Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Aerin is ringing in the New Year asleep in her crib. She loves snuggling down under her blanket. I think it reminds her of when we used to do kangaroo care. She looks so cute under her blanket with just her little head showing. Aerin sleeps in the most uncomfortable-looking position ever - on her stomach with her legs straight under her body (her chin rests on her heels). All babies are flexible, but I think that Aerin has innate flexibility (inherited from me) that will stay with her when she grows. Our doctor assures me that some babies like to sleep in that or similar positions.

Aerin's new favorite hobby is putting things places. During breakfast, she puts some Cheerios on the dining room table and some on her changing table (and of course a large portion gets fed to the dog). When she's in her fort, she puts books and toys on the sides or in the seat of her swing or on the couch if she can reach. When she's not stacking and unstacking her beloved rings, she puts them everywhere from back into the toy basket to the top of one of her walkers to the seat of her bench. I find it very amusing.

Aerin still prefers books to all toys. Her gaze is rapt when we read to her and her comprehension is very high. She looks at the correct page while it's being read and looks at us expectantly when it's time to turn the page. She loves nothing more than being read to and has memorized all of her favorites. I'm sure y'all are wondering how I know this when she doesn't yet talk. Well, sometimes Andrew likes to be silly and make up his own stories or change the words and Aerin screams until he reads it correctly. She also loves to turn pages herself and will examine the words and pictures intently. She's in this new phase where she'll only eat if she's being read to. It's okay (but inconvenient) during supper when Andrew is there to read while I feed her. Breakfast is more problematic because it's just Aerin and me. I read a book, hand it to her, and shovel food into her until she demands another book by pursing her lips and shoving the spoon away. Then we repeat until the food is gone. It's gotten pretty old by now, but she has to eat.

Aerin is a tiny girl. She's in the 25th percentile for height and the 41st percentile for weight for her adjusted age (1 year). She's still not on the chart for her chronological age. She's a decent eater, but she's just not that interested in food. I feed her only organic fruits and veggies, with Cheerios and the occasional treat. She doesn't even get excited about treats and doesn't care when she finished something she likes (like pears or fruit-juice-sweetened snacks). She doesn't like avocado or bananas, which might help to put some weight on her. This is a loaded issue for me because it brings back memories of her painfully slow weight gain in the NICU (they had to give her fat through her feeding tube). We have to get some weight on her before her surgery this summer, so I'm going to have to get creative.

2006 was overall a wonderful year for our family, but I'm looking forward to the New Year. I'm hoping that we won't have any ambulance rides and that we'll say good-bye to hospitals in July. Happy New Year to all of our family and friends and blog readers who help us so much with your loving support. Don't forget to eat your black-eyed peas!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Not a Fan

We took Aerin on a rare trip to the mall last week. There were different characters walking around (presumably for Christmas, but a lot of them had nothing to do with Christmas at all, which was weird). Of course they came up to Aerin (everyone always does) and she was not a fan.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays

Happy Hanukkah, y'all! Aerin had her 15-month check up and everything is fine. She's healthy and her development is either normal or advanced. She weighs in at 20.8 pounds and is 28.5 inches long. She's allowed to sleep with a blanket now and she seems to like it (kind of). I'll be posting more when things slow down.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


We have just signed up for our second March of Dimes WalkAmerica, which will take place on April 29, 2007. We raised over $600.00 last year and would like to raise $1000.00 (or more) this year. Our Marx Family Team 2007 page is up and running, so please check it out.

Aerin has learned to shut her door and to put the rings back on the stick (she just used to take them off and throw them around). This Friday is the anniversary of when she came home from St. Mary's PICU and her due date and the first night of Hanukkah, so we're pretty busy around here. We hope the holiday season is finding all y'all healthy and not too stressed.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Rusty Teeth. Literally.

Some time ago, I noticed some discoloration on Aerin's 2 teeth. I promptly freaked out because preemies are prone to a host of dental problems ("Preemie Mouth"). If a baby has cavities that aren't caused by human error (giving the baby juice, putting the baby to bed with a bottle, feeding the baby lots of processed sugars, etc.), often the only solution is to pull the baby teeth. I was so upset at the thought of Aerin having to have all her baby teeth pulled. I made an appointment with a special needs pediatric dentist.

We had our appointment Friday morning and it couldn't have gone better. I had filled out the paper work at home, so we didn't have to wait very long at all. I have a 2 page summary of Aerin's medical history that I give to doctors to save the time of telling it. Doctors are always thrilled to get it and Dr. Atkins was no exception. The let Aerin stay in her stroller and everyone was fussing over her, as usual. When Dr. Atkins put on his gloves and mask (with visor) and stuck his fingers in Aerin's mouth, I braced myself for the furious scream. Nothing. She just let him poke around in her mouth without a peep! She did kind of pull away at first, but when he didn't hurt her, she totally relaxed and just watched him. I was very pleasantly surprised. She didn't even mind when he scraped a little.

It turns out that Aerin has actual rust on her teeth from the iron supplement she takes to prevent anemia from the ulcers on her hemangioma. It's apparently not uncommon in patients with blood disorders who take iron. I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined that teeth could get rusty. It won't harm her teeth at all and if it doesn't go away by itself, Dr. Atkins will just scrape it off at her next check-up. Her teeth look great, especially for a refluxer. Enamel erosion is common in patients with reflux because the of the stomach acids that wash over the teeth. Thank goodness Aerin's reflux is managed to the point where she rarely spits up. The doctor also saw where other teeth are coming in, even without an x-ray. Aerin only has 2 teeth (the front bottom ones) so far and she's already 15 months old (1 year adjusted). I was happy to hear that there are teeth up there, though I'm not looking forward to more teething.

BTW, I always get paperwork ahead of time if we're seeing a new doctor (or dentist). Most offices are happy to mail it to you if there's enough time before the appointment. If there's not, it doesn't take much time to stop in if the office isn't too far and it makes things much easier to show up with the forms already filled out. It's also a good idea to have a summary of your child's medical history on hand. I keep one in my diaper bag and, as I mentioned, give it out to new doctors. It's very important that the doctors know your child's complete medical history and you never know what you might forget with the stress of a doctor's appointment with a little one. This includes any remarkable prenatal history, as well. Aerin's history is 2 pages long, single spaced.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Rusty Teeth

I'll explain tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Few of Aerin's Favorite Things

Here are some of Aerin's favorites (and least favorites), just fyi:

Favorite Toy: books (she loves to turn pages and examine the pictures)
-runners-up include rings on a stick, pop-up activity center, and wooden turtle

Favorite Food: Cheerios

Favorite Dog: Marlowe

Favorite Word: Daddy

Favorite Activites: Feeding Marlowe her food, being held by Momma, crawling on Momma, watching Momma do things, playing with Momma

Least Favorite Activity: Baths

Least Favorite Food: Peas

Least Favorite Thing in the World: Being away from Momma