Sunday, February 28, 2010


These were too cute not to share.  Mom and Dad had us over for dinner last night, and Piper got some much needed Nana and Grandpa time.  Grandpa hadn’t seen Piper’s newest patty-cake trick, so she made sure to show off for him.




Man, oh man, was she proud of herself!  …and darn cute, if I might add.

Piper joined us on the table for dinner, but who knew that playing patty-cake could be so exhausting???


…and yes, that is an ice cube and piece of bread on her tray.  But, for the record, this was after she had her dinner, and they really were just for her to play with.  I don’t feed my child ice cubes for dinner.  Promise.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Benefits of having an 11 pound 9 month old

Piper’s had a really difficult time putting on weight this month.  I weighed her the other day (still not sure if purchasing a baby scale was a good thing or a bad thing); she’s down to about 11 lbs 4 oz…  On the upside, at least we don’t have a doctor visit too soon, so we can’t get into trouble just yet.

Another upside?  She can still travel, comfortably (for both her and me, with a toy, and on top of blankets) in the laundry basket.


This way, I can have my very own wrangler of hangers.  Those hangers can be tricky; everyone needs a hanger wrangler to keep them in line.  Or make a horrid mess.

Let me just say—trying to get her out of there was a little bit of an adventure when my hanger wrangler turned hanger tangler… 

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Yesterday I said that Piper’s learned to kiss.

Today I found out why.

Apparently she has her very own tutors.

P1030610(notice the fluid motion of the cheek…)

(I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but it’s too funny not to- I totally had to pick Duncan furs out of her mouth after this.  She was chewing them…  At least they just got a bath this weekend.  UGH!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Piper’s Progress

The last few weeks, I’ve kind of felt like Piper had plateaued in her skills.  She hadn’t even been signing as much or as often (although we continued to see “doggy” religiously), which worried me a little.  I tried to give her some leeway after surgery; I’m still not convinced that was at least part of it.

This week?  A completely different story.

Her sitting skills have exponentially improved.  She’s able to sit for 10+ minutes, flop backward for a second, and sit back up for 10+ minutes again.  And again, and again.  She’s rocking back and forth, playing with toys, reaching to the side and in front of her, she even looking up without falling.  I can’t believe it.  I seriously can’t believe it.  She’s been “sitting” for a while, but we hadn’t hit that well-balanced-and-for-long-periods-of-time part.  She went from mediocre sitting to sitting really well in about a week and a half.  It makes me think that she’s been able to, but she hasn’t had the confidence to do it.  So I’ve been really conscientious to not let her fall or get spooked when she’s sitting, because I’m wondering if that’s what happened before Christmas.

Piper’s been giving kisses lately.  For several weeks, actually, but they’d stopped the last few weeks, too.  She thinks she’s so funny to kiss on you.  Although she does go for you mouth, which I’m not a big fan of.  The cheek is a good second choice.

The last few weeks she’s finally started playing with her feet.  She’s known that they’re hers, and that she can move them, she just hasn’t really played with them until now.  I talked to Becky about it today.  I really don’t think that she was able to physically move that way before.  Becky thought, too, that maybe it was because of some “preemie muscle tone” stuff going on in her legs; nothing big, just things like she likes her legs to be straight, and that’s where most of her muscle is.  I think that her legs are starting to loosen up enough for her to really pull them up.  What does that mean for us?  These are examples of what she did up until about a week ago.  Hardly over a 90 degree bend at the hips.



…and this is what she does now.  And if she doesn’t have socks on?  Those toes are awful tasty.  I think she tickled herself the first time she chewed on her toes—she started laughing all over the place!

The cutest thing she’s started this week?  She’s learned to clap!  A lot!  She even did it for Becky during therapy today (gasp!!!).  She really liked to hold your hands while you clapped,  but she hasn’t been able to get her hands together just yet.  Church on Sunday had a lot of clappy music, so we clapped with her the whole time.  Apparently it worked—she’s non-stop now.  While we were out yesterday, if someone said how cute she was, she’d clap at them (again, my child really doesn’t have an ego- promise).  And she absolutely does it when she’s proud of herself. 

She’s also learned that she can try to bargain with her cuteness.  Today during therapy, she had the saddest face on when Becky was trying to get her to pull to stand.  Then she’d start clapping like she was either saying “Yeah!  I’m all done, right?  Yeah for me!” or “What if I do this instead?  Would this be okay?”.  Of course it didn’t work, but it didn’t prevent us from laughing at her.  Silly girl.

She’s working on moving from sitting to standing.  It’s really hard, but she’s definitely getting the hang of it.  Because of her tendency to straighten, we kind of have to manhandle her to keep her in the squatting position. 

I have to say—it’s quite comical to see an adult having  to use the entirety of their upper body and torso to keep my 11 pound baby in the squat position. 

What she lacks in size, she makes up for in stubbornness personality.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Moving on!

So much to do, so little time!

My friend, Alison, took us to a play group at the local rec center on Monday.  We had so much fun!  We found out that the baby/toddler room, which had slides and climbing things, and all sorts of cool places to go, is always free- it was SO cool!  Most of the ladies that went had other kids who were a little older, but almost everyone had a baby around Piper’s age.  She was certainly the smallest, by far (they were laughing that almost all the other kids, between 6 and 10 months, were about 22-25 pounds), but arguably the cutest.  Not that I’m biased or anything.  EI in our state doesn’t offer group therapy until they’re a year old, and they’re starting to not offer it any more because of budgetary issues (good ol’ Colorado’s supreme lack of moolah…), so I’d really like to find some groups to play with.  I’m always jealous when I see the baby play groups that lots of other Ds kiddos get to play in; this could be a good substitute, I guess.  Not quite the same thing, but at least it’s something!

Today was super busy, and poor Piper (and poor Mom) had to be toted through all of it with me.  I had to go to a meeting at work first thing this morning, so Luke dropped Piper off at Mom’s.  I got done with my meeting on one side of town and drove down to pick up Mom and the baby.  We drove to the other side of town, dropped them off at the mall, and I went a little further for another meeting for work.  The meeting took about twice as long as I had hoped it would, so I ran back to the mall, picked them up, and drove to still another side of town to take Piper to her follow-up with the surgeon.  Piper did great!  Certainly better than I did…

After multiple traffic jams, road closures, and me biting my lip to prevent expletives slipping through, we finally made it to P/SL, on time, barely.  We are, officially, done with Dr. Kay and the surgeon’s office.  Piper looked great, and we have no need to go back, ever, to see her.  Woohoo!  Although they did ask for pictures now and again.  I feel like we owe a lot to them—they’ve done a lot for our little girl over the past year (I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we met them for the first time), and it feels a little odd to write off a doctor.  Not that I’m complaining, mind you, it’s just weird.  Good weird.  Weird that we’re moving on.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Drama in Dining

Piper’s been on solid foods for about a month now.  And doing great!  She had a little of a set back while she was recovering from surgery, but I can’t blame her too much there.  It seems like she’s back now—phew!

So far, she approves of pumpkin (definitely a favorite), prunes (really???), carrots, avocado, and pears.  She’ll even eat all these straight, without the cereal.  Yeah!

She helped Dad cook dinner last night.  He made lime-cilantro chicken- no, she didn’t get to help with the chicken, but she did get to play with the cilantro.  It’s kind of funny- she loves cilantro.  I showed it to her once at the grocery store and let her smell it.  She was enthralled!

She also got a tray full of Cheerios to play with.  I’m not sure that I could handle the combination of cilantro and Cheerios, but she didn’t seem to mind.  We even caught her doing a perfect pincer a few times.  And she fed them to herself, too.  Not that she’d swallow, but she did get them to her mouth.  She thought she was pretty funny banging on the tray and listening to them bounce around. 



She even offered some of her baby spit-soaked and sticky treats to us.  I respectfully declined.

Cheerios and cilantro she’ll eat.

Peas?  Absolutely not. 


Friday, February 19, 2010

Embarrassing Admission



I feel like I can now admit this.  To the world…  oye.  Some people have asked, so it’s time for me to come clean.

Besides, it doesn’t work any more, so if you see us, you don’t have to wonder.

Bows.  Hair bows.  Every little girl needs hair thingies.  But what’s a girl to do when she…  well, has no hair to put things in?  For months???

Piper had hair bows to coordinate with all her outfits.  They’re cheap (we just bought the cheapy ribbon when it was on sale for 3 rolls for $1), so she had lots of colors.  And the best part?  If you could get them to stick, they’d stay until bath time.





Our “glue” is water-soluble, so all it takes is  a quick dunk under water and it’s gone.  It’s non-toxic.  And it’s easy to find.

But difficult to buy.

Suffice it to say that you’re “safe” if you come to our house and see a bottle of KY Jelly out on the table.  It’s for the baby.  Really.  I promise.

You can imagine my embarrassment when the pastor from our church came to visit.  Or Becky, our therapist.  Aunts, Uncles, and friends also were regular visitors.  Our tube of KY?  Inevitably out on the coffee table. 

I’d always take the tube with us in the car, in case we needed to reapply.  I got really good at making sure the tube was turned upside down, especially when we were in the parking lot at church. 

I also got really good at telling the story and offering an explanation.  Hopefully convincingly. 

That time has passed, however, because (I think) she has more hair than the KY can stick.  I haven’t been able to get a bow to stick for a while (although I’m not convinced it’s because of the extra warmth requirements now, like hoods, blankets, etc).

And for those of you who are interested, yes—name brand does make a difference.

KY is made by Johnson & Johnson- I’m considering petitioning them to make it in a baby/mommy-friendly packaging to make those trips out slightly less embarrassing.  I think they could make a fortune.

…and I’ll also tell you, from experience, that it works wonders for fly-aways on everyone else.  Particularly for pictures, where you can see them.  If the world only knew… 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oodles of Toodles

Toodles was Mom’s dolly.  I always liked to play with her at Grandma’s house because she was so big.  Her hair always kinda creeped me out (sorry, Mom), but she was fun to dress up in her, ahem, “old fashioned” clothes.

Today it was Piper’s turn.  They were unnervingly close to the same size.

The rocker here was my grandma’s when she was a kid. 

Just don’t tell Mom that I consider Piper’s play date today with “antiques”. 



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Eye am so glad it’s done!

Today we had our fourth doctor appointment in (less than) four weeks.  We have one more next week, and we are DONE, hopefully until around her birthday. 

We saw the eye doctor to get a baseline of where her eyes are.  Lots of kiddos with Ds end up needing glasses, and if it’ll help her development, we’re more than willing to do it earlier rather than later.  We’ve figured she’s probably doomed, anyway, since genetics don’t play in her favor there.

I’ve been horrified of this appointment since we brought her home from the hospital.  Seven weeks in the NICU, and watching all those babies get their eyes checked for ROP, had me terrified of doing it with her.  I was actually more apprehensive for this appointment than I was for surgery.  Go figure.

So we get there, and talk with the nurse, and she says that since Piper was a 32-weeker, they’ll really check her well for ROP.  Great.  That was exactly NOT what I wanted to hear.  I want to make sure there are no problems, yes.  I do NOT want to do the exam for it.  So they checked her tracking, checked her for glaucoma, and did some basic looking, and then took her to dilate her eyes.  She did NOT like that part, and if she was able, I’m sure she would have walked out and driven home by herself.  Luckily for us, she still requires her stroller, or our arms, as her primary mode of transportation, and was forced to stay put. 

We finally had our “actual” exam with the doctor.  I have NO idea what I was so worried about—the worst part was the eye drops.  It was definitely not the eye exams they did in the NICU.  Alleluia. 

The best news was that she had NO abnormal nerve function or formation and the vessels were all normal.  WONDERFUL.  One thing we can mark off our worry-list.  She had a tiny bit of astigmatism in one eye, but he said it was “like splitting hairs” with that.  She is, however, on the outer range of normal for overall sight.  She doesn’t need glasses now, and there’s a chance that as she grows, she’ll get better at focusing and her vision will improve.  So, we’ll go back in 6 months to check again.  No biggie.  Especially since it’s a whole lot easier than I thought it was going to be. 

And, really-- she could be pretty cute in little spectacles, don’t ya think?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Some bunny’s ready for SPRING!

Oooh, how I love spring time.

The weather finally starts letting up.  Flowers start popping.  Buds on the trees come out. 

And about this time every year, I start wondering if it’ll ever come.  It’s been really nice here the last few days, but any true Coloradan knows it’s a farce.  The weather here likes to tease you.  Trick you. 

Put it this way.  It’s 40 degree here today, blue skies, and gorgeous.  BUT, February and March are usually our snowiest and coldest months.  We haven’t even started yet.  Ugh. 

So, instead of enjoying the wonderful weather we do have (which isn’t exactly warm enough for Piper to be out in, anyway), we’ll just sit here and daydream of the warm days to come.  Hopefully.

And we’ll make-believe that it is here.

With festive bunny shoes.

Yes.  Bunny shoes.  Who knew???




Are they too big?  Yup.

Are they fun to wear?  Of course.

Do they clear up the winter-time gloom?


Monday, February 15, 2010

Drama in Dining

Food purees are for wimps!

Initial exploration went well.


Finally she got brave enough to taste it.


She liked the texture of the florets…


…and then the taste registered.


I’ll give her props for continuing to try.


  But she ended up offering it back to us.


She has such a giving soul.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

3/4 of a year!

Piper celebrated her 9 month birthday this week.  I can’t believe it. 

It’s funny- while Piper was in the NICU, it seemed so insurmountable.  I was sure we’d never make it home.  But now?  It seems like an eternity ago, and I’m quickly starting to forget how long we were there.  It’s amazing how your mind strategically forgets. 

We had a 9 month well (!!!) child visit yesterday.  They were very impressed with her weight gain (although I’m certain that a fair amount of it is still some fluid she’s retained from surgery last week), and sitting at about the 7% on the Ds chart at about 11 1/2 pounds. 

So what’s so important about that “11 1/2 pound” mark???  Check this out:

Notice anything different?

That’s right, folks—at 9 months old, Piper has finally outgrown the newborn insert in her car seat.  I wonder if you can buy another set of those—I’m pretty sure they’re not intended for 9 months of constant use, and I think they’re a little flatter now than they were.  Surely they’re just as safe for the next kid, right???

(**On another note, we got the car seat that’s good up to 30 pounds.  At this rate, she’d be well into first grade before she outgrows it.  Not that we’ll make her, but there’s something very wrong about driving your child to school, real school, in an infant carrier.**)

Nothing else too exciting at the doctor.  We did get referrals to the audiology clinic (they just want to get her checked around her birthday) and the genetics clinic.  And Piper got one of her booster vaccinations, so that she doesn’t have to get so many next time.

But the best part of the whole thing?

We don’t have to go back until her birthday.  Count ‘em, folks—three whole months. 

…I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.  Darn.

Friday, February 12, 2010

This? THIS???

THIS is the face of a child who hasn’t slept.

In a week.

No naps.

In her room, with the lights out (awake for at least part of it), about 6 hours at night.

THIS may as well be the face of her mother:

If I’m nonexistent in a few days, please send the search parties.  I may have died of exhaustion. 

Thank you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Princess Practice with Piper

P is for Persuasive Poise

Orations, persuasion, and conversation are very important parts of the job.  Political prowess is an integral part of their duties, and it takes a lot of practice to become polished and articulate.  Piper’s learning early.

And it’s a good thing.

You see, she needs some practice in the “politeness” category.

She started out well—greeting is not a problem.  So long as, of course, her counterpart doesn’t have personal space issues.


She laughed at bad jokes, just to humor her guest.


Unfortunately, the meeting went downhill from there.

She had to be reminded that it’s not nice to lick someone else’s eyes—doesn’t matter how pretty you think they are.


We also need to talk about “pretty” smiling for the press.  I don’t think it’s proper to blow raspberries at the camera.


Practice, practice, practice, little Piper—you’re gonna need it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

86-ing the 6’s

Miss Becky has shared a lot of her little girl’s clothes with Piper.  I was really excited to use some of them this winter, but I knew there was no faking 3-6 month clothes.  I was looking in her closet today, and wondered if maybe, just maybe, some of the clothes would be close enough. 


I love these little pink pants.  Lined corduroy.  They’d be so nice and warm and soft for her!

From the side?  Not so bad…


But from the back?

I’m pretty sure she could have about 3 or 4 of her little bottoms in there.  They stay up only by the stiffness of the legs.

I love this little skirt, too.  My sister-in-law gave it to us for our baby shower last year (I’m sure with the anticipation of her wearing it this fall).  I have some really cute tights from Gymboree (oh, how I spend too much at that store) that would look so cute under this. 



I love her face here.  Can’t stop laughing.  She totally knows that her pants fell off…  and she’s wondering why I find it so funny and why I’m not fixing it.

I think it’s safe to say we are comfortably, and undeniably, in 3 month clothes still. 

If only we all are anxiously waiting to wear the next bigger size, huh?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Aw, Thanks, Aubrey!

imageOur little peanut pal, Aubrey, nominated us for an award!  Thanks, guys!  Aubrey is, by the way, possibly one of the cutest little punkins ever. 

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award.
2. Copy the award & place it on my blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award.
4. Share 7 interesting things about myself.
5. Nominate 7 bloggers.

7 Interesting Things About Me

  • I double majored in college, at the University of San Diego (which is, by the way, probably one of the most gorgeous campuses ever).  One of my majors was Math.  What am I doing with that degree?  Nada.  Do I have any ambitions to do anything with that degree?  Nope.  So why did I punish myself for four years?  Not.  A.  Clue.USD photo


  • I really, really love living in Colorado.  Particularly being so close to the mountains.  I love going camping (especially when we get to go with a bunch of friends), and I’m totally bummed that we haven’t really gotten up to the high country in a couple years now.  I am, however, slightly embarrassed by the fact that I, in no way, have the physical capacity to do hardcore mountain stuff.  We tried climbing a 14er summer before last, and it ended abysmally for me.  I’d love to have the ability, but that would require being in decent physical shape, which I’m not, and I have no ambition to get there.  Sitting by the fire making foil packs, soup, and punch-hole donuts satisfies me just fine. 


  • My mom and I used to raise chinchillas under the rolling eyes of my dad, and my brother pretended that he had too much testosterone to care.  But, man, you have never seen anything as cute as baby chinchillas.  When they’re born, they’re small enough to fit through a 1”x1” square, but have all their fur and teeth and their eyes are open.  We learned all about dominate and recessive genes, because fur color follows the Mendel’s peas phenomenon perfectly.  We were up to almost 30 at one point, and started donating them to the preschool I was working for through high school.  Luke and I have four left who still live in our basement. 


  • I really like to cook.  No, not cook.  I really like to bake.  I haven’t done too much since I got pregnant, and I miss having the time to do it.  Part of my problem is that I really like to cook things, but I’m not so big on eating it.  We’ve always got to have somewhere to give some away.  And really?  Making a whole cheesecake wouldn’t do anything for my, or my husband’s, waistline, and maybe it’s better that we stay away…


  • My brother is, and always has been, one of my best friends.  The high school years were a little…  loud?…  but I’ve always counted myself lucky to have a brother with whom I’ve never fought, and who has always taken care of me.  And I love how much he loves Piper, too.


  • If I could live anywhere, it’d probably be up in Cody, WY, where my grandma grew up.  It’s just outside of Yellowstone.  Chances are, if you’ve driven into the park from the east entrance, you drove right past my great-grandparents’ house.  Mom, Grandma, Grandpa and I used to go up every summer while Justin and my dad went to Boy Scout camp.  I love Cody.  Of everyone in my life, it’s my great grandparent’s who I wish Luke could have met.  I think he and Grandpa would have gotten along fabulously.  I miss them.


  • I’m a very picky eater.  Although, I am a lot better now than I used to be.  I still get stuck, though, on eating appropriate food at the appropriate time of day.  I can handle pancakes for dinner on occasion, but outside that…  Sometimes I even have a hard time having leftovers for lunch.  I still adamantly protest anything that lives or comes from under water, anything pickled, and probably a dozen other categories.  I’m pretty sure Luke thinks he’s neglected, but I’m pretty sure he’ll live.

So, now the fun part—Hello, ladies!  Let’s hear it!  I’d like to know more about you, too!

1.  Alaina at The Stevenson Family

2.  Kristin at Two dogs and a fish

3.  Lisa at Grace upon Grace

4.  Michelle from Gab about Gabe

5.  Olivia’s mommy from Ups and Downs of O

6.  Kacey from The Amazing Ella Grace

7.  Sarah from Class of 2008