Sunday, August 29, 2010

More camping, beaches...and failing to thrive?

Hi everyone,

The last couple weeks of summer have been just awesome. We keep putting off all the stuff we have to do around the house by saying, "summer's almost over - we have to enjoy it while we can!" It's been great, but seriously, we have to buckle down soon...after Labor Day weekend that is!

On the 18th Willow had a doctor's appointment and we found out that she's lost weight - she was at 17 pounds 8 ounces, a loss of 4 ounces over the past month. In medical terms this is called "Failure to Thrive". She's had the diagnosis before, back when we first had her home. That was when they had us feeding her every 2.5 hours around the clock. So what's causing it now? The doctor suggested we get some bloodwork done to check for any thyroid issues or celiac disease. We thought about that for a day or two and ended up asking her if we could push it off a few more weeks. Honestly, I think we just weren't trying hard enough to feed her high-calorie foods. It's kind of embarrassing to admit that - it makes us feel a little like failures as parents - but Willow is just a very picky eater, so I think, if she was on a berry kick, we let her eat too many berries and didn't try hard enough to make her eat lots of other stuff. Now, we've been trying, I mean really trying. I think, hope it is working. Willow's been eating a lot more cheese, fatty yogurt, ice cream...even turkey burgers made by Linda's friend Jess (thanks, Jess!). No, we're not raising her veg like her mom. Anyway, so we've been on a baby-feeding mission and Josh bought a bathroom scale today too, so we can weigh her. It's not as accurate as a baby scale - sure wish we had one of those.

Enough about that. "Failure to Thrive" is such a harsh term. Willow's been thriving in every other way and has had a great couple weeks. She's learning new words every day - recent additions include "bubble", "bath", "baby" and "apple" (which she says "bupple" - guess she likes B words). She still loves making motor sounds and does it when cars drive by our house, if she sees a picture of a car and also whenever she sees Daddy's motorcycle parked in the garage. We love how proud she acts when she says a new word. She also is recognizing things and places and knows what she likes: the other day we were going to the park, and as soon as it came into view she started squealing and cheering. She had a great time at the park, and then when it was time to leave she started crying. I thought that was cute.

Two weekends ago, we went camping at Sunset Bay campgound out by 5-mile point on the Lake. It was supposed to be a sunny, warm day but it wasn't. Still, we had a pretty good time. Our friends the Vendlinski's came out and ate a pie iron pizza dinner with us. Andi wrote a nice post on her blog about it - she's a much more ambitious blogger than I - so click here if you want to see her take on it and some of her photos. Here's a few of ours; I didn't get very many. (I'm feeling lazy and Andi wrote such a good post about it I figured, why duplicate effort? :))

Willow in her camp chair. Her outfit should give you a hint at the weather.

Watching the sunset.

This weekend we got a call on Friday that our friends the Sherman's (Willow's NICU friend Ellen's parents) were up in Marquette at Lauren's grandparents' house, right on the Lake. They invited us down for a beach day on Saturday and we decided to go. It was in the upper 80s all weekend so that sounded more appealing than the county fair, which was our original plan. It ended up being a really good time and we are glad we went. It was an amazing spot and the weather was great. Willow and Ellen are old enough to really enjoy the beach now, notwithstanding a couple face-plants in the sand by Willow. Those weren't fun, and the resulting rinse-off caused some screaming. But overall she had a blast. Here's a little video of Willow and Ellen playing. It's not a great video, but seeing as how I didn't get a single decent still photo of the two of them I will put it up anyway.

Here's Ellen's sister Audrey showing Willow a "fish egg" (those tiny, clear balls that wash up on the shore - are they fish eggs? Or some sort of bug larvae? Not sure).

And Willow and I floating.

Then today we went boating with Ruth and Chad. We finally bucked up and bought a life jacket for Willow. She hates it. Who wouldn't? Those things are so restricting for little kids. She couldn't move and her ears were all squished. She decided rather than struggle and fuss, it'd be easier to fall asleep:

The life jacket made it easy to just prop her at the front of the boat. She slept this way for a good half hour or so.

Here's Willow with Chad (future Daddy - they're due right around Willow's birthday!):

And after boating, playing on the beach bare-bummed. :)

I have to get to bed - it's late! I've added a new blog to my list: Tiny Teeter. Tiny Teeter's mom Tina and I grew up spending Thanksgivings together as our dads were good buddies. She lives in Hastings now - where Josh grew up and also her husband, whose name is also Josh!

I hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend - we're heading to Hastings to see the Jenson's and go to the State Fair!

Sunday, August 15, 2010



Josh put Willow to sleep tonight, so here I am updating the blog at 9 PM! How exciting. Also exciting: Josh, man of many talents, has fixed our laptop so it is way, way faster! It used to take about a half hour to upload a video, now it takes about 5 minutes. Thanks to uncle Mike for the technical advice. It has improved our quality of life immensely (only a slight exaggeration)!

To celebrate, here are two videos of Willow. We did catch her singing on video, finally:

We've signed Willow up for a Music Together class this fall. It's a 10-week class for kids birth to five years. I can't wait. I think she'll really like it.

And here's one of her practicing her martial arts moves on the beach last weekend:

Grandma and Grandpa Schaefer babysat Willow yesterday and night while Josh and I went to Copper Harbor for our 5th wedding anniversary (it's the 20th). We had a wonderful, relaxing time. We were going to go biking when we got up there, but decided it was way too hot and humid, and that we'd do that in the morning instead. We went down to the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge to check out the new disc golf course. It has been since last summer that either of us played - it used to be one of our favorite pasttimes pre-baby. We did OK, expecially for an unknown course. We also had a lot of fun, which is the point of disc golfing!

Then we went back to our cabin. It was one of a group of cabins and there was a little private cove:

As you may know, Lake Superior is WARM this year - the warmest I can ever remember. Even Josh (who, having grown up swimming in inland lakes in Minnesota, is normally a big wuss about the big Lake) went swimming and stayed in the water for a long time. It was so refreshing on such a hot day.

We had an amazing dinner at the Harbor House. They're always good, but this was seriously like the best meal we have had in years. They had a sushi appetizer on special and it was at least in the top 3 sushi experiences we have ever had (I think all of our sushi-eating has been together). The meals were awesome and we had a chocolate souffle that was to die for. Sorry to go on and on about food, but it was that good, and I swear they aren't paying me to say that. During dinner a cool front moved in and it started to rain. Our cabin had a screened in porch, so we sat there and watched a movie on our laptop. Here's a pic of us before dinner in front of our cabin. It wasn't luxurious or anytihng, but clean and comfortable and it overlooked the lake.

This morning it was raining up there so we couldn't go biking. :( We had breakfast and came home. Willow had just gone down for a nap on Grandma's chest, so we went biking in Hancock - it hadn't rained as much down there. It was a great anniversary weekend.

Here's the news on Willow. Playing outdoors and especially the beach has become a lot more enjoyable for anyone watching Willow - she has mostly passed the putting-everything-in-her-mouth stage. It makes it much more relaxing when you don't have to stand over her like a hawk to prevent her from eating rocks and dirt.

We've been experimenting with her sleeping schedule to try to make it easier to put her down at night. We've been waking her up before we leave for work and asked Linda to limit her naps to 2 hours during the day. It hasn't seemed to work that well yet...but maybe tonight was the turning point where it finally caught up with her - she was tired this evening and went down fairly quickly. We had to try something - it was getting crazy where it could take up to an hour or sometimes more to get her down. She still wakes up at night too, though I've started to limit her night nursing to (usually) just once a night. I wear a shirt and turn away from her. It works sometimes, but other times I'm so out of it I end up letting her anyway.

Here are some photos of Willow. I just realized it's getting late, and I've got to get to bed myself!

Doesn't she look lilke a big girl here?

On the swing at McClain's park:

Lots of people have a special drawer or cupboard for their toddler in the kitchen. We don't really have one for Willow, but she does have her own two shelves. We put toys and snacks on them:

On Thursday Willow will turn 1 1/2 years old!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Another hike

I realized that all of our recent blogs have shown photos of us hiking. It could be getting a little boring...sorry. I guess that's when we have our camera and take lots of photos. Well, here are more hiking pictures, from last weekend. We did another hike from our "Walking Paths and Protected Areas of the Keweenaw" book. It was a 2-mile hike in the Lake Bailey Wildlife Sanctuary up in Copper Harbor. it was a fun hike through a cedar bog and was supposed to go up to an really wasn't much of an overlook though. Still, it was fun. Here's Josh and Willow at the trailhead, where there were lots of raspberry bushes. Willow LOVES raspberries.

Walking through the cedar bog...

checking out some cool artifacts...

...and post-hike, all tuckered out.

We stopped at Esrey park too and had a picnic lunch. Here's Willow on the rocks.

Josh and I are looking forward to going back to Copper Harbor next weekend without Willow, for our 5th anniversary. We rented a cabin for a night and Willow is staying with grandma and grandpa. I can't wait!

Speaking of berries, we've been eating a lot of them lately. two weekends ago, we went blueberry picking at a farm out by my parent's camp. They have these little rake things you can use to pick the berries. Oh my gosh, it was amazing. We got 30 pounds of berries in about 20 minutes. So we're all set for the next year for blueberries. Then Beth and I went raspberry picking in the wild too. I got a couple cups and Willow ate them within two days. By the way, Beth and Seth have moved back from Idaho. They're here for the long haul now - Seth got a job on Isle Royale, and Beth is working at the hospital where I work as a dietician! It all worked out perfectly. We're very happy to have them back.

Willow has added another song to her repertoire - "Are you Sleeping" (or Frere Jacques" or "Where is Thumbkin"). We have been trying and trying to catch her singing on video, but every time we get out the camera she clams up. She seems to enjoy singing most when she's playing by herself or when I'm trying to get her calmed down for sleeping. We've gotten a couple videos that aren't that good...we'll get a good one soon and post it, but for now here's one of Willow showing off her talking skills. If she is in the right mood, she'll repeat almost any word you say.

And a couple other random photos. Here's one of her taking an outdoor bath on a hot summer night. Baths are awesome!!

And just a living room shot in her diaper.

Oh, one more thing. Congratulations to Chad and Jessica, our NICU friends, who just had their second baby, Cynthia Lynne. Their daughter Samantha was in the NICU with Willow, and Jessica, like me, had preeclampsia. I think she's very brave to have another baby so soon. I am not brave and another baby is still pretty far from our minds. Oh, and Cynthia was healthy and 8 pounds-something. Yay!