Saturday, March 26, 2011

Catching Up

Sorry for the huge gap in updates! Once I started falling behind, it always seemed more and more daunting to catch up...but here's a big update, and hopefully I will keep at it more regularly in the future so they will be smaller and more timely!

Theodore continues to be a wonderful, happy child. He turned 18 months old this month, which is still a shock to me! The time has flown. As I posted previously, he is now walking. This has really opened up both his and our worlds, which has been great fun. He's very enthusiastic and loves to march all over the place. He's still learning his balance and posture, but works hard at it! He loves to be busy and active, and is always on the go.

Enjoying his new big boy shoes on his 18th month birthday!

He's been really blossoming into a little boy, rather than a baby. One of his new favourite things is "helping" me around the house. He loves to put away cutlery in the dishwasher, and claps his hands after each piece goes in! He also makes sure to shut any drawer or cupboard I've left open. He will fetch his shoes and socks before going out, and is very cooperative about getting dressed. It's all quite adorable. Of course, he's also finding ways to get into new scrapes all the time too; recent events have included a short drop face-first into concrete, and three times he harassed the cat so much he got scratched. No lasting harm done, except to my nerves! He can brush things off very easily, and never gets very upset.

We've also started doing different art projects, which has been lots of fun. It's exciting that we can do more planned activities at this point, and that it will only continue to get more interesting! Theodore's favourite activity is playing with stickers. He's created some beautiful masterpieces, if I do say so myself, and we've been mailing them out as they are created. Let me know if you would like one!

Painting yourself is the best part of fingerpainting!

We continue to go to many appointments, etc. Theodore's latest session of Gym Kids just ended, and we are now moving up an age group! I kept him in the 9-15 month class beyond that age range since he wasn't walking yet, but now that he is, we will be trying out the 18-24 month group. It's the same teacher in the same room, so hopefully he will enjoy it! We still go to physical therapy once a week, which continues to be an amazing, beneficial experience. We have also started speech therapy once a week, for half an hour right before PT. It's a bit of a heavy morning, but they're across the street from each other, so it works well. We've only had three speech sessions so far, but they seem like they will be very helpful, and we like our therapist, Miss Lydia, very much. Theodore still does not have any words, but his vocalizations are changing and becoming broader. He has also learned a few useful signs, mainly "all done/all gone", "more", and "me". We believe he has some low muscle tone in his jaw/mouth area (he has overall low muscle tone as well) so the therapy is partly focusing on that.

We are still with the Early Start program and having an infant educator visit, but at Theodore's review next month I may end that, as we are so heavily booked up and it is the least useful of our appointments. We also visited a GI doctor and an occupational therapist this month to consult about Theodore's weight, and have been going to weight checks at the pediatrician frequently. At his 18 month checkup he was just under 20lbs. He is, finally, trending upward in weight gain, but still remains very small. This seems to just be the way he is, but we feel good about checking out all of the possibilities. The GI doctor took one look at his chunky thighs and declared himself worry-free about Theodore's weight!

We are also having a full assessment done at one of the Stanford clinics next week - behaviour and development, a more thorough version of the Early Start one. Again, we're just covering all our bases. We're also set up to finally see Genetics due to his foot July! They're quite busy, obviously!

As you can see this all keeps us *very* busy. In addition, we try to go to the Y three times a week, and on outings several times a day. We were lucky to have tremendously good weather in January and most of February, and would go to the park for hours every day. The past two weeks have been extremely rainy, however, which has made parenting a toddler more challenging! We have been to the pet store to look at the animals rather a lot... We also fully converted the unused space in our oddly-configured living room into a play place for him, complete with wooden play table and a bookshelf (which is actually a library cart!) He also just got a comfy armchair, so we are able to spend a lot of time there, and running around the house, which is fun.

Enjoying his new play table and train set

We were lucky to also have lots of visitors lately. Grandma Carole and Granddad Bill were here in February. Granddad stayed for 10 days and then Grandma stayed an extra 6 days. Theodore loved their company. Best of all, they helped us change his sleeping patterns, and did so gently with almost no tears! Theodore is now put in bed awake and falls asleep on his own while someone sits in the glider in the room, reading or playing on their phone. He is also (usually) no longer nursing during the night until 5am. We are all sleeping better and are very happy about it. He is currently having a regression due to teething - the top two canines came through almost simultaneously, and it looks like the bottom two are trying the same trick - so are back to being rather sleepy, but he will accept Billy soothing him back to sleep in the night, so I sleep at night and Billy sleeps in the morning!

Theodore's Auntie Catherine also came for a weekend at the beginning of March. She was a wonderful house guest and is a fantastic aunt to her nephew! We had a great time going to the market and to a kids' museum in Berkeley.

That's about all that's new! Billy and I are doing well also. We were able to go out on a few dates while we had visitors, which was really nice for us as a couple. I unfortunately developed mastitis two weeks ago after Theodore cut down on his nursing, but I've recovered and hopefully will not experience that again! Other than that, we're not as interesting as Theodore - we don't really have any new tricks! As always, here are photos, and just one little video from the Berkeley museum.

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