26 January 2009

Sylvia's Flat Head

Sylvia had to go back to the doctor today to have her head reexamined. No, she's not crazy. At least, not that we know of yet! But the back of her head is super flat. So flat that today the doctor said she needs to go to Mary Freebed and have an x-ray and scans done to determine if corrective treatment (a helmet) is necessary. We'll keep you posted.

25 January 2009

Autumn's Antics

Autumn LOVES rolls of postage stamps and it is a frequent battle whenever I do bills or write letters. She very sneakily comes and steals the roll and then goes charging away with it. The other day I caught her antics on film:

23 January 2009

Urgent: Employment Needed

To be more specific, part time employment that I can do from home is desperately needed. Dave and I really need the supplemental income, but we are in the difficult position that we live so far from anything that "real" employment becomes virtually impossible. And so, I am sending out this message: If anyone knows of any part time work (10-15 hrs. per week) for me to do from home, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

22 January 2009

Bedtime Success!

I hate to call it a total success, but it is pretty close. We have been able to consistently put Sylvia down to bed by about 5:30-6:00 and she will sleep until between 11:00-12:00. Then she is up for a feeding and goes to sleep again a little while afterward and doesn't wake until about 5:00-5:30 for another feeding. Often she will be up for ninety minutes following this early morning feeding and then will sleep some more until about 9:00 or so. Finally-- Mom and Dad can get a little sleep!

17 January 2009

Totally in Love with a Three Month Old

Sylvia turned three months today, and we are just so in love with this girl!

And she got a very important lesson today: How to read a book "properly." She has her teddy bear, a blanket, a cat in the lap, a good book (a touch and feel about farm animals), (and Daddy had coffee next to him). These two had so much fun reading together.

16 January 2009

Bad Chloe and Other Animal Stories

Chloe is frequently outside of her cage, but she is confined to being on her cage, on her portable perch or a finger when she is "outside." She is not allowed on the floor and is not given "free range." The other day I was sitting on the couch with the baby when I heard "clink, clink." I figured it was a cat, so yelled at them to "stop it!" But then when I looked to Chloe's cage and saw that she wasn't where she was supposed to be I hurridly got up and rounded the corner to find her here:

And she was quite proud of herself. That stinker!

Meanwhile, Albus has become a HUGE cat with quite the "mane" of fur:

All that fur around his neck was sticking straight up in the air when I took this picture. It was too comical looking. He has also taken the place of our "special cat" since Alex has left us. Albus has some personal space issues (like sitting on top of the other cats) and he also doesn't appear to be the sharpest crayon in the box either. Last night he was actively searching for where the noise from the "cat in the box" (television) was coming from. He was the only one. Audrey, in fact, stared at him with disdain. Thus far the only intelligent male cat we have ever met is Edgar. But that figures; he is my "baby."

And lately on the nights when I have Sylvia I come back to the bed and find this:

And, no, Olivia is not quick to give up her spot!

And, finally, we have mentioned that the Lil' Pumpkin is Autumn's "kitten." This next picture is further evidence of that:

Autumn is so good with Sylvia. Last night Autumn curled right up next to her and let Sylvia grab at her fur. She even snuggled in return!

And as the closing note to this blog I have some WONDERFUL news to share. My dad got his lab reports back yesterday and it showed cancer in the specimen but not in the margins. Translation: The cancer was contained to the prostrate (did not spread) and no further treatment is needed! We are so very, very thankful.

14 January 2009

Sylvia's Laugh

I got a good laugh from Sylvia on camera today! Please excuse the weird camera angle; it was the best I could do at the time.

13 January 2009

Sylvia's Boyfriend

Yesterday I dropped Sylvia off at my friend Catie's house while I went to visit my dad at the hospital. Catie's oldest, Noelen (age 3), was so very excited to play with his "friend," Sylvia. Catie took this adorable picture of the two of them and I love how interested Sylvia is in Noelen. Dave took one look and said to her, "No! You're too young!"

Maybe in twenty years.

12 January 2009

Little Giggles

My dad's surgery went very well. There were no surprises when they went inside, the organ detached easily from the surrounding tissue, and he is recovering nicely. He should be able to go home tomorrow after noon. The biopsy results won't be in until the end of the week, so we will not know until then if the cancer spread. But we have every reason to be thankful. I will post more when I know more.

And tonight Sylvia had her first little giggle. She has been trying so hard for the last couple of weeks and tonight I heard her first little "ha ha's." Hopefully I can catch it on video when she really starts to laugh.

11 January 2009

Surgery for Dad

Tomorrow (Monday) my dad has his surgery to remove his prostrate. We have every reason to believe that all will go well, but it is still always a nerve wracking experience. I think that we are all less worried about the surgery and more worried about what the surgeon may or may not find when he's in there. We are praying for a cancer that is confined to the organ, and the doctor was quite confident this was the case. But we won't know until they "go in." Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers and we will let you know how the surgery goes and what they learn.

09 January 2009

Bright Eyes, Red Hair, Twelve Weeks

Yes, she is almost three months already. I was hoping to get some "real" pictures taken for her three month shot, but money is too tight right now. Maybe at six months. Needless, I will try and get some really good shots when she does reach three months. Today, however, she is twelve weeks.

While feeding her this morning I couldn't help noticing how long her hair is getting. Not that she has a lot of it, but what she does have is beginning to get quite lengthy on the top of her little head. And her hair is so red!

And those darling blue eyes are becoming more and more active in their pursuit to take in the world. Sometimes I catch her just staring at her hands now. And she can see me from across the room and send me the biggest smile.

And this girl loves her daddy! Yesterday was a big day for her. She ran errands with me for the first time. (Running errands involves a trip into Grand Rapids, so this is an hours long excursion.) She did so good too! By the time we got home, though, she was tired and cranky. By 5:00 when her daddy called to say hello she was a little fuss budget again and crying. Daddy wanted to say hello to her, so I stuck the phone by her ear. Sylvia got real quiet and then she started smiling and talking back. She knows her daddy's voice and loves it!
She is getting more and more fun every day.

07 January 2009

Sylvia's Story

I hope this works! Not too exciting, but it does allow the opportunity to see Sylvia "live." Enjoy.

06 January 2009

Something Beautiful

We had a rough day here at the Ertman-Trowbridge household. Nothing bad happened, but it was a long stressful day. Sylvia is pretty out of sorts from her vaccinations and having had a long day yesterday. This, in turn, really stressed Mama out and she spent most of the day carrying and tending to a crying baby. But at Mama's most stressful point, she looked out the back window and she saw this family of deer within arms distance from the house. It was so beautiful, and she remembered her own Mom talking to her when she was a little girl about the beauty and grace of deer. The wonder of nature.

05 January 2009

Two (and a half) Month Check-Up

Today Sylvia finally made it in for her two month check-up. The weather has not been good for trying to make and keep appointments but today finally worked. She got her first shots. It was a rather traumatic experience for both her and Mama, but we survived. She is running a low-grade temperature tonight and is pretty tired but she seems okay. She is also going to be started on Baby Prevacid for acid reflux. Hopefully this will help ease the discomfort she feels after feeding and it may cut down on the amount of spitting up as well. The doctor did comment about her flat head. He said that it was "flatter than the average bear," but after looking for asymmetrical aspects to her face he was happy to say that he thinks she will be okay. If she looks worse in a few weeks we need to take her in and possibly look into a helmet, but we need to get her to him before four months. At this point, however, he is not concerned, so neither are we.

And for the statistics: She weighs 10 lbs. 14 oz. She remains in the 50th percentile. Her head circumference was 15" and this also keeps her in the 50th percentile. (She has always been very average in these areas since before birth.) BUT when measuring her length the nurse actually said, "This can't be right." She is 24" long, putting her in the 90th percentile! Less than two months ago she was only 20" and that was the 50th percentile. The nurse was shocked. I wasn't so much. I knew she was long and thin, and it turns out she is really long and thin. This is why all her clothes fit her in length but hang on her little body.

As long as all goes well we don't return until the end of February.

02 January 2009

Playing Catch-Up

I realize it has been quite a while since I have posted anything. That is due in part to the chaotic nature of the season and in part to the sporadic internet connection we have. We only just got internet again after having been without it for several days. This post is FULL of pictures. And for simplicity's sake, there will be little explanation. If you have any questions, just ask!
This was Sylvia's Christmas morning picture. I had her dressed in one of her mama's favorite things to wear: Jeans and a Cardigan. These are her "old man pants" and they actually fit her pretty well now! She is so thin, though, that they are still large through the waist. I had actually tried another pair on before this pair. (A much cuter jean.) But the new pair was HUGE-- despite the 3-6 month tag. She is just so skinny! [This picture also serves as her one-day-early Ten Week Picture.]
And this her Eleven Week Picture. The shirt is a Christmas present from Mama and Daddy. And we did her Christmas presents by bringing them down to my parent's house Christmas morning. After we all opened our gifts I passed around Sylvia's presents from us. There was enough for everyone to open one, so we did. It made her gift giving a lot more fun.
This is time she spent with Daddy tonight. Dave is so good about letting her just sit on his lap while he does stuff. It is pretty neat.
And the following is just a ton of pictures from the last week. Enjoy! [And I am very sorry, but for some reason all these pictures are only posting in one long strip and not in a collage format, like I have html'd them to do!]