Birthday, anyone?

Savina First Birthday Selection

Well, that didn’t work out… I never got around to posting about Savina’s party right after her party, so the blog post will be cluttered with non-party stuff after all.

Look at that picture above… can you believe it? That little baby October 16, 2012, next to that big grown girl October 20, 2013. It happened so gradually that to me she still looks the same when I don’t put the contrast into perspective. I can’t believe she was this little once! And I can’t believe how she’s grown so much so unnoticably, so sneakily. And yet, that face remains just the same.

So Savina’s first birthday party was October 20th, and obviously, someone up above didn’t want this to go smoothly–at first. My in-laws were going to get here early to help decorate, but they got stuck in traffic, so they arrived later than anticipated. So not all of the decoration actually got done. The flag-banner was never put up. I forgot Savina’s birthday wand, never lit the “1” candle, nor the monkey candle. As I was putting the finishing touches on the cakes (the cake for the guests as well as the smash cake for Savina), I noticed that my home made frosting (a vanilla pudding, butter, marzipan-creme) had become hard in the fridge overnight (should have figured… with butter in it).IMG_5480 I had started baking on Friday, and was going to finish Sunday morning… well not so fast. First I needed to resoften the frosting for Savina’s smash cake. Of course, with everything being a bit hectic, I didn’t pay much attention and it all turned liquidy… oh boy. Luckily, the frosting I made for the cake for guests (same recipe, same ingredients) had not hardened overnight. Difference? —-that one had pudding sent from Germany in it, while the smash cake frosting had pudding from the US in it (I didn’t have enough German pudding powder for both). That is the ONLY difference. I used the same butter, same marzipan, etc. Wow! So in the end, Savina’s smash cake frosting was still a bit runny, after I had put it in the freezer for a short while. To top off our bad luck that day, our friend and musician Meryl, who was supposed to play music for the babies at the party, got sick.

Savina 1st Birthday-10Luckily, two things saved the day. First, John, a musician working for Meryl, was kind enough to step in for her on extraordinarily short notice. Thank you so much, John! I don’t know what I would have done otherwise! Next time I’ll have a contingency plan in place. Second, after the weather had started turning more into actual fall weather the week leading up to the 20th of October, and a forecast of rain for the 20th, I was so delighted to experience a summer-like day for Savina’s birthday party! It was beautiful! Warm, sunny, simply enjoyable. We made music outside, played with instruments, and babies had fun in the sandbox.

After our merry music making, we moved inside to unwrap gifts. Savina was spoiled! After that, it was time for the smash cake. I was surprised by how Savina reacted to that. I mean, considering she’s a delicate little girl, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was, because on her actual birthday, the 16th, she totally smashed her mini-cake: an apple cupcake I topped with nougat, whipped cream, and a raspberry. See below. When I brought out her smash cake, instead of going at it, she carefully picked off the raspberries. It was funny indeed, watching her probing forward. She did not want to touch the cake itself much at all. I suppose it may have to do with the frosting. I’m guessing she didn’t like it. (maybe that American pudding…). Instead, her friend Lucas decided that he was quite a big enough boy to step in and show Savina how it’s done. He had so much fun, we had to wash him in the tub afterwards.

I would have said some things about Savina’s actual birth day, but I’ll just leave that to the video I cut together:

Savina’s first birthday

Savina turns one

On to some development-updates and other stories.

Motor skills/problem solving:

Savina can “walk” so fast now, she can keep up with me when walking at a normal pace. When she wants to, she can “run” past me. I would say Savina can actually run when she chooses, but is not yet ready for a sprint-like run.

IMG_5719She can climb the stairs leading to our front door without a problem (and we never practiced it…), and otherwise wants to climb as much as possible. Any ideas how to give her opportunities to climb? Please do share. We don’t really have anything for her to climb on in the house!

Savina likes to spin around a lot.

Savina has finally started to put things into other things! Yay. She is also very intently trying to take off lids and caps and put them back on. When she fails repeatedly she becomes frustrated, but not for long. Then she tries again, when I show her how it’s done. She’s getting into opening and closing as well, especially doors.

Communication/social skills:

Signing

Savina returned to using the sign for “milk” to ask to nurse, right after pointing at my chest. It is interesting how she has gone through phases on that. At first, she signed “milk,” but quickly abandoned the milk sign for “drink,” then abandoned that in favor of only pointing at my chest, and now she points at my chest and then signs “milk” again. Also interesting: while she signed “drink,” she did sign “milk” only at night, when Daddy changed her diaper in the middle of the night just prior to bringing her into our bedroom for a nighttime nursing, after which she’d sleep in our bed with us the rest of the night.

IMG_5683A few days ago, Savina signed “more,” quickly followed by “milk,” after she had just nursed. Such a smart baby!

Savina has played with some new signs as well: she tried “sun,” “Daddy,” “diaper” and “please” once each, signed “hat” a few times, as well as “brushing teeth,” and “hot” when we get close to the stove when making dinner, and she consistently signs “outside,” when she wants to go out.

It seems like she’s trying to sign “washing,” has tried “bunny” a few times, and she’s trying to sign “all done.” I’m also getting the impression lately that she tries to sign “where” when I ask “wo ist…,” and sometimes she says “do” or “bo” when I ask “where is” and raises her hands (for the “where” sign). I wonder if she’s trying to say “wo” while signing it.

She has completely abandoned “drink,” and “eat,” and instead signs “more” like a crazy baby. When she signs “more,” she’s either requesting “more” of what she just had, or she means to say “I want.” For example, we’ll sit at my desk, and she’ll look at something like a piece of mail or whatever, and sign “more,” meaning, “I want to play with this.” Cries of defiance start, when I don’t allow her to have it.

Speech

IMG_5577Sadly, Savina stopped saying Mama since my last post, but at least she looks again when I ask her to look–well most of the time, anyway. Savina has also begun to say “no” since last Thursday. It’s so cute–how can you resist, or remain serious? Especially since she doesn’t just say a quick short “no.” She stretches it, and goes “nooooo” very casually. Soooooo adorable.

Check out her “no:” Savina says “no”

Quite some time ago she attempted to say “mehr,” which means “more,” but she hasn’t tried it for a while now. She was getting pretty good at it though. And then she tried it in English once, but hasn’t since.

Savina’s babbles have changed a lot at least twice if not thrice in the last few weeks. Sometimes she sounds as if she’s wearing braces. She babbles much, really trying to communicate.

Our little one is still good at listening to Mommy. She will stop most of the time when I say “no,” and has also recently learned what I’m asking when I say “please let go.”

Savinababy is also kissing again. Lots and lots, and almost every time we ask for one. Feeling so loved.

IMG_5839Now, you all know Savina is very used to the camera, since I’m so baby-photo/video addicted, but she has grown so used to it, she actually poses sometimes, and most importantly: once I took a picture of her, she leans forward and bends around, trying to see her photo on the display of the camera, as if to see if I did an acceptable job. It’s too cute.

I’m probably missing something, but oh well. It’s been soooo long since last I wrote. I just haven’t found the time. Anyway, there was one last thing I wanted to put down in writing and let my frustration out one more time:

This is about health care. Yes. Again. So, Savina’s lead test came back with slightly elevated levels (5). We happened to switch pediatricians at that time (for other reasons), and they wanted us to redo the test anyway, so we did it at the new pedi office. The test came back with again slightly elevated levels (6). So then they wanted to draw blood from a vein, to make sure the little prick in the finger/toe tests were accurate. That alone was a horrible imagination, but what had to be done had to be done, right? We went to C-Lab and waited for our turn. When we were called in, we sat on a chair in one of the rooms, Savina in my lap. The nurse came and I recognized her. I’d had her before, drawing my blood, and I remembered that I never felt a thing. I said to her: “I’m so glad it’s you!”

The nurse said, “Oh, I’m only here to assist her.” And she pointed at the other nurse. “She is far more experienced with drawing blood from babies.” I said, “I was really hoping it would be you, because when you drew my blood I felt nothing at all.” She was flattered, and the other nurse said, “Really? I trained her.” Yes, that reassured me, and maybe it shouldn’t have. The younger nurse really felt better if I let the other one do it, but the other nurse felt it was okay for her to try. So she felt Savina’s arm and concluded that she couldn’t feel her vein, so she was not confident enough to do it, and asked for the older nurse to do it instead.

Okay. The older nurse got ready and then said that we should move her to the other room, where they can strap Savina to a table.

Let me repeat that:

strap Savina to a table

Uhm…. no…?!! I said, “she stays right here in my lap.” The older nurse replied, “I’m only telling you what my supervisor is saying.” I said, “I’ll gladly talk to your supervisor.” So she brought her. The supervisor explained that it “will be easier and quicker” if we strap Savina to a table, and that I could still be there and hold her hand. I said, “I think it will be easier and quicker if I hold her right here–and less traumatic!” “Okay,” said the supervisor, “You’re her mom and it’s completely your choice, but know that if you can’t hold her still enough, we may have to poke her more than once.” I was okay with that, because I was confident in my ability to hold my baby properly.

The supervisor left and the nurse proceeded to prep Savina’s arm. She put the little armrest down to steady her a little more, and told me to hold Savina’s shoulder–that’s the most important part. I held her pretty well and still. She felt for the vein, put the needle in. Savina screamed.

The nurse could not find the vein. She poked around in her arm for what felt like at least a minute! I was already outraged at that but remained quiet, because I was hoping she would eventually find it and wanted this to be over with. Eventually the nurse gave up and removed the needle. She immediately put a bandaid on it. Savina was beside herself, seeking the comfort of my arms.

The nurse needed to try the other arm, and Savina knew what was coming and screamed before the needle even entered her skin. This time the nurse was able to find the vein and she drew the blood. Savina screamed further. This time the nurse did not immediately put a bandaid on. And of course at this point Savina was massively struggling to turn around so she could rest in her comfort zone, her chest against mine, her head against my shoulder. I couldn’t let her because I was holding the “bandage” or whatever it’s called on her arm. She struggled so much that I could hardly hold it down, and when it slipped, blood literally sprayed out like a fountain. I said to the nurse, “Could you please put a bandaid on her???!!!” Blood was on her clothing, and I literally had my baby’s blood on my hands.

When all was done, I hugged Savina and nursed her. My poor baby was so terrified. Can you imagine all this while being strapped down?!

After a while (we had received some water, and Savina drank from a cup for the first time!), the nurse returned, with another woman in tow. She didn’t look like a nurse–she was probably the office manager or so. She said to me that she just wanted to come and personally apologize— “we didn’t get enough blood.”

Let me repeat that:

we didn’t get enough blood

What?! I was furious. I asked why not enough blood had been drawn in the first place, and the woman turned to the nurse and said “that’s a question for you.” The nurse looked at me and explained that she thought she had enough, but when she left with it, she realized it wasn’t. I suppose she was afraid to take too much blood from Savina, because while she was drawing the blood, she had asked me how much Savina weighs.

The other woman then asked politely if they could draw more blood and whether I wanted the nurse to do it or “our outraged supervisor.”

I answered, “Honestly? I don’t know.” I could not really think clearly at that point. Put Savina through this horror a third time??? I did agree, but that was about all the decision-making I was capable of at the time.

The woman also suggested to take Savina into the “pediatrics room,” and I asked her what that was. She proceeded to tell me about the table to strap her down on. I couldn’t believe it! I said, “Oh that thing–I already refused that before.” Oh, okay.

They decided to have the supervisor do it. Savina screamed murder before she even got anywhere near her with the needle. The supervisor didn’t put the armrest down and the nurse asked her “you don’t use this?” The supervisor didn’t answer. Savina was steady enough, too. I held her well. She felt for her vein (on the arm the nurse couldn’t find the vein) for a long time. Then she stuck the needle in quickly, and deeper than the nurse had by what I could tell. She let go of the needle, released the rubber band, and picked up the needle again. The moment she picked it up, the blood started flowing. This went far more smoothly than with the nurse before.

The supervisor kept apologizing very dearly. I could tell she really meant it, really felt bad about what had happened. I told her I was about to cry myself. I also thanked her for letting me hold Savina.

Luckily the test came back as a 5, and no further testing is needed–there are no concerns.

Below is a picture of how the wound on Savina’s arm looked, where the nurse couldn’t find the vein. This is a day old, so it was much darker at first. I’m disgusted by the work that nurse did and will never have her service me or my daughter again.

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So, this is my horror-story. Sorry for the long post, but I really had to catch up on some things, and I haven’t even touched on everything. Thanks for reading through all this–I love you guys! Until next time.

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