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Baby Development

As Nora rapidly approaches her 6 month birthday we find ourselves in the midst of many firsts, first tastes of food included. The last few weeks I have really noticed her starting to take a big interest in watching me eat. And, if I happen to be holding her while I’m eating she often tries to grab my food or drink and is always very intently watching what I am putting in my mouth. I figured since she seemed to be showing so much interest in what we are eating I would pick up some baby cereal and give it a go.

Today was the big day. While I was at the grocery store I picked up some baby cereal and this afternoon after we picked up Maya from school I gave her her first bites of food. She was…intrigued. I seriously love the faces they make when trying new foods, especially those first few times. When you are used to strictly breast milk I can only imagine what it must be like to taste something so foreign and different.

We’ll call this first shot at eating solids a success. She didn’t love it, but she definitely didn’t hate it either. I’m guessing once she gets to the tasty foods like peas, sweet potatoes, apples and peaches she’ll be a much bigger fan!! It will be interesting to see if she so willingly opens her mouth for the spoon tomorrow ;)

Anna’s favorite activities are those that require quiet concentration. From birth her personality has been that of quiet observer. As I watch her take in the world I can almost see the sponge within her absorbing and expanding. She is happiest reading books, coloring or building with her duplo blocks. She will concentrate for great lengths of time on these activities, taking pride in her work and gladly showing off what she has created with a very proclamation of “Look!!” as she holds up her creation for all to see.

So, yesterday, since Maya had the day off school and I was trying to come up with an extra fun activity for us to do I decided to let both girls paint. Painting has always been one of Maya’s favorite things to do, but, up until now I had not let Anna in on the fun. I taped together several pages from the big coloring pad Anna got for Christmas and I let her have at it (knowing a great mess was likely).

From the first stroke Anna was in heaven!

The look on her face was priceless. She was so proud of herself :)

Part way into our painting project she realized that Maya’s pictures were much more colorful than hers and started to ask for more colors. She asked for “boo” and “low” (blue and yellow). Eventually her little paint tray was filled with every color of the rainbow and she was delighted!

I’d say painting is likely going to be a new favorite activity for my budding little Picasso :) It won’t be long now before crayons no longer cut it and she is asking for paints whenever the creativity bug bits.

Anna sure comes by this love of colorful creation honestly, her big sister is quite the little artist herself.

Our sweet girl is 18 months!

Weight: 21lbs (15th percentile)

Height: 30.5 in (20th percentile)

Head Circumference: 18.5 in (70th percentile)

She had her 18 month well-child check up with her pediatrician this morning and Dr. H confirmed what we already know about our girl…she is perfectly awesome :) As you can see from her stats above she is still rocking her tiny peanut status. I expected the numbers to confirm that she is still my bitty little girl since at 18 months she still wearing mostly 9 month and 12 month sized clothing. I put an 18 month shirt on her the other day and she was swimming in it. It is kind of nice because I’m getting a ton of wear out of her clothing.

Developmentally, Anna is doing great. Dr. H was very impressed with the incredible strides Anna has made since her 15 month check with respect to walking. She is doing very well with her gross motor skills and is off the charts when it comes to her fine motor skills and her verbal development. Her vocabulary is huge for her age. Our girl is, in the words of Dr. H, “perfectly awesome”.

Anna’s current favorite activities including reading, coloring and playing with her big sister. Her concentration is crazy good for her age. She’ll sit by the book shelf and read books forever. When she is coloring she concentrates very carefully and gets right into. She loves to show off her drawings with a very proud “look” when she is done. Maya and Anna play well together most of the time, which is so nice because Anna really does adore her big sister and loves playing with her.

This is one of my favorite ages. There is so much learning and exploring and growing going on inside their little minds at this age. I love watching it happen. I love watching her explore the world and see what she takes away from it. Every day she wakes up a little bit different than the girl she was the day before. It is wonderful to part of her growth. Love you to pieces sweet Anna B.

Who needs sleep?
Well you’re never gonna get it.
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what’s that for?
Who needs sleep?
Be happy with what you’re getting.
There’s a guy who’s been awake
Since the Second World War

-Who Needs Sleep, Barenaked Ladies

Whenever my kids (and by kids I mean Anna) are keeping me up at night and I’m feeling a little extra tired this chorus from the Barenaked Ladies song, Who Needs Sleep?, plays on repeat in my head. Like right now for example. It is on constant repeat because Who Needs Sleep? This girl needs sleep.

Anna is suffering from a double whammy of teething, she is working at least 2, possibly 3, molars and has a cold that just won’t go away. This double whammy is keeping her up at night. Several times every night for the past week or so, some nights every couple of hours, I hear her stir in her bed and beginning whimpering and eventually crying. Between the stuffy nose making it hard for her to breath and the pain caused by her molars trying to break through the skin she just isn’t sleeping well and that makes her mad, which makes her cry. Most of the time she isn’t even completely awake, she’s just whimpering and crying in her sleeping (poor thing) and I don’t have to physically get up and go rock her. Other times I have to go pick her up and rock her for a bit to calm her down and get her back to sleep.

This lack of sleep is getting to me. I feel as though I’m operating on fumes at this point. What I wouldn’t give to sleep in until *gasp* 7am and feel rested for a change. Even going to bed early doesn’t help because being woken up every few hours by the sound of Anna’s whimpers and cries, even if I don’t have to actually get out of bed each time, doesn’t make for a restful sleep. I’ve tried tylenol and motrin at night to help with the teething pain, I’ve tried the humidifier and vaporizer in her room to help with the congestion but nothing is working right now. She is uncomfortable and it is causing her to have a restless sleep, which makes her sad and pissed off, so she cries out. Who can blame her? I feel so bad for her and I wish there was more I could do for her (for her sake and mine).

Who needs sleep? I do, and so does my sweet little Anna. For now, neither of us are getting much of it so the chorus keeps playing over and over in my head. This too shall pass and those stubborn teeth will pop through and this endless cold will go away and we’ll both get back to sleeping at night. In the meantime, pass the caffeine.

When I had Anna at the pediatrician for her 15 month check up the doctor asked a very standard question “So, is she running and climbing.” My response, well it wasn’t so standard, “Climbing, yes, she’s climbing. Running, no. She actually isn’t walking yet.” After a brief conversation about what she was able to do, like pulling up, walking while holding onto something, etc the doctor recommended that we have Anna evaluated by early intervention if she wasn’t taking independent steps by 16 months.

Fast forward to mid-November when Anna hit the 16 month mark. She still was not walking and had only taken a few independent steps. I phoned and got her all signed up to be evaluated by an early intervention physical therapist. Turns out they won’t just evaluate one thing so I had to prepare for a 2-3 hour evaluation that would include gross and fine motor development as well as language development. It seemed a bit overkill to me considering she can hold a crayon with an almost perfect tripod hold, can use a spoon and has a very large vocabulary and speaks in several word phrases regularly, but whatever. When I made the appointment the first available evaluation appointment was in mid-December!

Our appointment was supposed to be next week, but then Anna decided it was finally time to give this walking thing a try :)

I can’t tell you how happy I was to see those first little steps. It is always exciting when your child starts taking their first steps but when you wait so long to see them they seem that much more special. Every day she is getting better and better. She still prefers crawling, but each day walks more independent steps than the day before. Our appointment with early intervention has been canceled. Just as I suspected all along, she just needed to do it in her own time.