Saturday, April 30, 2011

That's what Solana said - April

Me: I'll fix your hair really cute today if you a princess braid or something. Solana: Ok!
Me: How do you want your hair?
Solana: In a headband.
Me: Oh. Well, I don't need to do that. You can put a headband in by yourself.
Solana: Yeah, that's true. But thanks for offering Mommy. That was very generous of you.

4/6/11 Solana's helping me plant seeds in the garden. Every time I drop a seed into a hole she makes this weird spitting sound. I ask (kind of annoyed), "What is that weird sound you keep making?" She replies, "I was trying to beat box." I'm slightly confused but also feel kind of bad for my tone. "Oh...Of course...Great Beat Boxing!"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chloe's NICU Book

I've been away from the blog for a whole week. During that time I've been frantically working to finish Chloe's NICU book before my Living Social coupon expired. I took all the blog entries I did during her NICU stay and put them into a great book and finally ordered it last night. I'm really excited about it and can't wait for it to arrive. It's 99 pages! I wonder how heavy it will be... If you'd like to take a peek at it you can follow this link.

I have some cleaning to catch up on and some birthday preparation (today is Solana's 6th birthday!) so I'll have to do some catch-up blogging in the coming week.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Strabismus Surgery Update

Chloe's surgery went well. It was scheduled for 10:30am. She's usually had a bottle and breakfast by then so we were a bit nervous about fasting for that long. I've joked before, though, that Chloe could go all day without eating. She's never once fussed for food. And fortunately (or unfortunately) I was right. She didn't seem to notice a thing. Maybe it was the extra bottle that I snuck in at 11:30pm that was holding her over...hmm...

Anyway, the surgery went well. She can't wear her contact for a week so she gets to wear her glasses. We had a new left lens put into her old glasses to act as a substitute for her contact (the left lens was only a bifocal before - meant to be worn over her contact). Check out this monster. It's just about the fattest lens I've ever seen!

Chloe's been a good sport about her glasses, though. She leaves them on for the most part. I noticed them falling off her face so I decided to save the 30 minute drive to the hospital and do the adjustment myself. Bad idea. All I did was tilt the pads so they dug into her nose leaving little red indentions. We went back first thing this morning and they installed a nifty "uni-bridge" to help keep her glasses on. Chloe's just about the cutest baby nerd you've ever seen. She seems to be getting around just fine, too. She's still standing and cruising as much as before. I don't think the adjustment to her "new world" will be as dramatic as her vision therapist made it out to be. Either that or Chloe's just a kick-butt baby!

The only nasty side effect of surgery is Chloe's new ability to fuss. She came home crying at the drop of a hat. She obviously felt pretty crappy. Who could blame her? I found myself running around saying, "What's wrong sweet Chloe? What can I do to make you happy? Are you hungry? Do you want me to hold you?" You know when they cry in that way that makes you desperate to make them feel better? It ocurred to me that Chloe NEVER cries like that. Never even after her previous surgeries. This was new and definitely disconcerting. She got a couple doses of Aspirin and went to bed a little early. She was much better the next day and today. The only problem. All that running around I was doing for her crying...she took good notes. Little turkey! I was eating a piece of bread with Nutella today and she was trying to get it from me. I decided to tear a little piece for her and she got all angry because I wanted to put it in her mouth instead of handing it to her. (We were sitting on the carpet and I didn't want Nutella rubbed into the carpet.) She started flapping her arms up and down and yelling at me! I could hardly believe it. Who is this baby? But I complain in jest. I think a little 'tude is a good thing. I'll probably eat my words in a few weeks but I like this new side of Chloe.

Her follow-up visit is in two weeks. It's difficult to say how straight her eyes are now. Her left eye looks pretty buggy through her coke bottle x3 lens. Dave thinks they look straighter, though. Here she is blowing a kiss on her way to bed after surgery - one of her newer tricks.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Surgery Tomorrow

Chloe's muscle surgery is tomorrow. 10:25 Eastern Time. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

"Face Painting"

Solana went to a birthday party yesterday. The invitation stated that there would be "face painting and cake." I thought, "that's nice of them to warn parents that there would be face painting." At least we could show up with a wash cloth if we were heading straight to dinner or church right after the party." I imagined the face painting would look something like this butterfly we did on all the girls last year at Solana's butterfly party:

But instead I picked her up looking like this:

I really wish I was a better photographer for this or that I had taken the picture straight away. She had red lipstick on and around her lips (to make them bigger). She had fake eyelashes drawn out the sides of her eyes. Black eyeshadow to resemble thick eye liner and purple eyeshadow on the rest of her eye. Seriously, she looked like a 5 year-old street walker.

I was slightly amused because I knew it was just for the birthday party but also slightly apalled. The inspiration came from some dolls I'd never heard of - Monster High. Now, I know that lots of parents find these dolls harmless and absolutely adorable and I'm sure they're both. But I'd honestly much prefer to keep my little girl...well, a little girl. I don't really want her thinking about lipstick and eyeliner at the age of 5. Heck, she doesn't even know who Hannah Montana or Justin Bieber are. That stuff can wait. Totally.

If she's going to reach beyond her maturity level I'd rather it be for something educational. The other day Dave and I smiled as we overheard her singing in her room, "I am! A PA-LE-ANT-OOOOOO-LO-GIST! I am! A PA-LE-ANT-OOOOOO-LOGIST!" That is cool. Hooker makeup...not so much.

Speaking of Dave...he was cracking me up. I think he stared at me wide-eyed for about 10 straight minutes after I brought her home. He was beside himself. And just kept shaking his head. She asked if she could play outside as soon as she got home. "Why don't you go wash up" he suggested. (I knew he just didn't want anyone to see her like that. Hehehe) She thought he meant "wash your hands." We agreed not to say anything to her, though. We didn't want to make her feel bad or self-conscious. After all, it was just a birthday party. And to the mom's credit - Solana came home calling it "face paint" and not "makeup." :-) But still...geesh!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Onions Make Me Cry

I love cooking with onions. I buy a bag almost every week. But chopping onions makes me cry. Not just harmless tears delicately sliding down my cheek. I'm talking streams of tears. And my eyes burn as though I just mistook the bottle of Tabasco for Visine. It's quite uncomfortable. Not to mention dangerous. Wielding a chef's knife while virtually blind - not cool.

I recently learned a new trick to protect myself from those vicious (but delicious) onions. These are Solana's swimming goggles. I'll graduate to my old ski goggles as soon as I find them. I may look silly but this actually works!

Look Mommy! No tears! :-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eating Update

Baby steps. We're progressing ever so slowly and this does not surprise me one bit. That's been Chloe's style from the beginning. She's always moving forward - you just have to look very closely to notice :-)

This is certainly how it's been with eating. Chloe will eat absolutely anything I offer her. Fruit. Vegetable. Meat. Cheese. Tofu. Bland. Strong Flavors. Spicy. You name it. She'll eat it. That long as it's pureed. I've been trying to offer her new stuff but I've also been kind of lazy about pushing the issue. I figure she'll get there...eventually.

Then a neighbor brought her 5 year old daughter over for a play date with Solana. Her daughter is also vision impaired and will only eat crunchy foods. Nothing mushy. Period. No mac-n-cheese. No mashed potatoes. No grilled cheese. Nothing. She mentioned an online support group that she reads and recently noted several parents with school-age kids who only eat pureed food! Goodness gracious! As much as I love making baby food; I really don't want to be doing it when Chloe's in the 3rd grade! Boy did that light a fire under my bootie!

Here's the good news. Although she's still refusing outright slimy or mushy finger foods (diced banana or pear, for example) she's recently accepted a few foods that had me just about jumping for joy.

-Chopped up pasta with bolognese sauce (I made the bolognese and chopped up the ground beef/pork really small.) This is the first ground meat she's eaten that wasn't pureed! -Scrambled eggs! She fed herself two bites by hand! No gagging or pushing it out with her tongue. She actually chewed (gummed) it up and swallowed! Yippeeee! Then, to top it off, I spoon fed her the rest of the egg mixed up with roasted root vegetable puree. She ate the entire egg! This was a huge deal. I've offered her scrambled eggs several times before. She's never tolerated one little bit.

-Mexican-style chicken and rice.

-She also fed herself a spoonful of peanut butter. (Embarrassing admission - I'd never let her feed herself with the spoon before.)

-Halfway through this entry I stopped for lunch and made Chloe this recipe from a friend's blog. I chopped up some leftover pasta, cooked it in olive oil with some crushed garlic, broke an egg into the mix, scrambled, and finally mixed in a bunch of freshly grated parmasiano reggiano. She actually ate quite a bit! And the cool thing was that there was no "sauce" (ie. pureed vegetable) on it. It took forever and I think her little jaw is unaccustomed to chewing. After 30 minutes I warmed up a cube of pureed ranchero beans and added them to the mix and she finished it off more easily. All of these foods require chewing and she's willing to do it now. This is pretty cool.

Scrambled eggs with pureed root vegetables. Look at how chunky that is! Her faces were cracking me up. These were smiles, by the way. She really was enjoying it. I swear. "Look Mommy! I just ate two bites of scrambled egg!" You can actually see some of it in her mouth :-) (Ignore the filthy bib. This is the ONLY time I've ever put a dirty bib on her. Hehehe)

A peanut allergy's nightmare.

Chloe gets her first taste of Life cereal. She's not shy about diving into Solana's bowl.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Eye Exam Results

Good news! Chloe's retina looks just fine! Whew!

Dr. Bloom said he was just thinking a lot about her and probably being neurotic. I said, "Well, we'd rather make the trip again and know for sure." To which he replied, "Yeah, I figured. I know you well enough to know..." and then trailed off as he was writing in her file.

I'll complete the sentence for him: I know you well enough to know...

  • that you're also obsessive about Chloe's well-being and wouldn't mind coming in again for a double-check.
  • not to mess with you because you'd pitch a fit if I missed something.
  • that you'd probably go home and do some internet research; then call me back with a million questions, anyway, if I didn't ask you to come back.

Whatever it was he was about to say. I'll take it as a compliment. Very thankful for double-checking and for a good report!

Eye Visits Times Two

I noticed Chloe's right eye turning in Thursday afternoon. Her RIGHT eye. That's her good eye. This bothered me but I decided to wait until Friday before freaking out. Maybe she's just tired.... Friday morning her right eye was still crossed to I made an appointment for Monday.

I took her in yesterday and the doctor was happy I brought her in. We have overpatched. He was surprised and happy that Chloe functions just as well with the patch as without. This either means she's getting really good at functioning blind or her vision is getting better in her left eye. This is unusual but, like he said before, most parents aren't able to patch as well as me. We're to stop patching and not worry. Her eye will go back. He wants me to watch her crossing and head turning until the surgery and report to him.

I went home satisfied. Happy.

Then I got a call from the technician. "Dr. Bloom has been thinking about Chloe some more and wants you to bring her back tomorrow. Do you have dilating drops at home? No? Ok. I'll call in a prescription to your pharmacy. One drop before bed and one drop in the morning before you come in. He was thinking about her laser surgery (she had ROP surgery in both eyes when she was still in the NICU) and decided to get a good look at her retina."

Now I'm nervous. This is her GOOD eye!!! I'm glad he kept thinking about her and wants to get a good look. I wish there wasn't any reason to do that. I hope we get good news today. I'm scared we may not...