Charlotte's Journey Home

Just a Regular Kid, Sort Of


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Another Milestone

I finally had the home healthcare company retrieve the Zevex pump and all of its accessories. We’ll miss our friendly delivery man, Vince J., but we won’t miss the pump.

Charlotte’s eating is very inconsistent, which I suppose is pretty “regular” for a toddler. When she eats well, however, her volume is stil pretty low for a kid her age.

We did have a major meal on Friday night–Charlotte ate 5 (!!!!) raviolis, all by herself. While volume is important, we know we can make up for calories with our high calorie purees and dessert (the kid is definitely ours–she loves dessert). So, we’re really working on self-feeding as that will be the key to success in school.


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It’s Official, Charlotte is

a big girl now. And not an inch too soon. When she stretched out on her crib mattress after we took the crib apart yesterday she had about 2 inches to spare at either end.

She hasn’t quite mastered the big girl bed yet. I just found her parallel to the foot board at the foot of the bed and had to move her. Philippe had to rearrange her last night, too. It’s a good thing she’s not a light sleeper because we just pick her up and move her!

The bed is full size because we had a convertible crib. So while she looked huge in her crib, she looks tiny in her big big girl bed. But so peaceful.

And when she’s awake, climbing onto the bed and bouncing on her bum is her new favorite activity.

And as big as she is, Bubba is always there to help her sleep!


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Eating Update

The tummy tube is, famously, gone since June 5. When asked to show someone “What’s new?” or “What happened in Milwaukee?”, Charlotte promptly rolls up her shirt. Or, she does it with a great deal of drama, rolling up her dress slowly so that the observer can first think that the big girl underpants are the big news, then going for the “reveal.” As proud as we are of Charlotte, she is more proud of herself.

And she should be.

So…you think Charlotte is now a regular kid, right? Mealtime is easy or hard, like it was (or is) with your toddler? She eats or she doesn’t and makes up for it the next day.
Would that it were so.

In May and June, Charlotte fed herself with regularity, and much encouragement. Throughout July this behavior deteriorated. I began to feed her more and she began to feed herself less. Mealtimes devolved into time outs, yelling, bribery, and utter frustration.

At first, I chalked it up to Charlotte being tired from being at day camp all day (more on that soon, I promise). We instituted a “Happy Meal” Sticker chart–for every meal in which Charlotte feeds herself (for the most part), within a 25 to 30 minute period, and behaves pleasantly, she gets a happy sticker. For very 10 stickers, she gets to watch 30 minutes of a DVD. [We say “happy sticker” because Charlotte really can’t say “smiley.”] This worked for a few days.

After camp, however, we realized that camp had little do with it. Further research proved that Charlotte feeds herself just fine when she is with her babysitters. But for mom and dad, no way.

Last Friday, I lost my mommy cool. Completely. So we instituted a new rule–Feed Yourself or Don’t Eat. She gets 25 minutes, lots of encouragement, help getting food on the fork or spoon if she needs it.
Guess what? Charlotte has had about 5 days of happy, happy eating. Mom and Dad still don’ look forward to mealtime, to be honest, because we’re never sure what’s coming But, we’ve been pleasantly surprised and have had some lovely family meals.


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Cardiac Update

Cardiac Update:
Charlotte had her semi-annual cardiology appointment today. (I like to call this the “Remember, she’s a heart patient?” appointment. )

She weighed in at 15.4 k and measured 41 inches (104 cm). Her electrocardiogram (EKG) was normal despite the fact that she cried and coughed through the whole thing.

Dr. Young wants to see her in about 9 months. She’ll have to have an echo and a 24-hour halter monitor (portable EKG). So, now you know our plans for spring break!

And that, my friends, is the Cardiac Update in toto. Did you ever think it could be so short?

Now for the Cardiac Appointment Hi-Jinx Report:
Charlotte tried so hard to be brave during her EKG, but the minute Amber started putting the leads on her legs she began to cry. Crying led to flemmy coughing due to her ear infection. She fussed the whole time.

Once she was calm after the test, we did some coloring. Charlotte stopped coloring and put the crayons in the crook of her bent knees. She then proceeded to tell me that we were pretending the crayons were EKG leads. “We have to put them in kind of slowly,” she said “and then pull them out fast.” Over and over and over. The backs of her knees are covered with blue crayon polka dots.

Right now she’s listening to my heart (with her real stethoscope) and watching Finding Nemo (for the umpteenth time).