Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I need to take pictures of our Christmas decorations, this is the best time of year :)
For now:

Too cold to swing?! It's never too cold to swing!

She watches a Signing Time video (which is supposed to help teach/reinforce sign language) once a day. Yesterday her gate was open and I think she was worried that I would trap her if she wandered into the gated area. So she watched her video from wayyyy across the living room.

Maya loves her new chair, passed on from cousins Collin & Emerson. She climbs right up, but needs to practice getting down gracefully:

Friday, December 11, 2009

If you are here because you recently got our holiday card---fess up. Did you understand it? We've had a shocking number of people (more than 0) say:

"Oh, your card was cute! It was funny that you put 3 crying pictures . . ."

and then I have to say

"Yeah, because the inside is that song lyric, you know 'it's the most wonderful time of the year' . . . get it? Like she cries all of the other parts of the year except for now?"


"OHhhhhh . . . I get it"

Sigh. I thought it was fairly obvious. Maybe next year we'll have to do a test audience. Or include a back that explains the card :) I have to update on Maya's new tricks, but for now here are a few pictures. Oh, and we're getting our tree tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!! December is the best :)

Working hard:

Hardly working:

Just hanging:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Results in!

Surprise! The results came in already, and everything is totally normal---no brain abnormalities!

Hooray :) And Happy Thanksgiving :)

MRI Done

Thanks for all of the thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. The MRI is done, the stuffing is in the oven, and we're looking forward to Thanksgiving :)

We got to the hospital a little before 7:30am, and Maya (who had not eaten or drank since 7:30pm last night) was miraculously not cranky. Dave played with her while I filled out paperwork and then we broke out his laptop and played "Signing Times" (her sign language dvd). She watched it until it was time to go in. Dave took her back while they put her under, and then we went downstairs and read in the cafe for a bit. 40 minutes later we went upstairs just as she was waking up. She whined/cried a little, but was mostly just tired. Drank a bottle, filled out another form, and we were on our way home (a little after 10).

She's been fine, slightly sleepy but really no big deal. The nurses commented that she was very easy---some kids really scream I guess.

So that's it---I'm not expecting to hear anything from the doctor before next week.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MRI tomorrow

I know, I need to update more. Having said that . . . (that's a nod to this week's Curb Your Enthusiasm, if you watched it)

Tomorrow Maya has an MRI in the city in the morning. It's scheduled for 8:30am, requires an hour or two of sedation (with no eating/drinking beforehand, sigh), and is a little stressful. If you remember back to her adenoid surgery, coming out of the anesthesia was rough . . . we're hoping that things will be easier this time around.

Keep us in your thoughts tomorrow. I'll update when we're home.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm working on an update, but my time gets stolen away really easily. One week of not updating and there's so much to add that it becomes too big of a job, so I procrastinate and it gets bigger, etc etc. I just uploaded a bunch of pictures, so now I need to sort and organize them and then I can update with pics.
I had Maya's IFSP meeting this week (where we look at her progress and determine her thearpies for the next 6 months). We're increasing everything, so now we'll get PT for 120 mins a week (up from 60), OT for 120 mins (up from 90), Speech & Feeding for 120 mins (up from 60), and we'll get evaluated by a special instructor (who I think will work on things like pointing, reading, clapping, etc). I'm sure she'll qualify for that too. I'm working on the new schedule but it's hard to coordinate the schedules of 3 therapists and us, too. And Maya seems to be switching from 2 naps per day to 1, so I'm not sure how that will factor in as well.

For now, I'll leave you with the best picture that I think I've taken this month. This was at the park----Maya was holding a coin for the piggy bank and I asked her to give it to me (which she did). Then I put the coin in the bank, instead of handing it back to her, and this is what happened:

MOMMY! I can NOT BELIEVE that you just fed my coin to the PIGGY instead of giving it back to ME! I am so MAD! MAD! MAD! MAD! I'm just going to sit here and cry :(

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Things I do, 2 awesome updates

My life in pictures:

I'm a great eater of baby foods :) This is one week's worth of jars (M-Sun), plus I eat a lot of yogurt and mashed potatoes! I'm struggling to progress to thicker textures, but we're working on it.
I go to the park! At the park, we do physical therapy-ish exercises, crawl around, climb on stuff, and swing!
My pants get super dirty from crawling around. Everyone else at the playground can walk, so I look ridiculous in my constantly blackened pants. Mommy wonders if people think that she doesn't wash my clothes.I'm figuring out how to climb and chase the big kids!
A few times a week, I go swimming :)
And when I wake up from my nap, I like to turn on the mobile and gather my book, baby, and bunny all together:

I like to sit in my giant egg. Ok, just kidding, these are from a trip to Central Park Zoo that I took with Mom & Grandma. I love the penguins and the petting zoo!

And every day ends with a fun bath with my daddy. He's the best bath giver in the world. Then I get all wrapped up like a little flower.

And . . . . DRUMROLL, please . . . . . . . . . . . .

2 giant milestones this week! On Thursday, I babbled my first consonant babbles. I now say "Mamamamamamama" whenever I'm tired or agitated :) It's super cute and mom & dad are psyched that I'm making more noises.

AND this morning I stood up----all by myself!!! All of a sudden mom & dad looked over and saw this:

I'm getting big & strong :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Amazing gym cushions!

So when my sister saw my amazing taped-together platform it apparently caused her to research real toddler gym cushions, as if my taped creation was somehow inferior (jk, Lisa :) ). But for real, she sent me some links to toddler gym stuff, which is really cool and really expensive. I decided to look for used stuff, and in a crazy twist of fate (or divine intervention) someone had actually posted 3 cushions for sale earlier that day! Last night after Maya was asleep I drove downtown to pick them up, and today Maya got to play with one of them (we got 3). Big shoutout from Maya to my parents, who bought them for her!

(Still in her pjs) Mom! What's this?!
I can play with it like THIS:
I can play with it like THIS:
Get out of my way!
I can even play with it like this (although it didn't seem like that much fun today):

PS: If you notice, in pictures 1,2 & 4 she is carrying around 3 little rings hookecd together. I don't know why, but she didn't want to put them down this morning. Really cute :)
PPS: Although it looks like she's rocking out, I actually can only leave her unattended when it's shaped like a tunnel (pics 3 & 4) because if she has to climb down from it (like pic 1 &2) she kind of face plants.
PPPS: It's so much more fun to think about our Mommy & Maya physical therapy-ish time now that we have great tools to make it easier! (And you guys haven't even seen the other 2 cushions yet!)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Non apple picking

Today we went apple picking. However, we didn't pick any apples because the line was huge to get on the hayride to get up to the trees:

So instead, we played in the pumpkin patch:

And they had a petting zoo, where Maya enjoyed giggling at many animals:

While we were there, a chicken was cooking at home in the crockpot. For those interested in the prolific chicken recipes, I'm going to talk chicken . . . if you don't care about chicken, skip ahead. Anyway, I left it cooking all day and then separated the meat tonight. I have the bones, skin, etc still cooking now to make chicken broth overnight.
Broth: Chicken carcass, including a lot of skin, all of the juices that cooked out of the chicken during the day, 2 small onions, a few cloves of garlic, 2 or 3 carrots, 2 or 3 stalks of celery, 2 or 3 bay leaves, 8ish cups of water and 4 boullion cubes (maybe it's cheating but I like the saltiness). I let it cook for a long time, if it's too watery I add more spices, or if it's too salty I add more water.). Tomorrow I'll strain out the solids, throw away skin & bones, and I blend the veggies in a food processor and pour it back into the broth to add depth.
In other news, Maya hasn't been sleeping well lately so we've asked her to move out:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fast food, and a table

Today's milestone: Maya's first meal outside of a high chair! Feeding her outside somehwere has been on my to-try list for a while, so when we decided to run errands today we brought along a jar of food. Here she is (in the shopping cart at Costco):

The re-designing of the play area continues, and today we brought in the table that I was creating the other day. It was a success, although I think I may need to add a mat or something to the top so that toys don't slip as easily.

Not interested yet:

Hey, what's this?

Perfect height for standing play:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Brilliant ideas, a shopping spree, and a table

It's a lot easier to update this with pictures that I take on my phone, just overlook the lousy quality :)

After physical therapy today we went on a shopping spree. Here's the loot:

(Since tooth #6 came through this week, Maya hasn't been eating well, so we needed to pick up some of her favorite baby food, Apple-Turkey-Cranberry. Three stores later we finally found it, so we bought 21 jars. Plus a bunch of other food. Yum.)

We need to redesign her play area. Problems are: there are no steps or different heights that she can climb on, none of her toys are tall enough that she is motivated to stand and play, and she has too many toys available, so it's hard to get her to focus on anything. Today I came up with some crafty solutions!

I broke apart her old alphabet mat and stacked the sections, then taped them together to create a foam platform. Maya helped by un-stacking them and ripping off tape:

Finished project:

Then I took some plastic drawers, taped the doors shut and taped the stack together. This will be the perfect height for a table:

Then Maya & I went to KIPP's happy hour. As we were leaving, I noticed that someone was throwing away this table outside of our building. Then (I swear) they had the SAME table at the bar. So I took this picture when we got home to text back to my friends who were still at the bar. Dave points out that the picture isn't that funny by itself, since I didn't take a picture of the one at the bar, but it still cracks me up.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Maya Gump

Maya's splints were finished today. (ignore the fact that she's wearing a giraffe shirt, strawberry pants, and pink socks. She's just such a diva, insisting on her own wardrobe selections already. Or we just don't have many pants that fit right now, since she crawls like an animal at the playground and everything is filthy.) Here they are:

She doesn't seem to mind them at all, although she only wore them for 2 15-min periods today. She crawled down the hall and as they hit the ground with a tap-tap-tap it sounded like she was wearing heels. Ran out tonight to buy her a pair of shoes so that tomorrow we can start working on standing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

1 chicken, 17 meals?!?

So Dave & I have been trying to reduce the amount of meat that we eat, both for economical and health reasons. Once we've used up our frozen meat we're planning on buying directly ffrom a farm, where meat will be twice as expensive (at least) . . . so we're trying to offset that by making it a smaller part of our meals. For example, last night we had steak and made sure to leave enough left over to make another meal of tonight. (Tonight we'll have steak fajitas.) It turns out that one of the easiest things to stretch is a whole chicken----it's so versatile that you can do different things with it every night and it doesn't feel like you're just eating chicken over and over again.

Last Sunday I made a chicken in the crockpot. Here is how that chicken fed us over the week:

Sunday night: Roasted chicken dinner (for 2) (with potatoes & some vegeatbles from the farm)
Monday lunch: 1 chicken sandwich
Monday dinner: Pasta with pesto (which I make and then freeze in cubes) and chicken (for 2)
Tuesday lunch: 1 chicken sandwich (for me), 1 pasta with pesto & chicken (for Dave)
Tuesday dinner: Chicken soup (I made the broth from the bones, etc on Tuesday in the crockpot) for 2. The soup had vegetables, chicken, whole wheat noodles, & matzoh balls.
Wednesday lunch: Chicken soup (for 2)
Wednesday dinner: Chicken pot pie (for 2)
Thursday dinner: Chicken pot pie (for 2)
Friday lunch: The last of the chicken soup (for Dave), and the last of the chicken pot pie (for me)

That's 5 nights of (really delicious) dinner (for 2), and 7 individual lunches from 1 chicken! (For the record, it was a bit over 7lbs to start with. Also for the record, since the leftover dishes all involved re-cooking the chicken, I wasn't worried about getting food poisoning from eating old chicken).

For those who are looking for Maya news . . .

Maya is doing well, enjoying our daily trips to the park, playground, or pool. On Monday we even had our physical therapist meet us at the playground and I learned some tricks/techniques that we can practice while we're there. If the weather is nice next Monday we may go there again.

Tomorrow we're going to get her splints finished. She's going to have braces that we go from her calves to down and around her feet (I'll take pictures, since it's hard to envision). The goal is to help her have a stable base so that she can start standing and walking. Also, they'll help to straighten out her feet, which tend to curl in. Hopefully they won't be too overwhelming, but I'm anticipating some unhappy days as she adjusts to wearing them.

She's also cutting tooth #6 and I think she's getting a cold . . .both of which have caused some feeding and sleeping issues, but hopefully that will all even out. She's eating baby food like a champ, now we need to start working on progressing to solids.

Monday, September 7, 2009

So many things, so little time

So we've done a million things since my last blog posting (obviously, as it was in July).

-We went on a family vacation to Vermont and learned that Maya's love for animals does not discriminate . . . she loves chickens, horses, cows . . . she even loves pigeons, which is very convenient when we're out for walks.

-She's still crawling like a little devil, good at kneeling and holding herself up in kneeling to play with stuff. Getting closer to pulling up to stand, but not there yet.

-She has made AMAZING feeding progress. In the past 4 weeks or so she has turned into a girl who eats. She has 3 meals a day (faves are cream top vanilla yogurt, baby food macacroni & cheese, and something called apple-turkey-cranberry). She has gone from having mostly bottles with tastes of food to having 3 meals of baby food and only 3 bottles a day!

-In the past 2 months she has started showing us that she understands us (from time to time) which has been a HUGE relief to me. She used to only understand the words "Maya" and "Up". But now she also knows "All done", "Ba-ba" (bottle), "Water", "Eat", "Come", "Bunny" (we got a very cute new bunny named Gus) and I think "dog" and "bird" but I'm not sure. She will also hand something over if you ask for it with your hand out. It's amazing :)

-She loves swimming and will "jump" into the pool. Well, kind of. I sit her on the edge and then say "Come to mama, come to mama" and she'll stretch her little arms out and kind of tip her way in. Supercute :)

-She is sleeping through the night (ish). We just finished night 5 of our sleep training (we didn't read a book or anything, just used common sense). Now that she's eating well, she wasn't drinking as much of her bottle in the middle of the night, so we figured that we should just drop it. Night 1 was rough, night 2 was less rough, nights 3 and 4 were annoying but not tear-filled, and this morning she didn't wake up until 6! I've decided that she's "allowed" to wake up any time after 6:30, which means that that's when we'll go get her, and she just played around in her crib until then. I'm hoping that this will just continue now, but who knows.

Many pictures and video to come, eventually.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Test results are in

We got the results to Maya's microarray yesterday (a few weeks earlier than planned) and they were totally normal!

The microarray is a genetic test that analyzes the chromosomes to see if any sections are missing (deletions) or repeated (duplications). Microdeletions and duplications can cause many, many different genetic syndromes or disorders, so it's great to hear that everything was normal!

Dave and I were pretty surprised that nothing turned up, since this test casts a wide net looking for issues, and we are happily celebrating the good news.

Please resist the urge to ask "What now?" Within the past yearish, we've gone through so many tests and challenges that it's just nice to dwell in good news, rather than already start looking ahead to which tests could come next.

Now we're just planning to focus on working towards goals (our current goal is pulling up to stand) and pushing her development as best as we can.

I'm sadly looking at my last week working at KIPP (only 3 days left). This week summer school ends, we're looking forward to a vacation in August, and then I'll be working with Maya at home (and working from home as well).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Recent Happenings

Lots of exciting stuff going on with us. Maya outgrew her bathtub:

Guys? Really? This is ridiculous.

I've been gardening. These pics were taken 2ish weeks ago, the plants are way bigger now and yesterday we got our first red tomato!!!

Oodles of basil plants, inside & outside:

Habanero & Jalapeno peppers---they're being attacked by aphids, so I don't know if we'll get any peppers:

Lettuces & Spinach:

Windowsill herb garden:

Tomato plant:

First basil harvest:

Mommy & Maya went to KIPP's 8th grade advancement ceremony:

Maya did a Father's Day craft:

We read books:

And go back to doctor's appointments:

(Maya is having a genetic test called a microarray done. The geneticists still feel like some genetic issue has caused Maya's delays and the test will search for microdeletions or duplications which could have caused a syndrome. Results due in 2ish months.)

We celebrated the 4th of July with a yummy cookout in NJ:

Where Maya enjoyed watermelon and chocolate:

We are getting ready to have a big change in September. For the first time in 8 years, I'm not going to be returning to the classroom. I have super mixed feelings about it, but we've decided that it would be best if I'm home with Maya. It will make it easier to schedule appointments and therapies, and give me more hands-on time to work with her. At the same time, I'm going to miss my KIPP family, and hopefully Maya and I will visit all the time.

I'm not going to take the year off entirely, instead I'm going to be working from home with a grad school that's affiliated with KIPP and TFA, among other schools. I'll be helping to evaluate first year teachers via videos, which is web-based and can be done any time, day or night. So I needed to create a home office, and Dave and I bought a desk at IKEA. Now, I love putting crap together (Really. It's very satisfying to build stuff.) . . . but this was intense! It came in 2 boxes that looked like this:

It had this many parts:

After a few hours of work it looked like this:

Finally, all done:

It's normal to have left over parts, right?

We're rearranging our 3rd bedroom to make it more workable with the new desk, and we're back to work (for summer school, which I'm working at but not teaching) tomorrow!