I find myself amazed at how quickly time is moving. Jaxson is now 13 months (9 adjusted) and he is doing big things! He completed his week long swim class and loved every minute of it. We met new friends and exposed him to something that was not only developmentally rewarding but also fun for both him and myself. I think its safe to say that we have a little water baby on our hands and definitely looking forward to more water activities next year.

As Summer winds down and Fall is approaching, we will be finding new ways to remain active and assist with Jaxson hitting his milestones. He currently has physical therapy once a week which has been great with strengthening his muscles and challenging his abilities. He's doing amazing and has learned so much in the time we started PT. We were hoping that he would also start receiving OT, however, when he was recently assessed he ranked pretty high for his adjusted age thus disqualifying him for that particular service. While I was a little bit disappointed about this, I had to stop and thank God for the fact that he is developing on track and not falling behind and needing additional therapy. As a preemie parent its easy to get caught up in the world of milestones and what that means for your child. When Jaxson had his first assessment at the high risk clinic (back in May) I remember leaving in tears- the reality that my son was born 4 months before his due date and potentially developing slower than what I wanted was a hard pill for me to swallow. I know that he was doing the best he could and he had come so far, but I beat myself up about the entire situation that day. I felt like a failure and I felt like I wasn't doing enough to push his progress. After sorting through my thoughts, I had to pray and ask God to forgive me for being ungrateful and I had to thank Him for the blessing and miracle of Jaxson's life. I stopped beating myself up and put my own selfish desires on the back burner. I decided to allow Jaxson to take the lead while also exposing him to new things. With this approach and a lot of guidance from the Holy Spirit I celebrated every little thing Jaxson did and cheered him on which reassured him and gave him confidence in his own abilities.

Jaxson is developing very well for his adjusted and actual age and doing new things that surprise us each day. His words consist of: Da-da, Daddy, Hey, Hi, Yea-no Mama yet :( He also has 3 teeth, he waves, dances and is working on clapping. He is very mobile- crawling, climbing, rolling around, standing while holding onto things and trying to walk. Recently he started standing for a few seconds without holding onto anything and he balances very well! He is such a brave and fearless little boy and becoming a little more independent as the days go by. He is even starting to look more like a big boy! My husband gave him a little hair cut over the weekend and I seriously started getting emotional over the fact that my baby is growing up. Its seems like just yesterday we were doing kangaroo care with him in the NICU! I cherish each and every moment I spend with him not taking any of it for granted.

We celebrate his new found independence and the milestones he is reaching. As a parent its rewarding to see your child grow up, learn and develop their own personality. To see him defying all the odds that were stacked against him is a true blessing. At just 13 months we can see that he is a smart little boy who has a passionate zeal for life, he's pretty clever and can figure things out too. Where we are today didn't happen over night, it took lots of work, prayer and determination. Finding what works for your baby is a process but is very worth it and rewarding. We have lots of toys that are educational, fun and help with fine motor skills. I've listed a few tips that have helped us and can maybe help you too!

Here are a few tips:

  • Talk to your baby and make eye contact with them

  • Read to them daily for at least 15 minutes

  • Introduce toys that promote hand eye coordination

  • Create a routine- children like consistency

  • Expose them to new activities that promote brain development and growth (park, beach, mall, etc.)

  • Stay present while interacting with your baby (try to put the phone down or turn off the TV)

  • Don't be afraid to ask your child's Pediatrician or Therapist for suggestions on things to do that can help your little one.

  • Celebrate the milestones big or small and don't compare to others. REMEMBER: Comparison is the thief of Joy!

These are just a few things that helped us along the way. And we hope that they help you too! Let me know how you keep your child entertained and what your doing to assist with their development!