news, it actually meant that nobody had looked at it. Upon its discovery, the doc realized that Amelia's hips were indeed loose and may need casting. Now. NOW!
Casting a newborn sounds terrible (see poor baby above), but it's done at that time because they don't move and aren't mobile. Amelia, on the other hand, is among the most mobile babies I know. Everyone has to comment on her movement, "Wow. Her legs never stop moving do they?" they ask. No they don't. She moves in her sleep for crying out loud and NEVER sits still. It's not her thing, immobility.
So that's how we got to last week, needing x-rays and hoping to high heaven that her hips hadn't gotten worse. They had, in fact, gotten better. When the doc called to tell me, she exclaimed, "THANK GOD!" She felt so terrible about the mishap. I am positive she lost sleep over it. I forgive her. We are all people who are too busy. Not to mention that if she had told us at the time, I would have just disintegrated into a puddle of defeat, what with all the other garbage we were going through. But all I could think was "THANK FARKING GOD!" I hadn't even let myself consider it. I couldn't go there.
And that's how Amelia narrowly escaped hip casts.

Blogging Crisis!

The charger and/or the battery on my camera have kaputzed on me. Totally fried. I'm going crazy not taking pictures! I am hesitant about a solution because I really just want a new camera and my bday/mother's day are right around the corner. But do I really want to go a couple months without pics? That's crazy talk. Not to mention that I have a sinking feeling the new camera plan is not panning out this year.

Sigh. What to do?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday




Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Normal

A word we could go on and on about. I can't say that I really appreciate normal too much and try to avoid it as often as possible, but today it pleases me to no end.

Amelia's hip x-rays came back NORMAL!

No casts needed. Everything's good. Fine. Normal. Thank Mother Earth because after everything else, that would have just done me in. I stayed positive all weekend and avoided the topic as much as possible and I don't know what I would have done if her doctor told me that she would need her hips casted. I am pretty sure it would have involved tears. Lots of them.

But she doesn't!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hey Governor!

Amelia attended her first political rally last Monday. We showed up to support Community College funding, which is in bad shape in the state's economy. Apparently our a-hole Governor thinks that public education is his own little cache of extra dollars when he's in trouble. . . and is he ever in trouble these days.
The rally was inspiring. There were community college students from all over the state, many of them having ridden buses for hours to arrive at the capitol and have their voices heard. The crowd was extremely diverse, reflecting the true spirit of community colleges and exemplifying what higher education is really about. Amelia and I weren't there for long because it was chilly and the noise was deafening, but it was important for me to be there as an instructor, a mommy, and a citizen who cares about education for all students.




Friday, March 20, 2009

For Pete's Sake

It's been another month already?! I am pretty sure I JUST posted Amelia's 9-month pics yesterday and here we are on the 20th AGAIN! Life has reached a frantic pace and it's not likely to slow down for the next couple months. As if keeping up with life and work and LIFE wasn't hard enough, I am starting a new class tomorrow (yes, that's SATURDAY) that meets twice a week for a total of 7 hours. The most unfortunate thing about this is that I really would rather be here blogging about my babygirl all the time. I think of things to blog about regularly and then when I get the time to post . . . nothing.
Today brought some semi-bad news. Amelia has loose hip joints that were not caught as a newborn. We now have to get x-rays done and hope to high heaven that she won't need casts to set them. CASTS! This reality is a little too much for me to even delve into at the moment. Let's just hope for the best and try not to worry until there is something to worry about. That is what I keep telling myself. I am not letting anything else weigh on my brain because the very thought of A in casts on her birthday is too much for this mama. Okay?
On the flip side, she is really coming into focus as a little person with personality, strengths (eating!) and weaknesses (sleep!). I look at her newborn pictures and realize that we really didn't know her then. She was beautiful and ours and we knew her better than anyone else, but that wasn't much at all. Now she is just a little character. She's very verbal, talks nonstop. I honestly have no idea where she got that! Her father and I are not talkers in the least. Nope, not one bit. She wakes up talking to herself and goes to sleep talking to herself (after a nice crying bout to warm up with). She pulled herself to standing yesterday--and was quite proud of herself too! You could see accomplishment in her face! Now she is climbing on anything and everything she can get her hands (or teeth for that matter) on.
She eats regular foods that she feeds to herself! Tonight, I put a pile of macaroni, avocados, pears, and bananas on her tray and let her party. It's not pretty, but is part of the process. She eats ground turkey (not pureed--gross), bits of chicken, beans, pancakes, you name it. Save for milk of course. She is still showing allergic reaction to milk. Her doctor told me that she's never seen a baby go 12 months and still not tolerate milk and if Amelia does, it is more than likely a true long-term allergy rather than an infant intolerance. Another possibility that I am pretending doesn't exist. I can't.
Speaking of milk, Amelia is almost completely weaned. Mixed feelings here that I will save for another blog. She is doing well and hardly seems to notice the difference at this point. She's a champ like that.
More soon. Hopefully. This mama is tired.





Too bright, mom!




She's laughing at my attempt of getting any decent pictures of her today. This would be beautiful if we could all pretend that she didn't shove that flower into her mouth a second after this picture was taken. But we all know better.
Oh my.
Looks just like Daddy.
Wait. Now she looks just like Mommy.
And here she looks just like herself. Much cuter than either of her parents. (Though her dad is not too shabby if I do say so myself.)

Did I mention the climbing?





The girl has the most delicious set of thighs and cankles I've ever seen. Remind me to blog about them and post pics before they go away. They're my favorite part.
Happy 10 months Amelia!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yikes!

Time is slipping past me like a fast-moving conveyor belt and I feel as though I am simply standing still looking out a window. It's that point in the semester, when everything drags, I get behind, and students begin to bug me. Spring Break is long overdue and still two weeks away. It's also the time in my baby's first year when she changes every day, learns something new every second, and becomes a little person by the hour.
There is so much going on and the thought of blogging about it all makes my heart pound and my eyes dart around the room. Or go to the pool and read a magazine in the sun.
Either way, I have a LOT to catch up on and not the time to get it all done.

But I wanted to announce the winner of Amelia's super cool hat! It's Mama Mary! I am positive that her cutie patootie Michael will look great in his new hat--color still to be chosen as of today. Thanks Mary for reading and following our little blog! Us mommies need to stick together and learn from one another, and blogging is the perfect way to do this, naturally.
And just as a runner-up because I can't help but want to make a little something for this person, Jaime will be getting a hat too! She not only writes an amazing food blog, but recently found out that she is expecting as well. Not to get into her history too much, but she really deserves to celebrate this bundle of joy that is now on the way! Not to mention her blog is the first one I ever bookmarked and solely responsible for my obsession with food blogs in general.
Congrats ladies!
And THANK YOU to all the people who entered. It was really cool to see all of the entries and stories. I appreciate it so much! And if you know someone who is expecting or has a brand new baby, stay tuned! I will be giving away a brand new Miracle Blanket very soon!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Letting her fall

As anyone who's had a baby knows, mommyhood makes you do lots of things that you never imagined for yourself. Picking someone else's boogers is among the first things that comes to mind. Not to mention getting exasperated with nonmommy friends who 'just don't understand' and wishing that there actually was a way to put the baby in a bubble. I find myself shocked by my own lack of spare time and inability to put myself somewhere (anywhere!) on the list of priorities. Nobody could have convinced me that I would be like that and here I sit wondering when the last time I was alone and not doing something for anyone else.


There is a book in the rest of this conversation, for sure. It is titled, Hello, You: The Embarrassing Ways in Which Motherhood Will Change a Perfectly Good, Strong, Independent, Feminist and Make Her Like Every Other Suburban Mother in the Country . . .


It's a working title.


Amelia is crawling about and exploring the world. As it turns out, this crawling, exploratory phase intersects directly with the everything-goes-into-my-mouth phase, making the world a pretty dangerous place. I don't know whose idea this was, but it was poor planning all around. A favorite part of this new world is the discovery of doors and drawers. They have cool handles and knobs that, when pulled, open to a whole new discovery. And really, aren't handles and knobs fun enough?! (Why did that sound dirty? Jeez.) Depending on what lies behind said doors and drawers, the biggest danger in this fascination is getting a tiny little finger stuck in a hinge or closed in as the other little fingers slam said doors and drawers shut.


As The Mommy, my role in this experiment is precarious at best. I have an innate need to keep tiny fingers in tact. A biological function that preserves the little appendages. And as The Mommy, I must also let Amelia learn about the world around her. The world sometimes hurts little fingers, as it sometimes hurts little toes, little noses, and little hearts. The world can be tricky like that.


So the question then is, do you let her fall even if the fall might hurt? What if falling a couple times might keep her from falling again?


It's a fine line, but one that I am willing to toe. I believe that allowing Amelia to fall here and there, to catch a finger or two actually does her a favor. (Of course, I would never let her get really hurt or put herself in any danger in front of me, but I know that you are smart enough to get that.) If I prevent my daughter from experiencing tiny pains, disappointment, frustrationd haven't I then opened her up to a harsh world that will not spare her in the same way?

Girls fall especially prey to this overly protective parenting. The Princess Problem has parents treating their little girls like porcelain dolls, fragile, but pretty at all costs. And then as she enters adulthood, she struggles to have confidence in her abilities and relies too heavily on others to shield her from risks, spinning from the harsh reality that is a world of doomed princesses.
If we don't let them fail, then how can they achieve? Our biggest accomplishments as adults are born out of the times in which we risked failure and won. Beating failure and not falling are the things that I hold most true to my confidence and worth.
If we never let them risk failure and always catch them before they fall, how can we also teach them to take risks, to succeed, and to watch their step?


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Note to Self

When giving baby girl (who shall remain nameless) eggs and allowing her to feed herself these eggs, prepare much more egg than you hope said baby girl will eat. Most of it will probably not make it to its destination.

Sincerely,
Learning the Hard Way

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I hate to brag

but I think Amelia is some kind of genius. Or something like that.

I began teaching her signs about a week and a half ago. She immediately understood that they were significant, watching me very closely. We're only doing a couple signs with her right now, for "more," "thirsty," and "eat." Everything I've read indicates that you begin teaching babies signs at Amelia's age and hopefully, by the time they are between 12-18 months, you begin to see them communicate with their signs. (Isn't that the coolest thing, btw? That babies have the ability to communicate long before they have the cognition of actual speech?!) Okay, so I'd ask Amelia if she was thirsty, while making the sign, and then would give her her water bottle. She luuuurves her water. Only a couple days after I began using this sign before giving her a drink, she made the connection. I asked, "Amelia, are you thirsty?" while making the sign and she looked at her water bottle. . . Whoa! I did it again and she looked at her water bottle AGAIN! Nice, I thought. And THEN it happened. She held her hand up to her mouth in almost identical to the thirsty sign!

Seriously!

It's so amazing to watch her figure things out. She approaches something new and runs through a whole exploratory process to decide what the new thing does. I gave her a hair tie recently, trying to buy myself an extra 3 minutes on the computer. (The story of my life.) She took this glorified rubber band in her hand. She shook it like so. Nothin. Then she slapped it into the ground. Nope. She put it on the ground and smacked it repeatedly. Nuh-uh. Put it in her mouth. Still nothing. Then she took both hands and pulled. YES!

Onto another genius spotting.

Amelia got this toy for Christmas. You push the plunger and music starts along with a tiny motor thing that spits the balls into the air. Sometimes they land in the tray and drop back into the toy but most of the time, they pop into the air and around the room. Think popcorn popper meets kids' love for brightly colored objects. (Sorry, I just couldn't bring myself to say "brightly colored balls." I just can't say it.) When A first saw this toy, she was 6 months old and not quite "ready" for such excitement. She could see that it was fun and exciting, but couldn't keep up with the movement and would break into tears. Well anyway, in the last couple weeks, she has rediscovered this toy. She loves to chase the balls all over the room. Last week, I brought her over to the toy and showed her how to put the ball back into the tray so it would wind back around and down into the tray. I did this knowing the effort was futile. Why would a little baby give the toy back when she could hold on to it, crawl around with it, and otherwise just put it in her mouth? So I showed her and she watched. The next day, after she retrieved them, she crawled back to me and the toy and I asked her to put the balls into the tray. She did it! Cool, I thought, she's not just quick, but helpful too. But that's not all.

Then, this Tuesday, something really great happened! I put her in the middle of her blanket in the playroom. She was surrounded by all of her toys and I was off to the bathroom for a minute. When I came back to her she was crawling towards the window. Under it, there was a pink ball from the toy. No biggie. It didn't get put into the toy the previous day and she wants to play with it. She then crawled, with the ball in hand, to the other side of the room to the toy's base. . . and put it into the tray! I couldn't believe it. She had to use some serious critical thinking to not only match up that pink ball with that toy (she surely has other balls in her arsenal of distractions), but then to have the focus and wherewithall to place the ball into the tray across the room! That's some serious dot-connecting right there, people.

Thank goodness for that, too. Heaven knows she does enough goofy things to make me wonder sometimes.


See Amelia's ongoing hat giveaway here

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

video
video
video

Monday, March 2, 2009

I See You!

So I put a site meter on our little blog here. Though I did it only out of curiosity, it's become a mini-obsession--seeing who reads this site. This blog, which is really for my parents and my way of keeping them off my back for pics and stories, has, for whatever reason, gained a bit of an audience. I have no idea why. It's full of ramblings about my kid, mostly the kind of stuff that I don't think anyone else would find interesting. Regardless, there have been visitors from India, Canada, England (lots from the UK!), Puerto Rico, Germany, Italy, and states all across the U.S.

I think the Americans have been linked in by others, but those in other countries have found us here with various Google searches. People stumble upon us by searching for info about reflux, sleep problems, breast feeding, and others. There have been several searches including the word, "swaddle" that have landed folks here. lol. Some of them are funny searches. One person typed in "Sucking toes" into Google and found us! ha.


And my all-time favorite search? "Magic Boobies!" Somebody searched MAGIC BOOBIES! As if that isn't funny enough, my blog is what Google produces for the term! I have no idea what the searcher was really looking for, but I am assuming that it wasn't a blog about a little baby and her crazy mother! I do, however, find some real joy and comfort in the fact that I host a site that is the result of googled Magic Boobies.

There is someone in the UK who even searches, "Amelia Jane blog." I'm guessing that they found us through another search and now come back for updates. I again, can't really figure out the appeal . . . but find it so exciting and sweet that people are tuned into Amelia's journey. She's a lucky girl.

As a survey, and in honor of my favorite blogger, as well as just for the sheer fun of it, I'm doing a mini-giveaway! I am going to send a hat, color chosen by winner, and made by my own hands to someone who reads our blog! The hat will be the same style as the one worn by Amelia in my last post (see pics below). I figure that most people finding any interest in this blog are mamas of babies and/or just people who have babies in their lives in some way or another. I honestly can't think of any other reason somebody would come by regularly. lol.

To win, you just need to leave a comment to this post with your name and email addy, and maybe a little diddy about you, your baby, or why you're here. They will not be published and only the email addy of the winner will be used by me--and only to get you your hat! That means that you won't see any comments for this post . . . but I will! Deadline will be noon, St. Patty's Day 3/17/09.

YAY! I am excited and admittedly scared that only one person will show an interest. :-)

Can't wait to hear from you!