Maggie had her 15 month checkup/pre-op appointment this week. Turns out she is on the grow!! She was just over 16 pounds when we got her, which was just over 2 months ago. She was 18.8 at her checkup this week! So she has gained 2 pounds in about 2 months! So happy. She's 20% in weight now, whoo-hoo! Height is progressing too. She was WAY below the growth chart initially, but now she's getting closer to approaching that bottom 2nd % curve. I love it and hope it continues. She definitely looks more filled out and robust, and feels heavier. Still tiny and still in 9 month clothes, but heading in the right direction.
and very drooly!
Her doctor wants her to stay on formula for the time being; we go back in 6 weeks for a height/weight recheck and decide where to go from there. She is very up and down with her bottles; some days she takes 4 big bottles a day, some days only 2. I never know ahead of time how much she wants, if only I could read her mind!
She also eats 1-2 containers of Step 2 baby food at each meal (no chunks!!). She snacks on Puffs, yogurt melts and cheerios and continues her aversion to any other table/solid food.
However, she happens to love any and everything she finds on the floor. Which has lead us to our newest adventure. She is getting very brave and adventurous around the house, which I no longer have time to clean as I should. She crawls around (she is a super speedy cra;wler by the way) and puts any small piece of dirt, toy, gunk, etc she can find in her mouth. So we're constantly watching her to see if she's got something in there. Luckily so far she'll cooperate when I tell her to open her mouth so I can dig it out.
Some things I don't realize she has eaten, though, and some of these things are making their appearance known another way. She's been having these big sneezing fits where she'll sneeze 9-10 times in a row (we had hardly heard her sneeze before now). Then something will either fly or ooze out her nose. So far we've seen 3 large chunks of paper that she has eaten and comes back out all soggy and gunky, a large piece of lint, a sticker, and a piece leaf off our indoor plant. All in the past 2 days. Seriously, what else does she have up there??
She's also become so used to us inspecting her mouth that whenever she sees someone with a flashlight, she automatically sticks her tongue out, opens wide and says ahhh. Smart cookie and pretty cute. Sam follows her around with a flashlight to get her to do it. We never knew a cleft could be so entertaining!
As for the white-gunk-in-her-palate saga, it's still there and it still stinks. We've given up fighting it; surgery is less than 3 weeks away!
Her other new trick is standing. On her own, without having to pull up or hold onto anything. She is so proud of herself. No steps yet, but she can stand and clap or do knee bends without falling for quite a while. We are not far from having a walker. Heaven help us. :)
Our biggest challenge is daytime sleeping. She sleeps about 12 hours at night very well. Naps are another story. She prefers to take a long nap in the morning, and then refuses to take an afternoon nap. So right now we're trying to skip her morning nap and just do an afternoon one... but she often wakes up after only an hour. Often with poop in her diaper, and then won't go back to sleep. She needs a longer nap, so I'm very hopeful that will come with time.
Developmentally she is also making great progress. She uses some sign languages when she feels like it, although not consistently yet. She can sign more, all done, up, and drink. Her doctor was very pleased with her progress with gross and fine motors skills; she's still behind but learning fast. Speech, of course, is one area that will be far behind for quite some time. Kids at 15 months typically have at least 2-3 words; she only has 2-3 SOUNDS she can make. She makes those sounds ALL THE TIME but they are just repetitions of the same sounds. No words at all and I don't think she is physically capable of making all the sounds due to the structure of her mouth. I love how verbal she is, though. she isn't left out of one conversation here; I just know this will serve her well once surgery is over and she can really start to talk.
Another change we've noticed is that she will now help us put her arms and legs through her clothes when getting dressed. She used to be just completely floppy and counterproductive. I really think she sat in her crib in the same clothes day after day. It's so reassuring to see her participating in her own care now.
One of my favorite changes in her is her hair. When we got her, it was very coarse and wiry due to lack of nutrition. Now it has softened up so much and filling out. I feel like this is physical proof of how much healthier she is becoming now that she's getting the nutrition she needs. Also, she had her head shaved quite a few times in China (commonly done there); I'm excited to let it grow and see what it does.
Most importantly, she is delicious. I'm seriously in baby heaven with this girl. Maybe it's because she's my 4th and I've finally stopped worrying over the little stuff (although she does have me worrying about bigger stuff like surgery!). I'm so enjoying her babyhood. I feel like I missed that with Allie. Although Allie was younger when she came home (11 months compared to Maggie's 13 months), Allie was a full toddler at that age. She was running, talking, feeding herself and very independent. Allie seemed MUCH older than she was (to the point that we questioned her birthday!). Conversely, Maggie is still very much a baby and I am eating it up. She can't feed herself or bottle or with a spoon yet, and is just physically very dependent on us. Her skin is the softest skin I have ever felt, and I find myself just nuzzling her sweet face and cuddling. We hit the baby jackpot, I tell ya. Yumm-o.
In other news, my other "little" girl has hit a major growth spurt. At 3 and a half, Allie has outgrown her 3T clothes seemingly overnight. She's opposite from Maggie in so many ways; she has always been tall for her age and looks much older than she is. She is crazy smart. People don't believe us that she's only 3 in the way she looks and how smart she is. (But she can still throw a tantrum like a 3 year old, that's for sure!) She just seems more grown up lately. She's strikingly beautiful. She takes my breath away sometimes and she loves to "baby" her baby sister.
The boys have hit a new milestone, too. Finally, after putting it off for YEARS, we bunked their beds. They have begged and pleaded for this for so long. They were 2 and 4 when they started to share a room; they're almost 6 and 8 now. We said that as soon as Ben was completely healed from his surgery, we would do it. This was the first weekend that he's been fully recovered, so they made sure we didn't forget! They were involved in the whole process, of course, and are loving it.
and all the help in between....
Speaking of Ben's surgery, it took him a good 12 full days to be off pain meds and back to a regular diet. The norm is 7-10 days; the nurse I spoke with told me he was a "straggler" who took longer than most. Poor guy; he was miserable day after day. He had more ice cream, Motrin and Tylenol than I care to admit during that time, but we've made it to the other side. And now he has a canyon in his throat! His tonsils nearly touched even when not infected before; he was not sad to tell them goodbye!
Funny story: yesterday I made the boys go out and shovel the driveway before they could play Wii. I gave them all kinds of instructions such as don't go near the road, keep your hat and gloves on, no fighting, etc. However, I neglected to tell them to shovel the NORMAL way. They opted to go the "let's shovel all the snow in a big pile right behind mom's van" route. And then needed help moving the frozen solid pile out of the way. Obviously my instructions will be more clear next time. Never ever a dull moment.
So we are down to less than 3 weeks until Maggie's surgery. It's scheduled for February 6th as long as we can keep her healthy. Not an easy task during flu season with 3 siblings bringing home germs every day. Recently we have ventured out of our cocoon a bit for some play dates and things, but soon we'll retreat back into our cocoon and pray we can keep her from getting sick; we are really ready to face this Surgery Mountain and get over it. We've been told it's one of the most difficult surgeries for a child to recover from. It's going to be tough going for our little one for about 3 weeks post surgery. We're starting to make plans for the other kids, etc to make things as easy as possible so we can give Maggie the care she needs during that time. We would appreciate prayers for good health and quick healing for her.
Supervising bathtime. :)