keep smilin’

Thursday: Sophia has been working on her social smile (responding to someone who smiles at her).  Papa liked that the nurse said his face would be more interesting to her because it has more contrast with his beard and glasses.  She tries to imitate his smiling by squinting her eyes and twitching her cheek muscles.  It is the cutest thing to watch; it is almost as though you can see the wheels turning in her head, trying to figure it all out.  She also seems to have inherited the coveted one eyebrow raise from her Papa (left brow) and her “Auntie” Erin (right brow), periodically interchanging these looks.  


Sophia took her first trip to the neighborhood dog park today.  I thought it would be a safe germ-free, outdoor place to take her.  Well, I guess I was a little naive.  As soon as we got there, a big black boxer who apparently loves babies stuck his nose right into her face, looking for a kiss.  If that weren’t startling enough, he started to check out her stomach tube (with his slobbery mouth).  I had visions of him deciding it was a new squeaky toy and pulling it out–ugh!  Luckily his owner helped me redirect him for awhile.  Later on, he just slobbered on her stroller handle toy and the edge of her blanket, which by then were just minor issues.  I think I’ll take her in the Baby Bjorn next time, although that might not be enough to protect her from the Great Dane.  It was good to see Mukwa being protective, running in between an unsolicited toucher and Sophia’s stroller.  I understand that she is irresistible, but I have to come up with a tactful way to explain that we would rather random people not touch her. In the meantime Mukwa apparently has things covered.  Mukwa seems much happier to have been to “her place” for awhile; she seems to have big sister jealousy, pouting when people come to tell the baby how cute she is.  


Tonight, Sophia slept from about 11:00PM to 6AM!  We fed her a little bit through her tube at 2:30, but didn’t wake her.  I hope this extended sleep helps her.  She’s doing well with the larger feedings and bunch feeding at night, so I think we are on track.  As for now, I’m still getting up to pump during the night, but get conflicting advice about whether I need to continue that or not.  It would be nice to get a full night’s sleep, but as her eating continues to increase, I also don’t want to take any chances on reducing supply.


Friday: Sophia wore orange for the first time today (her Papa’s favorite color)–and luckily, she’s pretty cute in it!  It was her first 3-6 month top (she turns 12 weeks on Monday).  It was supposed to be more of a T-shirt, but we are using it as a short dress with a pair of bloomers (or a diaper cover as some say).  


Our realtor stopped by this morning to see the updates to the house and most importantly to meet Sophia.  She brought Sophia her first big teddy bear with a little hand knit sweater and “Sophia” necklace.   After that we abandoned the house so the ducts could be cleaned to ensure our home’s air is as clean as it can be for Sophia’s tiny little airways.  They apparently found a lot of construction debris and pet hair (no surprise), so its really good they came.  


Our afternoon adventure was a check-up with the pediatrician.  After making it through Wednesday’s appointment without being readmitted to the hospital, we were more confident about this visit.  She waited outside on the bench with her Papa until they were ready for her.  As careful as we need to be about exposing her to things, the last thing we need to do is have her hang out in a pediatrician’s waiting room with all of those germs!  One of the books said to ask for a “well child” waiting room, but the bench worked out just fine, as it was a beautiful day.  Sophia also got to meet our hair stylist, whose shop is next door.  


Because our pediatrician is also an attending at the hospital Sophia was at, he was up to speed on her many issues without needing us to explain everything again.  It’s a relief to have a consistent care provider who is familiar with her history and doesn’t ask:  “Is she on any medications?” like many do.  He decided that she should eat even more–now we are up to over 3 ounces, 7 times a day.  She weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces today, which is only 2 1/2 ounces more than she was two weeks ago.  She had to make up for a loss in there too, but they really want her to be gaining close to an ounce per day.  We’ll see if this works; home health will continue to weigh her, and then we have several upcoming doctor appointments where they will also check on her weight.  The doctor said she was doing really well, so we were relieved.  He has prescribed some OT and PT services too as things with the school district are moving slowly.  Luckily, we are getting great advice on how to set her IIIEP (education plan) up well, so we hope it will be beneficial for her.  


The hardest part about the doctor visit was the blood draw.  As usual, the  phlebotomist couldn’t find a vein, and I started getting queasy.  The only one they found, they poked through, so they had to do the capillary draw from her heel and squeeze out 3 vials of blood!  She got a sticker for her trouble (and three new band-aids).  (In all honesty we had to use two of them to replace the original that got poop on it.  We still haven’t mastered the skill of keeping her from kicking into her messy diaper when she’s really squirmy.  I usually take off her socks, just to avoid the possibility, but that didn’t work for the band aid.)


Well, it is the end of my last week home with my little angel.  As I tell everyone, I’m lucky not to have to worry about leaving her with a stranger, but I’ll still miss her madly.  I was thinking that maybe I could hold her while I worked if I did all my work by speaker phone?  She’s such a little peanut, maybe she’d go unnoticed.  John is suspicious that there is a nanny-cam set up somewhere in the house, but as we all know, he is the techie, so that is very unlikely.