18 Months and Walking!

Warning Pic Heavy!!!There has been a lot of progress with Xander’s Development lately; so much I wish I had been blogging about but I was taking time for myself. The biggest news is that he is now walking!!!! He was officially walking on Friday October 25th! at 18 months, 1 week and 1 day old.  I hope the link below works to see, let me know if it doesn’t.https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=788866004570&l=5573463122054377098

He had been taking a few unassisted steps here and there like this:

Not quite walking but taking a few steps here and there only a couple weeks before he turned 18 months old.

Not quite walking but taking a few steps here and there only a couple weeks before he turned 18 months old.

Thanks Auntie Brooke for capturing some great photos!

But now he is trying to walk everywhere!

At Xander’s 18 month Wellness checkup he was 18lbs 7oz, still not quite making the Dr. comfortable with his weight gain.  We thought a few weeks earlier that he had hit the 3rd percentile for weight but he is back in the 0th percentile again.  He got two shots, the flu shot and a Hep shot.  He did much better with our nurse Brenda this time only freaking out on the exam table but once he was off and up he was giving her high fives.  Maybe it helped that I brought everything “puppy” along.  He wore a puppy shirt, a puppy sweatshirt, had his stuffed Charky puppy and his other puppy on the blue blankie with (his first lovey) and also the puppy piano!  Can you tell Xander likes puppies? I think I brought The Puppy Book he loves along also but he did not want to sit still to read.  Oh we also had blood drawn to check for neutropenia, which is where his blood wouldn’t have enough of the white blood cells that help fight infection, but the tests came back normal, Yay! And he didn’t cry through the whole blood draw!  I am still afraid we will have a winter full of illness since he had maybe one cold last year, being immobile and mostly separated from the other kids at daycare … which brings me to another big change.

This one is not as fun for us right now.  Our daycare lady, Stacia, that Xander had been with since he was about 6 months old, needs back surgery and will no longer be able to do daycare.  She let us know about 3 weeks before she needed to be done, and was so worried about Xander going to a new daycare that she trusts and feels he would be taken care of as well as she would, that she called a friend of hers that was a daycare provider for her daughter awhile back and asked if she had any openings and made her save it for us!  It is proving to be a tough transition.  Xander LOVED LOVED LOVED his Stacia.  He said her name months before saying mama.  He sings songs about “Day-duh”.  They were so connected and she knew all his quirks and he loved her for all the cuddles and attention.  She helped us work through tortocollis, feeding issues, rolling over, sitting up and was even trying to get him to walk before he left her care.  It was a lot in one year.

Get well soon Stacia, Doctor's Orders!

Get well soon Stacia, Doctor’s Orders!

The new daycare has a lot more kids and some kids that are school age (more germs eeeek!).  Xander is really more comfortable with adults and is having a tough time adjusting to the other kids and sharing attention.  Today he started crying when he saw me and I know it was the cry of “I thought I’d never see you again, how can you leave me at this place and not take me to Stacia’s”.  He misses her so.  I asked him the first day if he missed Stacia and he started yelling her name like he was demanding her to be there for him.   It gives this mama such heartache but I know he will get used to the new place eventually and it will be good for him to be around these other kids.  He is definitely spoiled but worth every spoiled moment.  The new provider is learning his quirks, he isn’t quite comfortable, easily distracted and won’t drink much milk for her so he is starving/thirsty when I pick him up.  He is so behind in the eating area that she tried to give him a plate to eat off of at lunch and he kept throwing it and the food on the floor, he also wouldn’t drink out of the sippy cups she has (we’ve only used one or two kinds so far) I think these are things she would expect most 18 month old kids to do.  She has a 14 month old in her care that is bigger than Xander who would be only a few weeks younger than Xander had he been born full term.  He is bigger and was already walking.  So to help her get a bit of an understanding of what Xander has been through I brought the Shutterfly books I’ve made, the 3 of the first 3 months in the NICU and then his first year.  I think it puts things into perspective a little.  The poor little guy was only at the new daycare 3 days last week and I could tell it was really stressful for him. He took 3 hour naps the next two days at home and he usually only does 1-2 hours.

So backtracking a little since my last update was at 15 months…

Xander has really improved on his self feeding/eating and chewing skills!  He tries pretty much anything put in front of him once, but his current favorites are Pizza, Lo Mein Noodles, Stuffing, Baked Beans, Mac n cheese, Cheez-Its, Puff Corn, Goldfish & Cheese sticks.  He also likes most fruits and veggies which is awesome but they don’t have a ton of calories.  Yes we are still worried about getting enough calories in this kid.  We put Half and Half in his whole milk to bulk it up and also Carnation Instant Breakfast (a cheaper alternative to pediasure).

Mac 'n cheese beard!

Mac ‘n cheese beard!

Eating Mac 'n cheese shells with baked beans. Yummy

Eating Mac ‘n cheese shells with baked beans. Yummy

We are finally getting out and doing “normal” things like going to parks, the Sea Life Aquarium at the Mall of America and Como Zoo.

On a walk with mom, riding in a carrier looking up at the sky!

On a walk with mom, riding in a carrier looking up at the sky!

16 Month pics at Lakefront Park during a walk

16 Month pics at Lakefront Park during a walk

I love this photo, this is what I see of him and where I give him the most kisses... on top of his head.

I love this photo, this is what I see of him a lot and where I give him the most kisses… on top of his head. Post walk around the neighborhood, crawling around in the driveway.

Post walk around Cleary Lake Park.  Trying some sensory play at the beach.

Post walk around Cleary Lake Park. Trying some sensory play at the beach.

Xander loves crawling around the playground equipment.

Xander loves crawling around the playground equipment.  But he doesn’t really like the sand when it is on it.

Swinging at the park

Swinging at the park

Checking out the sea horses at Sea Life Aquarium, Mall of America

Checking out the sea horses at Sea Life Aquarium, Mall of America

Watching the polar bear  do back flips at Como Zoo.

Watching the polar bear do back flips at Como Zoo.

Gorilla statue outside the primate building at Como Zoo.

Gorilla statue outside the primate building at Como Zoo.

At the Como Conservatory. Xander loves flowers!

At the Como Conservatory. Xander loves flowers!

We went to the Polk County Fair early on in the summer which was fun too.

Mom, Dad & Xander at the Polk County Fair, Fertile, MN

Mom, Dad & Xander at the Polk County Fair, Fertile, MN

Xander Loving the petting zoo!

Xander Loving the petting zoo!

And even a trip to Canterbury Race Track to see the horses race! Xander pretty much loves all animals and gets so excited when he sees them.

Watching the horses go around before the race at Canterbury.

Watching the horses go around before the race at Canterbury.

We made it to the Car Parade and the Farm Pride Parade for Dozinky Days in New Prague too!

Keeping Xander out of trouble at the Classic Car Cruise, but he still messed up my hair.

Keeping Xander out of trouble at the Classic Car Cruise, but he still messed up my hair.

Having his first sucker at the Dozinky Farm Pride Parade.

Having his first sucker at the Dozinky Farm Pride Parade.

Dozinky Classic Car Cruise, Pointing out a cool truck!

Dozinky Classic Car Cruise, Pointing out a cool truck!

We also attended the Fairview Ridges NICU reunion and have the Fairview Amplatz NICU reunion coming up in November.  The Ridges nurses were all happy to see him doing so well after his abrupt departure from their care when he had his bowel obstruction.

A new thing Xander will do is lie down on the floor or a soft pillow/blanket/stuffed animal for a few seconds when he is tired… weird!

Cory also took Xander up North to visit family just the two of them!  He did great sleeping most of the ride up but when he wakes up in a new place he will NOT go back to sleep without a big fight which is no fun at 1am after driving for 5 hours.  The rest of the trip was pretty good from what I hear after dad got some sleep!  And Auntie Brooke got some amazing 18 Month Photos!

Early 18 Month Photo by Brooke Hassel! Gorgeous!

Early 18 Month Photo by Brooke Hassel! Gorgeous!

Another great 18 Month photo by Brooke Hassel!

Another great 18 Month photo by Brooke Hassel!

Hanging out up north in his puppy shirt.

Hanging out up north in his puppy shirt.

GIggling at Grandma Donna's puppies!

GIggling at Grandma Donna’s puppies!

We have taken 2 trips recently in the motor home with Grandma Jane & Grandpa Lon.  One for my brother’s Installation at his new church in St Charles, MN and the other for his wife’s baby shower!  Most convenient travel in my opinion.

Hanging out with Great Grandma Morsching before the Installation service

Hanging out with Great Grandma Morsching before the Installation service

Playing cars in the motor home.

Playing cars in the motor home.

Playing cars in the motor home.

Playing cars in the motor home.

Breakfast with Grandpa in the motor home... up to no good!

Breakfast with Grandpa in the motor home… up to no good!

Riding in the motor home

Riding in the motor home

What does this "Emergency Start" Button do?

What does this “Emergency Start” Button do?

Don't worry Grandma, I've got this... Hop in!

Don’t worry Grandma, I’ve got this… Hop in!

Xander is also communicating very well with baby sign language. He can sign hungry/eat, milk, more, all done and please is his newest sign!  He still doesn’t have a lot of words, but I think they are starting to come… or I am just starting to understand!

The lovey situation has also changed, he doesn’t favor just the one item anymore but multiple items such a stuffed dogs, a stuffed bear, a stuffed zebra & his cuddly soft baby blankets.  It is nice to have a variety in case one gets left somewhere or puked on!

Snuggling with Dada and Zebra

Snuggling with Dada and Zebra

Fell asleep cuddling Brown Bear

Fell asleep cuddling Brown Bear

Xander likes music and we are attending an ECFE Family Connections class for families with children that have special needs.  During circle time we learned some hand movements to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and I was soooo proud, over the moon, when he started doing the motions a few weeks later (opening and closing hands in fists like stars flashing)!  He also really likes the ABC song and you can catch him singing to himself at times.

Another exciting (for mom at least) development has been moving up a clothes size! We are now in 12  month clothing!  He can still fit in most 6-12 month sizes and the 12-18 months are pretty big but a wardrobe change is fun.  He was in the 6-9 month size for 6 months.  And I may or may not have gone a bit crazy getting him some new clothes.  We do have some trouble keeping the 12 month pants on since his waist is so little but the 9 month pants are getting too short.

And I almost forgot, he can now climb up and DOWN the stairs!!!!

Xander shut the gate on Momma!

Xander shut the gate on Momma!

Having fun going up and down and up and down the stairs.

Having fun going up and down and up and down the stairs.

Sorry for the long disconnected post. I try to use this as a sort of journal as well as letting people know how things are going.

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