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Friday, April 15, 2011

bella beana: 15 months


Dear Mirabel,


The most remarkable thing happened this week.


You waved hello.


It’s your new party trick. In the last four days we’ve been showing off this awesome new feat to everyone. Wave to Mirabel! Mirabel, wave hello! Hi, Mirabel!! And it’s just a stiff, delayed upward hand jab. But I can see you processing the movement, and wanting to wave back, and concentrating so hard, and then your pudgy little digits flip up, for just a second, and I’m jubilant.


You are fifteen months old today, and besides your new salute, you’ve been making some physical leaps and bounds as of late. Nothing as remarkable as pulling up, or crawling, or even getting yourself into a seated position, but you seem wiser and stronger, and your pudge is slowly leaving those rosebud cheeks.


You still have a pretty insane reflux problem, and in addition to your weekly physical therapy we’re seeing a pediatric feeding specialist every other week. You had a swallow study at the hospital a couple months ago and when the feeding specialist got the results back she said you were the first case, in her 13 years of practice, of a child with the combination of issues that you have. Issues like swallowing too much air and a sphincter that doesn’t fully open and low muscle tone and gastric reflux, which, when added all up equal the Mirabel Special, which is equivalent to 6 bibs a day.


You are slowly learning to feed yourself, aka bring your hand to your mouth, and the Baby MumMums are the first thing you’ve been able to successfully chomp at solo. The super puffs, the bits of bread, the other easily-dissolved (because you can’t yet chew) items are just too tricky to understand. You’ll get a puff in your hand, get all freaked out and surprised, and flail the hand around like the puff is a magic dragon or something. The MumMums are longer, and very light, and a bit of an accomplishment.



You’ve gotten the clear to begin cows’ milk, but the few times I’ve introduced it to you have not produced pleasant results. Your spit-ups are extra stinky and super chunky, and just gross. You still wake up in the middle of the night around 3:30 a.m., and no matter how long we try to let you work it out and fall back asleep, you get worked up, and keep goingandgoingandgoingandgoing until one of us trudges upstairs to rock or feed you. I will be immensely grateful when this stage has passed. Since fifteen months feels like a really long stage. I’ve been told it is most likely due to your reflux, and I’m supposing it’s time to just buck up and start the prescription meds that your doctor prescribed a while ago, instead of hoping the probiotics we sprinkle in your bottles will suffice. Poor Bella Beana Ballerina.


You are so lovely. Your spirit is so kind and accepting. You are calm, and deep, and pleasant and good. Until we begin your therapies. You are not a fan of either therapy and you’ll flail and throw your head back during feeding work and whimper and pound your little face on the ground during physical therapy. I’ll admit there are times I wish your PT (who we do love) would take it a wee bit easier on you, but I understand that these steps are necessary for your ultimate strength. You still just sit and plop and roll and lay, and I am eagerly anticipating the day you learn to scooch around after me.



You continue to be a world-class snuggler. You are soft and love to be held against a shoulder after your nighttime bottle. You nuzzle in, breathe slowly, and twirl your fingers in my hair. You love nothing more than to be held, or rocked, or nursed, or cuddled or squeezed. You explode with darling laughter when I flutter my fingers over your belly and around your ribs. And you make it easy on all of us to comply with your snuggle wishes - your fat little thighs and wrinkly little toes and marshmallow buns are totally irresistible.


Welcome to your sixteenth month, my dear. I’m predicting we see a tooth or two in the next couple of weeks. I ‘m predicting some belly crawling in the next month. I’m predicting a welcoming wave with every day-making smile you shine out to the world.

I love you, Mirabel!

Love,

Mama



2 comments:

Elaine said...

You and Mirabel are beautiful - and just where you need to be. I love you.

Allison in AK said...

So glad to see such an honest and lovely update on Mirabel ~ life is good!