Monday, January 19, 2009

Della Turns 2

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...

Almost there...


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...

Friday, January 09, 2009

Written, Sung, and Choreographed By Archer

I love my son. Sometimes I think he is different than other (almost) 5 year old boys. I could be wrong but I do have a very strong case. Here is some evidence to support my theory:

Exhibit A: He has many imaginary friends but his favorites are Chico (he's a rascal old man with long hair and clear pants) and Juan (Chico's foil).

Exhibit B: He talks incessantly.

Exhibit C: He licks his hands constantly.

Exhibit D: He can voluntarily regurgitate his dinner in order to prove that he "doesn't like peas."

Exhibit E: Insists upon wearing these goggles with the beads inside when we go out to run errands.

Exhibit F: Did I mention he talks a lot?

Exhibit G: His love for Hannah Montana and "Eye-lee" Cyrus.

Exhibit H: His inexplicable fear of the television show "iCarly" on Nickelodeon starring Miranda Cosgrove.

Exhibit I: He can sing/rap almost the entire song "Paper Planes" by MIA (should I video that?).

Exhibit J: He can't vacuum the stairs without wearing industrial earphones.

Exhibit K: He refuses to eat at the table if there are food germs (crumbs) on it. Please refer to Exhibit C.

Exhibit L:

I would like to point out that I clap along to his songs, laugh at his jokes, applaud his dances, fall for his booby traps, am amazed by his magic tricks, jump at his scary stories, fawn over his artwork, tolerate his drumming, and try not to cringe at his science experiments. However, there comes a time in the day, usually when Chad is due to arrive home, when I just run out of patience. That's when I usually resort to a comment that is similar to the one I made at the end of this video.

Calder Christmas Texas Stlye

For those of you who have commented on the whoopie cushion, Archer wrote and directed a short film centering around this gift. So ya'll can look forward to that once our editor (Chad) puts the finishing touches on it...

After Christmas dinner we drove downtown River Oaks which is the most affluent neighborhood in Houston. Huge oak trees lined the streets with thousands of lights hung from their branches. I have never seen anything like it and the pictures taken from my phone doesn't really do them justice. If you are interested in purchasing a River Oaks estate, here are some listings.