Scarlett is 23 months old! Her weight is up a little to 23 pounds, 4 ounces, which is great (between the 10-25th percentile for her age)! She is almost 30 inches tall, which is less than the 5th percentile...she may never be a basketball player or a supermodel, but I'm okay with that. We moved her up to a "big girl" car seat (still rear facing!) last year, but she would have JUST outgrown the tiny infant carrier we used in her first year. We think she may be getting some molars, as the drool factor has increased exponentially lately - 2 or 3 shirts a day minimum, with a bib all day at school. I just bought her the first size 5 shoes (sparkly pink and on clearance - couldn't pass them up!) and they still slide off; I am quickly realizing that the size 2T clothes I bought at the end of the season last year in anticipation for this winter are going to be too big. Still, no one is disappointed with her growth, especially in light of the issues we have had over the summer.
This girl is on the move. She NEVER sits still anymore unless strapped down. She has finally decided that if she wants something, she will get it, no matter what. She has a broad repertoire of moves - scooting, turning, twisting, kicking, rolling - that get her going. This week, she made her first forward motion with crawling! She goes just a few inches, but both legs get pulled up. She is learning a few position transitions - laying to sitting, sitting to kneeling, even to standing if we help a little. We can no longer take our eyes off of her when she is on any raised surface (as my mom learned when she flew out of her high chair the other day - no harm done!) We are working on teaching her to sit from standing, since her only way to get down is cry for help, or fall straight back. I'm pretty sure her neurosurgeon (and everyone here) would prefer she not smack her head on the ground.
Last week, she finally figured out how to get around in her gait trainer. She will roll around the living room to check out her play table, whoever is at the couch and look out the back door. She found the dog's raised water bowl the other night, and had so much fun discovering it on her own and splashing away that I just ignored the dog slobber and let her go for it (with a good bath soon after). I will probably regret ever saying it, but it is wonderful to see her beginning to enjoy some independence, discovering her surroundings on her own, and getting into normal toddler trouble.
She is also noisy!! She is constantly babbling, with many more consonant sounds, resembling more words. She does not say many words, but she has learned the sign for "cheerios" and consistently waves bye-bye. Every few days she seems to be picking up something new.
Her eating has improved, too. She still can't swallow much liquid, and spits out much of what she chooses to eat, but she is learning to like many more things thanks to her snacks at school. She has been enjoying yogurt, cheese, raisins, black beans, and bread. She still prefers finger foods like cheerios, but her new favorite is fig newton bars. She starts bouncing up and down when we take the package out of the cabinet, devours them, leaving only a sticky, gummy crumb trail in her path. We are still happily blending her remaining necessary calories in our VitaMix blender to be fed through her g-tube - still the best decision we ever made.
The next month will be exciting, yet difficult as we plan her birthday and await the next MRI on October 30. Chris and I are struggling with this unknown MRI spot. My mind flashes often to what I have read, the kids whose stories I have followed who have died, the effects of radiation on babies, the size of the first tumor, and I am overwhelmed. We will be on pins and needles until we get this figured out; there's just no way to ignore it. I have thought about calling to say no waiting, scan her now; considered getting another option; debated about forcing the issue. But we have trusted these doctors with her life thus far; I have always felt like they are doing the absolute best for her that they can. If they feel like waiting is best, I have to believe that, and not let my nervous anxiety interfere. You can bet, though, that if Scarlett even blinks a little strangely, I will have her in their offices for a new MRI. I did not claw my way through the last 21 months to be defeated now.