Thursday, August 7, 2014

19 months!

Well hi there! Whatdya know, Elsie is 19 months old! Here's what has been going on:

  • She's totally walking!!!! Remember how I've been saying for months and months and months that she was so so so close to walking and would start any minute? Well, she finally did. Seriously, it was thrilling to watch her learn. So proud of my baby!
  • Got her fourth tooth! Two on top, two on bottom. Cute little jack-o-lantern smile!
  • Went on her first family road trip. We drove from Utah to Colorado Springs for a family reunion, and Elsie was fantastic. She only threw up in the car once, when she was crying that Evje and I got out of the car for a (false alarm) potty break and Elsie had to stay in the car with Daddy. She spent a lot of time sleeping, which is always awesome, or playing with toys, or teasing her sister. We loved being able to introduce her to our extended family, most of whom have never seen Elsie before. One of our cousins just got a feeding tube, so it was great to not be the only tubie family, and to be able to talk "tubie" with someone who gets it.
  • Speaking of the road trip, you might be wondering how we fed Elsie whilst traveling. Instead of trying to keep Elsie's food frozen for five days in a cooler, or dealing with thawing her frozen food while trying to feed on the road, or even bringing our Blendtec blender with us, ha ha, we decided to go with simple. There is a company created by the mom of a tubie called Real Food Blends. It is commercially packaged, blended real food in shelf-stable pouches. We ordered a case of the Real Food Blends and had it shipped to the hotel where we were staying, so the food was already there when we arrived. For any tubie families looking for something easy to feed while traveling, or to have on hand in case of emergencies or power outages or the zombie apocalypse, I would highly recommend Real Food Blends. It was so simple. We were out and about on various activities for the reunion, so I threw a pouch or two into the diaper bag with a syringe, and we were good to go. No cooler, no ice packs, no microwave needed to warm the food up to make it smooth. It was ready to feed right out of the package. And the ingredients are incredible. So far, there are three varieties of blends that you can purchase, and each pouch has only five or six ingredients. Nothing processed or artificially added. Just food. Anyway, this isn't a paid endorsement, but I totally want to buy a bunch of the Real Food Blends to have on hand as Elsie's food storage. What a great Christmas present that would be for someone to get for us, hint hint!
  • Since she started walking, Elsie has gained so much more confidence and is more comfortable around strangers. It's sooo nice to not have to sneak out of a room and hope that she doesn't notice me leaving, which would make her cry, which would make her vomit. She's much more adventurous and even walks up to total strangers. Who would have thought?
  • Elsie's physical therapy has taken a very fun turn this month. Since she is in the Early Intervention program, we were able to get into a mom & tot class at a local gymnastics center for free, and that is our "physical therapy". Once a week, we go to the "Baby Gym" class, where we do various obstacle courses and different activities that involve climbing, walking on a balance beam, jumping, hanging from a bar, crawling through tunnels, and so much more. All are great activities to help Elsie improve her balance and motor skills.
  • I don't know if I mentioned this on the blog or not, but a few months ago, we discontinued Elsie's continuous nighttime feedings. Nighttime feedings, while necessary for lots of tubies to get essential calories, and not a bad thing, are not ideal. For one, it's just not natural to be fed all night long. Your gut needs to rest, and some tubies have a hard time tolerating night feeds for this reason. Second, it's a pain in the neck. It wasn't too bad when Elsie was a small baby because she didn't move around much while sleeping, but older babies and children move a LOT while sleeping, which leads to tubes being disconnected from feeding sets, or tubes being pulled all the way out of the stomach, or cords from the feeding set getting wrapped around your child's neck while sleeping. There's also the hassle of the feeding pump's alarm going off in the middle of the night because of a kink or a clog. Or when you forget to plug in the battery pack to charge the battery, and the dead battery alarm lets off its horribly loud shriek in the middle of the night. Or when your kid has a cold and spends the whole night puking because their stomach is never empty. Or when the tube gets pulled away from the feeding set and you end up "feeding the bed" all night long and have a soggy mattress. Not good. Anyway, our feeding therapist recommended that we try weaning off of night feeds in an attempt to see if that would wake up Elsie's appetite and get her to eat orally. So we started a slow wean, but after a few weeks, I had a horrible night of the pump not working right and then feeding the bed when I finally fixed the pump's problem, which led me to say "To heck with you!" and threw the feeding pump into the closet. And we haven't used it since! It hasn't really made a huge difference in Elsie's oral eating, but she is able to tolerate a much larger amount in her tube feedings since she isn't so full from being fed all night, so we are able to give her enough calories throughout the day. Hooray for no more night feeds!!
  • We had Elsie's 18 month check up this morning (a month late, yes, but better late than never) with our pediatrician. He is very pleased with Elsie's growth and development, and says that she's really not very far behind from where her same age peers are. She is small for her age, but so is Evje, so that's nothing new. Her weight is following its own curve, which is good, and is just slightly under the curve for her actual age. Her height made a huge jump in the last few months, and is just about the 10th percentile for her actual age. So proud of my little munchkin!
  • I'm sure there's more I wanted to share, but we had a sleepless night last night due to some unfortunate circumstance involving Evje and a stomach bug, and I'm feeling a bit sleepy. Both girls are currently napping, so I'm going to sign off the computer and, in Evje's words, "take a little rest." And I apologize, I don't have a single new picture to show off! I better get busy and take some pictures, if I can ever get Elsie to hold still. Happy 19 months, sweet little Elsie!


  1. You forgot to mention that Elsie got her first real sun burn at the reunion. That is a mile stone, too, that she can be outdoors and among lots of people and experience all the "normal" things that happen to us all. Loved having you all there with us!