Sunday, August 16, 2009

Good bye, Auntie Jill


A lot has happened since the last post. I wish I had time to update more often, but I just don't.

Last Saturday, we all went over to our friends Andi and Jim's place. I met Andi through this blog. When Willow was first born, she heard about it and contacted me through the blog. Andi and Jim have 1-year-old twins, Cat and Lewis, who were also 26-weekers. We've stayed in touch. It's great to connect with fellow NICU parents who have some idea of what we've been through. Anyway, we went over to their place in Lake Linden for a barbecue. It was so wonderful to get out of the house. Their twins are so cute. And they didn't mind when Willow started fussing, and we didn't mind when Lewis was whining. Thanks, Andi and Jim, for a great time! Unfortunately we forgot to take pictures. However, we did remember to get out the camera last night, when we got together with another NICU family. Jessica and Chad's daughter Samantha was in the NICU when Willow was born; she's 17 days older than Willow but several weeks older adjusted. Willow and Samantha's NICU stays overlapped by a few weeks, so we got to know Chad and Jessica a bit; they live about 20 minutes from here. We've stayed in touch through Facebook, and finally found time to get together. They came over last night and we had pizza and ice cream. It was so great to see little Samantha. She's getting so big and cute! We got some pics with her and Willow together:

On Wednesday, Willow had a weight check at the doctor's office. We were very nervous to see if reverting to every-3-hour feeds had made a difference. It didn't seem to me that she had gotten any heavier. We were pleasantly surprised that she gained 7 and a half ounces in the past week! She's now up to 10 pounds, 6.5 ounces. Double digits - yeah! So, the doctor said we could ease up a bit on the feedings and even said we could try every 4 hours at night. Unfortunately, Willow's been on a bit of a hunger strike the last few days, so we've been hesitant to try that. She's always been a fussy eater, and one thing we have in our bag of tricks is that if she slows down at the end of a feeding, we hold her and walk around the house or the yard, and that usually gets her to start sucking again. Well, lately we have to do that for the whole feeding, most of the time, or she won't eat. It's tiring; by the end your arm is about to fall off. She also hasn't been finishing her bottles, and has been puking more. Yet, she seems perfectly content when she's not being tortured by that bottle (first we torture her with the breast, now the bottle!). We were joking that she might be anorexic. I'm sick of stressing about her feeding issues. I think we all, Willow included, can't wait for the day when we can just feed her when she's hungry, and stop when she's full. I sort of wonder if her internal hunger cues are permanently screwed up. Maybe if we didn't force her to eat, she'd never get hungry! Anyway, enough about that. Geez.

Auntie Jill left on Friday morning, and we were all sad to see her go. I can honestly say that it's been great to have her here. In addition to taking great care of Willow, she took great care of us, and cooked for us every night. Now that she's gone, we're back to eating veggie burgers and mac and cheese for every meal. That was an exaggeration, but not a big one. Jill, we can't thank you enough for everything you've done for us!

Friday was also Linda the nanny's first day. I still haven't asked her if she minds being on the blog. The day seemed to go pretty well. All of the feeding tricks plus the cloth diapering equals a big learning curve for taking care of Willow, but Linda seems to be catching on quickly. I do feel bad that she started her new job right in the middle of Willow's hunger strike. I hope she isn't driven away by how hard it is to get calories into this kid!

Meanwhile, Willow's spent most of the week studying her hands and trying to get them into her mouth. It occupies most of her waking time. It's quite amusing.

She's also started "cooing" as they say. She has conversations with "her friends", that animals that hang from her bouncy chair. Every time she yawns, she makes a cute little sighing sound at the end:

This photo is of me getting out Willow's "hand jam". It's like toe jam, but it collects in the creases of her palm.

We've finally gotten some hot weather up here, and Josh and I are contemplating hitting the beach today...that is, if we can get all the chores done around here. I better go or we'll never get there!


Nate said...

HI Guys-

I laugh out loud when I read your post about the milestones that Willow has been hitting. Ellen has also become engrossed in her hands and the smiles and cooing have come around just recently too. The other day we even got a true giggle out of her. Man does that feel good. Willow looks great. I LOVE the pictures. Glad to hear everything is going well. We'll be in touch.

Nate, Lauren Audrey, and Ellie

Katie Matzke said...

I love the picture of her looking at her adorable hands!!! And that sigh was sooooo cute! Glad you get to back off on the feedings a bit, and hopefully the hunger strike will end soon!

Chad Fluegge said...

Just want you to know that picture of that baby Samantha is so cute. Her parents sure are blessed to have!!!:)
Willow is very cute too. Had a wonderful time with you on Sat.
hope to see you all again soon!!
Your friend,
That cute baby Samantha's Mom!!:)