It's extremely hard to believe that Sweet Pea is already 17 months old! And no, not because she doesn't look like a 17 month old and not because she doesn't act like one although those are both true. I just don't feel like I've known her for 17 months and maybe in part that is true (read the New Parents posting to understand that comment), but I'm glad that I know her now!!!! Oh, and let it be said that I do enjoy having her be a little baby for longer than I will get with baby #2, even if sometimes it is difficult.
So much has happened in the last few weeks that I need to try to remember and get written down here as I haven't done a birthday post in a number of months now (I know...bad Mommy).
Gross Motor Milestones:
Crawling: Army crawling very proficiently and uses her legs to help propel her instead of just dragging them along for the ride. Uses army crawling as her primary mode of transportation. Sweet Pea is still working on her true crawling (quadruped or on hands and knees), but she is now able to do it for a few feet instead of just a few inches. Yesterday she was showing off for us at a friends house and went 2-4 feet a couple different times. Every once in a while she does a couple of motions of bear crawl (crab crawl, up on hands and feet), but so far it hasn't become a habit.
Standing: Sweet Pea LOVES to pull up to stand now! She still doesn't do it very long, but it is getting longer. She will probably stand for 30 seconds most of the time, but can do 1-2 minutes if she really wants to. She has learned to bend her knees and use the appropriate muscles to get her into standing instead of just using her arms and stiff legs. While she is learning how to bend her knees to sit back down, she seems to forget this is what you are supposed to do most of the time. She starts hollering when she wants to sit, but if we tell her to bend her knees and sit, she is starting to remember and do it. This morning Daddy and I were awoken to her screaming and when I looked at the video baby monitor I see her near the top (raised) side of the bed with only her feet and calves showing because she was standing and couldn't figure out how to get back down apparently. Since we have her bed at an incline the top part of her bed is not very far down from the top of the railing and so now I have to worry about her lunging herself over the edge since she is a little dare devil! Either we need to put a tent on the crib (net thing that you zip up so that the child can't climb out) or we need to move her to a bed on the floor pretty soon. The tent is probably going to be a nuisance, but I'm not ready for her to be in a big girl bed yet! I think we will ask our pediatrician at her 18 month check up for her recommendations and in the meantime I will try to find the net and get it installed. Thanks Sister for handing down all the boys stuff!!!!
Language: Sweet Pea is definitely understanding a lot more than what she can express. Sweet Pea hasn't picked up too many new signs, but that is mainly because we aren't working on it with her like we should be. She now knows eat, more, please, thank you, all done (now it is always two handed!!), bye (this has unfortunately morphed into two hands when the all done did), and her newest word is dog. She picked dog up quite quickly and nearly every time she sees the dog she starts beating her belly. It's supposed to be hitting the side of your thigh, but she has chosen her belly so we accept it but keep showing her that it should be down on her thigh. She gets so excited when she signs it and we say dog! It's clear that she is putting two and two together. Now we just need to start teaching her more and more signs. I just learned the sign for music and so I'm starting that with her. Continuing to work on milk or drink as neither of those have been picked up yet. She does the sign for milk, but never when she means milk.
She has expanded her babbling sounds and will now babble quite regularly. I don't think she has said mama or dada specifically yet, but I swear that she is getting REALLY close if she isn't actually doing it yet. Tonight she was sitting on me half asleep and she just looks up at me with those gorgeous blue eyes and says mama in a half asleep voice and I almost started to cry. The reason I'm still not giving her credit for it is she immediately continues it with mamama and other sounds, but for a split second I thought we had it! She used to not speak in front of most people, but she is getting much more vocal regardless of who is around. The OT therapist at our local DS support group play date today was commenting on how well she expresses herself and interacts with those around her and another of the mom's pipes in with something about how Sweet Pea is extremely opinionated and isn't afraid to let it be known. I laughed because it is so true! This little girl will quickly let you know what she is thinking one way or another! When words do start coming they might be fast and furious and they might not be the words I'm hoping them to be. I can see NO being yelled at me in the not so distant future and many others that are even worse.
Eating: Sweat Pea doesn't like to eat for her parents. She continues to eat much better for daycare than she does for us. We keep saying that it is a good thing that she is at daycare more than she is at home! We have reverted back to giving her things that require chewing because she isn't open to the therapy method of getting her to learn to chew and so our only hope is to practice with real food which she is definitely willing to do. She loves veggie sticks, Kix cereal, baby goldfish, bread (we made breadsticks out of whole wheat pizza dough, but any bread will do), cake, cooked pasta with olive oil drizzled over it (anything to add a little healthy fat to her diet) and anything else carb based. She will tolerate many of the stage 3 baby foods and is starting to want to eat what we eat. With her dietary restrictions it makes things hard, but we do the best we can. She is back to eating soy and so we have her on soy yogurt many days which she seems to think is okay, not great but edible.
She is on the straw #2's in Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson's straw hierachy (www.talktools.net). She does pretty well with them, but boy are they a pain to clean. She also needs to put more than 1/4 inch of it into her mouth so we are working on improving that part.
Weight: She weighed 21 lbs 6 oz the other morning on our home scale!!!!! I'm anxiously awaiting our next doctor visit next Thursday for an official weight, but I'm optimistic that she will be in the mid 21's! She will finally be graduating from her infant carrier car seat into a convertible car seat (the kind that can face backwards and then when they reach 35 lbs or 2 years you can turn them around and use them forward facing). We don't know how long we will keep her rear facing for. It's safer to have them that way so I will try to do it for a long time, but 35 lbs could be 10 more years! Alright, not really, but it could be a VERY long time.
Therapy: Sweet Pea is currently getting 7 therapies a week! She has 2 PT, 2 OT, 2 Speech and 1 Infant Stimulation/Development. Between those appointments and her doctor appointments this is one busy little girl! She handles it all very well and we are pleased that most sessions of PT are no longer crying fits and I could not be happier that we FINALLY made the switch of PT's a few months back now. I'm not thrilled about our speech therapist, but since it is the only one within a reasonable distance, I'm "sucking it up". It takes us 20-25 minutes to get to speech which is annoying, but far better than the hour plus that it would take to get to the valley which is where the insurance company is telling me my only other choice is! We are hoping that Daddy's insurance will bring us some new options in January, but until then we are just doing the best we can.
Toys: Her favorite toys at the moment are:
1) the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse that lights up and plays music (I know...shocker that she likes something that lights up and plays music...but she actually was afraid of this for a little while and now she just adores it).
2) Next would probably be the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Say Please Tea Set that has a tea pot that sings and makes sounds when you open/close the lid and tip it over (she bangs this thing on the floor and unfortunately into Daddy's face and we are hoping she stops before he loses any teeth).
3) plastic water bottles...empty or full or somewhere in between are all just as good...don't know why she is so fascinated, but I love it because we normally have a water bottle accessible.
4) This is more of a game than a toy, but in the morning when Daddy is getting ready to take her to daycare I say goodbye and then she reaches for Daddy, when he has her then she reaches for me again. This used to just be a Mommy - Daddy - Mommy - Daddy move, but now she is wanting to go many more rounds and will even do fake outs on some of the transfers! It's very funny! The sad part is that when Daddy takes her out the door she has started to get a little upset. It doesn't last long, but it makes me sad to see her upset to leave me (but it also makes me so happy because she really does love me).
5) I am not sure this one counts, but her all time favorite toy right now just might be the bathtub...yep...that is right...the bathtub. Now it has to be filled with warm water for her to enjoy it, but when it is, boy does she love it! The squeals that come out of her when she hears the water running and we say/sign bath. I wouldn't be surprised if that is one of her next signs! This was the first place that she wanted to show off her new skill of pulling to stand and I think she is getting better at just kneeling in the tub as I don't want her to be standing for her own safety. She slipped once and wasn't too happy about it, but of course it didn't teach her so I'm trying to just keep her on her knees and tonight it went pretty well. Here is the proof...
Sweat Pea-isms: Her current signature move is this motion of putting her arms up in the air as in "who me?" or "I don't know" (without the shoulder shrug). We get comments all the time from people that see her doing this and think it is just the cutest thing. I can't argue! I don't think I've ever captured it on film so I will try to do that before it becomes a thing of the past for her.
Sleep: This is an area that has gone downhill. She still goes to bed at 7pm, but now she not only wakes up for her twilight feed sometime between 9 and 10:30, but now she wakes up anywhere from 1 to 3 times during the remainder of the night as well. She doesn't seem to need anything, but Daddy turns the seahorse toy on and she quiets right down again. Many times she doesn't even seem really awake. I wish I understood what was causing this or how to stop it. Maybe we need to just not go in there and let her cry it out? Daddy is really nice to me as he is a lighter sleeper and so he often gets up to deal with her and lets me keep sleeping (thank you Daddy). To top all the middle of the night wake ups, she is now also waking up closer to 5:30am! 6am was okay, but 5:30 is just too darn early! We normally ignore her until 6, but with the stunt she pulled this morning I'm not going to feel safe ignoring her until we get the net installed over her crib.
Overall Health: Sweet Pea has actually been VERY healthy recently!!!! (Knock on wood!!!!) She hasn't had a cold or a fever or anything in at least a month! This is so rare that we are really enjoying it. I know that cold and flu season is right around the corner, but I hope that it takes it easy on Sweet Pea this year. (As I was wrapping up this blog post Sweet Pea starts coughing in her sleep! Hope it is just a fluke!)
I apologize for this being such a long post, but since I haven't done a birthday post in a few months I wanted to make sure that I captured most of the highlights. Sweet Pea is becoming more of a little girl with her own personality every day and although it might drive me batty sometimes, I truly do revel in it and I love the little girl she is becoming. Her smile still melts my heart.