This is sort of two posts in one, so it will be a little long. First off is Della's birthday. She turned 2 on January 7th. We had chocolate cake and although hesitant at first, once she realized what it was she dove right in. We gave her a birthday shirt (see above picture) and a giant exercise ball (pictured below) that she uses in speech, occupational, and physical therapy. She loves to chase it around the house and bounce on it.
We had set a goal that she would be walking by her second birthday but we knew a few months ago that wasn't going to happen. Although a little disappointed, Della has made so many improvements in the past couple of weeks and we are so thankful for that. Here are a few of her new "tricks."
She is interacting more with people around her. When someone lays down on the carpet, no matter where she is Della will crawl over to them. Here she is with dad.
She is playing with things in an appropriate way. If I give her my sunglasses she will try and put them on her face. If we give her a puzzle she will take the pieces out and then bang on the puzzle with one of the pieces showing us that she knows that they belong together. She will also take a toy bottle and try to put it in a doll's mouth (hitting the doll in the face with the bottle).
She is trying to climb the stairs...But she poops out pretty quickly...We are just happy to see some motivation in her. That's been a nice change considering her nickname is the laziest baby in the world (we mean that in a loving way).
She is also showing more curiosity in what's going on around her. This next picture is of Della trying to figure out what I am doing with the camera in front of my face. Again, we are glad to see some motivation.
Della has made HUGE strides in eating and communicating. Today marks one week since she has had baby food. I still spoon feed her baby cereal twice a day as well as a yogurt in the morning, but everthing else is finger food. We still have to help her sometimes with that as well, but she is getting the hang of it. We have also been working with a spoon...
Last Monday night she signed the word "more" and used it appropriately asking for more bubbles. The was so exciting. We have been trying to get her to sign since she was 10 months old and it was such a wonderful sight to watch her do this. She really wanted us to blow more bubbles and she was letting us know! Her motor skills are still behind so her sign for more looks like a modified clapping motion. But we knew what she was saying and it was an amazing feeling to communicate with her.
Part of her speech therapy is constantly talking to her all day everyday. Naming things (tree, dog, brother, door), describing what we are doing (putting on our shirt, closing the door, washing our hands), and anything else you can put into words. Yesterday I asked her where my eyes were and she took her pointer finger and stuck it right in my eye. I was so excited that I teared up a little bit, although part of that was probably from her poke.
Della got croup the Sunday before Christmas and it was scary. I started having all sorts of flashbacks to her RSV ordeal and I got almost no sleep for 3 nights. Chad was with her when she had a particularly bad attack and we decided to take her to the ER. They gave her a shot of steroids and a breathing treatment and she was immediately better. She continued the steroids and breathing treatments for 3 more day and all was back to normal again! This is a bad time of year of illnesses so those of you with newborns, stay inside and limit their exposure to people. Know the signs of RSV; grunting while breathing, tightening of skin between ribs, a "washing machine" sound when you put your ear to their chest, and more than 60 breaths per minute (Della's was at 120 when we got to the hospital). RSV season is from October to May and the peak months are in January and February. Infants born prematurely and who are under 5 months are the most at risk. Read more about it here.
Last thing... here is a video of Della eating ice cream. It is a little long, about 3 minutes I think, so fast forward a bit when you get bored. Unless you are a grandparent in which case you will probably love every minute of it...