Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Apparently, polish is therapeutic!

For 5 years I had played with, stepped on, and tripped over monster trucks, trains, and Transformers.

And finding out during my third pregnancy that I was in fact having a girl, made me very happy.

VERY happy.

In preparation for my daughter's arrival, my mom and aunt painted the nursery pink. I registered for all things frilly and girly. The boys even got into it--they picked out a pink and purple monster truck to give to Alexis when she was born.

And I love it. Now, every day Alexis wears a dress or shirt with little ruffles or lace or bows. Her hair is finally getting long enough that it needs glittery barrettes (non-glittery just won't do). She has flowery hats, sparkly sunglasses, a baby bikini...but I've held off on the nail polish.

It's not that I didn't want to paint her fingers or toes. Believe me I did. But I decided that if I were to paint her nails, it would only be for my own benefit and entertainment, not Lexi's. Lexi wasn't going to care one way or another how her nails looked. (This is not true for everyone. I think my niece Layla was debating between "knockout pink pout" and "tutti fruity tonga frost" polish colors before she was out of the womb.)

But then Alexis had physical therapy on Monday. Alexis has a habit of pointing and curling up her toes. It makes getting shoes on her just about impossible. She also has a hard time putting weight on her heels. We have an appointment next week to get fit for braces for her little feet which will keep her from curling her toes and help her bear weight.

And then the P.T. said, "you should paint her toe nails."


"You should paint her toe nails." Anything that will draw her attention to her toes and feet might help her notice her feet, pull them up, and keep her from pointing them. Put things between her toes, stamp her skin, toenail polish...

Whoot! Whoot! I called Layla and asked her to start looking for a bright color of nail polish that she can help me put on Lexi when we see her this weekend. Apparently, Layla was up for the task and immediately went to work looking for an appropriate color choice for her cousin. I then went rummaging through my nail polish, looking for whatever I had that was fast drying. I found a hot pink shade (I'm sure Layla will come up with something much better) and made Pop Pop hold her on his lap while I got to work.

I think it tickled a bit.

She's squirmy. I colored outside the lines.

But I think Alexis liked it.

And already, she was grabbing at her feet. (But notice how her left foot is pointed down? Even her right foot has her toes really curled.)

But I think Lexi was pleased.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Great Strides

It's such an exciting time! Alexis seems to be making great strides in so many areas. There are so many little things that Alexis is learning to do that I took for granted when the boys were little. For example, Alexis has been able to bang two objects together for quite a while now, but when it came time to clap, she wasn't able to bring her hands all the way together. She would just kind of flap them in the air. But we've finally made contact!

She still usually only makes the sounds "Dada" and "Uh-Oh" with the occasional "Mamamamama" when she's unhappy (not that it happens very often). But when we tell her something like, "can you say 'ball'?", we will occasionally see her move her lips as if she's practicing.

The only signs I've really done with her so far are the signs for "eat", "more", and "all done", and I believe she has tried to communicate "more" and "all done" a few times. And she now will shake her head "no". I get so excited when she does these things that she usually ends up clapping for herself. And then I get emotional. It's exhausting.

Alexis had an appointment with the audiologist on Friday. The audiologist was pleased. She said she didn't really respond to some of the higher pitched tones, but at this age, that can be normal and not a source of concern. When I mentioned that Alexis is scheduled to start speech therapy in August, the audiologist said that the way Lexi is engaging and babbling and mimicking now, this should be the prime time to start speech. The new ST will be at our house on August 5.

When our friends from Florida were in town a few weeks ago, Alexis started puckering up every time Debbie would blow her kisses. Then Debbie left. And the kisses stopped. Sigh. (Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who she really loves.) But finally, she has started puckering again. LOVE IT! And boy is she good at it.

Really, really good at it.

And Lexi's biggest news is that she can finally sit herself up. There were a couple of times when Alexis would be lying down, we would look away, and when we looked back, she was sitting up. But then finally about a week ago, we witnessed it. It's so exciting...all these things that she's been trying to do in therapy for soooo long... Except now it's a bit harder putting her down for her naps because she wants to sit up in her crib. But I'm not complaining.

And now, she is already so close to crawling. She gets up in the crawling position easily. She can move her arms around, she can move her legs a little bit, but it's just a matter of coordinating the crawling pattern. So close!

The girl has some mad skills! Cuteness being the number 1.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Uh oh.

Progress. We'll take it. Alexis seems to be mimicking more and more sounds. Now she says "uh-oh". And once she gets started, she'll keep practicing. Over and over. Sometimes for the full 40 minute trip to St. Vincent. And then back again.

She's really good at it.

Obviously, we still need a bit of work on the word, "mama."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


It's been a very busy and fun summer, and it's far from over. Alexis has missed several therapy appointments throughout the summer because of various scheduling conflicts, but she is as healthy and happy as ever. She can't crawl yet, but she still scoots around enough that you can't take your eyes off of her for long. In the blink of an eye she will vanish from the middle of the living room floor. I've found her under the coffee table,

(how did that bib get so filthy?? Aunt Paula must have fed her!) and under the piano,
and so the baby gates will be going up very soon.
Our family went on vacation to Tennessee last week with some friends and their family. I was hesitant to go since I didn't want to intrude on a family vacation, and because the cabin that they were staying at was at full capacity. But our friend Scott assurred us that we were welcome and his dad told us that we could tow their camper down for the week and stay on the property with full access to the cabin. Thank goodness we enjoy our friends so much and their family is such great fun to be around, because the trip to and from Tennessee was, to be frank, a nightmare.
On the way down, we overheated for the first time outside of Cincinnati. To keep a very long story short, our 7 hour trip took about 14 hours. We are lucky to have 3 incredibly well behaved children who can be entertained by something as simple as a straw wrapper. And incidently, spending 4 hours as a McDonald's is not my idea of fun.
Thoughout the course of the week Jason spent many hours on the car. In the end, he decided that whatever was wrong required taking the car to the dealership for repair. The last day of his vacation was spent inside a dealership while the kids and I spent the day playing everything from Bingo to Bendaroos in the camper. (We had to move to a campground after the first 2 nights because apparently they don't like campers parked in the neighborhood. BIG bummer.) We decided to leave on Friday night instead of Saturday just to avoid pulling a 7000 pound camper in 95 degree heat. Unfortunately, we didn't even make it out of town that night before the Durango overheated again. We swapped out the camper for a pontoon and it was no better. So we crashed at a motel, Jason took the car to another dealership on Saturday morning while his brother Josh (my hero!) drove all the way from Kokomo, IN to rescue us. The Durango and the family made it home safe and sound with Josh pulling the pontoon behind his truck. It could have been worse. No one got sick, no one was injured, but I've never been so glad to unpack.
A few days after returning home, our dear friends from Florida arrived. They usually come every year around the 4th of July and we travel to see them every New Years. But with Alexis being born and her hospitalizations, we hadn't seen them in a year and a half. They were very excited to meet Alexis and she's been entertained since the day they arrived.

As usual, we cooked out for July 4th at my uncle and aunt's house and spent most of the day in their pool. The rest of the time has been spent on the reservoir. Here are Blake and Nick with Trisha, 10, Eric, 6, and Cameron, 16.

Blake is loving going tubing. We are highly amused when he stays on the tube for hours, laughing and smiling and obviously enjoying himself, but then afterwards walks up to us, shoulders hunched, lower lip pouting, and saying in his low monotone voice, "I didn't have fun on the tube. I hurt my finger." Of course he's all ready to go out again the next day.

Alexis has been out the last 2 days, is loving floating on the water and helping daddy drive the boat.

And Nicholas is loving having his buddy Eric around. Eric is only 2 weeks older than Nick.

We were very excited yesterday when Nicholas decided he wanted to try skiing. He's always been hesitant to try in the past and we haven't pushed him. But he finally was ready and it was a success! We were so proud, as was he. He loved it and skied again today. He plans on doing it tomorrow as well and now Blake says he's going to try it too. We'll see...

We are loving having our friends here. But this is by far my favorite picture of the week so far. On their first day here, Debbie started blowing kisses to Alexis and almost immediately, Alexis reciprocated. She will rarely do it for me, but the minute she sees Deb, she puckers up.

I'm not sure who will be the saddest to see them go this Sunday, but let's not think about it.