Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Violet 9 Months Old!

My little Viley Boo is a big girl! I don't know why, but 9 months is a big milestone in my head. I think it is because it marks the moment when she becomes older outside the womb than she was when it was just me and her and some random kicks.

I took her to the doctor for her checkup and she is 19 pounds (60th percentile), 27.5 inches long (50th percentile), and her head is 17.25 (30th percentile). The doctor was super impressed with her and said she looked very healthy. We also visited last week when she had a horrible cold, but she has officially kicked her first illness to the curb.

At nine months, Vi is hilarious and happy. She is such a jolly baby. Brian and I have both had similar experiences of picking her up at school and seeing 5 other babies screaming their heads off and little Viley sitting there with a happy smile on her face, as calm as can be. She really is just happy girl. She brings joy and makes everyone smile. We lucked out with this girl, we really did.She loves her book, "Where is Baby's Yummy Tummy?" and demands we read it 10 times in a row. She also began feeding herself finger food! We have started slow, but she loves puffs, gerber biscuits, and cut up grapes so far. Her pincer grasp is perfection and she is losing interest in baby food as she discovers the joys of real food. She is still drinking four 6oz bottles a day, but we are going to begin introducing juice this month. Crazy - she is old enough for juice!

The not-so-fun news is that she remains immobile. Vi still does not roll, crawl, or anything. She is even more behind in her Ages and Stages chart now that she is older and has not made progress, so we have been encouraged to seek professional help. I made the call to TEIS (Tennessee Early Intervention Services) today and asked for our old case worker who helped us through Jeremy's issues. I am not thrilled to be here again, but since it is such a different ballpark than Jeremy's problems, I am oddly at peace with this. She will be fine, and I think the absolute worst case scenario is some physical or occupational therapy that will put her back on track.

Anyway, our little girl is pretty amazing and I am in love! And, I am shamelessly excited that she is starting to show some separation anxiety when I leave her each day. Is it bad that her sadness makes me happy? I guess it is just nice to know she feels the same way I do when I have to leave her behind to head to work each day. How could I not be sad to leave this little monster with the crazy hair??

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentime's Day!

My little "love bug"

It is a love fest up in here! Valentime's Day is always a fun one, but more so now that Jeremy is a bit more aware of what it means. He and Brian snuck out over the weekend and got me a little treat. How adorable is it that Brian could not find a vase and put a single rose in a huge pitcher? Love that man. And he noticed the other day that I do not have any "nice" copies of Jane Austen's books. All of my copies are paperback, full of underlined passages, my thoughts in the margins, and sticky notes sticking up all over the place (hey, I did my thesis on her 6 novels, it happens). So, he got me a super great hardback version of all the novels. He even wrote in his own little message and quoted a Jane passage that he has remembered for years.
Jeremy and I made heart cakes, which turned out very yummy - so I am told. We made 4 little ones (one for each family member) and one big one for the whole family to share. Once they were completed, I left and took a shower. I came back and and low and behold only one small cake was left. I immediately commented to Brian that he must have been hungry, and Brian was shocked thinking that I had taken one of them. I asked young master Hopper who happily told us he ate his and Violet's. About an hour later, I heard Brian laughing. Turns out, 2 was not enough. My cake had been licked of all icing and little fingers had dug out most of it. And a certain little boy's smiling face was COVERED in chocolate. Note to self: keep cakes out of reach of children.
Jeremy, Violet, and I also had a great time making Valentine's for their classmates at school. Jeremy's had a train theme, of course.
Violet's had a more romantic feel. I do love that I have access to RA supplies at work - it makes craft time so much more fun!
A photo of his class today sent by Jeremy's teacher:And here is my precious girl on Valentine's Day: she wore a pretty dress and her fancy coat for the occasion. It is great to finally have a little doll I can dress up for holidays!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Parties and Pretties

I have so many random photos that I need to get them posted (since this is the only photo album I keep up with). There is no real theme or story here, so just roll with it.

The most unflattering photo I have taken of my kids in a while. I love it.We have attended several birthday parties for Jeremy's friends lately. Here is Hallie's 5th birthday at Pump It Up. Jeremy had a blast! This is by far one of his favorite places in the world. And Will introduced Jeremy to air hockey, which he very much enjoyed!And here is William's 4th birthday at Tataru's Gymnasium. This was Jeremy's first time in a real gym like this - and his first time on a trampoline, but he did really well. Violet is also a great party guest. At both the Gym and Pump it Up, she happily watched everyone around her play and smiled at the other parents.And here is my pretty girl. She just looked super cute one day so I started snapping away. And then she shocked me by standing up* at the train table to finally make her presence known on the Island of Sodor. She was so excited to be there, it was crazy. Jeremy handled it pretty well, I was rather proud.
*she did not stand up on her own, but for the first time, she remained standing when I put her up at the table and held on by herself and played for a long timeAnd there you have it! A random assortment of photos for your viewing pleasure!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Never a Dull Moment

I have recently taken part in many parent-teacher meetings. I love my kids, but they do present some challenges outside the norm. I will start with Miss Viley.

I was called in to meet with Vi's teacher about her Ages and Stages Chart. It is an evaluation young kids do that helps you track their development progression to ensure they are on the right path - they score in the white (good), gray (mild concerns), or black (need professional help) in areas like gross motor, fine motor, communication, problem solving, etc. Apparently, Lizzie saw some things that concerned her in Violet's latest evaluation, so she set up a meeting with me. As a point of reference, when we initially had Jeremy tested for his original speech issues, he scored in the black area in almost EVERY SINGLE category - for years. Needless to say, I started hyperventilating a bit at the very thought that Violet had developmental issues as well.

Turns out, she is looking pretty good, but she is in the gray area (yay - not black!) for her gross motor skills. Young Viley has never rolled over. Yeah, I know. She should have done that 5 months ago. Lizzie says that without learning to roll over, Vi will miss out on some of the great problem solving development that occurs when infants learn how to use their bodies intentionally to get toys, turn in different directions, etc. I was smiling to myself that she was overreacting until Lizzie said the words "cognitive development" in her list of concerns. It is a minor thing in the grand scheme, but it needs to be fixed. My crazy-serious-psycho Mommy skills kicked in as I felt myself gearing up for a return to the development battlefield - though for a much more minor concern.

So, our new mantra around the house is simple: "Roll, Baby, Roll!" Vi now spends her time on her back or her tummy. She HATES it. Tummy time typically lasts 3 minutes or less without screams. Back time is basically her doing Pilates or crunches as she desperately tries to sit up. She will have an amazing core. And she looks at me with those eyes that say, "Mommy, you know I don't like this. Why are you doing this to me? Don't you love me?" Yes, Violet, I do love you, and that is why I am doing this.

Here are some photos of our homework time. I think she is making progress, and she does reach across her body now to grasp toys and will pivot around, and she rolled from tummy to back the other day, but I think it was rage-induced and therefore does not really count. Next, we have Mr. Jeremy. I actually called this meeting myself after he came home for the fourth time with scratches on his face and stories of biting and fighting with one particular classmate. I mainly wanted to talk about how to keep him from engaging in that type of aggressive behavior. Long story short, we now have a full team of people - us at home and several teachers both inside and outside Jeremy's class - doing formal observations of him and noting when he seems to hit a trigger moment that manifests itself as anger, anxiety, etc. The goal, of course, is to hopefully find a pattern that will help us identify and eliminate the trigger, thus eliminating the need he has to behave in these ways.

I was taken aback a bit by the long conversation with the teachers because they had more concern over his perceived anxiety issues than the occasional biting. He does have an unhealthy obsession with Mr. Moo (it is usually fine and cute, but when he sits by the washing machine crying and frantically bestows kisses and hugs before another tantrum waiting on the dryer - it is unhealthy) and his finger sucking is persistent and not at all abating. He has always struggled with transitions, particularly to unwanted activities like bedtime, etc. Little man should be outgrowing these things naturally soon, but as we all know, young Jeremy does things in his own way and on his own schedule, so we may need to provide a bit of assistance. Hence, the note-taking and observations we are now in the midst of.
So, we are in the middle of development projects for both of our kids. I will be honest and say it is not my favorite parenting time right now. I want to be called into a meeting where the teachers tell me my kids are perfect, right where they should be developmentally, and my, what a great job you must be doing as a parent. But, it is what it is, and we are tackling the gross motor and anxiety obstacles before us. Come back soon and I am 100% confident you will read about our amazing rolling and behavior progress!