Or 29 again, as I like to say.
I haven't done a Kaia update in awhile, so here goes:
We had her 15 month appointment with the pediatrician today. Kaia's doctor kept saying how great she looks, which is always nice to hear. Kaia is above the 50th% in both the weight and height categories for her corrected age of 13 months which means she's just below the 50th% for her actual age. She seems to be catching up to her 'July 2011' peers.
Kaia's also catching up in terms of her gross motor skills. She stands steadily while holding on to a support and can bend down to pick something up as long as she doesn't let go. She cruises around our furniture and will walk fairly quickly and purposefully when holding on to someone's hands. She is also able to get into a crawling position and sort of pull herself forward with her arms while her knees slide along the hardwood floors. The crawling position has been the hardest as it requires her to bear weight on her knees with her legs close together, which is basically the opposite of the cast position.It seemed like it took awhile to build up to, but then suddenly overnight she was doing some of the smaller, but no less important gross motor skills too, including going from laying down to sitting up and going from kneeling to standing. Those transitional movements seemed to be made harder due to the residual stiffness from the cast.
I'm very happy with her progress. I figure if you take her actual age of 15 months, minus the 2 months for her prematurity, then minus the 3 months she was in a cast, you get 10 months and she's at least at that level, if not a bit ahead. It makes me very glad her surgeons decided to do the Spica cast when they did. I couldn't imagine having to keep her immobile now.
Kaia continues to have good fine motor skills. She can stack 4 blocks on top of one another, which never fails to impress me. She might only get all those blocks stacked up 1 try out of 20, but man is it ever amazing to watch her try over and over and over in order to get it right. You can tell she is so pleased with herself when she gets it too. She will turn to us, with a big grin and clap, urging us to clap for her too. She loves to wave 'Hi' and 'Bye', although she's starting to show signs of shyness. My uncle dropped by last weekend to give me a birthday present and Kaia seemed kind of wary of him. She wouldn't wave or clap in his presence. Then as soon as the front door closed behind him, she immediately started to wave. It was pretty cute.
We took her to the zoo last weekend for a walk on a lovely fall day. Since our first time at the zoo back at the end of April, you can tell Kaia's much more interested in the animals. She was pointing at the hippos, the meerkats and all the brightly coloured fish. It's interesting to watch her become more aware of these other living creatures. She even seemed a little afraid of the young gorilla who was right up at the glass looking at us and studying Brian's iphone. I love taking Kaia to the zoo and I'm really glad we got a seasons pass. We'll definitely be renewing our membership next year.
I stopped pumping at the beginning of September. It was time. I don't miss being hooked up to that machine every day, although I do miss being able to provide milk for Kaia (and I really miss her not getting every single illness within a 1 kilometre radius, but that could just be a coincidence. I don't know if my boob juice was THAT powerful a germ buster). We easily switched her over to Homo milk and she gets that now at nap and bed time in a bottle. My friend who exclusively breastfed avoided bottles entirely and switched her daughter over to sippy cups at a year. Kaia drinks water from a sippy cup the rest of the day, but I'll admit I'm loathe to give up the bottle before sleeping time. She likes it and it calms her so much and I don't know if a sippy cup would have quite the same effect. For right now, I'm okay with her getting a bottle twice a day. We'll reevaluate in a couple of months.
Kaia has begun to have a few more feeding likes and dislikes. She WILL NOT let you feed her anything with a spoon. She turns her face and pushes away the spoon. However, she also won't feed herself with a spoon or fork (even though I KNOW she could do it). This is frustrating, as now EVERY single meal has to be something she can pick up with her fingers. She also does not like anything mushy. She takes each piece of food her in hand and squishes it and turns her nose up and avoids anything with a 'mush' factor. This means her formerly favourite snack of yogurt has turned into an 'unedible'. It also vetos soups, pasta sauces, chilli, stew, mashed potatoes, mushy banana, etc. etc. She does love cheese though. And bread. Ummm...cheese and bread. Can't say I blame her.
Her language skills are just so-so. You can tell she understands a lot, but doesn't really talk much. She says Ma-ma and Da-da although not necessarily in relation to us (she says Mama for just about everything). She says 'up' but it sounds like 'puh-puh' and she CAN do 'ump' for 'jump' and 'ooot' for 'out', but these are hit or miss. She also says our cat's name "-inx" (Lynx) on occasion. I wish she could say a few more words, as it would likely help with some of her frustration at times, but I'm sure the words will come soon enough and then if she's like me, she likely won't shut up.
She is honestly the cutest, sweetest, happiest kid. No, really...I got stopped in the hall at one of her doctors appointments with someone saying "that's the happiest baby I've ever seen!" She smiles a lot. She's great out in crowds. I can only think of one time in her whole life where she's really gone nuts in public for no reason (immunization and uncomfortable medical appointments don't count). She doesn't cry when being left with her grandparents or at the babysitters. She's good at occupying herself for relatively lengthy periods of time (20+ minutes or more). She will play with her blocks, her xylophone, her books, or her activity tray and never seem to get bored no matter how many times she comes back to them. She giggles like a crazy person whenever we 'animate' her stuffed monkey Molly.
She is so pleased with herself whenever she learns something new and loves to make us happy with these new skills. She's learned to wave hi and bye and will turn her wave inwards towards her nose when you say "Pee-yew". She throw her arms up in the air holding her xylophone sticks when we say "rock and roll!!!" just like a real drummer, and will hold on to the couch while standing and rock back and forth when we say "Ultimate Warrior" (don't ask, it's some wrestling thing from Brian's youth). She will also point to her belly and giggle when we say "Kaia...who's the baby?". She does the same thing for "Kaia, where's your belly?" and will lift up her shirt if she's not wearing a onesie to show you her bellybutton. She has a thing for light switches and loves pointing to and looking at the photos on the wall, including those we have up of Aidan. One day when I pointed to the picture of Aidan and us, I said "Mommy, Daddy and Aidan" and I swear she said "A-dan", which just about broke my heart and made me smile all in one go. I'm looking forward to sharing him with her.
I often can't believe how lucky we got with Kaia. How amazing she has done given her 'odds'. It seems unreal that she was Acorn, the baby we were so worried about for so long, so afraid she would die. She's so healthy, so normal, so ALIVE. We are lucky beyond measure.
As always, my birthday falls right near (Canadian) Thanksgiving. It's easy to say what I'm thankful for.
And of course, I must include what people really read these types of posts for: pictures!
|Last cottage day for 2012|
|Why yes Mommy, I do know that this is the EXACT same motion you would like me to do with a spoon...|
|Grass is not mushy, therefore it is tasty|
|Why yes, all that crap in the background is my toys. No, I do not feel the need to pick them up.|
|Rock and roll!!!!|
|Fell asleep during dinner after refusing to nap at the babysitters.|
|Help, I'm trapped!!!!|
|Cutest face ever.|
And that's a (birthday) wrap.