The Daughter Chronicles

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Achieving Norah, plus I get all grumpy

Apparently, Norah sat up yesterday. Twice. I did not see it, and she hasn't done it since. Fickle child!

She is also pushing herself up on her knees. She has pulled one knee forward from this position, and she often lunges forward from this position. So that's very cool. Soon she will be crawling, and I will be happy.

Or so I think. Last week Krys came home and told me that some woman she works with spouted off the old cliché, Soon you'll wish for the days when Norah couldn't crawl, because she'll drive you crazy! Why do people say such stupid crap like that? You don't want your children to progress? What the hell?

This woman, as far as I know, knows about Mia's problems, too. So she knows that our three-year-old can't walk and can barely crawl yet, and she's saying idiotic stuff like we'll soon wish our other child was in the same state as Mia, because we're not going to want to chase around after her.

Sheesh. People are stupid. I guess I understand the nostalgia factor, when you had a child who was completely dependent and therefore completely devoted to you, but to give it voice and insult someone sounds like something I would do. And I'm an idiot. Other people shouldn't be.

Anyway, I hope to be chasing Norah around the house soon. And anyone who ever meets me has my permission to beat me with a sockful of pennies if I ever yearn for the days before she could crawl and walk. I'll deserve it.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The promised pictures

See? I told you I'd post pictures eventually.

Sitting baby!

Check me out, Dad!

Three-and-a-half-year-old girl!

Norah moves into the bathtub! She has since moved out of the seat and into the tub proper, because she sits so well.

We always have to have an obligatory "getting messy with the food" picture.

About a month ago we went for a walk. I took the camera. Never let me take the camera!

For some reason, Krys didn't want me to post these. She never thinks she's attractive. I think she's gorgeous all the time. And I wear the pants in the family (at least when she's at work!).

Enjoy the pictures, everyone!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The phantom toy

Yesterday Norah woke up, as she does, and we let her lie in her crib for a while until we got ready. She usually wakes up around 6.30, so neither Krys nor I are fully done with our morning ablutions. She has plenty of toys in her crib, and she digs rolling around it and getting into mischief, so we can usually leave her in there for a good 30-45 minutes before she starts getting cranky. Yesterday we were getting ready when we heard music on the monitor. She had obviously activated one of the musical toys in her crib. Krys is fairly certain what we heard was Mozart - I'm not as classically hip as she is, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

Here's what's interesting: we had never heard that music before. We didn't know she had a toy that played that music. She had certainly never activated it before. And the tune played twice in separate instances. Krys went into her bedroom not long after the music stopped ...

and couldn't figure out which toy Norah had been playing with.

She has a few toys hanging from the rails of the crib, both of which play music. But Krys poked and prodded them and couldn't get them to play the same tune. Before she could go all Monica Gellar, she had to go to work. Believe me, she hated to leave with the mystery unsolved. I, on the other hand, didn't really care all that much. Later on I poked one of the toys, but couldn't get it to recreate the music. So I forgot about it.

Still, Norah somehow made music from a toy in her room that we have never heard before and can't figure out how to duplicate. You may now freak out.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Odds 'n' ends 'n' stuff - Spring Break Edition!

Last week I promised photographs. Yes, I suck because I haven't posted them yet! I was distracted by my child falling face-first onto the floor, and then we hit the weekend, and the rains came (143 straight days without it, and it poured all day Saturday, which was nice), and suddenly, it's Monday, and I still haven't put up pictures of our lovely daughters doing all sorts of lovely daughter things.

This post isn't about pictures. I'll get to them, I promise.

This post is just about catching up with the children. Here are some of their recent accomplishments and notes about them, rapid-fire style!

Mia continues to expand her vocabulary. For a while, she was uninterested in reading, but she seems to be getting back into it recently, perhaps because she can follow the action better and she recognizes a lot more on the page than she has. Last week Krys was reading Where the Wild Things Are to her (an old favorite) and she named "moon" (which she's done before), "boat," and even "Max," which she hadn't done before. Krys was reading her Pancakes for Breakfast, and before Krys even mentioned them, she had said "bowl" and "man." So that was pretty cool. She's trying harder to form words and she looks much more interested in learning them. That's groovy.

Her physical therapist has decided to get her an orthotic device for her foot, ankle, and knee. She is walking pretty well in her gait trainer and we got a new chair for her to sit in at the dinner table, but she is still not planting her ankle like she should. She just drives her toe into the footplate of her chair, which causes the clonus to act up. The KAFO (knee-ankle-foot) will lock her ankle and knee into place so that her foot will be at a ninety-degree angle to her leg. This will help stabilize her foot and, we hope, help her walk better, too (even though the knee will be locked - one thing at a time!). Her PT said the only problem with an AFO is that we would have to buy two different shoe sizes - her left foot would not accommodate her regular shoe because of the device. A small price to pay, I suppose.

Norah, meanwhile, is desperate to crawl and stand. She can push herself up to a "tripod" position - she gets up on one knee and both arms, but then she usually rolls over instead of bending the other leg to sit up. She has started to say "ma ma" pretty consistently when she sees Krys - Mommy is, of course, the favorite parent - and Mia's speech therapist swears she said "hi" the other day. It's really fascinating watching Norah trying to sit up and stand when we hold her up on her feet. Fascinating because of the big difference between her and Mia - Norah obviously has a sense of balance, so it's neat watching her adjust subtly as she's standing. For Mia, it's a huge effort.

So that's just a quick update on the children. As you might have guessed, Mia is off from school this week. I never had Spring Break until I went to college, but now it's all the rage. I guess Mia needed a break from all that stressful singing and playing and snacking she does at school. I hope to remain sane with both of them this week, because usually I get a nice break in the morning when Mia is at school. It's difficult finding things to do with her, let me tell you. She'll be spending a lot of time in the gait trainer! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!

Pictures. Soon. Promise.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Worst Daddy ever?

I very well may be. Read on ... IF YOU DARE!

Today I was changing Norah because she had poopy pants, as she often does. So she was on the changing table and I was cleaning her up. I couldn't get the diaper into the diaper pail easily, since it was full and I hadn't cleaned it out yet (part of the worst Daddy ever routine). So I opened the lid and pushed the soiled diapers into the bag further as a stopgap measure, so I could fit the last diaper in there ...

And Norah rolled off the changing table and fell about four feet onto the tiled floor, landing pretty much on her face.

Right in front of me, mind you. I watched it happen - well, the falling part. I missed the rolling part, or I would have stopped it.

Shit. Shitshitshitshitshit! You can imagine, with Mia's situation, that we are very freaked out by this sort of thing - I would guess all parents would be, but I'm just pointing out that we know what can happen to a kid. Norah, of course, was displeased by this turn of events and immediately started freaking out. I scooped her up and put her on the changing table (OF DOOM!) and hugged her and checked her head and face and petted her hair and tried to make it all better. She was unimpressed with my efforts. I got her clothed and walked around with her, holding her against my shoulder and petting her hair. Still unimpressed. I went out and put her on the floor because I felt I should probably call someone - either Krys and/or the doctor. I called Krys first and we decided I should call the doctor and just run it by them. All this while Norah is still crying. The doctor asked me if she had lost consciousness (she hadn't) and I should check for a big lump with a soft center, excessive and uncontrollable crying, lots of vomiting, and a tendency to sleep deeply. I called Krys back and she came home briefly while I took Mia to school so that I wouldn't have to take Norah with me. She put Norah to bed and then went back to work when I got home.

Norah's fine. She was already tired, so part of her crying was probably that. After her afternoon nap I was bringing her out of the bedroom and I dinged her head on the door frame. She looked upset for a second, but then calmed down. Not a good day for Norah's head. I was really upset for a few minutes, but I realize that a lot of parents can tell stories like this. I was just amazed by how quick she was! So we're now making sure the strap is on or we change her in the crib, which is a lot harder than it sounds (she rolls over to get toys and does not enjoy rolling back). A minor scare, but a scare nevertheless. Evil speedy kids!

And yes, I'm the worst Daddy ever. I suck. I hope Krys doesn't call CPS on me.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Chicken or the egg; plus artwork by Mia

I always feel bad when I neglect this blog - I love hanging out with my daughters and often think of things to post, but then I get caught up in whining about the Oscars or celebrating Kim Bauer's return to 24 at my other blog and I forget. Mia and Norah don't do a whole lot, after all, and I don't like bemoaning Mia's fate too often, lest I come off as whining. We're luckier than a lot of parents, I know. This leads to a chicken-or-the-egg situation: very few people read this blog. So I wonder: do I not post because nobody's reading, or is nobody reading because I don't post that often? Oh, it's a conundrum!

I don't really care if people aren't reading, by the way. This blog is basically for people who know us who don't live near us or don't call us on the phone all the time (like my mom) and want to know how Mia and now Norah are doing. Many of my friends have not even met our daughters because they live too far away and we don't travel with the kids (which would be laughable). I don't expect a lot of traffic, but I feel bad because the people who do come here probably don't come back very often. I seem to have a lot of friends who don't spend much time on the Internet or don't realize that I update here, and they only come here when I post pictures. That's perfectly fine, but with our handy-dandy digital camera, I can post pictures a lot more often, so all those people who want to see the kids should come here more than once a month.

I'll stop whining. Like I said, I'm very sorry I don't post more often. The kids are fine, and I'll have a real update tomorrow, with a bunch o' photographs. For now, I thought I'd post some artwork that Mia did in school. Sorry it's on its side - the paper was too big to scan horizontally. She's quite the artist, ain't she? You may scoff at her talents, but big-time artists can fetch up to 10 million dollars for something that looks not terribly unlike this.

Thanks for your support, everyone, and I promise to be better about updating. Unless, you know, nobody cares. In which case I'll still update, damn it!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

More babbling with Mia

I have mentioned that Mia likes to babble. It's very interesting to listen to her, especially because she seems so earnest about whatever it is she is saying. Krys decided to pay very close attention to her a few nights ago. Mia was lying in her bed, babbling away, and Krys thought she heard her say something like "stars." She waved at the wall next to her, which is indeed decorated with star decals, and she made a motion with her hand. Krys recalled that when her speech therapist sings "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to Mia, she makes the same kind of motion with her hand. So Krys asked Mia if she was talking about the stars, and Mia got very excited and happy because Krys knew what she was trying to say.

Her speech therapist has said that she will begin to do this more often - drop comprehensible words into a long string of babbling. It's very cool to hear, as is the number of words she is saying recently. In the past two weeks she has said "red," "yellow," "blue," "water," and "Libby," which is her teacher's name. She has also become very good at singing along to "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" with her speech therapist. She says the last words in each line (except for "sheep," which is still a bit tough for her).

We're hoping she retains these small advances, because even though we want her to get better physically, we know she wants to communicate with us more, and it seems like it frustrates her more than not being able to walk. At least if she's communicating she can tell us how she feels and what she wants. As usual, it's all baby steps with Mia. But she has been making progress.