Saturday, April 29, 2006

What's New?

We've been AWOL again lately. I am blaming it on moving, unpacking, settling in, and enjoying that spring has finally arrived! (I promise not another post about moving!)

So what's new in Miss Clare's life? She is doing so well right now! (But... still no teeth!)

We've been fairly doctor-free for a while now, other than her weight checks every two weeks. Clare does not return to see her cardiologist and undergo a sedated echo until June. I admit I am eager to see how the appointment goes. It's already been six weeks since Clare's last cardiology appointment, and we have never been this long without knowing what's going on in that little heart. We have another six weeks to go. I am curious, but not worried, since Clare is obviously thriving right now!

Clare's weight gain is still going incredibly slow. She gained a couple ounces between appointments last time. It's still not what the doctors want to see, but at least she's gaining. I don't think her GI and pediatrician will ever be happy unless she gains five pounds in one month! Shawn and I are happy with her progress, though. She is self-feeding now and loves it. She prefers that over being spoon-fed pureed foods. In fact, the only person she will condescend to let feed her is Shawn! The quantity of foods she will finger feed herself is not great, but she will try to eat anything we put in front of her. And we've been more daring with Clare as to variety than with Jamie, which is kind of funny. Clare enjoys meal time (for the most part), but she will let you know when enough is enough. We are teaching Clare baby signs, and the only sign she responds back is "All done." She "says" it loud and clear when dinner is over!

Clare continues with her weekly OT sessions. Her goals right now are crawling and increasing upper body strength, as well as beginning some vestibular activities. These are Clare's favorites because it involves flying through the air, bouncing on a ball, rolling continuously, swinging on the swingset, and hanging upside down. She does not enjoy her crawling/upper body strength activities as much, but is increasing her length of toleration, which is good. Crawling is still probably months in the future, but selfishly, I am content with that. I don't know if I am ready for two mobile kiddos yet! In June, Clare will have her one-year evaluation with the Early Intervention Program. This will involve not just OT, but PT, speech therapy, and an educator as well. We'll outline goals for the next 6-12 months and get an idea of how Clare is doing developmentally.

Clare is such a happy little girl. Big smiles throughout the day. She has started hugging and loves to hug Jamie. He'll come near her, and she will reach out to him and wrap her little arms around his neck. I know I am biased because I am her mother, but Clare is so sweet and loving, and we all just love her so much!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Taking A Walk

After dinner tonight, we took a walk as a family. We used to do this often in our old house, but our street was a busy cut-through street. So we always put both kids in the stroller and walked across a very busy road to get to the cemetery near our house. It may sound creepy to some people, but we loved walking in the cemetery. No cars, very peaceful, and Jamie could get out of the stroller and run around. But it was always a hassle actually getting to and from the cemetery.

Tonight we took our first walk through the new neighborhood. Shawn suggested that instead of using the double stroller, we let Clare ride in Jamie's push car and Jamie could ride his new tricycle. I was very skeptical that either child could handle an extended walk in these modes of transportation, but agreed to give it a whirl. Both Jamie and Clare loved it! This was the first time we put Clare in the little car. You could tell she felt like such a big girl. She gripped that steering wheel and got down to business. Occasionally, she got daring and let go of the wheel to clap her hands to let us know how happy she was. She smiled and babbled throughout our entire stroll. It was wonderful!

Have I mentioned how much we love our new house and neighborhood???

I took Clare to have her professional photos done today for her first birthday. My baby is no longer my baby. When I was looking at the shots the photographer captured, I realized that Clare was becoming a toddler (well, almost - she actually needs to start toddling first!). I know it goes by so fast (I just have to look at Jamie) and that Clare will be walking before we know it. Right now, it seems like she will never crawl, never mind walk, but those days will come. Then my baby will really be gone forever. It is bittersweet. Tonight when I was putting Clare to bed, I held her a little bit longer before I laid her in the crib. And I thanked God for giving me these last precious moments with her while Clare is still a baby.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Easter!

(a day late)

We hosted our first Easter dinner and egg hunt at our new house this year. I admit it was a little crazy and ambitious on our part since we only moved in five days before, but it was worth it. It forced us to get our new house in some sort of order, plus we had lots of fun coloring 48 eggs, making up Easter baskets, and grilling two legs of lamb (yummy!).

We are still moving into our house and unpacking boxes, but we already love being here. It is going to be an incredible house and neighborhood for both Jamie and Clare. Jamie has already discovered how much fun it is living on a cul-de-sac because now he can ride his tricycle in the street instead of just up and down the driveway. Shawn put the swingset up on Saturday, and Clare got her first real taste of swinging. She's been in the swing at the playground before, but those swings are too big for our little peanut. To say Clare enjoyed the baby swing is a huge understatement. The minute she sees the swing, she starts grinning from ear to ear. When I put her in it for the first time on Saturday, she started laughing. Laughing out loud! We have not really heard her laugh since she started a couple weeks ago. What a sweet sound!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Making Waves

Clare started waving today - another milestone! Auntie Erin was visiting, and Clare waved good-bye to her. Then, of course, she realized what a hit it was and waved again and again.

Clare also pulled to stand (with a teensy bit of help from her Mimi) on Sunday. Shawn and I were super busy moving out of our house, so we didn't get to really see Clare perform this new trick. So I'm not sure if it counts! (Just kidding, Mimi.)

Home Sweet Home

Short but sweet since life is busy busy busy as usual!

We are in our new home and loving it, despite all the work! Jamie is enamored with his new dinosaur bedroom, and Clare loves having her own room. (Now she can sleep and sleep and sleep!) More thoughts later (maybe much later) after we’re unburied from all our stuff.

Monday, April 03, 2006


It's one of those nights when I just can't sleep. So what better way to induce drowsiness than to stare at the computer screen?!

We are madmen around here these days. Clare's birthday extravaganza has come and gone (it went too fast), and now we're down to the serious business of packing. We are moving in less than a week! We are super duper excited! We have been waiting for this move for so long now.

We originally had our house on the market in May/June 2005 - pre-WS diagnosis and pre-any hospitalizations. In the midst of numerous house showings, Clare was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome and we received the scary news that she needed her first cath. We took our house off the market temporarily until the "craziness died down." We did not know that would be about seven months later! But here we are finally, "Sold" sign in the yard (well, actually "Sale Pending" - apparently "Sold" signs are a thing of the past) and counting down the days. Counting down to a bigger house, nicer neighborhood, and #1 in my book - Clare can have an actual bedroom! We have a complicated juggling act going on right now with Clare sleeping half the night in our room and the other half in Jamie's (the charm of a snug, 2-bedroom house). It's a hassle to say the least. I always had this wonderful idea that my children would share a room from early on. I shared a room with either one or both of my sisters until I was a teenager, and I believe that sharing a room is a positive learning experience for kids. Unfortunately, due to feeding issues, sleeping issues, and 2 am meds, sharing a room with Clare is not as fun (or easy) as I dreamed it would be - for Jamie or for Mommy and Daddy! So hopefully everyone will sleep better once we move into our new house.

And speaking of feeding issues... Clare had her one year visit with the pediatrician today and her faithful GI popped his head in to check on her as well. Unfortunately, due to that lovely stomach virus we all had last week, Clare lost weight. I was not surprised to hear that because Clare has barely eaten any solids since she was sick. I know it will take her little tummy a while to get over that virus. But it would have to happen right before her weight check! So we are going back in two weeks for another weight check.

If we are AWOL for the next few days (weeks? hopefully not!) it's because of our upcoming move. See you all in our bigger house!