As of 5:29 p.m., Andrea is officially one year old! For those of you followers who are not on the East Coast of the US, you might not know that Andrea's birthday was commemorated by Mother Nature with one of the biggest snowfalls we've seen in a while. Ken said more than once today, he'd never have gotten to the hospital in the storm we had. We have about 18 inches of snow here; other New Jersey areas got as much as 2 feet. As a result, we were home today to celebrate. Most schools (if not all!) were closed.
One thing that many people have a hard time believing about Andrea is that she is pretty close to developmentally normal. Her age is counted from her actual birthday of February 26, but her development is considered from her due date of June 4. So by that reckoning, she is about 9 months old. She is able to sit up unassisted, can pass objects from hand to hand, can get almost anything into her mouth, smiles, laughs and makes baby sounds. When we tell people this, I think we appear to be in denial.
I'm including a very short video clip of Andrea eating Cheerios, just to show her off. She's a huge fan of Cheerios, to the point that she recognizes the box and tries to grab the cereal right off the picture. She's picking the cereal up off a tray and shoving it in her mouth. She has no teeth yet, so she has to gum them to bits. I didn't realize I had "Law and Order" on in the background, so I'm sorry for the sound track.
The videos take a few minutes to download. The speed is determined by your Internet connection.
This second video is of Andrea playing with a toy she got for Christmas. It's kind of dark - I didn't have enough light, and she wouldn't perform for a reshoot once Ken got me another lamp. Still, she's cute, and you can see her acting like a typical baby.
Because Andrea is developmentally only 9 months old, it means she couldn't have any birthday cake. Mom had a great (but sort of disgusting) idea. She suggested I mix baby cereal with a favorite flavor of baby food, making a thick paste. She then told me to mold the paste in a small ramekin, and put it in the refrigerator. It solidified into something the consistency of pudding. I was able to unmold it, warm it slightly to take the chill off, and put a candle in it. Here are some pictures of Andrea with her cake, and eating it too! Thanks Mom!
We have an eventful week coming up. Andrea has her second visit to the developmental clinic in New Brunswick on Monday. We look forward to these visits, because they reinforce our belief that Andrea is developing normally. Additionally, if there are deficits, the doctors will make recommendations for remediation before the problems become severe. We have to see the pediatrician for Andrea's 12 month "well baby" visit, and the pulmonologist to determine if Andrea can come off the PulseOx monitor. We still use it overnight, and we've had about enough!
What a year it has been. Thank you for keeping us company and supporting us through this tribulation. It has been a journey that we never expected, and are still not sure how we survived. We hope Andrea's next year is less dramatic than her first, and I plan to continue posting as the situation warrants.
Very early, I knew that the only object in life was to grow.”