Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Great developmental news and SMILES!

Today was Kaitlyn's 18 month NICU Developmental follow-up.

Actually, I've started feeling really positive in the last few weeks as to Kaitlyn's developmental progress. I feel I'm a bit afraid to jinx it or something, but Kaitlyn is actually talking! It's very faint, and most words sound fairly similar. but Kaitlyn is talking (which means communicating) and her signing has increased a lot too.

Maybe Kaitlyn knew how scared I was getting from my post a month ago and she knew she had to get "going" as mom was getting really worried.

At her NICU follow up she was only delayed in most areas by a few months. We were ecstatic. I sadly couldn't go as I've been swamped at work. I'll have to wait to read the report when we get it...but Brian was really, really happy.

I also captured a few rare smiles today. She's been smiling a lot more lately. Giving me kisses whenever I ask for them. My heart is just swelling of this webpage...can you feel it?

And, drum roll please, it's been 3 days since she's vomited! This is an all time record.....3 whole days, wow this is what it feels like to not clean up vomit all the time!

Here is Kaitlyn's signing vocabulary:
-hat, phone, dad (the last 3 are all the same, they aren't supposed to be the same, but K signs them the same),
-drink, eat (ha- funny that she knows these 2),
-bird, duck (she signs these 2 the same),
-all done, (but she doesn't sign when she is all done or wants more)
-she just picked up baby 2 days ago.

Here is Kaitlyn's verbal (quiet, but YES verbal) vocabulary:
The whole "talking" thing happened so nonchalantly, I didn't really realize what a huge accomplishment this is and how much she had actually started saying.
-mama, (she's finally calling me mama instead of papa!) Yippee
-apple (very hard to explain how she makes this word sound, she says: "app"then she breaths in to make the "uple" sound, I can't make the sound myself, I have no idea how she does it. You can hear it yourself on the video.
She will also really try to imitate many words we say, they all sound similar when she tries, but she really is trying, this is great news.

Have to keep this one short, but wanted to share you the good news.. I"m going to post a video too, it's poorly lighted, but it's really wonderful to see (and hear!)

We've got a way to go in terms of pointing and her averting her gaze from us...but we are heading in the right direction. The NICU follow-up feels a lot of her delays may be from her vision issues, and her glasses have started helping her for 2 months now so she has a lot of "catch-up" to do from all the time she couldn't see.

Be prepared for some AMAZING smiling beautiful pictures below...really, prepare yourself..first the old standby serious girl face:
Then swimming with my dad this weekend:
Then just a few hours ago, playing with a toy that really makes her smile...get ready......

and finally........My heart is swimming as I look at this picture (I'm guessing you, my loyal readers will feel the same way):


Kristin said...

YAY on the no vomit for 3 days and wheeeeeeeee on the smiles. And a big yipeeeeee on the words and signs. :-)

Shana said...

Oh, look at that smile!!! And she is saying so many words. What a proud mommy you must be!!!

Anonymous said...

I love the smiles. It melts my heart to see them knowing all you have struggled through. WooHoo on the no vomit for 3 days!!! Sounds like Kaitlyn's really making some progress. You're a great mommy and it shows through your perseverence.
Nancy, IA

Anonymous said...

Yay! Yay! Yay!

Yuka said...

Ohmigosh - this is simply wonderful, marvelous and magical! You have totally made my day! HURRAH!!!!! :o)

Kristin said...

I love the videos and the smiling pictures. She has an adorable smile!!!!!!! Very precious.
No vomit for 3 days is so awesome! Way to go Kaitlyn!!
I am so happy for you and Kaitlyn!

Anonymous said...

The smiles are awesome. I wonder if there's a connection between this happy girl and the no vomit for 3 days... maybe she's thrilled too!!!!!

Kim said...

What an absolutely GORGEOUS smile! She must totally light up the room with that grin! Gave me goosebumps :) I am so happy that things are going so well for Kaitlyn (and you!).

Laura said...

worth the wait, mama!
her joy and yours beams through.

Anonymous said...

I cried when I looked at these picutres. Things are really going well and I am so happy for you and your family.

Kaitlyn is one cute little girl!


Anonymous said...

You have waited a long time for that smile but it's well worth the wait.

Stephanie said...

Oh how wonderful! Talking and smiling and no vomiting! woohoo! I am so excited for you guys!

Andy, MacKenzie, Peyton, Chevy, and DoWe said...

I am so happy for the great progress report and the fabulous smiles! My healthy 20 month old daughter is "totally normal" according to the pediatrician and she doesn't have as many words as Kaitlyn, so be proud of her!

Billie said...

Yay! I am so excited to see that smiling face! It sounds like she is making some fabulous progress. Keep up the good work Kaitlyn, and mom and dad too!
Love to you all...

Uncle G said...

Rock on Little K! I just want to know, are you going to learn to say Uncle Gary or beer first? Both are very important phrases, so choose carefully!

skeybunny said...

What a beautiful smile and such a smart girl! Great job Kaitlyn! I bet the big smiles are inversly proportional to the vomiting (so you have even bigger smiles to look forward to if the no-vomiting continues?). Thanks for sharing.

Sarah (Evan's mom)

PS The heart surgery went well, so I will be passing the information on.

Kendra's mom said...

Brilliant pictures!! Here's to many more of those. You made me cry at work. Again! I really should not read blogs at lunchtime! Kaitlyn was always gorgeous but that smile just lights her up. Yay to everything!

Jeana said...

WOW!! What a beautiful smile....and thanks for making me cry at work. :)
I can't believe how much Kaitlyn has changed and grown. Very exciting!

Anonymous said...

I got goosebumps when I saw her sweet smiles. She looks just like you Liz! So glad that she's making such great progress! You are doing an awesome job!

Allison said...


Those are just beautiful pictures and I know how you have so longed for them! As I was reading your post, all I could think was -this is because of you. You constant love and persistance has paid off and will continue to. The ups are becoming bigger than the downs.

Anonymous said...

Awwwwww, what a cutie!

Her smile is so precious!


aka Logan's mommy

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz, Brian and Kaitlyn, I never post comments, but today I just had to. It was wonderful to hear K saying words. I just can't believe how she has grown since we met you in SF last summer. I am so happy for you!! It is wonderful to watch her progress. Each little step is to be celebrated!!! H&E Nana

abby said...


On so many levels, I am so thrilled for you---the speaking, the signing, the smiling...and of course the no vomiting. Katie is beautiful and amazing and you are a wonderful mom and she has come so far. And on the vision thing, as a nearly blind person myself (uncorrected), I have to agree with the NICU follow up team---not being able to see really does make it hard to do a whole lot of other stuff too. Now that that's taken care of (and she looks lovely in specs), it's a whole new ballgame (sorry about horrible mixed metaphors).

Anonymous said...

wonderful news, liz. you must be so happy. she is so lucky to have you as a mom! my twins are 2 now and didn't really talk until 22 months!

Danielle said...

I understand your concerns with Kaitlins development. It can be scary worrying about developmental delays, autism, cp, etc. my micro preemie will be 2 years this month. He still doesn't say any words at all. We have started sign at home, but I have not put the time into it that I should, since I also have a one year old.
K. sounds like she IS making great progress... that is a great deal of communication for such a little girl! My son also has his g-tube, but we rarely use it now (for the past six months) His vomiting has also decreased, and I must say, it has been nice not having to keep spare clothes nearby for the babies AND ME!!

you keep your chin up!

Maggie (Sarah's mom) said...

Way to go Kaitlyn on the talking and signing! Maybe she can teach Sarah a thing or two!

I love the new pics :)

Anonymous said...



Kathy Ramsey said...

Liz, I admire you so. I continue to follow your blog, and I was thrilled with Kaitlyn's walking, and now her talking. So wonderful! You are just a wonderful mother.

Kathy Ramsey (Martha's mom)

Kristina said...

She is just so DANG cute...and I'm so glad to hear she's doing so well developmentally! Good work, mama!


Anonymous said...

My son was full term and he hardly said a word until he was 2. We did teach him some signs, which it looks like your daughter is doing, and he seemed to rely on those more than his voice. I actually think the rudimentary sign language delayed his verbal speech. However, he did start talking one day (around 3 yrs) and has not stopped since (and sometimes I do miss the quiet just a little). While I'm sure it's frustrating and scary - 16 months adjusted and using actual words - seems ok to me. Just keep enjoying her as much as possible!


Anonymous said...

That is wonderful news. Her smile is beautiful.

Stacy said...

What a beautiful, beautiful smile!