Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!!
I know you're very surprised to see approximately a bazillion pictures of my beautiful baby in this slideshow...

Or maybe that's what you were expecting. hahaha.... It has been a busy Halloween! We had Taste Testers this morning, with some friends in our MOMS Club. We get together once a month to share food and exchange recipes; the theme this month was soups, so I made Tex-Mex Chili. It would have been perfect earlier in the week, but today the temperature outside is over 80 degrees. Go figure. But it will be great for trick-or-treating!
After Taste Testers we visited our local retirement center with more MOMS Club friends. We sang The Itsy Bitsy Spider, said hello to some of the residents, handed out spider rings, and then the kids got a surprise bag of treats. It was a lot of fun, and Lily was very interested in her bag of candy. I confess, Mommy ate the tootsie rolls.
This afternoon we played outside, and I took all those awesome pictures of Lily. I can't help it, she's just too cute. Or maybe it's the adorable dress (thank you, Katie!). But I'm thinking that it's a combination of the two.... Watch for another post with trick or treating pictures sometime in the next few days.
Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Patch Revisited

Lily and I went back to the pumpkin patch to play the other day. She was very rambunctious, running around and looking at all the pumpkins. We had fun, and as we left she got a sticker that said, "Pumpkin Patch Visitor." She's really been interested in stickers lately, so that was nice. You'll notice that she took her purse to the pumpkin patch. Cutie.

Carving the Pumpkin

I'm sorry, there was just no way that I could pick and choose from these photos, so there are tons! We had so much fun carving the pumpkin on Tuesday night. Lily wanted to help with all of it, and she somehow knew that pumpkins are edible - just not the way she was trying to eat it, yuck! She wanted to put the pumpkin seeds and 'guts' back inside the pumpkin, which was very cute. All in all, she loves the pumpkin, and even gave it a kiss. Silly girl.

Helping in the Kitchen

Hi Daddy, I'm helping!
Ok Mom, this is what you do next.
Daddy do you want to help?
We were making Ninety-Minute Rolls. These dinner rolls are sooo delicious, and they're really very easy to make. I use a muffin pan instead of a round cake pan. A great variation that we love is to roll out the 12 pieces of dough and place a little bit of cooked hamburger and shredded cheese on 6 of them; top with the remaining 6 pieces of dough; pop the 6 Cheeseburger Rolls into the oven as usual. Serve with soup for an awesome lunch! Here is the recipe:

Ninety Minute Rolls
2-2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. margarine
1 pkg. or 1 Tbsp. yeast

Mix 3/4 cup flour with sugar, yeast, and salt. Heat milk, water and margarine until very warm (120°-130°). Add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Add 1/4 cup flour. Beat 2 minutes on high. Stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough. Knead 2-3 minutes. Place in greased bowl and let rise 15 minutes. Divide dough into 12 pieces and shape into balls. Place in 8-inch round cake pan. Let rise 15 minutes. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes.
To make cinnamon rolls: Roll dough out after rising the first time and spread with 2 tablespoons margarine. Combine 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar and sprinkle on dough. Roll jelly-roll style and cut into 1 inch pieces. Place in pan and bake as usual.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ENT Consult

Lily visited an ENT specialist last Friday, following up from her sleep study which showed obstructive apnea. The doctor was great. He had reasons to back up his opinions, he was very nice, fun to talk to, and he even made Lily laugh. I really enjoyed visiting with this doctor, and that always makes a doctor visit better!

The doctor's opinion of Lily's situation almost made me laugh out loud. He said, "I'm sorry I can't give you a clearer answer, but it's just not black and white with Lily." Ha! That is pretty much the story of Lily's life. It is NEVER black and white. Not that there's anything wrong with that; it was just very funny to me when the doctor summed it all up that way.

He said he prefers to go by parents' reports of how the child sleeps, rather than the highly sensitive sleep study. While the study showed obstructive apnea, Lily does not snore very often; she doesn't snore loudly; her breathing is not labored; she can breathe through her nose with her mouth closed; she gets enough sleep overall and is well rested; the lower oxygen sats during her apnea episodes are not hindering her development. Without the sleep study results, there would be no reason to suspect that Lily had any kind of sleep apnea, which in the doctor's opinion means that she probably doesn't NEED treatment for it.

However, now that we have these test results, we're faced with the decision of whether or not to do anything. He asked me how aggressive we wanted to be in treating the apnea. (Treatment in Lily's case would mean removing her adenoids. She's too small to have her tonsils removed, and the doctor said he would not recommend anything more aggressive for Lily.) My response was, how do you even know it will help her? And he said, WE DON'T KNOW. And while I continued through the motions of the rest of the conversation, that was pretty much the clincher - If we're not sure that treatment would even help her, and we're also not even convinced that she really needs treatment in the first place, there's just no way that Lily is going to have surgery. That's ridiculous.

The doctor was sort of conflicted between recommending the surgery and not. His conclusion was that it was really up to us. It wouldn't hurt Lily to not have the surgery, and it wouldn't hurt her to have it. So we're not going to do it, and the doctor recommended that we just make a point to listen to Lily's breathing while she sleeps at least a couple times a week. (Like I don't already do that. The kid was on oxygen for over a year. I'm not sure that I'll ever NOT pay attention to the way she's breathing. This recommendation was almost as funny to me as "It's not black and white with Lily.")

I don't know if anyone else sees the humor in any of that, or if it's one of those things where you have to be there for it to be funny. Oh, well. At least you got the news about the doctor visit somewhere in this rambling blog entry!

Oh, and he also said that the obstructive apnea is highly UNlikely to be related in any way to Lily's swallowing troubles. He agrees with the pulmonologists that Lily will outgrow the swallowing problem, just give her time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fall Festival

We attended our MOMS Club Fall Festival this morning, and it was so much fun! Lily was very curious about the other kids' costumes. When we first arrived, she just stood in one spot and looked slowly around the room, staring at each kid. It was very funny. Then it seemed like she suddenly realized what some of the costumes were supposed to be (one was a puppy!), and she started following the kids around, pointing at their costumes. When I told her that Sean's costume was a lion, she said, "Roar!" right on cue. When we got home, she fell asleep at the table as soon as she was finished eating her lunch. I guess the party wore her out.
Some playgroup friends.

She had a hard time leaning over her spider belly to color, so this is how she improvised. She lost interest in coloring pretty quickly, though; there were too many kids running around.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall is here!

It is 12:36 p.m., and the temperature outside is 62 degrees. It's actually kinda cold if you go out there in short sleeves! I'm joking, I'm joking. I haven't completely forgotten what cold feels like, but I am sure there will be a very rude reminder the moment we step out of the airport in Omaha next month. Brrr.

Lily and I are gearing up for our big trip to Iowa in November. We will be flying a couple weeks ahead of Dusty, who will drive north; then we'll all drive home together at the end of our vacation. I've gotten some tips from friends who have flown with their little ones, and I'm trying not to go crazy thinking about what we need to pack. Don't worry, I'll procrastinate long enough that I won't be able to spend too much time being very worried about it. In the meantime, we've also been thinking about Christmas. By the time we return from Iowa, it will be time to set up the Christmas tree!

The cooler weather has been making me want to bake, everything from muffins and rolls to dinners and desserts. This morning Lily helped me make banana cookies. And of course Lily had to eat a banana while we were mixing up the dough; cookie baking is tough work, you know. She is big enough now to be able to stand on a chair to help at the kitchen counter, and you can just tell that she thinks she's such a big girl getting to do that. It's so much fun.

Lily had a Tiny Tots follow-up in the Medical Center on Monday. It was the last Tiny Tots checkup in her series, and it included a complete developmental evaluation. The doctor played games with Lily for about two and a half hours, evaluating her cognitive responses to the activities. It was really interesting, and I am so glad we chose to participate in this program. The vast majority of babies born prior to 25 weeks gestation will have some kind of cognitive impairment or delay, so it was very reassuring to have the evaluation and talk to the doctor. Lily doesn't fall into the majority... She has no impairment or delay; she is doing everything she should be doing at her age. What a miracle! AND, as if that wasn't enough good news for one day, we also learned at that appointment that Lily has officially hit the growth chart. The real growth chart for her actual age, NOT adjusted for prematurity. I can't remember the actual weight, but she was right at the 5th percentile; for height, she's between the 10th and 25th. She's still short, and she's still tiny. But she met her goal of hitting the chart by the time she turns two!

Then on Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment for myself. The doctor has ordered some labs and tests, basically just to be sure my body is still doing ok with my high blood pressure. I've had all of these tests before, but they need to be repeated every once in awhile. We don't expect to find anything unusual. Hopefully we can get everything done before we go to Iowa, so it will all be out of the way.

Today we get to stay home all day. Lily is helping me do laundry (I mean, Lily's unfolding everything I fold), we're cleaning the house, frosting the cookies, and just spending some fun time at home. While I don't like to clean, I do love days like this... Spending time at home with Lily is such a blessing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

This was our first visit to the pumpkin patch this year. It's just a few minutes down the road, so we'll be going again soon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Lily and I went to the zoo for a couple hours last Monday. It was really fun to see how Lily has changed in just the last few months since the last time she visited a zoo. This time she was more interested in saying the names of the animals than before, and she was able to do some of the fun things designed for kids. I would say that her favorites this time were the panther and the birds.