Sunday, December 01, 2013

Life with Vi

Somewhere around the 5-month mark V turned into a super-delightful, good natured, sweet and silly baby.  She is very affectionate and loves to give hugs and kisses to her family.  She pats us on the back and says “Awwwwww.”  She is a little mimic, with her head-tip, vocal intonations, and hand gestures, acting like she is having grown-up conversations with her jibber-jabber voice. 

She has been a slow-starter with eating; not expressing a lot of interest at the 6-month mark when we started introducing some foods.  She didn’t want a whole lot to do with food until closer to 9 or 10 months, and preferred to self-feed over baby food.  Even now, it is somewhat hit or miss.  Some days she feels like eating a lot, and other days she throws everything on the floor and wants nothing to do with it!  She is a fruit-head, and will almost always chow down happily on blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, and grapes.

She still loves to nurse with Mama.  She tugs at my shirt, says, “dis,” and signs milk when she wants to eat.  She is an active girl, often trying to stand, bounce, and do headstands while she is nursing.  She never had a problem going between bottle and breast, but if Mama’s around that’s what she wants.  She sleeps in our room in her porta-crib, and still wakes at least once a night to nurse, though most night it can still be 2 or 3 times…or a million.  I would love to sleep through the night again some day.

Here’s some shocking news for you…she is small for her age!  She was holding her own, near the bottom of the weight growth chart until 6 months, then at her 9 month appointment she fell right off to the 0 percentile.  Recently, at her 15 month appointment she was still at 0 for weight, but near the 20th for height, and near the 70th for head.  Big brains, little body.  It runs in the family. She currently weighs about 17.5 pounds give or take (isn’t that a hoot…I don’t even really know exactly).

She has also been a slow starter with gross-motor skills.  At her 9-month physical the doctor expressed some concern that she wasn’t crawling yet, and suggested that I contacted early intervention to have her evaluated.  I didn’t, but I did have 2 of E’s PTs look at her informally.  They both agreed that she looked fine, everything was coming along “within normal limits”, and they gave me a few suggestions for things we could do to help her along.  She started crawling around 10 months and walked just before 15 months.  That would be 9 and 14 months if you account for her prematurity, but whatever, right?

What she lacks in the gross motor area, she makes up for in cognitive development and language.  At her 12-month appt we counted about 20 words that she was able to say. By her 15-month appt we lost track.  She talks so much and gains new words and concepts every day.  She knows most of her animal sounds (including “What does the fox say? ding, ding, ding, da-ding da-ding ding”), many body parts, hand motions to songs, and names of family members.  She is learning tons of signs now, and recently learned to sign “nurse, please,” making it impossible for me to tell her no.  She tells herself, “no, no” right before she does something naughty.  She says “caca” before eating gross stuff off the carpet.  She loves to empty all of our cupboards and cabinets, and the only time we have we have peace and quiet is when she is happily emptying one of her “stations.”  She is SO LOUD!  Her voice demands to be heard.  She screeches so loudly that we are (jokingly) afraid our ears will bleed.  H and E still sleep with a monitor in their bedroom because we cannot hear them when they call for us, even though they are right across the hall.  We can hear V clear across the house, no monitor needed!

She is gorgeous.  We see a little bit of each of us in her, but she has a look all her own.  She has big, bright eyes that strangers always comment on.  They used to be gray, but are turning brown.  She has shaggy, stick-straight hair, with beautiful blonde highlights that hangs right in her eyes.  The moment she realizes there is a barrette or ponytail in her hair she yanks it right out.  She has 10 teeth (6 on top and 4 on bottom), and it seems a couple more are on their way soon.  4 of her teeth were in at 6 months, and she has the most adorable toothy grin.

She is silly, silly, silly, and makes us all laugh every day with her antics.  She is strong-willed and demanding, and annoys us every day with her antics as well (especially the food-throwing).  She is most of all, extremely lovable.  She adores her sisters and they adore her…mostly…when she isn’t grabbing their glasses, pushing all the keys on their computer, or screaming loudly at the dinner table.  E enjoys carrying her on her lap in the baby bjorn when driving her powerchair.  H enjoyed walking her around holding her hands when she was first learning, and now enjoys playing “chase” with her.  They both love watching her learn new things, and giggle at her silliness.

There have been moments of jealousy and frustration because she does demand a great deal of attention. H and E were used to being at the center of our universe for 8 years, so it has been an adjustment for all of us, but all in all, our lives have been enriched by having this little ball of energy and light join our crazy family. 

We wouldn’t want it any other way.

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