2012 has brought new gains and challenges. emma is not yet walking on her own, but cruises like a champ and loves pushing her walkers. she is also an avid climber. she climbs the sofa. the stairs. the ladders at the playground. the obstacle courses at Gymboree. and, in the past few weeks, she's been standing on her own for longer and longer periods of time (read: 30 seconds or so). emma works hard in physical therapy, we go to Gymboree to climb and tumble, and we're now at the pool each week to strengthen her muscles. we're hopeful that she'll be walking by her second birthday. fingers crossed!
emma is also quite the little singer. she likes to hum and ooo and awww and mmm and bbbb to music of all kinds, from Classical to Jazz. she plays her drums and tambourines and xylophones with vigor and loves watching her dada play the guitar for her. she even tries to strum along. she isn't yet talking much, though she tries to approximate words when prompted and has a good 15 or so words she uses with regularity. some days, she'll say a word (like lemon or duck or milk) repeatedly and then not say it again for weeks or months. but, she is working hard in speech therapy and she is a prodigious signer. she has a vocabulary of over 60 or so signs and uses them to request food items or to identify a bird outside the window. we're working on creating phrases (words and signs in combination). in the meantime, miss emma "asks" to sing her favorite songs (like Wheels on the Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) by signing the wheels going round and round, the doors opening and closing on the bus, the spider going up and the raining coming down, and the twinkle of the stars. it's been so much fun!
emma works with an occupational therapist to ensure she can feed herself with a spoon and fork (still working on finessing those skills) and using shape sorters and puzzles and just doing things that any kid wants and needs to do at this age.
and, we're working with a special educator to increase emma's cognitive capacity through various activities, like pretend play. she makes her fish "swim" in the bathtub, she plays with cars, trucks, and trains, and she adores her baby doll, now "feeding" her daily, rocking her, singing to her, and placing a blanket on her. it's really sweet.
emma's health has remained largely the same since last year. she's still sick with upper respiratory infections on an almost weekly basis, but such a resilient little girl.
our little apple cheeks cultivates in us tremendous strength and endurance. she is my daily hero...
love, apple cheeks' mama.