Monday, March 28, 2011

Follow Up

I feel like I say this all the time, but we've been busy.  Before I catch up on how Millie is doing, I'll walk you through some of her shenanigans.

She keeps me on my toes...

(Isn't that the face of someone up to something?)

Millie is nearly tall enough to pull things off the table.  Hopefully this new discovery will help push her to ask me for help since we keep most things just out of reach.

She's transitioning from peek-a-boo to hide-n-seek.  It's adorable.

No she hasn't taken up smoking.  Remember that wretched cough that caused her to throw up on the flight to Charlotte?  Well she's still got it.  Yep, it's been more than a month.  We're trying treatments with the nebulizer to see if that helps.  So far nothing, but I plan on giving it until Wednesday before I call the doctor again.

They are pretty quick treatments, but still difficult to give to a very on-the-go girl.  We usually put on one of her favorite movies and force her into the bumbo.  It works half the time.

Two things:
1.  My house isn't messy.  I'm not sure why it looks that way in the pictures, but I can assure you it is spotless.
2.  Millie doesn't have brown hair.  Don't say it.  She doesn't.  All of these pictures were taken at night with the horrible flash, so it looks darker than normal.  Yesterday walking to church the though crossed my mind that she may have strawberry blonde hair, though.  Trust me though, it's not brown.  There is nothing wrong with brown.  It's just that brown isn't blonde, bless it's heart.

Ok, let's catch up.  Last week I took Millie to the NICU follow up clinic in Salt Lake.  It is something many NICU graduates are invited to do so the NICU can see how their patients are doing and the parents get a very detailed check up on their children.  I was working for Millie's last appointment, so Buck took her.  I have been looking forward to seeing it all first-hand for a long time.  We got to the Health Department at 8:50 AM and left at 1:00 PM.  It was a long day, complete with driving through snow (yuck).

She did super, just like I hoped.  The very helpful nutritionist pointed out that Millie is in the 10th percentile for weight and 50th percentile for height, so she's what we all dream of.  Tall and thin.  I think it's obvious which side of the family she gets that from.  She also reassured me I'm feeding her properly and gave me some more ideas of foods, which I love!

The Pediatrician was pleased, and commented that her gums looked "full."  Hopefully more teeth will sprout soon.  The eye doctor said her eye sight in her left eye has gotten worse, so we'll need to have her examined again in 6 months.  He said he is positive she will be in glasses before she starts school.

The Audiologist said she did great, and even tested a little advanced.  I'm not sure how you "hear" advanced, but I'm not an Audiologist.  My most proud moment though was with the Psychologist.  She passed all of his "tests" with flying colors, so he threw a curve ball at her for the very last test.  He gave her crayons and a piece of paper.  He scribbled first, then handed the crayon to her.  I just knew she was going to put the crayon in her mouth since I had just tried this the week before.  She didn't.  She colored for him.  Twice even.

It was a long day, and we were one of the last families there.  Millie played with a little girl in the waiting room towards the end of the day. She was a hoot.  She noticed a smell and just had to ask "ewww, who farted?"  Her Mom quickly hushed her up.  I walked over to where they were playing and noticed it smelled really bad too.  It seriously smelled like a port-a-potty.  They were playing right by the bathroom so I pointed out it was probably the bathroom that smelled.  Shortly after that incident Millie and I were called back to meet with the Audiologist.  I was horrified to figure out her office smelled too.  Seriously I was starting to feel sick it smelled so bad (and I hadn't eaten).  When we went into the "booth" to do some audio testing, and that smelled too, I decided it could possibly be Millie.  It was.  I couldn't believe it.  Seriously the aroma filled that entire place.  Thankfully we left after that and I changed her in the car.  I couldn't face that poor waiting room again.

We're happy the NICU follow up clinic is behind us, and I'm positive no one was sad to see us go.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Very Merry Un-Birthday

Some of you may remember my original due date was St. Patrick's Day, but Millie was born Thanksgiving weekend.

When a child is significantly premature (earlier than 37 weeks gestation), they have an age and an adjusted age.  Millie is 16 months old, but adjusted (as if she was born in March) she is now officially 12 months old.  Hooray!

St. Patrick's Day 2010

My sweet little troll :)

St. Patrick's Day 2011

I just threw this one in so you could see how cute she is right when she wakes up.
I just love that sleepy/happy face.

For her un-birthday I was lame and didn't do anything exciting.  Buck is out of town (for the BYU games in Denver) so I didn't feel too obligated.  We did have some friends over that brought her a Mrs. Potato head, which was so nice!  In honor of her un-birthday too.  We were also invited to an Irish feast at a neighbors house which was delish.  All of that, and I didn't have to lift a finger.

At "12" months Millie weighs over 18 pounds and is more than 28 inches tall.  She walks everywhere, tries to run a little and can even walk backwards!  We're going to try and teach her walking sideways soon.  She does everything she should be doing with motor skills and fine motor skills, but when it comes to communication and problem solving she's not quite there.

My speech class is going great, and I'm learning how to help Millie.  Right now I am working on putting actions with everything we do normally and teaching her how to point.  She never tries to tell me anything, so we feel like she'd do actions sooner than words to communicate.  I think I heard her say "baba" for bottle once, but she now whispers her "words" sometimes so I can't be sure.  Don't be mistaken though...she still yells when she's happy all the time.

Millie laughs and claps very easily now.  I finally feel like my jokes are paying off.  Do you know how exhausting peek-a-boo can be when you don't even get a laugh?  Now I get full belly laughs.  It's wonderful.  She sure knows how to make a mom feel special.

Now that you've fallen in love with Millie all over again, I should remind you that we are moving from Utah soon.  Like we really only have four weekends left here.  I'm serious.  The fifth weekend is graduation.  So Utah friends, lets get together.

We love Utah more than we ever thought we would.  We've lived here for almost four years, and it is truly our first home.  We love our stores.  We especially love our restaurants.  How can I go on without Cafe Rio and the Art City Trolley?  But really we love the good ol' folks of Utah County.  We've made oodles of friends in ever walk of life.  We've made friends with young couples that I know we'll keep in touch with for years.  We've been embraced by an entire medical community, which we never expected. And I think I know every major Boy Scouter in the valley.  So many good people that have shown us so much love.  It's going to be hard to leave.

So yes my Utah friends, we'd love to see you one last time.  Oh, and Happy Un-Birthday Millie!

One last thing.  Carolina friends, we'll be heading your way soon.  We're eager to see y'all too.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cowling-Smith Reception

As promised, here is a little of what kept me busy in South Carolina.  My BFF Kathryn got married.  I got to plan many of the wedding details with Kathryn while in Utah.  It was so fun to see our hard work come together.

Meet Mr. and Mrs. David Smith
(I swiped some of the photographer's un-edited photos to fill y'all in!  These were some of my favorites)
Photos by Taylor Giddens

Now on to the details:

We went with a bright shabby chic theme, and I'm thrilled with how it all turned out.

Photo by Taylor Giddens
We made labels for all the foods, thanks to my Mom's Silhouette machine.

            Photo by Mary Abbott
Photo by Taylor Giddens
Breaking up the food tables into round tables made handling the food so easy.

Photo by Taylor Giddens

This picture, while good, doesn't quite do these adorable table runners justice.

Photo by Taylor Giddens

The Bride is a nanny by profession (and has a babysitting company too!) so making the party kid-friendly was a must.  We also had a cute little set up for eating and coloring.

Photo by Mary Abbott

We had a huge room to decorate (biggest Stake Center Gym I've ever been in), so our decorations had to be spread a little thin.  They looked great in person, but I'm not thrilled with how they photographed.  Trust me, it was cute.

(Two of the four bridesmaids)
Photo by Mary Abbott

Photo by Mary Abbott

One of the best parts of the reception was the photo booth.  Taylor Giddens, the photographer, did an awesome job.

Hundreds of pictures were taken.  Here are some of my favorites:

(had to throw one in of my dear Tutu and Rara)

Kathryn's (very serious) niece.  Love it.

We fed them cake,

and sent them off!

With few exceptions, the entire wedding was DIY.  Since I live in Utah, that meant cramming all those cute little projects in the week before the wedding.  We (my Mom, sister, and grandma too!) were busy, but it was totally worth it.

We love you Mr. and Mrs. Smith!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Flying With a One-Year-Old Part Two

We made it back to Utah yesterday and I'm already writing up how our flight went.  Does that give you a hint of how easy it was?  It was easy.  Since you're here, I might as well tell you a few details.

Our flight from Charlotte left at 6:00 AM.  I was not a happy camper at 4 AM getting ready to leave for the airport (and thank you Tutu and Rara for driving us!), but leaving that early turned out to be wonderful.

We sat in the window seat on our first flight, which I now think is the way to go.  Everyone you talk to and everything you read says you must get an isle seat.  When I fly alone I'm a window seat girl.  I don't mind sitting still for hours, and hate getting up so other people (who can't sit still) can move around.  We both slept, and leaned on the window.  It felt like we were flying first class since we weren't wrestling between the isle and our neighbor.  Amazing.

I had a sweet experience.  Right after take off I started getting so sleepy I couldn't keep my eyes straight. Of course Millie wasn't ready to nap.  I started wondering if it would be okay for me to snooze while she "played."  That's how sleepy I was.  I said a quick little prayer asking for her to get sleepy or me to wake up, and a few minutes later she was out.  We both were.  It was great.

We had about an hour of "run around" time in Texas.  I decided to let Millie walk while I pushed the stroller of our stuff up and down the terminal.  Would you believe this little girl made about 25 friends in just that quick hour?  She did.  If someone was paying her attention she smiled at them as we passed.  If someone wasn't paying her attention, she stopped, walked up to them, touched their leg or bag, and smiled when they made eye contact.  She took a particular liking to a young man (maybe 20 years old) who had no clue what to do with a baby.  She insisted on us walking over to him about six times.  We walked lap after lap until she was too tired to go any further without falling every other step.

She slept on the next flight.  We both did.

She did so good I had people compliment me on both flights with how well behaved my baby was.  If they only knew how bad it could have been.

Since we are now experienced travelers I've learned:
1.  Fly early in the morning.  Millie is grouchy in the evening normally, so obviously she isn't going to be "great" on the airplane during that time.
2.  Window seats, for me, are the way to go.
3.  People are so nice.  I still made a point to apologize for Millie pulling their hair, kicking them, or coughing on them.  I think those apologies went a long way.

Now I think I'll catch y'all up on what we did while we were there...