Today Tera is 19 months old and so it’s time for me to remember and relate what all her glorious accomplishments have been for this past month. I’m pretty sure that her biggest achievement this month has been her foray into walking. I won’t say she’s completely mobile on two legs just yet, but she’s going longer and longer distances and she’s realizing she can walk from one place to another as an actual mode of transportation instead of it being just a cool new trick. She still seems to prefer starting from a sitting position and then pushing herself up and going rather than being able to get herself into standing without assistance, but she'll get there soon enough. She’s also a little demon on the stairs. She’s quite adept at getting up them and is getting better and better at going back down them. In fact the other day I had put her on the floor and after a minute realized I had forgotten to close the gate going downstairs and momentarily panicked and rushed over to close it. As I did that I realized that she knows when she gets close to the top of the stairs that she has to turn around and flip onto her belly and back herself down and that the possibility of her just accidentally falling down the stairs is quite a bit less than it used to be.
She seems to be understanding more of what we’re saying to her and we’re currently working on her being able to follow simple directions. She apparently tends to clean up after herself at school unprompted although there’s been absolutely no evidence of this at home (shocking).
She’s definitely making more associations with everyday objects and knows that her shoes and socks go on her feet, and her pants get pulled on from her feet, and her shirts go on over her head. She knows what to do with a comb, and she’s starting to try and use a spoon and fork to feed herself.
She signs “help” appropriately and we’re pretty sure she now signs water when she wants something to drink during feeding times. She’s very clear on how to tell us she’s hungry by signing eat and pulling out her high chair (which is usually followed by whining if we don’t get to that fast enough).
She’s eating a wide variety of foods and at least for now, most of our mealtimes go somewhat smoothly. What’s not going as smoothly is nighttime. We’ve gone from a baby that started sleeping through the night at seven weeks, to a toddler who has stopped sleeping through the night at around 15 months. It’s definitely more frequent that we have nights when she wakes up at least once during the night than nights when she sleeps all the way through. Most nights she seems to just need her back patted or occasionally picked up and rocked a little, but it can range from once a night to four or five times a night. We think this is probably related to the fact that she is actually getting teeth now and they seem to come in very, very slowly which I think prolongs the discomfort. She’s also been sick for the past two weeks so the congestion isn’t helping either.
Yesterday, after her being congested for almost two weeks, throwing up last week, and a not so pleasant sounding cough in the mornings, we checked with the doctor who told us we should probably bring her in. So yesterday afternoon we brought her into sick call where the doctor confirmed that she probably has a sinus infection. So far her lungs and breathing sound good so we’re not worried about pneumonia right now, but we do have to keep her on her nebulizer twice a day and she now has an antibiotic for the infection. He also sees the beginnings of at least one new tooth we’re giving her ibuprofen to help with that discomfort. Another really fantastic developmental milestone she’s hit seems to be that she’s realized she doesn’t like taking medicine as well as she used to. This has become the source of some stress for me (and us as parents in general) because it’s yet another thing we have to do regularly that causes her distress (and us). Yesterday was a perfect example: we had to take her into the doctor, keep her entertained while we waited, then hold her down so they could get a temperature, then hold her down so he could check her ears and throat, then after dinner fight to give her the nebulizer treatment, then invent twenty new ways to trick her into taking her new medicine, then another twenty ways to trick her into taking the Motrin, and then in the mornings I get to try and suction and her nose which she hates and Tom has to do her nebulizer treatment again. Thankfully she’s a pro at taking her thyroid pill. I just feel like the majority of the time I have with her during the week is spent trying to get her to do something she doesn’t want to do. And then tonight is bath night which is another disaster typically. I have to say, for as much as people say newborns are difficult because they’re so dependent and don’t sleep for long periods of time, this particular age is way harder for us.
But despite the difficulties and the stress and the worry, we have so much love for her. One scrunched up, silly little smile reminds me that she is more than worth it all. One messy, sloppy kiss reminds me that I am her mom and I can do this because she deserves nothing but the best and it is my responsibility and my privilege to provide for her. We muddle through and on some days DS is just another part of our everyday life and on other days I want to scream, "Why her?!!!" I've said before that I don't believe people are only given what they can handle. I believe you are given what you are given and you either choose to handle it or you don't; it's just that "handling it" is easier on some days than others....