I thought I'd let you know what's new around here. Annika is still doing great. She had been keeping a lovely schedule of going to bed around 8 and getting up at 6 or 6:30, and taking a 2 hour nap in the middle of the day. However, she has lately decided that she is too big for naps and fights sleeping in the middle of the day. I still get her to sleep for about 20 minutes in the afternoon, and maybe 15 in the morning. I tried putting her to bed earlier (7), but she didn't much like that. Instead, she goes to bed at 8 and gets up around 8 the next morning. Not too bad, I guess, but I liked the 2 hour nap in the middle of the day. I get the most work done then. Oh well.
Annika has been driving us nuts lately with her favorite book. I say "driving us nuts", but we're actually really happy to see her doing such a normal kid thing. She would bring us this book called "The pudgy peek-a-boo book" over and over. I read it to her about 20 times in a row one day last week. My husband and I were stumped about her love of this book, as it didn't seem particularly clever or fun or cute, but she sure loves it. About the time that Joerg and I were getting really really sick of that book, she picked another favorite, "Das Schaf Rita" (Rita the Sheep). It was sent to us by friends in Germany. It includes the rhyme "Rita trinkt. Rita stinkt." (Rita drinks. And I bet you can figure out the second thing that Rita's doing!!!) It's a pretty funny book, but I bet that it loses its humor after the 500th reading. Right now we're just happy to have a break from Pudgy Peek-a-boo.
So what else. Annika can climb up and down stairs now, and she knows how to climb off a bed safely (although I still supervise all these activities). Joerg says she's going to send us her therapist bill when she's diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder later on in life. One of her favorite activities now is "cleaning". She "cleans" her hands and toys when she finds a Wet One within her reach. After the diaper change I have to give her a diaper wipe so that she can "clean" her diaper changing pad. If she gets hold of a wash cloth, she "cleans" her head. She even has to have her own alcohol pad to "clean" the end cap of her PICC line (her semi-permanent IV) after I flush it at night. I think it's pretty clear that mainly what she sees mommy doing is cleaning! She also loves to have the sterile gloves we use for dressing changes. She puts her hands into them and waves them about (yes, I watch her when she does this, too, so that she doesn't try to inhale the glove). I guess all this cleanliness is a far better cry than her previous habit, which was licking the floors.
She seems to know what "No" means (it means hurry up and do it faster before mommy comes to stop you--ha ha). She clearly understands language a lot better than she produces it. She still only has 3 words: "ma" (me), "da" (dad or duck, depending on the situation), and "ga" (cat). We have several therapists coming by this week to evaluate her progress and recommend some exercises to help her catch up.
Well, I guess I'd better cut this short (too late for short, I guess!). Joerg and I are doing fine, although Joerg is having some minor health issues. We're certainly looking forward to getting out a bit more once the weather warms. Annika's 3 month transplant anniversary was yesterday, and that's a big milestone. Once we hit 1 year, the chance that she'll have a major complication decreases significantly. Thanks again for all your prayers and encouragement over the past year!