Sunday, November 25, 2012

How's My Parenting? (Call 1-800-OOPSIE)

We don't know what we're doing here, but we are having fun.
Aunt Sherrie and Clara
It's been a busy few months, we come alive around here when the summer heat ends. Clara finally got to meet my brother and his family from Texas, and my sister and her family from Virginia. We even got to spend a few rain-soaked days up at Swiss Days where Clara loved napping on Aunt Sherrie and visiting with heart-Aunts Jill and Angee.
Wriggly Girl! I have
a feeling her next echo
might have to be a
sedated one.

September and October were full of doctor appointments-nothing radical, just a bunch of vaccinations and weight checks and an echo. Her last echo looked good, though there is still a bit more gradient (narrowing) where the stents were placed. Dr. Pinto estimates that her next open heart surgery will take place closer to 3 years of age than the original 5 or 6 that we hoped for. We'll have another echo in January to check that the stents are still doing their work.
Watching TV makes
her so happy!

Clara has gotten so silly the last few months. She is so quick to smile, and she loves TV. This is where I begin to question our parenting skills-she will stop crying or eating or anything she is doing when she hears the following on TV: the theme song to the old Beverly Hills 90210 (weekday mornings on Soapnet, I am not ashamed to DVR it), Chris Matthews on MSNBC, and the guy in the Humana commercials. And when I say she stops to watch TV, I mean she stops and smiles and giggles and focuses on the TV. We might have ruined her already.

She also smiles anytime we sing her theme song. Oh, yes, you heard that right, she has a theme song. The only words so far are "Clara-bell! Do do do!" followed by a bunch more do do dos. We don't want to pigeon-hole her yet, before she has had a chance to develop all her super powers. So we'll fill in the do do dos later with actual lyrics, once we know what type of skills she has, once she's picked out her cape and tiara, etc.

Eating toes

Clara also has started to eat very well, she's averaging about 24 ounces a day finally and is still on the growth chart in the 4th percentile at 14 pounds. We decided to try baby foods a few months ago, without really checking with her doctor or following any of the prescribed methods used to introduce babies to new foods while watching for allergies. Nope, we just jumped right in and tried peas and squash and bananas and pears....she loved them all. Her pediatrician later had us slow down and focus on just a few foods at a time, and in very small amounts still. But sometimes we throw caution to the wind and let her have jello. There's always jello at Aunt Jenn's house.
Eating wipes

She also eats, well, everything else. Fingers, blankets, toys, floor lint, my hair, things that make crinkly noises, toes (hers, mine, Todd's), diapers that get left too close to her hands, the wipe packages, the clothes on her body. Everything. She's also going to crawl, any day now. I can't imagine what she'll be finding to eat next.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Todd's parents this year, just them and us and Clara. We love to show off our girl and how big she is getting, everyone tells us she looks so much like her dad, but that might be the bald head :)

I took Clara shopping with us on Black Friday, she was pretty fascinated from the first stop at Lowe's where she ended up in a bucket. She lost enthusiasm after about 7 hours and no real naps, but sure giggled when we got home and she got to see her dad (and she finally saw the floor again, her favorite place to play. She had been in someone's arms for days, with all the visiting family, she almost lost her mind when she got to stretch and roll and crawl again!)

I love the holidays, and I'm so excited for Clara's first Christmas. It has been a year of ups and downs and heartbreak and joy. We've met new friends in the heart and 22q worlds, we've said hello and goodbye to some, we've bonded as a family. About 3 times a week, Todd and I have to look at each and ask "well, now what do we do?" Becoming parents has been the most fun challenge of our marriage, we love making it up as we go. And we're certain we'll be purchasing at least one helmet this Christmas season, it's chaos around here.