Thursday, September 30, 2010

puerto vallarta

hey readers, have any of you been to puerto vallarta? we are trying to get a hotel with a suite in the old town district. i've got some different options, but i thought i would ask all of you too :)

we all have our passports now. i'm getting excited. the weather has been nice here, but i know it's going to get cold and rainy soon enough. it will be nice to have some sunny beach time before winter sets in. lord knows i could use a few more freckles on my white-a$$ skin :)

update from doctor

didn't expect to hear back from the doctor so quickly. here is what he said:

Hi Kat,

The EEG was normal. I spoke with Dr. [specialist] who is the neurologist who read the EEG just to make sure that we were doing all that we need to do. He suggested, and I agree with him, that it would be good to have Arden's vision formally screened by a pediatric ophthalmologist. We are being extra cautious in doing this but vision can be very difficult to assess in a 9 month old and sometimes episodes of eye movement like she had are an indication of problems with vision. I have put in a referral to the pediatric ophthalmology group that I like. They are located in Kirkland. It's a bit of a drive but they are excellent. If you do not need a referral for your insurance, you can go ahead and schedule the appointment:


Please make sure to take your video of Arden's eye movements for them to review. I suspect that Arden has something called congenital nystagmus that may or may not improve with time but I want to make sure we have covered all the bases.

Dr. S., MD

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

baby EEG

it was awful. i hope none of you ever have to hold your terrified, screaming, crying, coughing, hiccuping baby still while someone they don't know does things they don't understand to them.

here is the run down of our day. it didn't start off as planned. typically arden sleep until about 5, nurses, and goes back to sleep until 7. this morning, she slept straight till 6 and then was up for the day. i decided to roll with it, figuring she will nap earlier in the morning and be even more ready to nap at the appointment.

well, she did nap earlier. she fell asleep around 8:30 when i was finishing my morning run. again, let's roll with it. i thought i would do an extra loop on the trail we had just run. she would hopefully sleep for an hour. all would be good. nope. she woke up half an hour later.

now, my sweet baby typically goes for three hours from morning wake up to morning nap. same between the naps. so that puts us at an afternoon nap of 12. not gonna work. our EEG appointment was at 1. we needed to keep her awake until they were running the test. freakin' fantastic. oh, and she is getting a cold.

we have a sleepy, grumpy, sniffling, sneezing baby to which they need to stick electrodes. ha.

we got to the hospital at 12:30 to check in. arden was doing ok. i was able to keep her awake in the car while anna drove. she's doing good, except when she is in my lap. my lap equals milk which equals get ready to sleep.

the technician was very nice. tried to get arden to warm to her. had toys ready. arden wasn't having any of it. we laid her down on the bed and had to keep her relatively still. the tech began measuring and marking arden's head. cue freak-out. even though she wasn't being hurt, arden did not like the lady messing with her. i thought that once the electrodes were on arden would be allowed to play and then would take a nap. what we actually did was much better. the tech asked if i was BFing. when i answered in the positive, she said i could lay down on the bed with arden and just nurse her to sleep. that's it. it was perfect.

i laid down with arden, making sure the video camera wasn't obstructed. the tech set up a strobe light near arden's face. arden calmed right down. she fell asleep within 5 minutes. i even fell asleep. the total testing time was 40 minutes and arden slept for 30 minutes of it. she wasn't even fazed by the strobe flashing in her face (that was only during the first 5-7 minutes).

after the test, we had to get all the electrodes off her head and clean the markings off. again, she got really upset, but it was quick. we decided that she definitely deserved a treat for making it through this ordeal (and we did too). we walked over to an awesome ice cream shop. i had remembered that they had frozen yogurt before, and we were going to get arden fro yo when she first started walking. they didn't have fro yo anymore, but they did have watermelon sorbet and kid cones.

arden loved it. she chowed down. sticking her face right into the sorbet. she ate more than i expected her to. the cone was a little smaller than a typical cone. she ate it down to the last half inch. the only help she had from us was making sure the sorbet didn't melt all over.

she fell asleep on the walk back to the car. she didn't even wake when anna transferred her to the carseat. she proceed to sleep for an hour. my poor baby was wiped out.

we won't have the results from the test until next week most likely. the tech told us that the neurologist that will be reviewing the info is the top doctor for epilepsy (one of the potential issues). after he is done, he'll pass his findings on to our pediatrician, who will then call us. we just need to wait. sigh. i really hope that whatever we find out is not major. no, what i truly hope we find is nothing. i hope the doctor tells us that these two incidents are minor and something she will out grow, right now.

first sorbet

A treat following her EEG. More later...
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

bye bye, rugby nanny

RN has found a real job so she's not going to be helping me anymore. :( she is/was wonderful with arden. i know she would gladly babysit in the future, which makes me happy. arden always seems glad to see her. when i'm in the house, i can hear them playing and talking. RN is a natural. i can't wait for her and her wife to have a baby :)

so, after today i need to decide if we get another helper or... a cleaner! i think i'm leaning towards a housekeeper. someone to come like once or twice a month. i know, i know. i'm home virtually all day. but man, it is hard to stay on top of things. i get one thing done, only to need to do another thing, and then the first thing needs done again, along with three others!! argh! it would be nice to have help with the basics: dusting, sweeping, mopping, bathrooms. i'm going to look around on our neighborhood email list to find recommendations.

anna and i have divided up two major tasks in our house. she handles dishes, and i handle laundry. i hate dishes and get easily overwhelmed by them. i think it's working ok so far. i would love to hear what you all do. is there a division of labor? do you have a task list? do you do certain things on certain days to keep organized?

i would love a housekeeper to help us out, but i need to make some serious adjustments to what i'm doing regularly. bring on the advice, readers!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

first words

i'm going to make it official by posting this: arden's first words are kitty cat, or rather "titty ta." adorable :) she has also kind of said olive, "aw-wi."

she does say ma-ma, but it doesn't seem to mean me or anna yet.

she knows what i'm talking about when i ask where her water is. she'll point to her sippy cup.

she is still perfecting her walk. sometimes it seems like her head it just too big for her and she doesn't know how to balance. she does a little drunk baby walk :) but she is walking without us coaxing her.

and she's beautiful. that's all :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010


you just need to break out the beer and chill out. anna and i split a 6 pack of beer tonight. it had a higher alcohol content than i expected (7.8%) and i was a bit tipsy after 1 and a 1/2 beers :) and clearly after 3 i am postpartum "drunk."

mmm... i need a cheeseburger.

folks, i hope you are all enjoying your evening/weekend. i hope your babies are sleeping well. i hope your preggo bellies are not interferring with your sleep. i hope your baby making is going smoothly.

drink a, um, whatever you prefer for me and enjoy life :)


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

fun video

Arden recognizes a few words now. She understands and points at malo, olive, mommy, momma, ball, and book. She also comprehends kitty and puppy. She can indicate all of these words in pictures to. It doesn't need to specifically be olive when we ask where the puppy is. She will point it out in a book. It is so cool to see this comprehension.

We are doing fine today. I had rugby nanny over for a few hours. I was able to play on my sewing machine and relax while they played.

The EEG is scheduled for next Wednesday. They will do the test while she is awake and napping. I'm a little skeptical about the napping. How the heck am I supposed to get her to sleep at a hospital with things stuck to her head??

enjoy the happy video :) hopefully I never post one like yesterday's ever again.

ETA- sorry i had no idea that the video would post sideways. oh well :)
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Monday, September 20, 2010

update- nystagmus

this is what was happening to arden in the video i posted. sorry for the poor quality, by the way, and the length.

here's the story: this morning, arden fell backwards three separate times while sitting. i don't know why she fell. seemed that she just lost her balance. anyways, the third time, i saw her start to fall. i went to her quickly and picked her up when she started to cry. i looked at her face and saw that her eyes were moving rapidly to the left. this was an uncontrolled action. this rapid uncontrolled eye movement is called nystagmus. most likely this episode was caused by the fall(s).

i just realized i never wrote about our ER visit when she was 6 months old. after our big trip to boise, we had to go to the ER for the same thing, minus the falling. i was sitting in the living room playing with arden when she started flopping her head into my chest. she stopped after 3-4 times. i thought to myself, "that was odd." we played for a little bit more. i raised her up in the air and brought her back down, then her eyes started moving. it freaked me out big time. i tried to snap her out of it (literally snapping in her face). when that did nothing, i rushed her into the bathroom to get anna out of the shower. then i called 911 because i had no idea what was going on. the eye movement probably lasted a minute. 911 said it could have been a seizure, but it was inconclusive. i called our nurse hotline for our pediatrician. they said to go to the hospital just to be safe. we went, and after a couple hours we were told it was probably nystagmus. again, inconclusive. they said if it happened again to try to get it on tape.

thus, the awful phone video i posted. you can see her eyes moving in the first minute. the rest of the video is just to record how she was acting afterwards. i was really trying to remain cool while in my head i was stressing. this time there seemed to be a reason for the nystagmus, but last time there wasn't. what is going on with my baby's head?

i sent the link to the video to our doctor. he said it did appear to be nystagmus and the pediatric neurologist at a local children's hospital agreed. that doctor wasn't too worried though. arden's episode seemed to be pretty minor. they did recommend having an EEG done, just in case. what they would do, because of her age, is stick a bunch of wire to her forehead and let her play. they would watch what was going on in her brain during this time. they would look for any evidence of a potential seizure hiding in her brain. the test seems to be pretty non-invasive. (but it still makes me want to crap my pants.) i'll talk to the doctor's office tomorrow to schedule the EEG. i'm hoping we can do it this week. i just want some answers. i want to know my baby is healthy.

i'm really trying to be ok with everything. nystagmus isn't serious, as far as i can tell from dr. google. but i still feel like crying. it's so frustrating to not know what is happening to arden. to not have definitive answers. i was hoping this was all behind us after the first time. i was starting to forget about it. i dislike not being in control of this. i want to put a helmet on her and put padding everywhere in the house. then, i also don't want to do this. i don't want my baby going around cautious all the time. i love how adventurous she is. she just tries things. she is so active. i don't want that to ever be stifled.

i gotta move away from this topic before i get sucked down. the doctors will have answers. this is not serious. my baby is wonderful.

so... you guys got a behind-the-scenes glimpse of my life :) baby in pjs and momma in a bathrobe, hair sticking up all over. toys strewn about the living room. using the couch as my desk. :) things i never intended to show my readers. oh well. that's what mommy-hood looks like sometimes (ok, most mornings). please tell me this is true for you guys too :)

freaky video

Arden fell earlier and had a scary eye thing happen. She had involuntary horizontal eye movement. I'm putting this up now and will talk more later. I'm using my phone and it sucks for long posts.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

time for some fro-yo!

the other day anna said we should have a special treat when arden starts walking, something she could enjoy also. what could be better than frozen yogurt :)

and guess who gets to have frozen yogurt as of today. i know this is a hard one. i'll let you think about it...

ARDEN! surprise! yes, she started walking this morning. she was holding on to the coffee table, let go, and took two steps towards her toys. i kept encouraging (ok, maybe tricking) her to try again. my friend, denise, was over today. she is a photographer (in fact, she took the photo in the last post). whenever she is over she takes more than 200 photos of arden. i love it. right, so she was taking oodles of photos and caught some with arden walking. then she got out her iphone and took 20 minutes of video. she is going to edit it and send it to me. i'll be sure to post it as soon as i can.

i know arden has been on the verge of walking for a bit now, but i was still surprised. she just did it so nonchalantly. the other thing she's been doing like it's no big deal is climbing stairs. my baby is getting so big!

another photo by denise, taken at our favorite restaurant, geraldine's

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

the monster

check out this pear. It's huge! I tried to find something that would give a good comparison. I don't think this quite does it justice.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

forgive me readers...

for i have sinned. god knows when i last did a real post. sorry :( i really thought i would into the routine doing that 30 days thing. i thought i would start bustin' butt and talkin' to you guys, for realz. :) not so much. oh well. you all love me still. right?

so update on life currently in our household. our garden is pretty close to being done. we still get
a smattering of blueberries and some small heads of broccoli. our tomatoes became a forest. we cleaned it up this weekend with some cleverly place twine. there are a lot of tomatoes on the vine, but i'm not sure that they are going to ripen. it's gotten cool and grey here already.

our garden was more successful than in the years past. we had kale, rainbow chard, snap peas, green peas, lettuce, green onion, scallion, strawberries, rhubarb, and a carrot (yes, just one). we are still waiting on some squash and peppers. we might have gotten too late of a start with those ones.

we think we have missed our plum harvest. the tree didn't produce as much this year as last. before we actually purchased the house, we would come over to check things out in the garden and yard. the plum tree was crazy with fruit last year. we have had some though. arden loves
those tart little guys.

we harvested a good bit from our pear tree tonight. we filled one of those reusable grocery bags. guess how much it weighed. 20 pounds! woowee! some of the pears where larger than any i've seen. seriously. huge! there is one that is as large as my hand. width and length.

we really didn't know what the previous owners had planted in the rest of the yard. we ended up with some lovely flowers. fortunately, they were low maintenance. we had columbine and jasmine. lilies, daffodils, tulips. lavender, sage, mint, lemon thyme. rock roses, succulents, and a lot more that i don't know the names of, but enjoyed looking at through the summer.

there were other things that we planted that did well too. we planted honeymelon sage,
lemongrass, oregano, thai basil, fuschia , orange mint.

i recently got a new sewing machine (thanks, momma!). i can't wait to play on it. i'm intending to take a class to learn how to use it properly. i did get it out of it's box today and played with a few stitches. this was achieved while my lovely friend was over helping me with arden :) since i don't have her consent to use her name on here, let's call her rugby nanny, or RN for short.

RN is a rugby friend that lives in my neighborhood. i did have a helper for a few weeks, but she quit to focus on her AA degree better. i knew RN had nanny experience and wasn't currently employed. so now, she comes over on tuesdays from 12 to 4. she plays with arden. feeds her. let's me run out the door singing and skipping over to the bakery :) it's lovely. arden clearly likes
her too. when she comes over, arden is excited to play with RN. this makes me happy, and a happy momma is the best momma. the little time apart from arden makes me appreciate her all the more too.

hopefully, i'll be able to use the 4 hours to do things for myself and the family/house. my intention is to set little goals for each week. chores for the house and chill time for me, however i see fit. so today, i made a yummy squash, pea, and potato puree for arden. there was enough for her lunch and for the freezer. i unpacked my sewing machine. i went to the bakery for a danish and decaf coffee. also, i went to the post office to mail some very important forms, our passport updates... for our trip to mexico!

like the segue :) anna's dad will have time off from his work in laos in october. anna's mom, brother, sister-in-law, and our family will be meeting him in puerto vallarta. woo! i haven't been to mexico before, so i'm really excited. we got all of arden's passport things handled too. she will have been to two different countries before she is one. albeit, they are the easiest for americans to go to, but it's still cool. i can't wait to play on the beach, sip yummy drinks (sans ice cubes), and chow down on some good mexican food. mmm...

i'm a little nervous about the trip because we have another one planned just a week and a half earlier to indiana. that means we will have a three hour time change, back to regular time, then a two hour change. arden's sleep is bound to get messed up. i'm also afraid of her getting sick in mexico, or anna and myself. but, we'll have a lot of family with us. anna's mom is an NP. puerto vallarta isn't rural. i'm sure we'll be fine. arden is not allowed to be teething on this vacation
though. the past two she has been.

we go in for her 9 month well-visit on friday. i'm super excited. i love finding out her measurements and getting figurative pats-on-the-back from the doctor :) makes me feel like we're doing it right. i know arden is awesome either way though. she's growing well. learning all the time. amazing us. and she's funny. she has this fake laugh that cracks me up. i'll try to catch it on film sometime. i wouldn't trade her for anything.

well, maybe nachos. nah, not even nachos :)

look at that profile. i just wanna give her a big kiss :)