Sunday, August 26, 2012

18 months

Today my baby is 18 months old.  As I start to write this one of the pictures from her 1st birthday party is on our digital frame and I'm looking at how different she looks now than just six months ago.  We just attended the first birthday party of my beautiful niece (Tom's goddaughter) yesterday and it made me think so much of Tera's party not so long ago.  The worst part about remembering her birthday party is also remembering how sick she was and how amazing she still was through it all.  Her doctor told us the week following her party and her pneumonia diagnosis, that based on her xrays, most adults would have been in the hospital.  But that when he looked at her he wouldn't have even known she was sick.  She was such a trooper and did so well and I just remember the worry and exhaustion that Tom and I were both feeling that day as we celebrated the end of her first year of life, and her first year of struggles, but how happy we were to have her.  Mostly hers was a struggle to stay healthy because everything else Tera has taken in stride.  She works hard to do the things she does, but she makes it look effortless and takes such joy and pride in her accomplishments.  She truly has inspired me and so much of her family because of the sheer tenacity in which she tackles every obstacle and maintains her sweet disposition through it all.

She just had her check up with her endocrinologist this week for her thyroid and we discovered, much to our surprise, that she's only grown less than an inch since her last check up four months ago.  It doesn't bother us so much as surprises us because so many of the people that see her swear she's getting bigger every day.  All it really means is that she's still our peanut and probably always will be. She doesn't ever look sickly or skinny, just petite and little.  Her current weight is just under 21lbs and her height is 29.75 inches. What is growing is her hair, and that seems to be the only thing.  She still only has four teeth, which is still frustrating only in that we thought that with the first couple it would mean the rest would start coming in soon.  That has not been the case, but the frustrating part is that since she still only has four, we keep thinking that any anomaly in her sleep schedule, behavior, or eating is related to teething.  I swear teething might be one of the most frustrating "health" issues for parents because you just never know for sure until you see one and if it isn't a tooth, you're still left wondering what the hell is wrong with your kid. I'm not worried though because I always remind myself that so far I haven't read about any kid that only got four baby teeth.  And while I'm hoping she becomes a trendsetter, I'm hoping it's not in setting that record.

Some of my favorite things about Tera right now:  she LOVES giving kisses.  I might give this kid about a thousand (and that's not much of an exaggeration) kisses a day and all I have to do is ask for a kiss and I get a big wet one in return.  She will also stop right in the middle of playing to give me a kiss.  If she even hears a word that sounds like kiss, she's ready.  I love that she LOVES to read.  One of her new adorably, sweet new habits is to hand you a book, sign "please", and then crawl into your lap to have it read.  We don't often get through more than a few pages before she wants to change books, but I adore that she does it.

She now signs "more", "eat", "kitty", "all done", "please", and "more please".  She seems to sometimes do "puppy" and I think she understands "milk" and "water".   She also seems to be making advances in her understanding of everyday objects.  She knows that socks and shoes go on feet, her rubber bands and comb go in her hair, she tries to feed her baby doll with a spoon and puts her cup to the baby's mouth, she puts her  pants near her legs and her shirts near her head, she lays her head on pillows, and has started pulling her high chair out and signing "eat" when she's hungry.  She sits very still for her nasal spray in the morning, can pretty much take her thyroid pill without any liquid at all, and is getting much better with her nebulizer treatments.

She still has no new sounds to report but our big news of the week was that she took six steps independently at school this past Thursday! Still only one or two occasionally at home, but we'll take what we can get.  In the meantime she's getting stronger and much more confident in her ability to stand without support for longer periods of time.

So I think that's everything I can think of to relate about Tera reaching 18 months.  It's hard to believe it's been a year and a half.  On the one hand it seems like we've had her for so much longer and on the other hand I can't believe she's already half way through this year and soon she'll be two! We're so incredibly proud of everything she's done so far and can't wait to see what next month brings.  Do I dare hope for a "mama"?

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