The Daughter Chronicles

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mia sat up!

By herself. From a lying-down position. To a point where she could sit on her own. Whoo-hoo!

This is huge news, obviously. This is the first time she has ever done that. It took her quite a while, and she didn't look happy about it, and she might not do it again for a long time, but ...

Mia sat up!

Mia's vocabulary

Mia has been expanding her vocabulary recently, and what's nice is that she's not just repeating words that we say to her and trying to pronounce them, but she is beginning to internalize a lot more words and use them appropriately. For a long time she simply said "Hi!" and "Mama," but in the past month or so she's repeating a lot more and she's also saying words that she has already learned. For instance:

She now says "Bye," or a close facsimile, when we leave. Usually we have to prompt her, but she always used to say "Hi" no matter if she was arriving or leaving, so "Bye" is nice.

Last week Krys took her to the mall, as she usually does, and when she went into a dressing room, Mia said "mirror" without any prompting. This is a tough word, and we're very happy that she said it. Of course, she hasn't said it since, but still. On that same day it was quite windy, and she said "breezy" when Krys said it.

She says "cow" pretty well (she actually says "dow," which led me to say she was speculating about the Tao) and signs it perfectly well. When Krys reads the books with cows in them, Mia knows exactly what the cow is and she knows to moo. Of course, she thinks the unicorn on her wall is a cow, too, but it has four legs, hoofs, and a horn, so that's fine.

After years of not saying it, she is calling me "Daddy" again. She says it very clearly and knows that it refers to me. She said it a long time ago and then dropped it. We don't know why.

Last week she had her IEP meeting for school (Individualized Education Program, in case you don't have special needs kids) and her speech therapist was mentioning that they're really trying to work on consonant-vowel-consonant constructions with her. She's fine with starting a word with a consonant and vowel, but the ending consonant often trails off. So then last week she started saying "hat" with the ending "t" very clear. She also knows what a hat is, so when she sees one in a book she says it and puts her hand on her head. The fact that the hard consonant at the end is clear is a nice development, because that's a hard thing to master.

She knows what a bowl is and says it whenever she sees it. She's been doing that for a while.

Every tomorrow is Saturday. Whenever we say "What's tomorrow?" the answer is "Saturday," which she usually signs but occasionally attempts to say. If I asked her today what tomorrow is, she would sign "Saturday." That's fine, though, because it's a hard concept to grasp.

On Friday I asked her where she was going to go with Mommy the next day. I had to ask her a few different ways, but I think the word "go" might have prompted her to say "mall." That is also a difficult concept to grasp, because it's in the abstract and means she needs a small grasp of temporal ideas. So that was cool.

If you ask her, without using the word, what holds the ceiling up, she will say "wall." That's neat. As she lives in Arizona, she also knows what a "fan" is without prompting.

When she sees a man or a woman in a book, she says "man" and "lady."

These are the highlights, and she's still signing a bit more. We're pretty happy that she is at least saying words when we tell her what they are, even if she doesn't retain them all. And the fact that she is retaining some is promising. We really would like her to speak more because she often gestures that she wants something but we don't know what. She doesn't get too upset, but it would be nice to know.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Soon to be the terror of the neighborhood!

Norah is awfully close to walking. She has been belly-crawling like a speed demon for a while now, and we've had to move the cats' water bowl and Smokey's food just so she doesn't get her grubby little paws in it. It's fun and frustrating watching her zip around - I sit on the floor constantly and try to divert her attention from all the forbidden areas of the house.

She hasn't stood up yet, but she'll get there. One very fun thing she's been doing recently is sitting up in her crib.
  We'll enter in the morning and she'll be sitting there, pleased as punch, ready to face the day. The other day I went in and she was sitting in the corner with her hand on the top railing. I imagine she was puzzling out how to pull herself up and over. Despite the inherent fear that she will topple out of the crib and onto the tile, it was still cool to see.

Then, on Monday, she was crawling around on the floor and she went over to one of the chairs. She wrapped her legs around one of the legs and started pulling on it, trying to raise herself up that way. She didn't succeed, but it was cool to see. I imagine within a month or two (she just turned ten months, so it would be nice if she could do it before her birthday) she'll be at least pulling herself up. Then the real fun begins - chasing her around all. the. time. I suppose I'll sleep well at night! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sleeping Beauty

I doubt if we're the only ones who think our children are unbelievably adorable when they sleep. Maybe we are. Maybe we're just wacky that way. But, it cannot be denied that our children are unbelievably adorable when they are sleeping, and we often want to take pictures of them while they sleep to prove it. The problem is that they usually wake up when we enter the room, so taking a picture becomes difficult. I often have to wake them up from naps, but when I go in, they wake up. Especially Norah - she wakes up if you open the door slightly, and glares at you as if she cannot believe you dared to wake her up!

However, recently I went in to wake Mia up and she remained sleeping. I called Krys and told her to bring the camera. We took her picture, and here it is. She is, indeed, unbelievably adorable when she is sleeping.

That's all I have for now. Just a proud Dad showing off his sleeping daughter to anyone who happens to stop by here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

An anniversary I can't help but notice even if I don't want to

Today is the third anniversary of Mia's accident. It's a sad day, but at the same time, we're so happy she's alive that even though we think about 18 April 2003 with quite a lot of anger because of its awfulness, we're also grateful that it wasn't worse. Anyway, in case you're interested, here and here are pictures of Mia in the hospital - they're not pleasant, so be warned. In case you're a newcomer to the blog and wondering what the heck I'm talking about, this is the story of Mia's accident.

It's been a pretty good year, all things considered. Mia has made a lot of progress, and Norah was born, and she's doing well too. The nice thing about Mia is that in this past year she has become much more enthusiastic about doing things and trying new things. When she first came home from the hospital and started re-learning stuff, she was very reluctant and fought her therapists and parents all the way. This gradually has changed, and although she is still resistant to many things - like new foods - she has accepted that she has a lot of work to do and is often very eager to do it. Her walking, for instance - when we first started with walking, she was not happy at all about it. Now, she is very excited to get into her gait trainer and she zips around. She still has to figure some things out about walking, and when her physical therapist and I force her to walk on her own (like this, except with me instead of the woman) she screams bloody murder, but she is still making progress in that area. She is also using a lot more words and trying to repeat them when we say them to her, and she has used a few on her own, without prompting, which is cool. She says "bowl" when she sees it in her book, without Krys telling her, and she says "cow" and signs it when she sees it in her book. There are other small examples, too, and it's good to see. She's trying to say two-syllable words, too, and although she's often inaccurate, at least we can tell sort of what she's saying.

We will, of course, keep working with her. I think that school has helped her a lot, because it gives her an opportunity to see other kids in action. We're still hoping that Norah inspires her a bit more. Norah is crawling like a crazy person, and she's almost ready to crawl on her hands and knees (she gets up on them and rocks back and forth, because she's not quite certain what to do), so we're hoping that Mia sees her and tries a bit harder to do some things. We'll see.

So it's a bad day, but we try not to let it get us down. Mia is very healthy and the sweetest girl in the world (Norah hasn't reached her level of sweetness yet, although I'm sure she will) and everyone who meets her falls in love with her, so we're thankful for that. It doesn't mean that I can't think sadly about the day three years ago and wish I hadn't been out driving with Mia.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Queen of the BM

Loyal and devoted readers of this here blog know that we have some issues with Mia and, shall we say, her natural processes. Yes, this is a post about poop!

Parents know that getting a child regular is something that they don't really tell you about in the child-rearing classes on the Internet. Nobody wants to talk about bowels and their movement. I suppose some parents don't think about it because their kids are regular, but they should, because it's an important part of their kid being healthy. It's been a struggle with Mia for two reasons: she doesn't stand upright a whole lot, so gravity doesn't pull stuff down and she's not moving her insides around and stirring things up; and she doesn't drink enough. So it's just another thing to worry about.

This week, however, has been different, for some reason. She pooped on Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday night. Rejoice! She is in her gait trainer more often these days, and she loves walking in it, and she has been drinking a bit more (the temperature hit 90 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale here two days ago, so we're starting to worry about her hydration and are really pushing liquids on her), so we're thinking those factors have contributed to it. Of course, she hasn't pooped since then, so maybe she's back on her once-a-week schedule.

Pooping (or lack thereof) is a difficult phenomenon to deal with. She gets very uncomfortable for at least a day before she poops, so that's why it was so nice that she went thrice in four days. We have been trying to get her onto the toilet, but she has gotten to a point where she doesn't give us a lot of warning that it's coming. On Tuesday she pooped after we put her to bed - we had to go in at 11 o'clock and change her, which is never fun and wakes her up. So even though she is pooping a little more regularly, we still haven't been able to start training her on the toilet. Krys tries to get her to pee in the toilet every night, but it's slow going.

So she may have conquered her incontinence. Let us all hope! If we free her bowels, the rest will follow!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Prison break!

I went into Norah's bedroom the other day to get her up after her nap, and she was making a break for it!

At least if she's ever in the joint, she'll know what to do!

Sorry for the lapse of over a week in posting anything. The children were driving me batty last week, and I was having a hard time trying to do anything. Parents know how it is!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The power struggle

For the past few weeks, ever since she became much more mobile, Norah has engaged in the power struggle. It started on the floor, when she realized that she was able to roll places she could not previously go. The one place she wanted to go more than anyplace else, of course, was into Mia's personal space! After all, Mia might have a toy that Norah absolutely, positively needed to play with at that very instant! So she would roll over and take the toy. Mia would then seize it back. Norah would usually then give her a look that can best be translated by using some street lingo:

"Oh, it's on, bee-yatch!"

The power struggle so far has been relatively benign. Norah looks all offended if Mia takes her toy back, but she really can't do anything about it - Mia is much stronger than she is, even though Mia only uses one hand. However, Norah does something that annoys Mia - pulls on Mia's hair. Norah will roll on over to Mia and grab a fistful of hair. At first Mia looks vaguely amused by this, but then she realizes that Norah is not letting go and her kung fu grip is getting stronger. By this time Daddy has usually intervened, but I keep telling both of them that they need to play nice because one day Daddy might not be around, and then there could be problems.

Recently, the power struggle has moved over to the dinner table. Mia sits happily in her chair, occasionally eating on her own, occasionally causing nothing but trouble because she wants to be fed like the baby. Norah is desperate to feed herself, but she has yet to master the physics of the spoon, so we deny her that pleasure. Krys bought little fruit puff snacks, and we give those to Norah to improve her pincer movement. Mia, of course, wants them the instant we give them to Norah. So we give some to Mia, but that's not good enough - she specifically wants the ones we gave to Norah. Oh well - they sit on her tray until she grudgingly starts picking them up.

Usually Norah is done eating before Krys, so the wife gets her out of her chair and plops her on her lap. This brings Norah into the orbit of Mia's chair, and that's when the power struggle really takes off. Norah reaches out for the fruit puffs on Mia's tray, even though she had plenty on her own but didn't want them anymore. Mia, of course, will not stand for such effrontery, and immediately tries to claw the snacks out of Norah's hand. Norah becomes petulant whenever Krys tries to pull her back from the tray, and she strains to reach it and the wonderful forbidden booty thereupon. This continues until Krys decides that both children are finished eating. I have nothing to do with it. I feed them breakfast and lunch and allow them very little freedom. When Mommy comes home it's like they've been liberated from a food prison. The freedom of food flies! Woo-hoo!

We expect the power struggle to continue for, well, the rest of their lives. Isn't that always the way? Mia will continue to be strong, but Norah is on the verge of crawling, and therefore will soon be much speedier than Mia. Then the power struggle will renew in earnest, and Daddy and Mommy will be forced into more arbitration than they expect. I'll probably just send them both to their rooms. That's the American Way, after all!