Thank you for visiting my blog! If you are visiting because you have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, let me say that I am so very sorry. I started this blog shortly after our Baby Grady was stillborn on November 12, 2008. Please visit the sidebar below called "Labels" to find the topic in which you are interested, or just read as your heart desires.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Matthew - 18 Months

I absolutely cannot believe our sweet Matthew is 18 months old today! It absolutely doesn't seem possible! Unfortunately, I can't post any real recent pictures because our camera is broken again. Grrrr! :/ But, I'll update you anyway.

He is very, very delayed which breaks my heart. There are certainly worse things in life, but it's very hard to see babies much younger than him doing so much more. And it's harder to see him want to do things that he physically can't do yet.

Physically he is progressing but very slowly. We still go to physical therapy every other week. We had been going every week until this week, but he seems to have hit a "wall". I continue to help him at home every day. He finally can get himself from laying down to a sitting position by pushing up with his left hand, but not his right. He still army crawls but has started to sporadically crawl on his hands and knees like normal. He pulls up on things pretty easily but always with his left foot in the lead and his right to follow. He cruises around the furniture and can walk behind a push toy. His right leg doesn't always cooperate and follow as it should, so I have to help it a little. We have some new tape to tape his leg so it is turned inward to help some when walking. He has just started to let go of things and stand for a couple of seconds before falling. He continues to prefer his left hand and mainly only uses his right when he has to. I do occasionally enforce some "forced use" therapy where I hold his left hand down and make him use his right. This does not make him happy!

We see the neurologist again in March. He had wanted Matthew's right heel to be evaluated by a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, so we have an appointment at Emory for that in February. He isn't saying he will have to have a heel-lengthening surgery. He just wants a baseline for future reference.

He isn't saying any true words least that we can understand. He jabbers all the time and converses back and forth with us. It does seem like he says "Hi" at times and "OK" but nothing definitive. At times it sounds like he says "Ummm" before he jabbers his language which is really cute. He says "Dadadada", "Mamamama" and "Babababa" but not appropriately. I think he calls Jessica "Guh" but again, we aren't sure. Emma Grace says her name from him is "Eh". He understands some simple commands which is encouraging. He knows where his most prized "lovie" is when I ask him, and he shares his pretend creations from the kitchen when I ask if I can have some. If I tell him to put a block in a box (for example) he can do that, too. His wheels are turning, and I continue to pray that he is neurologically and mentally intact. We just don't know the extent of the damage of that brain bleed, and we won't until he gets older.

Speaking of his head, Matthew was very sick at his 18 month well-check on January 16th, so it ended up being more of a sick visit instead. They did all his measurements and it didn't seem that his head grew at all since his 15 month check up. I measured it myself and it was bigger, but the pediatrician wants to measure his head every month for a while to be sure. I will know for sure about where his head plots and how much it has grown when we see the neurologist in March.

At 18 months, our little man weighed 25 lbs, 2 oz (40%), he was 32 1/2 in long (60%) and his head was 18 3/4 in (45%). Just three days prior to this visit he weighed 26 lbs but had lost a pound because of his sickness over that weekend. Also, when I measured his head, I got 19 1/4 inches. Who knows what's right or wrong and how much he weighs now! He is wearing 18-24 month clothes and size 4 diapers.

As for eating, he has all his teeth that he should have at this point, but he still struggles a bit. He doesn't like to eat veggies very well, so I'm very thankful for the veggie pouches that he will eat. He loves them and that's one way I can get some greens in him. He loves carrots if they are cooked in a roast and occasionally, if he's in the mood, he will eat some steamed carrots and peas. He gags on most everything else. :( At least he loves fruit with his favorites being bananas, strawberries, apples, and grapes. He likes mandarin oranges and pears on occasion, too. He would eat pizza or grilled cheese at every meal if I would let him. But, I don't, of course. He loves taco meat, avocados, black beans and spaghetti. Yogurt is a mainstay of his diet, too. He has just started to show interest in utensils, so I usually give him a spoon or a "spork" while he is eating. He puts food on it and takes the food back off to eat it. It's a start! Mostly he just loves to play with it and shove it in his mouth. The great news is that he is bottle free! He had his last bottle a couple of weeks ago. I was very sad to pack them up but elated to be done with them at the same time. He's really getting to be a big boy.

He goes in spurts with his sleeping. The last few nights have been great again with him going to bed around 7:30 and getting up between 6 and 7. He was getting up at 5am for a while which did not make this momma too happy. I'm not a morning person! He is still taking two naps, but I think he's about to switch to just one. That's a transition that I'm not looking forward to!

He has such a funny little personality! He loves to clap for himself over just about everything. He has the biggest smile that just melts my heart. He loves to play peek-a-boo and show you how big he is by raising his arms. However, he sometimes covers his ears instead of putting his arms up. I have no idea why! He has started showing his temper and voicing his opinion more loudly than ever. He has learned to arch his back and go limp when he doesn't get his way. He is very inquisitive as to any little change he sees or noise he hears. He likes to put things in something and take them back out, and he likes to pretend he's drawing or writing with a closed marker and some paper. He also loves to pull all the books all the shelves or the plastic containers out of the cabinets. He cries and pitches a fit for anything electronic, especially the girls' iPods and Jessica's iPhone. He still loves to play with the kitchen and loves to read books. His favorite books are "10 Little Ladybugs", "Wheels on the Bus" and "Five Little Monkeys". He tolerates "Goodnight Moon" but it's not his favorite. He loves to crawl into a room, close the door and play peek-a-boo. But he does not like it when he closes himself in! He loves to cuddle, especially when he's going to bed and waking up. He snsuggles into me and tucks his arms between us. And his open mouth kisses are still slobbery sweet...never can have too many of those! :)

Here are some of my favorite pictures of him from Christmas at 17 months old.

And, yes, he desperately needs his first hair cut SOON!

We love this little guy more than words can say! He makes our hearts happy and completely full of joy!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year, 2012!

Happy New Year my long lost friends! I miss you...really, I do! I have such great intentions to blog. I just don't make the time to do it. Obviously. And I apologize for that. Especially to readers like my Aunt Barbara, who reads this to keep up with our family. So, in honor of the new year, I will do a little catching up for all of you...and myself, too.

***We have had a GREAT break for Christmas. I have totally enjoyed our whole family being home. Gib goes back to work tomorrow; the girls go back Tuesday. Matthew and I will be lonely for sure. I'm not sure what, if anything, is going on with Jessica and her friends, but she hasn't asked to do much at all over break. She spent two nights with a friend and had another over one night, but that's it. I have totally enjoyed having her home. I'm sure things will change once school starts back.

We were going to go to Colorado this past week, but we decided to wait until our break in February. Plane tickets were way too expensive and are way cheaper if we wait. Gib's brother, Arthur, recently bought a house on a ski resort (Copper Mountain) in Colorado, and we're going to go check it out. Should be fun! I can't tell you how absolutely wonderful it is to have reconciled with Arthur after not really speaking for four years. Feels like the family is "back together"! I'm not sure we will ever be as close as we once were, but it just feels great to be in touch again.

The girls have gotten along exceptionally well this Christmas break. They have shared and spent some great time together. Jessica hardly ever uses her room upstairs; she mainly sleeps with Emma Grace. They really need a bunk bed. But don't tell them I said that! :)

***Matthew continues to blossom every day. His personality is so funny, and he is such a love! He absolutely melts my heart when I pick him up, and he lays his head on my shoulder. He has developed a temper, though. Gone is the laid back baby I once knew. Here is the baby who pitches a fit when he doesn't get what he wants...and I wouldn't have it any other way! I need to do an update on just him VERY soon.

***I'm reading "The Help". Emma Grace gave it to me for Christmas. I have a hard time putting it down. I really wanted to read the book before seeing the movie because that's just the way I prefer it. I'm almost done, but it feels like these last 100 pages or so are taking me the longest to get through.

I'm turning over a new leaf tomorrow, and I'm blogging about it for accountability. I'm starting South Beach diet tomorrow and am committed to exercising regularly. I did South Beach before I got pregnant with Grady and lost about 15 lbs. I like the way it works and think it's a healthy approach to weight loss. I turn 4o this September, and I'm determined to run a half marathon before then. And, I would love to wear a bikini to the pool this summer! :) Gib's mother made the mistake of saying "You can't run" to me at Gib's 40th birthday dinner. That just added fuel to my fire!

I'm also going to be looking for a nursing job this year. I really need the extra money, but more than that, I need something to call my own. Gib never makes me feel like the paycheck he receives is his...always "ours". But, I've worked since I was 14 and only recently have I not been earning an income of any type. I taught childbirth, breastfeeding and infant safety/cpr classes until Grady died, and then I continued to work at the preschool. I need something. I am starting my own support group for perinatal loss in one week, but I'm not getting paid. The funding for my salary has not come in, so I'm doing that on a volunteer basis. I'm also determined to get better at using coupons. I may not get a lot of free stuff like the "extreme couponers" do, but at least I will be saving money!

***I apologize for no pictures tonight. I'm tired and don't feel like waiting on them to load. One of my goals for 2012 is to blog more, not only for you my readers/friends but for memories for my family.

Happy New Year! See you soon!