Melissa, Geoff and Mina

Monday, March 8, 2010

The wrap

For the first few months of her life Mina cried whenever I set her down. She only took about 20 minute naps when she did fall asleep. They diagnosed her with reflux and we started her on baby zantac, which helped. I also wore her in my wrap a lot and thought I'd post some pictures. I could wear her around the house doing chores, or on a walk or to feed her. It's been great! These pictures were actually taken in November. I've only worn my wrap once in the past 2-3 months because she is taking naps and playing on her own now, but when I did wear her again she still loved it, fell right asleep.

Photo shoot

Mina finally grew into her 3 month clothes a few weeks ago. This outfit is so cute! These pictures were actually taken on her 5 month birthday. The stuffed animals were given to her by her brothers and sisters before she was born. Aren't these pictures cute! As you can see, everything now goes in her mouth, fingers, toys, whatever is available! Notice also how long her hair is.

My cute Mina

We put Mina to sleep by swaddling her in a blanket to help her calm herself and keep her from getting over stimulated. She has now been working her arms out and we eventually find her like this, or with her arm over her eyes, or completely out of the blanket with the blanket pulled over her eyes.
Mina with a cute smile for my dad. For a short while she wouldn't smile for other people and we were beginning to think she was really going to be a mommy and daddy's girl. But she's really started smiling at family and friends now. She does still seem to be a home body though, being happiest at home. When I want to show off her great smile and laugh when we go out it doesn't always happen!
Grandma feeding her, and of course Mina is now trying to help. See her hand on the end of he bottle? She's even starting to hold her own bottle very briefly. Mostly, though she keeps pulling the bottle out of her mouth with her hands so I have to hold them down.

Isn't this a cute outfit! The outfit and the chair we got from the shower from good friends. I love how she is reaching for Sierra in this picture. She really loves Sierra, Jake and Ethan. Sierra and Jake can really make her laugh.

Wild hair girl! We just had to get a picture of this hairdo. You gotta love the look on her face, too!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Valentines day

This is the outfit Mina wore for Valentines sunday. It's actually a dress I bought for Sierra for her first Christmas five years ago. Isn't it cute? And isn't the baby cute? I put pigtails in her hair for the occasion. Geoff had to help me hold her head still, but it worked! Her hair is getting longer and I don't know what to do with it! Geoff doesn't want me to have it cut yet. He loves his wild haired girl.

Look at that smile! It melts my heart. This is how she smiles whenever she sees Geoff and me. She gets so excited and starts kicking her legs and flapping her arms. I call her a "mover and a shaker" because she's always moving. She's now rolling onto her tummy and has once or twice been able to roll back again, but usually gets stuck and starts to cry after a minute or two. So I help her roll onto her back and within about 10 seconds she's rolled back onto her belly! Silly girl! She's also really reaching and grabbing for toys now. It's so cute to watch her grow and develop.

Garage sale!

Our computer room now with the new couches we just bought. We still want to paint and put up curtains, nice pictures etc, but it's a definite improvement!
During the remodel we moved a lot of our stuff into the computer room to get it out of the way. The room was unusable for several months!

At the end of last year Elisa emptied out her storage unit and Geoff and I emptied out the computer room. Most of the stuff went on the carport, which I didn't get a picture of, but this is a picture of our house during the remodel. Imagine that the carport is stacked with boxes and there is no room for the car. That's how it looked for several months.

Well, we finally got a notice from the city that we needed to clean up. This gave us the incentive to go through all of our stuff and have the garage sale we'd been talking about. We got rid of a lot of stuff and made $250 in the process. It was a little stressful for me, though, worrying about getting the right price for an item, then worrying about not selling it at all. Ah, perfectionism! It was a good learning experience, and now we can park our cars under the car port again.

vestibular neuritis

Well, I came home from our trip to Utah with the flu, bummer. I found out at the end of that week that I had an middle ear infection also. By the next Tuesday I was feeling pretty good and Geoff and I actually went for a walk in the park. I woke up on Wednesday feeling slightly dizzy and by that night I was pewking every time I moved in bed. I felt terrible! The room felt like it was spinning any time I moved. Geoff got me to the Dr on Thursday, which wasn't a pretty sight! I had my pewk bucket under my chin the whole time, was dry heaving and belching in the waiting room and couldn't walk without falling unless I held onto Geoff. That was the shortest waiting room wait I've ever had! I think they wanted to get me away from the other patients!

The Dr. diagnosed me with labrynthitis, an inner ear infection, gave me a shot for the nausea and sent me home. I spent the next three days in bed with Geoff or Elisa walking me to the bathroom. I finally got out of bed on Sunday and could sit up if I had my head supported for about 4 hours, then right back to bed. I started to hate my bed! I felt so cooped up. I took for granted being able to dress myself without help, take a shower and brush my teeth standing up. (For my first shower we put a chair in the shower so I could sit. It felt so good to be clean after about 5 days!) Luckily the shot and then the pills they gave me for the nausea worked. I was just very dizzy.

Every day I felt better and about a week after it started I decided to call the outpatient department of the hospital where I work. They have an audiologist and a physical therapist that specialize in vestibular problems. They tested me and told me I actually had vestibular neuritis which is when a virus attacks your vestibular nerve. They also told me I had sustained 40% permanent damage to that nerve. That didn't sound very good to me! but they seemed happy that it wasn't 70% or more, which I guess is typical. Luckily I didn't have any hearing loss. If I did then the diagnosis would have been labrynthitis like my Dr. thought. It is still unclear how people get a virus in the inner ear and it isn't very common for younger people, but the audiologist said I was the third young person in 2 months to come in with this diagnosis.
Any way, they started having me do therapy, which included things like looking at an X in front of me and turning my head side to side, then up and down. They gradually increased the difficulty of the exercises as I improved. I had to stand with my feet together or on pillows. It really amazed me how poor my balance was when they tested me! After being in bed for 3 days I had been happy that I was up and moving around the house. I had even thought I might be able to go back to work. (I now work one day a week.) But the therapist assured me it would be very difficult and challenging to return to work and I'm glad I took her advice!

The first time I went back to church I got dizzy just walking into the chapel and looking at all the pews, turning my head to find a seat. It was also difficult to talk to people because nodding my head in response to what they were saying (something I didn't realize I did so much!) made me dizzy.

I kept going to therapy and doing my exercises and the good news is that I graduated from therapy early. Yay! I didn't mind going, in fact I'd take Mina with me because the other therapist loved watching her. It was just nice to know I was going to recover. I still feel a little dizzy when I turn my head fast, and the therapist said I'd have some residual deficit (there's my therapist talk coming out!) for the rest of my life, but it should only affect me during really high level activity like roller blading or something like that.

The therapist at one point said that I was taking my decreased balance and dizziness with a very good attitude, that most people are very discouraged when they see how bad it actually is when tested. I told her that after spending all that time in bed I was just grateful to be able to walk to the bathroom and function by myself. I was free again, even if my balance wasn't great and I got dizzy when I turned my head fast. It takes being down to realize how blessed I am to move and function freely.
I now hardly ever feel dizzy and have returned to normal life. I do wonder, though, how my next roller coaster ride is going to go! Maybe I'll have to bring my pewk bucket along!