Category Archives: Anna

Anna – 10 Months Already

Shopping Buddy

(She kept turning to hold the diaper bag’s handles, so Sean put it in the front with her… seemed to make her happy. I think she is going to be a purse girl.)

It has been a month since my last Anna update, so I thought I should write something. She still isn’t walking, although she has taken a few steps on her own here and there. Her record is four independent steps, but we keep expecting her to just take off and go any day now. Most of the time she just takes a step or two and plops down on her butt though.

We can definitely see a change in Anna’s steps lately, as she cruises around holding on to things. Every day she is becoming more surefooted, and just in the past day or so she has started shuffling her feet a little and keeping her knees bent in an attempt to stay upright when she lets go. You can see the wheels are definitely turning trying to figure out this walking thing, although half the time it seems the ease of dropping down to crawl still wins when there is nothing to hold on to along her chosen path.

Eating real food is now old news for Anna, but she is still limited to soft mushy things. Eating out has become a bit more of an adventure these days, as we are always finding new things to give her from our plates. In some ways eating out is a little easier now because she can occupy herself with finger foods while we eat, rather than us having to spoon feed her and then keep her hands entertained so she doesn’t pull everything off the table. In other ways it is a little harder, as she only seems to get about half the food in her mouth while the rest lands on the floor or in the high chair. Plus we have to be a little cautious about what we feed her since she is just as likely to put it in her mouth as she is to smear it in her hair. Last weekend we did pick up some of those bibs with a pocket to catch food, and that has helped tremendously with the blast radius of dropped food. Still, we have to pick up a pile of tidbits at the end of every meal since we refuse to be those people that leave a massive mess behind. A little mess is okay… we just don’t want it to look like a food fight took place.

Eating at home is also an adventure of course, but it is one that we can have more fun with since it is easy to take her directly to the bath tub. Most days we leave the messy things for dinner, since she gets a bath before bed anyway. However, some times we get a little messy in the mornings too. A couple weeks ago for instance, I gave her some banana for breakfast. An article I had read suggested dusting foods with baby cereal to make them easier to pick up (so they don’t stick to trays or fingers)… so I tried it. At first it seemed to work well, but as soon as she started to get full the bananas became more fun to squish than to carefully put in her mouth, as she had been doing. We were doing pretty good until all of a sudden Anna squished several chunks in both fists, then spread her fingers and wiped it gleefully back and forth on the high chair tray just before she put her open hands to her mouth… smearing it all over her face as she tried to shove the goo in her mouth. And then ran her hands through her hair. I had the thought, “well that escalated quickly.”

At that point there was no going back, so I just let Anna have fun with the rest of the banana until she was full. She did eat more, but by the end she (and the chair) was absolutely covered with squished banana. I called Sean to help clean up; when he saw her he had to laugh, and said he could see why I needed help. Sean graciously took care of cleaning the gooey chair while I took the gooey baby upstairs for a bath. Needless to say, I gave up on that whole dusting with baby cereal idea.

In the past couple weeks she has also started to catch on to “sequences” of events, which has lead to her finally figuring out some of her cause and effect toys like her keyboard and a couple other toys she can bang on to trigger sounds or lights. It may also be helping her figure out her sippy cup as well. For a while we have been giving her a cup off and on with water in it, just to see how she did. She seemed to be getting closer to the concept over the past week, so we started giving her one a little more regularly. Today she did pretty well with it, although she still hasn’t quite gotten the hang of getting it at the right angle for the liquid to reach the spout. As long as the cup is pretty full though, she was having success with it today. Anna has also figured out her snack cup, which has a soft lid with slits in it to keep snacks (mostly) in the cup until she reaches inside for them.

I am sure that by the next time I post an Anna update she will be walking, drinking from her sippy cup, and starting to “use” a spoon to feed herself! I can’t believe she is already 10 months old… It is hard to believe she will be a year old at the end of next month.

Finger Foods

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Anna has finally started eating finger foods. For the longest time she would gag at any chunky foods, but she had a bit of a break through over Memorial Day weekend. Before that she was doing okay, but still gagging some, when we gave her easily mushed things like banana. As a result we were really hesitant to give her anything other than the pureed baby foods, despite the doctor telling us we could start her on finger foods two months ago… we would just occasionally try giving her soft things to see how she did.

Memorial Day weekend I decided to grab a muffin for breakfast. I was alone with her since Sean was at Animazement, so I decided I would just sit in the floor with her to eat while she played. Anna seemed really interested in the food, especially in the fact that I was eating with my fingers. So, I broke a bit off and offered it to her. Anna gobbled it right up and wanted more. I kept giving her little bits and she would immediately shove them in her mouth, where when we tried this before with things like banana she would play with it before it made it to her mouth more often than not. Apparently this kid loves muffins.

The next day I decided to get another muffin and try this out again, since my muffin was nearly gone by the time I had offered her some. Again she gobbled up whatever I gave her without gagging once. When Sean got home from Animazement I reported this to him, and she of course got to share another muffin so Sean could see her eat it. I was pretty tired of muffins by that point.

The next food she got was avocado, which she again ate without any problems. She made one heck of a mess with it, but she seemed to really like it. Then she got to eat some bread that I pinched off of my sandwich, and since she really liked that I gave her a bit of bread after she finished her usual pureed meals a couple times. Anna even got to try a little salmon when we went out to eat, which she also liked.

All that was over the course of the past week, so we are still really new at this real food thing. It is still a little scary. The following weekend (as in yesterday/today) we went shopping to restock the baby food bin, and picked up some more finger foods for her to try: some little puffs that dissolve easily that are made of grains and some made of yogurt. Last night and today she was snacking on those and really seems to enjoy them.

So it looks like we are entering a new stage!

Test Post

I enabled the WordPress feature that automatically shares posts on Facebook, so I am testing it out. There really isn’t much exciting to post about right now…

The only new thing with Anna is that she is starting to wave back when we are waving “goodbye” to her. It is more like waving an arm at us, but it is adorable. However, she has also started doing something that isn’t so adorable… screaming. Loudly. I have no idea why, but last night she suddenly decided it was great fun to randomly and incessantly scream at the top of her lungs.

At first I thought she would do it a few times and get over it, but after 15 minutes or so of it I began to lose hope of that as a terrible headache set in. Hopefully we can teach her not to do this… but the only thing I could think to do was to put my hand gently over her mouth and tell her ‘no’ or ‘shh.’ This morning she was shrieking again. So if anyone has suggestions…

Nothing else new for Anna aside from her standing on her own a few seconds longer before plopping butt-first to the floor. She still isn’t really showing much interest in walking independently, but she is starting to cruise (walking while holding on to things) a bit more towards things she would drop down and crawl for just a week ago.

And since I haven’t posted any craft-related updates in a while… not much exciting there either. I am finding myself floating between projects a lot recently, ADD-like…

  • Over the weekend I finally got around to making a couple things from the Piece in the Hoop book I got for Christmas: a pin cushion and a pressing pad. I will have to post pictures of those soon.
  • I have also been slowly working on piecing the four May blocks for the Elegance quilt (pain in the ass!), which I did post a picture of already. I need to hurry up and finish the last couple blocks because the next class is 10 days away and I don’t want to get behind.
  • And in the past couple days I picked up that Yellow Brick Road quilt again because I am tired of it sitting around unfinished. I think I am nearing the halfway point with the quilting.
  • I have put the scrap quilt aside because I have grown tired of working on it, and am not sure I like the direction I was going with it anyway… so I will let it sit for a while until I decide to either rip it all apart or continue on with that design.
  • And that just leaves the Thangles quilt. Apparently people were getting bored with doing one block a month with the Thangles, so they offered the option to just buy all the blocks at once. I took them up on that, but now I wish I hadn’t… because now I actually have to figure out what colors to use for the blocks! When they were done individually the fabric was planned out for me. Now that I have all the blocks for the year, the fabric is all just in one pile and I have to decide which ones to use for what. Ugh, now I have to actually put effort into it. Sigh. But, on the bright side, I got some software for Mother’s Day that will help me plan out what to use… once I find time to get around to tracing the block patterns and scanning the fabric.

Anna Updates

Happy Anna

 

 

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. Pretty much the same old same old around here right now. There isn’t much new to report with Anna since last month. Her crawling skills have improved, as has her speed. When Anna really wants to get somewhere fast she has developed this strategy of tucking her left leg under, and propelling herself with the right leg. It is totally adorable, especially since anything that catches her fancy enough for such increased speed usually also means she has a huge silly grin and, often, a squeal of delight.

Anna has also learned to clap her hands in the past week, and sometimes when we sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” it even appears as if she knows she is supposed to clap at certain times. But mostly she just claps throughout the whole song, or randomly as things make her excited throughout the day. She has also been trying to imitate the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” hand movements, although she is completely uncoordinated and it looks a lot like clapping. It is so cool that she is starting to do things like this, as it shows she is paying attention to us and learning.

As far as walking, Anna hasn’t quite figured that out yet. She is cruising around (holding on to things) and occasionally standing on her own for a few seconds before falling down. I am perfectly fine with that, as I don’t know if I am quite ready for her to be walking yet. She is growing up so fast! Plus, she is already into absolutely everything and doesn’t want to stay still for a second. Once Anna is walking we are definitely in trouble.

Anna has also just about mastered the “pincer grip” that lets her pick up things with thumb and forefinger.  It started just as her touching things with one finger, and progressed into her figuring out how to pick things up. Which of course means we have to be extra careful about small things on the floor now, since everything goes in her mouth. She still likes to touch things with one finger, which is also super cute. They say that this skill is a sign they are ready to try table food, but Anna doesn’t seem ready for it yet. We have tried a few things, but she gags when she swallows anything that isn’t pureed. I am not overly concerned about that yet, but I will mention it to the doctor when she has her check up at the end of the month. The past few days we have started giving her smooshable food in a mesh feeder, and she seems to really enjoy that. Hopefully it will help her get accustomed to the idea of “chewing” (still no teeth) her food since she has to smash it up to get the food through the mesh. She hasn’t gagged with that so far, even though she has made a few gagging faces with the chunkier baby foods. It is scary when she does that! So we are just trying to take the whole finger food thing slowly, trying not to freak out, and are very seriously thinking about signing up for an infant CPR class. I have read about how to give and infant CPR and how to help a choking infant, but both of us will feel much better after getting some hands on training.

Poor Doggie

It has been busy/crazy around here the past few days. It started Friday night when we ran a couple errands after work, which we rarely do because of the baby’s bed time. But there were a couple things we had to do. While we were out we made a poor choice in restaurants, so it took forever… and the baby had a minor meltdown from being sleepy, but luckily it was so noisy no one was bothered. Once we finally got home and got her to bed for the night, we were so exhausted we didn’t even get up with her during the night. We both vaguely remember her crying a couple times, but she settled herself back down because we were too zonked.

Saturday we had some things to do around the house in the morning, then headed to Washington (NC) for my cousin’s 4th birthday party. That is about a two hour drive. Anna did pretty good on the way down, we were nearly in Greenville before she got cranky about being trapped in her car seat so long. So, we stopped at a gas station in Greenville to change a diaper and let her get out of the car for a few minutes. After that she was fine for the last thirty minutes of our drive, aside from a couple short moments of irritation.

Anna did great at the party too, and didn’t mind being passed around the entire time. Audrey (the birthday girl) was so sweet and gave her hugs and held her for a little while. She was also very impressed that Anna is crawling now, and asking to see her crawl was nearly the first thing she said to us when we walked in the door. We had been there probably about three hours when Anna hit her cranky (screaming) over-tired point, but there was too much going on to get her to settle down and sleep. So we exited hastily. I think we were in the car about two minutes before she fell asleep, and she stayed asleep until we hit Raleigh. We were somewhere on 540 when she woke up crying, but she settled down again after a few minutes. In all, she did pretty good for being on the go all day and stuck in a car for so long.

When we got home though, we noticed Eddie’s right eye was shut. I thought maybe the cat had finally scratched him, but when I pried his eye open (the little he would let me) I didn’t see any scratches or blood or other apparent injury. I did think it might look a little off, but I couldn’t figure out in what way with just the little bit I could see. I would later realize that it looked cloudy.

At that point it was pretty late, so we decided to just go to bed and check his eye in the morning. Well, the next morning (Sunday) it was still shut, and he barely left his bed all morning. I knew that eye things in dogs were typically bad, but I was still thinking it was just a scratch and wasn’t too concerned. Regardless, I thought I should call the emergency vet number just to see if it was okay to wait for office hours on Monday to bring him in.

I got the vet’s voice mail, which said she was in church and would return the call later. Since we had a busy day planned, we went ahead and left the house when she still hadn’t called at noon. Of course she called not long after, and said we should bring him in right away. Still thinking it wasn’t going to be anything major, I delayed a little so we could finish a couple errands and grab a bite to eat. It was around 2pm when Sean took him in to meet the on-call veterinarian.

It turned out that Eddie had acute glaucoma. Sean had him at the vet for over two hours while they tried to bring the pressure in his eye down. The pressure reading is normally around 25, Eddie’s was 65. By the time he got home with him, they had only gotten the pressure down 10 points. So, it was back to the vet with him Monday morning.

At the follow up his pressure was back to normal, but he was still in pain. Our vet referred us to an ophthalmologist. Yes… a doggie ophthalmologist. They had an appointment available at 5:30, which worked out well since we had Anna’s 6 month check up at 2:30. Full day!

Anna’s check up went well… 16 pounds, 5 ounces… Then it was a quick snack at home for us and for the baby.

The doggie eye doctor appointment was kind of like a the next level of vet. The office was nice, the service was fast and friendly. The same lady that checked us in was actually the nurse (not just a tech, but actually called a nurse) and she was friendly and knowledgeable. She did an exam, explained some things with an eye model, and then explained that we would see two doctors. The first doctor came in right away (they called her a resident) and did a more thorough exam, and explained her findings. Then we had to wait a bit for the main doctor, but it wasn’t too long before he came in and confirmed her findings and went through the prognosis and treatment options.

Apparently this is a very common genetic ailment in rat terriers. The fibers that hold the lens in place break down, and eventually the lens breaks free and becomes displaced. The lens then pushes forward and blocks the drainage ducts at the front of the eye, causing pressure to build. The pressure causes the glaucoma and if it isn’t caught right away the dog will go blind within a couple days. The lens in Eddie’s right eye was displaced, and the fibers in his left eye were about 50% eroded.

The only options for treatment were to a) let the dog go blind and then remove the eye to stop the pain or b) remove the lens to release the pressure from the optic nerve in order to save the sight.

Option B is very similar to cataract surgery, and leaves the eye very farsighted. At the moment he is very near sighted in the right eye due to the clouding of the lens, so it will be a big change for him. Once the eye stabilizes in a few months, they would be able to go back and replace the lens to help restore his vision. The doctor said most people opt to replace the lens when they go back to operate on the second eye.

For his “good” eye, the doctor said he would be blind by July without medication to slow the progression. With medication he has maybe a year. Then we will be in the same place with left eye as we are now with the right eye.

So, Eddie has an appointment for surgery in the morning. We will have the lens removed in order to give him the best shot we can at saving his vision. We also have drops for his other eye that we will be using to try to slow the progression of the disease. I need to ask the doctor if we opt to have the other eye’s lens removed before it is an emergency (as it is with the right eye), if we could have the lens replaced without the need for a second surgery later down the road. I know that with cataract surgery they replace the lens at the same time. While it is tough to stomach the vet bills, I feel like we have to do this if it will save him from going blind. I don’t know if we could really afford to pay for two more surgeries, but if they could do the other eye and replace both lenses at the same time… it would be great to have Eddie’s vision fully restored. I know some people would just let him go blind since he is just a dog, but I would feel awful knowing I could have saved him from that and didn’t. I want my little buddy to live a happy, healthy life. And I can tell he is in pain right now, and there is no way I could carry on knowing he was in such pain and do nothing for him.

UPDATE: Eddie’s surgery went well; his follow up appointment is next Friday morning. The vet said that he has a 10% chance of going blind in the eye from retinal detachment, as that is a risk with all interocular surgeries. It will take a little time for him to get use to his new limited vision. Sean had to help the poor guy find his food bowl last night. Although he certainly didn’t seem to have any issues finding the treats I offered him, nor the ones that hit the floor. So, for now, we wait through his follow up appointments and keep monitoring the left eye. Hopefully the meds will keep that eye good for a long time, but it could be anywhere from months to maybe a year before his left eye goes as well. We are still struggling with the thought of spending $2000 to have his other eye fixed and both lenses replaced. If I can take a 100% certainty of blindness down to a 10% chance for the little guy, I really want to… but that is a lot of money.

Level Up: Crawling! + Bonus Level: Pulling Up!

This is Anna pulling up on her changing table
Anna pulling up on her changing table

As of Tuesday, March 4, Anna is officially crawling. She had been trying to crawl for a while before that, but as soon as she figured out how to sit she stopped trying to crawl for a couple weeks. It was like every time she started to push up on all fours her butt would somehow find its way back to the floor and she would just sit. So we worked with her, placing toys a little out of her reach to encourage her to crawl for them.

A few days before she mastered the art of crawling, she would only crawl when distracted. We would get a toy she really liked, and then slowly move it (like a carrot on a stick) and she would crawl after it. However, as soon as she tried to think about how to crawl for something she would just end up sitting on her butt again.

Enter: The Book.

That weekend we made a trip out to Buy Buy Baby for some needed things, and while we were there we picked up a couple new books for her. One of them was ‘Say Moo?’ by Fischer Price. We were completely unprepared for her reaction to this book. I don’t know what it is about it, but she loves the cover. As soon as she sees it she lights up, and it was this book that spurred her to crawl across the room. Now all you have to do is show it to her and she will speed across the room, plowing through everything in her path, just to get a hold of it. Unfortunately it is cardboard and she just wants to chew on it, but still, it is adorable to watch her get so excited over it.

Tuesday morning I played with her in the floor before mom (aka Grandma, aka The Nanny) took over, and I knew she was really close to crawling. She would crawl a foot or so for that book if you moved it across the floor in front of her, but still wasn’t crawling without the proverbial carrot. I told mom she would be crawling by the end of the day if she gave her plenty of floor time, and sure enough, Anna was crawling within hours. I am so glad I got to work from home that day!

And what is more, Anna is also pulling up now. She pulled up once in her crib about a week before she started crawling, but hadn’t really reproduced the feat since. But last night she was pulling up on everything she could get her little hands on. It started with a little wooden crate that her toys are in, I turned my back for two seconds and when I looked back she was standing up digging through the toys. Then she was pulling up on the changing table to play with things on the shelves, and then again in her crib.

It won’t be much longer before she is trying to walk! Already she is “walking” when we hold her hands, and it seems to make her incredibly happy. I can’t believe she is already doing these things. She is only 6 months (+ 1 week) old! I really didn’t expect her to be pulling up until closer to 8 months. Looks like we better get her one of those walking toys soon, I will have to see if they make one that can be stationary for pulling up on so that she has something to play with while standing up. Last night it was the q-tip box and the diaper bin on the changing table shelves… I would rather her have some toy I don’t have to worry about.

Anna Sits

And now she is officially sitting up all by herself. Her breakthrough happened Monday, so she has been sitting up for about five days now. I knew she was getting close, but then she suddenly sat up Monday morning while mom and I were sitting in the floor with her. I was looking at my laptop, and only saw it out of the corner of my eye. It wasn’t long before she fell over, and sat up a second time though.

Anna has been getting steadier and steadier at it all week, and now she is pretty stable at it. There are still times when she flops over though, and sometimes that results in her scaring herself or smacking her head on things. I am sure we are getting closer and closer to our first injury, but hopefully she will at least save that for when she is walking.

Since figuring out how to sit she hasn’t really been trying to crawl as much. I am sure it won’t be long before she is back to attempting to crawl, but for now she seems to just want to sit and can’t quite figure out how to un-sit and get back to a crawling position.

This new milestone has also affected her sleep. And our sleep. While she was unable to sit, I could lay her down in her crib when she was still awake and she would drift off pretty quickly (as long as she was super sleepy anyway)… but now she just sits up. And gets mad that she is alone and bored, which leads to fussing. Or, she will sit until she starts to nod off… will then fall over and scare herself awake… then will either be upset or just awake again, and will go back to sitting. I guess this weekend we will have to go shopping for some crib toys she can use to entertain herself, hopefully that will help her settle down at night instead of just being upset that she has been left alone in a crib with nothing to do.