Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just Swingin' Around

Hope everyone had a good week last week! Ours was pretty uneventful until the weekend. Addy had Physical Therapy again and did really well. Her physical therapist noticed some tone in her hamstrings so our new task is to start working on her hamstrings every diaper change to get them to loosen up a bit. Muscle tone is very common in premature babies however if the tone does not resolve - it can be later found to be the early signs of Cerebral Palsy. It's definitely important that we keep her active which we are trying our best to do.

Addy's weekend was pretty fun-filled! We took our first trip to Janesville. We went up on Friday night and checked into a hotel with Granny Nan. We then went to the 4-H Fair. Addy LOVED it. She was checking out all of the lights on the rides and listening to the music. We bumped into some old friends which was pretty cool. We were there a little over two hours and Addy was bright eyed the whole time.

Saturday we got up early and got Addy ready. We went to go see Great Aunt Hubbie, Great Uncle Wayne and Great Uncle Terry. Addy had a great time cuddling up with Great Aunt Hubbie. Afterwards, we went to Great Grandma's apartment for our belated baby shower that my Dad and Jill threw for us. We had such an awesome time. We had lots of good food, opened lots of gifts and spent time with lots of great family. Addy really took a liking to her Great Aunt Joan. She was smiling up a storm for her. Grandma and Grandpa gave Addy a swing. I put it together when we got home and swung away for a good 40 minutes. She fell asleep in it!

Today we did some errand running. I think that's Addy's favorite as she gets to be walked around in the Baby Bjorn.

Tomorrow Addy has her appointment with Dr. Yoon (Opthamologist) and Dr. Lestrud (Pulmonologist). Keep your fingers crossed that everything is heading in the right direction!

Next weekend will be Addy's first weekend 'away.' We are going to Wisconsin Dells!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer, Summer, Summertime

Could it have been ANYMORE hot this past week?! Ugh. Usually Addison is wrapped up in a blanket while in the house. Not this week - she was chilling in short sleeved onesies! So, it was a relatively uneventful week this week. Addy is getting bigger by the minute. She's growing a lot lengthwise. We've successful eliminated Addy's midnight feed! It's so nice not having to get up after being in a peaceful sleep. She's adapted really well to it! Addy had an appointment with Dr. Madonna for a new g-tube on Thursday. They taught us how to put it in. We need to put a new one in every 4-5 months. It was super simple. Addy is officially discharged from Dr. Madonna's care. She only needs to be seen every other year or when she needs to have the g-tube permanently removed (whichever comes first). WOO HOO! We went and visited the NICU. We got to see Sarah, Beverly, Laurel, Tara and Katie M. It was pretty cool because everyone was commenting on how big Addy is and how she was following them with her eyes. Friday, Addy had her first official Physical Therapy appointment with Delores. She was really impressed with how well Addy is doing since the initial assessment over a month ago. Our focus is to be on Addy's 'trunk' for the time being and the neck control should follow shortly. She taught Shelly how to use the Yoga ball that she recommended and Addy did really well with it. Shelly said Addy did awesome the whole half hour but it definitely tired her out. Saturday was Addy's last day of Kindermusik. There is a Fall class that is 15 weeks long so we are hoping she will be able to participate in it as she LOVES Kindermusik! Today, we didn't do much. Went grocery shopping. Mom and I went to go see Mamma Mia! It was pretty good! I'd see it again. That's about all there is! Lots and lots of love to everyone!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Chit Chat

We've all had a great week. Last weekend we went to Long Grove and checked out all the shops. The day before we got Addy a Baby Bjorn so she didn't have to always be in her stroller. She's not quite big enough to be in a regular stroller and she gets ticked in the pram at times. She loves the Baby Bjorn. She gets to check everything out and be carried which she loves of course. Long Grove was fun. My favorite was the Apple Haus. Apple cider, apple treats, etc. Last Sunday we managed to hang out in our room all day. We watched a couple movies and snuggled with Addison. It was nice to have her all to ourselves.

Work was pretty busy this past week for us. I have a new team that's being put together along with a couple new accounts that I'll be managing. It's exciting to be given more responsibilities at work.

We had our big appointment with Early Intervention on Friday. The Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist and the Speech Language Pathologist all recommended that Addison needs PT, OT and SLP weekly. PT and OT were very impressed with Addison's advancements since the last time they saw her. All of their reports indicated that Addison is displaying actions of a one month old however after seeing her they think she's definitely moving in the right direction. We're excited to get things going with all of her therapies. It isn't called 'early intervention' for nothing.

Today we had a BBQ with some of our greatest friends. Trish, Jenny, Larry, Britton, Matthew, Kevin, Beverly, Katie, Laura, Norma and Jessica all came to snack on some chicken, pasta and lots of treats. We spent most of our day chattin and playing Rock Band on Playstation. It was a lot of fun. It was nice to get together with everyone after the year we've had. It was awesome having Beverly come see our house, us and Addy. She let us know that Addy looks fantastic which we definitely agree.

Addy will be getting her g-tube changed this week to a larger size. We'll learn how to do it as well so we don't have to go to the hospital if it were to fall out or when she needs a bigger one.

I think that's about it. Here are some fun pictures from our BBQ today!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July

We had a GREAT time on the 4th of July. We were invited to The Taylor's to watch a parade in Glen Ellyn. We were welcomed with open arms and came to find out that Addy is quite a celebrity. Addy had an awesome time. We laid a blanket on the ground and she kept scooting toward the edge so she could touch the grass and try to put it in her mouth! It was super cute. She wore an adorable watermelon outfit we bought her. The parade was loud but Addison managed to sleep right through it! Here are some pictures of our day:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Extra, Extra Read All About It!

Welcome to our new blog! Although CarePages has been very good to us, we've decided to transition to something new. This blog will consist mostly of Addison updates but there will be updates on Dee Dee and myself too!

For those that don't know us, Dee Dee and I have been together for almost 10 years. We live in Lake in the Hills, Illinois with our daughter, Addison, my mother, Nan, Dee Dee's sister, Michelle and three dogs, Fiona, Mason and Joe. We both work for MetLife. We're a pretty laid back family. We enjoy hanging out at home, going to movies, playing with the dogs, spending time with family and friends and taking trips.

Our daughter, Addison Mackenzie, was born at 24 weeks and 6 days gestation. Dee Dee was pregnant with twins and our son, Riley Parker, was found to have low amniotic fluid around 17 weeks. We were prepared to lose him in utero however he held on until Dee Dee went into labor and delivered them on November 9, 2007. Addison was born first and weighed in at 1 pound 9 ounces and 13 inches. Riley followed a minute later and weighed in at 1 pound 7 ounces and 11 inches. Both were intubated immediately due to underdeveloped lungs. Riley passed away in our arms about four hours after he was born. Subsequently, Addison was transferred to Children's Memorial Hospital where she remained until her May 22, 2008 release. Addison has been diagnosed with the following conditions: Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Chronic Lung Disease, Retinopathy of Prematurity, Gastro Esophageal Reflux, Bilateral Grade IV Intraventricular Hemorrhage, Hydrocephalus, Periventricular Leukomalacia, Patent Ductus Arteriousus and Necrotizing Enterocolitis. She had a total of eight surgeries while in the hospital. She currently has a shunt for her hydrocephalus and a g-tube for her feeding. She is also still receiving 1/8L of oxygen via a nasal cannula. She's a pretty amazing little girl with TONS of people who love her. Addison currently gets at-home care which consists of visits from a speech therapist, two physical therapists and an occupational therapist. She is also still followed up in-office by a Neurosurgeon, Pediatric Surgeon, Pulmonologist, Opthamologist and her Pediatrician. If you'd like to read more about Addison and her journey prior to this blog, please visit and do a search for AddisonGile.

So, speaking of Addison. Time for an update! I completely spaced telling everyone about her speech therapy appointment last week. It went awesome. The speech therapist was very pleased with Addison's assessment. She's happy Addy seems to have no oral delays other than language. We're going to see how Addy does with speech therapy and she may end up getting a swallow study. We are definitely proceeding with caution so that she doesn't have another choking episode as she had while at Children's. We've been giving her tastes of milk with most of her feeds and she loves them. We also got these dental wipes called "Spiffies" which are flavored mouth wipes for babies. It definitely assists with oral stimulation. There are three flavors: grape, mango and apple. Addy has only had grape so far but is already addicted.

Addy also had her second visit from the physical therapist for the study she is in. It was amazing to see the difference since the last time the therapist was at the house. Just like the speech therapist - she was incredibly impressed with how well Addy is doing. Both speech and physical therapy has made comments that it definitely helps Addison that she has so many people that love and support her. Anyway, as I've mentioned before, the therapist holds Addy over a miniature treadmill to get her brain to recognize the walking movement. Last month, Addy was NOT having it. She cried and pulled her feet up or let the treadmill drag her feet with it. This time Addy was actually making walking movements!!! It was so amazing. Our goal is to keep her very mobile to hopefully inhibit any possible tone she may develop in her extremities. Tone is a very common thing with Cerebral Palsy so anything we can do to keep her active is definitely beneficial.

Addy went to the Pediatrician yesterday. She's 13 pounds 5 ounces and 23 inches. Good news is no more multi-vitamin needed! One less medication she has to receive. Also, we can probably stop her iron next month. We're also going to try to eliminate her midnight feeding by spreading it out over her others. Cross your fingers it works.

Our agenda this weekend consists of going to Auntie Lindsay's family's house for 4th of July to watch the parade and spend her birthday with her. My Mom is going to cook ribs that evening. Saturday we are thinking of going up to Summerfest and then possibly to a co-worker's BBQ.

Happy Birthday to Grandma Jill and Auntie Lindsay!

Hope everyone has a great 4th of July weekend!