Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 31st, 2008

Maybe you all remember my last few attempts at bathing. The first was when I was really little and my parents got it on video - I was crying as soon as Daddy got my hair wet. Then a few months ago, my parents tried me out in the kitchen sink. That did not go over well either. Mommy has been wanting to get me back into the water - so over the last few weeks she has had me play with water in a bowl, put my hands under the faucet when it is running and had me kick my feet in water in the sink. Tonight I was being awfully grumpy and it was still quite awhile until bedtime. She decided it was time to try the bath again. To ease me further into this new adventure, she put on a swimsuit and jumped into the bathtub with me. She brought some tub toys for me and she was pretty surprised when ..... I was fine! No crying or whining. I played with the toys, kicked my feet and smacked my hands on the water and it was all just fine. To show you what a pro I am with the pictures, you can see that I strategically placed a boat so my photos are a little less embarrasing when showing my future husband someday.

Afterwards, Daddy wrapped me up in a towel and pushed me around in my Pooh ride on car. What a life!

Peyton Nicole Smith

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Mommy was thrilled to discover a feeding clinic within a few miles of Stanford - since most of the feeding clinics are on the East Coast. After talking to the director today, though, Mommy was a little disappointed. He told Mommy that I am not able to start a feeding clinic until my trach is removed and most likely that is what most of the other feeding clinics will tell me as well. Since my trach removal is more likely to happen next spring or summer then this fall, my parents can just concentrate on keeping me enjoying eating while they wait it out. Maybe I will just surprise them and figure out how to eat all on my own!

Peyton Nicole Smith

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Today was the first day of Lucille's new schedule - she is now working from 7 to 4. I was surprised to see her so early but very excited. I was super happy today and was a lot of fun to be around. In the last few days, I have started to learn how to pull up. I will sit on Mommy's lap next to my walker or my exersaucer. Mommy will put a toy just out of my reach. Then, I will stretch up with my arm, grab onto the side of the walker or exersaucer and pull myself up to standing so I can get my toy. Sometimes I am careful and lean against the walker or exersaucer - but sometimes I forget and let go and grab the toy so Mommy has to stay really close to catch me. After standing or leaning for a few moments, I stick my bum out and fall back onto my Mommy's leg. I can't really pull to standing from sitting directly on the floor yet, but give me some credit, my arms are shorter than most babies so I think everyone should cut me a little slack!

Peyton Nicole Smith

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Today I had an appointment with my feeding therapist, Karen. I tried really hard to stay awake but about 15 minutes before she arrived I fell asleep. That's okay, it gave Mommy and Karen time to discuss what I have been doing the last few weeks and develop a plan until our next visit on the 7th. Karen brought a Pigeon bottle to have me try out. The Pigeon nipple has a Y-cut tip and the plastic one-way valve prevents negative pressure. One side of the nipple is softer
than the other, so it works when I press my tongue against it. Mommy needs to aim the notch in the nipple at my nose to get it to work correctly. Soon enough, I woke up and spied Karen and my Mommy talking on the couch. I was all smiles when Mommy came to get me. Mommy put some juice in the bottle and let me try it out. I would open my mouth to put the bottle in, but wasn't quite sure what to do with it. Since I like to chew on my pacifier nipples I tried that out and got a mouthful of juice! It certainly seemed to Karen and my Mommy that I swallowed it without a problem. They kept a close eye on me to see if I had any respiratory problems. Although I had some increased secretions, they didn't look like juice so that was a good sign. Karen was happy to hear that I enjoy so many different kinds of foods in my feeder bag. She is going to send Mommy a feeding log to keep track of the different things I am taking orally so we can track how it is going.

After my visit with Karen and Mommy went back to work, Lucille gave me some frozen cantelope in my bag. I was very excited to suck on it - but man was it messy! When Mommy came out later I needed a good hand and face washing, a change of outfits and a good washing of my walker from all the sticky juice - but you should have seen the grin on my face!

Peyton Nicole Smith

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Can you believe it - I am 11 months old today! What a big girl I have become. Such a big girl that sometimes my parents wonder if they should start thinking about a little brother or sister for me. Mommy's eggs aren't getting any younger after all : )

First thing this morning, Mommy gave me a banana flavored Gerber cookie. She wanted to let me taste it before she put it in the feeding bag. I made short work of it, though, and bit off a little piece. You can see my expression above! Actually, I liked the cookie, I just wasn't sure about the texture of the cookie in my mouth. After Mommy put in the bag I sucked on it all morning.
In addition to the banana cookie, Mommy also gave me some frozen cantelope. Frozen melon seems to be a hit - but it is pretty messy as it thaws and as much ends up on me as it does in my mouth. Mommy thinks it is so much fun to experiment with new flavors with me and I am so enthusiastic that she's pretty sure I like it too.

My first nap of the morning, I whined at Mommy through the bars of my crib but eventually fell asleep. It wasn't until a little later that she noticed I had managed to get myself into a most uncomfortable position!

Peyton Nicole Smith

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Another lazy day at the Smith home today. While Daddy and my brothers were still snoring away, Mommy and I got ready and went for a little walk - ok so Mommy was walking and I was being pushed. It is a little chilly here at 7 am, so Mommy made sure I had a sweater so I could stay warm. That early in the morning on a weekend is always very quiet. We usually don't even run into anyone else so it is very relaxing for both of us.

Later in the day, my parents introduced me to whipped cream on my pacifier. Mommy is a big whipped cream fan so she was very happy to see I like it too! Then, Mommy gave me some frozen mango slices. She let me hold one initially to get a taste but as it started to thaw and get sticky, she tried to take it away to put in my feeding bag. I got very upset and threw a little mini fit but she won - the mango went in the bag but not before a lot of it ended up on me and Mommy. Although I really liked the mango, Mommy thought she saw some mango secretions coming out of my trach so she is going to watch that more closely when she gives it to me again. She also bought cantelope and honeydew at the store, cut it up, and put it in the freezer to try as new snack items for me.

Peyton Nicole Smith

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Despite a tooth pushing through, I have been such a good girl this week. So happy and fun to be around. Today I spent lots of time playing in my crib - laughing and waving at Lucille. I like to kick at the animals hanging from my mobile. I have also discovered the cord from my baby monitor - when Mommy caught me chewing on it she decided it was time for the monitor to be moved. Even though I am not walking or crawling yet I still manage to get into trouble!

Peyton Nicole Smith

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Since it was a state holiday in Utah, Mommy had the day off today. She had to run a few errands but she also went clothes shopping for me. She got me a bunch of 12 month shirts and pants so I am all stocked up now. While getting clothes, she found a Razbaby teether. She had a feeling I would like it, plus it is really cute. Sure enough, it was a hit! Since my parents can see another tooth starting to break through, maybe the teether will help with the pain a little.

Mommy also got a used rocking chair that is just my size. It is a little dangerous because I get rocking so much Mommy thinks I will catapult myself right off so my parents will have to keep a pretty close eye on me - good thing it is close to the ground!

Because I didn't have my jaw distraction surgery at UC Davis, it has been kind of up in the air what craniofacial panel will start to follow me now - Lucile Packard or UC Davis. Since my parents are hoping for a decannulation after my cleft palate repair and a lot of tests will need to be performed ahead of time - it makes more sense right now that Lucile Packard keep track of me. When Mommy called to make an appointment, they wanted to get me in to see the team before my cleft palate surgery so we have an appointment now for August 20th. Just like UC Davis, it will be a four hour appointment where all the various specialties will come check me out. So much for not having to go back to Palo Alto until my surgery! I have so many appointments in the next few months that Mommy added a spot on the blog to keep everyone updated on what is coming up. I am a very busy girl!

Peyton Nicole Smith

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

After two days in a row of visits I think Mommy was ready for a quieter day. I didn't mind so much either. I had lots of play time with Lucille today and wasn't wanting to take many naps. I was very tired by 7 so Mommy was hopeful I would fall asleep quickly. I thought my parents would have figured it out by now - my bedtime is 9:30 and any pushing to get me to sleep sooner then that is a lot of wasted effort. Once all the crying and whining are over, though, I am such a peaceful sleeper that Mommy had to sneak a photo in.

Peyton Nicole Smith

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 continued

Here I am trying out my voice a little with my speaking valve.

Peyton Nicole Smith

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

A Tale of A Cookie
Oh good, a cookie!

Hmmm...what should I do with my cookie?

Henry, would you like my cookie?
Wait! Where did my cookie go?

Peyton Nicole Smith

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Here I am eating on the run today!

In the afternoon, my physical therapist Michael came for a visit. Since he has been coming out about six months it was time for some more testing to see how I am doing. There were lots of little tests like knocking blocks together or banging a cup on a table. At one point, he asked me to put a Cheerio in a cup. I understood what he wanted me to do, and had the Cheerio just about in the cup but before releasing it I suddenly figured out what it was - and where it really belonged - in my mouth! Good thing Mommy was quick and fished it out before I swallowed it!

Peyton Nicole Smith

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Since I did so well with my cereal yesterday, Mommy introduced me to Arrowroot cookies. The box says it has been the first cookie for babies for over 100 years - so it's got to be good enough for me. When Mommy gave it to me the first time I was bound and determined to give it to my brother Henry. I tried about 10 times - Henry was getting all excited - but Mommy wouldn't let me feed it to him. Then, Mommy helped me put it in my mouth so I could taste it. I quickly decided that this was too good to give to Henry and spent time off and on in the morning sucking on it. Henry hadn't forgotten about the cookie though and while I was off in my walker and Mommy had her back turned, he found it lying on the blanket on the floor and snatched it before Mommy could get it away from him. He is now my best friend - following me everywhere hoping I might drop something else for him to eat.

Mid-afternoon, Mommy got out a new cookie for me and this time after just a few moments, I broke off a big chunk in my mouth. Mommy quickly used her finger to get it out of my mouth before I got into trouble since I haven't learned how to chew so well yet. Mommy decided it was better to be safe than sorry so she broke my cookie up into pieces and put it in my feeding bag.
Mommy has a few different types of crackers (cheese & veggie) that she will give me over the next few days to try out as well. Eventually, she can try frozen melon or carrots and see how those go over. I'm not too picky - everything tastes better than that rice cereal!
Peyton Nicole Smith

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

It was a big day for me today - my first taste of Cheerios! Mommy put some in my feeding bag but I didn't seem to notice. Then, Mommy had me lick the Cheerio a few times. I was paying attention now! But it was hard to taste them through the mesh bag so Mommy had an idea. She broke them up in the bag and then got them a little bit wet so they started to get mushy. When she gave the bag back to me this time I was all over it! I would suck on the bag for several minutes at a time before moving on to play with my toys.

Sarah wasn't able to come play with me today so my parents, the doggies and I stayed close to home today. I was a good girl tonight and fell asleep by 8:30 which gave Mommy some time to get all my supplies set up to change them out tomorrow. Here's to a good night's sleep!

Peyton Nicole Smith

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday, July 18th, 2008

After such an eventful day yesterday, it was nice to have a quiet day at home. Mommy had lots of conference calls so she couldn't stop by very often. She did call Ronald McDonald House to get on the waiting list but just like last time, we won't know if we get to stay there until a few days before my surgery. Daddy worked a little later tonight than usual so Mommy, my brothers and I played together. Chili really likes to kiss me and after a few I get a little frustrated with him. You can see me pushing him away in the picture. Henry doesn't kiss me as much - maybe that's why he is my favorite.

Peyton Nicole Smith

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

What started out as a very frustrating day for us ended being so much better then we could have anticipated. My Daddy sent Dr Schendel a copy of my CT scan from UC Davis last Friday. The plan was to have them review ahead of my appointment today and hopefully if all looked good we could avoid having to go and save Mommy a full day off from work. As of last night, though, the office said they still didn't have the package. This morning they waited to talk to the mailroom but still could not find it. Mommy already had everything packed and ready to go, so Mommy, Lucille and I got on the road to Palo Alto.

I was a very good girl on the way down - playing quietly with Lucille and taking a small nap. We were 1/2 hour early so I spent a few minutes flirting with everyone before being called back. I got weighed in and Mommy was thrilled to see with clothes on I was up to 15 lbs 3 ozs. The higher calories see to be working! Mommy gave the xrays and CT scan to the nurse and a few minutes later Dr Schendel came in. He said everything looked great - no problems with the jaw or the distractors. He told Mommy my airway looked "huge". (Just what you want to hear when a small airway was the reason for the trach in the first place) In fact, the bone was healing so well that he said he could do the cleft palate surgery and distractor removal in about a month. Unfortunately, that is when my hand surgery is scheduled so we decided on a date of September 22.

The office staff came in and had Mommy sign the consent forms and get all the information they needed so we won't have to come back until the surgery. Although this means more planning for Mommy (boarding the dogs, trying to get in to Ronald McDonald House) it is one step closer to decannulation so it is worth it.

I will probably just be getting my cast off my right arm when I have my cleft palate surgery. Although it is only two days inpatient, for two weeks following the surgery I will have to wear "no-no's" (see the photo above) to keep me from putting my fingers, toys or pacifiers in my mouth so the palate can heal. Bummer! Mommy is hoping that with all the attention taken away from my mouth it might give me some time to focus on my crawling and walking skills.

Before long we were back in the car and I had a few short naps before we made it home. It was a good day!

Peyton Nicole Smith