Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Long Winter's Nap...

I can't believe I've failed to mention Avery's sleeping habits!!! Any of you who have done the night shift with a new baby know that even the thought of a full night's sleep is one of the most beautiful things you could imagine!

Having started off life in the hospital, on a strict 3-hour schedule... Avery didn't throw our world upside down completely when she came home. As long as we were good to stick to her schedule, we could count on at least every 3 hours or so! (this is one of the unexpected perks of the whole NICU ordeal!)

So, most nights we would stay up till around midnight for her last feeding, then Steph would go to sleep...and I would either stay up and do her next feeding, or take a nap and wake up with her... then Steph would get up to pump in the morning and feed her or I would feed her while she pumped..

We stuck to that mostly, till all of the sudden one morning... we woke up and it was about 7:00 am... I looked over at Steph, and asked if she'd fed the baby during the night... and she said she thought that I must have. We looked down at the foot of the bed, and Avery was just dreaming away....having slept about 7 hours! We called the doctor after she did basically the same thing the next night, and he gave us the green light to just feed her on demand at nights... and our lives have never been the same since ;)

She's usually really good to hang out with us and be her most awake and alert in the late evenings. She'll lay on the floor and make faces and coo at us...or come in bed with us and kick her little feet and smile at us. Then she'll eat around 9 and sleep till midnight, when she'll have one last feeding... and then she's good to go until about 7 the next morning!

She's been such a sweetheart to us since coming home.... we can't be grateful enough!

Click to play Sleepy Girl
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

baby talk...

One of the things that's most fun about Avery growing up, is that she's getting more and more attentive... she loves to just lay on the ground and make eyes at us now, and she'll just howl and talk in her own little way... she seems to get cuter and cuter each day...

video

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What a difference 4 months make...

Having Avery home with us day in and day out is such an amazing thing for us...since she spent the first 2 1/2 months of life living 45 minutes away from us... Back when she was in the NICU, it seemed like we could see how much she grew each time we came to visit again...

Now that we are with her all the time, its harder to see how far she's really come since those late summer days... I mean, it's still very easy to see that she's gotten bigger...but that's all relative. And we can very easily tell how teeny she still is...especially when we see anyone else's baby...

My personal feeling is that all babies should come out that small... minus the medical craziness that attends a micro-preemie, it has been so much fun to see such a miniature version of a human being... I'll never get over the absolute miracle she has been, looking at her teeny fingers...all ten of them have worked perfectly from day one, when her little hand could barely grasp the tip of our fingers!

As small as she still is, at 7 lbs, she's more than tripled her birthweight of 1 lb. 15 oz!!... I know that there are a few parents of babies who are going through a similar time who read this... and because of how much it helped us to know when we were in the thick of things.... these teeny babies DO grow up... there will be a day when you can hold, and bathe, and play with your little baby, just like you were expecting to when you found out you had a little baby on the way... but had no idea that your situation wouldn't be just as planned... But I'm sure that's true for all of us who have had babies... does it ever happen like you had it planned? Not all little preemies make it as easily as Avery has...but then again, not all full term babies just come into the world problem free either... there are ups and downs and bumps and bigger bumps that have to be expected... but there's hope too... there's hope, because we get through those times.... we DO get through them, and it's okay eventually...and sometimes, we're blessed enough for it to be more than okay... We never do it alone...we all get through these things together...

I knew we had these two pictures somewhere...but I still sat there for about 5 minutes moving them around in disbelief...I had never put them side by side... to really see how far we've come since August... If you ever wonder, in the midst of all the good and the bad that does happen in life, if every once in a while, miracles do happen....maybe these pictures can bring you a little hope... you don't get a miracle every time... but they do come... and when they do... not much else matters...


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bathing Beauty...

Our friends from the NICU, the DeGraffs were blogging the other day about what a fun time bath day is in the hospital... which prompted our other friends, the Forsyths to comment that for them bath time at home is more of time to dread than to look forward to...We've got to agree... bath-time at home isn't quite the treat that it was in the hospital... but then again, back then we looked forward to a diaper-change like it was pay-day!

Avery has a great little bath tub with this hammock thing that lets her just kind of lay in the water... and once she got used to it after her first bath, she actually liked the next few bath times....

Somehow, around her 3rd or 4th bath she decided that bath time was less like a day at the spa and more like medieval torture and would just scream at you... There was definitely one bath day when I was super tired and had a headache that more resembled a Catholic baptism than a real scrub-down...

But the other day, our friends, the Wisans... who have twins Avery's age, and are doing an amazing job with them!!... gave us a great idea: put a big hand towel in the bath with the baby and keep her covered up like a little water blanket. Since we started doing that, she likes bath-time again!

It's actually pretty fun having a little naked baby there in the bathtub... it still amazes us how tiny she is. You just look at this little pink thing flailing around in her mini bath-tub and you've got to smile... Someday, that little helpless water-bug will be a real person! She'll walk and talk and think for herself... she'll have stories and jokes of her own to tell... she'll be part of all our memories from here on out... it's a crazy thought...

Here's a little taste of bath-time with Avery...


video

some pics from home...

Click to play the first month at home
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Christmas Miracle...


Okay... so the first random blog post to update everyone: Avery has hit the magical 7lb. mark! It's absolutely ridiculous to think that babies come out that size and bigger every day! She seems so huge to us... but, that's probably because she's more than tripled her pint-sized birthweight! She's 20 inches long...and her head is about....umm....baby-head size (we don't remember ;) ) ... She's still off the charts when it comes to percentile... but she's catching up. Her length and head size are right on track... but her weight isn't catching up as fast as the doc would like....so we're back to the 24/cal milk to see if we can bulk the little lady up. She doesn't quite get that the holiday season is all about packing on the pounds and over-indulging...

She's more and more aware and awake each day. She'll lay in our arms or on the floor and move her arms and legs and fingers and toes and basically every muscle she can control. It's kinda like a symphony during warm-ups... she'll get everything doing the right part soon :) She'll randomly smile every so often, and she'll get on a little spurt of talking... so it's a lot of fun for us. She loves the lights... and will stare up at them as if waiting for the mother-ship to come beam her back up ... kinda weird ;) ...but it's really cute when she stares up at the Christmas lights.


So, that's a start for now... I'll update more as things come to mind... I might actually add something about me and Steph here and there... you're welcome to skim those paragraphs, and skip right to the baby stuff... or like Steph does, skip the writing stuff, and head right for the pics... lol... 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

alright, alright!!!


So... there are a few things that I can count on whenever I talk to pretty much anyone anymore.... they're going to ask how Avery is doing... for which I can't fault them.... and they are going to remind me that I haven't written on our blog in a long, long, long, long time. Most people will even go ahead and quote me the date of my last post "October 29, 2008!"... the extremely helpful ones will remind me how quickly babies grow, and that you don't want to miss a moment, etc, etc, etc...  ( I would be amused to see how these people are picturing me sitting on the couch in my sweats,  for all of November, scratching my head with the remote and just wishing I had something to do with all this spare time I have found since the baby came home... ;)  ) I actually did update the blog a week ago...and we are absolutely flattered each time someone reminds us "Yeah, but it was just a picture of you two!"... ;) Let there be no mistake of why people read our blog...
So, in an effort to catch you all up, and to stay in good graces with my mother-in-law, I'm just going to plunge back in and catch you up. I warn you....it's going to be random as it comes to me, as there is no way for me to go back and recount the past month... They might be short entries... but I'll try to get them down for all of you trying to keep tabs on us... feel free to keep spurring  me on... it will help me stay on track. 


So...here we go!