Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hanging on to the O2

We had a good visit to the doctor last week. Blair weighed 10 lb 15 oz! We were pleased! Sometimes I pick her up and can't believe how heavy she's gotten. She got her last RSV prevention shot for the season. It's probable that she will have to have them again next season unless she and her lungs grow a lot between now and then. We would rather be safe than sorry if she still qualifies.

They did another room air test, and she did really well. After about 20 minutes (of playing) without oxygen, her saturation was 96. That was fantastic! However, we decided not to do the sleep oximetry. Apparently, if she passes it, they will come take all of our equipment, including the monitor -- yikes, that's scary! It has to do with some type of regulations
with which I'm not familiar -- something about children on oxygen only when necessary. According to the pediatrician, if Blair gets sick and we need oxygen again, it will be a big mess to get it back. So we want to make absolutely sure she's ready. With it being allergy season, I was nervous anyway. I had had to turn up the flow of the oxygen the two nights prior to our visit. It may have been due to pollen, but we don't know for sure. That was the first time in the entire month I had turned it up. It seems something like that happens every time we're about to go to the doctor! So, the end of April will be the next time they test her. We keep praying, be patient and wait for God's timing.

I was a bit disappointed to hear that we need to continue to keep Blair out of the public through May. MAY! Flu season is really now in full swing, so I guess it makes sense. God has given us this precious miracle. We have said all along that we would rather be crazy strict than to take unnecessary risks, so we will continue as instructed! We will just have to pack our summer full of exciting outings!

The Doodle Unit

My husband is funny. I wish I had half the wit that he has. He is so creative, too. Part of his creativity is spent making up odd nicknames for our family members. When I was pregnant, Brad told me my belly was like the SUN. I'd hate to see what it would have been called if I had acutally gone five more weeks! Our dog Gus answers to four other names besides Gus. We started with the simple Gussy or Gustifer. He also answers to Bucket, which has evolved to Buckey. I'll give you one chance to guess which one came from Brad. Yep. What does Bucket have to do with Gus?! Who knows.

Brad, Gus, and Buddy

Needless to say, Blair, in her six short months, has had her share of nicknames. We use the obvious and common ones like Blair Bear, Doodle Bug, or Silly Goose. Then we have the ones that came from Bradland. At first, she was "the DNA." Then, she became "the Third Unit" (of our family?). She was the Third Unit for a while until it was shortened to just "the Unit." Doodle bug became Baby Doodle, and now the "doodle" has been added to "the Unit." So our daughter is the Doodle Unit. There's no telling what will be next. Poor thing.

The Doodle Unit
(No, we haven't kicked the O2 yet. This is during our weekly nasal cannula change.)

Foot Fancy

I love when babies find their feet! Blair plays with hers constantly. She is the cutest thing with her foot up by her ear and her toes in her mouth. Brad is fascinated by this ability. Today, he was holding her and out of nowhere said, "Blair, you're getting a call." He picked up her foot, put it to her ear, and said, "Hello?" in his best Blair voice!

I have enjoyed taking pictures of her all along but have had a great time trying to get some cute shots of her and her new favorite teethers!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

GT's Rattle

Blair has enjoyed playing with a very special rattle lately. It was my dad's when he was a baby, and I think it has survived all six of us kids as well!

Dad decided he'd like to be called GT for Grandpa Tim. He graduated from Georgia Tech, so the name is also a tribute to his Yellow Jackets! I think it's funny, because each year at least one of Tech's athletic teams' performances leads him to proclaim that he is "through" with Tech. But he never is. He's a fan for life and can't change that no matter what the Jackets do.

My little brothers were just accepted to Georgia Tech and will be attending after their upcoming graduation. Congratulations guys!

Stay tuned for Blair's debut as a Georgia Tech cheerleader this fall. Shhhh... don't tell her daddy! Blair told me that she doesn't like red and black!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Groceries and Salmon Croquettes

I used to do weekly menus and grocery shopping, but since Blair can't go to the store, we tend to do monthly shopping. It's going pretty well -- for me at least. All I have to do is make a list, put up groceries, and cook. Poor Brad is the one who has been going to the store, and he said I can have that job! I organize his list by aisle -- how would he ever get done or find everything otherwise?! I'm not even going to say how long it takes him still. Poor thing - it's a big job.

I use a lot more frozen vegetables now. They're cheaper than fresh and we can stock up! We love those Steamfresh veggies! They're so easy and just as healthful as fresh, and we have bought them on sale for $1 a package. We also still have peas I picked last summer that I hoarded to try to make last all year!

I like to cook, but I'm not one to make up recipes. I usually find a recipe I like and follow it to the letter. I cook really simple things most of the time and try to be creative throughout the month so we don't have the same things each week. The other night, I wanted to make salmon croquettes from a bunch of small pouches of salmon Brad had bought. I didn't really find a recipe I liked, so I made one up. They turned out to be delicious, so I thought I would share!

Salmon Croquettes

18 oz pink salmon (3 large pouches or can)
2 green onions chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 sleeve (about 1 cup) saltine crackers, crushed
1/4 cup milk
pepper (I use a lot)
olive oil

With your hands, mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste. Form mixture into 4 patties, about 1/2 inch thick. In a skillet, pour olive oil about 1/4 inch deep and heat on medium high. Cook patties 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Salmon patty with sliced tomatoes and spinach salad

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Countdown to the Taco Truck

We are quickly approaching watermelon time! Guess what that means! It will be no time before we have yummy watermelons, AND the Taco Truck will be here for lunch every day! How exciting!

The guys have been working really hard getting the land ready. Blair took her second tractor ride recently, while her daddy and the rest of the crew were working in the watermelon fields.

Blair on her daddy's shoulder, waiting to get going again.

The view from our tractor as we were about to lay off the next rows. The second tractor made the beds, and the third one laid plastic.

The guys helping lay plastic.

Tomorrow Brad and the crew will begin transplanting the little baby watermelon plants. Blair's Andad, Brad's dad, sure knows how to grow some pretty watermelons -- and lots of them! So, hopefully we'll be blessed with the right weather and delicious melons before long.

The watermelon princess looks like she's ready to eat some watermelon too!

Bubbles and Babbles

Our sweet girl

Blair has learned to blow bubbles. Well, it sounds more like spitting and is the same trick she uses when I give her medicine, but now she does it when she's playing. It's quite funny, and she laughs at me when I try it!

She gets that bottom lip ready first!

As I was trying to get a good blowing bubbles video, Blair began quite the monologue about something she thought was very important. I love how her lips curl up when she talks, and the concentration is so clear on her face!

She talked

and talked

and talked.

And then made more bubbles!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lots of Aunts

Blair has four aunts, and we have finally had all of them to visit! Brad and I have just now started letting our siblings even hold Blair. We wanted to limit it to us and grandparents for a while, since Blair came home in the middle of germy winter. I know that seems silly, but we just don't think any risk is necessary.

Aunt Molly came to visit us during her spring break. It was a beautiful day, so we went for a walk in town. We went to the fake Dairy Queen, Eats and Treats, and got a "blendie." It tastes just like a blizzard! We walked down the main street before heading back home with a few stray dogs in tow, as usual! Blair had fun playing with Molly. She especially liked Molly's hair!

The next day, Aunt Kimmie came to visit as well. She even managed to feed Blair a bottle, which is no easy task. Blair is so busy these days, she wants to do more looking than eating!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Five Months

The months continue to fly. Blair is five months old! Wow! On this very day last year, I found out I was pregnant. I took the test just to rule out the slim chance, knowing it would be negative. Well, I was wrong! I was exactly four weeks and one day pregnant. Who would've thought? Not me! I went on to the school auction that evening with my mom and made it the whole evening without telling her. I told Brad as soon as I got home. His response: "No you're not." The shock quickly became excitement, and now I couldn't imagine anything different. God has shown me again and again that my plans are not necessarily the same as His, and I'm thankful He knows what He's doing. I have to be honest and say that I'm glad for God's plan, because I thought my dear Bradford was going to have us wait until I was 35 before we even attempted to have a baby. So much has happened in the past year, and we are so blessed!

My dear Blair,

You have had a big fifth month. You have finally grown out of a bunch of your clothes. You're even wearing a few 3 - 6 month things! Those feet are going all the time these days, and you have noticed that you can kick your toys above your activity mat. You attempt to catch your feet but can't quite get them yet. During one of our many fun times on your changing table, you discovered your soprano voice and now "sing" regularly. I don't know what it is about your changing table, but we have so much fun there.

Since you are getting to be a big girl, you are now playing in your exersaucer. It's still a little large, but boy do you love it! You know just what to do with the rubber music notes -- they go straight to your mouth! Your little feet barely touch the floor of the exersaucer, but you can stand quite well! You are showing some signs of teething. You are drooling and chewing on everything! You began reaching and grasping things. You look at something with such concentration and pick it up like you have known exactly what you were doing the entire time. You also roll over from front to back and spread your arms out as if you were saying, "Ta daaaa!"

This month also brought your first tractor ride with me and daddy. We had so much fun. We always have fun with you Blair. You are a smiley, happy baby, and you make us laugh. We love you so much. We are so thankful for you!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bathtime Revisited

Mommy loves Blair's bathtime as much as Blair does. I laugh at her every time she's in the tub. She kicks around and splashes, plays with her ducky, and tries to eat her foam letters.

We always play with the "B" for Blair! I tell her, "It's Blair's bathtime in the blue bathtub!" Too bad the "B" is red and not blue!

I always show her herself in the mirror before we leave the bathroom. Last week she got so tickled at herself and laughed out loud over and over!

Ten Pounder

Blair is doing really well and entertaining her mommy daily! As of our last appointment on February 26th, we have a ten pounder -- exactly! She is gaining weight well despite my taking her off of the calorie increasing teaspoon of powder preemie formula in her breast milk. I was convinced Blair didn't like it from day one, but I tried the formula supplement for at least three weeks. I couldn't get her to eat more than two ounces at a time, so I told the doctor that I would rather try to go without it. We've been going strong since. A few days after I went back to plain breast milk, she was taking four ounces again. Maybe coincidence? I have no idea.

Blair's seat in the kitchen while mommy cooks supper

Another thing she Blair continues to eat well through is thrush. It has been a very frustrating battle for, I believe, six weeks or more. I am so thankful that the thrush has not seemed to be painful for her at all. However, the battle has included many weeks of medication that made Blair gag (and about half the time throw up), sterilizing I can't tell you how many bottles in the microwave, and now boiling every piece for 20 minutes -- every time it's used. It wouldn't have been nearly the fight if I had realized from the beginning that I had thrush too. I've never been a mom; I definitely don't know what to look for, and I didn't have the "normal" symptoms anyway. Now I know! Long story short, I finally called MY doctor, who gave me some good tips and some better medication, and I think we're on our way to a white patch-free tongue!

Also, at our last appointment, Blair's pulmonologist tested her for 10 minutes on room air, without oxygen. She did really well! Her saturation at the end of the time was 94%, which was very good! I think they were pleasantly surprised! He will try the test again next time (the end of March), and if she does well again, he will order a sleep test. Oxygen saturation levels can drop at night -- it has something to do with the respiratory system and sleep -- so they will monitor her all night and send a report to the doctor. When she does well off of oxygen through the night, she can come off of it! So, we'll pray that she does well on these tests, so we can ditch the tank! I want this more than anyone, but I do realize that I will be nervous as a cat. There is some comfort in knowing that my child has air blowing into her nose at all times and that her monitor will wake me up if there is a problem!

Seeing herself in the mirror after I introduced her to the other side of the exersaucer

We continue to be so grateful for God's healing hand on our daughter and for the many prayers said for Blair and our family.