She's still obsessed with dogs. She loves to watch out the front window to see if any of the neighbors are walking their dogs, and squeals with excitement when she sees one. One neighbor just got a puppy -- which means lots of walks for her and lots of dog viewing for Alyse! The free "cute dogs" app on my iphone is a serious lifesaver when there are no dogs to be found outside. For as much as she loves dogs, she gets really angry when Lucky (aka "Kuckya") even thinks about coming near her while she's eating. She sees him coming and starts shouting "No! No! No!"
19 months was a good run, but the morning nap is now a thing of the past. I have to say, it's nice to have a little more flexibility in the mornings.
Her favorite foods right now are frozen gogurt and fruit cocktail. She's finally doing really well with drinking milk from a cup, but she would probably still be nursing if I hadn't had to wean her at 18 months because I was on an antibiotic for 2 weeks. It was so sad -- she was still asking to nurse 3 weeks later! :(
She loves her siblings. When Dave picks her up from daycare, she says "Tessa, Tessa" as they walk toward her classroom. And she gets so excited when we pull up in front of Calder's school to pick him up. It's not always lovey-dovey though - she can definitely hold her own against them. She can be quite aggressive when she wants her way and will resort to biting, pinching and hair-pulling. Poor Tessa is usually on the other end of the hair pulling.
Other things to remember about her at 18-19 months:
She still loves the bath and enjoys showers now too.
She loves to empty things out of any kind of container, especially the pantry and the refrigerator!
She loves to color.
At a recent trip to the zoo, she went absolutely crazy over the zebras.
She's learning body parts now -- she especially loves to point out (i.e. pinch and squeeze) your nose.
She's starting to get lots of little curls in the back. They are much looser than Tessa's ringlets.
When she gives you a hug, she says "Awwwww". (If you watch the video below, you'll probably see why!)
Her most frequently used words are: no, go, play, mama, and dog. She's starting to use a few 2-word phrases now too!
She loves to go outside and will point to the door and say "go! go!" She especially loves to cruise the neighborhood in her hot pink car.
|Yes, she drools. A lot.|
It's been a challenging few months as we have explored why she is not yet walking. At her 15 month well visit, her pediatrician first noticed an issue with stiffness and lack of a reflex in her right leg. Since neurological issues can affect the muscles (and are more common in preemies), she recommended that we see a neurologist. The neurologist diagnosed her with hemiplegia and hypertonia in her right leg. Hemiplegia falls under the umbrella of cerebral palsy...which, of course, is really scary to hear. However, her case seems to be extremely mild and we're fortunate that only her lower leg is affected. Her neurologist prefers not to even use the term 'cerebral palsy' because he considers it an archaic term that covers a wide range of issues. For Alyse, it means that the muscle in her right leg is so stiff that it results in her being a tiptoe walker. The treatment is simply physical therapy to "train" her brain to put her foot down flat. Her neurologist feels that by the time she is 3, you would never know she had this issue, so we are hopeful that he is right! An MRI was also ordered to ensure she did not have a cyst on her brain (another possible cause of muscular problems). Fortunately, one was not found.
She's now been in physical therapy for almost 2 months and although it seems slow, we're definitely seeing improvements overall. She's SO determined and just keeps trying and trying. She never gives up! She started using orthotics a few weeks ago, which definitely help stabilize her leg/ankle and force her foot down a bit. However, her therapist thinks a different type of orthotic would be more helpful, so we're waiting for those to arrive. After she started using the first set of orthotics, she went from being able to take about 4 steps at a time to about 10-12 steps! She gets so proud of herself and the whole family enjoys cheering her on. We're excited to see if the new orthotics will give her the extra help that she needs to keep herself upright. With all that determination, she tires out pretty quickly. So, for now, she continues to get around most reliably by walking on her knees. Her poor little knees have callouses on them, but her therapist says it is good that she does this, because it helps to improve her balance.
Walking on 8/4/12
Walking on 9/4/12