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 yet...at 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!