Over dinner Saturday, Zoe was discussing her future as a mother. She's going to have babies in her tummy one day. We asked what she would name her kids?

"Salad"

Ok, so one kid will be named Salad. Any other names?

"Nora," she said, walking over to her sister, "just like this little lady right here."

Nora is One

A few weeks ago, Nora celebrated her first birthday. And it's been quite a year.

Since her last seizure in late April (a little more than nine months ago now), Nora has been hard at work to start crawling, babbling, and cruising around the house. Sometimes it feels like she's days away from walking... And other times it seems weeks or months away. She sees either an occupational or physical therapist every week, and though she's made significant progress - really, truly great progress - we remain committed to making sure she gets every possible 'leg up' during her development.

It's hard not to be always worried, just a little bit, about whether or not that foot is doing what it's supposed to do, or if she's sitting in a way that says something is wrong, or if one hand doesn't get enough action. We didn't pay that much attention to this stuff with Zoe. With Nora, it's the main event.

Of course, we can't wait for her to talk. She definitely says "dada" (thanks, Jimmy Fallon) and "mama" very clearly, but "dog" and "zo-zo" sound very similar, much to her sister's delight / dismay depending on ... who knows, she's three.

After some trouble with reflux, Nora eats like a champ. It's likely that my own fear of her choking held her back, but now that I have stopped cutting bananas into the smallest possible size for her hands, Nora will gladly grab and devour a whole banana.

Nora remains on Topamax, an anti-epileptic, and a dwindling dose of Prevacid for her reflux. Topamax will be with us for quite some time, and now that she's good at eating, it's much easier for her to get down.

Zoe loves to give Nora bites of food and to help with her sippy cup. Nights and mornings are full of Nora and Zoe giggling and tickling. They also love to share toys with each other. (Just kidding on that part, just wanted to make sure you're paying attention. They are horrible at sharing.)

But boy does she smile. Smiles. All. The. Time.

Happy Birthday, Nora. We all love you so very much.

Today is my birthday. 37 years on this planet, the last 6 as a husband and 3 as a dad. I'm hoping for at least 37 more.

Last night, Zoe was wearing her space suit pajamas ("the same pj's astronauts wear, right daddy?" "of course"), which are covered with decals that glow in the dark. One button is for launching the space ship, she thinks, and another is to put down the 'landing deer', and another is a walkie talkie.

"Ladies and gentelmen, we're ready to take off" she said in between bedtime-delaying sips of water. We practiced walkie talkie conversation with the lights out.

"I love you, Zoe... over"
"I love you too daddy"
"Over"
"Right, over"

Nora is 8 Months Old

Nora is 8 months old! She's been seizure-free for nearly five months.

Nora has been working hard with her occupational therapist, and while she's a bit behind physically, she's making great progress. She's sitting unassisted, reaching for toys, and rolling. She's still working on getting up on her hands and knees, rocks back and forth, and really really wants to crawl. Nora will start working with a physical therapist also to make sure that she continues to make progress.

Nora's been a bit reluctant to eat. The folks at the UNC feeding clinic don't think there's anything wrong with her swallow, but rather her reflux might be the cause of her reluctance. Even before we increased her Prevacid she decided to eat a bit. Puffs, crackers, yogurt, peas... She's actually lost weight since the steroids, so we're keeping a close eye on her eating!

Nora had an Opthamology appointment in August that was originally scheduled during our April hospital stay. We'd been doing visual exercises with Nora (tracking toys, following objects in different patterns) with Nora and noticed that she has problems tracking up and to her right. The opthamologist noticed this too, and it's possible that she'll simply have a deficit in her right visual field. We'll continue to monitor.

Other things to note:

  • She smiles all the time.
  • Her giggling continues to improve, with lots of practice.
  • She likes practicing giggling between 1AM - 3AM.
  • She poops out of her diapers consistently.
  • She has two teeth. They're sharp.

Another neurology appointment in October just to check in... We're curious to know if they're going to do another MRI sometime in 2016.

8months-2
I'm a Tar Heel