16 December 2013

Lots O' Little Updates

On the pregnancy front, I have no news, but no news, in this case, is good news. The ob/gyn appointments are all "normal," the baby's heart rate is strong and healthy, and I'm chugging along at 18 weeks/5 months tomorrow and still in full-swing 2nd trimester bliss. I'm undeniably pregnant now, by which I mean, I've past the point of people thinking, "maybe she's just getting fat?" I've been very careful to gain a healthy amount of weight, so I'm pleased to say that I'm mostly all belly. With Abigail, I gained a whooping 55lbs, most of it by stress-eating. During the first trimester (remember, the nausea, vomiting, "pregnancy sucks" trimester), I had a very physically and mentally stressful job. I never felt like cooking dinner when I got home and used eating out as a way to treat myself after the difficult days. Jack Daniels bacon cheeseburger with fries? Yes, please! I'd eat the entire plate and then Matt and I would swing by Publix to pick up a king-sized box of Junior Mints on the way home. Which I'd eat in its entirety that night. Shortly after the job and I parted ways, we entered Baby Heart Saga. I stress-ate my way through that too.

But not this time. No more, "Hey, I'm pregnant, of course I can order the large!" In fact, not much ordering at all. Lots of making it happen at home, lots of bananas and oranges instead of Junior Mints and cookies, lots of "'the munchies' is not an excuse to spend the evening grazing." Food and I don't have the best relationship, so it's not like this is easy. It's a daily struggle, but I feel like I'm kicking its ass. I find it easier to eat healthy during pregnancy because of the do-or-die approach to weight gain. There is no "sure, I'll have these three donuts today and just go for a longer run tomorrow!" during pregnancy. The weight that comes on, stays on, and that terrifies me into having just one donut and splitting it with Abigail.

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Abigail says words now. Like, a dozen of them. She's had "choo choo" and "Puff Puff" for a while now, those being words without an accompanying sign. (And a "Puff Puff" being this:)


(Poor deaf Puff Puff is her favorite cat as she's easy to sneak up on and more tolerant of being "loved" by a toddler).

And she has things that she says when she signs "kitty," "cereal," and "all done," but they are pretty unclear and never come independent of the sign. She says, "mama" when she's in distress or needs my attention, but she uses the word "mama" and the sign for "daddy" (not simultaneously) for both parents, so we're not really sure she knows what it means. Plus she won't say "mama" on command, which is a clear indication that she doesn't know what the word is.

But last week, she suddenly picked up "Blue" (as in Blues Clues, not the color), "hi," "bye bye," "pretty," "piggy," a few others I can't think of (yay, pregnancy brain), and if you ask what a lion says, she roars (it's wicked cute). They're really rough and I don't think anyone who doesn't know her would know that she's speaking those words, but it's a Really Big Deal around here. A Really Very Big Deal. She's almost shy when she says them, like she's not sure she's pronouncing them correctly and doesn't want anyone to make fun of her, so we make sure to get really, really excited when she says them.

In terms of signs, I've lost count. She's well over 3 dozen signs.

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All of Abigail's teeth are in. This is particularly exciting for us, as evidence by the fact that I'm telling the world via a blog. You see, the general rule of thumb with teeth and Ds is that anything goes. People with Ds can have too many teeth, too few teeth, they can be too spaced out or too close together, and they don't come in in any particular order. I didn't realize that baby teeth generally come in in order for most kids, but when I tell people that Abigail's molars came in first, they usually look at me like I'm lying. That first tooth came in when she was 1 year and 4 months old.

So we went to the dentist for the first time this spring (around her second birthday), and found that her top teeth were picture-perfect, but one of the bottom teeth hadn't come in yet. The dentist (who actually specialized in kids with Ds), said that statistically speaking, her missing tooth was mostly commonly the tooth missing when a bottom row tooth was MIA. He told us that while it could be just a really late bloomer, it probably wasn't going to make an appearance. Well, last week, it finally graced us with its presence. At 2 years 6 months of age.

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Abigail takes bites off of larger chunks of food now.

So a while back, we finally turned the corner of eating crackers one-at-a-time from a bowl of crackers (read about the excitement here). Now, thanks to french fries, I can hand her chunks of food and she'll take bites off it.


One day after a long morning of doctor's appointments at the hospital last month, we swung by Wendy's to get some lunch before we headed back for the afternoon lineup. We were starving, but I didn't bring Abigail anything more than crackers, hoping her hunger would drive her to eat something off her four safe foods list. She doesn't normally eat anything served in a fast food restaurant and doesn't normally eat anything potato-based, but I ordered a number 1, sat down at a table by the window, handed Abigail a french fry, and she ate it.

Now, as we walked to the table, I took our coats off, and I passed her that fry, I was holding my breath. "Don't throw, don't throw," I chanted in my head. I would have put money on her tasting the fry and chucking it across the restaurant, sending me apologizing to some poor, baffled sap who wonders in amazement what kind of mother doesn't discipline her child for throwing food in a restaurant. But she didn't. She took the fry, bit off a bite, and munched away while watching cars drive away out the window. It took a lot of self-control to not climb up on that Wendy's table and do a happy dance.

For some reason, a whole chip, a whole half of banana, a whole granola bar is too overwhelming for her and she just throws it (to clear her visual palette, a maladaptive visual organization technique). But that french fry, that warm, fried, sliver of potato after a long morning of doctor's appointments changed everything.



Usually when Abigail learns a new skill, she doesn't seem to realize she did. She has this modest, nbd attitude and doesn't understand why we're excited. But she's proud of her new eating skill. She likes the independence it affords her to select her own grilled cheese bite. She loves having a little pile of fries on her tray that she can select from at her own pace. I love that we can eat lunch together at the same time because I'm not having to feed her one bite at a time and she's not frustrated that I'm taking a bite of my lunch when she wants another bite of her lunch. Now, this doesn't mean all our eating woes are solved. Breakfast can still be difficult and dinner sucks. But everything use to suck. Now we get one meal. One meal per day where we're just all doing our own thing.

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After the craft fair, I suddenly realized that I had a mere two weeks to get ready for Christmas. Gifts, baking, decorating, all of it. My OCD went ballistic as my anxiety rose and I scribbled down to-do list after to-do list and started the obsessive repetitive thoughts. We've got:

- the three of us to get gifts for, and I'm in charge of getting Matt's and Abigail's gifts (2)
- two parents, a sister, and a grandmother on my side of the family (4)
- two parents, two siblings (we draw names for the siblings), and eight nieces and nephews to get gifts for on Matt's side (12, but Matt will get a gift for the name he drew: 11)
- the cats are getting a serious homemade gift this Christmas (1 present for 2 cats)
- four therapists who will get a small something (4)

That's 22 people who need gifts, 16 of which will be homemade. Two weeks.

When we were out-of-state, my in-laws started this tradition of everyone individually buying a gift for each of the nieces and nephews. There are nine total, divided among three families and we only have one kid. So we got the short end of that stick (us and the two no-kid sibilings). We tend to do Christmas on a tight budget since we hope to do big things with our money (pay of law school and buy a house, namely), so I try to make gifts. This year I have an amazingly good, inexpensive, and fast idea for the kids' gifts. I can't share until after the holidays (don't worry, this year I'll remember to photograph the gifts before I wrap them), but they turned out to be a weekend project that I completed yesterday. And they all came out wonderfully.

So check off seven of those 16 gifts (one of the nephews is too little for such a gift, so he'll be getting a crocheted blanket that I have yet to complete - I can share what he's getting since everyone knows it's coming).

I've got:
- Four more gifts to buy to finish off four people's presents
- Supplies to buy to finish making four people's and the cats' gifts, then I have to make those five gifts
- Use the supplies I have enough of to make the therapists gifts this week before our last sessions before the holidays
- To remind Matt to get his secret santa gift and buy a gift for my Dad that he's the only one who can get (Yes, Dad, I'm talking about Popular Mechanics : )

And there are eight days left until Christmas Eve. My saving grace is that crafting, unlike decorating and baking, involves a lot of sitting. I may be in the second trimester, but I'm still pregnant with a toddler : )


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