Monday, September 27, 2010

Just how it is

I have NICU on the brain. One big reason is that we got to take a visit there last week. They asked us to be part of a new Family Advisory Council to get parents' opinions and advice as they look at making changes and overall improvements for families. Pretty cool. We were so, so happy with the care that Noah (and Mommy and Daddy) received there and it is a very special and important place to me. It was a good meeting and I am looking forward to seeing what comes of it all. And there is just something good for me about being with other NICU moms. We are the most recent "graduates" of the NICU on the council and they all said that the effects of the whole experience didn't really hit until about a year afterward. Oh great. I guess we'll see.
One thing that really struck me this time was how many of the staff commented about how rough a start Noah had. When I think of his stay overall, we really were blessed, considering how much more could have happened that is fairly common for preemies that early: infections, heart surgery, eye problems, brain bleeds... (not a pretty list is it?) We are so thankful to not have had any of that. But his delivery and those first few weeks were pretty rocky. I was talking with Corey about the meeting and then some of our memories and he mentioned something that either he hadn't or I had never really caught before. A kind of random detail--how many staff were in the delivery room when Noah was born. 28. (We pretty much monopolized the NICU and birth center staff...) Yup, 28 people were needed to help me and my child survive. The "why"s of that are hard to think about.
Fast forward to today; Noah had his first PT (physical therapy) session. Personally I am really not concerned if he is late on hitting some milestones. Really, I'm not. But the fact is that he has and will continue to develop differently that a full-term baby. His systems and muscles were affected in ways that will continue to show up. That's just how it is. Despite my working on skills and propping him to his side, gravity and being out in the world took its toll on his little body. That's just how it is. He was supposed to be curled up safe and warm in my womb for those three months and he was laying in a plastic box hooked up to machines and sensors.
He really is doing so well and doesn't have too much to work on, and like I said things could have been much worse. And he WILL catch up. But some days, like today, the "just how it is" of being 3 months premature is especially hard on Mommy.

3-6 months

Click here to view this photo book larger

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Guitar 101


Noah has always LOVED listening to Daddy play guitar.

(so tiny!)

One of his favorite things was to be in his swing while he was serenaded.

Then he reached the stage where everything must be grabbed, explored, and put into the mouth. So sometimes we would let him be up close while Daddy played and even help strum.

Well, we just got Daddy a new guitar for his birthday, so now Noah can start guitar lessons.

He gets an "A" for effort and creativity--he invented a new technique.

And the equipment isn't quite his size.

What will we learn tomorrow, Daddy?

I love my boys!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Noah's first sensory table

Today I made Noah his very first sensory table.Okay, so it was just a random plastic container that fit on his highchair tray, but it still counts. If you don't know what a sensory table is, you are missing out and should probably go visit a preschool or kindergarten to try one. It is a basically a big container on a stand that can be filled with all kinds of stuff like water, flour, sand, beans, etc. etc. I used to be a para at a preschool and I liked playing at the sensory table. It is relaxing. (Come to think of it I liked a lot of the activities we did in preschool. What does that say about me? Hopefully that I will be a fun and fabulous mom. :)
Back to Noah's. I put cornmeal in it and some random containers and toys and let him go at it. And then he made faces like this.And those pictures don't even do it justice. I guess it felt pretty funny to his little fingers. It was one of those "I'm sorry I'm laughing buddy because you don't look very happy, but I can't help it" moments. Even with whatever was going on in his little head to produce those facial expressions, he still played with it for almost 10 minutes. What a trooper. Then we changed his clothes and swept the floor. I know that many preemies end up having sensory issues, so we'll see what happens in the future, but I'd say he did pretty great today.And he always has a smile for his mommy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

9 months old!

Noah is now 9 months old!
There was a different nurse when we went to his doctor's appointment today and after she weighed and measured him and put it in the computer she said, "I don't think this is right--it says he is only in the first percentile." I told her that yes, it is right because he was born 3 months early and his adjusted age is only 6 months and all that... she said she never would have thought that by looking at him and that he really doesn't look small for a 9 month old. That is nice to hear. (And for us being in the first percentile for a 9 month old is pretty cool. :) And it is nice to hear our doctor rave about how well he is doing. (I tell her that he is pretty much crazy and she says "I love it.") We've come a loooong way in 9 months.

At 9 months he:
  • is 15 1/2 pounds and 26 inches long
  • his head circumference is 16 1/2 inches (7 inches bigger than when he was born)
  • sleeps 11 hours at night
  • has become kind of power napper and usually only naps for about half an hour, but wakes up happy and ready to play
  • is still a great eater
  • loves to eat big boy food--he has tried pears, applesauce, squash, and sweet potatoes and loves them all
  • won't eat just rice cereal mixed with breastmilk anymore; I guess it isn't tasty enough
  • drinks out of a cup with help
  • loves to sit in his high chair
  • no teeth yet
  • his cute little giggle has pretty much been replaced by a loud scream
  • has perfected his cheesy grin (see previous post!)
  • can roll all the way across a room
  • can sit up on his own for a few seconds, but needs to work on it (The NICU warned us that this would probably happen. He is very strong in some muscles and seems to even be ahead, but other muscles are weak. This is from not being all scrunched up in Mommy's belly like he should of been. He will start PT next week to work on it a little bit. Considering all the things we could be dealing with right now, I am not complaining or freaking out about this one little bit. If he is a little late in sitting or reaching other milestones, I am so okay with that.)
  • is kind of a little flirt--he loves to smile at the ladies and play the "I'm so shy" game (It is so fun to continue to see his personality develop--he has never been lacking in that!)
  • Photo shoots are a lot more difficult now...
  • I love my 9 month old!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Cheesy Grin

Over the past few days Noah has perfected his cheesy grin.

What a goofball. The funny thing is he will usually do it if I say "cheeeeese!" I don't think I have actually said that very much when I take his picture, put he must have picked up the facial expression along the way. (It looks like he his getting ready to show off some teeth!)

Babies are such good entertainment. It's pretty hard to be in a bad mood around this guy.

Yup, this is what happy looks like.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life update

This blog is having somewhat of an identity crisis. I'm debating if it will pretty much be all Noah, all the time or include other things too... I'm considering having a different one for ministry stuff, but I'm not sure how realistic that is. Anyhow, I do want to put this little bit about what we are up to these days, because it is good and exciting stuff.
For the first time since we have gotten married, it is fall and we are NOT moving. Yippee! We are happy to still be at the Mokahum Ministry Center and a part of the great things God is doing. Originally our role was going to be part Student Life and Corey as Facilities Director. Then with the big job of raising funds (which still isn't done) we decided we needed to be realistic and not take on too much, so just had the role of Corey as Facilities Director. Last year there was only one student, so that worked out pretty good and he was still able to work part time at Oak Hills.
Then we had our whole NICU adventure which obviously affected everything. But we couldn't ask for a more supportive and understanding director and organization to be a part of and they have been amazing through it all.
Now to this year. As I mentioned, last year there was one student. This year we were praying for 10. WE HAVE 13. God is so good. Now there are good "problems" of space and things to deal with. And with that many there really is a need for more Student Life involvement. So, Corey has stepped into the Dean of Students role. He will still do the facilities work that needs to be done and teach a couple of modules about carpentry and skills, but his main role will be as Student Life. This is much more what his passion is and he is excited about it. (Have I mentioned how amazing I think my husband is and how blessed I am to be married to him? Wow.) I will come alongside him as much as possible. But my main "role" right now is mommy to Noah and that is how it is going to stay. Everyone is very supportive of that and I am grateful.
We also still very much have a heart for childrens' ministry and that will stay a part of our roles too. We will be teaching Sunday School at our chapel: one room, all ages, with our own baby in tow. That will be interesting. :) We will also try to do as much follow up with camp kids in RL as possible and plan some bigger scale activities.
Okay, so that ended up being more than a "little bit" and I thank you if you actually read the whole thing. It is too exciting not to share. God is faithful. I am thankful.

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's a good thing

Yes, my kid sucks his thumb, and yes, I think it is a good thing. It is one of those things that everyone feels they have to comment on. Which is fine, but be forewarned that I choose to ignore the "just wait until you see the dentist"and "good luck taking that away" comments.
He has slept through the night (as in 10-11 hours through the night) every night since he found it. He can soothe himself. It is a big clue for mommy as to when he is getting tired or hungry. And, like pretty much everything he does, it is adorable.

He is working on perfecting his method.
At first he would keep all his other fingers up and occasionally poke himself in the eye.
Now he has just the pointer finger hooked over his nose all cute like.
If it is really serious, he props it with the other hand.
It generally goes in between each bite of food.
And my kid is so talented, he can even suck his thumb upside down.
Good job, buddy.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

15 1/2 pounds of crazy cuteness

I know I say this every time he is weighed, but Noah is getting so BIG, so fast! Don't believe me? Check it out:
He is now just about 15 1/2 pounds of crazy cuteness (15 lbs 6 oz today). He has also officially doubled his length since birth--26 inches and counting!

A little perspective: