Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dec. 21

It's been a few weeks since our last post and I figured everyone could use a dose of Elsie cuteness before Christmas, so here ya go:

Just a little glimpse of what our little cutie is up to these days! (Don't mind the Mickey Mouse cartoon playing in the background) She's rolling, scooting backwards, and wiggling all around. She has been getting up on her hands and knees for a few days now and is as pleased as punch with herself whenever she does it; I do believe that we'll have a crawler here before long! She's just a happy little baby, and it's so exciting to watch her learn and grow.

On the eating front, here's a few random things that Elsie has enjoyed tasting lately: mashed potatoes and gravy, cream of chicken & herb soup, yogurt, spaghetti sauce, mild enchilada sauce, and a bunch more. She doesn't like spoons being shoved in her mouth, so I dip her spoon in the food, then put the spoon on her tray or hand the spoon to her, and most of the time, she eagerly picks it up and puts it in her mouth. Of course, Elsie's coordination is not perfect, and just like any other baby learning to self-feed, she ends up with most of the food on her face, in her hair, all over the high chair, or thrown overboard to feed the doggies. She gets some good tastes in here and there, and has been doing a little better at not spitting everything out. She's still not actually consuming an amount that a typical baby would eat, it's very very small amounts, but we're taking baby steps, and she's making great progress.

We found two things lately that Elsie has actually really enjoyed tasting, and they are cream cheese frosting and a pretzel stick dipped in pickle juice. She had about three spoonfuls of the frosting and seemed to really like it. No spitting out or gagging at all! And, I know the pickle juice is random, but I've heard that babies/kids with eating disorders can do really well with pickles and other strongly flavored foods, because they can tell exactly where the food is in their mouth, which is important. So I took one of her big pretzel sticks and dipped it into the pickle juice and handed it to her. She made a funny face at first, but then sucked on the pretzel pretty eagerly. I dipped it in the juice again and she accepted it a second time, and on the third time, she OPENED HER MOUTH for more!! She has never voluntarily opened her mouth for food like that, completely on her own with no prodding. It was so cool! The funny thing is that if I hand her a pickle, she isn't very impressed and usually throws it on the floor. Don't know if it's because the pickle just came out of the fridge and is cold, or the texture, or what, but oh well. She sure does love her pretzels & pickle juice. Funny girl.

Can't believe she's going to be ONE in just two weeks!

She was sitting in her high chair while getting her food via her tube
and got so sleepy. She sat like this for the last five minutes of tubing.
Poor little lamb!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

11/7 months!

Wow, Elsie is ELEVEN months old! You know what that means, one year is just around the corner. I was thinking to myself today, "Maybe I should start thinking about what we're going to do for Elsie's birthday. Nah, I'll wait until after Christmas." And then it occurred to me to me that Elsie's birthday is like a week after Christmas and will be here before we know it. Ha ha.

Elsie is doing great. She had a few little colds here and there but nothing terrible. She's made a lot of improvements this month in her gross motor skills. It's so exciting to watch her learn new things.

We're still in about the same place as far as oral feedings go; Elsie still will not eat purees or very much of anything by mouth. But she is doing great with her "hard munchables". Elsie will pick up and put in her mouth just about anything that we put on her highchair tray. She doesn't eat them, remember, but she sucks on things and practices chewing with her teethless gums. Some of Elsie's favorite munchables are honey wheat pretzels, regular pretzels, licorice sticks, raw green beans, and celery sticks. Oh, and Cheetos. What can I say, she is her mother's daughter! Other things that we've tried and had some success with are chicken-n-biscuit crackers, bbq-flavored Wheat Thins, dried mango slices, Nilla Wafers, apple slices, big chunks of turkey, and oh there's a bunch more, but I can't think of anything else right now. Elsie also likes to do it herself; if we put a spoon on her tray with some food on it, she'll pick it up and (usually) put it in her mouth. Of course, once she discovers that there was food on the spoon, she spits it out, but, still, it's a good step. Or we put a blob of food on her tray and let her play with it, dip her pretzels in it, and make messes. Things she's "eaten" this way are applesauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, Spaghetti-O's, sweet potatoes, Ranch dressing, strawberry jam, and chocolate frosting. She still spits out the majority of any food that ends up in her mouth if she hasn't put it there herself. But, on a positive note, she is tasting lots of different foods and that is a good thing.

Elsie had a check-up this month with the eye doctor. It was pretty quick; he told us that Elsie's vision is normal when she wears her glasses, which means that the glasses are doing their job, and to keep wearing the glasses. We'll see him again in March.

We haven't started the Synagis shots yet, which is good, that means that RSV is not rampant around our state yet. But with the snow and cold weather that has recently arrived, I'm guessing RSV will start rearing its ugly head very soon. Please don't come over if you or your kids are sick!!!

Elsie finally decided to roll over all the way onto her tummy a few weeks ago, as I mentioned in my last post. She now uses rolling as a mode of transportation and rolls all around on the floor to get to new and exciting places, like under the footrest of the recliner. She is more predisposed to roll to her right, so sometimes she'll roll herself up to a wall and get stuck, not yet figuring out that she can roll the other direction to get away from the wall. Elsie spends more and more time playing on her tummy, which is beneficial in so many ways. Tummy time is huge for development. She's really putting things together very quickly lately. It's pretty exciting. Our physical therapist says she wouldn't be surprised if Elsie were at least army crawling by her birthday. We'll see!

Annabeth and Elsie, best cousin friends

Little E and Big E
PS, that's a pretty cute owl on Elsie's shirt, don't ya think?

Silly girls!

This is the expression on the majority of Elsie's pictures. She gets transfixed
by the orange glowing light on the camera.

"Yeah, I'm a big girl on my tummy!"