Monday, February 28, 2011

Chicken! bawk bawk bawk

Friday was the big night for Chloe's oxygen study. I put her to bed without her oxygen and then planned to come back a couple of hours later to hook up the monitor. When I came back, though, I noticed she was a tiny bit snotty and sleeping with her mouth open. I totally chickened out and decided to wait. I put her canula on and put her in her little popasan chair to sleep. "They're not coming to pick up the monitor until Monday, anyway", I justified.
So we did the study last night (Sunday). I had a hard time sleeping. I wanted to watch the monitor all night. We used to put the sensor on the outside of her foot but she's grown and her foot's gotten a little fatter. I was worried that the sensor wouldn't be able to read through her chub so I decided to put it on her big toe. The monitor read 88% oxygen for the first few minutes and I got worried. I'd rather see 99%! Dave and I debated what to do and decided to try it on the outside of her foot but just as I peeled the extra tape off to change positioning it went up to 95%! I watched it for a few minutes and checked again around 3am and it was wavering between 94% and 97%. I'm not certain but I think that's good enough. I just hope it stayed up there all night - even when I wasn't looking. The oxygen supplier will pick up the monitor today and send the data to Chloe's Pulmonologist. I hope we hear from him this week! Fingers crossed!

That's what Solana said - February

I was trying to let Dave sleep in a little bit while I fed Chloe. He pulled the sheets up and put the pillow over his head to block the light but was obviously having trouble getting back to sleep. Solana came in. "Is Daddy still asleep?"
"No. He's awake."
"Then who's that man under the covers?!?!?!?"
Hahahahahaha! I don't know if she was trying to be funny or not but I started cracking up and she joined in as if she meant it to be funny. :-)

"Cats are like paper towels...except that they like to be pet a lot. Well, like DRY paper towels."

Dave tucked Solana in at night and then came out holding a blanket. "Solana said this blanket needs to be washed because she said it smells like 'Mommy's pee' or 'pickles'." I have no idea...

I finished vacuuming the living room and left Chloe playing on the living room carpet with Solana while I quickly put the vacuum cleaner away. Suddenly I heard Solana yelling in a chastising/motherly voice that only a 5 year-old big sister can muster, "Chloe! It is not appropriate for a baby to be on the kitchen floor! Mom! It is not appropriate for Chloe to be crawling on the hard kitchen floor!" As I hurried back to the kitchen Solana was in the process of luring Chloe back into the living room with a Cheerio and saying, "Ugh. What am I going to do with this baby?" I swear I don't say that!

Solana: I think I'll put this sticker on my clubhouse.
Me: That's good thinking.
Solana: You mean, "great thinking?"
Me: Yes, of course. That's exactly what I meant.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

O2 Concentrator, Your Days Are Numbered!

Could it be? Could this really truly be happening?!?!? Chloe's overnight study is scheduled for this Friday! She'll actually go to bed without a canula in her nose for the first time ever! (That is...the first time ever since her 89 days on the respirator ended. :-)

Now, I'm not saying that she's woken up every single day with the canula in her nose. To tell the truth, I don't actually recall the last time she woke up with the canula in her nose. Maybe it was sometime around November...? Usually it's on her forehead, in her eye, around her neck...yesterday she had rolled up about three times in her oxygen cord in her sleep. And she sleeps about three feet from me! I'll be so glad to get rid of that thing. What they'll do during the overnight study is hook Chloe up to a pulse-oximeter. This is a machine that constantly reads her heartrate and the amount of oxygen circulating in her blood. You've probably had your pulse-ox taken before - it's the little thing you put your finger in with the red light. Chloe's will be taped to her toe. The readings will be collected and sent to her Pulmonologist and then he should give the order to stop her oxygen and finally get all this equipment outta here!

Wish her luck!

P.S. Chloe's 19lb 7oz. Our little grower is totally on the growth chart. Yay for Chloe!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Skinny Butt

I can't believe her little bootie fits in that thing! I know a 6 month-old whose bootie doesn't even fit in there any more. (Not Chloe.) Hahaha.

Too Cute!

She's just so cute sometimes I can't stand it!

First time ever on the park swing.

2nd time on the park swing.

Busted! Trying to make a quick getaway!

Playing in her oxygen tubing as I cleaned her contact.

Attacking Dave's electronics. She opened the DVD door. Oops!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dave's B-17 Irish Red

Dave's first brew is finally ready! We shared a bottle last night and it's really good! He's excited about it turning out so well and declared that his brew kit is the best gift I've ever given him. Yay me :-)

It's an Irish Red and he named it:
Dave's B-17 Irish Red
I grumbled about the pinup girl but he reminded me that I said his beer labels should be a "guy thing." Sometimes I amaze myself. Did you notice the location of Dave's Brew Haus? Bluebell, Montana. Get it?

About to enjoy his first taste of his first homebrew.

Dave's B-17 comes in three different bottles so you can choose based on how thirsty you feel.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pennies for a Purpose

Solana's school has been studying about Martin Luther King Jr. this past month and it turned into lessons about being a good person and helping others. The students were tasked with earning 100 pennies and bringing them in for a donation. Solana got a week off from her responsibility chart and instead earned pennies all week for doing chores and helping out at home. The grand finale of their lesson was a concert where they presented a check for $147 to the local food bank (all of it from pennies earned and donated by the children) and barrels of food donations sent in by the parents. The children then performed songs such as: Love Can Build a Bridge, Imagine, etc. They did a great job and learned valuable lessons about charity and being good citizens. It was great and the teachers did a great job organizing it. We are thankful Solana gets to attend such a great school!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

We're having a great Valentine's Day this year! The celebration began early at Solana's school. The students made Valentine bags at school and her teacher sent home a list of names so that the kids could write their own Valentines. They had all week to bring in their treats, filling their friends' bags more and more every day. Solana and I made crayon hearts (the same fun craft we did last year). She finally got to bring all her Valentines home on Friday. Out of curiosity, I looked at them and got to see a sample of her classmates' handwriting. I noted that Solana's handwriting is far superior to the other kids' handwriting. Now, I'm not saying that this means she's the smartest kid in her class. Just...that she's probably the smartest kid in her class... ;-)

The girls also received packages in the mail from Grammy and Grampy and Aunt Carol. Chloe loves her monkey!

Then my friend, Kim, offered to babysit so Dave and I could go out for dinner and we were excited for the opportunity. The problem was that we didn't realize how many other people would be celebrating Valentines Day early so we waited until the last minute to make dinner reservations. Our favorite places were all booked! But Dave did some searching online and found a French restaurant in Centerville - only 5 minutes from our house. He read that they specialize in using local ingredients and organic meats and the dress is smart casual. We decided to give it a try even though we know nothing about French cuisine. I was reminded that sometimes things really work out well. I can't even begin to say how AMAZING the food was. If you're looking for a very special restaurant in Centerville, Ohio I give my absolute highest recommendation to Rue Dumaine. It's located in the Sam's Club shopping center of all places! I never would have guessed the classy casually elegant restaurant inside. We had the best time and the best food. This is my new favorite restaurant and Dave hesitates to rate it over Flemming's but I'm going to go ahead and make the call for him. I think I know where we'll be headed for our anniversary... :-)

Meanwhile, Solana had a great time playing dress-up with Sophia and Chloe had fun keeping Kim on her toes! Thanks Kim!

This morning the girls and I woke to a surprise on the kitchen table. Chocolates for me, stuffed animals for the girls, and cards all around. Dave and Solana go out ever year to the local chocolatier and pick out chocolates for me. Solana loves it! The only problem is that I have no self control around those things. They're sooooo good! Yum yum yum!

We also surprised Dave with a cake. Yellow cake with cream cheese icing and strawberry filling. All from scratch. Solana helped decorate the top. This was my first cake with filling and also my first attempt using the convection feature on my oven. I was a bit nervous but it turned out great! Here are the three recipes I used: Cake, Frosting, Filling.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Milestones for Chloe

Chloe is knocking our socks off with her new abilities! She's crawling up on her hands and knees all the time now and, when placed on the floor, immediately crawls toward something/anything to pull herself up and stand. She's even starting to cruise along the couch with confidence. It took her SO LONG roll over and then sit up! But for some reason we speculated that she would really take off once she started crawling. Boy were we right! Her newest tricks include reaching for objects outside of her little prisons (ie. crib and play pen) and chewing holes in her crib.

You can't see it in this picture but her pack n play stands right next to our kitchen table. Yesterday I caught her grabbing one of the chairs and pulling it down until it fell backwards! Who is this destructive child? Solana never did stuff like this! (I secretly love it :-)
This picture was taken last month as she was just getting the hang of standing in her crib. Day before yesterday I left her in the crib as I brushed my teeth. She was happily standing with one hand on the crib and the other reaching for the mobile. All of the sudden, "CRACK." My head snaps toward her and I'm immediately flying Marvel-character-style across the room because all I see is Chloe flying backwards with two outstretched little arms clinging to the mobile that she just snapped in half and off the stand! I also saw, out of the corner of my eye, Solana doing a Dukes of Hazard impression and pretending our (King size) bed was the hood of a car. How did she fly/slide over the bed so fast? That little girl is going to make a great mother some day! I digress. We got there at the same time and, of course, Chloe was fine - already getting back up for another go. She's amazing. Then that evening I caught her grabbing the tapestry just above her crib. Even later that evening Dave said, "Yeah. Don't they say to take mobiles down once they can stand in their crib?" Hmm. Yeah. That makes sense to me now.
A blogger friend of mine, Melissa, once said that "prematurity doesn't end when they leave the hospital." She is right! I gave my dad a brief run down of all Chloe's specialists, therapies, exercises, etc. He was shocked and knew a bit of it but I guess you don't think of that stuff unless you're actually the one doing it. We work really hard for all these little milestones that healthy babies reach so easily. I'll tell you what, though, all our hard work and therapy sessions pay off! And the payoff of a milestone reached (and even every day activities) is all the more sweeter for the extra hard work we've put into it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mom or Mommy?

Solana, at 5 years-old, has taken to calling me "Mom." I don't think it was a conscious decision. It just seems to come naturally to her. And I suppose that's ok. But I don't want to be Mom. I want to be Mommy! I still call my mother "Mommy" and it's never occurred to me to do otherwise. I keep correcting Solana and she's more than happy to oblige but she slips all the time. The other day she called Dave, "Daddy," and then called me "Mom," within the same run-on sentence. I said, "Hey, why does he get to be Daddy and I have to be Mom?" I don't think I'm getting anywhere with this. Tell me. Is it possible for me to turn this around or am I just stuck?

P.S. After posting and reading this I feel kind of silly and suppose maybe I should just get over it and be happy that I have a sweet little girl that draws pictures of me and writes "I Luv Mom" at the top. Oh well. Mom it is :-)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Berenstain Bears

There's a little theater called Towne Hall Theater right near our house in Centerville. They show live stage productions for kids and I've been meaning to take Solana forever! We finally made it this weekend and my friend, Kim, and her daughter, Sophia, joined us.

It was ridiculously cheesy and amateuristic and I was gawking at the fact that I'd just wasted $25 on such lameless. But during intermission the girls said they loved it! Hooray! I was happy after that. We may just go back for another one. They're doing Pinkalicious in March. Solana loves those books! I may or may not offer up my seat to let Dave have a go at it. :-)

Craziest thing - the girls wore matching outfits and it was totally unplanned. It was quite a big deal!

Here they are showing off their program. I don't think I was ever this affectionate with my friends when I was little. I think they're so cute the way they're always hugging and holding hands.

Getting Papa Bear's autograph. Did I mention that it was a musical?

Autographs from Mama Bear and Sister Bear.

The Patch is Back

Well, Chloe's sporting her favorite accessory again. While it kind of stinks having to put it on and keep it on every day (we're back to 4 hours a day) we're not terribly shocked. We saw signs that she was favoring her right eye quite a bit.

The difficulty of getting the patch back on lies in the fact that Chloe was spoiled for a month and her independent spirit has only grown since we stopped using the patch. She's a little bit more feisty now and these things aren't conducive to easy patching. I've had to remove her patch-prying little fingers several times in the past couple of days. But I think she'll get used to it quickly enough. Her Mama has a strong will, too. ;-)

Chloe's getting better at crawling up on all fours and sitting herself up. In the following pictures she's showing off her new skills (even with the patch) :-)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chloe Plays XBOX Kinect

My parents gave us the XBox Kinect for Christmas. We love it! It's turned out to be very a very useful game during the winter when it's way too cold to play outside. In this video Solana and I are playing a game that requires a lot of jumping. But we're not the real stars of the video. Check out Chloe in the background as she gets into the action. She's practicing for when it's really her turn...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

That's what Solana said - January

Solana says the cutest things sometimes and I want jot some of them here so we can always remember them. I think I'll work on a post each month and then post it at the end of the month:

1/5/11 "It's a good thing Monty (our Australian Shepherd puppy) didn't eat my Christmas pencil because then Christmas would be gone FOR-EVER!"

1/27/11 While unloading her backpack after school Solana pulled out a little booklet she'd made in school. It was about the size of the palm of her little hand and had about 6 pages. Each page had one large upper-case letter (A through F). She showed me the book and said, "I made this book for Chloe at school. AND I ONLY WROTE IN BLACK so she could see it." This was one of the sweetest and kindest things she'd ever done for Chloe. I almost started crying but held it together and praised her for such a thoughtful gift. (Note: She was paying attention when the vision therapist was here and knows that Chloe can see better when pictures are high contrast.) Then she sat on the floor, put Chloe between her legs, and began showing her the book and singing the ABC's. Um. Yeah. I cried. Such a sweet loving girl :-)

Ross Paul Holberg

Solana and Chloe have a new cousin. Dave and I have a new nephew. Introducing Ross Paul Holberg. My sister and brother-in-law, Leticia and Jeremy's, newest bundle of joy. He's so beautiful! I was on the phone with my mom when the doctor came out and said everything's ok. I started crying - such a sap. But isn't he just adorable?

8lb 13oz
21 inches

I give it six months before he overtakes Chloe in size ;-)

Daddy's Girl - REVISED

Chloe is almost a perfect baby. I say almost because there's something wrong with her. It's kind of a big thing, though, so it really must be addressed at some point. Chloe's problem is that she's...I can't say's too sweet baby girl is.....A DADDY'S GIRL!

How did this happen? I don't know. I never had this problem with Solana. Solana was a perfect little baby. She loved both her parents equally. But not Chloe. Chloe loves her Mama, for sure. She thinks I'm a hilarious clown and entertainer. I can make her laugh on a dime. But she makes it very clear that, when Daddy's in the room, I sit second chair to him.

Chloe will not do the following:
-Put her arms out to be picked up.
-Give kisses.
-Wave Goodbye.
-Welcome people with screams of joy.
Chloe will not do the above EXCEPT for her Daddy, that is!

Oh woe is me. Where did I go wrong? How did I raise a Daddy's girl and how do I fix this obviously major problem created by erroneous upbringing?

I almost forgot! This is almost an insult. Chloe babbles like crazy but her most favorite thing to say is "DaDa." She'll say it over and over randomly, when Dave enters the room, and especially after I say, "say Mama." I think she's said, "Mama" maybe twice...Little squirt!