Lots of fun things are going on in Willow's world these days. On Tuesday she turned 7 months old corrected. 7 months has been a very fun age so far. Everything's hilarious to Willow lately. She laughs constantly - the cutest little distinct "ha"s. "ha. ha. haha." She'll just look at you and bust out laughing. It sort of makes you think, "am I really that funny-looking?"
We changed Willow's sleeping arrangements this week. We took away the bedside "arm's reach co-sleeper" and moved her crib into our bedroom.
We decided she was getting too heavy for the cosleeper. It just has a thin, hard mattress, like the type they have in pack-and-plays. Her crib has a nice cushy mattress in comparison. She hasn't been using the crib as much as we thought she would though; ever since she started breastfeeding, she's been waking up once during the night to eat. I don't know if that's the reason, or if it's just coincidence, but it sure does make it convenient - no getting up, going downstairs, warming a bottle...I just bring her into our bed and feed her. She usually stays there a couple hours until I wake up again and put her back in the crib. It works out well and we enjoy it. I'm a very light sleeper and we've taken precautions so she doesn't fall off the bed or get smothered. I think bedsharing is a good thing for parents who work full time; it gives you that much more time to bond with and be close to your baby. This photo was taken after we got back from a party Christmas Eve - Josh fell asleep with Willow while I was getting ready for bed, but she was still wide awake.
Of course I'm very happy that Willow finally learned how to breastfeed (at 9 1/2 months old - that must be a record!); however the flip side is that it's a little ironic...I was just about ready to wind down the pumping and start giving Willow milk from our stash in the basement - 2 chest freezers full. Now that she's breastfeeding, I'm not pumping much anymore except for at work, but none of the frozen milk is getting used...and it probably won't. It'll probably end up expiring and we'll have to toss it. All that work, time and effort that went into saving it all...well, I guess it's best not to think about that.
The eating is going better. Willow will now usually willingly open her mouth for her food. She's tried cereal, sweet potatoes and avocadoes so far. We're just doing it once a day for now.
Willow's next physical therapy appointment is next week. She still refuses to roll over from back to front. She hates tummy time so much that if you put her on her tummy, she immediately rolls to her back:
Our Christmas was wonderfully relaxed. It was so great to have a 4-day weekend! No travelling for us this year; we stayed home. We attended a couple Christmas parties and brought Willow. We're starting to loosen up a bit about bringing her places. It's so fun to bring her places and let her get a little attention from people! I feel like I've missed out on "showing her off" since we've never brought her very many places yet. Christmas day, we delivered meals for Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly and brought Willow. It was actually her second volunteering experience - a couple weeks ago we delivered boxes of food to elderly people and brought her then too. Not surprisingly, the old people love Willow. Here's a pic we took in Heritage Manor after visiting a couple ladies. Notice Willow's LBFE nametag. :)
We opened a few gifts from each other at our house. We used our grapefruit tree as our Christmas tree this year.
We got Willow Sophie the giraffe.
She immediately knew what Sophie is for.
Scouty and Daria got presents too, of course.
Then we went over to my parents' house for Christmas dinner and more presents. Willow was spoiled as expected. Josh's family is coming up next week, and then the spoiling will really begin!
I guess the biggest news of the week is that Willow said her first word on Christmas. And the first word is....drum roll please...poo poo! Yes, her first word is poo poo. Sigh. I was changing her diaper and said poo poo at some point, and Willow, very quietly but very distinctly, said "poo poo". I couldn't believe it. It's not like that's even a word we say very often. We've been trying to get her to say mama or dada for a long time. Instead she says poo poo. After that we kept trying to get her to say it again (imagine a group of adults repeating "poo poo" over and over again) and she did a few more times. I caught one on video, though it wasn't a very good one. It's at about the 19th second of the video.
Hopefully soon we can get her to say something else. :)
It's been a long time since I've done the weekly blog update. People keep telling me that I need to do the updates more often, so here goes. As I'm writing this "The Little Monster", my nickname for a fussy Willow, is squiring in my lap. I mean the nickname in the nicest possible way. She isn't really a "monster" at all. From what I can tell she is very well behaved as babies go. Willow turned 10 months old yesterday. Momma and baby are still doing good with the breastfeeding. It's going so well that it's almost like they've been doing it forever. All in all it's been a good week at the Jenson house.
Now I'd like to give all you young childless couples a little advice. Being a parent is hard work. People will tell you this and you'll say "yeah whatever, I've done lots of hard work in my life." All I can say is forget what you think your definition of hard work is. Raising a child is an all consuming job. That being said, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Sure I might only ski half a dozen times this year, unlike the 100 I use to ski before Willow. Sure we don't go out until 2 A.M. and sleep until noon, but really I'm getting too old for all that business anyways.
My favorite part of being a father is coming home from work and being greeted with the biggest, happiest, most loveable smile you could imagine. Willow is the best thing that has ever happened to Lindsay and I. I really can't imagine life without her. We were talking the other day about what it would have been like if Willow had been a full term baby and everything went as planned. I told Lindsay that there was no sense in dwelling on it, we have a happy, healthy baby and none of that really matters. She agreed with me and added, " who knows, she might not be as cool as she is now." I thought that pretty much summed up how we feel about Willow.
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas,
The two little teeth. You can only see them when she's crying :(
After I posted last week, I realized I forgot to mention Willow's current weight. She had a check-up on December 2 and she is now 13 pounds, 14 ounces. I believe that's about the 5th percentile for her corrected age. Our little peanut. My friend Jess at work has a daughter who is almost 4 months old, and she weighs the exact same as our 9-month-old. Willow's doctor isn't worried though, and neither are we.
We also visited a pediatric physical therapist, on the recommendation of the PT at the NICU follow-up clinic. According to her, Willow favors her right side and also needs more tummy time so she will learn how to roll over back-to-front. Right now, she won't do it because she hates to be on her tummy. Anyway, we have some exercises that are supposed to help. Honestly, I can't really even see the issues that she claims exist...I sort of wonder: if Willow wasn't under the microscope of many health-care providers because of her prematurity, would anyone even notice these things? I know lots of other preemies who never attended the follow-up clinic...do they have "issues" that are going unnoticed? Does it even matter? The PT even admitted that if we didn't do these exercises, Willow would turn out just fine, it may just take a little longer. Oh well, we'll do it, I guess. I want to do what's best for Willow.
Willow ate rice cereal once a day all week and didn't really get any more enthusiastic than the first time we tried. It seemed like she was agreeable to opening her mouth, but once we put the food in, she'd spit it back out. It's quite humorous, actually. Yesterday we tried sweet potatoes. I made it up fresh and mixed it with a little milk to thin it out. She didn't really like it at all. Here's a video of our attempt:
She also has a very funny new trick: fake sneezing. See, any time Willow sneezed for real, we'd act surprised and say "Bless you!!" and she thought that was just great. So she started fake sneezing to get the response more often. Now, if we fake sneeze, she will usually do it back.
Yesterday Willow surprised us by deciding to nurse. I actually hadn't tried in a couple weeks - the last few months any attempts were met with a disgusted look and then screaming. Well yesterday morning, she slept a long long time and woke up starving. I was changing and dressing her while Josh was getting her bottle ready and she was crying with hunger so I gave it a shot. She latched right on and took a whole feeding. Then she did it again this morning. If she keeps it up, she may foil my pump-weaning plans entirely! Little stinker. :)
Here's a couple more photos, one from her first time in the snow, and one reading with Daddy.
It's been so long since we posted that there is a ton of news and a ton of photos. It's hard to find time and then it all piles up! I'll try not to get carried away.
We had a good Thanksgiving and went down to the Jenson's in the Twin Cities. On the way down, we stopped in Eau Claire, WI to visit Willow's old pal Ellen! It was the girls' first reunion since the NICU. Ellen has made great strides since then and she is such a cutie. Willow also got to meet Ellen's big sister Audrey. It was great to see them again.
They've changed a little since this photo:
Here are some shots from the Jenson's:
Notice the sales circular in Willow's hand. Newspapers and magazines are some of her favorite things. She loves to crumple them.
That's Willow with me and Josh's two grandmas. She got to spend some time with them, which was nice.
While at Grandma and Grandpa's, Willow took a bath in the sink. She looked so relaxed we were reminded of someone lounging in a hot tub, So we got a Willow-sized beer mug for a photo op. It was pretty funny.
Teething has begun, and it hasn't been so bad. The amount of drool is amazing! We now keep a bib on her all the time, not just for meals. If something is within Willow's reach, it's in her mouth!
Today we tried a carrot; we heard they were good for teething. It was a hit. It's safe until they get teeth, where they could bite off a piece. So far, Willow's bottom two front teeth are just barely showing above the gum.
...however, we haven't made much progress with the hair. It seems like Willow's head is growing as the same rate as the hair, so the hair can never get ahead! :)
We also started Willow on rice cereal this weekend. It went pretty well. She was very proud in her high chair (and we were excited to use it!)
We've gotten a ton of snow up here in the last couple days-insta-winter! I brought Willow out in her snowsuit and took some photos, but I'll save those for next time.
This blog follows the adventures of Lindsay, Josh and Willow Jenson. It started in 2008 as my pregnancy blog, then when our daughter was born 14 weeks early in February 2009 it morphed into a medical blog as she spent her first 105 days in the NICU. Now, thankfully, it's basically a run-of-the-mill new parent blog.