Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from our hive to yours!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Morgan Kate says, "I love my mummy!"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Is it terrible that my 14 month old has never worn shoes? Seriously. She has several pairs and I have let her "play" in them or taken pictures of her in them, but I have never made her wear them out anywhere. I mean she came home in the winter and was teeny tiny and I didn't think she needed shoes. Then it was summer and I thought it was too hot for shoes. Now, it's November and I know she needs shoes, but she won't keep them on her feet. I know, totally my fault.

During PT for the past few weeks we have been working on walking. Last week as we were practicing our PT said, "Could you go get MK's shoes? I think they would help." I looked at her and then looked down in embarrassment. I mumbled, "Ummm, she doesn't have shoes." Anyway, after that particular meeting I decided it was a good time to get MK some shoes. Only one slight problem. MK wears a size one and finding actual shoes with good soles in a size 1 has been almost impossible. I have looked practically everywhere and even searched online. I was beginning to give up hope, but then it happened. I found a pair today! They are size one, have firm, good soles and are also kind of cute. What more could you ask for?

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Changes will be coming soon. Changes to the blog that is. My goal is to have everything in order by this Sunday, which happens to be the beginning of November. The March of Dimes has named November as Prematurity Awareness Month and I want to help increase awareness. The blog will be purple and each day of November I will give one fact about prematurity. The fact may pertain to prematurity in general or it may be centered around Morgan Kate. Either way, I hope you will check in!
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Milk Update:
We have been giving Morgan Kate rice milk since last Thursday. So far, so good. She still has occasional hiccups, but they aren't nearly as bad as before. The wet burps have continued as well, but she is not throwing up at all. Yahoo!

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Oh, and sorry if I disappointed, but there was no sound for last night's video. Kaky, nor MK, were saying anything. I guess I didn't do a good job of explaining. Matter of fact, I must have done a terrible job because only one person commented. Kaky had a straw in her mouth and was blowing air into MK's face. MK would grab and pull for the straw and Kaky would pull it away. I thought it was hilarious, but maybe it was one of those "you had to be there" moments. Also, I guess the funny part wasn't really what Kaky was doing. I just thought it was funny that my mom, the one who had taught me such good table manners and table behavior, would be doing that with her grandchild. :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Below is a video that I must share. I will probably get in big trouble for posting it, but it is something you just have to see. It is just one of the things Kaky thought she would teach Morgan Kate to do. Funny thing is, I don't ever remember her teaching me or my brothers this particular skill/talent. I guess that's just one of the joys of having grandchildren, teaching them things you would never teach your children. I love it!

video

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This past weekend was fabulous. A fabulous fall weekend. A fabulous fall weekend that included a date night for Travis and I, apple picking and quality time with Kaky and GDaddy and just plain and simple relaxation. Each piece of our weekend was so very nice, but the highlight was our trip to Sky Top Orchard.

Saturday morning we set out for the apple orchard. We arrived mid-morning and began our visit.

We started the day with warm apple cider doughnuts and ended the day with apple cider and apples with caramel. Yummy!

Morgan Kate even enjoyed the apples with caramel. To be quite honest, she loved them, especially the caramel.

We toured the orchard and took amazing fall pictures.

We also took lots of "family pictures". You know the ones of me, Trav and Morgan Kate. And then the ones of Morgan Kate, Kaky and GDaddy.

And of course we took a picture of just the gals. Three generations.

We didn't find any apples on the trees. But we saw lots on the ground and there even more for sale by the bag. The Pink Lady apples are the best!

Morgan Kate got lots and lots of loving from Kaky and GDaddy. And she gave lots and lots of loving. She adores them both. And I think they are pretty fond of her as well.

We even took time to "pose" for a few pictures.

Isn't this the cutest little flower you ever saw?

We had a terrific trip and we are already planning our visit for next year.
Quick update.

Morgan Kate had her 2nd seasonal flu shot this morning. She did awesome! Just like last time, absolutely no tears. Matter of fact, she was cheesing at the nurse. I wasn't sure how she would react so I took along some of her cheese crunchies, but she didn't even need them. Oh, and we also stopped by the scale for a weight check. Miss Morgan Kate is weighing in at seventeen pounds and eleven ounces. Yahoo!

Be sure to check back later for lots of pics from our weekend.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tomorrow our girl will be 14 months old. Fourteen months. It still blows my mind.


At 14 months our girl is:
-Crawling everywhere and really fast, especially when she sees the dog food
-Pulling up on anything and everything
-Cruising around the furniture
-Standing unsupported for about two seconds :)
-Eating everything, favorites include pears, pasta, carrots, puffs, pickles, cheese, sausage
-Drinking three bottles a day and working really hard with the cup
-Sleeping 12 hours at night
-Taking two naps a day, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour and a half
-Saying "dada", "gaga", "kaka", and babbling SO much more
-Chasing Lola
-Feeding the dogs from her highchair, they love this
-Wearing mostly 6-9 month clothes (some smaller and some larger), size 1 shoe, size 3 diaper
-Hates getting dressed
-Loves singing and dancing
-Gets THE BIGGEST smile on her face when her daddy gets home
-Hates getting in the car seat
-Loves taking a bath, talking on the phone, riding in the wagon
-Has the sweetest voice and a heart melting laugh
-Is a "snuggler"
-Likes ripping paper into tiny pieces and playing with blocks

She continues to amaze me each and every day. She goes, goes, goes all day long. And while I find myself more tired each day I wouldn't trade it for anything in this world. She is my heart!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's a sad day around the Callahan household.

Our Diaper Genie bit the dust.


I'm not sure if I broke it, or Travis broke it, or maybe it just broke itself. I don't know. But it stinks. Literally. Our diaper genie has been a lifesaver and I loved it. It's super, super easy to use and keeps the smell away. Completely. But gone are those days. We are now resorting to the trash can and it is just not the same. Smells, smells, everywhere. Ugh!

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Today has been a great day. Much, much different from yesterday. I know you guys aren't going to believe this, but Morgan Kate gave me a run for my money yesterday. She was fussy all day long. She fussed while playing on the floor, while in the crib, in the highchair, in the stroller. Everywhere, all day. I got absolutely nothing done and when Travis got home from work I HAD to take a thirty minute break. I was spent. I'm not sure if it was related to teething or reflux or what. But today she has been an absolute angel.

Speaking of reflux. As I have said before, we have been slowly making the transition to whole milk (cow's milk). I thought things were going pretty good. MK was drinking her bottles, keeping them down and seemed to like the milk. However, just in the last two weeks - once we started adding five ounces of milk and only two ounces of formula - she has started with these really wet, nasty burps and awful, awful hiccups. She has also thrown up three times this week right after having a bottle. So, I called the pediatrician today because I thought maybe the milk was causing her reflux to flare up. Before adjusting her meds, the pediatrician wants to try a different type of milk. Either rice milk or almond milk. It could be that the cow's milk is upsetting her stomach. When I was younger I couldn't drink cow's milk or eat ice cream. It made me feel awful. I sure hope I haven't passed this on to MK. Anyway, I will keep you all posted on our progress. I picked up the rice milk tonight. Just our luck, less milk for more money.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I've always had this bad habit of wearing and using the same things over and over. And forgetting about all the other things I have. Prime example. I will wear the same pair of jeans over and over. I wear them, wash them, fold them and put them on my dresser or bed. They never make it to my closet. For weeks you would think I only owned one pair of jeans. I don't though. I own several, but I always forget that the others are at the top of my closet. Another example. Blankets. I will get stuck one particular blanket and forget about the other dozen or so that I have. Unfortunately, that has rolled over into Morgan Kate's things.

Tonight while I was unpacking new diapers and tidying up a bit around her room, I let her play in the closet. While in there she pulled out six or seven blankets that I had completely forgotten were in there. Two even had the tags still on them. Her attention was soon diverted from the blankets to her shoes. Again, something I had forgotten about. There were two pairs that she has worn before, but has now outgrown. There was another pair that had never been touched. Tiny little white patent leather shoes with bows.


Adorable. I slipped them on her feet and they fit perfectly. I thought they were darling and Morgan Kate seemed to be pretty pleased as well.


Now the question is..."Does the no white shoes after Labor Day apply to babies too?" Ha, ha!
And not only a question, but a lesson learned - I have got to start utilizing my closet!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tonight as I was making the six ounces of formula needed for tomorrow I realized that our formula days will officially be over Thursday. If I am estimating correctly. And I have been known to be a little off a time or two. With that being said, I have a question. Of course I could call my pediatrician and ask her or just wait for our appointment next week (2nd flu shot), but I thought I would get your answers first. How much milk should a soon to be 14 month old get in a day? Right now she is averaging 21-28 ounces of her formula/milk concoction, along with three meals a day. Oh, and a snack here and there. And all of that seems to be working great because this girl is growing, growing. Just look at her sitting in her big girl chair.



Speaking of food. If your child has teeth or can eat a puff then you should definitely try these. Lil' Crunchies are the best.

They come in a variety of flavors, but Cinnamon Maple is their newest. Morgan Kate loves them. The dogs love them. And Travis and I even love them, especially the cheese flavored ones. I just break them in half and Morgan Kate goes to town. You have really got to try these.

Monday, October 19, 2009

When Travis and I got married my great-uncle married us. Not only did Uncle JP marry us, but he married my grandparents and my parents as well. He is a very special man. He has such a gentle spirit and speaks in such a calm manner. He tells the best stories and they are so vivid that you feel as if you are right there. He and my great-aunt Sybil live in Florida so we don't get to see them nearly enough. But this weekend we got a very special visit. My cousin Johnny brought Uncle JP and Aunt Sybil to see my grandmother. Thank you, Johnny! While they were visiting with my grandmother we also made a trip so that they could meet Morgan Kate. I am so thankful that Morgan Kate was able to meet all of them and I can't wait to tell her all about them.

Uncle JP (Morgan Kate's great-great uncle), Morgan Kate and Mama Jean


Uncle JP, Mama Jean, MK, Johnny and Aunt Sybil


Morgan Kate thoroughly enjoyed the visit and fell in love with Uncle JP.


Morgan Kate also got to rock in the little rocking chair that I played with as a child.

And she played with this scary cute little doll. Personally, this doll scares me to death and I would prefer my grandmother hide it. However, MK didn't seem to be bothered at all. Go figure.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up

Eating
My goal was to be done with formula this past Tuesday. MK has done great with the transition and she was completely ready. The hold-up was the formula. You see, we still have like a 1/3 of a can left and I just can't bring myself to throw that away. It would feel like putting dollar bills in the trash. Ha. So, we will finish this can and then be done.

Speech
Speech is still going really well. We absolutely love the office and our SLPs are awesome. Several people have asked, "Well what words has MK learned?" or "What do you do with a one year old at speech?" Well, we don't learn words. Not yet anyway. I'm not an SLP so I don't know all of the logistics and terminology, but I do know that there are pre-verbal skills that a child needs to master before they can actually start speaking. We are teaching MK gestures, imitations, signs, etc. We are working with cause and effect toys/activities. In a nutshell, just getting MK to realize that when she presses the button with the cow on it, then it will moo. We are also trying to get MK to play with certain toys or look at certain books for at least two minutes before trying something new (joint-attention). And, we are teaching MK to respond to her name and understand the word "No". Ha, ha. She has heard the word "No" and I am pretty sure she knows what it means. However, when she is crawling toward her Daddy's guitar and I say no, she stops. She turns around to look at me. She smiles. And then she proceeds back in the direction of the guitar.

Like I said, I love the office, the SLPs and all the different things we are learning. But I will say that speech is hard. It's hard work for the SLPs. It's hard work for MK. And it's hard work for me. She goes twice a week for an hour each time. An hour might not seem like a long time, but it is when you are working with a one year old. Speech also requires a lot of repetition during our visit and once at home. But we are making it and trying to work as hard as we can!

Standing, Cruising
MK seems to be completely over her toys and anything that doesn't require standing. All she wants to do is STAND. And the standing has become cruising and now she is starting to "let go". She tries to let go and grab me or grab the nearest steady object. She is so brave!

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I hope that everyone has a fabulous fall weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Last night Owens and Trenholm came over for dinner. Remember, the chicken parmigiana I blogged about earlier this week. Well, I was so excited about it, that I cooked it again last night for them. Except this time I was too busy talking and burnt the chicken.

It was a great visit and Morgan Kate had a terrific time with Uncle O and Aunt Ninum. Morgan Kate has been staying up later at night (which has equalled sleeping later in the mornings), so she was able to enjoy some good quality time with everyone. She got to experience bubbles with her Daddy and O. Nothing like two men and a baby blowing bubbles. Ha!


Morgan Kate loved the bubbles. She either tried to catch them or eat them.

She and O also built massive buildings and exquisite forts with her blocks. And then Uncle O thought it would be neat to balance blocks on MK's head. MK seemed to think it was neat as well.

After bubbles and blocks, MK thought she would take a sneak peek into Ninum's purse. Just like a nosey, I mean perceptive, little girl.

This cute little tush had a fabulous night.

And she can't wait for Uncle O and Aunt Ninum to come back very soon!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Short post tonight because I have lots to do. Bottles need to be washed. Formula needs to be made. Diaper bag needs to be packed for speech tomorrow. Checkbook needs to be balanced. Laundry, which I have been working on since Sunday, needs to be finished. Clothes need to be put away. Many, many more things are waiting as well. I don't even leave my house to go to "work" and I still can't seem to get it all done. Whewh!

Morgan Kate had an eye appointment today. You may remember that while in the NICU her eyes were checked every two weeks for ROP - which she never had. Upon discharge we began seeing a pediatric opthamologist. Her eyes looks great, but because of her prematurity she must have them checked every six months. Our appointment today was quick and uneventful. NICE! Dr. C said that her eyes look terrific and he didn't need to see her again until next October. Wow!

Not only was it a great appointment, but I learned Mommy Lesson #3412. That lesson being - Do not go anywhere, especially appointments without a stroller, carrier or other baby carrying device. While in appointment with baby alone you may need to visit the restroom and unless you have a stroller or other device or wholeheartedly trust someone in the waiting room (which sorry, but I do not) then you may have to become really creative, really fast. Enough said. Lesson learned.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I honestly cannot remember a time when I made something from scratch. When I bake cookies, I use the dough that's pre-made. I make cakes and brownies from a box. My spaghetti sauce consists of Prego and a jar of mushrooms. You get the picture. However, tonight I made something from scratch and it was absolutely delicious. Scrumptious even.

Now I am not one to brag, especially about my cooking skills, but I must admit I did a pretty good job. I was so proud of myself that I even took pictures. Probably a little much, right? Anyway. My friend Melissa introduced me to this blog, www.kevinandamanda.com, and it is terrific. Clever ideas, free fonts, blog tutorials and recipes. I have been eyeing the Chicken Parmigiana recipe for quite some time. I would look at the pictures and think, "Oh, so yummy." Then I would look at the looonngg recipe and think, "Oh, too much work." However, today I decided to conquer it. It was a rainy, dreary day and I had a few extra minutes.

Well, the recipe that I thought was sooo loonngg, actually wasn't at all. It was very easy. Didn't take too terribly long. And tasted like something you would find in a restaurant. Seriously, I am not joking. It was absolutely delicious. I don't know if this is a recipe she created or she found or what, but I give all props to her. I simply followed the directions and it turned out fabulous. If you like Italian or pasta or chicken, then this is one recipe you must try.


This little girl even had some of the chicken and pasta. Along with her pears and carrots of course.
Not only is Morgan Kate standing, but she is also cruising. Prior to this weekend she was only taking a step here or there, but Saturday she went the "distance of the couch". Check out what our "big girl" is doing! (Please try to disregard the phone ringing, dog barking and the tune of Law and Order in the background.)

video

Friday, October 9, 2009

As you all are aware, it happens to be the ninth day of October. So in honor of the ninth I will give you nine facts about Morgan Kate that you might not have known. Or you may have. Who knows?

1. Morgan Kate loves pasta, peas and pears. Seriously. I could feed her pasta, peas and pears every single day and I think she would be fine.

2. Morgan Kate hates wearing bibs. I used to but bibs on her all of the time, but as she has gotten older I don't use them as much. I probably need to, but I don't. When I do happen to pull one out and put it on her she immediately pulls it off. We are definitely working on this.

3. MK loves to feed the dogs. Just this week she has started dropping food from her highchair so that she can watch Lola "scarf" it up.

4. MK loves it when people sing to her.

5. Morgan Kate loves to rip magazines and paper into tiny, tiny little pieces.

6. Morgan Kate prefers the remote or our cell phones over any toy she has.

7. She constantly says "Dada" and lights up the minute he walks into the room.

8. She loves to dance.

9. MK is fascinated by socks.


And just because it's Friday, a picture of two of my favorite people in the world.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Morgan Kate's first "refrigerator masterpiece". Oh, how this warms my heart!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I love receiving packages. So, needless to say, when we returned home today from speech and found two boxes on the front porch I was so excited. One box happened to be for me. However, the other box was for Morgan Kate. Her cups arrived today! I was so excited. I immediately rushed in, washed them and began to try them out. They are perfect! And the honey bear cup even comes with instructions. If any of you are interested in ordering these cups or just reading more about them, then visit www.talktools.net and click on Feeding Tools.


While I was washing the new cups Morgan Kate was busy exploring the kitchen. Oh, and following me foot for foot.

Something caught her eye and she immediately got distracted. That something happened to be Lola's dog food. I told her "no", she stopped and I turned back to the sink.

Three seconds later I see this.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This morning Morgan Kate and I were watching the Today Show while eating breakfast. Actually, Morgan Kate was playing with her stethoscope and I was eating breakfast while watching the Today Show. But anyway. There was a special segment about a couple who very recently had quintuplets at twenty-five weeks gestation. I missed the first part of the segment, but was immediately drawn to the TV when I saw the pictures of the teeny-tiny babies. Seeing those pictures brought back so many memories and thoughts and feelings. My chest was burning as I watched.

Later in the day I watched the complete segment online. During the segment they interviewed the parents, as well as one of the doctors. As the doctor was talking I found myself getting so worked up. I kept hearing words and statements like:

"Thirty percent survival rate."

"Huge developmental issues and delays."

"Challenges."

I realize that the doctor is stating some of the facts and trying to be honest and open with the parents. I also realize that those words and statements do prove to be true in many situations. And, I realize that ultimately the doctors don't want parents to get their hopes up. However, there is also another side to the coin. A side that I wish could be shared with parents of premature babies. Maybe words or statements such as:
"Twenty-five weekers can live."

"Premature babies can catch up."

"Premature babies can live normal lives."

Again, I realize that not everyone has the same situation as us. However, I know many, many babies right now that were born extremely early. And they have defeated those odds and they are thriving and doing so well. In the beginning, we did worry about Morgan Kate's survival. Yes, it was a long road. Yes, there were good days and really bad days. Yes, there were lots of tears and heartache. But we survived. Morgan Kate survived. And today she is doing so well.

Twenty-five weekers can make it. Twenty-five weekers can catch up. And they can do the things that other children their age do.

I know.

And I know because I have a twenty-five weeker doing just that.

Monday, October 5, 2009

All things must come to an end. And this is one ending that I am actually looking forward to. Typically I don't do well with change. I dislike endings. And I hate goodbyes. But this time it's different. I am excited. I am thrilled. Because if everything goes well we could be saying goodbye to formula in exactly one week.


Since Morgan Kate's one year well visit back in August we have been gradually transitioning over to milk. In the beginning I wasn't sure how to make the transition. You may remember that I even asked for suggestions. I am not a "cold turkey" kind of person. I'm a little more gradual. So, each week we have been adding an ounce of milk and taking away an ounce of formula. So far, so good. And by next Tuesday we will be "all milk".

It's a little sad knowing my "baby" girl is growing up, but it sure will be nice for the wallet. Formula is not cheap. Well actually, Enfamil Gentlease proved to be the cheapest formula MK was on. Remember, we began with Neosure. Pricey. Then, moved to Nutramigen, then to Similac Sensitive. Pricier. Then to Neocate. Priciest. Finally, we were able to switch over to Enfamil Gentlease. Thank goodness.

I am hoping that things go well this week and next Tuesday does in fact prove to be our "goodbye to formula" day. Definitely a goodbye I am looking forward to.

Next task at hand, weaning from the bottle. This may take a while longer.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Do you see this beautiful, blue-eyed babe?


This is Annie Parker. And Morgan Kate and I were so very lucky and got to have a play date with Annie Parker and her mommy, Jessa, Friday afternoon. We had a terrific time. The babies enjoyed one another and of course, Jessa and I enjoyed "catching up".

We have gotten our little ones together before, but typically they are in the car seats or strollers or we are holding them. This time was different. This time we let them "play" on the floor. And it was hilarious. Or should I say, Morgan Kate was hilarious. She LOVED Annie Parker. She thought Annie Parker was her baby doll. Seriously. She kept pulling Annie Parker's hands and grabbing her face and touching her feet. Morgan Kate was amazed by Annie Parker. When we would put MK close to Annie Parker MK would get so excited. She would start making noises and moving her hands and feet. Then, when we would pull MK away from Annie Parker MK would just cry and scream. I have never seen MK like that before.

But then it makes perfect sense. MK really hasn't been around many other children. Unfortunately, because of her prematurity, my paranoia and our busy therapy schedule we just haven't had many play dates. We were able to get together with a few friends this summer, but that really has been the extent to our outings with other babies. Many of my friends that do have babies have returned to work and our schedules are just really different. However, after seeing MK's reaction Friday I realize that I am going to have to make a point of scheduling other play dates. It is obvious that this girl likes to play and socialize!