The Next Phase

Another day, another adventure! Today we start Speech Therapy. Her new therapist should be here in minutes, and I am both anxious and excited.

These days, Abby is almost totally typical for a 20 month old (20 months!!!! Holy cow!!!!). She is no longer waddling, or even walking. She is RUNNING and laughing and discovering the world around her. She is an absolute champ when it comes to eating.

She is growing like a weed! She is over 30 inches tall and weighs more than 23 pounds. Wearing 2T with no baggy shirts or too-long pants, and her hair is now long enough to put into pigtails!

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But the one thing she can’t do is talk. No, wait. I take that back. She “talks” more than I do! But she doesn’t speak. We had a speech evaluation 2 weeks ago and she failed it. According to that test, she had ZERO words. Now, that is not entirely true. She says hi and bye consistently, she just wouldn’t do it for a stranger. And she said “ball” for the evaluator, but she wasn’t playing with a ball at the time. She calls all toys ball. So that doesn’t count. And she knows names, like Mommy, Daddy, Nana, Teta… She almost had Poppi down, too. She attempts Tia, Jido, and even Elissa! And that one is hard! But the bottom line is that by her age, she should have close to 20 words that are NOT names down cold. By her corrected age (16 months) she should have no less than 10. For the first time EVER we are behind her corrected age. Boo.

Insert speech therapy. While I struggled with all of the “failing” the eval and being labeled “delayed”, I have to admit that I am happy we are moving forward with this. Abby is not one of those late bloomer types. Some people who hear we are doing speech therapy at this age think we just haven’t given her enough time to get the hang of it. But anyone who spends half an hour with her can tell… Something is off. You can tell she understands. You can tell she is trying to say things. And you can tell she is frustrated that it just isn’t working.

I’m reminded of when her brain was trying to tell her arm to move to get a toy, and it would take all of her concentration and energy just to get her arm to do something… Anything! But it was rarely in the right direction. It’s the same thing now. You can tell that her brain speaks English. But her mouth speaks Klingon or something. And it makes her mad. She knows that what came out of her mouth is not what she wanted to say. And she throws fits on the floor with a red face and crocodile tears almost every time it happens.

I’m so done with the fits.

So I’m looking forward to this phase. All micro preemies need it at some point. I’ve talked to a few micro moms about it and all have said this therapy helped immensely on all levels. Of course, it takes time and patience and more hard work from all of us to help her. But we’ve been doing that from day one, so I feel ready for that.

So say a prayer that she tackles this hurtle the same way she has faced them all: head on and with stellar success!

In the meantime, enjoy a few recent photos! I’ll keep you all posted in her progress.

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2011 in review

I love that wordpress gives us what they call “Crunchy Numbers” or rather, stats about how my blog did in the year before. I like knowing what you read, what you wrote about it, how you found me, etc. I posted the stats last year, and thought I’d do it again this year. enjoy my Crunchy Numbers! (click on the link at the bottom.)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,800 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.