Friday, January 9, 2009

Dec 30: One Month Checkup at the Pediatrician

Hard to believe it has been a month already! Annelies has been eating well, and growing. We had a good checkup today. The Pediatrician (Dr. Hopper in Roseville) is AWESOME. I am so glad I found her all these years ago, she has been our family Doctor, Marco's Pediatrician and now also for Annelies. She is about my age, so a lot of her training is pretty current. She has experience with Ds, and has high hopes for Annelies. We had a long talk about how even in the last 10-15 years, many things have changed. Kids with Ds are getting better and better guidance and health care, and are growing/thriving better than ever before. The charts that show the averages are just that, it can be normal to be above or below those average numbers.
Annelies was 21 3/4 inches tall and weighed in at 9 lbs 8 oz. These numbers put her in the 80-90 percentile on the 'regular' charts (Dr Hopper is going to keep her on those for now). Her head measured in the 40th percentile (that is significant because kids with Ds can have smaller heads, from the latest numbers I read they tend to be in the 3rd percentile on average. )
Overall, I am not too worried about those percentiles. I almost drove myself crazy keeping track of the numbers with Marco (first child, you want all indicators to be good...etc etc).
Overall, I think it is good to know where you stand and to keep track of the growth but it is good to know what is normal for the child, what are his/her own trends, and if they deviate from that, then you can figure out why that is.
For Annelies' sake, I am glad she is growing and gaining weight. I think it is normal to feel that way about any child, though. It is just that after reading so much about Ds, there can be so many problems, it is nice to see that so far, she is good.
At one month, Annelies holds her head up at a 45 degree angle for a half a minute, while laying on Aaron's chest. She also holds her head up when she is picked up, most of the time. Her muscle tone is very decent (it was described to me as low-normal).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dec 26th: Back in the Saddle

I can not remember a time I did not enjoy horses. They are my hobby, and I try to ride as much as I can. I have 2 riding horses, both of whom I trained under saddle. I rode from age 7 to 15, but quit when we moved to the USA. I had to leave my horse behind, and the move was kind of tough on me, so I kind of gave up but never lost the interest and desire to ride again at some point in my life. It was not until I was 30 that I went back to it (earlier in this blog I mentioned someone - my freidn EC- kind of 'dragged' me back into the horse world.)
On this day, it was kind of overcast. I rode my Standardbred mare Genie. She had not been ridden for about a year and a half, because before I became pregnant with Annelies I was too busy to ride 2 horses. I retired Genie from showing (she is 16) and casually trail ride her, and continued to ride my young horse to get him show-ready. I chose to ride Genie that day because I felt more comfortable with the idea of riding her at my Mom and Leif's place, they have some property in Lincoln. Genie gave me kind of a WTF??? look when I started brushing and tacking her up. When I got on, she kind of wanted to jump straight up but I got her going forward and we had a nice ride. It amazes me that you can put a horse away for a lonmg time, then get on and for the most part they still remember all the things they have been taught. I guess there are differences from horse to horse, and this mare just happens to be pretty smart. She was a joy to ride, very responsive. It felt good to be back in the saddle. I rode Genie 4 times before I rode the young horse (PG), he was fun to ride also. It was my goal to get on him new year's eve day, and I did.

Dec 23 Dinner Guests

Tonight, our friends D & M came over for dinner. D's parents, who live in So Cal, came with them. It was nice to see them again, I met them first in Florida (I met D via work, we worked in the same Department but in different groups. I knew D when he met M, and they moved to No Cal a couple of years back when D took another position with the same company. D's parents moved to So Cal around the same time, so I get to see them from time to time.)
It was nice to see them again, I like having guests over around the Holidays when we have our tree up. They brought dinner from Macaroni Grill, one of my favorite restaurants. Their Chicken Marsala is delicious. At the end of the evening, D shared with me that dinner had been paid for by someone who wished to stay anonymous. This was a very nice surprise to us, and one of the many kindnesses we have received in the past month. So many people have showed so much warmth and support, it is incredible. I will never be able to repay them all, but I will certainly try!
Dec 24th we had my Mom and Leif over for dinner. I made a standing rib roast, which came out beautifully. I have been enjoying cooking & baking since I am not working right now. It is fun to be domestic, I feel like I am "playing house". Once I go back to work cooking will be done less often, and I will freeze more. We have a deep freeze now, it will come in handy!
We celebrated Christmas evening at my Mom's, with Edgar (older Brother) and his wife Susan. This was the first time we took the kids somewhere, and it cracks me up: I have packed lighter to go to Holland then to take 2 kids 30 minutes down the road. I had heard parents complain in the past and really never gave it much thought. Now I am thinking a mini van is not an excessive luxury.