I post a lot of Blaise quips to Facebook, but one of Blaise's biggest fans is Facebook-allergic. We don't want to leave anyone out, especially not someone who has been Team Blaise since day one (somewhat before day one, really), so here's one for her.
We have become bad bloggers. (But we're great at posting Blaise quips on Facebook.)
As usual, no news is good news. Blaise is tracking her growth curve well and has reached a major milestone for kids with medical issues: Only one doctor. I don't even remember how many she had at her peak. We're kind of cheating because her GI here in Fargo also has a general pediatric practice, so he's now both her GI and her general pediatrician. Still, one doc!
We've been all over the place since our last blog entry: two visits from Grandpa Tom, one from Grandpa Barry and Grandma Janet, two trips to the Twin Cities, one to Florida, one to Chicago and one to Boston. Blaise had a particularly good time in Boston where she was able to see lots of her little friends. We have no idea whether she remembered any of them, but they picked up like they saw each other every day. Now all her pretend travel play involves going to Boston, to ride the bus to MIT, to play with her buddies and to go to Henry Bear's Park (an excellent toy store near our old apartment).
Otherwise, Blaise is two and a half, in all its wonderful, maddening, sweet, stubborn, crazy glory. She still loves Indian food and has discovered the wonder that is tortellini. Potty training is done. She's made great friends at day care, especially one little girl who also likes to read books. She loves the supermarket (seriously) and the library. We've also been riding bikes a lot lately, while the weather is nice, and when she asked to join in, who were we to deny her. She thinks she could ride to the library, which is 2.5 miles away, like Ben and I do, but we think she might have to wait a little while on that.
Yes, we're still here. And Blaise is still two. Very, very two. The snow has almost completely melted, which means that we're able to be outside more. That makes things better for everyone.
The flood that accompanies the melt here in Fargo seems to have crested without causing too much trouble. Ben helped with some sandbagging and I was planning to go, but then they decided they didn't need more volunteers. It's impressive how well people turn out to help protect the city, even if they don't live in a threatened area.
Let's talk about something more fun, shall we? Like, say, toddler gym class. We signed Blaise up for a 4 week gymnastics class at the Y. Her favorite thing is tip-toeing on the balance beam, but she won't have anything to do with the uneven bars. She's also doing surprisingly well with the forward roll. Just before we signed her up, she was evaluated by the North Dakota early intervention folks. She clocked in on target for everything except gross motor, where she was a little behind. After gym the next day, she was doing all the things she had missed on the assessment, so we're declaring her all caught up.
Blaise has been eating well and even helping us do some cooking. She loves to watch us break eggs and she thinks snapping asparagus stems is very fun. We think she might have outgrown the only food sensitivity we thought she had and she has finally found a meat she's willing to eat: Bacon.
Well, long time, no blog. We've been kept busy with a combination of fun things and not so fun things. Not so fun: the cavalcade of colds (and other bugs) that day care is so good for. But it builds the immune system, right?
More fun: tobogganing, a visit from Gran, making Valentines for friends, tiny new friends and relations, trips to the library, rediscovering Indian food, finally settling into the day care routine and a super-cool, custom-designed new hat. (The pattern, hand-knit for Blaise by our friend James, features a Sierpinski triangle in NDSU colors.)
We've now met all members of Blaise's medical team here. Her general pediatrician is excellent and has had a short gut patient before. He knew all the right questions to ask, so we were very glad about that. We also met her new GI, who was very personable and seemed very on-target with our intuitions. He told us that he wouldn't tell us to stop worrying about her weight, but that we should really stop worrying about her weight. We love hearing things like that. She's still tiny, but she's growing appropriately for her size and isn't missing any developmental milestones. We'll take it.
Well, Blaise is still a happy girl for day care. But no sooner did I post that we were all settled and happy, than she decided that bed time is no longer her thing. Unfortunately, when she decides to protest bed, she goes the protest puke route. It's really gross and hard to deal with. With regular tantrums, we can just say "I don't talk to people who yell at me. Come find me when you're ready to be nice" and walk away. With protest puke, we have to clean it up, which delays bed time, which was Blaise's goal. We got into this cycle a few months ago, so we have a few tricks up our sleeves, but we're probably in for a week or so of unpleasant bed times.
In other (improbable, but funny) news, Blaise won a drawing through the public library's children's program! The prize is monster truck tickets, which goes to show that even when we're doing impossibly egghead things like signing our kid up for a reading program, we still might end up with monster truck tickets. We had joked when we signed her up that it seemed like a strange prize and when the lady called me at work yesterday to say that Blaise had won, I couldn't stop laughing.
We dropped a happy Blaise off at day care this morning. She told us all about how she was going to ask Miss Heather for "ponies" (pigtails) and ask Miss Addy to read her "Max's ABCs." We picked up a happy Blaise, too, complete with ponies. Miss Heather reported that she had been happy all day, if not excited about a popsicle. (It was 0 F today, but a child in the room had his tonsils out, so everyone was eating popsicles in solidarity.) Fingers crossed, knock on wood and all that, but it looks like the day care transition might have happened and we're all thrilled.
We've been having a very busy few weeks. After an excellent start at her new day care, Blaise hit a few speed bumps in the adjustment process. On her third day there, we arrived for pick-up to find a sign on the door alerting us to gastroenteritis in the center. Well, crap. Blaise seemed fine, until we got a phone call the next afternoon to come pick her up. She had a fever. Her fever was mild and ended quickly without GI symptoms (thank goodness), but was closely followed by cold-like symptoms that took almost a week to go away. When we started her back at day care, she was very unhappy. We had a week and a half of tearful drop-offs, including the occasional retching bout. The odd thing was that she was happy to talk positively about school when we were home: her friends' names, things she liked to do, books she asked her teachers to read, This week started out very badly, but by this morning, all was well at drop-off and they tell us she had a great day. Fingers crossed that we're over this hump. Really, it was too much to expect her to not have some difficulty settling. She'd been an absolute champ about everything else surrounding the move.
Ben and I are getting settled into our new jobs as well. We'd forgotten how big a timesink getting started in a new place can be. ("Um. I'm sure I have an email address. But I don't know what it is. Also, has the key to my office arrived yet?") Between the annoying administrative issues and actually trying to do, you know, research, we've been pretty busy.
Much more fun: We had visitors from Boston! Having survived the ordeal of organizing the MIT Mystery Hunt, "Aunt" Kate and "Uncle" Andrew came to bring us our cat, Leila. Blaise was thrilled to see them, occasionally just grinning hugely at them and saying "Aun'Kate Uncle Andrew in the new house!" She was less excited about the cat, but we taught her to say "Scat, cat!" which, while ineffective, is fun to say. Kate and Andrew arrived just in time for some serious Fargo cold (high of -4 F; you don't want to know what the low was), but we had fun anyway. Blaise was sorry to see them go and would like to fly on an airplane to Boston, please.
Blaise was born January 1, 2009, at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Because of a giant cyst, her small intestine twisted on itself in utero, cutting off its blood supply and causing most of it to die. Blaise has 45 cm of small bowel, including her terminal ileum, an ileo-cecal valve and a complete large intestine. Because she lost so much of her small intestine, she has a diagnosis of short bowel syndrome (a.k.a., short gut). She came off TPN/Omegaven after 5 months and stopped tube feeds at 15 months. She spent her first 148 days as an inpatient at Children's Hospital Boston and was welcomed home May 28, 2009.
More importantly, Blaise is smart, tough and fun. We brag about her shamelessly, but we have a lot to brag about.