Monday, February 23, 2009

Valentine's Day

After several weeks of sickness, visitors, and serious health stress... Paul and I were really overdue for some quality time together and relaxation!! We were lucky enough to have Shari babysit for us on Valentine's day so that we could go golfing, come home for a short break to see Isabelle and get changed, and then again that evening for dinner. We went to 3rd Floor Fish Cafe in downtown Kirkland and were super lucky to get a reservation at such late notice. Humorously they apologized that 5pm was their only open reservation, which of course for us (with our early parenting bedtime) is perfect! It was a beautiful sunny day and we had a table right on the water overlooking sunset. It was so gorgeous I can't describe it. Paul enjoyed fresh King crab legs while I took a risk on a monkfish risotto with truffle oil (yum yum yum!). It felt very decadent to eat at a nice seafood restaurant with such a gorgeous view.

That morning we gave Isabelle her first Valentine's gift and card which she seemed to enjoy. We got her a little magnetic "doodle" board shaped like a heart. She seems to enjoy drawing on it as much as trying to identify the drawings we make.

New shoes are made for walking!

How could I write about anything else?

Walking and walking, and more walking is all we do these days with Isabelle. She is a maniac!!! As if walking around the house faster and faster isn't enough. She wants to walk up and down the sidewalk in front of our house 8 hours a day. She could care less if it's cold or if it's raining. She enjoys showing us the water in the storm drains (and signing "water" like Nanny Shari taught her), pointing out airplanes in the sky, and picking up various rocks and twigs. She also enjoys stomping on anything on the ground to see how it feels (even sidewalk chalk drawings we've done).

A week ago we bought her a new pair of sneakers now that she's walking so well. She is so unbelievably excited about these pink sneakers (see photo) that first thing in the morning while she's still in her pjs, she will walk over to a shoe, pick it up and sign "help" and will cry until she is dressed and has the shoe on her foot. I'm now regretting not getting her a more neutral color of shoe- if I had known these would be the only shoes she'd ever wear, I might have picked more carefully! Guess we'll have to do some more shoe shopping as she's already wearing these out!

She's also been practicing picking something up with one hand off the floor and then returning to standing without touching or leaning on anything. She's definitely working on her balance. And is now pulling self up to standing whenever she falls by spreading her legs really wide (almost splits) and then balancing self upright until she can walk again. It's funny looking but seems to work pretty well. Above is a photo of her working her way back up to standing.

Other skills she's been working on have been eating from a fork and spoon. She's really good at putting either in her mouth if I "prep" the food on the utensil, but still struggles with getting food on to it by herself. Sometimes she forgets and lapses into picking food off the spoon/fork with her bare hands to eat it by hand. Her favorite foods these days have been bananas (she calls "nananana"), chewing on apples or plums whole, and most anything we eat (lasagne, meatloaf, Chinese green noodles with chicken). Here's an exhuberant picture of her loving that apple! I think that the chewing has been easing some of her teething pain as she just got her 4th bottom tooth and is working on at least 1 molar.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Subacute Thyroiditis

A month ago my (awesome) OB/GYN doc screened me for thyroid problems due to my weight loss and found that I am hyperthyroid. Since then, I've developed more symptoms and recognized other symptoms that I already had including a sore neck, irritability, fatigue, hot flashes, rapid heartbeat, and serious serious insomnia. I've been going through tons of testing to help figure out how serious this is and whether or not I have the most common cause of hyperthyroid- an autoimmune illness called Graves Disease. So not only have I been feeling really crummy physically, but I've been very worried about possibly having a lifelong illness requiring pretty scary radioactive treatment.

The absolutely WONDERFUL news I got this week following some tests called "radioactive iodine uptake scans" is that I have thyroiditis rather than Graves disease. My endocrinologist said it could be post-partum caused or by a virus but either way it will eventually go away on its own. So now we're just trying to treat the symptoms and help me function better, and will keep checking my bloodwork to see when my thyroid starts to function better. Paul and I are both so relieved to get the good news that I am not condemned to a life of this problem!

Yes we have a walking maniac!!

So as you may know, Isabelle has been taking steps on her own for about a month now- but there is a gradual progression (at least for her) from 2 steps and pushing walker constantly, to 5-6 steps and landing on us, to walking in and out of rooms and across the whole house. Well she's reached the walking everywhere on her own stage now and has become literally OBSESSED with walking. It is all she wants to do. She walks to the front door and signs "help" all day long since she wants to walk outside in our front yard. Then she walks the length of the house over and over again. We took her to the "big" park here in our neighborhood today and all she wanted to do was walk the little trail around the park (not even get in the swing at all!). She is never done walking outside and has a little tantrum every time you bring her in. We're thrilled to see her feeling so proud and excited about her walking, but we're also feeling tired from supporting and trying to prevent her face-planting it right on our very rough aggregate driveway!!

Visitors and sickness, rinse and repeat...

We have had a very busy few weeks here. My brother Michael arrived for a week-long visit the day after Isabelle's shots. We were really excited for his visit since the last time he visited Isabelle was only 2 months old! Unfortunately he and Paul were both feeling under the weather at the start of his visit, and then Isabelle and I also succombed to the cold everyone seemed to have. So we were not the best hosts by any means. Despite all the sickness, we were able to squeeze in a decent amount of fun with Michael including lots of play time with Isabelle. He instantly was impressed by how much she's walking on her own since she's rapidly become very independent in her walking. She quickly took to him (despite his fears given how afraid she was of him in Utah) and even tried to say Uncle "Migo" repeatedly.

Paul generously watched Isabelle one day so Michael and I could go golfing together. He was unsure how he would do since it's been like 10 years since he last golfed. We had a blast!! We went to a really relaxed course so we weren't in any hurry, and had a ton of fun together. Michael did really well given how little he's golfed and it was nice weather to boot.

Another day we all went to the park at Lake Sammamish to feed the ducks (one of Isabelle's favorite activities recently). It was funny that as soon as we even pulled into the parking lot, she remembered our last time there with the ducks and started saying "duck duck duck" to express her enthusiasm. We even spotted a bird nobody could identify (even after looking through our bird books) so Michael concluded it was either a bird "molting" into another color or came here even though he doesn't belong here. Let me know if you know this bird!

Michael was nice enough to join me for dinner at Flying Fish in Seattle after a stressful day of doctor's appointments for me. We had a wonderful visit with Michael and also appreciated his self-sufficiency (walking to the park and ride to take a bus to visit friends in Seattle!) and flexibility as a guest. :) Isabelle enjoyed making animal sounds for him and learning to say the words in her little alphabet books.

The same day we booted Michael out to stay with his friend Kerrie, our good friend Ronda from Buffalo arrived for a stats conference here in Seattle. We haven't seen her in a few years and this was the first time she got to meet Isabelle so we were really excited for her visit! Despite us all being quite sick by the time of her arrival, we very much enjoyed seeing her and hope she escaped the "Moosman plague" without getting sick herself. We enjoyed playing a game with her, learning more about her scrapbooking skills, visiting the Cougar Mt. Zoo together, and eating Indian together. It was a short visit but great to see her! Isabelle instantly took to her, giving her big smiles frequently and handing her all of her legos one by one.

After all the visitors came and went and Paul and I were feeling better, Isabelle was still quite sick- blowing junk out her nose and coughing a horrible rattly cough. So on day 11 of her sickness we took her to her doc who suspected she had a sinus infection at this point and started her on Amoxycillin. Lucky for us she loves the pink bubblegum medicine and seemed to immediately start feeling better. :)