Tiny hand

Tiny hand
November 20, 2010 (one day old)

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy adjusted first birthday!

Today is the day we should have been celebrating Cayden's first birthday - one year after his due date.  Instead, he's been with us for 1 year, 3 months, 1 week, and 2 days.  This is supposed to be the magic day when Cayden should be past most of the major hurdles and issues he faced as a preemie, namely, his immune system is supposed to be mature and caught up by now.  But the fact that it's smack in the middle of cold/flu/RSV season means, per our doctor's advice, we are still going to stay in hiding until later this spring.  Hopefully, we'll have our freedom back and be able to get out of the house and be more social sometime around the end of April/beginning of May.

We have another reason to look forward to the beginning of May.  Jason accepted a new job training pilots for a Canadian company that contracts with airlines all over the world.  His first assignment is in Cairo, Egypt and he is scheduled to leave sometime around March 10th.  He will be gone 60 days then should be home for 20-30 days, so that will have him home sometime around the second week in May.  I'm not thrilled with him being gone for so long, but when you do the math, he's gone just as many days in the same time span at his current job.  The volatile location worries me too, but it's better than his other choice, which was Afghanistan.  He has several friends who have been flying these gigs for a couple of years, and they've tried recruiting him before, but we are just now reaching the place where I feel like I should be able to handle things with him gone that long.  There is no way we could have done it a year ago, or even six months ago.  The money is excellent and it will help us catch up on what we've lost with my not working. The bummer is that I definitely won't be going back to work with him gone that much. The plan is to try it for a year or two, then take the money and run. Neither of us wants to live that kind of lifestyle for very long.

Even though things are much easier now than they were a year ago, I'm not sure how it's going to go being a single mom of two under two.  We're trying to get things in order so that I have help from a nanny a couple days a week so that I can cook, shop, run errands, cut the grass, pay the bills - all the things that need to be done to run a household but that you can't exactly get done with two toddlers always needing attention. 

Speaking of nannies, we've been so happy with our new nanny, Kelly.  She's been helping me just one day a week for the past month or so, but I'm going to need more help than she can give once Jason leaves (she also works for another family and is enrolled in college classes).  So I guess I need to get back to the nanny search to see if I can find someone else who can supplement when Kelly isn't available.  I'm dreading the task because it seems that besides Kelly, most of the people I've contacted about nannying are either psycho or totally flaky and unreliable.

So to get back to Cayden and his big pseudo-birthday . . . it will still take him a couple of years to catch up completely on developmental milestones, but for now, he's right on track with where a one year old should be.  He's crawling like a speed demon!  It's so funny to watch his little butt wiggle side to side as he speeds across the room.  (I need to get a video of that to put on here.)  He's cruising the furniture a little more and I think taking his first steps will be coming soon.  He's learning to use his sippy cup at mealtimes and isn't so interested in the bottle anymore.  He gets really forceful when he doesn't want it anymore and he'll push it away so hard that sometimes he knocks it out of your hand!

He's also going through a phase (at least I HOPE it's just a phase!) where he screams and cries and wakes up in the middle of the night several times.  We've had a few nights these past couple of weeks where we've been up most of the night trying to get him back to sleep - holding, rocking, giving him Tylenol thinking maybe his teeth are painful, rubbing his back, but as soon as you think he's asleep and tiptoe out of the room, he shrieks and gets all worked up again.  The last couple of days he's also been screaming and crying when you lie him down for a nap or at bedtime.  I think I finally figured out that he's playing us, and if you just let him cry, he'll usually pass out within a few minutes.  Smart little sucker!

He got his first molar a couple weeks ago and number two is about to pop through any day.  He really needs a haircut, but I don't want to cut it myself - I want to take him to one of those kiddie places so someone else can do the work and I can take pictures.  But we can't take him until May-ish, so he's going to be one long haired hippie boy for a couple more months!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Letting go

Cayden seems to have had a surge in developmental achievements here lately.  He switched from army crawling to regular crawling a couple of weeks ago and hasn't looked back.  You have to watch that little guy - he is FAST!  Sometimes I'll set him down on the floor and try to make my way over to close off a baby gate at the top of a set of stairs but he crawls faster than I can walk so I end up having to run and trip over him to get there before he goes headfirst down the stairs.

He's just starting to cruise the furniture (where he pulls himself up onto his feet then moves along the edge of whatever it is he's holding onto) and today, during his OT session, he let go two different times for a second or two each time.

We had a visit with the Tri-County home health nurse yesterday.  She's been coming once a month since Cayden came home from the hospital almost a year ago.  She weighs and measures him, does a quick physical exam, and assesses his gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and communication development periodically with a questionnaire called the ASQ.  Since her last visit, he gained almost two pounds!  His weight is up to 21 lbs. 10.7 oz. and he is between the 25th and 50th percentiles for his adjusted age's weight and height.  He is meeting all of the goals for his adjusted age and she's thrilled with his progress.  So thrilled, in fact, that we decided it's probably not necessary to have her come any more.  I've always looked forward to her visits just to have that monthly reassurance that he's doing o.k., but now we're letting go of that security blanket. 

Cayden will see Dr. Rosenberg at the Special Care Clinic on Friday this week for his 15 month check up and vaccinations.  We haven't been there in over two months, so I'm sure they're going to be impressed with how big he's gotten!  After this visit, I don't think we'll have to go back until he's 18 months old, so that'll be a three month stretch without any medical check ups. 

While it's so exciting that we're finally getting to the point where we no longer have to be so concerned about every little thing with Cayden, it's hard to get used to the idea.  I know he's doing well and will continue to thrive and gain ground on his developmental achievements, but after 15 months of having every little thing scrutinized, measured, debated, and basically decided for us, it's hard to let go of that professional guidance.

We've settled into a routine where Cayden eats all three meals with us in his high chair and he's eating pretty much everything we do.  I don't think I've found a food he won't eat!  We're still working on getting him to use a sippy cup, and for now, we're giving him three bottles of milk a day, one after each of his meals.  When we give him the sippy cup with his meal, he gets so distracted with it, he doesn't eat.  Once he gets the sippy cup down, that'll be another big milestone.

Cayden has a new favorite pastime:  picking his nose.  One finger, two fingers, one hand or the other, that boy always seems to have a digit up his nostril!  I'm sure he'll be the one we have to take to the ER to have a marble or something removed.  But he's still cute.  See for yourself: