Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

 Halloween 2010 - Black Cat

 Halloween 2009 - Bumblebee

Halloween 2008 - Pumpkin

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Each night I sit down at the computer with a longing to write. I love writing. It's like therapy for me. However, as I sit down and begin to type I hit a huge wall. My thoughts escape me and I can't think of anything except how badly I want to crawl in the bed and get some shut-eye. So as I wait for the "writing wall" to come crumbling down, here are a few updates on Morgan Kate:

MK has always been a good sleeper, especially at night. She was never really a good napper until she was about 18 months old or so. But, she's always been a great night sleeper and slept for at least 12 hours. Until recently. Ever since she started with this ear infection in early October her sleep has been awful. Therefore, our sleep has been awful. She wakes up probably four out of seven nights. Some nights she up for a few minutes, other nights, like last night, she's up for two hours. I don't know what in the world is going on, but I am praying for a good night's sleep very soon!

MK is a pretty good eater and will try almost anything, at least once. Her favorites still include fruit, veggies, pizza, french fries, waffles, pasta, potatoes and ketchup (Does that count as a food?). As for drinking, she's quite content with milk or water. We have offered her other drinks (juice, ginger ale, Capri Sun), but she really just likes milk and water. Now, sweet tea....that's another story!

At her last doctor's appointment, which was Monday a week ago, she weighed in at twenty four pounds and three ounces!!! She's a growing girl! She's wearing mostly size 4 or 5 shoes and a size 4 diaper. I think I mentioned in the last update that she was wearing size 3 diapers, but that was a total typo. She hasn't worn size 3 in quite some time. As for clothes, I really have no clue. She still wears some 12 month dresses and shirts, other clothes are 18 months and there are some pants and PJs that are 24 months or 2T. I can never really go in a store and buy anything that correlates with her age. I need her with me and I need her to try it on. 

We are still going to speech and we still go once a week, but we are getting ready to increase to twice a week. We cut back at the beginning of the school year to get her (and me) adjusted to our new schedule and because her therapist was/is pregnant. However, we are now in a much better routine and we are going to continue with twice a week. A few weeks ago she had her annual re-evaluation. Her receptive language (what she understands) was excellent and almost with her actual age. Expressive language was another story. I expected to see more of a delay there because I know she doesn't talk as well as other two year olds, but her scores indicated that her expressive language was more around that of a one year old. I'm not sure how I feel about the results. One part of me realizes that it's just a test and just a test that's given on one particular day. If MK was crabby or grumpy or just not feeling up to talking, then all of those things could have and would have affected her scores. So, I'm taking it all in stride. She does A LOT of talking at home and A LOT of it makes sense to Travis and I. There are still times where it seems she is speaking in a foreign language, but we really do understand most of what she is saying. 

We are also still seeing our early interventionist twice a month. We will continue to see her until we are finished with speech or once Morgan Kate is three, whichever occurs first. 

Whewh! MK is FULL of spunk and personality. She is the sweetest, most loving child at times who wants to give hugs and kisses as much as she can. She will pat my back and play in my hair and rub my face. I love it! And that same loving baby girl can throw fits like never before and do things despite the fact that she has been told not to. Some days Travis and I say to each other, "What are we going to do with her when she's 12, if she's already acting like this?" Ha! She does not like being told no or being sent to time out. When we do she sticks her bottom lip out and covers her face. I have to bite my lip so that I don't smile or laugh. 

I feel like we are finally getting into some sort of routine now that I am back at work. I like getting into a routine and feeling more comfortable with things, but being away from her does not get any easier. Any time that I do have a day off (home with her because she was sick, election day, etc.) it makes me miss my days of being home. There are days when I miss that time terribly! I just want to be with her as much as I can because I see how fast it all goes by and how time just does not slow down. Thank goodness Christmas break is right around the corner!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Our child loves the fair!

Morgan Kate had her very first fair experience Friday evening. We weren't sure how well she would do. Would the massive amounts of people bother her? Would she be tired? Would the loud noises and flashing lights scare her? The answer to all of those lingering questions was NO. She loved every single minute.

She loved feeding and petting all of the animals. And she especially loved sitting on the fence and watching the horses.

She thoroughly enjoyed the fair food, especially the Fiske fries. She gets it honest!

But her absolute favorite part....the rides. She absolutely loved them! She would get so excited as we walked past the rides and waiting in the lines proved to be a true to test of her patience. When the rides were over she just cried. 

She has absolutely no fear. She rode each ride with such confidence! You would have thought she had been doing this for years.

Kaky even rode the rides with her. I'm not sure who had more fun! 

Mommy here rode the carousel and the Bumblebee. As you can see from the picture below, Morgan Kate was having a blast and I was still trying to decide if the ride was safe or not. 

We had such a good time and it definitely melted our hearts to see her so happy and content. We can't wait for the fair to "bee" back next year!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

One day I think we are on the right track and that the antibiotic is working for Morgan Kate's ear infection. The next day I'm not so sure. One night Morgan Kate sleeps the entire night through and never makes a sound. The next night she's up for hours. Last night was an up night and today, or this afternoon rather, was a day I questioned whether or not the antibiotic is/was working. Right this very minute Morgan Kate is still awake (9:15 PM) and crying in her crib. I have let her cry. I have rocked her. I have rubbed her back. And she continues to cry. Oh, and she has started this nice screaming cry where she cries for a little bit, then screams, then calls our names, screams again and then cries some more. It's intense. If tonight and tomorrow continue to be up nights and difficult days then I just may have to call Dr. G back. This is not my girl at all. 

On a happier note. One of her little friends from Roddey's just returned from a trip to Disney World and brought Morgan Kate back this little Minnie Mouse. It's absolutely adorable and Morgan Kate has been carrying it around everywhere. She loves it! And I love that she has such sweet little friends that she is learning so much from! 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Today Travis took Morgan Kate back to the doctor. She wasn't coughing as much or running any fever so we both went to work and he took her later this afternoon. She still has an ear infection in the left ear, but her lungs sound terrific. I was relieved to hear that news! I hate she has an ear infection, but I am thrilled that her lungs sound so good. She had been taking Omnicef for her ear, but apparently that didn't do the trick. You may remember that in the past we used Omnicef, as well as three other antibiotics, and none did the trick. It took an allergic reaction to Penicillin and the antibiotic shots before we finally got her ears free of infections.

And just in case you forgot what the allergic reaction looked like, here are a few pictures from this past January...

We are hoping and praying the ear clears up without any allergic reactions or shots. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I promise I am still here. I'm just trying to recover from drowning in an endless sea of laundry, dishes, parent-teacher conferences, lesson plans, meetings, sleepless nights and just living life. I feel like there is always something to do and that I never get the chance to "catch up". Needless to say, it's overwhelming at times.

But enough about me. Let's talk about my sweet baby girl. My sweet baby girl who still might have an ear infection. I thought early last week that we were getting over all of the coughing and ear infection stuff, but I think I may have been wrong. Her cough is better in some regards. It's not the hacking, barking sound like before, but it's still rattling in her little chest and she just can't seem to cough it all up. We finished the antibiotic for her ear Friday night, but I think we may be starting a new one tomorrow. Thursday she didn't nap well or sleep well that night. Matter of fact, we were up from about midnight until 3am Thursday night/Friday morning. Today she has been super fussy and pulling at her ear. No fever, but I can tell her ear is bothering her. Looks like we will be making a trip back to the doc to restart some antibiotics. I love the fall and winter, but I do not love the runny noses and coughing and ear infections that they bring. Ugh.

I hate to even admit this, but I haven't used my camera at home all week. I did use it at work this past week, but not here. So, in order to leave you with some pictures of my precious girl I had to dig in the vault and pull out a few from last year this time. In some ways she looks so different and in other ways she hasn't changed a bit. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

I think we have survived the croup. 

Morgan Kate still has a yucky runny nose and pretty cruddy cough, but no fever, no hacking and in good spirits. Well, good spirits most of the time. This steroid that she is taking has done a number on her attitude. One minute she's a sweet little girl and the next minute she is the biggest, most ferocious bear. It's pretty scary. I'm so glad and so thankful that she is feeling better. With her, any cough makes me a nervous wreck.

She may have felt bad this past weekend, but she sure was super cute. 

I love this little face!

She LOVED wearing her boots. She kept stopping, looking down at them and then smiling. So sweet!

Friday, October 8, 2010

I actually wrote Wednesday's post late Tuesday evening and scheduled it to post sometime the next day. Overnight my fears grew and then became a reality.

Morgan Kate was up most of Tuesday night. She was irritable, restless and had a cough that sounded like a dog barking. Talk about freak me out! I brought her to bed with us and kept a close eye on her. Of course it would be the week of parent-teacher conferences for me, so Travis stayed at home with her and took her to the doctor. While I was thankful he was able to do that, my heart was breaking because I wanted to be home with her and I wanted to take her to the doctor. Wednesday afternoon we learned that MK had a terrible ear infection, along with the croup. Since that time we have started an antibiotic for her ear and breathing treatments twice a day for the croup. Travis stayed at home with her again on Thursday (parent-teacher conferences again for me until 7pm) as she was highly contagious and then began running a fever. After getting some Motrin into her little body the fever broke and she took a 3+ hour nap. She seemed to be okay most of Thursday afternoon, but then began running another fever late Thursday night. I have been home with her today and she seems so much better. She still has a terrible runny nose and a sad, sad, yucky cough, but she is happy and napping peacefully. And no fever since last night! 

I have definitely had some moments over the last few days, but I must say that I am pretty proud of myself because I didn't freak out the way I thought I might would. I am praying that my baby girl continues to get better. I can't wait for her to be back to her old self and back outside loving life! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Monday afternoon Morgan Kate had an appointment with the pediatric opthamologist. We spent over two hours there. Actually, let me rephrase that. We waited for two hours to be seen and then were seen for about five minutes. No lie. Thankfully the people there were super nice and I love the doctor. 

We began seeing Dr. C shortly after MK was discharged from the NICU. In the beginning our appointments were three months apart, then six months and finally a year apart. We found out Monday that we are completely finished with the pediatric opthamologist. At this point her eyes look terrific and there doesn't appear to be any problems with her vision. In many, many cases premature babies deal with some short of vision impairment. We have been so blessed and so fortunate to get good reports at each visit. She will only need to have her eyes checked again if we have concerns or feel the need for it. 

It felt so good to cross one more doctor off of our list! Don't get me wrong, I love all of MK's doctors and they have all been so good to us, but it feels so good to get a good report and then be discharged.

Speaking of doctors and medical stuff.

Just the other night it occurred to me that this will be MK's first cold and flu season without RSV shots. At first I was thrilled. The first year of shots wasn't too bad. But, last year she was old enough to know what was going on and those "shot days" were tough. So, I was looking forward to no shots, no pain and no tears. Then in just a matter of minutes my excitement turned to pure  terror. Although I am glad she doesn't have to get shots, I am a nervous wreck about keeping her healthy. The last few weeks she has had a constant runny nose. I've been okay with the runny nose, but today the runny nose turned into a hoarse voice and slight cough. Those things frighten me.

Even two years later there are still so many things I worry about when it comes to her health. I know and remember all too well just how fragile her little lungs were. I vividly remember the days of the CPAP and cannula. I will never forget bringing her home on oxygen and keeping her away from everything and everyone. Every single time I visit a doctor's office I remember the first six months of appointments and how I would keep MK in the car until they called our names because I didn't want her to "catch" anything while waiting inside. I was afraid then. I was afraid of her getting sick. I was afraid of her being hospitalized again. And as difficult as it is to admit, I was afraid of losing her. 

Sometimes, I'm still so afraid. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Pictures from Sky Top

Uncle Owens and Morgan Kate 

My two loves
My sweet, sweet girl
My two beautiful parents
The pumpkin slide was one of MK's favorites.
Uncle O and Aunt Ninum
This is one determined little girl.
Just the three of us.
Baskets of apples.
Our favorite spot in the entire orchard.
Wow! That's the only thing I can think of to say.
Munching on apples.
My absolute favorite picture of the day.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sky Top 2009

Sky Top 2010

More pictures to come...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Back Friday

Tomorrow we are traveling to Sky Top Orchard to pick apples. I am so excited! We went last year and had the best time, but lots has changed since our last visit. Our baby girl is bigger, she's talking and she's walking/running. I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds. Until then, here are some pictures from our trip last year...