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She Grew! (And a diagnosis)



Sabine had her two-year appointment today. I’ve started to dread these appointments because I’m always CERTAIN she grew and then learn that no, she really didn’t grow. I swear she looks and feels bigger and that her clothes are smaller but no, her clothes are just shrinking from the insanely hot gas driers in our building.

BUT today was different. Today Sabine actually grew and her doctor was THRILLED! At her 18 month checkup Sabine was 28.5 inches tall (off the charts small) and 17.3 pounds (off the charts light). Today she was 30.3 inches tall (still off the charts small but she grew) and an amazing 23.3 pounds which is the 9th percentile!


The doctor was seriously thrilled and suspects Sabine will gain more height in the coming months with all that weight gain. Everything else checked out great. Sabine passed her eye test with flying colors, which I could have told them based on how she can spot a box of Trader Joe’s Golden Round crackers from about a mile away, and everything else looked and sounded good. Her cognitive and speech development is right on track and she is catching up with gross motor thanks to all the physical therapy this summer.

This is a good time to update on all the genetic studies, too. I’d been waiting to update until we meet with the geneticist in September but based on her recent growth, I’m pretty sure she is in the clear.

The tests were looking for a mosaic of Trisomy 15 and the three potential markers for Russell Silver Syndrome, a rare form of genetic dwarfism. The Trisomy 15 was negative, which rules this syndrome out completely. The Russell Silver Syndrome tests were also negative, however, do not rule the syndrome out. Up to 40% of RSS cases are undetectable with current technology, meaning just because the tests are negative does not mean she does not have the syndrome.

We’ll chat with the geneticist about his impression in September and determine if we want to give her the label based on her physical markers alone. At this point I don’t care either way. If she has RSS it means that she will always be tiny and thin. If she does not have RSS she will likely still always be tiny and thin based on her growth so far. So… what difference does it make? Having the diagnosis does make it easier for her to receive services should she need more in the future, and it gives me a nice response when people are rude about her size. Otherwise, it means very little.

All of this rambling to say that Sabine’s diagnosis is nothing more than “short.” We are tremendously relieved and are looking forward to returning to life as normal with our “Fun Sized” kiddo!




Sabine shows off her new word.

A video posted by Sarah Belle (@belle30) on

Sunny Days = Dirty House



Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Up until this summer I did a damn good job keeping our apartment tidy but lately things started spinning out of control. Cat hair was collecting on the fan blades, the dishes were always dirty, Sabine’s toys were everywhere and the Professor’s drawers are only closed about 50% of the time (why can’t men close their drawers???). I blame the mess on three things:

  1. It’s too pretty out to clean. I am already feeling anxiety about the impending winter and can’t shake the urge to soak up every warm day until then.
  2. Sabine’s 3x a week physical therapy schedule is absolutely exhausting. Therapy is about 30 minutes away, so once we are out of the house I tend to stay out for they day. Adding to the temptation to stay outside is that therapy is in Westchester county, which is brimming with adventures and some moms who love to get out and play. Why not have a play date, Mama/Daughter adventure or run errands?
  3. Toddlers are infinitely messier than babies. Like, way messier. Like, pick up one room and find two have been exploded. Sabine’s ability to pull every single stuffed animal out is a force to be reckoned with.

Due of all of this our house was reaching a critical level of messy. Most of my Mama friends have a housekeeper at least once a month, if not more. I would LOVE to have someone help with the deep cleaning but right now we just don’t have the means so I needed to find another solution.

I have a tendency to try to clean everything in the house in one swoop and that just is not possible right now. With this in mind I started to look at cleaning schedules other moms have posted. I took a few of my favorites, made some tweaks to fit our family and cats, and put together one that is working pretty well.

Having the chart keeps me focused on a manageable amount of chores each day and not feel overwhelmed. Laundry aside, each day’s chores are easy enough to complete in an hour so even if everything other than bed making waits till after dinner it is not the end of the world.


I printed the chart and put it on the fridge, next to our weekly meal planner, the “where is the car” board (because when you street park and share a car you can sometimes “misplace” it) and our monthly appointment calendar. It looks so fancy and Pinterest-tastic up there, but in reality my life is far from a fabulous pin board and my house is never photo shoot ready. At least now when the neighbors drop by to chat or the super comes to inspect something my heart does not stop because good God there are tumbleweeds of cat hair blowing in the draft!

How do you keep your place tidy? Do you have a cleaning lady or do you tackle it all yourself? And if you DIY it, what is your method?


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