Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May Madness

Now, I know what Hana would look like with curly, pink hair. Thanks to an ingenious crocheter for giving us quite a laugh and letting Hana model her original creation. May really has been full of surprises. Sorry, it's been so long since my last post. Hana is definitely growing and changing everyday. She now has three teeth! They're all on the bottom. She's had some fussy moments, but overall, she's done very well. She's been doing a good job with the baby food too. Finally, she's able to eat peas and not gag. Grandpa is so proud.

She continues to smile, laugh, and bounce. This girl really loves to be on her feet. We're wondering if she's going to be an early walker, but so far, she isn't sitting up without a little support. But, it looks like it won't be long.Hana has been keeping up with her busy schedule of baby ballroom dancing, ECFE class, and many outings in the sunshine.

Daddy takes her out in the backpack just about everyday. It brings back a lot of memories of Mieko at this time of year. Though she was too big for the backpack last year, she spent a lot of time on the tricycle and on the swings. Daddy points out every dog and kitty in the neighborhod and Hana usually giggles whens he sees them.

We spent Mother's Day weekend with the animals. We went to Shepherd's Harvest in Lake Elmo and checked out the llamas, alpacas, angora bunnies, sheep, and goats. The baby goats were Hana's favorites. We also watched some sheep shearing and sheepdogs in action.

We had a nice Mother's Day dinner by Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis. We miss Mieko so much during these times, but it's nice to visit the places we used to go with her.

Next is Father's Day, the 4th of July, and then the anniversary of Mieko's passing. We are still working on getting a tree planted in the St. Paul park near our house. It will bring us comfort to be able to visit the place Mieko enjoyed and see her tree.

We were so proud of her last Spring, when she was able to walk with her walker all the way to the park. Later in July, we'll be going to the Support Organization for Trisomy 18, 13, and Related Disorders picnic in Roanoke, Virginia. We'll relase a balloon for Mieko like we did in Colorado last year. We met some incredible people and look forward to seeing them again.

Thanks to everyone for keeping us in your thoughts during this time. All the firsts are hard, but they're made easier knowing friends and family are with us. Of course, Hana keeps us smiling as well as our precious memories.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

6 Months and Feelin' Fine

Hana hit the six month mark and is moving right along. At her check-up, she weighed 15 pounds, 15 ounces (63%). She was 25.8 inches long (67%) and her head size was 16.9 inches (76%). So, it appears she's right in the middle of the pack for kids her age.

We've hit some milestones as well. Hana started eating solid foods. She really likes the fruits like pears and bananas. She also likes the orange veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes, but the green veggies...not so much. In fact, she gags on them and throws them up. Grandpa is going to be disappointed. Since we're just getting her used to solids, we won't be pushing the issue right now.

Hana also had her first tooth poke through on the bottom. The teething is making her drool like crazy, but she's not too fussy. She has her unhappy moments, but for the most part she's coping well. Her only other problem is the eczema on her cheeks. We've put her on a stronger cortisone cream and we've taken dairy out of her diet (and Mommy's). After a couple of weeks of these changes, it seems to be getting better.

She's getting closer to sitting up on her own, but still not quite there. We've pulled out Mieko's floor table and she's playing with toys while propped up against the couch. Hana's already playing with some of Mieko's favorite toys. It still amazes us how fast she's developing. Her hands are all over the place and her mouth too. She loves to grab fabric and crinkly things. She's getting very attached to a little blankie/teether.

We've been out walking a lot, sometimes more than once a day. Hana loves the backpack and looking around up high. We went to the Walk for Animals and she was fascinated with all the critters. It seems like she gets very chatty while we're walking around. We're looking forward to spending the rest of spring and summer out and about.

We hope to take another driving vacation too, but this time we'll be headed east to Roanoke, Virginia for the annual SOFT (Support Org. for Trisomy 18, 13, and Related Disorders) Conference. We'll release a balloon again for Mieko and meet up with many friends we usually only see online.

Last weekend, I attended a memorial service for those who passed away at Children's Hospitals last year. It was good to see some of the friends I've met through the Children's grief groups. Some of us really bonded. We all had a chance to light candles for the kids and share mementos, photos, and stories. It was a very touching outlet for the parents and siblings. There are few places where everyone in the room understands your loss, but it was also so sad to see the photos of all the beautiful children who are no longer with us. It was intense to see how deeply each child was loved, but also missed. I think we were all grateful for the opportunity to share, even if it was painful. One of the chaplains talked about how our experiences showed us we are capable of such great love. But, I think we were the lucky ones to be loved so well by Mieko.