Thursday, January 8, 2009

sizing up the McCrorys

This post promises nothing in the way of creativity or photography, but if you just want a status update on the kids, read on.

As I write, our daughter is moving around in ways that can make my stomach look strange from across the room. She is definitely more active than Israel was in utero and surprises even our midwife with the kicks and flips she pulls off during our visits there. We had a visit with our midwife, Mabrey, last Tuesday. (We go every other week now.) While I have already gained enough weight to be full-term, I still measure small and we had an ultrasound on Saturday just to make sure everything's going okay in there. I measured small with Israel, too, so I tried not to become concerned about it. The outcome was that all the measurements that indicate how long she is -- leg and arm, etc. -- measured at 31 weeks gestation, but her abdominal circumfrence measured around 27-28 weeks. Worst case scenario: Intrauterine Growth Restriction. But nothing else indicates that would be an issue. More likely situation: I grow long, skinny babies. That sounds like good news to me as I look at giving birth in around 10 weeks. (That's right. 10 weeks.) I am having a little harder time not worrying about this pregnancy, though. With Israel I just assumed everything was fine, but I have since seen my young, healthy friends give birth to very sick babies and I'd be lying if I said the events of the last year have not affected my anxiety at all. All the same, it seems as though the smallest McCrory is growing pretty well in there and it was reassuring to see her very strong heart and to watch the technician point to all the organs and body parts in their correct places. (She even already has visible hair on her head!)

Israel is, of course, growing very well. He had his 15 month visit today, including a booster shot and a flu vaccine, which he hated. He hated being touched by anyone in the doctor's office. It's pretty obvious he knows what's coming when we go there. I had thought he had just developed a strong aversion to padded tables covered in paper, but he doesn't mind being on it when it's just me and him. (We were practicing....) He threw crying, scared fits when the nurse measured his length or his head. He especially hated it when the doctor had me lay him on the table and asked me to hold his arms still. (I still think we'd have a better shot of keeping him still if we just left him alone and played peek-a-boo instead.) The nice nurse let me hold him for his shots (which makes restraining him a TON easier). Other than the shots, Israel did great at the doctor's office. He finally made it to the 50th percentile for his weight at 24.5 pounds. (I didn't tell the nurse how much of his water he drank while we were in the waiting area.) He is 33 inches tall (93rd percentile).

I think the milestones the doctors ask about are "on the curve." The doctor asks things like, "Can he drink from a sippy cup?" and, "Does he understand the meaning of 'Mama' and 'Dada'?"and, "Can he point and grunt when he wants something?" Now Israel, and all the kids I know his age have been drinking from sippy cups for a long time now. (Who wants to hold a bottle for a kid his size?) He says "mommy" and "daddy." He says, "Daddy?" first thing most mornings and when I ask him where his daddy is, he now says, "wwwwwuuuuh..." (work). Israel is usually not allowed to point and grunt when he wants something, but says please (both with voice and by sign now) and may point or say the name of the thing he wants, usually followed by, "uh, huh!" (He likes to agree with himself.) I kind of thought they had to be joking, asking if he could grunt and understand "mama." Did they not just see him in the waiting area, as he pointed at the birds and flapped his "wings," and pointed to a dog and said, "dah... woof, woof!" Did they miss him holding his hand to his ear (his sign for "listen") and saying, "pho..." every time the phone rang in the doctor's office and "baby?!" every time a baby cried from one of the examination rooms? All this to say, Israel is either crazily gifted with verbal skills or the doctor's office asks questions to help everyone feel that their baby is smart.

Of course, I am growing, and my verbal skills are decreasing. "Milk, please..." and, "Do you need to potty?...potty...? Can you say, 'potty?'" are about the most complex sentences you will hear me use most of the day. I feel my spoken vocabulary consists of a few hundred words that I repeat over and over these days. (As well as some noises, like "Bah...!" and "Moo...!") Pat is not growing, and that is good. I hope to join him in his stagnation after a few months of shrinking.

You should receive a letter from us in the next few days, assuming we have found your address. (I'm still looking for some.) It has a little more in the way of a big-picture update on all of us. Let us know if you do not receive one and we'll get it to you!

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