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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Sustenance

"Enjoy the little things in life,
for one day you’ll look back
and realize they were the big things."

-R. Brault

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rockstar duds

Have you heard of Threadless?
From their website:
"Threadless is an online design community where users can score designs, offer comments and critiques, and post about whatever is on their minds. Threadless is also an ongoing open call for tee shirt design submissions. Anyone can sign up, download a tee template and submit ideas, which are then evaluated by the Threadless community for seven days. Tee shirt designs are selected from the pool of the most popular designs as scored by the community."
Cool idea, huh?!

Lucky for us, there's a kids' division!
(With a store here in Chicago, that I can't wait to check out, too!)

Not that we don't love the fashions from Carter's, Old Navy, Target, etc., it's just that every baby is sporting the same attire... unless you're wearing last season's designs because Mommy couldn't help herself at the clearance racks. But, still...

Uncle Scott, provider of all things cool and unique, sent Connor an awesome care package last week! So now, some of Connor's outfits will be a little more special (a little less cookie-cutter). Each design is a limited edition, and absolutely, completely adorable!

Clockwise, from L to R: Everybody Loves a Yeti; Ice Cream Cheerleading Stunt;
Under My Bed; Race (no longer available); Such a Great Height

Thanks, Uncle Scott!

This li'l cutie

...comes to visit next week with her parents... and we.can't.wait!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

To the father of my son...

Connor being held for the very first time (1 day old) - December 17, 2008

What a roller coaster ride fatherhood has been for you already!
You've weathered it amazingly well,
and continue to be an even better father than I knew you would be.
Thank you for being our rock, our provider, and our best friend.

Happy 1st Father's Day!

We love you!

Happy Father's Day!

Any man can be a father.
It takes someone special to be a dad.


Sunday Sustenance

"He didn't tell me how to live;
he lived,
and let me watch him do it."

- Clarence Budington Kelland

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Latest stats

Saw the pediatrician on Friday...
Weight: 12 lbs, 5 oz
Height: 22.5"
Head Circ: 40.5 cm
Since he came home 2 months ago, he's gained 4 pounds and 3". I can't believe it!

If you put him at his adjusted age of 3 months, on the growth charts (which he finally falls on!) he is:
Weight: 25th percentile
Height: 5th-10th percentile
Head Circ: 50th percentile

His bloodwork from last week showed great improvements!
He's no longer jaundiced - his bilirubin levels are all normal. His alkphos continues to drop - is now in the low 400s. His liver enzymes (which spiked last month) have all normalized. His platelets are still climbing, and his red blood cells are maturing. Overall, his pediatrician was very pleased with his latest results.

Connor had another evaluation for private physical therapy this morning. The PT was very impressed with how far beyond his adjusted age he is. Her recommendation was to see him only every other week.

More appointments coming up for our little guy, which include an MRI under sedation (requiring a 4-hour fast = fun!), his endocrinologist, and some physical therapy. Really hoping we're at the beginning of a permanent slow-down of doctors' appointments. Connor (Mommy) needs a break!

Hoping I don't jinx it...
Connor's had pretty good nights, this past week. He's been sleeping 6-8 hours in a stretch. (I know, right?!?)

Connor had a fabulous time with Auntie Lyn last night... and she's even offered to babysit for him again (ummm... OKAY!). Brian & I had great fun, too - saw The Proposal (highly recommend it - plenty of funny not seen in the trailers) and had a late dinner at Mimi's Cafe. It was glorious!! :)

Got her hairs cut!

She's too, too cute... can't help but share!

Read more about her rite of passage here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

6 months old

(Remember, you can clickity-click on any pic to make it larger.)

Today, Connor is 6 months old!
Can you believe it?!? We sure can't.

What a crazy and miraculous 6 months it has been... It's still hard for me to believe just how far we've come.

In 6 months time, Connor has gained at least 8 pounds, and grown at least 8 inches. He doesn't see the pediatrician until the end of the week, but I estimate that he's easily 11.5 pounds and 22" long. (I'll update with official numbers later.)

He's now eating around 4 ounces of his 22-calorie Neosure formula every 2.5-3 hours - about 7 times a day. During the day, he'll either sleep 2-3 good naps for me, or intermittently all day long... it's really hit or miss. At night, he sleeps nearly 5-6 hours at a time... usually. (See, it's getting better!) The success of his day largely depends upon how still we are - the busier his week's activities, going to doctors/the hospital, etc, the less he eats and sleeps. So, for now, hibernation is still ideal.

But, unfortunately we're still hopping with doctors' appointments and trips to the hospital for bloodwork. Connor has to have an MRI next week, under sedation, to have his eyes visualized. Busy.busy.busy!

Last Friday, we went from 9 medications daily, down to 5. It's made such a difference in my daily routine! Connor will have more bloodwork on Friday to see if he's okay to stay off of those 4 meds for his osteopenia. We're also hoping that he'll be able to kick another 2 of his meds for his liver issues/cholestasis very soon.

Brian and I get our first, official date night this weekend (leaving Connor with his grandmas doesn't count). Auntie Lyn (one of his NICU nurses) really, really, really wants to babysit him... and, honestly, when an RN asks to watch your child, especially one that took such good care of him when he was so fragile, there's no way you even think twice! :) We're very much looking forward to dinner and a movie (my pick).

Connor really is doing so well! He is such a happy boy, nearly all the time... quick to smile and giggle. He hardly ever fusses - except when he's hungry. Lately, he loves to be tickled, loves to watch his mommy dance (though, he prefers the cabbage patch to the running man), playing in his play gym, and sitting up by himself (propped up, of course). He's doing well with tummy time and starting to lift himself with his arms. He won't stay put anymore when he's flat on his back, spinning and scooting, ever so slightly, until he's close to the edge or in the center of his crib (he sleeps on a wedge for his reflux at one end). Connor's always got his hands in his mouth, and we can usually hear him slurping all the way in the other room or even upstairs! He still loves his nightly baths by Daddy, smiling and grinning throughout. He's fascinated by anything dangling over his head, and does a great job with tracking and reaching out for things. Still not quite rolling over by himself, but he's been doing a lot of twisting, so it probably won't be long now. All in all, we can't believe the progress he's made, just in the 2 months he's been home.

His adjusted age should be right around 3 months old, but we're happy to report that for many things, developmentally, he's even ahead of that curve. Right now we're working on getting him set up with a little bit of therapy from Easter Seals (everywhere else seems to have wait lists) to help him catch up. They generally stop adjusting preemie ages by the time they're 2-3 years old, and we're hopeful that with a little bit of assistance, we can be ahead of the game.

Many of you have asked...
Sadly, we won't know for some time yet, what the repercussions of his prematurity might be. Maybe he'll just experience developmental delays, maybe he'll be diagnosed with cerebral palsy, perhaps he'll struggle with learning disabilities. We don't know what the future holds for Connor - but, we're keeping a positive attitude - if we could survive a 4-month NICU stay, we can handle anything.

Once again, the following is a bit pic-heavy (for the grandparents, of course)... and for some reason, they're nearly all close-up shots of his face. I need to work on that, I guess. I suppose it's obvious how head over heels we are for this little boy!
Anyway, enjoy!

Watching NASCAR with Grandpa Sprik - June 6, 2009

{sigh} - June 7, 2009

Which is so much easier than always trying to locate the pacifier. - June 8, 2009

Do you mind, Mommy?! I'm naked! - June 8, 2009

Bathtime giggles - June 8, 2009

Drying off with Daddy - June 8, 2009

Mellow boy - June 8, 2009

Caught red-handed!
Able to hang on to his rattle now. - June 9, 2009

Nothing better than baby laughs! - June 10, 2009

Silly in his swing - June 11, 2009

Best friends - June 11, 2009

(still grunting and groaning quite a bit,
but gradually using his voice a little more each day) - June 11, 2009

By flashing this smile, I know you'll give me whatever I want! - June 12, 2009

Finger toes (these puppies could probably curl around a pencil!) - June 12, 2009

Connor, the rock star!
He got stuck for some bloodwork, and didn't even cry (or flinch)!
(Not sure if I'm happy that he's so brave, or sad that he's gotten so used to it. :S) - June 12, 2009

Mommy is so funny! - June 14, 2009

Fun new toy!
According to the directions, as soon as the baby has decent head control,
they're ready for the jumperoo. - June 14, 2009

But, alas, most babies with good head control like Connor are at least 4-6" taller!
We've got a ways to go... - June 14, 2009

Monthly monkey mugging - June 14, 2009

WWE Smackdown with the monkey - June 14, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blessing Day

What a wonderful, glorious day!

It was a perfect day to celebrate Connor's victory
over his struggle to survive and now thrive!

Many family members and friends came to help us mark the special occasion.
We missed those who couldn't be with us, but knew you were all here in spirit.

Brian offered Connor a beautiful blessing,
the table was piled high with goodies,
and we loved having you all in our home!

We feel like we can't say it enough...

... for all of your support and prayers on our behalf these last six months.

Words cannot express how immensely grateful we feel
for all of the love shown to us in our time of need.

Thank you for giving us strength and helping us to pull through.


We love you all!

Sunday Sustenance

"knowing that you, alone,
do all that you can
with all that you have.

in your space
in your time.

do not wish to be
in someone else's shoes.

they will not fit.
be brave
go barefoot."
- Marta of m.writes

Friday, June 12, 2009

It was Brian's idea...

Daddy gets creative before bathtime - June 4, 2009

Working on a post for Tuesday... lots of pictures to edit!

38 years ago today...

Grandma & Grandpa Rogers
got married.

Happy Anniversary,
you two!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday Sustenance

"Sometimes you have to
climb the mountain
to see the beautiful view."
- Unknown

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Hope you can make it!

We're so excited for Sunday...
it's been a long time coming!

We sure hope to see you here!

But, if you're out-of-state,
I suppose we'll understand. ;)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Instead of being in bed like I should be...

So handsome! - May 27, 2009

...I'm writing a post.
Because I need to... because I don't do them often enough these days - especially not as often as I think about writing one!
So, since I'm spending valuable sleep time, this one'll be a quickie!

Giggles! - May 31, 2009

All in all, we're just tickled pink about the progress Connor is making!
Everyday he smiles a little more, gets a little stronger, becomes more coordinated, gets more vocal and expressive, and continues to amaze us.
He is truly our miracle boy!

Loves his Winkel! - May 31, 2009

So, last week was a busy one...

Early Intervention came by. Overall, Connor's doing great! They decided his adjusted age is 3 months younger than his actual age (so currently, he's 2.5 months old, adjusted), and he's even a little bit more advanced than that. They believe that he'll catch up to his real age before his 3rd birthday. Both the developmental and speech therapists decided he was right on track, and don't want to see him again until his assessment in 3 months. The occupational and physical therapists agreed they would only need to see him once a month. So, since a once-monthly visit is a TOTAL waste of the outrageous family fee they want us to pay (gotta love the State of IL), we're going to seek therapy elsewhere - someplace that will just bill our insurance directly (and will likely want to see him more frequently). We'll continue to have Early Intervention evaluate him once a quarter - which is free.

Trying out the Bumbo for the first time - June 2, 2009

We made the trek to see his neurologist. Also, so far, so good. We don't have to see him again for 4 months.

We had a fun visit last week from Brian's Great-Aunt Dolores, and Grandma Sprik's Cousin Laura. They came out to attend a lovely shower thrown for us by some women in our church - this was Connor's semi-public debut, and he couldn't have behaved better. We were absolutely blown away by everyone's kindness and generosity! It was so fun to get to know some of the ladies in the ward a bit better.

"Does this collar make my neck look fat?"
Hmm... I don't think collars are going to work
very well on this kid. - May 29, 2009

Connor also had a weight check at the pediatrician's... and as of last Friday, he's a whopping... (wait.for.it)... 11 lbs, 1 oz! In the 2 weeks since his last ped's appointment, he had gained a pound, grown an inch, and his melon grew an additional centimeter. WOW!
He's officially out of his newborn clothes, and solidly into his 3-month wardrobe and size 1-2 diapers.

Just chillaxing on the sofa - June 2, 2009

Loves to hear his Daddy's voice over the phone - May 29, 2009

This week...

Aside from a likely unnecessary visit by the county health department (I have no idea why they want to come assess him), this week is a quiet week for us. Just working on getting Connor on a better schedule, and preparing for his big day on Sunday.

Captivated not by his mobile or his rainforest toy,
but by pictures of himself! - June 2, 2009

Sly smile - May 29, 2009

Coming up for Connor...

I've got to contact a pediatric therapy clinic to get him set up with some PT/OT.
He has a whole slew of bloodwork coming up, and I'm afraid we're going to have to break it up into a few visits... poor guy has veins like his mom - a phlebotomist's nightmare!
We also have to take him in for another MRI to have his eyes visualized better (under sedation), per his ophthalmologist. He doesn't believe there's a problem right now, but he wants to have a better looksie.
(So, attention NICU pals - we're going to be frequenting the hospital again, and we just might stop by! :)

But, none of that this week... next week.
Momma needs a break.

{sigh} I'm in love! - June 2, 2009

Monday, June 01, 2009

June Birthday Wishes

We hope you have a wonderful day!

Grandpa Sprik celebrates his birthday on June 2nd.

Uncle Erik gets another year closer to 30 on June 18th.
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