Monday, December 30, 2013

Captain's log, stardate 30.12.2013. This may be my last entry.

So, last time I remarked that 30 weeks felt like panic time. Well, turns out I was wrong. 38 weeks (and change) is definitely panic time. Less than two weeks to go! Jim was a couple days early, too, and they say that your second is usually a little earlier than your first, so really, could be any day now. Holy crap. So let's have an update, since we haven't had one of those in a while.

Me this morning. I feel like I'm going to topple over any second.

How far along? 38 weeks and 2 days.
Total weight gain/loss: Up 28 pounds. At least five of those are from Christmas, though.
Maternity clothes? I have three shirts and one pair of pants that fit. I have some dresses, too, but it's too damned cold for dresses right now.
Stretch marks? Two new ones, each about a centimeter long. I'm hoping they don't spread.
Sleep: Really uncomfortable. My back hurts no matter how I lie.
Best moment this week: I got a bonus ultrasound on Friday, and my sister got to come, so that was fun. Also, Jim announcing firmly that he will help the baby chop down a tree.
Movement: Yes, lots. I think she's trying to tunnel out through my cervix.
Food cravings: Ice cream.
Gender: Ultrasound tech confirmed girl for the fourth time (and used the euphemism 'hamburger' for the girly bits, which is particularly gross, yes?).
Labor Signs: Tons of practice contractions and cervical pressure.
Belly Button in or out? In, but super tiny.
What I miss: Getting off the couch without it being a complete production.
What I am looking forward to: Putting adorable pink hats on her. Also, watching a newborn and a toddler attempt to chop down a tree.
Milestones: Full-term, of course.

We may have gone slightly overboard on the clothes. This is all newborn or 0-3m stuff.

38 weeks with Jim, just for reference. And as a reward for scrolling down this far...

Ultrasound pictures from Friday (37w6d). She definitely looks more like my side than Noah's, I think.

Seriously, look at those cheeks.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas preparations.

So this was basically the most exciting thing that has ever happened to Jim. He's been obsessed with "Kismas teeeeeeeees" ever since he first saw one, so getting our own and setting it up was pretty thrilling. Even Noah the Grinch had to play along with his enthusiasm.

Noah gets the tree ready.

His adoring audience.

Jim proved his might by carrying in the tree stand all by himself.

Jim supervises to ensure a straight tree. Also, Noah is incapable of keeping his shirt around while doing labor of any sort.

I demonstrate proper tree decorating techniques while Jim takes notes.

Jim is delighted. Lottie is inscrutable.

Festive spirit is not Jim's strong suit.

Our stockings and half-assed mantel lights which I keep intending and neglecting to fix. Originally we were going to use all identical stockings, but Jim spotted the middle one and insisted on having the one with candy.

Jim admires the finished product.

His favorite ornament. He's already ripped a leg off once, but fortunately they go back on easily (unlike the glass balls, which he has smashed one of so far).

Thursday, November 21, 2013

By request...

Since Mom wanted to know how enormous I'm looking these days, here you go, along with a couple other pictures I took while I had the camera in-hand.

32 weeks and 5 days. Excuse the messy mirror; Jim stands up there to wash his hands after dinner and likes to high-five his reflection.

Jim wonders why I'm pointing the camera at him when he's just trying to enjoy his cheese and apples. Note his size 18m jeans, which fit perfectly in the waist but come to about mid-shin. Long skinny toddlers are hard to buy clothes for, people.

Bruce does not understand why I am taking a picture of myself and not him.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Toddlers suck at deception.

Jim has lately taken to hiding behind the big yellow chair in the living room whenever he does something that he suspects is forbidden. Case in point from five minutes ago:

We're happily lounging on the couch when Jim gets a sudden gleam in his eye. He waits until I'm not looking, then stands up and shuffles over to the chair. I pretend to not notice as he peers around the corner to make sure I haven't spotted his treachery. Moments later, the rustling begins.

"Hey Jim," I say. "What're you doing back there?"

"Take off diaper!" replies Jim all cheerful-like.

The kid's practically George Washington. We oughta get him a cherry tree for Christmas. (And no, he didn't successfully get it off - the tabs are too sticky. He did manage to remove his footie pajamas, though, despite the snaps and zipper.)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Linguist-parent bragging.

Is it weird for me to be excited that Jim knows how to make plurals now? He knows the difference between 'one apple,' 'two apples,' 'one banana,' 'two bananas,' etc., and uses them correctly without prompting. He can also sort of count (well, 'one' means one and all other numbers translate to 'more-than-one'), but hey, I'm no mathematician, so I'm happier about the plurals.

To prove his accomplishments:

We tried the ABCs twice because sometimes he makes it to K before skipping to Q, but alas, no luck. And I did help him a little by holding up fingers to remind him of 4 (that's the tricky one for him), but otherwise, that was all Jim.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Vague updates on Mr. Jim.

Jim looking adorably dopey on the porch.

Jim is turning into a ridiculous little thespian and likes to pretend things.

Exhibit A
He has this soft little green ball that he loves. Playing catch with it is part of his afternoon ritual of ambushing Dad the second he walks in the door for raucous games of tackle, chase, PT, and other assorted roughhousing. The other day, though, it became apparent that the little ball had gained weight dramatically when Jim picked it up, suddenly bent double, and began staggering around the floor with cries of "Ooh, heavy! Heavy ball!" He was actually really convincing.

Exhibit B
As everyone knows, dinosaurs are extremely seggy* and must be feared. Jim has lately taken to insisting on looking at pictures of "Seggy dinos!" If the picture is especially alarming, he'll touch the teeth with his index finger, then yank it back and go "Ow ow owwww!" and insist that the wounded digit be smooched. This also applies to stuffed animals and embroidered dinosaurs on his favorite pajamas.

Crazed imaginings aside, Jim is doing terribly well. He can now sing the Alphabet Song and attempts to ride his tricycle correctly, although he can't quite coordinate his feet to do it for more than two feet. On the down side, he thinks using silverware is for chumps and hiding from diaper changes is hilarious.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

30 weeks = panic time?

How far along? 30 weeks.
Total weight gain/loss: Up 16 pounds.
Maternity clothes? I'm kind of running out of things that fit. Plus it's getting cold (for Georgia, anyway) , and I just can't justify buying a maternity coat to wear for like ten weeks, so I've been living in Noah's hoodies. Yeah, I look like a bum.
Stretch marks? No new ones, hallelujah glory be.
Sleep: It'd be a lot better if Jim would sleep past 5:30 in the morning, but my bladder has actually been treating me better lately, so I'm relatively happy.
Best moment this week: Nothing in particular, but watching Jim play in the leaves has been pretty good.
Movement: She's about 50 times more violent than Jim was. I hope this doesn't mean anything for when she comes out.
Food cravings: MEAT. I could could up a couple pounds of ground beef and just eat it plain.
Gender: Weiblich.
Labor Signs: Nej.
Belly Button in or out? In, but getting weird.
What I miss: My back not hurting. Owww.
What I am looking forward to: Having an outside baby and not looking like an elephant seal.
Milestones: 75% done! Ten weeks to go sounds craaaaaaazy.

30 weeks with Jim, just for reference.

I'm noticing that I've been worried about completely different things this time than when I was pregnant with Jim. I'm much much much less worried about actually having a teensy baby. Last time I was really concerned that I was going to break Jim or something, but it turned out that newborns aren't nearly as fragile and complicated as I expected. Taking care of them isn't easy, but it's pretty simple. Food, diaper, sleep, repeat every hour around the clock. I wouldn't say I'm looking forward to complete exhaustion and nightmarish sleep deprivation, but I'm not afraid of it. I know I can survive the first couple months, after which I can go back to a luxurious six hours a night.

What's really scary is the actual having-the-baby part. Last time I didn't think it could possibly be that bad. I thought it would be a big mind-over-matter thing, 'the only thing to fear is fear itself,' etc. But in reality? As it turned out, labor really freaking hurts. And sometimes it ends with a really traumatic c-section. So I'm a little terrified. I'd like to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) if possible, and I know the odds are in my favor (about 70% success rate with VBACs at this hospital) and that needing a c-section for a transverse baby last time was just a fluke, but I'm a total wuss, so I am dreading it. I hope I actually get to push this time, though. That'd be nice. I'm mostly just afraid of going through six millions hours of painful labor just to have another c-section.

And yeah, I know I know, healthy baby is all that matters. But can you really blame me for not wanting to get cut open again?

Friday, October 11, 2013

In which Lottie shows her face.

I almost titled this one "In which Lottie shows her face and is also discovered after many weeks of hospital bullcrap to have a working heart," but that seemed both too long and syntactically awkward.

Sometime in earlyish August, we discovered A.) that Lottie is a Lottie and not a William or a Charles or a Daniel and B.) that Lottie appeared to have an irregular heartbeat. Now, being fans of large numbers and other scientifical things, we were aware that it was likely not a big deal, since many fetuses have irregular heartbeats at that age and just grow out of it, but still, it's a little worrying, you know? So naturally we set up an appointment at the first available time to see the resident high-risk OB for a fetal echo. We went to that appointment in late August and discovered... that the guy who does the echos wasn't there after all, and we'd have to come back another time. So we did. We waited another two weeks, came back, and were told again that the echo guy wasn't available after all, and we'd have to reschedule.

So, the next appointment was on Wednesday, October 9. That is, for those keeping track, about two months after first being told that our baby possibly had a heart defect. It's a long time to wait. But hey, we're patient people, so we came in Wednesday morning all ready to finally find out, aaaaand... Yeah, that's right. Dear Dr. Echo was gone again. Yep. Like I said, we're pretty patient, but that was kind of hard to swallow. So we decided to just hang out at the hospital all day long until he got back from his pedicure or whatever.

As it turned out, we were there for a bit over six hours. We got to go see the nurse practitioner, who told us very little of interest (except that my uterus is measuring about two weeks ahead, which is mildly interesting - I think it was about the same with Jim), and I got my glucose test finally, which was about as delicious as it was last time, only with a different flavor. I highly recommend choosing fruit punch over orange if you ever have the option. Still waiting to hear if I've got the beetus, though. And then finally around three o'clock we finally got to go have the echo done.

Long story short: Lottie is fine! Her heart looks awesome, everything is where it should be, all bits are functioning correctly, and there are no more signs of any irregularities. So that's good, yes? Plus, they gave us a shiny CD of ultrasound pictures, so I can actually show you! Success at last.

(Be warned - there are a LOT of ultrasound pictures here. If you are not a doting grandmother, you probably will not make it the whole way through.)

Here's Lottie at 11w6d at the NT scan, which was months and months ago. Note the hand in front of the face; she apparently likes it there.

A marginally more human-looking one from the anatomy check at 19w4d (the same one where we heard about the possible heart issue).

Again, from the 19w4d scan. Again with the hands.

Only one we could get of her face from that ultrasound. She kind of looks like the cowardly lion, yes?

22w4d, and looking very cerebral.

Also 22w4d (this was one of our consolation prize scans, since the good doctor wasn't there to do the echo).

And another! The poor ultrasound tech felt bad so she gave us a lot of 3-d pictures.

And this one's from Wednesday. Kind of a weird shot, but you can see her arm in front of her face with her nose and mouth poking out under it.

And from the side.

She apparently has one freakishly huge hand. Noah says she will probably go in circles when she learns to swim.

Creepy face-out-of-nowhere.

This one kind of looks like Jim did.


And there's the hand.

Grouchy face and giant brainy cranium.

So there you have it. A nice healthy heart and 15 weeks of ultrasounds. And can you believe she's due in exactly three months today? Crazy talk, man. I don't think we're ready.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jim the Expert Baker

Jim has been wanting cookies all morning. He brought me his stuffed animals, lined them up, and demanded 'cookie! milk!' for all of them. So I promised him we'd make some cookies. Unfortunately, the poor guy doesn't understand that we have to wait for the butter to soften first. So we keep going out to check if it's ready yet, and each time he comes back disappointed. Finally, he goes out without me to check on his own, and comes back holding the butter proudly aloft.

Mama: Jim, it's not ready yet. Go put it back on the table.
Jim: Ready! Cookie!
Mama: Jim, do YOU know how to make cookies?
Jim: Da. (in an 'of course I do, woman' tone of voice)
Mama: Okay, how do you make cookies?
Jim: Mix in a circle.

...well, that is the gist of it. I guess since I'm no longer needed I'll just go take a nap and let Jim bring me the cookies when they're finished (although I suspect they'll taste remarkably like well-mixed butter).

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Oh, the humanity.

Lately Jim's naps have more often just been 'quiet time' during which he can sleep or read his books or play with blocks or what have you. So Noah and I didn't think much of it today when he spent the noon hour clapping his hands and chortling to himself instead of sleeping quietly. Until, that is, I came back down the hall from a bathroom visit (damn my shrinking bladder).

Five points to anyone who can guess what's on his hands without reading the rest of this post.

So, anyway, I came wandering down the hall while Jim carefully put the finishing touches on a particularly impressive tower. The second he heard me coming, he rushed to the gate across his doorway and started waving at me. "Poop," he yells. "Poop! Poop! Poop!"

Fool that I am, I didn't stop immediately. I waved back and gave him a half-hearted "Yes, Jim, poo-" but before I could finish, the smell hit me. Then I noticed his hands. And his face. And the walls. And the glue holding his spectacular tower together.

Naturally, I yelled for Noah immediately. He stripped and popped into the shower with Jim while I assembled all the supplies I could muster and started wiping down Jim's room. We haven't sorted through everything yet, but I think we only have two or three victims of Jim's experimentation to throw away, so it could be worse.

Still, I'm using this as an excuse to zip Jim into a full-length onesie before naptime every day. Backwards, if need be.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


How far along? 24 weeks.
Total weight gain/loss: Up eight pounds. Weight gain is finally starting now that the morning sickness has tapered off.
Maternity clothes? Need more. I have one pair of jeans, two dresses, and about five shirts that I can wear.
Stretch marks? No new ones.
Sleep: Awful! Horrible, wretched, miserable, etc. At least 3 pee breaks per night and a sore back in the morning. Sigh.
Best moment this week: NOT peeing my pants when Jim and Lottie pounced on my bladder simultaneously from opposite sides. Major victory, I say.
Movement: Tons of it, and very vigorous. I swear this girl is trying to claw her way out through my cervix right now.
Food cravings: Sweet things of all sorts. Anything from oranges to cheesecake.
Gender: Girl! Checked and double-checked. :)
Labor Signs: A couple Braxton-Hicks contractions every day.
Belly Button in or out? In.
What I miss: Having a bladder somewhat larger than an eyedropper.
What I am looking forward to: Finally getting that fetal echo done (scheduled for October 9th now - we'll see if they change it).
Milestones: Viability! At 24 weeks, Lottie would have a decent chance of survival if she decided to come out early. Mildly reassuring.

Jjim's 24-week update, for the sake of comparison.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Much-needed updates.

Sigh. It looks like I'm not going to be able to post any pictures any time soon, since our main computer is on the fritz and the camera adapter has gone mysteriously missing. So it seems we're all going to have to make do with a giant wall o' text. Enjoy.

Jim is awesome. He is talking SO well lately. He's putting two and sometimes three words together, and his vocabulary is now huge and more-or-less understandable (to us, anyway). His funniest mispronunciation is 'geesh da!' which means 'I love you.' I have no idea why, but it does. I'm also fond of 'seggy,' which means 'scary.' In addition to his immense store of words, he also now knows all his colors and shapes, and he can count accurately to three (he can identify if there are one, two, or three dinosaurs in a picture, for example, but anything more than three reverts back to two as a default).

One of his favorite activities at the moment is telling stories. A couple nights ago he insisted on 'reading' The Cat in the Hat to me. His story went more or less as follows (with page-turning as needed): Babies! Cat! Hat! Rake and cake and fish and book and milk and boat! CRASH! Uh oh! Thing two and thing two! Uh oh! MESS! Uh oh, mama, SCARY! Mess! Clean up clean up clean up! Good job!

Yeah, Jim speaks exclusively in exclamation marks.

In other news, Jim continues to be the most stereotypical boy that ever lived. His favorite things are dinosaurs ("Dinos! RAAAAAAAAAAR! Seggy!") and rocket ships ("Rocka sip! One two three two five BOOOOOOM!"). He has more or less stopped building houses with his blocks and now exclusively makes rocket ships, which are just like houses only more vertical. He gets very annoyed when they don't actually lift off when he yells BOOOOM.

Alas, the poor kid is also pretty accident prone. He bashes some part or other practically every day. On Sunday he took the worst fall I think he's ever had. I was upstairs sleeping in (hurray for Noah!), so all I heard was the CRASH and the WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, but upon going downstairs I heart all about it. Apparently the poor kid decided to just jump off the couch and land forehead-first on the edge of the coffee table. His entire forehead was one hugely swollen goose egg, with a horizontal line running the width of it. He still has about two inches of line left on his forehead. As you might expect, he actually quite enjoys telling that story, too. It goes: CRASH table! Hurt! Ice coooold! Hurt!

On a less pleasant note, he's also decided that hitting/kicking/headbutting/tackling/etc are all enjoyable activities. He's a pretty painful kid at the moment. Noah usually gets it all out of his system with some controlled games of tackle, but he still gets into the occasional hitting fit. We've started doing time outs in his room (just two minutes or so), and that works pretty well. Hopefully he grows out of it soon.

The Baaaaaaaby
As you all probably know by now, Baby No-no is a girl! We've decided to call her Charlotte Mae, and we'll be using Lottie as a nickname. We just had an ultrasound Wednesday, during which we got many adorably creepy 3-D pictures that I can't show you because of computer issues. She's apparently around a pound and four ounces, which puts her at roughly 50th percentile across the board. I'm kind of curious how accurate the ultrasound estimates will be this time, since they had Jim at around 70th percentile right before birth but he turned out to be a teeny tiny baby.

The Wednesday ultrasound was actually supposed to be an echo with a real live doctor to check on Lottie's heart, since the tech found a murmur at her 20 week ultrasound. Alas, the doctor had some kind of emergency elsewhere this time, so we didn't get the full work-up, but the tech looked at it and said that as far as she could tell, everything looks normal and there is no murmur to be seen. So hopefully she's outgrown it already! We're going back in another two weeks to get the full echo done, though, just to be sure.

I tend to think she's okay, though. She's the most vigorous little thing in the world, and already hurts my poor bladder/cervix/ribcage/etc more than you'd think any 1-pound creature possibly could. My biggest struggle at the moment is convincing Noah that she needs cute girl things. He's convinced that she can just wear Jim's old camo and tractor gear until she's a teenager. I've managed to get him to consent to a few cute girly things from the thrift store, so I think we're on the right track.

The Rest of Us
Noah and I have been completely consumed with working on the house lately. So far we've painted both upstairs bathrooms (which included spending a full week stripping wallpaper, yeuch - I will never ever ever again buy a house with wallpaper in it), finally finished the dining room ceiling (almost - still have to sand and paint it), redid the stinky closet downstairs, patched and painted all the duct-tape-covered holes above the stove, and thoroughly sorted out the fireplace room. We've got a huge long list of projects still to be done yet. Other than that, we have been pretty boring. This weekend we're going up to Charlotte with grand plans of apple-picking with Emmy and Ilya. I'll take a lot of pictures, of course, but it looks like nobody will be able to see them for a few weeks yet. Such is life, ja?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's a she-baby!

Just for the record.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

16 weeks.

Due to popular demand, I'll be posting a picture of Jim with a freshly-built 'houf' on Monday. For now, here's on update on No-no's well-being.

How far along? 16 weeks.
Total weight gain/loss: Down two pounds, thanks to some bad coleslaw. Noah and I have both been ridiculously sick the past day or two. Jim, fortunately, wouldn't eat anything but mac 'n' cheese that night, so he's just fine.
Maternity clothes? Of course.
Stretch marks? No new ones.
Sleep: Really bad. I have a hard time getting to sleep, toss and turn all night with weird dreams, and then wake up at 6 since Jim has decided he likes getting up early lately. SO CRANKY.
Best moment this week: Getting blood successfully drawn on the first try! Usually it takes them fifteen attempts before they give up and use the back of my hand.
Movement: A little fluttering here and there.
Food cravings: Nothing right now. Food = gross and horrible.
Gender: Don't know, but hopefully we can schedule the u/s to find out when I have my appointment Monday.
Labor Signs: Nope.
Belly Button in or out? In.
What I miss: Climbing the stairs without getting out of breath.
What I am looking forward to: Knowing if it's a he-baby or a she-baby.
Weekly Wisdom: Don't eat coleslaw from Wal-mart. You'll regret it.
Milestones: I think I finally look more pregnant than fat, so that's cause to rejoice.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

15 weeks and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall's weeeeeeeeeell.

Five weeks since the last statistical update? I guess it's true what they say about the second kid getting short shrift. That makes me sad. :(

Weight difference between pictures = 0. Where did it all come from, I ask you?

How far along? 15 weeks.
Total weight gain/loss: Pennsylvania put a couple pounds on me, I guess, bringing me to a net gain of zero.
Maternity clothes? Hell yes. Did you SEE that picture up there? No way my old pants are fitting.
Stretch marks? Nein nein nein.
Sleep: Crappy. It's starting to be hard to sleep on my back, and sleeping on my stomach is totally out of the question, and sides are just uncomfortable without three times as many pillows as I currently own.
Best moment this week: Getting HOME (cat pee and dead chickens and mold notwithstanding).
Movement: I swear I've felt some fluttering around, but 15 weeks is still kind of early for that. I'm going to chalk it up to imagination for a couple more weeks.
Food cravings: Fruit fruit fruit. Also ice cream.
Gender: No idea, but we can find out SOON. Need to call and schedule that, actually.
Labor Signs: Nej.
Belly Button in or out? In, and not going anywhere.
What I miss: Sleeping on my back.
What I am looking forward to: Acknowledging fetal movement without feeling like a crazy with a hyperactive imagination.
Weekly Wisdom: If you go camping while pregnant, bring an air mattress, or at least a foam pad or something. My back is STILL killing me.
Milestones: Well, we entered the second trimester while I was gone, so that's something, yes?

For comparison's sake: Fifteen Weeks with Big Jim.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Guten Tag, meine Damen und Herren. First off, pictures/tales from our visit to PA last week are coming, but I've got about 6 gigs of pictures to sort first, so it's gonna take a while. For now, please enjoy these tales of Jim from the past couple of days.

Or, to be more accurate, "houf!" Jim has fallen completely in love with his Megablocks set. He's progressed from building tall towers of single bricks to massive structures using every block in the set. When finished, he stands up and announces, "Uh oh! Houf!" and demands that I come over and "see houf!" He's started taking it a step farther, too. In addition to simply pointing out the beauty of his houf, he will now point out the precise locations of the 'do' and 'webbow' (door and window, you see). Last night he even went so far as to "knock knock knock" on the door, but he restrained himself to just saying and miming it, so as not to knock down the whole magnificent structure.

We went back to the speech pathologist yesterday, and according to her, Jim is "AMAZING." His speech progress is huge in the last couple of weeks (as you may be able to tell by all the words in quotes here), but what really impressed her was his vast knowledge of geometry. At one point, he pulled a star-shaped something out of the toy box, announced unprompted that it was a "sar," and then proceeded to place it on top of a star-shaped hole in a different toy. I wasn't aware that this was weird, but it flabbergasted the poor lady. Apparently being able to point to shapes when asked is good for this age, being able to say the name unprompted is VERY good, and being able to match it up with the same shape in a different context is positively astounding. No offense to the grandparents who have been saying this all along, but hearing that your kid is a genius from a stranger with a lot of degrees is totally more impressive.

In Jim-speak, "boots" means "broken," and that's what he declared his bed to be after Noah turned it from a crib into a toddler bed last night. Fortunately, he got over his disapproval pretty fast and went to bed in it without a fuss, despite the missing side. All was going well (maternal sniffling at his big-boy-bed notwithstanding) until we heard a huge THUMP! several hours later. So we raced upstairs, heads filled with thoughts of concussions or broken limbs or at the very least some mental trauma, but what did we find upon opening the door? Jim, of course, lying on the floor beside his bed snoring like the world's noisiest weed-eater. We just tucked his blanket around him and backed out of the room. As of this morning, no harm seems to be done. He even let me sleep in an extra hours while he wandered around his room doing whatever it is toddlers do.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Speech, and the lack thereof.

Still has his baby blues, you see.

While he's been picking up a few more words lately (boo, gee, o-eej: can you guess the translations?), Jim is still definitely behind on the verbal communication front, so off we went today to see the speech pathologist again. Noah even got to come along this time, since it fit conveniently between several of his complicated military obligations.

Aaaaand it went really well. Jim was adorable and charming, as per usual, and the SP (I'm too lazy to type 'speech pathologist' every other sentence, so bear with me) was terribly nice. She was suitably impressed by Jim's impressive attention span and language comprehension (both of which are apparently advanced), and even more impressed that he knows his colors, animals, counting (to five, on his fingers), etc. Apparently he's totally ahead of the game in everything except actually, y'know, getting the words out.

Turns out, however, that the gap between his comprehension/knowledge and speaking ability is worrisome. I suppose we kind of figured that, which is why we were there in the first place, but it still sucks to hear. He's still not really using many consonents, and the ones that he does have don't seem to be totally at his command. The SP thinks the problem is somewhere between low muscle tone in his his facial muscles, as evidenced by him sitting with his mouth open quite a bit, and just a general lack of ability to make consonant sounds at will. He can make the sounds, but not necessarily whenever he WANTS to make them.

So, ol' Jim's got some homework. She gave us some flashcards and a list of consonants to practice, and we're supposed to help him learn to say one-syllable words beginning with b, d, t, and m, with the idea that building up his vocabulary of words with those sounds will help him form those sounds more easily and say more of the words that he already understands. We'll be going back to see her every 2-3 weeks, and she'll be giving us bigger scarier phonemes (look out for *drumroll* fricatives!) in the future, plus more complicated exercises once he's old enough to understand them, if he still needs help at that point. Hopefully the problem will be taken care of by then, but I'm glad we've got someone with a lot of fancy degrees to help us if we need it.

Monday, June 24, 2013

One year, two years.

Left to right: ten days before birth, the day after birth, around a year old, exactly two years old.

It's funny to see how babyish one-year-old Jim looks to me now. I remember thinking at the time that he looked like a big grown-up kid already. Wonder what two-year-old Jim will look like to me next year?

Anyway, you guys remember those seated-with-bear pictures I used to take of Jim every month? I took (or tried to take) a few of those on his second birthday, and I completely forgot about them until I was browsing through my pictures just now. Have a look:

This is one-year-old Jim, looking suitably maniacal while sitting with his bear.

Now here is two-year-old Jim, looking equally maniacal.

His only attempt at looking cuddly.

Getting impatient with this sitting crap.

Seriously, are we done here?

Diving to freedom.

One-year-old Jim standing.

Two-year-old Jim standing.

Look how long his legs are.

Bonus 1: He hugs an unwilling Doofy cat.

Bonus 2: He squats with much more ease than I can.

Bonus 3: Aaaaangry eyes.