Thursday, May 15, 2014

Annabelle's One-Year Update

Annabelle is a year old!  She continues to make great strides towards some big milestones.  She has been rolling with greater success, both from back to tummy and tummy to back.  Her supported sitting is improving by leaps and bounds, although if you take the support away, she immediately scoots her bottom out from under herself.  Our physical therapist hypothesizes that she may be a scooter rather than a crawler, but we shall see.  Actually, today was the first time that crawling was mentioned as a goal on the horizon, which is super exciting!

Annabelle's vision has noticeably improved recently.  She seems to be able to see and to be more interested in objects further away.  For example, when I hold her and other people come over to say hi, she will look at them.  Before, she would not focus on things outside of about a foot away from her face, so this is big progress.  Her hand-eye coordination has improved correspondingly.  She can now reach for a hanging toy with purpose and grab it.  She loves looking at books, and pats every page energetically and with laser-like focus.  Sometimes it even looks to me like she is trying to turn the page, although she is not able to do that yet unless I help her.  It must be close to a year ago that I was crying in the NICU thinking that Annabelle might be blind and never able to look at books.  Obviously, we are very glad that that NICU ophthalmologist was wrong!

We are making slow progress with solid foods.  We are still working on purees.  Anything with a slightly lumpier texture is unlikely to pass muster with Annabelle, although she does try almost anything.  We've been experimenting with pureeing chunky soups and rice and with fruit combinations, and she has been accepting most everything we try.  She is eating about twice as much at a sitting (up to two teaspoons!), and can deal with bigger spoonfuls (more than one molecule at a time!).  So I am encouraged, although it doesn't look like we will forego the feeding tube any time soon.

Another encouraging skill is that Annabelle is very responsive now to imitation games and will imitate some sounds and gestures.  She has learned to nod her head yes, with much concentration, and she loves to give kisses, which is about the cutest thing you'll ever see.  She has not started babbling yet, and I am a little afraid that she will not have the mouth control or coordination to speak.  But I am trying to be patient.  And she is certainly motivated to communicate - she makes all kinds of cooing sounds, clucks her tongue when she wants kisses, and kicks her legs delightedly when instructed to "run, run, run."

Annabelle's birthday was spent with a surprise visit to the hospital with a horrible chest cold, which turned out to be pneumonia.  She was a trooper and went home the next day after a full regimen of breathing treatments and antibiotics.

Cool as a cucumber in the hospital.
The day after her birthday we had an impromptu barbecue celebration, and we were able to get some birthday photos.

Annabelle's slinky party was moved back to this past weekend, and we had a wonderful time.  We are so lucky to have made such wonderful, supportive friends here.  Annabelle enjoyed her birthday balloons, her first taste of chocolate ice cream, and playing with Grandma while Mommy enjoyed chatting with her friends, Sophie ran amok with the other kids, and Daddy played cornhole outside with the guys.

More chocolate!  MORE!
So proud of her sitting!

1 comment:

  1. These are great photos, Ellen! It looks like Annabelle and everyone else had a fun party!