Friday, December 28, 2007

Overdue Update-- aren't they all?

Some fun news for our Harper girl, she got her first haircut. After 2+ years we finally decided we were in a place where we could handle cutting our girl’s super cute curls. Of course the cut, which was significant, has only helped to accentuate the bouncy curls on Harper’s head. Now instead of just being a big mass of cute curls, it is actually styled. Harper likes her new haircut and liked having her mom cut it in the "DadaMama salon" – which happens to be our back patio. Ru cut several inches off her hair while I took photos to document the process.

New haircut aside, Harper has the same voracious appetite for books these days. Ru takes the kids to the library for storytime every week and they pick up new books. Harper ends up having each of the books read to her dozens and dozens of times before the next round of books the following week. The other night, Ru and Jack were at a function in the evening and Harper and I were reading books together. She brought over one of her favorites for the week, “The Magic Hat” which has a sing-songy sound to it. Harper would sing parts of the book as she brought it over, so I just started to turn the pages without saying anything and Harper “read” the entire book by herself. She didn’t actually read it word for word, but she did have the entire book memorized to the point of being able to recite the entire thing by the cue of particular words and picture. I was amazed that after only about four days of having the book in our house, Harper had memorized the whole thing.

Harper is still however, definitely a two year old – both in her constant quest for more information and her continued testing of limits. Harper’s new question is “What would happen if I _______?” If we tell her not to stand up on the edge of the couch the response is “What would happen if I stand on the edge of the couch?”

“You might fall down.”

“What would happen if I fall down?”

“You would get hurt.”

“What would happen if I get hurt?”…..and on and on.

Harper also likes to test limits with her mom and dad. We have a rule that she is not allowed to say “No” to us. So if we ask her to do something and she says “no” we give her a chance to make the right decision, but if she doesn’t she has to sit on the naughty-chair until she is ready to apologize for saying “no”. Some days, Harper just tends to be disagreeable. It tends to be if she is hungry or tired and we have to remind ourselves that even though she is very smart and communicative and sensitive, she is still a two year old.

Although Harper is a pistol at home, full of life, questions, laughter, singing, dancing, telling jokes….when she gets into a large group she clams up and gets very shy. Even if the group at storytime is singing a song she knows very well, Harper tends to just observe. If you ask her if she wants to sing she will sometimes tell you “I’m just going to watch” or “I’m having a hard time singing because it’s too loud”. As soon as the room begins to empty, playful Harper is back and she’ll dance around and sing all the songs she wouldn’t sing before. She is definitely cautious in large groups.

Of course, Harper still loves her baby brother Jack very much. Asked who her favorite person or best buddy is and she always says Jack. She wants to hug and hold and kiss him all the time and gets disappointed when one of them has a cold and we don’t let her be as close to him. As a first born two year old who is still getting used to sharing her mom and dad time with her brother, Harper has moments where she gets frustrated. We have been very proud of her for clearly expressing her needs and feeling and never taking it out on Jack. She will sometimes tell Ru that she wants her to "give Jack to Dada so mama can hold me".

(written by Dad, posted by Mom)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Long Overdue Update

A lot has changed since the last update. Given that the last post was mostly about seizures and meds, it makes the most sense to start with the fact that Jack is off the meds and doing great. He started to reject meds a bit (fight us when we attempted to administer them), although not as much as Harper did. We just felt the time was right to wean him off the Phenobarbital. He never had another seizure, and we are all happier with the meds out of our lives.

Jack is growing up quickly; he’s bigger and cuter daily. He continues to be a big talker and cooer and likes to stare, smile, laugh and talk to mom, dad, or his big sister and make googely eyes. He is big and strong and likes to sit up in the arms of his holder. I spend a good portion of my day with baby boy in my arms as Jack, like his sister before him, does not like to be set down. Unlike his sister however, he is showing signs of being a better sleeper. He often gives us several hours of sleep at night, and has never confused day and night. He wants to be held lying on his side with a pacifier in his mouth to fall asleep these days. For the past month or so, this is his preferred way to fall asleep, nestled in closely and held tight. At night he usually begins in his swing and then joins me by my side after the first nursing (around 2:30 AM). He is a good snuggler.

A few weeks ago everyone in the house was sick and Jack had his share as well. He had a nasty sounding cold in his nose and chest that lasted for about three weeks. I took him in to get checked out twice, but luckily it was not anything more serious than your average virus. It just sounded terrible! Poor boy lost his voice and his cries were wheezy, airy chirps! The doctors said he lost his voice from the post nasal drip causing his vocal chords to swell. I never thought I'd be so glad to hear his cries as when his voice started to return. The cold lingered for quite a while, which was no fun.

Jack also recently had his first round of shots. He cried when he got his shots as if to say to his mom and dad, “how could you let this happen to me?” That evening, each time I set him down Jack would scream the same way as when that first shot hit his leg. He's a smart boy-- same position, oh no! But by the next morning, he was confident that he was safe again and never looked back. He bounced back quickly from the immunizations, and by the next day he was back to normal.

It has been fun to watch Jack’s personality develop. He shares many qualities with Harper, but is certainly his own person. He is mellow and serious; one pediatrician referred to him as “judicious”. He is very aware of the world, but never really bothered by it: he simply takes it all in gracefully. His babbles are becoming more conversational, and I swear he even says Mama sometimes, although it's not yet confirmed to be referencing me at this point. He is very smiley and is beginning to laugh when we play, or sometimes when I happen to tickle him (his side cracked him up the other day). Harper calls him "wide-eyed boy" because he's always engaged and opens his eyes very wide when something surprises or startles him.

Jack is very loveable and fun. For the past couple of weeks, he is discovering his hands-- sucking them, touching/holding them together, reaching for things, and even holding your fingers or a rattle when it is placed in his strong grasp. He also tangles his fingers in my hair from time to time. My favorite place to kiss him is the corner of his mouth/cheek/chin. He smells sweet, even when he needs a bath, and he loves to have babbling conversations.

Jack is Harper's "favorite person" and a very comfortable member of our family. He is really branching out lately, so the next few weeks are sure to be eventful for this curious boy!