Monday, December 22, 2008

dear santa 2008,

Dear Santa,

I've been a pretty good girl this year. Some would agree with you, others would let me explain.

First, I'm really cute! You can't disagree with that. I think my charm brings smiles to faces of those I love as well as strangers. That's got to be worth something, right?

Second, I make really funny animal noises. Yah, some kids know moo, bah and quack...big deal... what other not-even-two-year-old knows animal sounds like hyena, crow and hippo?

My mom doesn't like it when I put small things from the carpet into my mouth. Really, I'm just trying to help her vacuum. Maybe you could let her know? And either way, if there's stuff on the carpet, she should vacuum more (maybe SHE should be on the naughty list???). I also like to unfold mommy's newly cleaned laundry and empty daddy's sock drawer. Sometimes she doesn't mind, but other times she does. Could you just let her know I don't like the way she folds it and puts it away? She needs to think outside of the box...

I know I should be walking right now. Everyone agrees with that: parents, pediatricians, therapists, orthopedic surgeons...I've seen 'em all...and they all say something's wrong, but they can't figure out WHAT. Since I'm not telling why I'm not walking yet, I think everyone should just enjoy the fact that I'm staying little. Parents say kids grow up too fast and this is my gift to mommy and daddy to stay little for just a bit longer. If you count "not walking" on the good girl list this year, I promise next year I'll walk. I PROMISE. You can let my mommy know that too.

Plus, I've come so far this year. Remember? In June I couldn't even go from lying down to sitting up on my own...I learned to do that, scoot, crawl, climb, cruise and walk just holding onto mommy's and daddy's pinky fingers in under 7 months! That's hard work!!

I'm quite a vocal child. I don't know many words yet (all those doctors say that has a lot to do with my walking...or lack thereof), so I have to express myself in other ways. I usually decide to express my emotions via screaming. Most people say this would include me in the "naughty girl" list, but I'm just trying to spice up life a little. I'm warming those vocal chords so when I learn to talk, no one will ever know what to do with all the real words that suddenly emerge.

I'm a great sleeper. I sleep for 12 hours every single night and usually take an incredible nap. I can sleep at anyone's house so my mommy and daddy can still have a social life. Mommy and daddy get so many compliments on this like it's something they did. Really, I'm just being a good little girl.

I have great hair. The curl makes for great pig tails, and looks wonderful without my mom doing basically anything to it. I know this isn't something that should be attributed to me, but hear me out. I'm not even two years old yet and I sit still (well, mostly still) for my mommy to pull and tug and create something she likes to call "french braids." Let me tell ya, these braids don't feel all that swell...and I'm not even French (well, I am a little bit)...and yet, I know it's something my mommy really wants, so I do it. Good girl. (Oh, and the bang issue my mommy has probably told you about...I promise to let them grow out this year rather than pull on my hair when I'm upset...I promise.)

One of my new favorite things to do is reach up onto mommy's nightstand and get into her vaseline. She REALLY doesn't like this, but I have an excuse. It's a good one. Remember how daddy's hands get really dry and then they crack open and bleed? I fear (since I'm basically a clone of daddy...and I got his fair, dry skin) my hands have that same fate. I'm simply trying to prevent my sweet little hands from disaster.

I'm so great in, okay, that's a lie. But, I sat through the first hour and 15 minutes for the last two weeks without daddy needing to take me out. Plus, I'm a champ in nursery. I'm pretty sure I'm the ONLY one who hasn't needed my mommy or daddy EVER. That alone should keep me on the good list.

Things I'm working on: not throwing my food, not hitting or pinching or biting, screaming less and speaking more, walking and cuddling. These things might take another year or so, so if you could let them slide, I'd be very appreciative.

So, as you see, I really should be included on the "good girl" list this year. I'm not too picky about gifts I would like to receive. I mean, I'm happy with a cardboard box and mardi gras beads...but something new would be nice.

I think that's all. If there's anything else, feel free to contact me, I'm sure I have an explanation.

Yours Truly,


p.s. Don't be offended with how I reacted to you last weekend. I've just never seen anyone with a beard quite like yours before.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

a mother's instinct is always right...

yup, that's right folks. I was right. YOU were wrong. This post is for all of you out there who said to me, "Oh, don't worry, Leah will walk when she wants to. She'll crawl when she's ready. My cousin's baby, blah, blah, blah...My sister's son, blah, blah, blah." Okay, i'm not really that rude. 16 months, i think it was past the time that leah would be moving when she was ready. I wasn't glad that I didn't have to chase her around like everyone thought I should be...I was worried that I would have to carry her to kindergarten!! She wasn't crawling or cruising or anything, so, my pediatrician wanted me to put her in physical therapy right away.
So, to physical therapy we went. We have been three times now...we go about every two weeks. Each time, we get a few assignments to work on. The therapist shows me what to do and I'm supposed to help her exercise as much as I can at home. Sounds great, right? WRONG. It is so hard! I never would have believed it if I weren't doing it, but most of the time she just fights it and it's like this battle to see who will outlast who...and Leah usually wins. It's emotionally and physically draining for me...but, we are starting to see some improvements.

When we started, Leah was 15 1/2 months old. She was sitting just fine, steamrolling like a champ and spinning on her bum (but only using her hands to push her in circles). She hated being on her knees, hated standing (or if she did stand, she would lock her knees and rest her chest against whatever she was standing against) and wouldn't walk along with me as i held her hands.

Now, 4 weeks later, she is:
  • going from lying down to sitting up all on her own (i cannot tell you how many times we worked on this! - we went to get her from her crib a few days ago and she was sitting up playing with her dolly, just giggling...she was so proud of what she had done!),
  • spinning in circles using her legs,
  • standing like a champ (and unlocking her knees sometimes),
  • using her feet a little bit for balance,
  • using her trunk and arms for balance A LOT more,
  • walking along with me as i hold her hands,
  • kneeling pretty well,
  • and...drumroll, please...SCOOTING FORWARD ON HER TUMMY. Yes, i said it. It can go down in the record books. Just this week she started scooting forward all on her own.

i know i sound like an idiot being so excited about this when she is 16 months old, but it's so nice to finally see some sort of improvement. It makes me feel like we're finally moving in the right direction and all the time and effort I have put into it in the last few weeks are paying off.

Today was a not-so-good day at the therapist's office because leah was a MEAN baby all day. But, then you see this...
...and you just melt. The rest of the picture that you don't see is Leah kneeling against her chair reading a book...and i saw her little toes sticking out behind her and just about lost it. She is so dang cute. And we are soooo proud of her!

yay for leah!