Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

The Smykay Family has a lot to be thankful for this year, including the fact that Trevor actually had the holiday off work to spend with the family. We had a great time at Grandma Adams's house with the extended family enjoying food, fun, and most of all, each other's company.

Since it was Audrey's first Thanksgiving, we decided to dress her up to suit the occasion. Okay, I am stretching the truth a bit. If it was up to me I would have just pulled something out of the closet. We have Aunt Angie and her shopping habit to thank for her cute, festive ensemble.

To make the day even more special we decided it was the perfect occasion to offer Audrey her first taste of solid food (good old rice cereal, if you can call that a solid).

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Not surprisingly given her interest in other people's food for the past couple of weeks, she sure seemed to like it. Cousin Alexa even got in on the action, but Audrey thought she might need a little help, so her first spoon feeding even included a bit of self-feeding.

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A fun and relaxed holiday to remember. It was even capped off by a practical joke. You know in college how it was always so funny to take a magic marker to the face of the first person to pass out at a party? Well, seems like Uncle Jay hasn't really matured past that particular phase and he surreptitiously altered Audrey's bib while pretending to help her with her vibrating teether...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prematurity Awareness Day

Today is Prematurity Awareness Day and I would love to share Fletcher's NICU story. But I have been so busy, and his stay was so long, 90 days long, and so much happened in those 90 days that I could type for hours and only scratch the surface. So many people think that preemies are just mini-newborns that just need a little extra time to grow. That all of these cute teeny tiny babies "catch up by age two." Oh, how that could not be further from the truth (at least in the case of "micropreemies" weighing less than 1500 grams at birth, such as Fletcher). Pre-mature means just that. At birth, these babies are not yet mature. No part of them. Their lungs, skin, digestive tract, eyes, brain... every system is affected by prematurity.

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing Fletcher's NICU story, but I have been busy preparing for and attending an eligibility meeting with the school district to determine if Fletcher meets the requirements for special education preschool. The accompanying report states that "Fletcher does not demonstrate age-appropriate skills across all developmental areas" and concludes that the district will need to provide "occupational therapy, physical therapy, early childhood special education service, speech and language therapy, vision services, and assisted technology."

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing his NICU story, but I have been busy assisting Fletcher this morning during his special instruction and vision therapy with his EI therapist and his new ECSE through the school district.

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing his NICU story, but I have been busy this afternoon taking Fletcher to aquatic therapy with his physical therapist.

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing his NICU story, but I have been busy coordinating tours of special needs preschools, including one we are visiting tomorrow morning.

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing his NICU story, but I have been busy scheduling appointments including the hearing screening tomorrow required by the school district.

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing his NICU story, but I have been busy tonight attending a Parent Advisory Council meeting at the hospital where Fletcher was born with the hope of helping parents of future NICU babies find the support that they desperately need.

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing his NICU story, but I have to stay up until Fletcher is sound asleep and hook up a machine that applies gentle pressure to his core muscles throughout the night in the hope of preventing future muscle and bone deformities.

And this has been a fairly typical day. You see, for some people, the effects of prematurity extend far, far beyond the NICU.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Welcome Audrey

I have officially closed Audrey's blog and going forward will use this blog for both kids. I guess I could change the name to Smallest Smykays, but that seems like a lot of work for one little letter. Head on over to Smykeeny Baby Blog one last time to check out a video montage of the littlest one during her first month.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mobility

Things have been understandably hectic around here (mostly in a good way) and my computer decided to take a vacation, but it is back, and I am going to try once again to devote a little more time to updating the blog.

The kids couldn't be more different in so many ways, but today they both worked toward a common goal: mobility. While neither of my children are independently mobile at present, they both spent a little time today working on their motor skills in their own ways...

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