Thursday, April 24, 2014: The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For…

An exciting new development happened tonight! (Click the link below!)

Woo hoo, Greta!!

We are so proud of our little girl!

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Saturday, February 22, 2014: March for Babies!

This spring, Elliot, Greta and I are taking part in the March of Dimes March for Babies! For those who are not familiar, the March of Dimes is an organization who’s mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Their Prematurity Campaign was launched in 2003 to address the crisis of premature birth and to assist those families affected by this life-changing event.

Because we are among the extremely small percentage of those whose premature birth came with no warning or no explanation, we want more than ever to help in any way that we can. We are choosing to walk this year under a team that originates from the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital.

When you see our amazing girl today, she is a chatty, mobile, independent, smart, hilarious and capable little girl.

Snow Day with Mama! Greta 17 Months (14-months)!

Snow Day with Mama! Greta 17 Months (14-months)!

Yet, sometimes, some people may forget that she had an extremely rough start to life. Greta fought through and endured more in her 130-day hospital stay than any human being ever should in their lifetime.

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You can read more about our walk and our fundraising goal at the link listed below:

http://marchforbabies.org/Redmann

Thank you in advance for anything that you are able to contribute toward our goal! I know Greta appreciates it too!

Greta 17-months

“Thank you! Love, Greta”

January 16, 2014: Homecoming Anniversary!

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Greta’s homecoming!

It’s hard to believe that we went from this tiny baby girl on oxygen, an apnea monitor, an oximeter and a number of different medications …

1.16.13 - Greta's first night at home!

1.16.13 – Greta’s first night at home!

to the, bouncy, always-happy and goofy chatterbox that she is today!

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Greta must have sensed that a special day was coming and wanted to eek in just one more milestone for this past year. In recent days, she has gone from 0 to 100 with her latest development… Crawling! (Click to watch!)

Greta’s verbal skills continue to flourish! We can only assume that it’s thanks in part to all of the reading she does while we are at work. Kudos to Greta’s awesome nanny, Katie, for catching this precious moment earlier this week!

Greta the book worm!

Greta the book-worm!

Greta has become very good at mimicking sounds and she is even picking up on a few specific words. “Pup” is pretty popular and is used in a variety of settings, and for some reason, unbeknownst to us, she has recently taken to calling Mama, “Pa.” We’re not entirely sure where this came from but we assume that it will eventually become “Mama” at some point.

She can locate her tummy and her glasses if you need her to and if you ask her how big she is, she will show you, (Spoiler alert! She is “Sooo big!”).

In addition to mastering the art of crawling this week, she also started to walk if we hold her hands. It’s pretty rudimentary but it’s the right idea!

We can’t believe we’ve been home as a family for one year! It’s nice to finally have reached the point where we can think back or say, “Last year at this time…” and actually have a good memory to go with it.

December 29, 2013: Months in Review

We realize that it’s been a long time since we’ve updated this blog but we’ve been busy living life and watching Greta turn into a little girl! Since a lot has happened since she turned one in September, we will provide a pictorial update of her last few months with a few notes sprinkled in. Warning… lots of pictures ahead!

Stats: At Greta’s 15-month appointment (corrected to 11.5 months) on December 9, she weighed 18 pounds, 9 ounces and was 29.25 inches tall! Compared to other female micro-preemies, the growth charts indicate that she is a taller than average, slender little gal.

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Greta spent the fall perfecting her sitting skills and trying out lots of new foods. She enjoyed her second Halloween by staying up until 7:30 and helping hand out candy!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Greta eats like a champ and has no problem diving right in to whatever we put on her tray. Who wants spaghetti?!

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November brought Greta’s baptism. She wore a dress that Grandma wore in 1951, Mama wore in 1981 and cousin Claire wore in 2008.

Greta with her Godparents

Greta with her Godparents

Baptism after-party and the all-cousin picture (Roxie had to sneak in there too).

Cousins!

Cousins!

Greta started to combat-crawl around the floor in November and also began standing up against furniture and pulling herself up from a seated position. Her language skills have also been exploding since November. She makes lots of different sounds, says Dada, Mama, Ox (Roxie) and her favorite word seems to be “dots.” Not sure why but she just loves that sound! She has always been very focused on what people say to her and she can replicate various consonant sounds that we make.

She is looking more and more grown up these days…. not the tiny baby we had at this time last year, that’s for sure.

Eating an afternoon snack and looking so grown up.

Eating an afternoon snack and looking so grown up.

We started off December with a photo shoot of Greta and her cousin, Elise. I’m so happy that these two sweet girls will grow up together! It will be so fun for them (and for their Mamas too!).

Matching ballerinas!

Matching ballerinas!

Greta learned to wave and blow kisses in December. One day, I went in to get her from a nap and she was sitting up in the corner of the crib just waiting for me. As soon as I opened the door, she started waving as if to say, “Hey Mom, over here!”

This month also brought Greta’s second Christmas. Since we didn’t really have a Christmas last year or take any time to enjoy the season, we went all out this year. We pulled out all the stops for decorating and listened to Christmas music for most of the month. Greta certainly enjoyed having the Christmas tree in the corner of the living room. She loves the lights and has probably tried to get at it at least once per day!

Did someone say, "cookie?"

Did someone say, “cookie?”

I said, I'm ready to open these!

I said, I’m ready to open these!

Greta and Roxie continue to be best buds. Roxie is so great at tolerating the tugging and petting by Greta and Greta loves to touch her soft fur and doesn’t really mind when she gets licked on the face. Frankly, she generally gives a hearty laugh afterward!

Best friends.

Best friends.

We are looking forward to what the next few months will bring! Greta had a fantastic follow-up appointment at the NICU where they said that she is doing so well that they don’t need to see her for one whole year! Greta is so close to crawling and is getting better and better at standing. She is definitely a mobile little gal and it is so fun to watch her explore the world around her and figure everything out.

Happy First Birthday, Greta!

Greta Elise is one!

Happy First Birthday, Greta Elise!

Happy First Birthday, Greta Elise!

We celebrated Greta’s big day with a party that was attended by her aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and her nanny!  We had so much fun planning her pink-themed party and everything turned out just as we had envisioned. To top it off, our laid-back little gal handled the crowd, excitement and attention like a star!

We chose the theme “pink” for this party because, well, she’s a little girl and nothing says little girl more than PINK! So, I ran with it (and ran and ran…). As far as decorations go, we made some pink tissue paper puff balls that we hung from the ceiling, purchased some balloons for outside so that it was obvious that we were celebrating a very special girl and we had fun making our dessert buffet a little extra special.

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We created a monthly photo display that showed the progression of our teeny-tiny baby girl into the silly, little bear cub that she is today. It is so fun to see how her looks change and see where her personality really starts to show itself. No party is complete without desserts so we had white cupcakes with pink frosting, served on our crafty little home-made cupcake stand, as well as some sugar cookies with, you guessed it, pink frosting.

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We staged Greta’s cake smashing opportunity as she technically isn’t old enough to have the eggs, milk or sugar that went into the cupcakes. So, we got some pictures, sang Happy Birthday and then replaced the cupcake with a tray full of her little snacking puffs. She was none the wiser. 😉

All in all, Greta had a fantastic birthday party and we are so grateful that she was able to spend it with those who love her most!

Greta and all of her cousins!

Greta and all of her cousins!

One Year Stats: weight: 16 lbs, 6 oz; height: 27.5 inches

Greta’s pediatrician gave us the latest growth chart/percentile stats that compare her to both full-term, one-year-old girls and full term 9-month-old girls. Greta finally appears on the charts (barely, but she is on there!). Compared to all other 1-year olds, Greta is just under the first percentile for weight but is at almost the 8th percentile for height! When looking at other 9-month olds, she comes in at just under the 10th percentile for weight and around the 50th for height! Her pediatrician was thrilled with these numbers and was especially pleased  to say that she is growing “beautifully” in the height department.

Thursday, August 29, 2013: Summer Adventures Continued

August continues to provide lots of new adventures for Greta. We were lucky enough to spend a few beautiful days with our extended family on the lovely Leech Lake. Greta enjoyed spending as much time as we would allow bouncing in her jumper. Inside, outside, in the jumper-roo, on laps, on the floor – anything was, and still is, fair game for a bounce-fest. I must say though, the jumper-roo is clearly doing its job as Greta tries to bounce at all times and now tries to stand as we hold her. 🙂

Ahh, this is the life.

Ahh, this is the life!

Of course, no weekend spent with Greta’s very best friend and beautiful cousin, Elise, would be complete without a matching-outfit photo shoot. Let’s just say this isn’t the first one and certainly won’t be the last!

"Hey, let's both suck our hands and look over there!"

“Hey, let’s both put our hands in our mouths and look over there!”

Since a photo shoot can be taxing for the little ones, we figured that they needed some R&R. Thus, we deemed it the appropriate time to don their new swimwear and give the baby-pool a go. All in all, both seemed a bit confused by the whole thing but seemed to tolerate the situation pretty well.

"hmmm, at least we are in this together."

“hmmm, at least we are in this together.”

Greta did very well considering we were in a different place and had a lot more excitement than the day-to-day routine that she is used to. This summer, she has proved over and over that she is a laid back, easy-going and happy little girl and we are so proud of her!

Laying in the hammock with Daddy

In the hammock with Daddy

This past weekend, Greta got to experience one of the very best days of the year. The glorious and fabulous Minnesota State Fair. While we enjoyed a giant cinnamon roll for “breakfast,” she gobbled up her very own bowl of applesauce brought from home; and while we enjoyed all sorts of other deep-fried delicacies, she, sadly, just had to watch. Maybe next year, Greta.

"Umm, Mom, is one of those deep-fried Oreos for me?"

“Umm, Mom, are one of those deep-fried Oreos for me?”

While we chose to avoid navigating the stroller through nearly all of the buildings, we did brave the crowds to visit one special place. It’s not a subliminal message if it’s guaranteed to happen right? Ski-U-Mah, Greta, Ski-U-Mah.

Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

Greta is more vocal than ever and loves telling us all about her day. In fact, in one of this week’s daily notes from Greta’s nanny she said, “She talked my ear off!” It’s pretty fun to hear her chatting, laughing and almost shouting.

We’ve also been working on baby sign language. We are starting with the basics: food, more, water, Mama, Daddy. I think we, as well as her nanny, have seen her correctly use the sign “more” on a several occasions and we have seen an action that resembled “food.” Since it was at the correct time, in the high-chair with the bib on, we treated it as an accurate sign on her part and offered her some food ASAP. She could very well have just been putting her hand in her mouth as that’s a pretty regular occurrence but hey, gotta start somewhere.

SUMMER is awesome!

SUMMER is awesome!

August 9, 2013: 11 Months Old!

Today, Greta is 11-months old!

11 Months Old!  15.5 pounds & 26.5 inches tall

11 Months Old!
15.5 pounds & 26.5 inches tall

The last few weeks have been full of adventures and new milestones for our little gal. Late July brought Greta’s first Twins game and her first family vacation. Initially, Greta was a bit overwhelmed at the sights and all the new, raucous sounds of the ballpark, but after a brief snooze, she was up-and-at-‘em and enjoying the game as much as we could expect from a little one. Elliot was thrilled to share his passion for the Twins with his little girl! I couldn’t tell you if the Twins won (sadly, it’s safe to say probably not) but, I can say that we enjoyed the beautiful summer day with Greta and had fun catching up with some friends.

Greta wondering if she will recognize any of the names on the Twins roster... Daddy laughing at that thought.

Greta wondering if she will recognize any of the names on the Twins roster… Daddy laughing at the thought!

Our little family, minus the pooch, headed up to Duluth for a three-day getaway. Our accommodations suited us perfectly. Greta had her own little room, and we had our own balcony, overlooking Lake Superior. The days were filled with walks and general relaxation. While Greta napped, Elliot and I played cards for the first time since last summer, a simple little pleasure that we thoroughly enjoyed. Of course we also followed, with bated-breath, all the details and breaking news of the royal baby’s arrival. 😉

Greta learning all about the shipping industry on Lake Superior.

Greta learning all about the shipping industry on Lake Superior.

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Greta experienced her first restaurant outing and she did awesome! Not only did she prove she could handle restaurants, she quietly enjoyed the 2.5 hour drive and slept in the hotel like the little rock-star that she is. I had some concerns that the nights would be a bit rockier than we are accustomed to as she was in a pack-n-play and a foreign space, but we turned on her night-time tunes and she drifted off, not to wake up until morning!

Greta continues to expand her taste pallet and has discovered the yumminess of peaches and pears! We’ve also started offering her small sips of water out of big-girl cups and it is amazing how old she looks when we see her in the high-chair with puffs on the tray and a tiny glass of water by her side!

Thirsty!

Thirsty!

Another exciting discovery has been Greta’s realization that the jumper-roo is AWESOME! She bounces and giggles and smiles while she is in that monstrous apparatus! I guess the fun she has makes up for the fact that it seems to take up all available floor space for whichever room we happen to be in. Since her toes barely touch the ground, we have to bring the ground to her by placing a pillow or some books just under her feet – she doesn’t seem to mind one bit!

Jumpy-jumper!!

Jumpy-jumper!!

Greta has more excitement coming! She will be heading up north one more time this summer and she will celebrate the big O.N.E. in the coming weeks with a special party just for her. Invites have been ordered and party plans are underway!

"Did you say party, Mama?"

“Did you say a party just for me, Mama?”

July 18, 2013: 10 Months Old!

Greta is 10-months old already!

Greta's first 4th of July!

Greta’s first 4th of July!

It’s been a while since we’ve posted but in that time while we were away, Greta has had: two colds, one double ear infection, one round of pink eye and popped through two bottom teeth! We’ve also managed to paint our entire living room/dinning room/entry way, build and hang a planter box on our front window and somehow manage to find time to see a few friends and family in between. Needless to say, there’s been a lot going on!

Greta met GG (Great Grandma) for the first time! Greta, Mama, Grandma and GG! (And of course, Roxie!)

Greta met GG (Great Grandma) for the first time! Greta, Mama, Grandma, GG and Roxie

In other Greta-is-getting-so-big news, she has started eating bananas and sweet potatoes, rolling from her belly to her back and this girl simply can’t get enough of her feet! She continues to be a champion sleeper and she is guaranteed to make us laugh each and every day.

Reading with Daddy!

Reading with Daddy

Greta also got to spend some quality time with her adoring cousin, Claire! I think Greta is going to want to be just like her some day. I like to think that I caught the two of them telling secrets and giggling about whatever it was they just said… give them a few years and that just might be the case!

Giggles!

Giggles!

Greta has some exciting times ahead and we will be sure to share them with everyone. Coming up soon, Greta will get to experience her first Twins game, spend some time on the shores of Lake Superior and enjoy time at a lake cabin. So far, this is shaping up to be a very nice first summer for our girl!

Sunday, June 16, 2013: 9 Months Old

Greta is now just over 9-months old! She weighs in at 13 lbs, 12 oz and is 25.5 inches long!

Happy to spend a day home with Daddy!

Happy to spend a day home with Daddy!

We just had our 9-month check-up and learned that Greta is “off the charts” in terms of her height and weight percentiles. Greta’s growth charts compare the height & weight of other 25-week preemies as opposed to 9-month olds, or even to babies that would match Greta’s corrected age, as that wouldn’t be a fair comparison. We are thrilled to know that Greta is gaining more weight and growing taller than most all of the other 25-weekers out there! Grow Greta, grow!

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Greta continues to wow us every day! She had a NICU follow-up appointment that consisted of meeting with an Occupational Therapist, one of the NICU Fellows and the head of the NICU Follow-up Clinic. All three doctors felt that Greta was doing SO well that they determined that we can skip our 8-month (corrected-age) follow-up appointment and just come in for the one-year (corrected-age) appointment! That was the BEST possible news that we could have received. When we went down to the NICU floor to visit Greta’s nurses, some of them had already heard the great news and were thrilled to come and see our amazing little gal.

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We’ve started offering rice cereal and oatmeal a couple of times each week… It’s clearly something we need to work on!

num, num, num...

num, num, num…

 

We started out Elliot’s first Father’s Day with an outdoor reading of “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.” Then, during Greta’s naps, we worked on our gardens and enjoyed the lovely day.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy! Love, Greta & Photo-bombing Roxie

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! Love, Greta & Photo-bombing Roxie

Let's go for another walk!

Let’s go for another walk!

 

Summer Clothes!!

Summer Clothes!!

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Sunday, May 19, 2013: 36 weeks & Field Trips!

Greta is now 36 weeks (21 weeks adjusted) and let me tell you, someone put a quarter in her today… what a ham!

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Greta spent the day hanging out with her cousins and getting some fresh air at her aunty & uncle’s house. This was the second of two field trips for our little Greta over the last few days. Earlier in the week, Greta also was able to go and watch her daddy play softball! As you can tell, didn’t miss a play…

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35 Weeks (20 weeks adjusted):

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Since this particular day was over 90 degrees, I was able to break out Greta’s new summer wardrobe. It’s so fun to pick out what she should wear each day. (Now, if only I felt that way about my own clothes…). Greta’s 4.5 year-old cousin asked me today, “Does Greta have a lot of clothes?” Um…..

A few days before the thermometer hit 90, it was of course 50 and windy, so we bundled up and headed over to visit Daddy, Aunty Betsy, Uncle Anders and her cousins at our yearly plant sale. We felt the flower hat was an obvious must for this particular occasion.

On my way to Daddy's plant sale!

On my way to Daddy’s plant sale!

We continue to work with Greta on rolling, tummy time and we’ve also been working on sitting. Just look at that focus! And those cheeks! 🙂 Greta’s days with her nanny are filled with stories, floor play time and walks around the neighborhood. I think the two of them are hitting it off quite well!

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