- Elsie is crawling on her hands and knees! Ok, well, she can crawl backwards :) She can army crawl forward a few steps, but hasn't quite figured out how to shift out of reverse and go forward on her hands and knees. It's pretty funny to watch her; she'll go backwards until she runs into a wall or other obstacle, and then gets stuck until someone helps her out of the predicament. Silly girl. She'll get the hang of going forward soon.
- Sitting up on her own!
- Elsie can now stand with support for about 10-15 seconds. Just a week or two ago, she could only stand for a few seconds before her legs would buckle. Now, with one of us supporting her around the waist, she can stand against the couch and reach for objects. Not a big deal to some, but such a big deal here!
- Elsie learned how to go from lying down or crawling to sitting up, and from sitting up to crawling. This is a pretty big one to me personally; back in September we had our first visit at the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic, and the physical therapist there was a little discouraging. At the time, Elsie had low muscle tone and was a few months behind developmentally. I knew she was a little behind, but thought that Elsie was doing dang good regardless, especially when you think of all of the things she has gone through and overcome. But this physical therapist, while giving us some ideas of things to help Elsie get stronger, made a comment that stuck in my mind. She said something like, "I bet Elsie will be one of those babies who can sit up when someone sits her up, and will play sitting up for long periods of time because she won't know how to get herself out of the sitting position. She'll have a hard time learning how to change positions and become mobile." She wasn't saying it to be mean, she was trying to be motivational, like "Prove me wrong at the next time we see you by working really hard on this!" but was pretty sure that her prediction would be right. Our next appointment at the follow-up clinic will be sometime in February, and I can't wait to prove that therapist wrong. Elsie will be even stronger and faster by then. She continues to overcome her challenges and is proving everyone wrong all the time.
All of these amazing new developments started to take place right around Christmas time, and she is growing stronger and more confident in her new skills every day. Elsie is such a happy baby and it is so much fun to watch her learn new things. We just had her 12 month check up with the pediatrician, who is very pleased with her development. Elsie is weighing in at just under 17 pounds, and is about 26.5 inches long. For her actual age, she is just a little bit under the curve on the growth charts, but for her adjusted age (8 months) she is in about the 25th percentile for both height and weight. Considering that Miss Skinny-pants Evje was only 16 pounds and not on the curve at all when she turned one, I'm pretty happy with Elsie's growth.
There haven't been a lot of new changes with her feedings, just doing the same old stuff. Our feeding therapy appointment in December was cancelled because of a big snowstorm, so we don't get to see our fun therapist Helene until the end of January.
On Elsie's birthday, we kept things pretty low-key, considering that we are not supposed to have crowds around Elsie to protect her from RSV and other diseases. We had a small celebration with just the four of us, with cupcakes and a few presents. Elsie didn't eat her cupcake at all besides a few licks of the frosting on her fingers, despite the fact that it was cream cheese frosting which she has previously enjoyed. But we weren't expecting her to eat very much, so it wasn't too disappointing. And while we were singing happy birthday, Evje was throwing a fit and crying loudly because her cupcake did not have a birthday candle on it, so that was a special moment. And she didn't understand why Elsie got presents and she didn't, so we took a few of her already opened Christmas presents and wrapped them in a bit of newspaper so that Evje had some "presents" to open. Ahh, life is so confusing when you are two. Anyway, we're planning a birthday celebration for our families to join with us either in May or June. Maybe by then Elsie will be able to more fully enjoy some birthday cake.
Thanks for sticking with us during this eventful first year of Elsie's life! It's been quite a rollercoaster ride and we've been so thankful to have all of you supporting our little family.