Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Eli's March of Dimes

Mr. Grumps
I have never asked for money for Eli, and I'm not posting this in request for donations either. I just wanted everyone to know we are planning on walking this spring if anyone wishes to join Eli's team. My family has a lot to be thankful to the March of Dimes for. Eli's Power Squad
For those not in the Twin Cities area, you can still help! If you register on Eli's team site, you will create a personal member name & page under our team site. You can then edit/change your personal walksite location on your member page. There are lots of MOD walksite locations around the country and you can easily search by entering your zip code. Please consider walking in honor of our little Elijah.
Of course, I have to add the most recent pictures of our little man. He's loosing his "puff" and Mommy is so sad :(
Eli has a look only his cuteness can pull off- a couple of stray long wispy strands on his preemie shaped head, yet he's still 110% adorable.

My sweet boy
Mr. Happy

The forgotten ones

Kaitlyn's Valentine card from Uncie Nic

Ok, I don't purposely post only about Eli, but he's just a much more complicated kiddo right now. I probably should post an about about my other two angels b/c they've got some pretty big things coming Smiley courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.org
I can't believe I am soon to be the mother of a kindergartner. We go to kindergarten round-up tonight to see the school and meet the teachers. I just learned yesterday that our district does all day, every day kindergarten. So, starting in September, my oldest baby will leave on the bus at 8:30 AM and not come home until 3:30 pm. It seems like such a long day for a little girl. She is, of course, very excited. I told her about riding a bus and she knew that she would "have to hurry, so she won't miss her school bus". I think Kaitlyn was most excited about going to school without her sister and she said then she wouldn't have to share her friends.
It's just so sad to think of my girls being at a different school. I just can't financially swing sending Kaitlyn to a private school though. I wish I could, but I'm sure she'll be just fine at her new elementary. It's just Mommy that needs time to adjust to the idea. Smiley courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.org
I still can't believe that my tiny 1 lb 8 oz micropreemie is coming up on 4 years. Genny has just come leaps and bounds in the past year. She is still a tiny little thing, but always our "tiny & mighty" Genny. Genny is doing a lot better with her eating. We just got the ok to come to feeding clinic every other week for the next quarter. She is eating a ton of foods and most nights she eats more then her sister. Gen never fails to surprise me with her eating. Last night she gobbled up my stir-fry that was loaded with peppers and onions. She wanted "more little chickens w/ weeds"...I think she meant more stir-fry beef and peppers :)
Gen is still our munchkin, but she is growing. At feeding clinic last week she was just shy of 25 lbs. She's gained 3 lbs in 4 months, a huge growth spurt for our Genny-bug. She is starting to fit into 2T size clothes, but we still have to hike up her pants with a belt. Her favorite item lately is her stretchy pants. It just cracks me up when Shawn dresses her in jeans and 5-min later she's undressed and put on a pair of her stretchies.
I got a good phone call from Gen's EI teachers yesterday regarding her review for her 4-yr bday. Her teachers don't think she needs any more of their services! Gen has come so far in the 2 years she's been in Early Intervention. At her 2 yr birthday she wasn't talking, refused to walk and always did things with only one hand. Now they are talking about graduating her!
Since Gen did qualify for EI at 2 yrs, she isn't "due" to be re-tested until she is 5 years. I think I will probably keep her in the program b/c she really needs the social interaction of preschool. Genny is still very ADD/ADHD, has a lot of social immaturities, and is still pretty behind in gross motor due to her tiny size. But besides making her physically & emotionally develop faster (I am still in experimentation w/ my magic growth beans, but they haven't worked on her brother yet), there aren't a lot of services that EI can provide to assist her. It is really nice to see the progress she has made and I know pushing Gen is the best thing to do. She is just one of those kids who will do as little as you expect of her, but if you push her to do age appropriate activities, she can do them. We may have to be more creative in coming up with new goals for her IEP (individual eduction plan), but it is just wonderful to know that when she gets to kindergarten she will be ready to go into a regular classroom.
I still can't believe how fast my kids are growing up. It's nice when the girls are at school and I am able to concentrate on Eli's cares, but it does made me sad when I realize how fast they are growing & developing without me being there. Sometimes I just wish they could stay little for a while longer, but most days I pray for all my kiddos to keep growing.
My little choc-o-holic
Stuffing her cheeksLooks like a mouse was here

Just call me Mr. Chubs

I have to start with the best news first- drum roll please......
Smiley courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.org 7 lbs 7.4 oz Smiley courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.org
Yes, Eli finally bypassed the 7 lbs 5 oz mark. He weighed in at a whopping 3396 grams this morning and is 21 inches in length. Not bad for almost 9 months old :)
GI Issues-
Eli switched to 26 calorie (actually its 26 2/3 calories per oz b/c you can't mix straight 26 cal formula) on Friday. He just couldn't gain any weight on 24 cal formula, so his dietitian agreed to just go out on a limb and try bumping him up to 26 cal. Well, so far it's been 3 days and he hasn't started stooling out. I haven't noticed a difference between his stooling issues or new problems w/ his obstructions on 26 cal vs. 24 cal, so he's getting more calories in and not showing major signs of problems yet. The best part, he's gaining weight again! Eli was 3308 (Fri), 3304 (Sat), 3310 (Sun), 3352 (Mon) and 3396 today. Eli did manage to poo on the scale, but his homecare nurse said we could still count it. So, his weight minus the big poo was 3356, but we like the bigger number better :)
Eli had his follow-up at the pediatric opthamologists last Friday. We don't have much more to update from last time. We are still waiting until Eli can get to a point where they will consider removing his cataracts. Right now he is way to fragile for any elective surgeries. Plus, they will remove the lens of his eye, and no one wants to try and put a contact lens in a 7 lb baby. We talked a little about a prosthetic lens, but it's still an experimental procedure in kids under 5 years. Right now Eli's opthamologist just wants to continue watching him closely until he gets to a point where we can more seriously consider surgery. We have another appointment in 6-weeks.
I decided yesterday that I was tired of washing his newborn clothes, they were getting really worn out since he's worn them so heavily for the past 5 months. I decided to "graduate" Eli into 0-3 month clothes. If the recent pictures look like he's "shrunk", it's just b/c he's in bigger sleepers. I went ahead and listed all his preemie clothes on Ebay. I was pretty teary eyed taking picture of all his tiny things. It's hard to see growth when we still weigh Eli in single grams each day, but when I look back at his tiny NICU things, he's come a long ways.
We went out last weekend and bought Eli his "jungle gym". I got a few recommendations from my message boards and decided on the Fisher Price Rainforrest Activity Mat. With just the addition of some extra rings to accommodate his "vertical challenges", Eli just loves his jungle. He will actually lay under it for 2-minutes without screaming and stare at the toys. He hasn't made any moves to try and grab anything yet, but if you put a ring in his hand, he will hold on. Eli still thinks his jungle is much better when Mommy lays right next to him & talks, but we're working on his play skills.
Eli is still working with his OT once a week. We have an hour appointment, but really only do about 20-minutes of range of motion before Eli decides he's done. We talked about moving his therapies up to more then once a week & adding services from PT and the low vision therapists, but Eli always looses weight the days he works with OT. We decided for right now, Eli's #1 goal is to grow more Eli. After he works on his growth, we'll concentrate more on his development.

Eli of the jungle

Working his computer

Big sister Kaitlyn helping out