Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fast Little Mover

This little girl is growing up fast and now getting into whatever she can find. She can crawl pretty much wherever she wants and is already pulling herself up on things. She seems to be cutting multiple teeth, but she still stays pretty happy and very drooly. We are still doing daily breathing treatments, and Abigail usually sits pretty well.... She continues to adore her daddy and gets excited when he is home to play with her.

She loves pulling herself up on the entertainment center and getting into whatever we have left out. I have removed the pictures and decor from the TV. We try to tell her "No" and work on convincing her to come back over to wherever we are, but those attempts have not been successful yet.

She loves her ability to stand up in her crib.

Sunday, we went to Abigail's NICU reunion. It was great to see some of the many doctors and nurses who did such a great job taking care of Abigail. We were really excited to get to see one of her last primary nurses. She was on a ski trip when we were surprised with Abigail's homecoming -- and didn't get to tell her good-bye. We loved knowing when she would be working.

The above picture is one of her doctors. He was very instrumental in getting a NICU established in the East Valley. We also really liked him because he would push Abigail, and we think it helped in her progression. I believe he was the doctor who believed in her and being able to advance to the CPAP (others did not think she could do it yet -- but she was ready and did do it)

The measuring bear continues to look smaller, and for whatever reason, Abigail put her hands out when I was taking the picture.

After the NICU reunion we had a family dinner at my parents', in honor of my brother's birthday and my sisters being in town. Abigail had a blast dancing and playing with her cousin and her Aunt Wendi.

Enjoying her books and toys.... This is the corner where they get put away each night, but they sure don't stay there all day.

Abigail discovered the stairs this morning. Before, she always kind of stopped at a certain point in the living room (pretty much where she is at in the above picture), but this morning she must have been feeling adventurous or something.... We've had the gate waiting to put up when she found them.

Here are some picture attempts at trying to get Abigail to pose in her gifts from Ireland from my parents.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Holy Cow -- Watch Out!!....

**Excuse the quality -- it was quick and taken with the cell phone....

Abigail has made some big steps in development today.... Earlier this week she mastered sitting up from crawling position -- which she is quite proud of, but wouldn't you, too?.... It is getting harder to keep her quiet in church, but so far I love that it is my turn to have these challenges. (Yes, I am crazy -- and may not always find joy in that.).... Today in church she discovered grunting, something she used to only do when pooping. John had to take care of her alone during Sacrament meeting because there was a congregational hymn. She tried it during Sunday School, too.

This afternoon we were having fun playing with her -- and she started doing a little crawling. Until now she would pretty much do one move and then stop. So, of course, we were excited and jumping for the camera -- and definitely didn't get it again.

Later we were putting her down for a nap and she was not falling right to sleep. She was playing in her bed - so we started watching her though the cracked open door. We were video taping on and off and coming and going. The next thing I know I see her pull herself up in her bed on one of the short sides. I get John to come and see, but she had stopped. So, we watched through the door again for a little bit and the next thing we know she pulls herself up on the long side of the bed.... Good thing we lowered the bed just the other day.... She was quite happy with herself - and so were we.

It took some effort, but we finally got her to sleep -- I went in and rocked her after finding her just sitting up and crying in bed.

Wow!! She is growing up so fast!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ten Months Old

Little Miss Abigail turned ten months old today, and what did she get? -- a trip to the cardiologist for a follow-up appointment. Things looked good for our little girl, and we won't need to be following up until she is three.

Our little girl has been pretty busy with learning new things....

She has come even closer to crawling. She gets up on all fours and starts rocking. She has even attempted moving forward, but is still working on it. We have also put the playmat away, because, as you can see from the picture -- she knocks it over. On this particular knock over she also began to somehow stay tangled up in it as she rolled, and it ended up off the carpet.

She is also figuring out how to sit up from other positions.

We are still doing breathing treatments -- which will probably continue as the seasons are changing. Abigail generally does a really good job of holding still.

She is eating more solid foods. We have started trying fruits and also finger foods. She is getting better at picking up the little pieces. She was not very into eating them at first, but now she sure likes them.

We are having fun finding her in different positions while she sleeps.

She is such a cutie and we love her. She is making more sounds - particularly "da-da-da-da" -- John loves that one. She is full of so much laughter and smiles. We are also wondering if another new tooth is starting to come in on the top.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Time for Reflection....

Today has been a special day for my family for as long as I can remember.... Just before I turned one year old my parents had a little boy. Timothy was born about as early as Abigail and lived five hours. Our family grew up knowing that if we lived righteously we would be with Timothy again.

Sometimes I used to wonder what it must have been like for my parents to go through that. I came a little too close with Abigail. I remember worrying about my mom as I was in labor. What must she be thinking as her daughter was in labor - thinking about what she had been through 27 years before. They were relieved and grateful for how good Abigail's color looked at birth -- as they remembered their little boy.

I also get reflective because tomorrow (September 2nd) was the due date (a year ago) of the baby I miscarried. Parts of me hoped that it would be a boy and share a name sake with his father and his uncle Timothy (as a middle name). As the school year got started last year and I had the usual tough times that come with teaching, I would wish I was already done teaching and home with the baby I was originally going to have in September.

Between the miscarriage and Abigail's early arrival I have played the "What If" game too many times.... What if I had never lost the first pregnancy? What if I had been able to keep Abigail inside me for a few more weeks? -- would our NICU stay had been that much shorter? What if Abigail had had many health issues? What if Abigail had not made it?.... Then I am reminded by the Spirit that everything has gone the way it was supposed to. Abigail's story would be different if she was not a "25 weeker". I would not have been tested and strengthened the way I was supposed to without things going the way they were supposed to. We all have our own story to live and write.

My heart aches more than it used to when I hear of mothers and fathers losing their babies. It makes me hold Abigail even closer. I am so grateful for my experiences with Abigail -- though thinking of her birth and NICU stay still gets me very emotional -- some of it is pain and some of it is just very tender, precious feelings.... I can't seem to find words for my feelings, but how I love that little girl. I look at her and my heart is so full as I think of that little baby I used to do Kangaroo Care with in the NICU. It's Amazing!!


It's been awhile since I have posted and lots has been going on.... Rehearsals for the group I play for started last week, and I started teaching piano lessons this week. I was grateful the lessons got off to a good start. Also, John started another semester at ASU.... So, we are sort of starting a new routine for the Fall.

As for little Miss Abigail -- she continues to be the love of our lives over here. She has not quite mastered crawling, but she is doing really well at turning herself in a circle on her tummy. She is being a little mobile, though, and is pretty good at sitting up. She is eating more solids foods. She now eats rice cereal, green beans, sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots. She does not seem to be a fan of peas, and she just tried carrots for the first time this morning.

She is congested again, but she continues to not really have any other symptoms. We have some follow-up appointments next week with the cardiologist and pulmonologist.

I can't believe she will be ten months old next week. She just continues to amaze me. Sometimes I just watch her while she sleeps and think about how far she has come -- and my heart is just full. She is such a good little baby and brings smiles to so many people.... Daddy also thought we should get her some different toys that were a little more developmentally advanced -- she was seeming to get a little bored with her toys. John is so cute when it comes to toys, and I continue to love watching him with Abigail. That little girl sure adores her Daddy.

I had Abigail taking a nap on her floor while I was washing her sheets. I heard her up, but didn't go get her right away -- This is what I found.... look at the air she is getting with her left leg.

Lately, she has been sometimes knocking her playmat over.

Grandma Merrill is letting us borrow this "Johnny Jump Up" after Abigail liked using it at her house.

We had fun with Daddy taking a test drive on the Light Rail to ASU -- seeing how long it would take to get there.

The bear continues to get smaller.

I love, love, love how cute she is when she sleeps.

Abigail is getting pretty good at grabbing things nearby -- and mommy and daddy have to remember to keep things out of reach.

We have graduated to a new car seat -- She seems to like it so far.

I also packed up this little beauty -- After a nine month love-hate relationship with pumps (the Symphony and the one we bought) I felt okay about stopping pumping.... Hopefully, next time things will go a little better.