Monday, July 30, 2012

New York State of Mind

After Virginia's tour of upstate New York last weekend, we obviously needed to show her around New York City and Long Island this weekend.  The verdict is still out... city girl or upstate girl?

On Saturday Virginia and I ventured into New York City to meet 2 of my high school friends for brunch.  We didn't do too much sightseeing but we did make it to Central Park  and passed by the Natural History Museum and the Rose Center.

On Saturday night Heath and I were able to go out on our first date night since Virginia came home from the hospital.  We enjoyed a delicious french dinner (thanks MIke and Nichole! and thanks to Moma for babysitting) and some quality time talking about things other than diapers and feeding schedules.

On Sunday we went out to Long Island to visit Aunt Tricia.  Virginia loved getting to snuggle with Tricia, dip her toes in the pool, watch the boats go by in the canal and meet some more of her supporters.  

Heath and I continue to be amazed at where we are and that we are lucky enough to be able to do these fun things with Virginia,  Not only are we blessed that her health is good enough to make these trips, but we are lucky that she is such a happy and flexible baby and makes it easy for us.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

a new olympic sport

Virginia has gotten into the olympic spirit with her own acrobatics by finally rolling from her back to her belly.  Its seems like she has been on the cusp of doing this FOREVER.  She has been rolling from her belly to her back since the beginning of the summer but is just now discovering the joys of playing on her belly and sleeping on her belly and is now motivated to get there.  She is quickly figuring out that this can get her new places and can make diaper changes extra fun.

She could also be a future olympian in dragging her mom along the jogging stroller.  She never cuts me any slack and screeches  when I change my pace stop for a water break.

Monday, July 23, 2012

chicks, cows & horses .. ohh my!

We spent the weekend in upstate New York visiting friends and family and taking Virginia to the Saratoga County Fair and the Saratoga Race Track for the first time.  The weekend was filled with great weather, great company, and lots of new things for Virginia to see.  

On Saturday Virginia put on her prettiest dress to cheer on the horses and show up all the ladies in their big hats. 

On Friday we ate our way through the Saratoga County Fair while Virginia enjoyed some great people and animal watching.


we saw chicks that gave a whole new meaning to chick flicks..

baby ducks sunbathing...

cows relaxing...

goats eating...

and reindeers in july?!

Many thanks to Aunt Mary for hosting us and showing us around the fair!  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

9 Months Old

Virginia is 9 months old today! She is now 10 times her birth weight and twice her birth length.  She had a pediatrician appointment on Thursday and weighed in at 14lbs 8ozs and was 25.5 inches long.  She is getting close to being on the charts for her actual age for weight and length and is now on the charts for her head circumference (10th percentile).  When looking at her adjusted age (5.5 months) she is in the 30th percentile for weight, 50th percentile for height and 60th percentile for head circumference.  

At 9 months Virginia is:
Getting close to sitting independently
Can roll easily from her belly to her back.
Babbles, giggles and blows raspberries. 
Loves her exersaucer and momaroo.
Is getting very very close to rolling from her back to her belly.  
Eats 2 meals a day and bottle or breastfeeds 5 times a day.  
Has tried carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, apples, blueberries, and bananas.
Sleeps 11 hours at night (!)

Moma has gotten her into a pretty good nap schedule (1.5-2 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours in the afternoon)

The first dozen pictures I took had the 9 upside down.  doh!  At least her adjusted age is almost 6 months!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Future Bulldog

I called this week to request a copy of Virginia's medical records.  At discharge they only gave us a 3 page summary sheet, which seemed a bit concise for a 4 month hospital stay.  Im not sure why I would ever need her whole medical record, but its seems like its probably a good idea to get a little more documentation.  Something about the discharge summary being smaller than each of the 39475904857 EOB's that we have gotten for her stay made me feel like I should request the records.

When I called I was aware that it cost 65 cents per page.  What I was not prepared for was the person on the other end of the phone informing me that Virginia had thousands and thousands of pages of records.  The money might be better spent on her freshman year tuition at Yale ;)

I shouldn't be surprised that the cost of her Yale tshirt was equivalent to about 4 hours of records :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Our new normal feels normal

I dont know if it is just a change in perspective or if things really (finally!)  are very close to what we always imagined the first year of parenthood to be like.  I think it is probably a combination of both.  Afterall, I don't even really remember what it was like to be pregnant and thinking things were "normal."  I went to the menu page on my kindle the other day and my heart sank when I realized that I had only made it to week 20 in my "pregnancy, month by month" ebook.   

just this weekend for example:
*Going to church as a family- How I always imagined
*Thinking nothing of wiping the pew down and sanitizing our hands after the sign of peace and again after communion- change in perspective.
*Taking Virginia shopping- How I always imagined.
*Taking Virginia shopping for the first time at almost 9 months old- change in perspective.

 Whether it is the change of perspective or whether things really are pretty close to where we thought they would be doesn't really matter, we are so happy.  We are still living life day to day, not as a survival mechanism like it once was, but now because our girl is growing too fast for us to to be anywhere but the present.

Our "new normal" is  much healthier and happier than the "new normal" that I wrote about in months past.  Virginia is thriving and we are taking advantage of the safety of summer to get out of the house to do things as a family.  This "new (wonderful) normal" is one that was hard to imagine even on the best of days a few months ago.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Flashback Friday the 13th

While some people are superstitious about Friday the 13th, I am not.  By going through our photos and looking at the photos from the 13th of each month it seems that the 13th has actually been pretty good to us.  I am told by Heath that his great grandmother Kathryn, whom Virginia's middle name comes from, was quite superstitious about the number 13.  Perhaps she had a hand in the good fortune that we have had on the 13th of each month.

October 13, 2011 - This was the first day that there was renewed hope.  Heath and I had remained positive, but most every doctor that we met with had very grim predictions for my pregnancy.  On October 13 I beamed ear to ear.  The ultrasound seen in the above photo revealed that my cervix had remained stable for 2 weeks and the baby was growing appropriately and looked great.  We were just 2 days from 24 weeks (viability) and they gave me my first course of steroid injections to help the baby's lungs develop.  

November 13, 2011- Virginia had been opening her eyes for a few days, but this was the first day that she had them open for a few minutes and seemed alert.  It was also the first time that I got a photo of her beautiful eyes.  She had been very sick in the weeks prior, but I can remember feeling so joyous and calm after we stared at each other for a few minutes that day.

December 13, 2011 - Virginia had been extubated for 3 days (her 2nd attempt at extubation) and that day it appeared that she was going to stay extubated.  Her settings were down, her saturations and heart rate were great and she surprised all of us by making some amazing progress in the weeks after. 

January 13, 2012- January was one of the hardest months during Virginia's NICU journey.  I was back at work, our schedule was very hectic, it was the dead of winter, and we were going on 4 months in the hospital (3 months in the NICU) with seemingly no end in sight.  Even during this difficult time the 13th was a good day.  The doctors had been concerned that there was something physically wrong with Virginia that was preventing her from effectively feeding by mouth.  Thankfully on Friday the 13th  her swallow study, endotrachial study and brain scan all came back normal.  We would learn in the weeks to come that Virginia just needed our patience, she was on her own schedule.

February 13th 2012- This was the first day that I was confident that Virginia was going to get out of the NICU without an NG tube or G-tube.  Virginia's difficulties with bottle feeding was the only thing keeping her in the hospital and as the days and weeks wore on there were more and more conversations regarding going home with and NG tube or having a G tube placed.  In true Virginia fashion she pulled things together just in time.  

March 13, 2012 - We were home (!) and settled into a good routine.  

April 13, 2012- This is the first day that Virginia and I left the house together to go somewhere other than a doctors office or the hospital.  My computer, which was my lifeline to the world outside of our house at the time, needed to be fixed so we ventured to New Haven to go to the Apple store which is ironically just around the corner from the hospital.  

May 13, 2012 - I was back to work and Heath was home with Virginia for a few weeks... looks like she was enjoying herself :)

 June 13, 2012 Virginia was wrapping up 2 wonderful weeks with Nino and Papa.

July 13, 2012- Virginia fell asleep for the first time in her highchair while heating her oatmeal and apples.  We also went out for our first run with the jogging stroller.  It felt good to get back out running but I completely underestimated my current endurance and how much extra effort is involved in pushing and navigating the stroller.  

Im excited to see what August 13, September 13, October 13, and so on have in store for us! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer with Moma!

Moma is here for the next 5 weeks!  She came back from vacation with us and we haven't scared her away yet!  We are thankful that she is here to take care of Virginia while we are at work and to give Virginia some extra physical therapy but also to have an extra set of hands and some good company when we are home!  Hopefully her visit will help motivate us to do some things that we have been wanting to do nearby.  So far the list includes: taste testing lobster rolls along the CT coast, taking a day trip to Block Island, going to the zoo, and visiting a local winery.

There have been some other new things happening lately:

Virginia seemed to be eager for for some more flavorful food.  We obliged and got cooking!  She has now had carrots, zucchini and bananas.  She seems quite pleased with the new tastes and we are learning all the things that change (laundry, diapers!, schedule) when meals enter the routine.

We have staring contests ;)

more and more plastic crap baby gear invades our house.  Thankfully we are borrowing or have gotten all of this stuff second hand, because I loathe just about everything about these things other than the few minutes it gives me to load the dishwasher, use the bathroom, etc.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


We do alot of laundry these days.  

I remember the first time I did laundry for Virginia. It was probably the first and only time that I have been really really excited to do laundry.  My mom, ever the fabulous shopper (an amazing genetic trait that was passed down to my sister and I) had ordered itty bitty shirts for Virginia to wear.  So itty bitty that 6 or 7 of them fit into a small usps envelope that arrived in my mailbox.  We had also just received the box of clothes from Dylan so despite the itty bittyness of all the clothes there was a sizable load.   Virginia's condition was certainly still very precarious, but doing baby laundry (even itty bitty baby laundry) made me so happy.  

Laundry doesn't make me quite as happy anymore but reminders like this photo below do make me so happy and grateful. That itty bitty shirt is put away for now awaiting the perfect size baby doll for Ginny to play with someday soon.  

Speaking of comparisons, Virginia now fits in those diapers that once looked SO big next to her postage stamp preemie diaper.  Diaper laundry isn't that fun either, but I cant help but love all the fun colors!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Vacation is over :( We are unpacked, the laundry has been done, the beach chairs are back in the house, and we are gearing up for the work week.  

We had such a great vacation in Cape May, NJ with my parents and my sister, brother in law and nieces.  Last fall and winter we were living day by day (maybe even hour by hour) and part of me wishes that I had a peek into the future and knew the great things that we had to look forward to.  I'm not sure I would have believed photos below.  We are infinitely grateful for the health and happiness that we are blessed with these days and so happy that we were able to enjoy this vacation together.  

 Our vacation included lots of beach time, many family meals together, walks around town each day, lots of ice cream, and many hours of watching Virginia, McKenna and Clare play (well, Virginia mostly watched).  Thanks to my Mom and Dad, Heath and I even got to go out to our first dinner since Ginny came home from the hospital.  

Heath and I have been on some pretty fantastic vacations in the past few years, but this one was extra special.  Our first vacation with Virginia certainly trumps Hawaii, European adventures and Mediterranean cruises.