Monday, September 29, 2008

84 Days Makes a Dozen

12 weeks of a new life gone by!

Bri was pretty much sick all week with a cold. She slept poorly and wanted to be held all the time. This was tiring since she is now quite close to 14 lbs. We just hope her length continues to keep up with her girth!

Someone called Bridgette a "him" for the first time last Tuesday. I wasn't bothered, but I was surprised because this was the outfit she was wearing:

If this isn't girly, I'm not sure what is.

Bridgette has developed two new talents this week: 1) she can fully kick her own socks off, no matter how much elastic is gathered 'round her ankles, and 2) she can do sit-ups. The latter quite surprised me. She was lying on her back on my tummy while we watched a movie when she decided to sit up... repeatedly. I guess she couldn't see the TV well enough and moved herself to get a better view. We worried she might have a weak abdomen since her stomach muscles were cut clean-through during surgery. Guess not!

Bri asleep with a "Papa Blanket"... otherwise known as a burp cloth.

Thanks to the help of Jeff's twin and his wife, we were able to go on a date. (IHOP -- we eat there once every two years, when we are again reminded why we only eat there once every two years.) Despite the amount of food we downed and the number of crying babies in the restaurant, having an hour to sit together away from home was a much needed respite.

Bri attended my MPH opening social and her cousin Matthew's first birthday party on Saturday. Then, as if to prove she was over her cold, she slept 10 hours last night - in a row! She has eaten more today than all of last week combined, and she is back to her chilled out, happy self. I hope this means she will be easier to handle in class tomorrow than she was last week.

Here is a photo of our MPH Twister competition... which I lost within the first three moves. Thus, I am behind the camera.

Rich, Camille, Emily, Melissa

Rachel and her husband Derek

Video Corner:

Bri in her swing with a cold.

The next 3 were taken today of Bri playing in her pen. They are remarkably similar to each other, with simple variations that might appeal to the kind of grandmother who requests video.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Bri is a lovely girl and just keeps getting bigger and older. Last Wednesday she laughed for the first time - a real, full-gum exposing chuckle. I was trying to get her to coo over the phone for Grandma Hoose when she apparently got tickled by the attempt and busted out. Such a rewarding little sound, I'm excited to hear more over the years.

Bridgette is now 23" and just over 13 lbs. She is my own personal trainer, complete with weekly incremental weight increases. I lost 5 pounds last month, two of my primary daily exercises being "Baby-Bri-Bicep-Curls" and "Quit-Crying-Calf-Bounces."

South Fork Park, Provo Canyon, Utah

Bridgette got truly sick this week with a stomach bug that's popping about in Utah. She was up all night in pain. Jeff took the 11-2 a.m. shift then I was on from 2-6:30 a.m. when she finally fell asleep. It was rough for everyone, but I was so glad that the worst only lasted 12 hours. After sleeping a few hours she was already back to her smiley self. She's a tough little lady.

We were pleased to return to the mountains on Saturday for a picnic with our friends the Weidmann's. We got to meet Max who was born three weeks before Bri. Although their weights are quite close, Bridgette is a chunky-monkey while Max is long and lean. It's funny how similar, yet different, two babies can be so early in their lives.

Autumn Arriving

Chelsea with Bri & Kelly with Max

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ten! Ten Weeks Old! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Baby Bri is maturing! Currently she is working on her advanced sleeping skills, hand-eye coordination, and general muscle strength. Nothing out of the ordinary, but it's fun to watch.

SLEEP: Previously, Bri would only sleep when swaddled tight like a burrito. Otherwise, she woke herself up every time her arms jerked. Recently she's been doing more playing and then falling asleep on her own. She naps in her swing, her bouncer, and in new positions on us. She also slept 9 and 10 hours the last two nights. I hope she continues to enjoy a full night's rest.

Asleep in papa's lap.

Actually sleeping on mommy's shoulder.

Just For Gram -- Baby's Chubby Legs

HAND-EYE: Bridgette has long batted at Winnie-the-Pooh in her swing, though until this week, hitting him has been a complete accident. In the last few days, however, she seems quite determined to smack him on purpose. She's not grabbing for anything yet, but I assume that will come in due time.

P.S. - So far, she favors her left hand.

MUSCLES: Bri holds her head up beautifully these days. She also "stands up" quite nicely. When I'm holding her she pushes her legs against my arm hard enough that she propels herself over my shoulder. When laying on her back, she'll push her legs against anything hard and launch herself across smooth surfaces. I'd like to say we encourage this because it's good for her. And we do. But it's also equal parts funny and cute.

Smiles All Around

OTHER NEWS: We got to attend a party for our friend Krystal's 30th birthday. Bridgette seemed to enjoy just chilling outside in the grass, and the extra sights and sounds wore her out early. We all had a good time.

Krystal Read turns 30! Congrats, friend!

A Jumble of Johnson's: Jeff, Jeremy, Ellie, Heidi, Kelly, Bridgette

LASTLY: We're having trouble with Bri's ileostomy dressing again. We went a whole month changing it routinely every third day with no leaks. Then, in the last week, we have had to change it 5 times. True to form, the trouble is also affecting her skin which has begun to break down quite seriously in places. We're back to experimenting with various methods as we search for a solution.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9 Weeks Down

Besides colds and vaccinations making both mom and baby sick, I can't say that much new has happened this week. The only progress I recollect is that baby has found her hands, so they now spend a lot of time in her mouth. As a result, I try to be more vigilant about keeping Bri's hands fuzz free... a challenge to say the least.

Why does no one ever talk about the gobs of lint that embed themselves in every crease of a baby's hands? Her fingers are almost always clenched, so my first discovery of her collection was shocking. There was enough gooey fuzz to spin yarn sufficient for tiny socks. Now we use our nursing sessions for both reading and lint extraction. I'm thinking of stuffing it in toilet paper rolls to make fire starters.

The baby hand/mouth connection has begun.

School was a titch more challenging yesterday as Bri only slept about 30 minutes between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Truth be known, those were just my school hours. In actuality, she didn't sleep more than 30 minutes between the hours 4:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. Thus the sick-elicited sleep-deprivation. Her awake hours were not very happy ones either. She seems to be doing much better today however and is back on her normal nap schedule, to the utter elation of all in the household.

Bri with her lion after school. Nuf said.

Speaking of all in the household, I have had a number of queries about how the dogs are doing with Bri in our home. The answer is, "Fine." They typically ignore her and she them. Her crying seems to scare them, and when she wails before feedings or during baths, the pups lay their ears back and crouch in the other room. Chewy is particularly tentative, though rarely he peeps his head around the corner to watch the action.

When Bridgette is in a good mood, the dogs treat her as though she is my property... a healthy dogs'-view from my perspective. Both Chewy and Piper enter and leave the nursery on command, and occasionally they are invited to sniff her or give her a kiss. This is typically performed with trepidation and usually in her ear.

I do want them to get used to Bri before she begins to crawl and attempts to pull their tails, poke their eyes, yank their fur, and eat from their bowls. We hope they will get along and mutually respect each other. Eventually the goal is to send all three of them outside and watch them run around in circles.

Bridgette slept on while we corralled the playful pups for a photo.

Here is a video of the dogs. They have been neglected thus far on our blog. Yet, as anyone who knows us well already knows, they are a big part of our family life.

Friday, September 5, 2008

This Little Piggy Went to University

We've done it! We have yet to graduate or even survive the semester, but Bridgette and I went to one week of classes!

Bri is all dressed up for her first day of school!

What we've learned so far:

-Double-check to see if you have packed any school supplies. They're easy to forget in the morning hubbub.

-Make a list of essential baby items and pack them up the night before. Syringe? Check. Bottle for waste disposal? Nope. Diapers? Check. Burp cloth? Uh-oh.

-Spending 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Richard's Building room #260 makes for a very long day.

-Long days help both baby and mom sleep through the night.

-Expect to nurse at least once, and often twice, during every class.

-It's good and necessary to have an understanding and helpful cohort.

-Patient professors are beautiful people.

Cohort Members: Kristin, Emily M., Emily R., Ryan, Steve, Heather, Melissa & Rachel

Melissa Plays with Bridgette

Baby finally slept, right as all classes ended. Whew.

Unfortunately, I've already picked up a bad cold from something or someone at BYU. I'm hoping Bri doesn't get it, but I'm assuming she will. If only people would wash their hands and stay home when they're sick.

Bridgette went to the doctor this morning for her two month appointment. She got four sets of vaccinations and has two spankin' new band-aids on her chubby little thighs. Her official weight and length are 11 lbs. 14 oz. and 22 inches. This puts her in different percentiles. Here are comparisons to last month:

Length at 4 weeks: 10% -- Length at 8 weeks: 50%

Weight at 4 weeks: 25% -- Weight at 8 weeks: 75%

Head circ. 4 weeks: 50% -- Head circ. 8 weeks: 30%

If you wonder how in the world she could have increased her weight so substantially in one month, please consider this...

On Tuesday, September 2, (her actual 8-week birth anniversary) we weighed her in the morning before she ate. She was 11 lbs. 8 oz. We then weighed her after she had breakfast, and she was suddenly 11 lbs. 15 oz. It stands to reason - calories in, calories out, calories sticking round about.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Two Months of Love

Alrighty! After two months, Bridgette is doing so, so much better! She continues to gain weight (11 lbs. 4 oz. this morning) and to develop like a typical kid. Yesterday we took her for a stroll along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Provo Canyon, and a woman on the trail said, "What a cute baby! She must be, what, two months?" It was somehow gratifying to know that our baby is actually normal to the point that people can guess her age by looking at her.

We had a bit of a scare with her rectal irrigations this week, but all's well that ends well. We upped the amount of saline solution that we use in the syringe/catheter, and it washed back out into her diaper all gooey-brown and super-smelly. It had never done that before. So we checked all the other potential symptoms of a colon infection. Her appetite was healthy, she wasn't overly sleepy or fussy, her belly wasn't distended, and her temperature was normal. We called Primary Children's Medical Center just to be sure, and they were actually pleased that so much had washed out. In the words of the nurse, "That's what we want!" As a result, we upped the amount of water again and have increased irrigations to two a day until the brown goo desists.

This week marks a few changes for Jeff and me. Jeff moved teams at work from the "Augmentation" team to the "Search" team. He will miss working closely with his old team leader and good friend, Greg, but he has worked with and respects his new team leader as well. All in all, a painless transition. My change comes tomorrow as I officially attend college classes for the first time with Bridgette in my arms. I may throw in an additional post sometime this week to describe the experience.

Not much else to report, so I'll just post a bunch of photos, per usual. I've included four videos* too, for those of you who 1) are bored, or 2) love my daughter and actually want to watch.

Bridgette fills out the carseat better than her last photos in there.

Hangin' out on the giraffe blanket.

Bri fell asleep in papa's arms one night as we watched a movie.

Our little princess tries hard to chill out in the golden rays of evening after screaming through a sponge bath before bed.

*When Bridgette is playing happily, I always get the camera too late. By the time I take video, she's usually on her I'm-almost-too-grumpy-to-be-too-cute stage. And while grumpy can be its own form of cute, it's not the same as what I wish I had on camera.

Video #1 - The Mobile

Video #2 - Trail Intro

Video #3 - Trail Bridge

Video #4 - Chatting with Pooh