Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall Fun

We participated in the Del Ray Halloween Parade on Sunday and went to a pumpkin patch on Monday. Thanks to Naney for making the trip this weekend, again, to be with us and help out. Mommy and Daddy got a whole extra hour of sleep on Sunday thanks to her! We're gearing up for Halloween. Lily has her school party tomorrow, and we have a neighborhood party Saturday afternoon before trick-or-treating, rain rain stay away! Imogene is still on the new medicines from last week, but they certainly aren't making her nights any better. It's not really clear that they are making her stomach feel any better either. She's such a sweet, happy baby during the day. Makes the night wakings and inconsolable screaming so much harder to figure out.
Lily and Mommy took Imogene to get her blood drawn to run the tests from last week again. Poor Imogene had to get both arms stuck before it would work, and poor Lily was so not enjoying listening to her sister that upset. What a day.
Therapy is on Wednesday this week. Since it's at 8 a.m., Bill can take her and not miss too much work. This is great for mommy to get a little break, and for daddy to get to participate, which he misses. It's also good because it allows a set of 'fresh' eyes and ears to learn about what we should be doing.
Click this link for pictures from this past weekend. We'll update them after Saturday as well.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Zoo Day

Last Friday we had plans to go to the zoo with our friends Catherine and Noah, but it was pouring down rain. Thank goodness no rain today - we went to the zoo and had a great time! The weather was cloudy and cool, which is usually a perfect day to see the animals. Here are a few pictures from our fun.

Looking at the panda bears.
Yes, she is eating her sock.

Such a happy baby at the zoo. She was lucky that Lily went with Noah & Catherine into the reptile house (Mommy says, no thank you very much to reptiles) and we waited outside. She got to love on 'babystar' without Lily taking her away!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Siglers girls went to see Bill play soccer tonight. His games are usually after bedtime, but tonight's kickoff of 6:45 gave us just enough time to watch for a little while before heading home for bedtime. Lily was so excited and commentated the whole time, and kept asking me, "did you even see that, Mom? That ball went so high." She was not happy when we had to leave.

Daddy takes a rest and we get to hang out with him before we head home.

Not so good of Bill and Imogene, but too cute of Lily.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

To the Doctor We Go, Again

This time we went to see wonderful, patient and caring Dr. Baldrate, the girls' pediatrician. We certainly had lots to talk about with her. Imogene, as always when she's at all these doctor's offices, was quite a trooper. We're going to start two new medicines, one to help her stomach, and one to treat acid reflux. Way back when she was a newborn (that seems way-back!) we tried several different reflux medicines, but to be honest, we were never quite sure she had reflux. Dr. Baldrate thinks that it is worth trying a reflux medicine to see if that will help her at night, and maybe cut out the spitting up which happens daily. We'll try anything to help her at night, which in turn helps us. Sleep, people, we need sleep! Imogene was quite the charmer with Dr. Baldrate, but she started to lose her patience with us when we were waiting for the nurse to come back with her shots. She was so not happy after the vaccine and her flu shot, both in her right leg. Then we had to go down to their lab, to get a CBC work-up and lead test (both standard tests run at her age by the pediatrician). Both of these could have been done with a finger prick, but since Imogene also needed to have blood work done for the clotting disorder test, she needed a blood culture (the long drawn blood from the arm, complete with rubber tourniquet.) Let's just say Imogene did not enjoy this one bit at all. Sweet Bill held her and did his best, but she was not happy, and who can blame her! She's really going to be mad at me when we go back later this week. Yep, we have to go back. Seems she was so unhappy that her blood flowed so slowly that they didn't get enough for all the tests. They told me this news, and then asked if they could just prick her finger one time to check a level that showed up weird in their first test. Oh good grief. Not a good time at all. Poor thing was so wiped she fell asleep about 5 minutes into the drive home. The kind of asleep where your head falls completely forward and you don't even care. She was back to her sweet, happy self by the afternoon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Imogene is 9 months old!

We can't believe it either. Nine months old already! Her 'photo shoot' was especially fun today. Here are the pictures.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

PT went well today. Imogene worked on weight-bearing on her legs, and we learned how to teach her to (one day) use her arms to pull up to a standing position using a chair or a table.
Lily behaved really well, considering it was her first time there and she had no idea what to expect, and she didn't really get that I couldn't pay full attention to her. She handled that part pretty well. I think she thought if Susan was working with Imogene, then I could just play with her the whole time. Susan did bring out a few toys for Lily to play with, which I greatly appreciated. It made Lily feel a little special, as did the 'Dora' sticker she got to pick out of the 'treasure chest' at the end of the appointment. There is a little boy Lily's age who is at the PT center when we are there each week. His name is Jack and he always comes over, with a little hesitation, and plays peek-a-boo with Imogene. His mom and I finally had a chance to speak to each other today, and she said he's been in some type of therapy or another since Imogene's age. It's funny how quickly you can be reminded of how fast time goes, and how many people are going through something so similar to what you feel so isolated in. When we were driving to therapy Lily asked when she could go with us to see Dr. McClintock. Um, okay Lily, I had not realized that you picked up on his name! I don't think we say his name that much, but maybe we do! Or as Bill said, "maybe she reads the blog." She also said when we pulled up to the medical park where the center is, "This isn't Dr. Baldrate's office." (That's our pediatrician.) She's too funny.
Here are some pictures of Imogene ready to head out into the cold, rainy day we had today. Thanks to the Sowell family for the adorable jacket!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Winter Arrives in Alexandria!

It is so cold here! I have to say I like it - one of the reasons I wanted to go to college in Virginia was to live somewhere that had actual seasons. Boy am I getting that this week. Unfortunately it is arriving with a lot of rain. We've had a nice run of dry days that have allowed for a good bit of outside time. Not sure what I'm going to do without that option with Lily! I spent about an hour in Lily's class today. She seemed so proud and happy to have me there. Which I have to say was pretty nice because I feel a lot like she is just always angry or grumpy or whining when we are home. I know that she's had to deal with a lot these last 9 months. She didn't just get a baby sister, she got a baby sister whose lack of sleep is resulting in extreme exhaustion for her parents, and I know that plays into how we are sometimes with Lily. And these last 2 months, I imagine she understands in some way, without saying so, that things have really been all about Imogene. But even with all that in my mind as we deal with the tantrums, it's so hard to deal with the tantrums!!!!!!!! But her teacher said that she is a dream at school, so that makes us happy. Imogene loves WWP too! I put her in the Bjorn carrier yesterday when we picked Lily up, and as we were walking through the parking lot she made this loud grunt/laugh sound, which I swear was excitement because she knew we were going to get Lily. And she just loved watching the kids run around on the playground after school - kicking her legs and laughing out loud.
Tomorrow is Thursday - PT for Imogene and Maggie comes in the afternoon. Yippee for Maggie. Lily is going to PT tomorrow as well. Maybe she'll get an idea of what Imogene is doing, even if she doesn't really 'understand.' And I hope that it will help Imogene to have Lily there, because there is nothing in the world Imogene loves more than Lily.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Imogene saw Dr. William Madigan today, who is a pediatric opthamologist with Children's Hospital. It was a long, two hour appointment, most of which was spent waiting for her eyes to dialate. She was such a good patient and did not even scream for that long after the drops! Her right eye is 'wandering' just a bit - he said about 5%, which is not too serious. He said that she is turning her head just slightly to the left, which is how she compensates when the right eye wanders and she wants to look straight ahead. (That still doesn't make complete sense to me, so I'm not sure I'm really explaining it correctly.) Nevertheless, he did not want us to be too concerned and said it was a pretty normal response to the palsy. We'll watch out for any changes, and he wants to see her again in 3 months. So yeah, a doctor's appointment that didn't end with us feeling confused and "full of angst" as Bill so appropriately put it!
Imogene will be NINE months old on Friday! Wow! We'll see our regular pediatrician on Monday the 19th for her nine month check-up. Boy do we have a lot to talk to Dr. Baldrate about!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What a Great Fall Weekend

We had a full and fun weekend. Lily and Imogene had a great time, as did we, at an Oktoberfest party on Saturday. Lily loved having her face painted and jumping in the moon bounce. Imogene was so happy in the Bjorn just watching all the action. Today after Lily went to her yoga class (which she still loves!) we went over to a church pumpkin sale near our house. The weather was perfect for getting into the feel of fall. This is definitely our favorite time of year!
We head to the opthamologist tomorrow for Imogene. Hope to be able to update the blog by the end of the day. Happy Columbus Day!

She was fussing until we finally gave her a pumpkin to hold!

Lily was prepared to take a lot more pumpkins home than we'd plan to buy!

Butterfly Lily had so much fun in the moon bounce.

They both had such a blast at Oktoberfest!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Benik Hand Splint

Here it is - the 'lilac' Benik hand splint that Imogene will be wearing for a while. It's a little hard to see, but it pulls the thumb out so that she'll stretch it out and help her with "fisting."
Umm, does this come off?
Posted by PicasaShe's just too cute!

Caroline Visits

Fun with Caroline and their baby dolls. Caroline is holding "Babystar." Lily is holding the baby doll formerly known as "Baby2" (since we already had a "Baby").
This doll is now also known as "Babystar."

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Finger Painting fun.
Imogene was having the best time talking and almost yelling at Thomas the Train as he went around the track. It's the little things!

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The Weeks Are Flying By!

It's another PT Thursday! Except for the lovely gift that Imogene made for me in her diaper on the way there that required about 15 wipes and a washing of the car seat cover, PT went great today. Let me tell you what, if you've never changed a really, really, really dirty diaper on a wriggling baby in the back of the car you have no idea what you are missing. This was only made better by the fact that I carried her into the building in the office park in her diaper and a blanket thrown hastily over her because we were already late at this point. You can imagine the stares I got from people considering that it was a brisk 60 degrees here this morning. I swear one woman driving by actually gaped at me in disgust. But Imogene does her PT in just her diaper and I wasn't going to dress the wiggle-worm to just undress her 5 minutes later. So, anyway, back to PT. It went great, and Imogene only screamed at the very end. She even tolerated being fitted for her splint, which is here and very cute and very tiny. (I took some pictures of her in it and will post later today, I promise!) We are working our way up to wearing it 2 hours on, and 2 hours off. She only tries to eat it for the first few minutes it is on, and then apparently forgets about it, which is good news.
Our next doctor's appointment is Monday, when we visit the pediatric opthamologist, Dr. Madigan for the first time. Still awaiting a return call about the physiatrist, Dr. Morozova. Susan the PT said that her wait time can be 3 months. Good grief.
Lily and I participated in the WWP Garden Club after school yesterday. This is an extracurricular activity for the kids to learn about the plants, flowers and vegetables that surround the school's playground, and then to actually get in there and do some gardening. It's just another reason why we love Westminster. She said during it, "I love gardening." And then went around singing a little song to herself about working together. It was very entertaining.
Our wonderful friends Meredith & Caroline DeGuenther, who lived here when the girls were babies and now live in Boston, visited us for the night on Wednesday. We had such a fun visit, and took the girls to an old haunt for dinner, Nordstroms Cafe! Lily and Caroline were all set to have a real slumber party and actually sleep in Lily's bed together. The moment arrived, and Lily freaked and would not share her bed. Poor Caroline was pretty heartbroken. This afternoon Lily said "why did Caroline have to leave us?" She misses her friend! You'll see pictures of how cute they looked together in their Just Ducky outfits as soon as I post them, I promise!
Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't rain here on Saturday. We have plans to go to an Oktoberfest Block Party hosted by one of our favorite restaurants. Lily has her heart set on getting her face painted, which we missed at an art festival we attended last Saturday!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thanks to Naney for all the help this weekend! Bill and I went out Friday night for a couple of hours to just sit and talk. It was wonderful and much-needed. And I even got out for a little while Friday afternoon completely by myself.

There is a non-profit support association called Children's Stroke and Hemiplegia Association that offers "information and support to families of infants, children, and young adults who have hemiplegia or hemiplegic cerebral palsy." This group offers an on-line parent discussion board. Since we found out about the RHCP in August, I've been 'lurking' on the website. This past week with our 'official' diagnosis, I decided to post a message on the board to see if there were any parents in our area. Low and behold, there were. One woman emailed me to tell me about her 5 year old who has Imogene's same diagnosis. Turns out she actually lives very close to us, and we're planning to have coffee sometime soon. Several other parents emailed to 'welcome' us to the group and offer suggestions for therapists and doctors in the area. Others emailed from across the country to just say 'we know how you feel and hope we can help.' It's a great support group, and another reminder of how good the world can be!

We're awaiting a call from the physiatrist at Children's to see if they can get us in. Of course we can't just call somewhere and get an appointment! Oh no, we have to pick or be sent to the most popular specialists in the area. I am comforted though that this doctor, Dr. Morozova, must be good if she's that booked. Susan the PT has also heard great things about her from other patients. After doing some asking around about the opthamologists, we're going to try for one of the two Dr. McClintock recommended at Children's.
Since she hasn't done it again, it won't jeinx anything to report that Imogene slept last week from 7:30 until 4:30 without waking up once. This is the longest she's EVER slept without 'interruption'. Of course, every other night since, she's been back to her usual waking 2 - 4 times a night. But, once, just that once, she did it!

Some things that Lily has said lately.

While calling her daddy's attention to something, "Hey, Bill Sigler, come see this!"

She had her first piece of gum on Thursday. No matter how many times Maggie and I reminded her to not swallow it - yep -she swallowed it. It was so cute though because she was just talking away in the backseat and I asked her, "Lily, where is your gum?" (Fearing the worst for my car.) She had the funniest surprised face, it was almost goofy, and said "Um, I think....um, I don't know...I swallowed it. Yes mom, it's in my tummy." And then a few seconds later, "I don't think I really like gum."

The moon was full and bright last night on our way home from dinner. As she and Bill were 'howling' at the moon in the car, like they used to do a lot a few months ago, we were reminded of when she said once, as Bill started to play the howling game, "No, dad, we're not doing that right now." She couldn't see the moon last night from her seat in the car. When at first we couldn't find it when we got out of the car, she said, "I guess we drove here faster than the moon did."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's Thursday, Again?

How is it Thursday again? Is time really going by that quickly? I believe it is!

Today's PT did not go so well. Imogene is just so sensitive to people she doesn't know very well touching her or trying to hold her. So imagine how much she enjoys it when someone tries to manipulate her body to do something she really doesn't want to do. Good times for all! Imogene was absolutely hysterical, much like she was for over an hour last night at 1 am! Hey, at least someone else knows what we're dealing with each night! Today I felt terrible for the other kids in the therapy center. They must have been looking at their moms like "Should I be screaming too? What does that baby know that I don't know?"

Lily was a big girl yesterday and went with her friend Tennyson and her mom, Melissa, to ballet class. A big girl carpool. Her teacher called today to say that she really hopes Lily will keep it up, because she can tell that she enjoys it a lot. And that the crying was probably a little for my benefit, and just from the changes of the new year. So we'll keep at it. Yeah!

I mentioned a few weeks ago how Susan the PT recommended I start a binder, which I, oh lover of organizational products, did. In just a few short weeks I've used up all my tabs and need more! More doctors equals more tabs. However, I was so happy to have my binder on Monday at Dr. McClintock's. And today during PT, Susan asked me if I had some paperwork and I was able to pull it right out of the binder! She even said how great it was I was keeping it up. I admit I wanted a gold star or something to wear on my shirt. Sometimes PT can feel a little bit like a class you're failing miserably no matter how much you want to do well, and that was a tiny little victory today!

Naney is arriving tonight. Lily is very excited! So are we because we are planning to go on a date while she is here! Fingers crossed...