Sunday, May 30, 2010

Giveaway...

Many of you have asked about the stickers we use for Karsie's monthly pictures.
They are an awesome set from Picky Sticky... and Michelle has a giveaway going on this week at her blog. Check it out and enter to win a set of Picky Sticky stickers!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"She's So Cute!!!"

Dear Karsie -

Your mother and I are very aware that parents like to brag about their kids. At some time in your life, we're guessing in about 10 years or so, you will come to the conclusion that we think you're cute because we "have to". We will tell you the stories about how you were such a cute baby and for some strange reason, you will think "Yeah, that's just what all parents think about their kids." So let me just cover my bases now by telling you in just the past day I've had numerous people exclaim how cute you are. Not just your parents saying it - random people coming up and gawking at your adorableness (not sure that's word).

So for the record, it's not just us. I will save this for that special day when you need to hear this.

-Daddy

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More News


First of all, Kevin was given a wonderful gift and surprise celebration for Karsie by his work staff. They all pitched in to get Karsie a little gift...and she LOVES it. Kevin put it together in the afternoon and she stayed in it for hours and was upset when she had to get out.

Karsie had a doctor's appointment today, which was unexpected. Like we said before, she has been coughing a lot and we've been needing to be attentive to it. A couple of nights ago we went into urgent care because of it. It was not really an emergency, but it was something we needed to have a doctor look at fairly soon and the offices were closed (how dare they?), so we took her in because she couldn't stop coughing. Turns out everything's fine and her lungs are great, but her vocal cords were swollen and were irritating her. She was fast tracked at urgent care and given a breathing treatment to help the swelling. So, no biggy, but we're still watching it. Darn croup.

Because of that, Karsie sounds funny. She's totally happy, but has that raspy voice like she's in the mafia or something. When she giggles it's hilarious! So back to the doctor's appointment...

We went in to check up on her today as we wanted Dr. Suen to look at her. Have we mentioned we love him? The son. Well, we like the dad too, but we see the son. Karsie loves Dr. Suen. She stares at him and makes him giggle at her. We think he likes her a lot...who wouldn't? She checked in at 17 lbs. 4 oz! Woohoo! She's getting close to that sitting up car seat. She may not have to wait until she's 21 after all. She also checked in at 27 inches long.

Other news: We had to change her G-Tube today, which was not fun at all. She has a pressure sore, which we and the doctors knew about, that was aggravated during the change and bled a bit. It wasn't a fun thing to see even though we were expecting it. It's not a fun sight to change the tube either. First of all, Karsie was full. We have to deflate the balloon keeping her tube in, take it out and quickly put the new one back in. During this transition, all the food in her stomach came out and we could see/feel her stomach deflate in that short amount of time. Gross! Anyhow, we got the new one back in and all is well in the land of Turner.

We'll say this for her: She keeps us on our toes!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Update

We're alive and well. The good news for us is that we have been in a fairly rigid routine, which is good for Karsie. The bad news for our blog is that the routine really isn't news, so there's not much to report other than cute pictures and videos.

Karsie has been fighting a bit of a cough lately which comes and goes with the day. Today was the first day that we really noticed her having it all day, so we're watching her pretty close. However, she has strong enough muscles that have developed that she can cough a lot of the "gunk" out much easier than when we had to take her in.

We have a tentative appointment for plastic surgery in October. Seems so far away. In other words, nothing will happen surgically for her until at least then. Maybe if we can compression wrap her then her omphalocele will go in on its own and we will only have one surgery. Any of you know information on where to look or who to talk to about compression wrapping? Like what material was used, how tight to make it, what to expect, a doctor to call? We've been tightly wrapping it with her bandage and it isn't getting bigger, but it's definitely not going back in. Just curious.

We have a slew of appointments the first week in June. We get done with teaching early June, so it'll be nice to be able to be flexible with things. We see our doctors that we missed out on when we had to take Karsie in for her bloated stomach after Easter. Follow up where Children's Hospital measures her growth and strength, neurology, and G.I.

She continues to get cuter. She LOVES our dogs - animals in general actually. They play nicely together.

Until next time....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Goals!

Last week we talked about Karsie having new goals set for her by the occupational therapist. Today we got them along with the news that Karsie has almost reached her developmental age goals. Meaning Karsie is almost where she needs to be for her adjusted age. She's also doing things that are more advanced than her adjusted age.

Our goals are to get her to clap three times on her own, having her pick up and drop objects willfully, having her put objects into a container, reaching up to pull herself up (works with PT as well), and a couple others we can't remember at the time.

We're really blitzing the crawling at home because we can tell Karsie is getting frustrated with not being able to move where she wants to go. Arm strength is the key to our success, so we're having her spend lots of time on the tummy time mat and leaning her onto her hands.

Once we get to Karsie's developmental age goals, we think she will be done with OT. Amazingly that's kind of a bitter sweet thing for us. We are thrilled not to have to have two extra appointments a week, but we will be sad to say goodbye to the wonderful therapists as well as saying goodbye to the awesome help they have given Karsie. But for now, we must work on these goals.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

'Tis the Season to be Allergic

Karsie and Kevin are suffering from the Bakersfield allergy season. Both have been hacking and uncomfortable. If the weather wants to get rid of all of its dust particles and pollen, it will not be too soon.

It's also the time Bakersfield turns from nice weather to mildly uncomfortable to "Holy moly I want to die it's so hot" all in the matter of a couple of weeks. It has hit that mildly uncomfortable stage during the day but fairly nice at night. Soon we will be letting Karsie hang out with just her diaper.

Karsie has been doing lots of cute things lately. She has learned to wave. She has learned to say "Yeah" in sign language thanks to her awesome babysitter. She also has learned to give kisses. All of which are fairly inconsistent, but when she gets on a roll, she knows what to do.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Little from Column A, A Little from Column B


Karsie has been experiencing quite a variety of food lately. She has pretty well learned the mechanics of eating/chewing even. In fact, one of the things that we have decided is that she likes the solid foods much better than the puree foods.

A while ago we asked a question on the blog about feeding Karsie and we said we would talk about our decision or something we were working on after all the suggestions you gave. Turns out, we didn't really decide anything. We did a trial run on not feeding her until she took something like a bottle (with a do or die time at 2:00 p.m.). In other words, we skipped her 10:00 a.m. feeding so she would get hungry enough to eat, which she does do when forced. Whatever she didn't take during that time we would absorb during her other feedings throughout the day. The first day was pretty good. She took the bottle and drank about 70% of what she would have to eat. However, the other days did not go so well. She didn't take the bottle at all and we had to cut our losses and feed her at 2:00 anyway so she got her fluids, which proved to be hard because we were giving her the whole day's worth of food in half the time, which made her uncomfortable. So, we shelved that idea.

Michelle has been drinking the special tea (this is being written by Kevin, so I don't know what it's called), eating oatmeal, hydrating herself, etc. in order to increase her milk supply. We're not really sure how it's going because Karsie does like to nurse and she usually empties Michelle, so we hope that it's working.

As far as where we go from here, it really looks like we're just going to have to wait until Karsie is on all solids with breast milk supplements and cut the G-Tube when she eats enough. Good news is that she LOVES solid food. She's been eating puffs like a pig for a while. She absolutely loves avocado and she can handle mangos. She is off and on with yogurt, but she can't get enough cheese (neither can her dad). She also has been introduced to other types of crackers that are kind of like the puffs, but they are bigger so she has to hold them and chew on them. She does very well with that and enjoys it. We're just going to have to wean her off the tube with G.I.'s help. There are other things we have yet to try, and we're still trying the sipee cup, but her interest is there and we may just have to be a little patient.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Karsie's Continual Academic Progress

Yes, you heard it here first: Our daughter is a genius! She has always done well on tests and she has passed yet another.

During her OT appointment today, which turned out to be a grueling hour mixed with physical therapy, she passed all of her goals they had set for her. This means that she is well on her way to the next phase where they will write out new goals for her. We're waiting for a call from Harvard any moment now...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Karsie's First Words

Karsie's first word was on Mother's Day! What was it?


"Dada"


Ironic little child.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Milestone Made

We have now had Karsie home longer than she has been in the hospital - even counting the two returns we have had. We continue to be grateful for our little one.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fish!

video

The title is appropriate, but it will be especially funny to a family member. Karsie LOVED the fish at the aquarium. However, the two ladies to the right of her almost got punched by Michelle. One in particular kept saying, rather loudly, things like: "Look at that baby's belly! It's so BIG. Look, look! It's just so big and enormous!" On the video you can actually hear her say "Look at that kid. Look at the belly on that kid." We're usually tolerant of curiosity because, well, seriously, it's rare you see a baby with Karsie's condition. But this lady had a different tone that brought out Michelle's Mama Bear instinct.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thank You for the Help...plus an update

First of all, thank you to those of you who took the time to give us your input on Karsie's feeding situation. We will have more information on what we decided to do in the next day or so, but what we will say today is that we took plenty of advice and we're running with it. We'll see how it goes. There were quite a few things that we left out or didn't clarify on our situation, so we'd like to clarify some of those as well as give you a little picture break with each.

Before we get started with the feeding and Karsie details, we need to speak to Anonymous who left the comment ending with "You know who I am =)". If possible, shoot us an email telling us who you are. Michelle and Kevin have a bet going on who you are and we'd love to know :).
(Picture: Karsie is no where near Owen's size, so this is handy camera work). And yes, she's leaking out of her G-Tube.
Feeding situation: While it would be very nice to feed Karsie on demand, she still needs to get a certain amount of formula daily. She needs at least 22 oz of fluid (formula/breast milk) a day. We can play around with her schedule, but at the end of the day, she still needs that amount. The only ways that we know what she is getting is either pump it into her stomach (which is what most of her feedings are), or if she takes it from a bottle. Since she doesn't take a bottle, we are left with the pump as the only reliable measure of her intake to keep her hydrated. Unfortunately, breast feeding is just a supplement at this point because there's no way to tell how much she is getting, and even so Michelle cannot produce nearly enough for Karsie's need. Therefore we are stuck to the tube, hope that she takes to a bottle, or wait until she eats enough solid foods to get the nutrition she needs.
Bottle problems: Karsie does not have an oral aversion, but she has a bottle aversion, as we said before. She loves to eat when she's hungry, but won't touch a bottle. That problem leaves us no alternative to eating (at this point) other than feeding her by tube. That is why we were asking about increasing milk supply so that if needed, Michelle could give Karsie enough food just breast feeding. It's still impossible to measure, but since it's the only kind of milk Karsie will take by mouth, it can help her practice in case we can get her liking a bottle. Ideally, we'd rather her not have to take a bottle, or just breast feed (at this point the formula is necessary), but the bottle is the only measurable way we can do it. Michelle has been drinking some of that tea and eating oatmeal to increase supply, as well as staying hydrated and such. Hopefully that will help soon. We'll have more on the bottle later.
Eating solids has been fine, but since rice cereal is all she eats (and puffs) she is not getting the protein and fats that breast milk/formula provide. To replace formula with solids will require her to eat other foods more frequently like meats and fatty foods. Good news: today we fed Karsie some yogurt and avocados. For the record, she loves avocados, but it's a new taste for her, so lots of gagging followed the feeding, and she is slower at it. She was fun to watch tonight. Since avocados are higher in fats and yogurt in protein, Karsie is stepping closer to eating foods with higher calories which will get her off the tube quicker.
Karsie has started to pull herself up. We spent the other night with her just helping her do situps and pulling herself up. She seemed to enjoy the workout. We're pretty sure that any day now she's just going to start crawling (even PT said that today). She looks like she wants to get into position, but hesitates. Soon...
Karsie doesn't seem to enjoy the heat that Bakersfield is threatening. This summer should be real fun. She had a pretty decent fever the other day that we were cautiously watching for a few hours. It broke pretty quickly after we noticed it, and she went back to normal real fast. We think it may have to do with teething, or just something to do with the weather (if that's possible). Speaking of teething, Karsie looks like that episode of the Simpsons where Maggie gets a tooth from the alien on one of those Halloween episodes. She has a gnarly fang. It's awesome!
We went to the Long Beach Aquarium (as you can probably tell by the pictures) for Grandma's birthday this past weekend. Karsie had a blast! She loved looking at all the fish and funny people too. We have a funny video to post of her looking at the fish. We'll try to get that up this week.
"Yikes! That crab is BIG!"
NEMO! That's what every kid said when they came up to this tank. And the oceanographers conveniently put a "Dorie" fish in there with the clown fish. Karsie was not as in love with this tank as others, but in about two years she will be.

Again, we'll have some information a little later on steps we have decided to take. Like good little scientists we like to have data on a period of time before we post results. Thanks again...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Food Question for You

Since our last post on the food, Karsie has slowed down quite a bit on the volume of food she consumes. However, the frequency of her feeding has kept up. When we visited the speech therapist she said that Karsie really is going at a normal pace for a "new eater." Therefore, we pretty much will just check in once a month. The only thing we're really looking for is to make sure she doesn't develop an oral aversion and that her interest is there. Eventually the volume should come.

She's doing fairly well on solid foods. She eats rice cereal here and there. Sometimes she just doesn't have an interest, but she usually eats it. Her favorites seem to be apples and sweet potatoes mixed with the rice cereal. She does okay with puffs and she's able to eat them whole.

Here are our problems however: Karsie will NOT take a bottle. We're really not sure what to do with that other than keep trying here and there. Usually this wouldn't be a problem if she nursed real well, but we've run into a supply problem. Michelle is running out. Karsie likes to nurse and would do it more, but Michelle really just doesn't have enough any more to compensate for Karsie's bottle issues. This is normal around this time for many moms, but usually this accompanies good solid food eating as well. We want to wean her off of her G-Tube, but we need to see how much she gets from oral feeding, and with her not taking a bottle and Michelle's milk supply low, that's really hard to do.

Any suggestions on beefing up milk supply or tricks to get a kid to take a bottle?

We know eventually she'll make it up in solid food eating and that will take the place of the milk, but it would make it a little easier (quicker too) to supplement with milk now.

Thanks.