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Coming Home
June 18, 2005
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Oh my, where have the last 2 1/2 months gone? I have intended many times to get this update written, but found either my time or my energy (or both!) lacking. Thankfully Chris is home for good and I am now feeling recharged due to his unending help in the parenting department. Nothing like having to solo parent for 3 months to make you appreciate your spouse!

Isabelle continues to change all the time. She has added to her vocabulary slowly but surely. Just a few weeks ago was the first time she said "Mama" unprompted. She was sitting in her high chair and was trying to get my attention to bring her more food. That's my girl! Other new words she has recently added to her repetoire are "go!", "come", "SpongeBob" and "poo poo". Obviously we have no control over the words she chooses to learn :) It is just magical to hear her talk, her voice is so soft and sweet. I know I will regret having said this one day, but for now we just can't get enough of her little voice! We have had her evaluated her locally by a speech therapist. The therapist feels like Isabelle is at least one year behind, but she said that she has all the basics she needs in order to catch up. She wants to see Isabelle twice a week for an hourly session. We were supposed to start with our biweekly visits this week, but Isabelle has been sick, so we will have to start next week. She also sees an occupational therapist once a week. I have learned a lot about Isabelle's issues from the OT, but unfortunately Isabelle does not like this woman. She's a bit of an in-your-face type and Isabelle really prefers being the one to take the initiative with new people. We are hoping to find a new OT in our area soon and hopefully one with good kid skills to boot!

Isabelle still loves to be outside. The swingset continues to be a big attraction as well as the sandbox. We have a set of play dishes that she uses to 'cook' with. Her favorite outside toy, which we sadly had to recently retire for the season, was the baby pool. All the time she spent wallowing around in the water paid off because now she loves the tub, even having water poured over her head doesn't bother her anymore. In fact, going to the tub is one of the things Isabelle never fails to do when asked! She and her sister spend every evening playing in the tub, followed by play time on mom and dad's bed. She loves to jump on our bed, holding my hands, and is becoming much more coordinated. In fact, she is beginning to jump off of small steps now. This is quite a milestone for her, something I never thought about with my other kids, but something we celebrate with claps and shouts now! She has also learned to go up stairs with alternating feet. Ooohhh, it's the little things sometimes, isn't it? We're so proud of her and how far she's come since joining our family.

She is growing and gaining weight well now. She's up to 34.5 inches (40%) and 29 pounds (65%). It still amazes me how tiny she was when we met her, and now she's a strong and healthy 2 year old! She still has a limited palate, preferring to stick to her tried and true favorites for most meals. But between the fact that she's two AND has sensory issues, this is to be expected. Her faves remain the same: chicken nuggets, cheese sticks, hot dogs, noodles, scrambled eggs, kiwi, apple, yogurt raisins and yogurt. She has added Cheez Its to her list, which is a big deal since they are so crunchy. It's a good sign her sensory issues continue to diminish. We recently stopped giving her a bottle which went off without a hitch. She never even asked for one! Unfortunately, she got sick soon afterward and we've had to give her a few bottles since then. Since she's been on antibiotics for several weeks (read lots of diarreah) we've had to cut out the apple juice she usually drinks. Since she won't drink much water, and won't drink milk out of a cup (go figure?) we've had to give her some bottles again. Hopefully she'll be on the mend soon and we'll say goodbye to the bottle once again.

Isabelle continues to sleep well, at least when she's not feeling poorly. A few weeks ago, she managed to climb out of her crib and fell with a big thump onto the floor. Poor thing got a rug burn on her nose and cried for several minutes before settling back down. Thankfully she has not tried this again since we are in no way ready for her to graduate from her crib! We're keeping this girl 'fenced in' as long as possible! She goes down easily around 9:30 and gets up, chattering to herself around 8:00. Naptime is almost always around 2:30 for about 2 hours. It is a wonderful break in the day for me, gives me a chance to catch up before having to corral our wild child in the afternoon!

On the move at the Botanical Gardens

2 sisters + 1 box = fun

That SpongeBob is SO funny

Don't you love these on me?

Snuggling daddy at the Moon Festival

One can never swing too much
As busy as she continues to be, I can look back only a few months and see all the strides she has made. She no longer gets into the potty or the fireplace. The main thing I have to be watchful of is writing utensils. One day recently I saw her playing with her back turned to me. She turned around and held out a pen, giving it to me. I had no idea she had that pen and even though she had just written on our ottoman, I couldn't help but tell her how proud I was of her for giving me that pen. What an accomplishment for her to realize she was doing something wrong and then stop herself! You know, I have thought many times about how much work and energy Isabelle requires. Many appointments, many evenings that we don't get to relax fully, knowing we have to be very diligent when Isabelle is 'on the loose'. Would I want Isabelle to be any different? Would I wish some of her 'issues' away? I can honestly answer, "Absolutely not". She is who she is, and we wouldn't change a thing. She has opened our eyes, reminding us to be grateful for the tiny things we all take for granted. She has caused us to rejoice over the things we used to overlook. We just hope we are able to bless and enrich her life the way she has ours.

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