Email us


Feeding Tips for Preemies

Bringing Your Preemie Home

Tips for Buying & Making Preemie Clothes

Tips on Preemie Development

Baby Showers for Preemies

How to Help Parents of Preemies

Recommended Resources


Anastasia's first year (2005)

Eating & Reflux (year 2, 2006)

Back to Sleep! (2007)

And Zane, Too (2008)

Allergies & Getting Big (2009)

Starting School (2010)

It's All Good (2011)

Search the Miracle Baby bebsite











July 2007


July 2, 2007

You know, ever since I cut her midnight bottle feeding, she's been a little eating machine. It's fabulous to see! I've rarely seen her actually act hungry, but now she does it all the time. Yesterday, for example, between meals, she pulled a box of cereal bars off the counter and brought them to me. She opened up the box and handed me a bar, sealed in its own package. "Open this, please, mommy?" she seemed to say. I did, and she ate the entire bar, then pulled another from the box and handed it to me. I didn't think there was any way she'd eat two in a row, but I opened the package nonetheless. And lo! She ate the second one, too! She handed me a third bar, but I told her it was too close to dinner time for her to eat so much.

Imagine! I had to tell her to wait to eat more! Then she ate a great dinner: two fishsticks, a lot of french fries, and some corn.

She shows such enthusiasm for food right now. Again, this is really a first. The other night we had pizza and when I carried the pizza box into the kitchen, she followed behind me, reaching for it and whining! (I was actually surprised she knew food was in the box...We don't have pizza very often.) Too, she's more open to new foods. Her daddy was eating a Hershey's dark chocolate bar yesterday, and she absolutely insisted on having some. She ate three chunks! Fortunately, her new tastes extend to healthier food, also. She's become fond of peaches and nectarines, for example.

We continue to go to the park most days. Anastasia is a climbing fool (on stairs, that is) and takes great pleasure in doing it all by herself by using the handrail. It's such a blessing to see her playing like this. It was only about a year ago that medical professionals were telling us Anastasia might have cerebral palsy and almost certainly had ataxia. Yet here she is now, active and thriving. Thank you, God, for the miracle that is Anastasia!

A friend of mine also commented the other day that I was doing really well with the whole germ thing. I hadn't thought much about it, but I guess I am. I've gone from being a regular user of hand sanitizers and wipes, to almost never using either. I don't wash Miss A.'s hands after she's played in the park (I figure her hands have already made it to her mouth, anyway), and the other day I even let her pick a goldfish cracker up off the park cement and eat it. (She dropped it a moment before.) Ha ha!


July 3, 2007

Anastasia hasn't had a physical therapy session in about two months, but today the Early Intervention physical therapist dropped by to see how Miss A. was progressing. I proudly reported that Anastasia now walks backwards, climbs up steps by herself (holding onto a railing), and goes down stairs with me holding just one of her hands. She also dances (which looks more like marching), and climbs down from the couch easily.

The PT was extremely pleased. She gave Miss A. some toys to play with (a simple puzzle, stacking cups, and a ring stacker) and was glad to see how good Anastasia's fine motor skills are. For example, Miss A. placed a ring on the ring stacker with exact precision.

The PT's only real suggestion for improvement was to teach Anastasia how to climb onto the couch. We worked on that a bit, and Miss A. quickly figured it out.

We won't see the PT again until September, when she'll drop by again to check on Anastasia's progress.


July 5, 2007

We had a quiet Independence Day. Anastasia played a lot outside, and I tried not to let each zipping firework remind me it was on July 4, 2005 that I experienced PROM (my water broke). The memory doesn't bother me as much as it used to, but I'm glad I wasn't pregnant on that anniversary.

Miss A. spent all evening practicing her new skill: crawling up and down the couch. Over and over and over and over again, hardly pausing in-between. She slept well last night!

She also had her first bath in a regular, adult bathtub. The transition away from the toddler tub didn't seem to bother her at all, and she was fascinated by the bath mat I bought her covered with colorful fish.


I've also been doing a lot of thinking about Anastasia's website. Originally, I designed it just for family and a few friends. Unexpectedly, with time, strangers from all over the globe began visiting, too. But are strangers interested in Anastasia's life now that she's basically a typical toddler? Should I continue posting Anastasia's story online? If I do continue to post past her second birthday (next month), I won't be posting any more photos (for reasons I'm sure you can understand if you consider our position). Would this make a difference in whether or not you visit this website?

Rest assured, the website as it is right now will remain online for those who want to learn about extreme or micro preemies. My only question is: Should I continue adding to it?

Tell me, by taking just a moment to complete this poll. (Or, if you prefer, just email me your thoughts.)


July 6, 2007

Thanks to all who've responded to the poll in July 5th's post; if you haven't voted yet, please do so :)

You know, I'm really, really glad I stopped those midnight feedings. I feel so much better, and Miss A. now actually seems hungry during the day. The improvement in my life is so very great, and I think Anastasia feels better, too. She used to commonly have dark circles under her eyes. Lately, she hasn't had them.

I think she's becoming more verbal, too. (Not that it's probably related.) Every day she'll say "thank you" and "you're welcome" (or "'welcome") at least once...often repeatedly. It's really pretty adorable (if I say so myself). Quite frequently she'll hand me some little thing and say "you're welcome" before I even have a chance to thank her.

She also says "uh-oh" whenever possible and appropriate. Actually, sometimes she says it when she drops something on purpose, too. We're trying to teach her the difference between having an "uh-oh" (and accident) and doing something on purpose. Sometimes I think she already understands the difference but wants us to think she dropped something accidentally.

"All done" is her new favorite phrase, because it's so handy. Mostly she says it with her mouth closed. When she's done with her dinner, she says this phrase, and now very little food ends up on the floor. Funnier, she says "all done" when she wants us to stop doing something. For example, when I put sunscreen on her (every kid hates that!) she'll tell me repeatedly: "All done!"

Two days ago she actually said "the N word." I asked if she was ready to go to bed, and she replied emphatically: "Noooooooooooooooo..." This morning she said "No, no, no, no, no, no!" when her daddy wanted to hug her and she was in no mood to be contained.

Anastasia is also at a stage where she wants to put things away...but her idea of "put away" is not our own. This morning, for example, I found a baby spoon in the cat food bag. A few days earlier, I discovered Anastasia's toothbrush in the garbage can. Two days ago, one of her cups went missing...with orange juice still in it. I looked high and low but couldn't find it. I asked her to find it herself, but she either didn't understand or had forgotten where it was. Finally, I shrugged and said that eventually the smell of rotting OJ would lead me to it. Then yesterday, it mysteriously reappeared. I have no idea where she'd stored it.

Anastasia's also trying to put her toys away, but she really needs something to put them in when they're in the living room. I've been hemming and hawing over toy boxes; anything decent is kind of expensive. This morning when I saw Miss A. had crammed as many toys as she could get inside the drum of her Bee Bop Band (a fabulous toy, by the way), I decided I'd just go buy a Rubbermaid bin to use as a toy box. It might be better than a traditional toy box, anyway, since she'll be able to see the toys more easily through the clear sides.


July 9, 2007

This weekend, we visited with my in-laws, and slept in the camp trailer. On Saturday evening, Miss A. got her first look at fireworks. (The kind you buy in the store.) I was worried they'd scare her, but I bundled her up in a blanket and cuddled with her, and she actually enjoyed herself. As it got later in the evening, she drooped more and more until I had to put her to bed.

Then she woke up at 6 am the next morning, too excited to sleep. Later, her young cousins came over and we celebrated one of their birthdays. Unfortunately, Miss A. was so tired I had to put her to bed early, and she missed most of the birthday festivities.

Normally, Anastasia won't sleep in the truck or car anymore, but on our way home Sunday morning, she slept most of the way. She's really still recovering from all the excitement, and I hope she takes a nice long nap today.

Tomorrow, we go to the feeding clinic. I'm really not worried about Anastasia's eating. (My in-laws commented several times that Anastasia actually seemed hungry during our visit.) But last time I spoke with the RN handling our case, she was concerned that Miss A. wasn't wanting to eat slimy foods (a sign of sensory issues), so she set this appointment up. Since that time, Anastasia has started to eat many slimy foods, including fresh fruits. Still, it's a good idea for her to see the nutritionist, and make sure her current diet is good enough.

It seems like I had so much to tell you, but just now, that's all I can think of. I didn't get much sleep this weekend, either, and I don't have much of a reserve yet...so I'm pretty foggy today.


July 10, 2007

The feeding clinic appointment went as I expected. Everyone was delighted with Anastasia's progress and the incredible strides she's made in eating over the past several months. (In addition, our Early Intervention PT, who was also present, commented on the incredible difference in Anastasia's appearance since I've stopped giving her a midnight bottle. She looks well rested, happier, and healthier!) The nutritionist was pleased with the type of foods Anastasia is eating, wasn't really concerned about her calcium intake (although she wanted me to continue to give Miss A. orange juice fortified with calcium), and thought that while she wasn't getting as many calories as is typical, it didn't seem to be bothering our girl at all. (She estimated Anastasia gets about 900 - 950 calories daily.)

There was some concern that Anastasia still isn't drinking enough fluids (she drinks about half what they'd like her to: 9 - 11 oz. of Pediasure and 5 - 5 1/2 oz. of orange juice), so they reminded me what the signs of dehydration are:

1. Fewer wet diapers.

2. More pungent urine.

3. Fewer or no bowel movements despite taking Miralax.

For the first time, an occupational therapist (OT) was also present. She saw no signs of sensory issues, or any other physical problems with eating. She tried to get Anastasia to drink with a special cup, thinking Miss A. could be cajoled into drinking more. "Can you give the cup a kiss?" she asked...which I thought was a clever way to get Anastasia's lips to the cup. Miss A. did begrudgingly kiss the edge of the cup, but wouldn't take any fluid. She also wouldn't use a spoon or fork for the OT. (No surprise to me!)

But overall, things looked great. Miss A. is 23 lbs 2 oz. and 32 inches tall. Her weight for length and height is in the 25th percentile (not corrected for her prematurity). I no longer have to call in for weight checks, and Anastasia is officially "graduated" from feeding clinic. (Of course, if problems crop up later, they'll still be happy to see us.)

The doctor we normally see at the clinic was on vacation. When he returns, he'll review Anastasia's reflux medicine dosage (her reflux seems worse lately), and advise me about how long he'd like Anastasia to stay on Miralax.

By the way, we also think Anastasia has a problem with bowel movements away from home. Whenever we're visiting my in-laws for a few days, she doesn't have a BM, but will the minute we get home (or are in our vehicle). Today in our truck, she had a partial BM, but as soon as we got to the feeding clinic, she stopped. Then, on the way home in the truck, she finished.


July 10 (part II)

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may recall that Anastasia has never enjoyed cold things. All the foods other parents and feeding experts tell me are sure to please and add pounds - from ice cream to milkshakes - Miss A. would simply never consume.

Still, I keep thinking this has to change. I mean, what kid doesn't love ice cream??? So yesterday, I made some popsicles with Dannimals, a yogurt drink. This afternoon, it's almost 100 degrees outside, so the timing seemed perfect. I offered Miss A. a popsicle. At first, she thought it was a toy. I showed her how to lick it. She imitated, but looked like she thought I was crazy. I showed her how to take a bite from it. That didn't interest her at all. So I cut off a chunk and handed it to her. It took a few minutes to convince her to put it in her mouth, and when she did, I could see the coldness of it wasn't immediately agreeable to her. But finally she put it in her mouth. She took it out a moment later, but I could see she liked the flavor. After repeated tries, I got her to put it in her mouth and eat it. Then she asked for more.

She ate about 1/4 of the popsicle.

Hurrah! Let's hope this is a trend. It would be a terrific way to get extra fluids down her!


P.S. I've been meaning to share something with you. A while back, Michelle Wilson, a doll artist, asked me for feedback on her preemie dolls. I was quite taken with her work. Here's are just two examples:

Not all her dolls are preemies, but they are all gorgeous! Here's Michelle's eBay page. Enjoy!


July 12, 2007

Our Early Intervention coordinator visited yesterday and was struck by how much Miss A. has grown up in the two weeks since she last saw her. Suddenly, Anastasia is interested in actually trying to put puzzle pieces where they belong and shaped blocks in the correct holes of a shape sorter.

Our coordinator also brought a block shaped like a bumble bee, and Anastasia thought that was the greatest thing ever. I was really surprised to see her try to make a buzzing sound, then move her hand around and poke her belly. Whenever there are bees in her books, I do exactly this.

We're reading a great little book called Bible Animal Friends, and Miss A. is fixated with the angel shown in the story of Balaam and his talking donkey. (She has another book with an angel - a very different looking angel - and is fascinated with that, too. Makes one wonder...) She likes to point to the three characters on the page (the angel, Balaam, and the donkey) and have me name them. This morning when I did that, she pointed to her stuffed elephant. "Oh yes, that's your elephant," I said. But she walked over to the elephant and moved him, and I saw her stuffed donkey (actually, a toy from my babyhood) beneath it. She picked it up and brought it to me, then pointed to the donkey in the book. Wow!

She's also really starting to use her LeapFrog Tad as it's intended to be used, too. This is a plush frog that teaches songs, colors, and shapes. Anastasia mostly likes it to play music (so she can sway or dance to it), and she knows that certain shapes on the frog's belly will make it play certain songs. But it plays the songs as a reward for pushing the right button during certain games. She can't really play the games yet, so sometimes she just pushes the button she wants until she happens to press it at the right time to make music. She also sometimes remembers she can squeeze one of the frog's hands to get it to play songs, too, but today, she seemed to have forgotten that. So I said: "Anastasia, squeeze his hand and he'll play music." She did, but she squeezed the wrong hand. So I said: "Squeeze his other hand." And she did.

Miss A. rediscovered the rabbit ears I bought around Easter time. She loves wearing them as a necklace!

She also likes to put the bunny ears on the cat...


July 16, 2007

We went camping with my in-laws this weekend. Miss A. had the time of her life and did a lot of blossoming!

On Friday night, when we arrived at the campground, Anastasia was delighted to see her grandparents, aunt and uncle, and her youngest cousins. At first, all she did was look around, pointing at everyone she knew.

The ground at the campsite was quite uneven, and at first, she needed me to hold her hand to get anywhere. Even so, she was almost instantly dirty from head to toe. She was finding treasures (leaves, pinecones, tiny bits of trash left behind by other campers) and following her cousins all around. Her cousins also brought their dog, who seemed to think Anastasia was just the greatest. Anytime Miss A. got near, the dog licked Anastasia's face and ended up knocking her down with her ardent kisses. This didn't scare Anastasia, but she didn't think it was much fun, either. Still, Miss A. was fascinated by the dog, so for the rest of the trip, she tried to stay just out of reach, bending over and making her kissing sounds from afar.

My sis-in-law brought this little chair for Miss A. to eat at. It's designed to strap onto a chair, but it seemed easier to place it on the ground. Miss A. loved it.

That night, Anastasia slept on the floor of our trailer. She's not quite ready to sleep in a bed without falling off...and all the beds were occupied, anyway. Still, I was a little worried about her down there. She would have been easy to step on. I also had a sudden panic about her suffocating. I do this periodically. I think it's left over from the days when I saw her stop breathing and turn blue in the NICU. My rational mind knows the chances of Miss A. suffocating at this point are very low. I also know I can't stay awake and watch her all night. So I push aside those panicky feelings and say to myself: "She's in the Lord's hands, and there's no better, safer, place for her to be."

Still, at one point, Anastasia started crying. She'd moved around in her sleep and ended up under my bed. So I picked her up, and thinking it wasn't too long before we'd be up anyway, put her in my bed.

Bad idea. She patted my face, kicked my tummy, babbled in my ear, pulled my hair...She did everything but sleep. After perhaps an hour and a half, I put her back down on the floor so we could both get some rest.

The next day, Anastasia was much more sure-footed. She was following her cousins everywhere - and without my help. She even played ball with them.

We weren't sure whether or not we'd camp by the water, so just before we left for our trip, we bought this great harness. Anastasia didn't especially like the restraint aspect of it (we only used it one afternoon, to give ourselves a bit of a break from watching her every moment), but she loved wearing a puppy dog on her back. Now that we're home, she's asked several times to wear her puppy.


Playing ball with the cousins.

We also took the kids down to the lake, where there was a little wading area. Since Anastasia hates her wading pool, I figured she'd mostly play in the sand. I put her bathing suit on, but didn't bring mine. Of course, her cousins leapt into the water right away. Miss A. stood at the water's edge for a bit, watching them. Then she took one step into the water. And then another. And after a few moments, another. By the time she was up to her knees in the water, she was bending down and splashing in it. Then there was no stopping her!

The water got to within a half inch of her arm pits, and Miss A. would have gone deeper if I hadn't stopped her. A couple of times, she went back to shore to grab and sand toy and bring it to the water. And a couple of times, she got mad that I was holding her hand in the water and came close to throwing a temper tantrum. When this happened, I picked her up and carried her to shore and said: "When you're in or near the water, you must hold mommy or daddy's hand. That's the rule. And if you don't want to hold our hand, then you have to stay away from the water." Then, begrudgingly, Anastasia would take my hand.



Ready to go to the lake.


Playing at the shore's edge. I didn't have any swim diapers, so her heavy, lake-water-filled diaper kept making her fall down on her behind.

She would have stayed in the water long after the wind whipped up and it got a bit chilly, but since she was starting to shiver, we took her back to camp.

That evening, a large group from my in-law's church came over for dinner. Miss A. was a social butterfly, going from one person to the next. She even had an admirer: a little boy of about three. (Who seemed to adore her even after he discovered - to his dismay - that "she's wearing a diaper!") He chased her, picked her up to hug her, and shared a toy with her.


Anastasia playing with her admirer.


Eating a spaghetti dinner.

As you can imagine, Anastasia was pretty darn exhausted by Sunday morning. She slept about an hour in the truck on the way home, then took a four hour nap, and two hours later, went to bed for the night. (But not until she greeted her kitty, said hello to her toys, and had me read book after book!)


July 16 (part II)

My poor girl. She is just beside herself with fatigue from our camping trip. At about 9am, she had a meltdown. I took her for a walk. By 11:30am, I clearly couldn't keep her awake any longer. She melted into a puddle on the floor. So she took a two hour nap and had a late lunch. Then I let her watch Brainy Baby's Music DVD. (She almost never watches TV, but I do let her watch some Brainy Baby DVDs when she's having a tired afternoon. She soooo loves the Music DVD.) She even - for the first time - did the hand motions to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

Soon after, though, she had another meltdown. It's about 3:40pm, and I just put her down for another nap. (She's normally a one-nap girl.)

This weekend provided a lot of excitement and activity for a girl who's been sequestered until this summer.


July 19, 2007

A bit of reflection: During our camping trip, I mostly felt Anastasia was like any other toddler. She got right in there with the other kids and tried to do whatever they were doing. She was independent. She was far less shy than I've ever seen her be in public.

But then it was 7pm, and time for her to go to bed. She fell asleep pretty quickly. Then, at 8:30 pm, I went into the trailer to give her a bottle.

Anastasia gets about half her daily calories from Pediasure, and she needs all the fluids she can get. It's vital that she stays asleep (or mostly asleep) during this "dream feed," or she'll only take a few ounces of Pediasure instead of a full 8 oz. At home, this isn't too much trouble. But just as I started with her bottle, some other campers (members of my in-law's church) started playing the guitar and singing immediately alongside our trailer. I couldn't believe it.

Should I put Anastasia down and go ask them to sing elsewhere? No, that would certainly wake Anastasia up. So instead I prayed she'd somehow sleep through the ruckus. She didn't, and ended up taking only about half the bottle.

I was pretty annoyed, I admit. "What are they thinking?" was my first thought. Then I realized they had no idea Anastasia wouldn't sleep through the singing like most other kids. And they certainly didn't know that she needed to be asleep in order to get precious calories and fluids into her system.

And so, I was reminded that Anastasia still isn't quite like other little kids her age. Yet.

Today, Miss A. has been a chatterbox. I don't know what she's saying, but she's saying a lot. She's also developing new ways of communicating with us. For example, she has a handball with soft spikes all over it. It's designed to be played either as is, or blown up to a very large size. The past several days, Anastasia brings the ball over to her daddy, places the valve (where air goes in) to her mouth, and makes loud blowing sounds. Then she hands the ball to her daddy. "Do you want me to blow this up?" he asked. "I'll go outside and fill it with the air compressor." Her response is to wave "bye" to him. He leaves, fills the ball up, and brings it back in to Anastasia - who's squealing with delight at having communicated her wants effectively.


July 22, 2007

This weekend, our town celebrated it's founding. We were excited to take Anastasia to her first parade (she loved it...especially the horses and the children) and dress her up in a cute pioneer-ish outfit. I took some cute photos to share with you, but I managed to accidentally delete them.  Nonetheless, she drew a lot of comments from folks who thought she was just adorable in her dress and bonnet. I'm going to put Anastasia in the outfit again and try to get some photos, just to document things.

There were also pony and carnival rides that Miss A. wanted to participate in, but we kept telling her, "Maybe next year..." She was good natured about that.

I think Anastasia's grown at least a couple of inches in the past few weeks, and she actually ran a few steps on Saturday before tripping on her own feet and crashing. She's also kicking balls and trying to dance. For example, on Friday, we were listening to "Brother, Come and Dance with Me" (from Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel). I sometimes dance to this, and on Froday Miss A. grabbed my hand and tried to follow my movements: first putting out her hands, then stepping with her right foot, then her left foot, then tapping her foot, etc. If I may say so, it was the cutest thing ever. Anastasia has music in her soul!

She's also a born book lover. At one point today, she was awfully quiet, so I checked around the house until I peeked in her room. She'd taken the pillow off her rocking chair, moved it all the way across the room, laid it on the floor next to her bookcase, and was laying on it, "reading."


July 23, 2007

This morning, I put Anastasia back in her "costume;" she seemed to enjoy having it on again. Those of you who've followed Anastasia's story for some time may recall that I made this little dress and bonnet when she first came home from the hospital. She wore it last summer, but it was a bit big. Here she is wearing the outfit on July 17, 2006, and again in September of last year:

And here she is wearing the much better fitting dress today:



This afternoon, Miss A. had her first dental appointment. I think she seems awfully young for that sort of thing yet, but our pediatrician's been after us to do this since Anastasia turned one year old. I know there can be some special concerns about preemie's teeth, and children with reflux are more likely to have tooth decay, so I thought we'd better have her looked at even though her teeth seem fine.

Our dentist and his assistant were so kind and patient. First, the assistant showed Miss A. how the chair moves around. She turned on the big, bright light. She showed our girl the little mouth mirror and water-spraying thingy. Then she asked Anastasia to sit in the chair.

That made Miss A. cry, so I sat in the chair and put her on my lap, which calmed her right down. The assistant let Anastasia pick out a new toothbrush, then showed her a pair of sunglasses (actually, safety glasses) and explained that if the doctor needed a good look at her teeth, she could wear the shades to protect her eyes from his bright light. She also took a Polaroid of Anastasia wearing her shades.

Then the dentist came in. As it happened, he walked in just as Miss A. was practicing brushing her own teeth. He was impressed!

The doctor was terrific with her, but when he asked her to open her mouth, Anastasia cried. At least he could take a peek at her teeth this way. He reminded me to always give her fluoride drops (we don't have fluoride in our water), and to do the best I could with brushing. He said that if she refluxes or vomits, I should brush her teeth immediately. And he said that in a year's time, she could come in again and they'd try to do a more formal exam.

I asked the dentist about gummy vitamins; the nutritionist at the feeding clinic mentioned them, saying they might be a good idea, but that she didn't strongly feel Miss A. needed them. I'd been worried they'd be bad for her teeth, and the dentist confirmed this. "That sticky stuff is hard to brush away, especially when you have a squirmy toddler," he said.

He didn't charge us for the visit, but sent Miss A. away with a goodie bag of toothbrush, sunglasses, and a little ball. Throughout most of the visit, she'd been shaking her head "no" when anyone asked her anything, but when the dentist concluded by saying, "You did a good job!" Anastasia shook her head "yes."

Anastasia was especially pleased with the safety glasses, because they're a lot like her daddy's:

P.S. Anastasia is very interested in drumming right now. We have to discourage her from drumming on the cat, or on one of her daddy's antique radios or TV screens, but she seems to be learning that drumming should only be done on her Bee Bop Band drum:



July 26, 2007

Anastasia is becoming more confident at the playground. This week, she's begun to running off without looking behind for me, and is going up and down the play structures without any help at all. (Going down stairs is still tough, but she likes to do it by herself.) She's also a lot less prone to hanging back and just watching the other kids play. Instead, she tends to go right over to a child, waving, ready to play.

She's extremely affectionate with all kids. She tries to hug them, or stroke their hair. About 90% of children look at her strangely and try to get away. I think they don't understand why she's so loving right off the bat. But some kids love her right back; there are about three that we regularly see, and at one level or another, they seem to return Anastasia's affection.

Anastasia has always been very good about sharing. Heck, if the only thing there is to share is the mulch on the playground, she'll pick some up and offer it to another child. But within the last couple of weeks, she's also started trading. For example, this morning she was playing with a friend's one year old boy, who I'll call Mr. T. Miss A. was eating a Nutri-Grain bar, and Mr. T. was snacking on some dry cereal. Evidentially, Anastasia thought his cereal looked pretty good, because she handed Mr. T. some of her snack bar. When he took it, she picked up some of his cereal :)

Tomorrow, we're scheduled to go to story time at the library. That should be interesting. Last time we went to the library - just to read a few books one on one - Anastasia got pretty frustrated. She wanted to take all the books off the shelves.

In the meantime, I hope Miss A. can get some sleep. She's been teething really badly and is up and down all night long (despite Tylenol and Orajel), poor dear. This morning, though, she seemed very appreciative of all the loves I gave her in the middle of the night. She kept patting my shoulder, stroking my hair, and hugging me. Nice to know I'm appreciated :)


July 27, 2007

As expected, Anastasia's first story time experience was challenging. I mean, she was surrounded by little kids, and I expected her to sit quietly in my lap??? I was asking a bit much :)

Too, story time was supposed to be for infants and toddlers, but the volunteer read books much more appropriate for preschoolers.

Anastasia spent most of the half hour running around the library - with me following, trying to keep her relatively quiet.

Then it was song time. Anastasia sat in my lap through much of that, but once she got comfortable with the lady playing the guitar and singing, she keep trying to approach her and play her guitar...

So, I think it will be a few months before we try story time again.

Oh, but what was the first thing Anastasia wanted to do when we got home? Have me read to her!

You know, Miss A. has quite a library of books. Some of them are in the back of her closet, waiting for her to get a bit older, but most of them are either in the bookshelf in her nursery, a small shelf in the living room, or a little nook in the living room. Soon, she'll have more books. (Hey! Her tastes are maturing!) But right now, here (in no particular order) are her absolute favorites - the books she has me read to her over and over and over again:

Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose is Miss A.'s absolute favorite right now. I can't say I blame her; the illustrations are so cheerful, colorful, and detailed. Wouldn't a nursery done in Engelbreit's Mother Goose be fabulous?


July 28, 2007

Every once in a while I find a surprise in the toilet. No, Anastasia isn't potty training yet. Rather, I find a cookie cutter, a rubber duck, or some other odd item floating around in there. (We do have a child lock on the toilet, but she can still slip her hand between the seat and the bowl.)

Yesterday, as I was washing my face and brushing my teeth, Miss A. was (as usual) hanging out with me. When I was finished, I turned around and saw Anastasia mopping the floor...with her daddy's t-shirt...which she'd first wetted in the toilet...


Speaking of the bathroom, have I ever mentioned that our cat likes to sit on the edge of the bathtub while Miss A. bathes? I don't know if he thinks he's looking out for her or what, but no amount of splashing seems to keep him away.

These two are actually great buddies. The cat never scratches or bites - even when Anastasia deserved it. He sits outside her room when she naps, like a sentry. And if she cries, he's right there to comfort her.

By the way, Miss A. has long loved her toy phone, but until recently, she only talked into it with her mouth closed. Too, she would talk constantly - without breaks. Nowadays she pauses, as if imagining the other end of the conversation. And her mouth is open! Though I can't tell what she's saying most of the time. Here's a video from today.

Incidentally, Anastasia is loving the Danimals popsicles I made her. I'm still cutting off small chunks for her to eat -  but the only problem is she gets terrible brain freeze. (At least, I think it's brain freeze. It doesn't happen right away, like you'd think gum or tooth sensitivity would.) She eats a little, then cries. Then she eats some more, and cries. Not surprisingly, she never eats very much. I wonder why she's so sensitive to brain freeze?

I'm also wondering why her hair seems to be thinning in one spot. I don't see her pulling her hair out, and I don't find hair in her bed or elsewhere, but right where I usually part her hair, it is definitely thinning. Although her hair is still growing, I'm worried it could be nutritional. I'm going to buy some Flintstone vitamins and ground them up and see if she'll take them...just in case.


July 30, 2007

A few of you have written with ideas about what might be causing Miss A.'s thinning hair, but after doing some Google searches, I think I can rule out the most common causes. I don't think it's caused by hair bands or clips, since Anastasia rarely wears them, and when she does they aren't in this area of hair. Nor does it appear to be tinea capitis (ringworm), trichotillomania, or alopecia areata. I suppose stress could be a factor. This summer has been Anastasia's "coming out" to meet the world. (No more RSV worries!) It also could be the way she's sleeping in her bed, but since the hair thinning is on top of her head, this seems unlikely.

The only other things I can find about thinning hair in toddlers list this as a pretty rare side effect: hypothyroidism or hypopituitarism, for example.

I've started giving Anastasia Flintstone vitamins (her nutritionist suggested I could do this), and if the problem still persists, I'll bring it up at our pediatrician appointment, which is in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, Anastasia is having occasional diarrhea. Since she doesn't appear to have a bug, and it doesn't seem to be the food she's eating, I suspect her Miralax. I've talked to the RN at the feeding clinic about this, and she said to take Anastasia off the Miralax unless she becomes constipated again. She'll be talking to the pediatrician at the clinic to see if he wants to try her on something like Benefiber to replace the Miralax.

But despite these minor health concerns, Anastasia continues to surprise us with her skills. If we ask her to, she can - about 50% of the time - identify circles and squares in a book. And this weekend, she climbed off our bed. I was kind of sad about that. Our bed is quite high up, and since she came home from the NICU, we've placed her there while we dressed. I know, I know, everyone says not to do that (because the child might fall), but we've always watched her carefully. Only recently has she ventured toward the edge of the bed, but she always retreated when we told her to. But this weekend, she seemed determined to crawl off the bed. I watched her closely, ready to catch her if she fell, but she did just fine. It was no big feat. Now how do I keep her out of trouble while I get dressed??

Yesterday, Miss A. decided she needed to wear her puppy backpack/leash, while wearing her denim hat (which she never keeps on her head when I want her to), while loving on her baby doll.