Saturday, February 26, 2011

Happy Second Birthday, Beautiful Andrea!

As of 5:29 p.m., Beautiful Andrea the Second is celebrating day 730 of life! At the doctor's office on Wednesday, she tipped the scales at 20 pounds, 14 ounces, (9468.74 grams), and measured 30 inches long. Still small for a 2 year old toddler, but a whopping 21 times her birth weight, and almost three times her length.

Here is Andrea in her birthday finery, wearing some beads borrowed from Aunt Arlene.

I like to make the birthday cakes for all the kids (my children, niece and nephews). The older ones know that I'll come through with whatever they desire, from dragons to Batman. I figured this was the last year that Andrea wouldn't have an opinion and went with my choice of Big Bird. The only TV Andrea consistently watches and seems to enjoy is Sesame Street, so we ran with the theme. Her cake is shown here.

We are thrilled to report that Andrea is not only walking, she's running, climbing, and circumventing the baby gates that we have all over the house. She is starting to develop a vocabulary, although she refuses to talk on command. She says "Mommy" and "Daddy" consistently, but her current favorite word is "MINE". She makes animal sounds when asked, and knows all the hand movements for "The Wheels on the Bus". She loves music, and will dance around the room whenever something is playing.

Andrea is growing up to be a true girl. She loves her baby dolls, ("baby" is one of her identifiable words) and she can't get enough of pushing them in the stroller. She carries her purses around and likes getting dressed up. Fortunately, she can hold her own with her ten-year-old brothers and is pretty fearless. We went to an indoor water park yesterday, and couldn't keep Andrea off the water slides. She threw a tantrum (welcome to the "terrible twos") when the lifeguards wouldn't let her on the big kid slides.

Books are another of Andrea's true loves. We've committed half a dozen favorites to memory, and usually go through a dozen more over the course of a day. We've enlisted the boys as story readers to give us an occasional break. We've had to hide some of the books, just to spare ourselves having to read Daddy Hugs yet again.

Andrea has been going to Story Time with Grammy (Beautiful Andrea the First) and Pa and will soon be starting something called Musical Munchkins, a music class for toddlers. She's so much like the other kids, it's easy for us to forget sometimes how rough the beginning was. Her health continues to be a little fragile compared to her classmates, and she seems to get every germ that comes along. We had an emergency room visit in January that turned into an overnight stay for IV fluids and glucose, but we have faith that she is continually getting stronger, and will have a good immunity by the time she starts kindergarten.

Much like her Mommy, one of Andrea's favorite foods is CHOCOLATE. In this picture below, she had just grabbed a piece of chocolate covered matzoh from me and managed to eat it before I could snatch it back. I love the ring of chocolate around her mouth, LOL!

I've been trying unsuccessfully to upload video of Andrea to the blog. The "old" blogger editor just keeps spinning away and nothing is happening, and the "new" editor doesn't have a link for video upload. I'm reluctant to post to Youtube... I tried making a private video available to a single friend, and so far she's been unable to view it. I certainly don't want video of my child to be public at this stage of her life, so at present I'm stuck. If anyone has advice as to how to make Blogger cooperate, please share it! (Or if you know how to make the private Youtube thing work, let me know!)

I'm sorry for not posting more frequently. I think about it often, even composing posts in my head as I commute to and from work. Unfortunately, the reality is that our lives are insane, and I never have time when I also have access to the blog. Please know that, in the absence of other news, all is well with Andrea.

"today is your day, your mountain is waiting. so get on your way"
— Dr. Seuss

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Another New Year

Happy 2011 to all. Andrea did not stay up until Midnight, although she decided to get up at 2:30 a.m for a snack. She's not the best sleeper in the world! We keep telling ourselves that this, too, is a phase. We hope she outgrows it before we're up all night wondering where the boys are. I miss sleep!

We had the most recent developmental clinic on Monday, December 20. Once again, all went pretty well. She's on target for her gross and fine motor development, having caught up to where she should be. She's walking and running, and was able to build puzzles and color on paper...all the things she should be doing. The only area where there is still a deficit is in expressive language. Andrea is about two months behind her corrected age in terms of her verbal expression. On the flip side, what she understands is beyond her corrected age, and pretty close to her actual age. We've been trying to encourage her to talk, but she's as stubborn as always, and most of the time won't bother. She has words for some things, but mostly resorts to pointing and whining. (Which gets old very fast!)

What a difference a year makes...last New Year's Eve we put Andrea to bed connected to the oxygen concentrator and PulseOx. This year, that was all gone, and seemed like a distant memory. Sometimes, we look back at Andrea's life and can't believe we've made it this far.

This picture was taken on New Year's Day...Andrea is resplendent in her blue velvet Christmas dress and Mary Janes. However, not wanting to miss any of the fun with her mostly male cousins, she's joining in at the air hockey table. She kept walking off with the paddles and puck, much to the annoyance of the big kids!

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

Oprah Winfrey