Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crawling into 2010

Max is ready to leave 2009 behind. He got over his cold&fever bout of November-December, and has had a healthy two weeks -- active and happy, eating well, no sniffles. He has also really taken off crawling and seems to enjoy exploring his environment (see videos at the end of this post). His most recent conquest: going up the carpeted stairs (no videos of this yet). I am happy, grateful, full of amazement and so much more. There were many times in the last year that I wondered whether Max would be able to reach this point. At the same time we are so happy with his progress, I am also guarded -- does taking a small bit of pleasure mean that we'll have to pay a price tomorrow? next week? I realize it is magical thinking and yet can't help myself.

On the eating front, Max's weight stayed stable from Thanksgiving until mid-December. We were disappointed with no weight gain, but the GI nurse's view was that if Max was able to hold stable during the triple-threat (being sick, learning to crawl, and having Doris gone for extended periods during that time), he was actually doing quite well. She advised us to hold the course during the holidays, not weigh him or change his overnight feed volume. Next week, if Max is healthy, we will do another nighttime cut-back and see how he responds with eating during the day.

And now for some video treats to ring in the new year (taken about 10 days ago):

Max's Bottle Chase from Codered Summer on Vimeo.

In the Kitchen from Codered Summer on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The budding athlete

For the past several days Max and Felix have been enjoying a bout with a classic winter head cold. The best thing about these colds is that they remind me how idyllic life is when the kids don't have colds. In the same way, I wake up every morning and savor the sensation of not having a toothache. (Unless I actually have a toothache, in which case I take far too much Ibuprofen and hope it goes away. a surprisingly effective strategy.) The post-nasal drip and congestion are really hard on Max, because the mucus has to run down the same course as his feeding tube. It seems that his reflux is more aggressive and appetite worse when he's sick. This set of colds appear, knock on wood, to have run their course.

Another double-edged benefit of a cold is that Max is more likely to sneeze out his feeding tube, allowing us to take picture of him without his facetape. Here's a picture of him in the morning sunlight, holding a football:

With a football

Max is obsessed with balls of all kinds, and has shown some mastery of the football, whose aerodynamic properties are unfathomable to those of us who had to wait until age 8 to handle one. Indeed, more broadly, Max entertains himself with basketballs, soccer balls and so on for long stretches of time. It is my theory that he has inherited the sports gene that I sadly lack. Either it skipped a generation, or he got it from his mother, or possibly both.

The embedded video below (click here if you don't see it) shows Max catching, throwing and scampering after various balls. Indeed, over the past couple of weeks, Max seems to be diligently studying the fine art of crawling. He doesn't (as you'll see) have the skill mastered, but he's getting better.

Carolyn asked that I produce a concise best-of-Max-crawling video to avoid boring everyone. It's surprisingly difficult to cook 45 minutes of raw footage into a 90 second highlight reel. So far the best I've been able to manage is the seven-and-a-half minute video below. At least you get to listen to Alan Bean describe a sunrise while on a spacewalk.

Max at play from Codered Summer on Vimeo.