Tuesday, April 2, 2013

3 Year Old Well Check? Check.

Finally, I took Beatrice Kate to see Dr. Calm for her Three Year Old Well Check. She was first scheduled to go in the week after her Third Birthday, but I had to reschedule our original appointment because of Baby Paxton. She was super pumped to go see Dr. Calm, because she knew afterward we were meeting friends at a local park. It also helped that Dr. Calm's nurse was amazing and framed the check-up as "Want to come play special Three Year Old Games with me?" Bea was on board immediately.

First game? Get some vitals:
Bea was very compliant as the nurse checked her pulse, blood pressure and temperature. Though, she made it quite clear that this was not the kind of games she had in mind:
So much attitude in such a tiny body. 
Then it was on to the eye test, which I'll be honest, seemed a little subjective. Asking a toddler to name objects is opening Pandora's box. You never know what they'll say. Luckily, Beatrice Kate was in an agreeable mood:

She thought it was funny that the nurse kept asking her to name the same symbols over and over and had actually memorized the sequence of the symbols after two rounds. I told you, this one is kinda smart, you guys. She cooperated really well until it was time to check each eye individually:
At this point, Bea must have thought we were just wasting her time because she told the nurse, "I already said it's a letter O, a star, a teacup and a heart." Diva. Freakish-memory, but a diva none the less.

Moving on, it was height and weight time, and this is the first time Bea's height has been measured this way:
It might account for the reason that her "official" records indicate she's only grown two inches since last year (Officially, she's 35 1/4 inches or in the 10%). Our growth chart at home says she's grown almost 5. Her weight was also up a little, weighing in at 28 pounds (25%), up a little over 4 pounds since last year.

I have been concerned for a while now that Bea's weight isn't what her friends and peers seem to be. But Dr. Calm, calmly explained that she is just a "petite princess" and may always be a a little smaller. Whether this difference is because of her premature or because of her genetics, we'll probably never know.

Overall, Beatrice Kate checked out perfectly perfect. Dr. Calm was so happy to see how well Bea has progressed. She's been our doctor since the day Bea came home from the hospital and knows just how far she's come.

As has been the case her entire life, Bea's body is a little slower than her brain. Mentally and intellectually, she's off the charts. She knows her letters, can carry on a full conversation, can retell stories and songs, can recognize patterns and repeat them, she can sight read words and tell a story line based on pictures and she role plays with her dolls and animals. She's incredible, honestly. It's not just because I'm her mother (well, okay, maybe a little).

But physically, and particularly in  gross motor skills, Bea is pretty significantly delayed. She can't throw a ball, she just started jumping with two feet, running doesn't come easy to her (well, that may be genetic, poor kid), she climbs stairs without alternating feet, and most importantly, she is STILL toe-walking. The toe walking is the biggest deal because Dr. Calm says she should have grown out of that last year. Again, we're not sure if this is an individual thing or if it's a lasting effect of her prematurity. It was a brutal reminder that Prematurity truly is a life-long condition, even when you have an a-typical, super healthy, otherwise normal preemie like ours.

What does this mean? Well, we'll be seeing a physical therapist to help learn some stretches to loosen her tight heel cords. We'll continue with dance class and probably enroll her in a gymnastics class to help her balance and coordination. And we'll keep telling her that she's amazing at everything she does and tries, even if she throws a ball backwards or trips on a flat surface.

On the way out of the office, Beatrice Kate looked back and announced, "She was a really good doctor, Mama". I had to agree!

Anyway, after our visit, we met our friends Cindi and Livvy and Baby Jolie at the park as a reward for Bea's extreme good behavior:

This was the mother of all parks, and had a train and motorboats:

Seriously, this two kill me. Cindi and I had the same due date when we were pregnant with these girls and all their lives they have looked and acted like twins. Weird:
The park also had a carousel. Which, if you'll recall, Bea LOVES carousels:
Like really loves them you guys:
Livvy and Cindi also had a good time:

After our ride, I tried to get Bea to smile and take a picture. This was her response to my request to "smile normal":
I asked Bea during our ride what her horse's name was she said, "Hans. And he is the nicest horse and he has a long beautiful tail and he is my best friend". I wasn't sure what to do with a Scandinavian horse, but whatever:

This kid, I tell you. I have been keeping track of a few of these funny things she's been saying lately and can't wait to share them with you. You'll be on the floor laughing at her humor. It's pretty witty.


Monday, April 1, 2013

The Easter Bea

Sorry for the late start today, but good grief, our internet browser apparently has some issues with Blogger. Anyway, problem solved (I think) and we're back to blogging!

Normally, for Easter we go as a family to God's Acre at sunrise for our traditional Moravian service each year. This year, the cold and wet weather and the fact that we are JUST now all healthy meant that Casey ventured out solo (and got SOAKED in the rain) and Bea and I were left to see what the Easter Bunny dropped off overnight. And man, oh man... did the EB deliver this year:
He even left a bit of a Cotton Tail Trail for Bea to follow when she woke up, which was worth every bit of the small effort it took to lay it out (and tape down, because Cooper has been known to eat cotton balls like they're candy). Later in the day, she didn't want Casey to pick the trail up and throw it away because, "The Easter Bunny's gonna need that, Daddy. It's his tail.":
Side Story: You'll notice in the photos above, Bea's Easter basket had two carrots, eaten by the Bunny himself. By the time we woke up in the morning, the Easter Cooper had helped himself to one of them. Bea thought the bunny was especially hungry. 

Anyway, once at the end, she honed right in on her loot, which included a pair of "Pink Shiny Toms, Mommy!"
We talked, and talked and talked about the "real" meaning of Easter. About Jesus and his life and death. We talked about why it's special day to our faith and to Christians around the world. But honestly, once she found out that the day would include a basket of surprises, our stories and lessons fell on deaf, sugar-filled ears. At least the basket included some other, non-candy options, too:
But of course, there was a little candy:

We don't give Bea a whole lot of processed foods, candy included so when she receives it as a gift or on special days like Easter, she goes a little overboard. I think it took her all of about 2 seconds to start shaking eggs and figuring out there was more inside of them:
This face. It slays me:
Eventually, we tore her away from the candy long enough to get lunch assembled for the day. Unlike previous years, we actually had friends join us for Easter Dinner this year. It was a special treat for us to share a meal with friends. Bea even helped prep some of the desserts the night before, including homemade Hot Cross Buns:
 She was really into the folding and smushing part of the process, but honestly, she was a really big help:
 She even got the hang of making "Golf-t balls size, Mommy" buns:
We also made a carrot cake together, though I had to ice and decorate the cake while she was in another room because she couldn't keep her hands out of the icing. The finished products turned out great:

Overall, the meal was really good. Even if our friends are vegetarians and Casey and I (and Bea) were the only ones who ate the ham, it was still fun to cook the whole thing. Ham leftover for the next four months don't bother me:
Naturally, we had a kids table for the girls:
And this is the best shot I could get of both toddlers at the same time. You know, because they don't actually stay seated for longer than 2.5 seconds at a time:
After lunch, "Dr. Laura" (Madeline's Mom and my friend) showed the girls how to play a new board game:
Hairbows are out, it's gettin' serious.
I think it held their interest for about 6 minutes and then they were OVER. IT.:
The attitude on Bea's face is just to much. I can't even deal...
Anyway, we had such a fun day with our friends and it was great to get to cook for someone other than just us for once! It made the fact that we missed out on our families celebrations a little easier.

Although, remembering how we spent our first Easter with Bea, when she was still in the NICU should make every Easter since feel special, huh?

It's hard to believe she was ever this small: