Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The title says it all, really. Bridgette is sleeping again. Sleeping through the night. Taking two naps a day. We had forgotten what it's like to have a baby who sleeps.

I set her on the bed and went to get my pump gear. I guess she was mighty tired. Of course, we know a little how she felt. After a second bout with months of no sleep, Jeff and I have been enjoying our extra shut-eye too. A couple of nights ago we went to bed at 9:30 p.m. Unprecendented.

We think she's sleeping again because she's eating again. We think she's eating again because all 6 teeth that decided to come in at the same time are just about here. Her two front teeth on top have yet to prick the surface, but we can see them under her gums. So, maybe she's not such a bad teether after all. Maybe she just had six teething teeth to endure at once.

Jeff was putting her down one night and called me in to witness this precious moment. She was so tuckered she couldn't even finish her bottle.

If you can believe it, those were really the only photos we took this week.

The best news comes my way this round. I participated in the first planning meeting for a big mock disaster drill (operational exercise) I'm helping to organize, and it went really well. Participating agencies include fire, police, Red Cross, Timp Hospital, LDS church, Southern Baptist church, city planners from multiple jurisdictions, special response team for HAZMAT, Community Emergency Response Teams, State and Utah County Health Departments, and the Medical Reserve Corps (of which I am a member).

It will be a big show. It's like directing a huge live theater production, complete with life-size props -- like ambulances, showers, tents, buses -- 200 actors, moulage make-up, costumes, catering, and port-a-potties. I'm really excited! This is the stuff of dream jobs.

Of course, the exercise itself isn't my graduate project... it is only a small piece of it. My project is to create an evaluation instrument, pilot test it on this exercise, and provide it for future MRC use. Actually, caveat. My project WILL be to create an evaluation instrument IF my committee approves my proposal next week.

We were glad to have President's Day as a holiday Monday. The whole family went store to store and filled in gaps in our emergency food storage. We finally bought a water purifier! Jeff was very helpful and baby was a good sport. She lost a sock in one of the stores, but someone chased us down to return it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How to Breed a Vampire

This entry is dedicated to my friend Tammy who took the time to notice that I missed a Tuesday blog.

Bridgette went from one tooth to two to three to four... just as you'd expect. A little fast, perhaps, but nothing unusual. Except, wait a minute! Instead of getting her two front teeth on top, she's getting her lateral incisors. Awesome. One little vampire, coming up!

This week marks yet another week on the adorable-photos calendar. I get so used to posting photos here, that sometimes I forget what else, if anything, has happened during the week. If you want to read some really funny, candid anecdotes about life with children, please see my friend's blog: Better Than Boogers.

Besides photos... let's see...

Bridgette's weight has fluctuated within the 16 pound mark for two months now. She climbed slowly to 16 lbs 9 oz then lost steadily for a month back to 16 lbs flat. Two weeks ago she was up to 16 lbs 7 oz. But yesterday she was down to 16 lbs 3 oz.

I casually mentioned to a friend on Facebook that I should start mixing her baby food with olive oil. It was meant as a joke, but then I thought, "Why not?" So yesterday I mixed the oil into her jar of delicious Chiquita bananas and strawberries. She still ate it, so we'll see if any good comes.

Of course, it doesn't help that Bri doesn't eat when she's teething, and as mentioned above, our little vampiress has been teething since about the end of November.


Now, in homage to Facebook's never-ending 25 Things About Me, I'll list a few random "Bridgette-bits." Good thing it's National Square-Root Day:

1. When she's tired, Bridgette jams her thumbs in her ears and twists them until they bleed. Sharp little nails. Tender little ears.

2. I think Bri tries to communicate with the dogs by coughing. It's as close as she can get to a bark.

3. Bridgette doesn't babble with normal consonant sounds. She talks to us by blowing raspberries, grunting, yelling, and laughing. She very rarely cries. If she cries, I know something is really, really wrong.

4. At this very moment, Bridgette is out in the living room playing with her very own ergonomic keyboard. Good thing Daddy's a computer guy with hardware to spare.

5. Bri easily learned to remove her own bib. She also regularly undoes the Velcro on her diaper.


So, I'll put the photos below and end with a slide-show that won't be added until tonight... because Daddy-the-Computer-Guy is at work.

We went to visit our neighbor, Della, who has a home beautifully arranged in yellow and blue. So Bri came prepared in my favorite yellow and blue outfit. The button bow was made by my Mom and features Peter Rabbit.

Della was so cute with Bridgette and thoughtfully suggested several splendid places for photos. She even provided a handmade baby doll dressed in yellow. You'll have to watch the slide show to see the Bridgette/doll interaction.

It was a dreadfully cold day and we walked through a delicate snowfall to get to Della's. This is how Bri and I packed up.

And this is how Bri fell asleep on the walk home.

Valentine's Day! Grandma Johnson watched Bridgette while Jeff and I went on a daytime date. Bri and I were happy to be reunited.

Here is yet another surprising example of my dogs sharing toys and playtime with Bridgette. Usually it's Piper that shares toys. I guess Chewy was feeling lonely.

This was one of those instances when Bridgette actually cried. Once we saw she was not in mortal peril, we took a picture before rescuing her. We only recently stopped swaddling her. I guess no one is sure how to deal with that.


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Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Bridgette likes dill pickles.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

7 Months of Sundays

Babe turned 7 months on Sunday!

Here's the little girl in an adorable outfit. Or, perhaps I should say under an adorable outfit. I'm afraid that pants have to be very loose to fit around her bag and stoma, and by the time an outfit's shirt/sweater is the right size (this one was still a titch large,) the pants are too small. But who's to care as long as you have a photograph, eh?

You can see her little tooth in this shot.

I can't really decide who is the cutest in the next photo.

Bridgette's outfit was perfect because the shirt is a onesie. The pants were very large, so we could pull them completely over her stoma and up around her armpits. You'd never know she had Urkel-pants because the shirt also includes a stylishly long overlay.

Bri likes bottles almost as much as Chewy. They are beginning to become jealous of each other's toys.

This cute puppy is Bri's very own, given by Aunt Lynn. It even barks. True to form, Bridgette's favorite part of every toy is the tag.

Or, in this case, the dog-house in which the puppy lives. The puppy came with his/her own home, a crinkly bone & water bowl, and a jingly ball. It was cute to watch Bridgette pass the ball back-and-forth between her hands. Visions of basketball practice pranced through my head.

Here are Bri and my newly skinnified husband all ready for church.

And this beauty is of Bridgette not rolling over. Like usual. But she did turn to look at something. Definite progress.

The big event this week was an early Valentine's surprise/date that me and my sister-in-law Heidi planned for our twin husbands. We took them to a Harlem Globetrotters game in SLC. They both claim not to have known what we were doing, and if they're lying, I hope they keep it up. It was fun attempting to keep them in the dark.

It was the first baby-less date that Jeff and I have gone on in months. There was a baby girl with her family in the seats just behind us. Hearing her fuss made me miss Bridgette. Oh the irony. If Bridgette had been with us fussing, I'd have wished we'd left her home. Thanks much to the Liechty family for taking good care of our precious bundle.

Here's a photo of the surprise'ees. What say? Do they look like twins? Some people think they look nothing alike... well, like brothers at least... and others cannot tell them apart.

The Harlem Globetrotters were amusing, but I didn't realize how rehearsed or silly the performance would be. It was the perfect activity for families. There were kids sitting all around us and hearing them all laugh uproariously was just as rewarding as attending the show.

Here are Heidi and Jeremy.

And one to grow on because we were **shock!** camera happy. This was taken after the game. Most folks had vacated, and the others were on the arena floor getting autographs. It struck me that if I had been 10, I'd have been down there too.

This video is not to be missed, despite the washed-out lighting:

And this video will appeal to all you tech-geeks or tech-geek-wannabees. Bridgette is a chip of ye olde block:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tummies Time

This is the week for tummy news! Tummies, that is.

We're excited to report that in the month of January, our family lost a combined weight of 21.5 lbs. Unfortunately, the 1/2 lb was Bridgette's, and she shouldn't be losing weight at all. But the rest of us did it on purpose! We're very excited, and our tummies are slightly slimmer. Even Chewy and Piper have been put on diet food, and they account for 5 lbs of the family fat-loss.

In addition, Bridgette did real "Tummy-Time" for the first time in 6 months. It only lasted about 15 minutes, but that's so much better than the 5 seconds we're used to. There's a picture down south. It looks like she's moon-walking while looking at the moon. In reality, she would only do a version of tummy-time that was more like side-time-with-head-back-to-look-at-Dad. We'll take it!

We chose to use a different ileostomy bag a few weeks ago that is larger in size and has a gas vent. It's helped prevent the constant leaks, and we've been back to 72-hour changes. Sadly, her skin turned raw again over the weekend for unknown reasons, and we had to change multiple leaky wafers. The picture of her crying below was the first raw skin day. I didn't know what was wrong, only that she was cranky all day. In the evening when we did a bag change, it became pretty obvious why she was in pain. Poor babs.

In the fourth and final tummy news, Bridgette danced! I was whistling, and she wiggled her whole body around her belly and in perfect time to the music. It was so amusing that I literally couldn't stop laughing which got her laughing which got me laughing, repeat. I laughed not only because she was blasted cute, but because the tune I was whistling was ABBA's Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight). Now really. How can you not laugh at THAT?

Alright. For readers of the blog who, by now, are thoroughly convinced I hate the cold, allow me to share a snow-fairy moment. One evening last week, I looked out the window and the sun was shining through the ice on the trees in my backyard and melting everything into this pure glittering golden crystal world, and it was truly beautiful. I admit it. I took a picture that doesn't do it any justice. Multiply this beauty by 15 then add special effects.

Jeff took Bridgette for a walk on Saturday while I attempted to do school work. She started out all bundled up like this...

And came home all tuckered out like this...

Jeff took her out of the stroller, and she was utterly adorable like this...
And then we lifted her cute hat and she immediately smiled at us like this...
Moon-walking Moon-watching Babby
(Otherwise Known as Tummy Time)

Sad, Raw Skin, Cranky, Hurting Babby

And some really cool videos:

1) Dressing up.

2) Going out to see the world. (See? I was serious about Jeff wearing sandals, socks, shorts, and winter coat. He does this all the time.)

3) Coming back asleep. (The shadows are deep, and our little camera couldn't handle it. You'll just have to imagine. Or, refer to sleeping stroller photo above.)