11/11/11 – Eva’s Third Birthday

Well it’s 11.11pm on the 11/11/11 and we’ve spent the day celebrating our gorgeous Eva turning three years old.

What a special age this is with excitement of today and the joy of her knowing that it is a special day just for her.

We had a wonderful day with Daddy home from work and family coming to celebrate our beautiful Eva.

In Her Big Girl Bed

Eva is so excited to show you her big girl bed

Waiting for us in the morning

The transition of Eva from her cot to a bed took place last weekend with much excitement from Eva and a little trepidation from her mama.  All worries were unfounded as she has happily stayed put in her bed for all her day and night sleeps so far.

I am glad that we waited until now, it has been just magical timing.  We were fortunate that Eva never tried to climb out of her cot (she wore a sleeping bag tied closed) and as Hugo was sleeping in our room, we had the luxury of waiting.  I very much wanted to keep her sleeping settled as we welcomed a new baby and that paid off.

We have a clear day sleep and bedtime routine which we very, very rarely deviate from. Simply because that is what works for us. Thus the routine has only changed slightly and it’s all very familiar.

We also had a star chart for staying in her bed to wait for us to come to her.  She has already had a reward from the chart and now it has been put away as her behaviour is so positive.

She looks so grown up now taking up a small space at the top of a big bed. Here is the one of the last sleeps in her cot just so that I can remember a space that she slept in for so long.

Cuddling Sleepy Teddy

Where does all the food go?

Most days Eva eats lots and I am certainly wondering where all the food goes seeing as today’s weigh in didn’t demonstrate that it goes into her fat layer!

Today was our final appointment with Dr Dan the paediatrician who has been seeing Eva as a follow up for her prematurity.

As always Dr Dan was delightful, relaxed and positive.  Of course he noted Eva’s amazing forward steps since his last review in May.  Eva willingly demonstrated her verbal skills including the constant questions.  Like asking what the blood was on the picture of a newborn baby on a poster!

Dr Dan was impressed with her competence with toilet training.  Eva was pleased to be able to tell him that she is a “big girl, in big girl undies”.

The physical examination was positive with only slight concern about marginal scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spine) that will either resolve or become an issue in adolescence. Certainly nothing to worry about now.

As I suspected her weight gain was nothing to celebrate.  I had been concerned about her slow gain even more so when she has had the flu this past week and lived on only the air that she breathed!  Today’s weight was 11.885kg only a 430g increase in 6 months.  Dr Dan wasn’t too concerned.  He thinks that she is just going to remain tall and thin into her teenage years.  I think that she is blessed with her Dad’s metabolism on top of her prematurity.

Overall I tend to be more relaxed about her food intake realising that toddlerhood is busy and exploring is far more important to a small person than eating.  However I have been anxious leading up to this weigh in.  I guess that feeling never goes away!

Of course her height has increased to 92.5cm (up from 88.3cm) so her growing energy is clearly going into making her tall. This puts her near the 50th percentile for height and the 10th percentile for weight making her disproportionate.  This is evident in her clothes where the 18 month clothes fit her except for length!

Dr Dan listened with interest re the food sensitivities that we have discovered and the improvements in her behaviour, digestive system and eczema.  (I really will try to get the post about food up here soon!)  He agreed that trusting our instinct and avoiding foods that cause her trouble is the best.  Also that she will most likely grow out of it if her body mass ever increases!

Dr Dan was thrilled with her overall progress and doesn’t need to see her anymore.  She will attend the growth and development clinic in 18 months time but that’s all.

For the first time ever I saw Eva anxious about visiting the doctor.  Normally she is the best patient.  I’m sure it is related to her recent immunisation at the GP which must have really hurt and is that first that time she can verbalise and recall the event in words.

Dr Dan is also interested in Hugo seeing as he was present at his birth.  Poor Hugo is feeling very rotten today with a flu bug but was a good boy while Eva was having attention lavished on her.

After these appointments Andrew and I are always grateful for where Eva is now considering where she came from.  It’s never hard to recall the feeling of watching over her as her heart rate dropped and to remember that feeling of when I first let myself believe that one day I might take her home with me.  Now she’s just a toddler in full flight enjoying life.

A Big Girl Now

This should have been posted here in August, but better late than never.

With the risk of jinxing it I am going to write about Eva’s toilet training success.  Early in the year I tried a couple of days of nappy free time in an attempt to have Eva out of nappies before the baby’s arrival.   It was some of the most frustrating days of my parenthood and I resigned myself to the fact that she wasn’t ready.

Fast forward to a month ago when we started with Eva’s agreement.  What a difference it has made.

Eva 2 months in a premature size disposable

Hugo spent his first few months in eco disposables while he waited to grow into our bum genius nappies.  When he first started wearing the cloth nappies Eva was a bit put out that he was in her nappies but we had some newer ones that were just for her so it was ok.

June 2011 Eva 2 1/2 years Hugo 3 months

Within a couple of weeks I could see that the volume of nappy washing was significant and the drying turn around time was a bit long in Winter.  Also Eva was able to start telling me when her nappy was dirty.  Previously this hadn’t bothered her.

Eva in a Bum Genius Nappy December 2010 2 years

Nappy change time had increasingly becoming a battle and I think that she realised that Hugo was a baby and sharing her nappies.

One afternoon, at the start of school holidays with no activities planned,  I again casually dropped in the “big girls wear undies” statement as we were putting a wet nappy in the laundry.  Immediately Eva said “Eva wear undies” so I seized the opportunity and put her undies on.

Eva has been sitting on the potty since her arrival home as we practiced a very casualelimination communication.  We didn’t do the watching Eva for cues but more the “pottytunities” straight after waking and before the bath.  This provided us with lots of reading time each day!  Eva was thus familiar with the potty and it’s purpose but as you can see it didn’t really encourage her out of nappies any sooner.

May 2009 Eva 6 months

I knew from my experiment in January that she had a good bladder capacity which meant that I could skip the 15 minute reminder stage and jumped straight to hourly reminders.

The first two days we had a few accidents of course but I could soon see that she could go 2 hours between wees so I had to do less reminding which took the pressure off.  The tricky thing was finding trousers to wear the didn’t fall off of her now that she had no waist to hold them up!  She currently wears a lot of leggings.

Eva did a lot of sitting on the potty in the lounge or her bedroom so that I had somewhere to put Hugo down while with her.  The bathroom isn’t very conducive to that!  As well as timing from the last potty use she sat immediately after meals, ie the potty was next the high chair.  Those first few days I used the television as bribery to keep her still long enough.

Each success was met with much celebration, clapping and a high-five.  Eva of course really enjoyed the fuss being made.  This reward system seemed to really work for her.  The first few days she continued to use her undies for a poo but I did notice that she hid somewhere, which she never did in a nappy.  I was surprised but she didn’t save her poos for her sleep time nappy.

Our first outing was to have Hugo weighed which was an hour round trip in the pram and we managed to go in between wee times.  Although she did want to try the toilet at the Maternal and Child Health Clinic I guess as a novelty.

The next outing, 4 days after starting, was to visit a friend and then to pick Daddy up from work.  We travelled with her potty and I was thrilled when she stayed dry and proudly used the potty at Sally’s house.  I was so excited by this success.

Eva has just continued to progress over the past month.  Soon I found that she was using the potty on her own so I stopped reminding her.  Gradually she has progressed to using the toilet which has a small seat inbuilt.

The first few  attempts at crèche at church ended up with accidents.  I was very proud when 2 weeks after starting she stayed dry at Occasional Care. They have a toddler sized toilet so that was a great treat.

Eva has become more accustomed to toilets when we are out although I have seen her hold on for 3.5 hours when on a playdate despite my encouragement to go.

We have a star chart for poos which has ben an excellent incentive.  Eva gets a gold star for each poo in the potty.  The goal has now progressed to the toilet.  Her first reward after 5 stars was some bubbles.  She was so excited.

I was amazed to see just how she flowed through each stage of the process virtually leading the way herself.  Eva continues to wear nappies for sleep times. Previously her day sleep nappy would be dry whereas it’s often wet now.

Since the first day she has strictly been in undies for awake times.  No nappies for just in case.  We even survived a recent plane journey with dry undies including an exciting trip to the plane toilet.

I am so proud of her and can’t believe that we have reached another major developmental milestone with our little girl who started off in life with a battle to breathe and eat.  We are reminded daily of just how blessed we are!

Flossing for a 2-year-old!

Eva has been for her 6 monthly dental check.  As with all medical checks Eva lay quietly and allowed the Dentist check her teeth.  This is the first time that she has sat in the chair herself and I forgot to capture it in a photo.  She looked so cute with her sunglasses on lying back on the examination chair.

The Dentist couldn’t see any decay around the areas of weakness on Eva’s front 4 teeth, caused by a lack of enamel formation at 25 weeks, which is the main reason we go.  However she rated her oral hygiene as “Fair” and grumpily told me that I need to improve the brushing.  At this point I guessed that she doesn’t have children because if she did she may realise that some days “Fair” is the best I can do when Eva is refusing to have her teeth brushed at all!

The Dentist followed this up with the recommendation that we floss Eva’s teeth nightly!  I just about laughed in her face but realised that this may have offended her as she was very serious.  Of course it’s hard to say that this would be difficult at home while Eva is lying very still letting the Dentist floss her teeth (sedated by the tv directly above her head on the ceiling).

To Andrew’s credit he has managed to floss her teeth nightly (without tv sedation) and hopefully improve the teeth brushing.  I am hoping to improve our score to “Good” at the next visit in January!

A Dr Dan Visit

Eva had a 2 1/2 year appointment with the paediatrician, Dr Dan, this week.  The first thing that he noticed was how much her hair had grown in 6 months.  And it really has.  It is looking so cute with curls now.  Some have suggested that it is due for a cut so that she can see at all times.  However we are not ready for that drastic measure yet.  It has taken her body so long to have the energy to grow hair we value it highly.

Dr Dan did a physical assessment of Eva and couldn’t find any issues. Eva sat on the scales  which read 11.455kg a 1.265kg increase in 6 months.  This still finds her just above the 10th centile for weight.  Her height has zoomed from 81cm to 88cm which is between the 25th and 50th centile.  Thus she is quite disproportionate in height and weight.  This is evident in her clothes where she needs size 2 for the length but it swims on her.

Dr Dan graciously agreed to a have his photo taken with Eva whom he has looked after since our return to Australia 15 months ago and Hugo who he looked after immediately after birth.

Overall he had nothing much to comment on and will be happy to see us again when Eva turns 3. How nice it is to have a positive review for our Eva.

Midway through Two

6 months
12 months
18 months
24 months
30 months

Today Eva is 2 1/2.  There has been such huge developmental changes since she turned two.  In fact she seems to change every day!  It really does scare me how sponge like they are at this stage with everything being absorbed and stored in her growing brain.

Everyday her language and thought processes astound me as she tells me something that I didn’t know that she knew.  This past week Eva has decided that we are “Mum”and “Dad”.  We are sad to see the end of Mummy and Daddy.

As of today some of her favourite daily activities include reading books on the rocking chair, taking the step stool to anywhere to reach anything, rolling her suitcase to go on a “holiday”, taking her baba shopping in the pram, playing with the dolls house, playdough and drawing with markers.  I am amazed to see the start of imaginative play developing with more language available to her.

Lately her arms seem to resemble those of Inspector Gadget as she can reach all sorts of things that used to be safe.  Now there are very few high surfaces where I can store special things to keep them safe.  This I am finding a challenge.

Phases that have been and gone recently are click-clacking the highchair buckles repeatedly and opening screw top containers.

Eva is quite the houdini with us requiring a strap to hold her seatbelt together after she took her arms out and popped up to say hello to us while driving!  We have had to install an extra lock on the side gate after I found her at the front door when I know that the gate was closed!  For a while we had to tie her sleeping bag zips together to prevent her stripping naked every night.

Outside play is great at the moment with ride on/in cars proving very popular. We swap these over at the Toy Library frequently which she loves.

An ever popular activity is viewing photos or videos of herself on the computer.  I used this once as a distraction and she grasped the concept very quickly. Now the computer cannot be used by anyone if she is around as it just leads to meltdown if she can’t see “picture Eva”.

Life with Eva at 30 months is full of delights and challenges. Thank goodness she still has a day sleep as I don’t think that she would make it to 3 if I didn’t get some downtime in the middle of the day.  She just never stops!