Monday, November 30, 2009

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Did you say, "let's sing"?

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout.

Down came the rain...

... and washed the spider out.

Up came the sun and dried up all the rain.

And, the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

And, she's off!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Game day!

It's that time of year again... the weekend after Thanksgiving when Georgia Tech and Georgia meet. For years, Georgia beat up on Georgia Tech and I never heard the end of it from Georgia fans all around me. I've heard it all. The one that sticks out in my mind is "your stadium's so small it could fit into ours." Really.

Then, last year, we (#22) upset Georgia (#11) in Athens. One of the sweetest moments about that victory was to see one of the Georgia Tech players, a guy I've known all my life who graduated from my high school alma mater, pictured on the front page of the AJC with a piece of the infamous UGA hedges in his mouth. Since it was 2000 when we last beat Georgia, it was his only victory over UGA as a Georgia Tech team member. I just love this picture!

So today the dawgs make their way to Atlanta for the big showdown. Georgia Tech is ranked #7 in the BCS, and they have a habit of throwing at least one game, if not more, during the "good" seasons. Hopefully Paul Johnson has changed that, and the Jackets will come out on top! Don't let me down, Jackets!

UPDATE: Well, it happened. We lost. We played horribly. After six years of getting beaten by UGA, I guess their fans got a little used to our terrible teams and gloating about beating Georgia Tech became less fun since we were never good. Since of the gloating died down, I forgot what it was really like to experience the full blown obnoxiousness of most every Georgia fan I know and all the ones I don't. Well, today I have been reminded why I had vowed that I wouldn't pull for UGA again (against teams besides Tech). I hereby renew my vow.

Friday, November 27, 2009


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of delicious southern cooking! We are so thankful for all of our wonderful family. We are especially thankful that our sweet Blair is healthy and was able to celebrate Thanksgiving with us at home. Her nurses were sweet and colored a turkey for her NICU crib last year, but Thanksgiving at home is lots more fun!

While we were shopping this morning, Blair stayed with her Aunt Molly. They had a great time, and Molly entertained Blair with one of her favorite things -- going outside! The child BEGS to go outside now. She is perfectly content riding in her little pink car. She points at all of the animals, waves and talks to them, and rubs her chest (what she does when she likes something).

Blair is thankful for animals that she can kiss!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just Blair

Like all babies, Blair is up to many funny things these days....

She likes to hide things. She puts her paci and toys in her "purse" (nebulizer bag), any bag within her reach, or under any chair or sofa with a skirt. It's a riot to see her shove something under a chair, say "uh" (uh-oh), and crawl off like nothing happened!

I'll just put it riiiiight here.

What? I didn't see anything.

Oh, you mean this?

She pops her jaw. This scares me, because I had braces (for the second time) not too many years ago for TMJ, and I still have problems today. I just try to distract her when she does it.

She loves to be chased. This has been an ongoing thing since we went to the beach, but now she's a little speed demon all over the house as soon as she hears, "I'm gonna get you!"

Speed demon with her jaw sticking out.

She's really into trying to hold two things with one hand. She'll pick up a nebulizer medicine ampule, put it in her palm, and try to pick up a block too with the same hand. Sometimes she's successful, but sometimes the two things she chooses don't fit!

She feeds Gus over the side of the high chair. It didn't take long for her to realize that Gus loves her food, especially graham crackers! When Blair doesn't want the food we're trying to give her, she does the "roll 'em over" part of patty cake. When she's finished eating, she tries to take her bib off.

She loves my makeup bag. Her favorite part is trying to chew on the brushes -- on the brush end -- yuck!

Her favorite books are the ones that are as big as she is.

She likes to brush her hair.

She shares her toys.

She still loves shoes and instead of trying to chew them, now she tries to put them on... no matter whose they are!

Climbing has become a new favorite. And she loves the windows when they're wet with condensation. When she wipes it all off, she sees Buddy outside! She loves animals, period. All animals.

She remains determined. She wanted her purse, but it had the nebulizer in it. It didn't matter how heavy that purse was, she was taking it somewhere!

She's just busy being cute as a button -- as usual!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hearing aid.

This week, I took Blair to be fitted for a hearing aid. We are going to do a trial with her right ear. It will be a loaner that she'll have for three months, because hearing aids are expensive, our insurance doesn't cover them, and we don't even know if she needs it or if it's going to work for her. I have to be honest and say that I'm not completely sure this is what we need to be doing, but I'm not a doctor or an audiologist, and they assure me that they will be using a low gain aid, which will not hurt her hearing. Because the child hears. She appears to hear just about everything I say, even with background noise. She was in the kitchen this week, and I called from my bedroom, "Blair, are you ready to brush your teeth?" and off she raced to the bathroom. She loves to brush her teeth. I have a list of probably over 100 words and phrases she demonstrates knowing. Her speech is not really good, but she's only 13 months old, so I really don't know if that's a clue about how she's interpreting sounds or if it's just normal speech for her age (after being born 5 weeks early and so so sick, and spending almost a month sedated and another month in the hospital).
I have had a feeling since day one with this hearing stuff. I don't know why, but I have just questioned a lot of things... the doctors we're using, their expertise, what we're doing for treatment.... Maybe that's how parents feel when they go through something like this. Our babies are supposed to be perfect, right? I've tried to convince myself that I'm just being silly because I don't want Blair to have a hearing loss, but the feeling has remained. Maybe it's because Blair's diagnosis of auditory neuropathy is just not super common, and I'm not sure how much experience her doctor has with it. I don't know. I do know that I've never had doubts like this before. I think Blair's audiologist probably rolls her eyes when her staff tells her I called. They all probably think I'm in denial. (Maybe I am?) I try to tell her and the doctor how much Blair hears, and I don't know if they believe me. Once I was told, "Well, there doesn't seem to be really anything (hearing) in the right (based on the ABR)."
I have to give the audiologist credit though, because she is super patient with me even though
I've done things that might as well have spelled out to her that I have doubts about her ability to do her job. I've been very honest with her about the work I've done on my own to make sure that Blair was getting the proper care -- contacting Dr. Berlin (an AN specialist), going to Atlanta for a second opinion on Blair's treatment, etc. The recommended wait and see approach was very hard for me, because I'm a get it done kind of girl, but the Atlanta ENT agreed, so that's what we've done, and it has seemed to be ok. We drive quite a distance to go to the Atlanta Speech School once a month for early intervention, because I know that they have AN experience. I'm doing all I know to do, and I still have that feeling.
I'm not convinced that we are getting true results in the booth testing. Blair gets bored so quickly. I wonder if she doesn't respond to the sounds even though she hears them. She does ok with the speech, but she could not care less about the tones. Last time we were in the booth, they played a tone extremely loud, and Blair just kept looking at her book. I know she heard it though, she had just responded to tones a lot softer minutes before. When she checks out, she's out. Blair doesn't even always turn when I make sounds at home, but she'll reach her finger out to touch my ear -- and her finger is reaching before she ever looks at me! She touches my ear, because that's what she sees me do when she does turn -- she turns to look at me after I make a sound, and I touch my ear and say "Good listening!" So instead of turning her head, the smarty pants just throws that arm out and reaches for my ear.
I called to check in with Dr. Berlin this week too. I just wanted to give him an update on what was going on with us and see if he thought we were on the right track. He ended up talking to Blair's teacher in Atlanta as well as the audiologist there. He told them that he is not completely convinced that she has AN in both ears, but that the tests that he has (the ones I sent him that were done here) do not provide enough information to tell. They have all agreed that Blair may need another sedated ABR done by another facility. Not the best news for my feeling. Right now I am waiting to hear back from Dr. Berlin about what to do. Maybe Blair's doctors have been right all along, and we're doing just what we should for her. I'm hoping that we'll find out shortly, but cut and dry answers don't come so easily with AN. In the meantime, I guess we're going to try the hearing aid. I do realize that I'm not a doctor, and I could be wrong about my feeling.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Got your nose

Blair is learning facial features right now. She knows eye, nose, and ear. I taught her nose by saying "honk" when she touched it, so that made it way more interesting. Then, I started doing eskimo kisses. Now if I say, "I'm gonna get your nose," she leans forward with the cutest little smirk on her face waiting for her eskimo kiss. I love it!

This is what I get after an eskimo kiss.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

See you in a month....

It's that time of year again. The time when I take snacks and supper out to the field so that Brad and the guys can work late. The time when I eat supper alone. The time when Brad and I see glimpses of each other as we cross paths. It's cotton picking time. I almost forgot what it was like. Last year, Blair was in the hospital, and I wasn't at home at all while they were picking. That whole two months is still so surreal. We're here again, and this time I have a sleeping baby when it's time to take supper -- oops!

LOTS of cotton to pick.

The view from the picker.

The boll buggy that carries the cotton from the picker to the module builder.

Dumping into the boll buggy. This is a bad picture. I had Blair in my lap!

This year, Blair gets to enjoy her daddy's cotton and more than a few rides on the picker. We've already done some visiting, so Blair's already gotten in some good cotton picker riding and driving.

I took Blair out to do some pictures of her in her cotton boll outfit sitting in the cotton. Brad had not seen her in it, so we went to visit. We had other clothes -- I didn't make her wear that hot, fluffy thing the whole time!

You can see what's going on on the ground a lot better from the cab of the cotton picker than in a regular tractor, so she enjoys watching -- as long as she sits in daddy's lap. For Blair, there's no better place than in the arms of her daddy.

Sitting on her box watching her daddy fix one of the picker things.

See you in December, honey! Then it's vacation time! (I'll just pretend that farmers take vacation.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Eat your peanuts, please!

Picking peanuts. The grassy looking part left over is what is baled for the cattle. They LOVE peanut hay!

Blair and I have been able to do some peanut digging this year, and we've watched some picking as well. What they do, for those of you who don't know farming (I certainly didn't!), is dig the peanuts first. The peanut digger takes the plants out of the ground and turns them over so that the peanuts that were in the ground are on top of their leaves. Then, they let the peanuts sit for a few days to dry. They smell so good after a day or so! We don't grow peanuts for boiling. They do those a bit different. Those peanuts are not dried. They dig them and immediately harvest them so they will not dry out.

Brad on the tractor digging peanuts. The green strip behind the tractor is the top of the plants before digging.

Here they are after being dug out of the ground. The black pieces are fragments of biodegradable watermelon plastic from previous seasons.

Blair and I visited several times this season. Blair loves the tractor and loves to drive. Actually, as long as she's sitting with daddy, she's happy!

She fits in the steering wheel!

On top of the peanut wagon.

Giving her daddy some peanuts. Of course I spent the whole time worried about her being allergic to peanuts, but it turned out ok.

With daddy on the peanut hay.

Peanut hay for the cows.

They are just finishing up with peanuts and starting on cotton, so more farming pics will come shortly!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Because it looks like snow!

I took the opportunity this cloudy Monday (thanks to Ida) to take Christmas card pictures.

Stay tuned! I got some good ones!