Ilse has reached an important developmental milestone, which possibly no one else notices when their child reaches it.... But Ilse's therapist and I sure noticed. Ilse now reaches out with both hands to grab whatever is in front of her. She wants my iPad.... But really, who doesn't! She wants the tablecloth. She wants the toy I am offering. Whatever it is, she will take it.
I am so happy about this!!
Also, Ilse is finally in love with her stuffed animals. I have three that I have taught her to love. First is a lamb I bought at babies R us. I bought the same one for Grace when she had her mic-key button surgery, and I am thrilled the girls have the same little friend. For a long time I gave this little lamby to Ilse at night, had her wrap her arms around it to cuddle, and then I would start her mobile. I have some sweet pics of Ilse when she first started accepting this ritual.
Next we have a purple donkey from Auntie Kim. It is super cute and I taught Ilse to love it using the same method as with the lamb.
Lastly we have a little bear whose shirt says, "I'm the little sister"... I bought it at med city when Ilse and I were up there for her EEG. I experienced lots of sad memories being alone there in the evening, so I am happy to have a nice animal friend for Ilse out of the experience.
Ilse learned to love her bear because Joey helped her play with it. She would lay on the floor, hold it with both hands over her head and just look at it. I never managed to get a picture, but believe you me, it was super cute. Now she just chews on it.
I have been giving Ilse tastes of various foods lately. I let her taste a noodle, but she bit a chunk off and got upset. Then I let her taste a different noodle with meat sauce on it. After that experience i actually put my baby to bed with spaghetti sauce on her clothes. That was a nice change.
She also tasted a bit of strawberry icing at her birthday party, but of course she did not like it. Silly Ilse. I have been giving her some water from her syringe when I give it to her via tube, but she doesn't like it either.
Pretty much she just tolerates whatever I do, but she clearly doesn't appreciate the joy of food. It is so strange to contemplate not knowing how to eat via mouth. What would that be like?
Tomorrow is Christopher's birthday. He is going to be a huge five year old boy. Just now as he was going to bed I asked him if he was going to be as big as his daddy and need to shave his face in the morning. He very seriously told me that he thinks so. I told him that we would just have to wait and see how he looks. He is a super special cutie pie. I love my big five year old boy. And tomorrow..... I will have two five year olds for eleven days. Then Joey will turn six. Amazing. They are growing up before my eyes.